When Kimberly Degenhardt and her husband/business partner, Stewart Schmidt, bought a Kwik Kopy franchise outside of Sydney, they immediately began transitioning the previous owners’ offerings from small offset and digital printing to wide-format products, specialty finishes, and even graphic and web design. Applications such as decals, cut vinyl lettering, and vinyl prints for outdoor signs took off, but this year they felt ready to branch out, looking to wallpaper and floor graphics as two promising markets.
We asked six digital print specialists to respond to the current state of the industry and reveal what we should expect in 2017.
Big Picture: The buzz about single-pass printing continues to build. Do you think we’ll begin seeing significant movement with commercially available systems in 2017? In what market segments do you feel we’ll see them first?
A smart billboard in Roppongi, Tokyo, employs “deep learning” technology to recognize the makes and models of vehicles driving by and display customized ads for their drivers. For example, the system might display eco-friendly products to drivers of hybrid vehicles.
The technology is based on Cloudian HyperStore, which relies on algorithms and metadata to generate real-time responses. Cloudian collaborated with Dentsu, Smart Insight, Quanta Cloud Technology Japan, and Intel Japan to develop the project.
Quality Print Services’ (QPS) recycling program has reached its fifth anniversary. The UK distributor of wide-format printing equipment and consumables began collaborating with Nazdar in 2011 to establish end-to-end ink recycling practices. QPS collects empty cartridges from its clients and distributes the components to local plants. Remaining ink is sent to a solvent recovery center; separated cartridge components are reprocessed into chips for resale to UK plastics manufacturers.
Esko’s newest version of Studio, a 3D packaging design software, has been revealed. The platform adds functionality to Esko’s Adobe Illustrator packaging workflow, allowing designers to visualize package designs directly within the program.
New features include:
The International category winners of the 2016 OBIE Awards made efforts to shock their audience via imagery of battered women, 3D-printed and animated billboards, and – dubbed "the best poster in the world" – actual beer.
Gold OBIE: Probably the Best Poster
Creative agency: Fold7
Wicked Wraps, a print shop based in Mukilteo, Washington, has been honored by the city’s Chamber of Commerce with the Business of the Year award. The award, announced at an annual breakfast earlier this month, is given to a local business that demonstrates community leadership and commitment to excellence.
Wicked Wraps is owned by Katherine Becher, one of the six Big Picture 2016 Women in Print Award winners.
After the Cubs ended a 108-year drought with a World Series victory in Cleveland, the Chicago Tribune wanted to join the chorus of #FlytheW that was ringing through the city. The paper commissioned a victory banner for the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue from local print shop Retail First. The shop didn’t receive artwork until after the game ended in the wee hours of the morning of November 3, but the 20 x 40-foot banner was hung just 24 hours later. Retail First printed on a Vutek GS3250 LX onto Milano mesh.
US District Judge Amos Mazzant has blocked a recent modification to the Fair Labor Standards Act after a coalition of 21 states sued the Department of Labor for allegedly violating the 10th Amendment. Mazzant’s injunction halts enforcement of the rule, which would have made roughly 4 million American workers eligible for overtime pay effective December 1.
Pacific Coast Fabrics has added Montana Fleece S/915, a fleece sweatshirt fabric designed for dye sublimation printing. The material features a smooth jersey face, fleece backing, and moisture-wicking technology. Pacific Coast reports it is 100-percent manufactured in the US. Available in 60-in. widths.