Cost Savings of Wide-Format Sublimation Versus Small-Format

Aaron Montgomery has been involved with the garment decorating and personalization industry since 2000 and the digital printing industry since 1997. He has been actively involved in the industry trade shows via speaking, attending and exhibiting for the last 16 years. He also writes articles for the industry magazines and blogs on topics that include marketing, social media, the personalization market, and garment decorating techniques. He is dedicated to helping small businesses grow and succeed. You can find Aaron co-hosting the industry's oldest and most listened to Podcast - 2 Regular Guys ( You can also find blogs about a wide range of topics on his own website at

When it comes to wide-format sublimation, the labor is a big factor in your costs, and there is plenty of margin in most products to handle the increased ink costs in a small-format printer. All it takes, though, is a little breakdown and you will find that things change pretty quick once you are able to jump to wide-format sublimation.

If you are a small-format sublimator, you are likely paying about $70 for a 30ml ink cartridge. That is about $2.30 per ml. A typical sublimation transfer uses about 1.5ml of ink per square foot — you have about $3.75 per square foot of ink and paper cost (assuming paper is about $.25 per square foot for paper cost). Compared to large-format sublimation, where you pay approximately $0.15 per ml of ink, your cost is now less than $0.50 per square foot.

—Aaron Montgomery, MontCo Consulting, 2 Regular Guys 

Keep reading for the costs of getting into wide-format sublimation.