Technology Embracers: Tukaiz Personalizes Chicago

New online application allows for image personalization.

Big Picture

Embracing technology isn’t only about purchasing the latest high-tech gadgets or most expensive machine on a tradeshow floor. It’s also about strategically incorporating all facets of innovation into your business and finding unique ways to use technology to help your business stand out in the wide-format crowd.

A true technology embracer, Tukaiz, based in Illinois, has been on top of techno-trends since 1963. The family-owned business brands itself as a “results-driven marketing service production company” and serves as a one-stop shop for all things marketing – from conception of a campaign to the print production of its projects.

Perhaps most exemplifying the shop’s techno-savvy nature is its PixyMe application launched in 2010, which allows users to personalize images to be printed on calendars, posters, folders, holiday cards, invitations, notebooks, and more. The idea sprung from the shop’s use of such images in their business-to-business (b-to-b) services to design and print direct-mail pieces.

“With this technology, we were able to create attention-grabbing direct mail and offer personalized calendars to our clients as holiday gifts. Since the return on these initiatives was so successful, we were inspired to create our own personalized consumer store,” says Tukaiz’s Jacque Madden. “Later on, as technology was blossoming, PixyMe became a way for us to showcase our product line, along with our imaging and interactive capabilities. It’s an eye-catching technology that everyone seems to love, and we wanted to make it easy to share.”

Although the B-to-B use of the personalized-image technology took off smooth sailing, creating an iPhone and iPod Touch app proved to be no walk in the park: “Development, testing, and launching the app took more than a year,” says Madden. “We are currently working on an iPad version that is scheduled to release sometime this year.” The technology utilizes a mix of Tukaiz proprietary software and software from DirectSmile. And the shop looks to its array of HP Indigo large-format printers and presses to output the personalized projects.

The work didn’t stop for Tukaiz after the app was successfully launched: “As with any mobile application, PixyMe requires constant updates, maintenance, and a lot of dedication,” explains Madden. Tukaiz adds new images to PixyMe every Tuesday along with daily maintenance effort.

For those seeking a souvenir to remember their get aways, Tukaiz allows clients to personalize one of its city-themed images like the Chicago images shown, to create a post card for family and friends. Once a customer submits their personalization using the app, Tukaiz will print and mail the card anywhere in the world for only $1.99 within the US ($2.99 outside of the US).


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