2020 Industry Forecast

What does the next year of awards and personalized products look like? Get on top of trends before the start of the new year.

The recognition and personalization industry is prone to change with the times, as are most industries that you may do business with. We checked in with Bob Hagel of Eagle’s Mark, Cheryl Kuchek of Just My Imagination DeZigns, and Jennifer Foy of Unisub to see what they predict and expect for the year ahead. According to the experts, 2020 will continue to shine light on full-color products, show a rise in custom gifts, grow educational opportunities, and more.


With the economy still charging along, we are seeing somewhat less price sensitivity from many customers as they move up to more expensive awards products. 

I believe full-color prints on awards and recognition products to be a continuing trend. We are seeing many more orders with a mixer of full-color print, especially for the logo, with engraved text and other graphics.

We see leatherette products catching on even if the pace is somewhat slow. You must make sure you have lasered samples in your showroom as they laser so beautifully – customers like what they see and order them especially as business gifts and employee rewards.

In kid’s activities, we see greater participation in a more diverse number of activities. This has made it more difficult to stock trophy parts for last-minute orders. And rush orders continue to grow as expectations of a “quick turnaround”are on the rise. More teams not ending the season at the top are purchasing participation awards and of higher quality. Coach’s personalized “thank you” gifts are also on the rise and more often extending to assistant coaches and team moms.

The last trend we see continuing into 2020 are orders for cast plaques. Most of our orders lately have been by individuals rather than government or large businesses. Many are memorials for lost loved ones.

-Bob Hagel, Eagle’s Mark


With the exponential growth in the sublimation world, there is a demand for education as we are seeing more of the vendors engaging to help people get through the learning curve. There has been, and I believe will continue to be, an influx of new sublimatable products. Every time we see a new product, we wonder how (the manufacturers) will top that one, only to have the next one be a showstopper. This industry is ever-changing, and it has to be one of the most exciting times I have had the pleasure of witnessing. 

-Cheryl Kuchek, Just My Imagination DeZigns


Wondering what design and color trends you’ll be seeing in 2020? Start with the latest announcements and new releases: Classic Blue is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2020, as well as the palette of spring/summer colors released by Pantone. These dark blues will be popping up from gifts to home décor and apparel. With the new Star Wars movie release along with the side story, The Mandolorian, green and brown combinations will be seen everywhere – who doesn’t love the Baby Yoda creature as well as the implication of nature prints/patterns and animal prints.

-Jennifer Foy, Unisub

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Julia Schroeder

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