Awards & Engraving

April '18

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22 THE SUBLIMATION REPORT • Spring 2018 • David Gross is the presi- dent of Condé Systems, Inc. For more than 25 years he has developed and built the Mobile, Alabama based company into the premier source for printers, sub- strates, and consumables serving the graphic art, photography, prepress, and desktop publishing industries. W hy do we need tips? More than 20 years ago, when I first began my journey down the Road to Sub- limation Success, I started writing down what worked, what didn't work, and a long list of questions I had. I even started a bucket list of what I wanted to accomplish with sublimation decorating. Documenting this information along the way has been helpful to me and can be to you, too. This article is an update to my 101 tips and tricks article that appeared in A&E magazine in 2010. Interestingly, many tips have stood the test of time. As another platform to share the things I've learned, I've begun turning these tips into videos that can be found at As a bonus, I have created a "Sublimation Client Sourced" section for additional tips at If you wish to add your tips to this collection, email me at Editor's note: This is a small sampling of sublimation tips. Find more at www.a-e-mag. com and GENERAL 1. Document everything. Keep a sublimation journal containing each of your print job's transfer details including com- puter, printer, and heat press settings. Keep your sublimation instructions up to date, and when you master a product, document in your own words what works and then use it as the standard for training others. Use your smartphone to take photos of any error messages on your equipment, problems with substrates, or important on-screen software settings. Writing things down when they happen is the key to receiving good tech support — you would be surprised at how many problems can be quickly solved with good information. EQUIPMENT 2. Max out the memory (RAM) in your computer. Every new upgrade to MAC OS or Windows uses more RAM, adding to the heavy load graphics files and software puts on your computer's working memory. If you're buying a new computer, max out the RAM (I think you need at least 16 GB) or at least make sure that there's room for expansion at a later time. 3. Backup your computer. Make backups of all artwork and important files using an external USB hard drive and/or a cloud ser- vice such as Google Backup and Sync. Every month, rotate your external hard drive out with another one that is stored off-site. This is great insurance in the event of theft, fire, or ransomware. 4. Which sublimation printer should you buy? Buy one that is warrantied and supported for sublima- tion printing (ask about an extended warranty, too). Make sure an ICC profile is provided and that your sublimation partner assists with installation and future sup- port. Be aware that the cost of printing may vary based on the size of the ink cartridge(s) being used (some printers utilize standard-size cartridges while others offer extended-size cartridges that reduce the cost of ink). Keep in mind that the size of the printer determines the size of the substrates you can produce; a larger print size allows you to produce a larger variety of products. BY DAVID GROSS ALL IMAGES COURTESY DAVID GROSS 30 Sublimation Tips and Tricks Tip 1 Tip 4

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