In the Grand Scheme of Printing Things
Margie Dana, founder of Print Buyers International, Chestnut Hill, Mass., offers a little glimpse into a huge aspect of commercial printing in her article “That’s a (Building) Wrap”, which is reprinted below. Enjoy!
You know those building wraps, where a massive promotional campaign is printed digitally and installed on the outside of buildings? Maybe you already know how these giants are produced, but I didn’t. So I interviewed Judd Morgan of USA Image (www.usaimage.com)—a Louisville, Kentucky-based company specializing in grand format printing—to answer basic questions about this specialty.
MD: I understand your focus is—and has always been—grand format printing. Can you define grand format?
JM: In the digital printing market for signage, any printer 98˝ or more in width would be considered “grand.” Widths less than 98˝ would be considered “wide” format. Once a [print job] is 98˝ or more, it is subject to all other sorts of buzzwords ... [including] extra wide, ultra wide [and] super wide.
We at USA Image are optimized to run consistently huge jobs with no problems, but we absolutely run pieces at smaller sizes based on our clients’ demand. It is not uncommon to have a[n] ... order [for] 24x48˝ banners along with orders for 24x48´ banners, boards [and] wraps.
MD: What are the main steps in producing a building wrap?
JM: After receiving the client’s file, our prepress department proceeds with crucial elements of final color adjustments and file corrections. File corrections could be layout related (almost always the case with vehicle wraps) to optimize best use of space, or to fix visual effects that won’t translate well to the overall size of the finished product.
The job will then be proofed [by] the client for final tweaks and approval. The whole process from approval to finish is usually three to five days. Once approval is received, the job is scheduled to run on one of our grand format printers.