Print Service Provider Expands Into Body Graphics
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Press release from the issuing company
Hervé Imaging, based In Delaware, Ohio, got into the wide-format graphics game more than a decade ago, but recently expanded in a unique direction: body graphics.
“Tattooing is all the rage these days,” said Ricardo Roarke, founder and president of Hervé Imaging. “But needles are such an outdated, analog technology. And pretty painful. Our idea was to bring tattooing into the digital age.”
Not seeing any equipment on the market that met their needs, Roarke and his staff converted one of the company’s flatbed wide-format printers to image onto human flesh. “We can’t tell you what manufacturer’s machine it was, since it would void our service contract,” he admitted. Part of the challenge was raising the printheads high enough to clear a human body and avoid head crashes—in more ways than one. “Not everyone—in fact no one, except maybe Flat Stanley—is as thin as the usual substrates we run.”
The “secret sauce” to making the FleshPrint 5000—as they have renamed the machine—function flawlessly is in the prepress. “We scan the body to be imaged beforehand, then map the desired illustration—a mermaid, a heart that says ‘Mother,’ a red dragon tattoo—onto the actual body. The RIP then sends this information to the printer and as the body is fed through the imaging mechanism, the image is placed accurately on the desired body part.”
“It tickles a bit,” said one heavily adorned customer. The four vacuum zones on the printer table can also be set to “pulse,” massaging the imagee as he or she is fed through the press.
The company doesn’t stop at imaging. “It’s a UV printer, so we can also simultaneously add tanning services, as well.” Roarke is investigating upgrading to LED-cured UV, to save on energy costs and boost productivity, both for digital tattooing and digital tanning. “With LED UV, we can make a customer look like a comic book or a honey-baked ham in a fraction of the time.”
There are also ancillary services. The company recently converted its grommeting machine to do body piercing, but Roarke needs to make some changes to his facility first. “We’re located in a strip mall,” he said. “We really need to soundproof the walls before we can add that.”
Roarke said that Hervé Imaging has only been in the digital tattooing business for three months and has already received overtures from A&E, Discovery, and the Illiteracy Channel for its own reality TV show.
Editor’s Note: This news item is part of WhatTheyThink's 2015 April Fools Edition.
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