Special Feature Article - 100 Top Tips and Tricks for Sublimation Success! Part 3

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51. Resolution: I recommend a minimum of 200 dpi at print size. Say you are scanning an 8”x10” photo to produce an 80”x100” tile mural. That means you should scan at 2,000 dpi (200 dpi x 10). Once scanned, resize using the tip below and your image will be around 200 dpi. I strongly recommend Genuine Fractals (see No. 30) for scaling images to mural size. 52. Resizing images: Uncheck the resample box in Adobe Photoshop under “image > image size” or for elements “image > image size > resize image.” In Corel Photo Paint, check the box “Maintain Original File size”. These features can really screw up your image. When you are resizing an image, you want to either push the dots closer or spread them out. Using these features improperly makes it so the software will either add dots out of thin air or delete them by maintaining the current resolution. 53. Use Genuine Fractals to add more resolution when a higher-resolution image is not available. This inexpensive plug-in for Photoshop is a great band-aid for low-resolution images. 54. Yes, you really need both CorelDRAW and Photoshop. CorelDRAW is our “Swiss Army knife” for graphics and page layout. Photoshop is our image prep program. For most things, I prefer Adobe Photoshop to Corel PHOTO-PAINT. Most people should buy Photoshop Elements, as it is inexpensive and gets the job done. 55. To make black-and-white (grayscale) images print best, convert the image from grayscale to RGB in Photoshop under Image: Mode: RGB.

Spot Colors

56. For “no surprise color matching,” print your color palettes using Corel’s undocumented “create color swatch macro” feature. (See my article from 2005 Sublimation Almanac, posted at www.conde.com/support for full details.) Color matching is the No. 1 issue and this amazing free feature in CorelDRAW is the best solution I know of. For other programs like Photoshop, drop me an email at dgross@conde.com. 57. If you need to match Pantone colors, buy a Pantone swatch book. Most large corporations specify their colors with a Pantone solid-coated color. You must have the Pantone swatch book to know what that color should look like; then you can use my color matching tip above to nail the proper color. 58. Verify that CorelDRAW’s “fountain steps” are set to 256. Some versions are set to 64, which prints poorly. Look in “print preview: setting: Misc.” 59. Check out Smart Designer from Digital Art Solutions. It is an excellent add-on for CorelDRAW that simplifies complex actions. 60. For Photoshop Elements users, I suggest Photoshop Essentials from www.ononesoftware.com. It is a bundle that includes Genuine Fractals. 61. Check out www.vectormagic.com for converting raster graphics to vector. This software and on-line tool works better than anything I have ever used. 62. Join www.istockphoto.com. This is the best collect of photos, vector art, and backgrounds. 63. Be sure to check out our massive template collection for Photoshop and CorelDRAW users. We also have some excellent videos to assist you in using the templates. 64. For Photoshop users: When opening a file, I see the message “This file does not have an embedded profile”. What should I do? You should assign SRGB and convert to workspace, which I suggest should be Adobe RGB 1998. 65. Should I use RGB or CMYK colors? For photos, we really want to work in the RGB world since the devices that produce photos (like digital cameras and scanners) produce RGB colors. Both work for graphics, but you can achieve a much larger color space (color gamut) with RGB compared with CMYK. 66. In CorelDRAW, the Replace Wizard can easily convert all of the spot colors used in a graphic (Pantone, CMYK, etc) to RGB for printing. When in CorelDRAW, choose Edit > Find and Replace > Replace Objects. The Replace Wizard menu will pop-up. Select “Replace a color model or palette” > Next. Select “Find any color model or color palette” and next to “Replace with the color model:”, select RGB. A Find & Replace box will pop-up. Push the “Replace All” button. Depending on the image’s complexity, it’ll take a few moments for CorelDRAW to search the entire page and replace any non-RGB colors with their RGB equivalents. 67. Why do my scans look so bad compared with my digital camera? Scanners cannot detect what is the correct white balance of the scan. You must do this step in Photoshop under “Image adjust levels” or “enhance lighting levels”. A quick fix is to try “Auto Contrast”.

Marketing/Sales

68. Put your contact information on every product you sell. For instance, sublimate the re-order info (your contact info plus the artwork filename) on the back of, say, a Unisub FRP name badge so folks can refer business to you. You can transfer to both sides at the same time. For mugs, I suggest using Rowmark MATES oval stickers on the bottom of the mugs and on the back of products. If you are whole selling the product then put the appropriate contact info. 69. Sell name badges! Without a doubt, this is my favorite sublimation product. Schools, churches, and businesses need either traditional or slotted name badges. Profits are excellent! 70. Always sell and promote product bundles. If the customer buys a mug, offer a discount if he/she also buys a mousepad. 71. Plant seeds! Provide targeted prospects with samples personalized for them. This is a great way to open doors to new clients. Join your local chamber of commerce and send a name badge or desk plate to selected members. Network! 72. Get involved with silent auctions for charities. This is an amazing way to get great PR for almost nothing. Give away something appropriate for the event. 73. Tap into event driven opportunities like car shows, sports, hobbies, and pet shows. These provide impulse buying opportunities. 74. Install a free tile mural in a public or high traffic area and use this as your calling card to show folks what you can do.