Dye sublimation: Bring your branding into the 21st century
Could dye sublimation be exactly what you need to take your branding to the next level? Maybe. Here’s why…
Dye sublimation, commonly known as ‘dye sub’, is one of the newest forms of branding.
The branding industry is dominated by techniques that have been around for thousands of years. That’s what’s so exciting about dye sub. This new technique has opened up the possibilities of what can be achieved in terms of artwork & decoration.
The first version of dye sub was invented by Frenchman Noel de Plasse in 1957. He discovered that, when exposed to extreme heat, dye turns to gas & can be transferred from one fibre into another.
Up until then all forms of branding were placed on top of an item. Conversely, dye sub allowed the artwork to literally become a part of the item itself. It was revolutionary.
As well as creating a more integrated look, it reduced the risk of branding being damaged or wearing out faster than the object itself.
In later years, the Jet Propulsion Lab in the US invented the first ever computer printing machine that used the dye sublimation method. This made dye sub cheaper & less labour intensive. It became a viable choice for branding on a large scale.
How it works
Dye sublimation can only be performed on items that are white (or very light in colour). These items must also be 100% polyester or covered in a special polyester coating.
Dye sub printers use sublimation dyes to print the artwork onto special transfer paper. It’s then placed on a heat press along with the item you wish to dye sublimate.
The heat press is adjusted to the perfect time, pressure and temperature for the item you’re printing on to. The dye on the transfer paper is released and turned into gas which is imprinted into the fibres of the final item.
As soon as the press is turned off the dye cools & turns back into a solid. You’re left with a photorealistic, permanent, high-resolution, full colour print.
What it means for you
Dye sub allows you to get creative in a way that cannot be accommodated by other branding methods. You could print one small section of the item, or you could customise the entire object with your own unique design.
This tech alleviates limitations on colour, size or intricacy of artwork. Dye sub offers endless possibilities to those with an active imagination.