Awards & Engraving

July '16

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A&E JULY 2016 • 33 SUBLIMATION QUICK STOP Sublimation By Kevin Lumberg & TJ Kvilhaug As sublimators, we need to shoot for that "wow" factor and let the product speak for itself. This month, let's dive into out-of-the-box style awards. By offering something a little different to the mix of products your customer is deciding on, you are no longer letting the cus- tomer compare apples to apples. You are adding a new product they have never seen before—now is the time for that wow factor. Out-of-the-box thinking isn't the eas- iest thing to do. Many of us are so hung up on the same things that have been making money over the years that we have blinders on and the mentality of, "Why fix it if it's not broken." By going a little out of your box, you may come across a product or an idea that can put you that step ahead and set you apart from your competitors. Not only that, but it could also lead to more products that broaden your scope and offerings. CUSTOM FABRICATION SERVICE The first idea we'll talk about is using a custom fabrication service. The prices aren't too high and you are able to make any shape you can think up for the award. That being said, materials do play a role in that, as sheets of aluminum or something similar can be cut but custom shapes are harder as they have to be die cut. If you are using FRP, hard board or anything like that, the sky is the limit. They can be cut via laser or rotary, so you receive a cut piece exactly to the specs you are looking for. A great example that we get from time to time is the shapes of states for state tournament winners. They are definitely different than an award that you'd typically offer. SUBLIPLEX Another nice award-type item is Sub- liplex. These are acrylic awards that you sublimate through the backside rather than on the top. This provides a nice pro- fessional looking award. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are actu- ally 3/4-inch thick, which gives them a nice high-end substantial feel. Since you W e all know how hard it is sometimes to get your foot in the door with some of the customers who like a certain style award and nothing different. Some of these same customers may also prefer that a certain company provide that award. That's how it always goes… unless you can bring something more unique to the table, that is. OUTSIDE THE BOX: A Different Take on Awards Subliplex awards offer a nice high-end look that can be combined with different technologies to make them one-of-a-kind. ALL IMAGES COURTESY KEVIN LUMBERG AND TJ KVILHAUG

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