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  This page last updated:

  08/04/10 12:45 PM




























































Sublimation F.A.Q.

What is Sublimation? Sublimation is in physics, a conversion of a substance from the solid to the vapor state without it becoming liquid. An example is the vaporization of frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) at ordinary atmospheric pressure and temperature. The phenomenon is the result of vapor pressure and temperature relationships.

What is Sublimation Printing? Sublimation printing involves the basic theory of sublimation by utilizing a special sublimation dye and paper, an inkjet printer and a heat press. When pressed onto the surface at high temperatures the image (transfer) actually bonds with the material. The result is a full color or monochrome print baked into the material itself. This process could be confused with screen printing which is actually an ink placed on the surface, whereas Sublimation is actually baked into the material itself. If you touch a sublimated product you will notice that there is no feel to the printed area. The sublimation dye we use is a UV stable dye that will not crack or peel like screen printing. 99% of the sublimation products we offer are completely UV stable meaning natural lighting or light UV rays will not affect the printed results. The only items that will fade in direct UV rays are the gold, silver or bronze aluminum.

Note: Like any kind of printing the UV resistance will be different in different parts of the country or location in which the item is residing. All of our white material is cured with a special coating before we press. Our manufacturer are constantly testing and the dye and substrate to extend UV resistance ever longer. UV rays are extremely strong and can effect really anything that is printed or for that matter painted. For instance in the Florida sun a tile will fade faster than a tile in Minnesota (our neck of the woods) for the simple reason that natural sunlight is usually stronger near that part of the country. If placed indoors the product will have very little if any fading.

Example: We have products in our showroom with florescent lighting that have been on display for a few years and you could never tell they were done 3 to 4 years ago. Also note that we are using florescent lighting as well.

Is Sublimation a new process you started offering? Although contrary to most clients beliefs, the sublimation process in general is not a new process at all. It has been around since the 80's, however the process began as a monochrome process (black/white). Today it has evolved from the humble beginnings into the industries fastest growing market. We first started using the sublimation process in 1994, when we upgraded from a similar grayscale process known as Metalphoto to the new world of full color sublimation. In 2003 we upgraded to the newest breed of sublimation systems utilizing an inkjet printer. In Spring of 2006 we also upgraded yet again to a faster Dual-4-Color production style inkjet printer. Due to our major upgrades we have been constantly expanding our product line. Although we sometimes refer to it as a new process, we have been involved in the sublimation process for 11 years.

What products can you sublimate on? Most sublimation products are made of a polyester/polystyrene blend of materials, that is specifically designed to accept the dye and high temperatures involved with this process. The products are generally known as substrates. Products include plaques, aluminum plate, key chains, jewelry, apparel, mouse pads, home decor and much more. There are always new products coming to market on a regular basis. Continue to view our sublimation products online for the newest items being introduced into our catalog. Sorry, we cannot print on products that we do not sell.

Why is sublimation more expensive than other full color processes? Sublimation was designed for small runs, something that screen printing or silk screening cannot touch without incurring an expensive setup charge. Today sublimation is evolving into more long run capabilities which can rival screen printing. True, sublimation is generally more expensive than screen printing (per piece), however with sublimation you get the ability to order as little as 1 item without being punished with extra charges. The reason sublimation is generally more expensive is because the items are specially manufactured for the sublimation process using a special coating or fabric, and special dye, which intern reflects the price of the product.

I have shopped around...Why are your prices sometimes higher for this process? We like being asked this question. The reason we are more expensive on some items is due to the quality you receive when you order from Benton Trophy. We are very particular about what leaves our production center, which intern means you will receive the highest quality print and customer service through the entire ordering process. We also print all jobs at 1440 dpi, whenever possible. We like to use to old adage of "you get, what you pay for". To top it of we have over 11 years of experience in the sublimation process. Most companies have only offered it for a few years, since the introduction of the inkjet sublimation systems. You can rest assured when you order from Benton Trophy that you will receive the best product, best service and best print quality available today.

Can you match Pantone Colors? Sublimation printing cannot match pantone colors. The sublimation process does not use a standard printer cartridge, but a special sublimation dye that does not allow the printer to match pantone colors. We do have a chart of around 1,000 colors we can try to match your pantone colors to, however we cannot guarantee a perfect match. When we print the image it is actually a different color then when the finished product comes out of the heat press, thus making it impossible to match a pantone. If you need us to try and match as close as we can, we need a sample of a business card, flyer, letterhead or something that has the correct color shown. We do not have a pantone color chart book.

Can I see a full color proof before proceeding with the order? We can send you a proof via email, however we do charge a one-time setup charge that will be charged whether you place an order or not. Please keep in mind that all computer monitors & printers see colors differently so what we see as light blue on our screens, may turn out a medium blue on your screen or print. It is impossible to send an exact match to the finished products.

Is there a setup or artwork charge? We do charge a setup/artwork charge of $20.00 per hour (billed in half-hour increments) with a minimum artwork charge of $10.00. This is required for all sublimation products. On orders over 100 pieces the setup artwork charge is waived.

Can I see a pre-production sample? We do not normally do a pre-production sample. However, if you would like a pre-production sample we can accommodate you. We charge the regular retail price, artwork charges which have occurred, and shipping charges if needed, since it is of a personalized matter. On large orders we may be able to accommodate a pre-production sample at no cost.




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