2019 Industry Forecast

Each new year brings changes in people, places, and technology. Be on top of trends in 2019 with this industry feature.

Each new year brings changes in people, places, and technology. We asked Bob Hagel of Eagle’s Mark, Cheryl Kuchek of Just My Imagination DeZigns, and Colin VanLint of JDS Industries to elaborate on what they predict and expect for 2019. According to these experts, the new year will bring changes in products, shipping costs, design software, and more.

I believe 2019 will continue to see new products. The market for multi-use lasers such as the CO2 – fiber combo will continue to grow, which will give a shop more capabilities and more variety of what they can do with new products as well as the classics. As shipping costs continue to escalate at a faster pace than the cost of living, local shops will gain market share over small online businesses. The primary way to reduce shipping costs to customers is becoming so large that you have the ability to leverage your shipping volume to greatly reduce your costs.

Another growing trend that I see helping local shops is the “last minute” orders. Online businesses typically cannot respond and ship to beat the timeframe that a local shop can. Our rush orders seem to grow every month. Lasering is still one of the fastest technologies for personalization. Working with customer’s graphics is the real challenge regardless of the technology you use. New products and new technology leads to creativity and developing niche products and markets. This allows more shops to exist side-by-side with a lot less competing with each other. That can be exciting for shop owners.

-Bob Hagel, Eagle’s Mark


I see a lot more use of mixed media. Whether it is customizing a design, then cutting it out with a laser and sublimating on it or combining heat transfers with sublimation, the world of sublimation is evolving. So many folks are combining medias that haven’t been tried before, and succeeding. Vendors are also stepping up their game; they are bringing in new and innovative substrates and unique items to the marketplace. 2019 is going to be an exciting year for sublimation, and all the new people getting into it.

-Cheryl Kuchek, Just My Imagination DeZigns


Here are some of the updates that Adobe has made in the new Illustrator CC 2019:

1. Free-Form Gradients

  • Previous versions of Adobe Illustrator allowed you to add linear or radial gradients. Now you are able to add specific points of color that you can then manipulate in real time, creating intricate and realistic shadows and highlights.

2. Fully Customizable Workspace

  • Allows you to organize and setup workspace and tools for a more organized and streamlined experience.
  • Pick and choose what you want and do not want on your toolbar.

3. Font Integration

  • A better experience for previewing and selecting fonts.
  • Over 14,000 fonts to view and choose from right out of Illustrator without having to use another program to manage those fonts.

-Colin VanLint, JDS Industries


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Julia Schroeder

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