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Growing Your Dye Sublimation Business – Perpetual Plaque Plans

March 10th, 2011

by Steve Spence

In years gone by, there were any number of companies that offered businesses a program to provide them with individual recognition plaques plus a master perpetual plaque for a single annual fee. Here’s how it worked:

A company signs up with you to provide them with 12 monthly “Top Salesperson” plaques (they can say anything the customer wants) plus a single master plaque or perpetual plaque that has the company logo or sales slogan and year on it. Each month, the company fills out a post card, sends an email or a text message giving you the name of that month’s winner. In turn, you make a plaque with the name and month on it plus whatever other design they want and send it to the company. You also send an individual plate with that person’s name on it for the perpetual plaque.

If the company gives two awards, each month, they just purchase two packages, etc. Each monthly plaque is identical except for the person’s name, the month and, if they so desire, a sales figure, units sold, etc. This makes it easy to produce and requires only one design.

Various packages can be offered to customers that include four quarterly plaques, twelve monthly plaques or whatever other combination the customer desires. Condé even offers a version of the perpetual plaque with a clock, this could be for the recipient of the award. The perpetual plaque is made up and sent with the first monthly plaque with screw holes and screws already in place for the other monthly plates. All the customer has to do is add each plate as it comes. Sizes can also vary with a perpetual plaque that is 9”x 12” and each monthly plaque a 6″ x 8” Unisub® plaque or larger plaques can be used, priced accordingly. All payment is done up front so there is no waiting for your money and only one check, which is good for you and also, good for your client.

Although most of the companies that offered these programs have gone by the wayside, new companies are beginning to show up, mostly on the Internet.

Lots of companies use this type of service: teachers, car sales, real estate brokers, almost anyone with a sales force, non-profit solicitors, telemarketers and a host of others.

If you don’t know about the wide variety of sublimation plaques offered by Condé, contact your sales rep for more information. To learn how to print these plaques, check out CondeTV.

Flipping Your Image

March 8th, 2011


Mirror          Mirroring your image is a very important step when sublimating or using transfer papers. On most substrates if you fail to mirror your image your final product will be printed backwards. Some printers have the capability of mirroring where others do not. If your printer’s driver has this option I recommend setting it up by default. If it does not then you will have to turn to your application to do the job. This is one of the reason’s Condé recommends either Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or CorelDRAW for editing and printing images. Both of these programs have this capability.  

flip          The location of the mirror function in Photoshop depends upon the version you are using. In all versions you click on Image –> Rotate Canvas –> Flip Canvas horizontal. In CS versions from CS3 to CS5 you can find the “Emulsion Down” in the output options of the print dialog. In later versions of Elements there is an option for “Flip Image” in the output section of the print dialog.

Corel Mirror          CorelDRAW handles the mirroring the same in all versions later than Version 9. On the print dialog there is a Prepress tab. There you will find a check box for mirror. Just check this box when printing and the image will come out reversed. Also, in CorelDRAW you can save your print settings as a print style and make this print style your default print style. This will make CorelDRAW Mirror automatically. For these procedures refer to our online documentation and video.

          In addition, you will find informative videos for configuring color management by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Condé Systems Inc.

Support Technician,
Andy Taylor

Dye Sublimation Business Ideas ~ Sell to Fire Departments

March 8th, 2011


by Steve Spence

One of the easiest markets to sell to is your local Volunteer Fire Department. The men and women, who give their time to protect their community from fire and all the related tragedies in their community, do it out of a deep passion, a love for the job, the adrenaline rush and the camaraderie.

Regardless of their motive however, one thing is sure, they love what they do. It is far more than a hobby; it is a calling and with it comes a deep love and appreciation for anything related to fire fighting. If you go into their homes, they will have pictures of fires or fire fighting equipment on the walls, plaques, old fire hose nozzles, and the like treasured and displayed throughout their homes. I once bronzed a section of fire hose for one fireman – I never did understand what significance it had but he was willing to pay several hundred dollars for it. That was enough for me.

To sell to fire departments of their sister units such as EMTs, water rescue units, and the like, you must understand one thing: They don’t give a hang about a picture of some generic fire truck, no matter how pretty it is. They want to have things with a picture of their fire truck, ambulance, rescue boat, etc., on it. And that’s good because that is exactly what sublimation is best at – creating products with the customer’s photo and personalized with the customer’s name – nothing generic here.

It usually won’t take more than a phone call for the crew to roll out their fire engine in front of the ‘ol fire house for a photo shoot. Take your trusty little digital camera and take a few shots of the two together. With any luck, you might even catch them on a day when everyone is there for training or a meeting and be able to get them all standing in front of that favorite fire truck – what a gold mine!

