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Finding Your Perfect Platen Match.

Ulrike André describes what drives the most suitable choice

Published in: Specialist Printing Worldwide, Issue Two, 2014

Perfect Platen

WHAT’S IN A PLATEN?
For most people, the lower platen is the least of their worries when purchasing
a press. It is always the upper platen, the one with the heating mechanisms,
that is the star of the show. But the bottom platen also plays a role in making
heat printing more productive. When choosing a press, you should consider
how the lower platen will perform for you in the long run. It is a good idea
to know what the lower platen is made of. How is it attached to the base?
Are there interchangeable shapes available? How easy is it to remove the
lower platen? What shapes and sizes of lower platens are available? Are
there any other platen accessories available that can help your investment
last longer? You will be surprised how many choices there are and decisions
there are to be made. It is well worth the extra research though; the right
lower platen can save you a lot of time, frustration and, yes, money.

LOWER PLATEN CONSTRUCTION
The lower platen needs to be made of a sturdy material, robust enough
to withstand high pressure without bowing or bending. If the material is
too weak, your transfer might not adhere to the substrate due to unevenly
distributed pressure and/or cold spots. In addition, the platen should be
light enough so it can be easily handled. Aluminium is a popular raw
material used to make lower platens. Steel for small platens is also an
option. If you are looking for a heat press that can travel with you to shows
and sporting events, make sure you consider the make-up of the platen
(and heat press) since it will have an effect on the overall weight. You
don’t want to have to rely on an army of helpers if you don’t have to.

-> Download full article
-> Custom Heat Press Platens


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NFL Draft

May 8-10 2014 at Radio City Music Hall, New York

NFL Draft

STAHLS’ was asked to be on site at this year’s NFL Draft
again and produce a custom Nike jersey for each NFL draft
pick as soon as the name was announced. It is quite a
process: once the announcement is made, each First Round
Draft Pick’s name is cut using a CAD-CUT® heat transfer material
and heat printed on the respective jersey within 90 seconds.

No, they aren’t informed of picks in advance! We have to wait to
hear the name called out before we can start heat printing. Of
course we have to do some (a lot of!) organizing before the event.
Weeks of preparation all come together when the lights come on
in Radio City Hall: garments, heat transfer material, accessories,
the Hotronix® heat press … all need to be lined up and ready to go!

Once the jersey is printed, it is handed over to NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell, who then hands it to the new NFL player. Jerseys
can be order on the NFL shop website and are available to customization.

-> New York Times Article


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TED STAHL

Executive Chairman and Founder | GroupeSTAHL

Stitches december 2013

2012 RANK: 3
Ted Stahl was recently honored with the number one rank
in the Stitches 2013 Powerlist. Among 75 industry leaders,
Stahl was nominated for influencing the decorating industry,
now and in the future.

Stahl is humbled and thankful for the recognition and explains,
“Without our hard working team, we wouldn’t be able to build
upon many of the great opportunities that came our way. The
award really belongs to everyone at GroupeSTAHL and to all
our loyal customers—without our customers we’re nothing!”

What started more than 81 years ago as a manufacturer
and supplier of die-cut letters and numbers has now grown
into a global organization dedicated to excellence in heat-print
and digital technologies.

Today, Stahls' is the industry's only complete source for heat
printing decorating systems-equipment, materials, full color
graphics, heat transfer vinyl and more.

Sporting goods dealers, screen printers, embroiderers,
promotional product distributors, and heat printing specialists
of all kinds have been calling on Stahls' since 1932 to solve their
apparel personalization challenges.

-> Download Article
-> Ted Stahls' Blog


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Making heat printing easier

Ulrike André outlines how the right accessories can save time and money

Published in: Specialist Printing Worldwide, Issue Two, 2013

Heat Press Caddie

So you have the perfect heat press, cutter, and direct-to-garment printer?
You have studied all there is to know about the many heat-printing
materials
– films, flocks, bling and other special effect vinyls? You
have researched digital media? You are eager to get started and
produce the most amazing personalised textiles the world has ever
seen – only to discover this is not as easy as you thought it would be.

