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
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?
cannot match pantone colors. The sublimation process does not use a
standard printer cartridge, but a special sublimation dye that does
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
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.