What Is a RIP And Why Do I Need It?

What is a RIP Software Program?

The abbreviation RIP stands for Raster Image Processing. The RIP Software converts your digital image created in a graphics software (CorelDraw, Illustration, Photoshop) to a ready-to-print file with the most ideal resolution for inkjet printing. The ripped image can now go from your PC to your wide format printer.

rip-software-infographic Desktop printers don’t need RIP programs, because they come with a print driver that has sufficient amount  of control and options for general smaller format printing. Recall when you click “print” and a box comes up and you can select if you want to print in color, black & white or grey scale – this is your print driver. Wide format printers are a bit more advanced and RIP programs are often needed for exact color output, quality resolution, rasterization and maximum control.

Why Do I Need A RIP?

A RIP program offers a professional wide-format print shop multiple benefits beyond the basic printer driver.

  • Save media and ink cost with advanced ink control and nesting features in many common RIP programs
  • Color profile management for a variety of media, ink technologies, and application purposes
  • Multi-printer management with ability to print up to four printers from a single computer
  • Faster image processing, which handles wide variety of file types, including high-resolution vector and raster images
  • Upgrade features available to add-on with such as variable data printing, automatic color separation & halftone screens, and much more!


What Else Can The RIP Do?

A RIP program also handles the rasterization of images with an enhanced process that preserves the image details to an optimum level. Rasterization is the process of converting a vector file to a raster file (or in other words, a bitmap image). Vector files are graphics made up of paths, not pixels. They don’t have a resolution and can be enlarged indefinitely without losing information. However, when it comes to printing, a vector graphic needs to be converted to a file type that contains pixels (or small dots) so the printer can read it and print it. The RIP software converts that vector file to a raster file at the highest quality possible and preps it for printing.



Things To Remember

The program you create your graphics design in, the RIP software program and the printer are all separate entities. They will work together to bring you the end product you want. It is important to make sure that they are all compatible. RIP software programs can be purchased separately or in some cases they are paired with the purchase of your printer. If this is the case, be aware that you are getting the basic version of the RIP software program. Upgrades to be purchased will be recommended to you at a later date.

5 Ways to Use a Decorated Mug

Mugs are one of the top holiday purchases. Who doesn’t want a customized mug? Mugs can be used for everyday use, to save as a keepsake, put a variety of items in to showcase (flowers, writing utensils, home goods, etc. ), and to give as a gift with an added special gift inside. Another great bonus if you are transferring with sublimation is that your image will never fade, even when you wash it over and over again.

We have a few styles to choose from that are fully sublimatable in a mug press or with a mug wrap for oven use.

11oz/15oz Ceramic Mugs
12oz/17oz Ceramic Latte Mugs
Multicolor Ceramic Mugs
Glass Mugs
Color Changing Mugs
plastic mug
Plastic Mugs
metallic mugs
Metallic Ceramic Mugs











1. Personal drinkware

Mugs are perfect for coffee, tea, water, juice and even food items such as cereal or yogurt when a bowl is not available. Add some fun quotes, photographs and graphics to make it your own!




2. Personalized gift

A mug with the receiver’s name or image that means a lot to them is simple but thoughtful.



3. As holders for flowers, pens, home goods, etc.

Mugs are not limited to just liquid. They can be used in more unconventional ways as pen holders and flower vases among other things.



4. Give a gift inside a mug

Instead of using a gift box or a bag for a small gift, get creative with a ceramic or a glass mug to use as clever packaging for presents like gift cards, chocolates, candy, jewelry and other small items. Once the gift has served its purpose, the recipient gets to keep a mug that can be re-used as drinkwear or pen holder.



5. Commemorate an event

Highlight an event or a moment with a special keepsake.  Add an extra spin to birthdays, weddings, graduation and more by personalizing mugs that can be taken home and serve as a reminder of the good times!






How To Press Our Photo Plaques

Our MDF sublimation photo plaques are incredibly popular, especially with photography and awards, but some questions do arise with the nature of the material and shape. Below is a step by step guide on how to press a 5″ x 7″ in plaque with black edge.

step1 - Copy



Set up your work space. Size your design by using one of our templates or by simply making sure it is a little bigger than 5″ x 7″ and print it out on sublimation paper. Make sure you have thermal tape ready as that will be the best way to attach your paper to the photo plaque and avoid shifting.







Step 2

Peel away the plastic film from the photo plaque. That will reveal your beautiful glossy sublimation surface.

These plaques are made of medium density fiberboard, therefore hold A LOT of moisture. We strongly advise pre-pressing them to eliminate as much  moisture as possible.

To do that, place your plaque in your press face up and add a cover sheet on top (copy paper, silicone sheet or polyester fabric is best) and close the press for a total of 40 seconds.  The temperature should be between 385-400F.

Repeat the process if a ton of steam is coming out after the 40 second pre-press.




Step 3

After the photo plaque has COOLED completely from the pre-press process, place it face down on top of your design and line it up.

To apply the tape, start from the back of the plaque and attach it to the paper while trying to avoid the tape touching the beveled edge of the plaque itself. Fairly often we see problems with the tape taking off some of the black coating on the plaque.










Step 4

Flip the photo plaque over together with the taped paper and carefully place it on the lower platen. Double check that it is still lined up correctly and a major shift of the paper hasn’t occurred.

Once satisfied, press the photo plaque at 385F-400F for 35 to 45 seconds (variations in presses account for the difference in temperature and time) with medium pressure.











Step 5

Immediately remove the sublimation paper away from the photo plaque in one quick motion to reveal your transferred image. We like to pull the paper up and away from the item and not sliding it sideways as that may cause ghosting, simply from just removing it improperly.





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Step 6

Check for any imperfections such as inconsistent color/fade along the edges or the center of the plaque. Those are the most common areas, usually due to uneven pressure activating the ink in some areas more than others.