Vapor Shirts, UNISUB picture frames, plaques, name badges, key fobs, luggage tags, ceramic tiles – you name it and they will probably buy it – not because it has a picture of a fire truck on it but because it has a picture of their fire truck and their name to boot. Just flip through the Condé catalog and pick out dozens of items you can offer.

Best of all, fire companies are very competitive. Once you sell to one fire station, others will probably be calling as well.

Don’t forget to contribute something to their annual fund raising – maybe a plaque for the person who brings in the most money.



picture from funny-pictures.picphotos.net

DK3 and Mug11 for full bleed

March 4th, 2011

Pressing mugs can be confusing if we assume they are all pressed the same way with every image. A poor assumption using the same instruction for full bleed as with standard imaging on the mug press will lead to a bad transfer and wasted product. These are errors that will make dips in profit trends.

We have invested well spent time in finding ways to get the perfect result with every mug. Now to let you in on some ways to get you to perfection with pressing all of your 11 oz mugs.

Make sure you have a good mug press…DK3 FYI:

The DK3 has been around for 4 decades and has earned its place in the commercial  mug pressing business. Condé has been supplying customers with the GK3 mug press for over a decade and we believe it is the top of the line in mug presses. Here is why…

Nerd smile The heat element covers more area

Just kidding The design allows for easy mug placement for various mug sizes, including water bottles, steins and many other cylinder shapes.

Flirt female Up to 70 presets (for multiple products), a prepress timer and a user menu.

Adjusting the George Knight DK3 Mug Press

Know the difference of what mug you are using:

Condé sells two types of standard 11 oz mugs. One is MUG11US and the other/s MUG11. You will need to know the press time will vary based on which mug you purchased. Make sure you read the instruction on the product page for each.

Pressing standard images on 11 oz:

Standard images on 11 oz mugs can extend about 1/4 to the top and bottom edges of the mug. The dwell time is about 3.5 mins on MUG11USA and 4.5 mins for MUG11’s at 400 degrees with medium pressure. Pro-spray can be used as an alternative to heat tape. Both sold at Condé.

Pressing full bleed mugs:

The full bleed mugs are the most challenging for transfer. The time may increase up to 6 mins due to the coverage area. After all you will be transferring to the maximum area. To get the best result you will need to trim to the borders of the image. Use Pro-spray as an adhesive. Often, wetting the edges of the transfer will help with adhering to the bottom of the mug. Sometimes the very bottom of the mug/s can be more textured or rippled around the outside diameter. Using the thicker padding (1/8″  vs. a 1/16th” heat conductive rubber pad located around the heat element) and a little more pressure will help with this.

Intro to the George Knight DK3 Mug Press

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Condé Systems Inc.

Senior Support Technician,
Vicky Waldrop

How to get rid of the box when dye sublimating fabric!

March 3rd, 2011

By Steve Spence

Here’s a new word: “Deckle”. It comes from days of old when paper was made by hand and refers to how the edges were left rough and uneven. It is used mostly today in relation to scrap booking when paper is torn by hand to leave an uneven edge.


What’s this got to do with sublimation? It is going to change the world for those who are working with fabrics! Listen up! This is really important!


Want to get rid of that darn box that appears around the transfer paper when sublimating fabric? Here’s the answer. When working with polyester fabrics that will take a permanent crease when heated to about 320° F degrees, the 400° degrees required by dye-sublimation and the thickness of the transfer sheet is a real curse. This applies to most all fabrics, no matter how heavy: Condé’s Dye-Trans, Vapor brand, Haynes – T-shirts, golf shirts, sweat shirts, jackets; all are polyester and all will crease when heated over 320° degrees.


We have tried all kinds of things including sublimation pillows and foam pads, which help but are a bother to be sure.


Well, here it is, the end all, be all solution! And it is as easy as 1-2-3:

Step one: Print transfer as usual.
Step two: Tear the edge of the paper BY HAND. Do not use a ruler or paper cutter, knife or even try to tear it straight – just make a rough tear along all four sides of the paper, taking care not to tear the printed portion of the image.
Step three: Transfer as normal: 400° F degrees for approximately 35 seconds with light to medium pressure. Time may vary slightly depending on the fabric.


Who do we thank for this insight? An employee at Condé, was seen doing this one day and asked about it. He had no idea he had solved a problem that has haunted the industry for more than a decade. He “just always did it that way”. Well, thank you Ben McLeod, the Condé employee! You just moved the world of sublimation on fabric ahead 20 years. Thank you!


Here’s video of the technique: Avoiding Press Marks