EigerPhoto turns 3-D sculptures into 2-D prints.
Of course, this means he needs to choose his clients carefully. "We work with people who understand and appreciate our workflow process-as well as satisfying the artist inside of us. The best work is the only thing we want to deliver."
The trick, he says, is to print it the way the artist wants it: "The person at the controls has to study the art being worked on, understand it, and ultimately intuit and deliver what the artist intended." The process involves an in-person meeting with the artist, approval of image corrections, initial prints tweaked by staff, and then approval of the final output by the client. "Once the artist shows up for the final approval, there is rarely more than one additional print made."
In Lake’s exhibit, 20 images (36 x 48- in. to 14 x 14-in. matted images) required more than 150 sq ft of printed graphics. EigerPhoto presented a number of samples to her printed on smooth papers, toothy papers, and canvas; Lake decided on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag.
In addition, Eiger also created an 88-in. x 15-ft tall banner for the opening of the museum show at the Saginaw Art Museum in Michigan. The banner began as a 4x5 transparency and was output onto two 44-in. wide strips of Roland banner media.
EigerPhoto turned to its 54-in. Roland Hi-Fi Jet Pro II FJ-540, a 12-color machine to produce the prints. Its RIP-of-choice: the ErgoSoft d’Vinci, an extension of ErgoSoft’s PosterPrint software that allows control of each of the 12 inks individually. Color-management software (ColorGPS by ErgoSoft) is a module built into the RIP. Eiger also notes that his shop uses GretagMacbeth Eye-One and iO automated scanning table to read in the 2000 patches to "dial in" the colors-"It’s dead-on accurate."
The d’Vinci system uses a combination of Roland ink and Cone Editions’ PiezoTone ink. The Roland inks supply the first 8 colors-CMYKcm plus orange and green; the other four slots are filled with a four dilution set of black ink from Cone Editions.
After the images were printed and approved, they were then shipped to another company for matting and framing.
One print at a time
Every shop strives to make their best print possible and meet the client’s needs. But at EigerPhoto, that is its only goal. "Not unlike making prints in a darkroom, we make one print at a time, then look at it and determine whether or not it could be better. If we think it can be improved, we [tweak the file and] make another print."
The staff uses all the digital hardware and software at their disposal to best reproduce the artwork. "Many people use calibration systems to attempt to faithfully reproduce on their printer what they see on their screen. While we certainly calibrate everything, we feel that a transmissive medium (the monitor) will never match a reflective one, and so the final product is where the richness and color get judged. "