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Ideas/Page 2

Full Color Digital Imprinting – What is it?  How can you use it?
By David S. Mackey

What is it? I have been in the award, gift, graphic design, promotional and sign industries for 30 years and I have seen a lot of changes over the years. Years ago, Full Color Digital Imprinting was called Sublimation, using a special toner in a copy machine. I used clip art and a typesetter for the text. When computers became available, I used them for my text and artwork. Using either process I then placed the artwork on the copier with the correct color toner. This was only one color at a time. After I copied the artwork with the copy machine, I used a heat press to imprint on the material to be sublimated. The products available at that time were plaques, trophy plates, name plates, and mugs. We thought it was the perfect process at that time; of course sublimation looked good for what we had to work with.

Today Sublimation is also called Full Color Digital Imprinting. Full Color Digital Imprinting is so advanced you can apply full color photographs, artwork, clip art and text using a computer and as many colors as you want. This process is applied with an ink jet printer and special ink and transfer paper. After you print your transfer, you use a heat press to imprint the ink into the material. The ink changes from a solid form to gas and back to a solid form. This makes this process permanent; won’t crack or peel and UV stable. The material has special coatings to accept the Full Color Digital Imprinting. T-shirts or other cloth type materials are made with micro-polyester or micro-fiber material. Cotton and poly-cotton can not be used with this process.

How can you use it? Full Color Digital Imprinting is for the award, gift, promotional and sign industries. For awards, plaques and trophies are the most popular items. The types of awards could be: MVP, Employee of the Month, retirement, 1st or 2nd or 3rd place in a sport or academic events, etc. Plaques make a good anniversary gift for a special couple. There are two types of gifts that are great for people to give and they are personalized gifts and corporate gifts. Personalized gifts are great for anniversaries, baby showers, birthdays, graduations, holidays, reunions or weddings. Of course, you can give a personalized gift for any occasion you can think of. Corporate gifts are for your boss, your company employees, retired employee, your office décor or your company picnic. Every business, organization, club, and event needs to be promoted. Promotional items can promote a new product or service, a new business or sport and academic event. They are very popular for the political office. Wall signs or door signs are great for your office or church or school, etc. You could use a sign to mark shelves of items. Labels can be used for your products such as computer labels. Businesses and organizations can use name tags to identify their employees and volunteers.

I hope this gives you some idea what Full Color Digital Imprinting is and some of the things it can be used for. Full Color Digital Imprinting has come along way since when I first started. There are new advancements made all the time. It is nice to be able to put full color photos and anything you want on something you can cherish for a lifetime.

 

 

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Last modified: 08/22/07