Heat printing actually is still the fastest, easiest way to decorate just
about any garment, but as is true with so many things in life –
P6 = Proper, Prior, Preparation, Prevents Poor Performance!

A colleague of mine coined this ‘formula’ during a webinar last year
and it sums it up perfectly. Know what you need to know before
you start and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches, not to mention
hard earned cash.

Here is a summary of “I wish I would have known this before” about
the usefulness of heat printing accessories. You’ll find that the right
accessory can make your heat printing job so much more efficient,
and maybe even a little more fun.

-> Download full article
-> Heat Press Accessories


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Ready, set, go?

Ulrike André questions whether marketing and advertising really hit the target

Published in: Specialist Printing Worldwide, Issue Four, 2012

YouTube goes hand-in-hand with a company’s website

A few weeks back some of my colleagues from the marketing department here at Stahls’ met for a brainstorming session to get ready for upcoming product launches and trade shows.
I like these brainstorming sessions a lot. In these sessions, we share and discuss, collaborate, enticing one another to look at things differently and hopefully becoming better marketers. In the end we become more efficient in marketing our products and services.
There is so much information about marketing available today and I continuously see it is very hard, if not impossible, to keep track of all the many available tools which inspired me to choose my topic today.

Most of us know our businesses well. We know our industry, we know what we are offering, and we know our limits. In addition, we also know who are customers are, how we want our products to be promoted. But the question still remains - are we reaching them? Are our marketing efforts paying off? Is our ROI (return on investment)
satisfactory or even exceeding expectations? Do we have all the tools in place that
can help achieve our sales goals – efficiently?

-> Download full article

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Playing with the pros

Ulrike André explains how to introduce a brand into a new geographical area

Published in: Specialist Printing Worldwide, Issue Three, 2012

Globally certified CAD-CUT Gorilla-Grip II features a patented adhesive

The world is getting smaller. If something happens in one place of the world
the information is distributed – instantaneously – to millions of people with the
push of the send/receive button on your computer. “Going viral” no longer instills
fear but is something that, thanks to the power of social media, is something we
hope will occur when we launch our latest innovational product.

And while Westerners would like to think that their innovations will continue to
be launched in the West, reality shows this is no longer the case. With an
apparent shift in buying power, companies are paying much closer attention
to the East and are deciding to use this part of the world as their launching pad.
Apple, HP (Hewlett-Packard) and GM, to name a few, have very successfully
chosen China as their launching pad for their latest innovations in the most recent past.

What makes product launches successful in Asia and beyond?
What do companies that are not Apple or GM have to watch out for to be able to gain a foothold in the foreign markets?

-> Download full article

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Staying Ahead of the Joneses

This Year’s Trendy Colour Opportunities are Described by Ulrike André

Published in: Specialist Printing Worldwide, Issue Two, 2012

Pantone Colour Trends 2012

A few weeks ago I had to work from home to prevent infecting the entire office with a bad case of the flu. Although I don’t like being housebound due to illness, after two days I came to the realization that there is really no “need” to leave the house anymore: with a simple click we are connected to the outside world.

Work: I am connected to our office, have access to all my drives there via VPN, I can log in to my desk phone, my cell phone is glued to my ears anyway … in short: I can work from home and no one will ever know the difference.

Food: online I find the grocer who offers home-delivery (in my neighborhood there is even an organic home delivery company that has recipes on their www, taking out any guesswork about what’s for dinner), fill your virtual shopping cart, pay at the virtual check-out and a few hours later all gets delivered to your door.

Socializing, dating, living life
: TV is showing us one “reality show” after the next so we don’t have to deal with or
create our own. I know more couples who communicate via short text messaging than face-to-face. The singles population
appears to prefer dating in the virtual world rather than meeting someone in the real one. We appear to become semi-immune
to the on-going atrocities occurring in front of our doors and across the globe as we become inundated with information and
images via the various channels available to us.
Could this mean the renaissance of the troglodytes?

