The Women in Print Awards: Pam Richards
Color Gamut's owner talks embracing change in the industry.
Color Gamut Digital Imaging, Las Vegas
Accomplishments: Member of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce and The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
Philanthropy: Has provided internships for local students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
You were one of the first to embrace wide-format inkjet printing in the ’90s. What made you take a risk on the innovative technology of the day? What single technology improvement are you most grateful for in 2017?
Over the past 27 years, we have seen dramatic changes in the digital printing industry. Standing on a scaffold and hand painting a vinyl image while it was projected on the wall took approximately three to four days. Buying a digital printer in 1999 that had the ability to print that same image at 6 dpi (yes, 6 dpi) only took six to eight hours. A few years later, we went to 9 dpi, 18 dpi, 36 dpi, and up. Today, we are buying 1000-plus-dpi high-resolution printers and completing the same size of images in 20 to 26 minutes. Year after year, the digital printing field gets faster and better. If you do not embrace the change, your business does not have a chance of growing faster and better. We are now moving from vinyl to cloth, and dye sublimating on some of the most powerful equipment on the market. It’s amazing to be able to print on cloth at 2000-plus square feet per hour. We are dye sublimating 16 feet wide. While it does present its challenges, I’m confident that within the next year, those challenges that we face today will not be there by mid-2018 and new challenges will be knocking on our door.
Big Picture learned that you didn’t lay off a single employee during the Great Recession. How was your business affected during those tough times and how did you adapt to continue succeeding?
Color Gamut started in 2005 with five employees and 10,000 square feet. Today, we have 48-plus employees and 34,000 square feet and will be moving to a 52,000-square-foot facility in 2018. The Great Recession of 2008-2010 was not a welcoming sight. There were many companies that went out of business and many companies that had major layoffs. This was the time to change the way we did business. Color Gamut was lucky enough to have a staff of dedicated employees that were willing to sacrifice pay increases, as well as vendors willing to work with us to meet our needs. This type of partnership took us out of the Recession and into the printing world we see today. Knowing that your staff is willing to work hard to meet every challenge that comes their way is what contributes to our success.
Meet the rest of our 2017 Women in Print Award winners.