Evolving technology has expanded the type and volume of fine art and photographic reproduction work that can be printed with inkjet devices. Print mfg, a specialist in digitally printed wall decor based in Rathdrum, Ida., transitioned from a retail large-format service bureau to a wholesale-only manufacturer of products for photo sharing and fine art print retailers. The Screen Truepress Jet2500UV board and roll inkjet printing system was a big part of that transformation.
“As we were growing Print mfg to the next level, we needed a high-end printer that not only offered fast speeds but also could produce print quality that would meet the standards of the photo and fine art market,” said Chris Gibbs, president. ”That is why we chose the Truepress Jet2500UV over the competitors. Other machines we compared were great at printing signs, banners and posters that people would see from a distance. The 1,500 dpi resolution of the Truepress Jet2500UV allows us to make prints intended to be viewed close up.”
Print mfg was founded in 1996 as a fine art/photo company, printing photos and artwork on canvas and watercolor paper. The company soon found itself filling orders nationally and internationally.
“When the online photo market really took off around 2006, we started receiving sizable orders for contract printing,” Gibbs said. “At that point, we leveraged our years of experience with fine art reproduction to refocus the company on contract manufacturing.”
Print mfg creates hundreds of unique canvases and wall-mount artworks a day. During the peak season, from September through the end of December, Print mfg hires extra help to accommodate the daily demand for 1,500 to 2,000 unique on-demand prints. Photo gift products are manufactured and shipped in custom branded packaging.
Gallery wrap stretching, packing and shipping are all done in-house. In 2011 alone, Print mfg used 192,000 linear feet of wood molding to build custom frames for gallery wrapped canvases.
The Truepress Jet2500UV prints directly on rolls of artist canvas. Images also can be printed on thick watercolor paper, glossy photo paper and matte poster paper.
“The flexibility to print on a wide variety of materials was important to us,” Gibbs said. “We operate the Truepress Jet2500UV in both roll-to-roll and flatbed modes. It handles exotic materials, such as wood, PVC and acrylics. When clients ask for innovative products they can take to market, we can prototype their ideas and quickly deliver working samples.”
Print mfg combined the Truepress Jet2500UV with a Zünd G3 digital cutter to ensure precise and repeatable print-and-cut capabilities.
“The Zünd cutter pairs nicely with the Truepress Jet2500UV,” Gibbs noted. “Together, these two machines stay ahead of our other production processes.”
To increase the apparent resolution and color gamut and enable even smoother gradient transitions, Print mfg utilizes light cyan and light magenta, in addition to the standard cyan, magenta, yellow and black Truepress UV inks.
“The print quality is amazing,” Gibbs said. “Six colors provide much finer printing with extremely smooth images. At the high-resolution settings, there is virtually no signature of the digital print technology; jobs look like they were printed on offset equipment.”
Multilayer printing is a standard feature of the Truepress Jet2500UV. Printing up to seven layers, including a layer of opaque white ink, in one pass affords Print mfg unequaled versatility.
“Right now, we are experimenting with layered printing techniques to add a three-dimensional perspective to fine art prints,” Gibbs said. “This involves creating digital separations that give the prints texture and dimension by replicating the brush strokes and depth of the paint. This is a very intriguing process. The Truepress Jet2500UV can tackle just about any job.”