April '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 101 of 136 • Spring 2017 • THE SUBLIMATION REPORT 31 as well as finer detail and higher definition. These variations each have benefits for different applications and business goals. Say you are looking to expand into sig- nage and it's important to offer your cus- tomers specific brand colors. Depending on the color you need to match, you may be able to use a CMYK ink set or you may need to look for an eight-color ink set like SubliJet-HD FLEX, which can deliver an expanded gamut of colors. This ink set provides CMYK inks for everyday use, as well as orange and blue inks that expand the range of colors you can achieve, and fluorescent yellow and pink inks. If you're an awards shop that is only looking to provide signage pieces smaller than 13 by 19 inches then a desktop printer with CMYK inks should meet your needs. However, if you have a high volume of such orders, are looking for faster print speeds, or need an increased color range to match logo or organization colors, investing in a 25-inch printer with an ink set, which offers orange and blue cartridges, is a smart move. The addition of these two colors greatly increases the number of colors you can achieve through the sublimation process. Fluorescent colors add excitement and visibility to tons of products, from shir ts, hats, mugs and bandanas, to banners, plaques and beyond. Because desktop printers can only accommodate CMYK inks, you can never achieve a true fluorescent with this combination. Actual fluorescent colors need to be added to the configuration and be able to be mixed to create custom fluorescents that pop the way you expect. You will need an ink set that works with an eight-color printer and offers both CMYK as well as fluorescent ink colors. COLOR QUALITY The quality of your color is critical when aiming to produce the best prints for your customers. While the purity and formulation of the ink is a significant factor, the color management and print software you use is also key. When shop- ping for inks, take into consideration what color management tools you will need to ensure the colors on your final product are as close to what you designed as possible. Many inks come with a single color profile—software that works with your design programs to manage color con- version from RGB (on-screen) to CMYK (on paper). Because sublimated colors are also influenced by the substrate and paper being used, not to mention the heat and pressure from the press, a single-color profile will not produce colors as good as more specialized software can. This may mean that you need to pur- chase a raster image processor (RIP) pro- gram, which can be expensive, or look into buying inks with more advanced color software. For example, the newly released Virtuoso Print Manager comes with every Virtuoso HD Product Deco- rating System. It takes into account the type of substrate, the type of paper, the design software you've used, and the spe- cific ink and print settings to convert your colors for optimal prints. It offers RIP-like capabilities to streamline production and allows for spot color matching and custom color creation. An eight-color ink set offers an expanded gamut of colors. Here is a color comparison demonstrating an expanded gamut. While the purity and formulation of the ink is a significant factor, the color management and print software you use is also key.

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