“Artists have gotten very educated about the advantages of giclée printing. We’re able to give them a new way to market their work.”
Drawing on experience with sign printing and digital photography, Ken Holyfield launched Megapixel DI in rural Montrose, Colorado, in 2002 as a provider of large-format graphics. As soon as the oversized prints produced with his Roland CammJet CJ-500 began showing up around town, local artists inquired if he could reproduce their work, too.
“I produced a couple of giclée prints, and word about these capabilities began spreading in the local arts community,” he says. “Some artists started getting excited about the possibilities.”
Sensing a sizable market he had not initially recognized, Holyfield made himself into an expert. “I read up and educated myself about what was required to produce a truly fine-art print digitally, acid-free papers, and pigment inks.”
As more artists brought him their work, he encountered another issue: “The biggest challenge proved to be figuring out how to digitize their art so I could successfully reproduce it at its original size, or larger,” he recalls.
After conferring with a local photographer, he invested in a Sigma camera system with a Foveon image sensor. Holyfield could now offer a solution for fine-art reproduction, from capture through print, and demand for this service began to accelerate. In fact, by 2005, business was growing in all directions, and Holyfield was overwhelmed as owner/operator of what was, essentially, a one-man shop. “I considered no longer offering giclée prints because I was spending so much time color-correcting files to make sure I could deliver the best match to the original,” he recalls.
Instead, he opted for another solution: He hired a “color guru” who brought experience in color correction and photo restoration – skills Holyfield now credits as key to the company’s continued success with fine-art reproduction. “He reduced the process of color correction from four to six hours down to two or three, depending on the piece of art,” Holyfield says. “Within months we needed a faster printer to keep pace with growing demand.”
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