-> Download full article

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Do You Want Fries With That?

The art of the up-sell is set out by Ulrike André

Published in: Specialist Printing Worldwide, Issue One, 2012


Participants of a recently held webinar in which I participated were asked to state whether they had an up-sell strategy in place or not. An astounding 78% announced that indeed, they had no such strategy in place.

McDonald’s lays claim to quite possibly the world’s most famous up-sell question: "Do you want fries with that?" A close runner up would have to be "Do you want to super-size your order?" which helped McDonald’s to increase their sales, without any added cost to them, across the globe and overnight.

The art of the up-sell
By asking a simple question at the moment we were trying to satisfy our quench for deep fried pommes de terre, McDonald’s was adding instant sales (profit) and making us believe they were merely being observant and making sure our culinary needs and desires were being met.

This begs the question: can we adopt this theory of offering French fries or even increasing the ordered size of fries—to our industry? The simple answer is "mais oui"!

Start With the Basics
A customer who comes into your shop and inquires about your products and services will often have a pretty good idea about what they need. They might even have a specific t-shirt, hoodie, or other promotional item in mind and they often have the design they want to see applied onto it ready in hand or on a flash drive. Sounds fairly cut and dry you might think. After all, who’s to question a determined and prepared customer?

-> Download full article

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Spotlight On YOU!

Creating Your Own Runway Designs with Heat Printing

Published in: Specialist Printing Worldwide, Issue Four, 2011


What fashion looks are on the runway for 2012? Exotic, romantic, urban, elitist, casual, elegant, glamorous, futuristic – the list of this season’s trends is diverse. Layered, vintage and distressed is one look that really stands out. You know that worn out look, the favorite pair of jeans that your parents tried to get rid of, that T-shirt that reminded us of a special event … well, that look is back with a vengeance! Now is the time for the reprisal of these long lost old friends, so let mom and dad know that you were right all these years for holding on to those t-shirts and jeans. The big names in the fashion industry are asking big money for their interpretation of this retro renaissance. How can you take advantage of these trends without spending a lot of money? How can you make everything new look old again? The good news—it’s easier than ever to create this season’s hottest looks with a little help from your heat press. Hotronix Fusion

Make It Stand Out — The Power of Mix and Match

It all starts with the logo, but even the plainest, most simple logos will look amazing when done utilizing the right media. How does it feel when you touch it? Is it “wearable”, comfortable? Texture is incredibly important, not just in retro looks but for any garment. Pairing the right decoration material with the right textile is an important key to success. A thick felt material on a t-shirt material is simply not wearer-friendly. There are a lot of heat printing options when it comes to creating vintage looks. Here are a few to consider:

-> Download full article
 

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How up-to-date is your heat press?

Ulrike André takes a closer look at the most sought after features in these units

Published in: Specialist Printing Worldwide, Issue Three, 2011


If you’ve been heat printing for any length of time, you already know how much time and money you can save with this alternative to screen-printing or embroidery. You also know how easy it is to print just one item and still make a great profit. You’ve used your heat press to make samples for customers in order to secure a big sale, or to decorate hard to screen-print items such as nylon jackets, beach chairs or umbrellas.
      Yes, you know that your heat press is a valuable piece of equipment and you’re not quite sure how you lived without one for so long. But, now that you own a heat press, isn’t there something about that press that you would like to change, or improve upon? Let’s start with a little research into some of the features most people consider important in a heat press.

What’s your style?

At first glance, most heat presses appear to be relatively simple pieces of equipment. In general there are basically two main types from which to choose, a swinger type or a clamshell type. With the swinger type, the top platen of the press is designed to swing to the left or the right. Clamshell models, as the name suggests, open on an upward angle. The drawback to using a clamshell model is that sometimes your work surface below the platen can become hot, and people have been known to burn their knuckles while arranging graphics on garments underneath the hot upper platen.   

-> Download full article
Hotronix Fusion
 

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