Fremont, Calif. – Long-time EFI customer Imaged Advertising Creations (IAC), Toronto, is the first company in Canada to install the 17-foot wide EFI™ VUTEk® FabriVU® 520 dye-sublimation printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. IAC, which is a full-service visual communications company, will leverage the quality, productivity and expanded format of the printer to grow its dye-sublimation business into new markets and industries.
“The size of this printer, at 17 feet, opens up new markets for us where customers need larger graphics,” said Sean Sadhoo, general manager of IAC. “One of those markets is theatre companies that need theatrical backdrops, or curtains. They used banner vinyl until recently but are now switching to sublimated panels.
“These are very custom, one-off jobs,” Sadhoo added. “There are only five shops in North America that can do it, so the VUTEk FabriVU gives us a huge advantage.”
Other markets where IAC sees growth opportunities are large-scale events, such as music festivals and sporting events. The company serves clients looking to create exciting brand experiences that resonate with audiences. Event companies also want compelling visual impact with high production values to distinguish their brands. Printed fabric is optimal for these clients because it is less expensive to ship, while the quality and versatility of the substrates create many new opportunities for IAC to grow its business.
EFI VUTEk FabriVU delivers quality, versatility and productivity
In addition to the potential for expanding in new markets, the VUTEk FabriVU line – which is also available in 5.8- and 11-foot widths – sets IAC apart with its current customers. IAC was an early adopter in Canada for dye-sublimation printing, having identified the growth potential of the segment early on. Now, more than half of its sales volume is currently in dye-sub work for clients needing graphics for tradeshow and pop-up events, and corporate and retail environments. Nearly all of IAC’s customers are increasingly using fabric over other substrates to enhance their brand impression.
“In the last six months or so it seems that retailers in Canada have caught on,” said Sadhoo. “There’s so much fabric going into retail stores now, especially silicone edge graphics, like light boxes. The cost savings in shipping when they’re rolling out national programs are significant, and the graphics are easy to install.”
For these clients, IAC’s new VUTEk FabriVU 520 printer will deliver faster and better quality than the shop previously could provide. The printer is a highly productive, robust solution designed for 24/7 operation. Its aqueous inks deliver four-color printing in a wide color gamut with deep saturation up to an ultra-high resolution of 2,400 dpi. This workhorse produces print at a maximum speed of 4,800 square feet (446 square meters) per hour.
The printer’s massive size provides a number of distinct advantages for IAC in its local market. “When we opened in 2007, even a 10-foot dye-sub device was rare in Toronto,” Sadhoo said. “That’s not the case anymore. So, being the first in Canada with a 17-foot device makes us unique and gives us an edge. For example, our clients can now have larger, continuous graphics instead of stitching panel graphics together. We can now give them backlits with seamless backs. There are no backlit boxes bigger than this printer, so this is a huge benefit.”
The versatility of the printer is also a plus for IAC. “As soon as I saw this printer, I loved it because EFI uses an ink set that can print direct-to-fabric or on paper,” explained Sadhoo. “I felt that was very important. There’s no changeover. I didn’t see any other printer that could do that. And it can print on a large range of materials.
“I think this purchase will take IAC to the next level,” Sadhoo added. “So far the VUTEk has proven itself in every way.”
With this acquisition, IAC becomes a total EFI large-format shop. For several years now, the company has also used a 16-foot wide EFI VUTEk UV roll-to-roll printer, as well as a 10.5-foot wide EFI VUTEk UV hybrid flatbed/roll printer.
“EFI has been a great partner for us for the last few years,” said Sadhoo. “They have great technology, they keep evolving and making great advancements and they are very responsive to my needs.”