Sublimation Trends to Cash in on in 2018

Posted: 12/12/2017

The price of a product is really what someone will pay for it. When a product is trendy, demand goes up and price follows. The relationship between demand and price is especially true in the product decoration business, where perceived value is the main driver for your price point. As you’re making plans for growing your business in 2018, here are some trends you may want to explore.


Sublimated bags are very trendy and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Non-woven and canvas totes are easily sublimated with full-color logos and brand colors. Cinch backpacks are especially popular with schools and sports teams as an inexpensive add-on to uniform packages. For everyday utility, consider selling customized purses and shoulder bags, backpacks, laptop bags, messenger bags, reporter bags, metro bags and diaper bags. Each generally has a panel that can be imprinted with pictures, graphics, logos, brand colors, etc. They can become promotional products, corporate gifts, teacher gifts, personalized school and/or team gear, baby gifts or essentials…the more creative you get, the more potential you have to sell.


If you are not selling sublimated socks yet, now is the time. Customized socks have been big sellers for the last few years, and we don’t see this slowing down anytime soon. Socks have both retail and wholesale potential, from selling ones with cute phrases imprinted onto the bottoms to full-bleed athletic socks with team logos, there is endless potential for sales with sublimated socks. Team sports organizations, photographers, schools and direct-to-consumer sales are all opportunities to explore.

Baby Products

The world of products that can be sublimated for baby markets is huge and hot! Sublimation lends itself to easy customization and personalization, plus you can also print beautiful photos – all things that are in high demand when a new baby is on the way. A few product ideas to start with include soft, silky baby blankets, diaper bags, photo panels and slates, beanies, bodysuits, mugs, towels and ornaments. Birth announcement information with photos and statistics are very popular and can be imprinted on anything.


Whether you have a large or small sublimation printer, customized pillows are a great product that generate large profits. You can purchase pillow cases in several different colors, finishes and textures, and fill them with pillow inserts for a finished product people love. Satin, velvet, fleece, peach skin, canvas, faux canvas and sequin pillow cases have been very popular this past year, and we anticipate customer demand to continue to grow.

You can get extra creative with your designs to generate even more demand. Holiday graphics, custom themes, cute characters, popular icons (unicorns, mermaids, trucks, etc.) and sassy sayings are all great product decorating ideas. Sequin “mermaid” pillows are even being used as baby gender reveal events and as pregnancy announcement items.


Product decorators sublimating with smaller printers should consider selling evergreen garden and car flags, which are always popular with seasonal graphics, monograms and team logos. Product decorators with larger printers should know flags are being used more for indoor signage these days as a lower cost alternative to hard signage. New expanded gamut and fluorescent inks open new doors of color possibilities adding to the growing popularity for both signage and decorative applications.

January is a great time to look at what’s hot and come up with plans to cash in on that popularity. It seems that the profit possibilities of sublimation have no end. And with trends like these, that very well may be true.