If you called 100 digital graphics companies in London today and asked for a Duratrans, Fujitrans, Endura Metallic or Fuji Matt Print, you would be lucky to find 10 that have the technology to produce one.
Personally, I find it sad, that Fine Art Digital Photographic prints which set the benchmark, for large format images as far back as 1997, for use in retail, museum, gallery and exhibition graphics is fast becoming an endangered species.
The graphics industry, is all the poorer for the loss of Kodachromes and recently, Fuji announced that Fujichrome has been withdrawn from the market.
Don’t you find it strange, that there are now, a staggering, one billion digital cameras, in circulation, on the planet; mega pixels are increasing exponentially, yet facilities to output, ultimate quality, large format photographic prints is reducing every year?
The problem for customers, is that, there are some unscrupulous operators, selling inkjet light box prints as ‘Duratrans’. This is not good for the customer, or the industry.
To offer Large Format, Digital Photographic printing, in the UK today, takes courage, dedication and significant investment. The Durst Lambda Laser imager, for example cost £250,000 as far back as 1997, when my old company took a huge risk, investing in one. Add £50,000 for a good processor, a workstation and a RIP and the investment is substantial.
You also need a dark room, a mounting shop and a team of highly skilled, passionate, digital graphic operators, to produce Fine Art Digital Photographic prints. Digital photographic prints are still in demand by photographers, artists, museums, galleries, designers and International cosmetic houses.
This type of printing, is the luxury end of the market. For such a luxury item, believe it or not, you will not be charged luxury prices. Many buyers of Digital Photographic prints enjoy fantastic value, for such supreme quality graphics.
Fujicolour Crystal Archive Deep Matte Paper prints, for example, is the ultimate choice for image conscious Marketers: The reasons, professional graphic buyers specify Fujicolour Deep Matte Photographic prints are:
Accurate Color Reproduction – Rich colour reproduction range, with high colour saturation, ideally suited for Museums, Galleries, Retailers and Exhibitions.
Pure Whites – Clear, more distinct print images and sharper text quality.
Lustreless Surface – Creates unique, impressive images.
Excellent Image Stability – Highest level of silver halide image stability.
Seth Godin advocates that for your business to thrive, you must avoid, at all costs, the race to the bottom.
He maintains, that if you use slogans such as; ‘We can beat any price’, you are racing to the bottom.
We all know that in the UK today, it is getting harder to sell on quality. I think selling on price alone, is short-changing your client or customer. I always find, that the customer wants, to know what is the finest quality available to them and why they should consider paying for this quality. For most customers, it can actually be better value in the long-term.
The great chef, Michelle Roux, says you cannot cut corners creating great food. Conversely, You cannot cut corners, creating great graphics. My advice is, buy the best quality you can afford, provide your studio with great artwork, give them time to produce the work and you will not be disappointed.
The next time, you have a requirement for displays and graphics, why not take a little time, to ask your supplier, some pertinent questions, particularly the nature of the graphics, they are supplying you. By doing so, the ‘Duratrans’, you order may be genuine and not a facsimile of the real thing.
My name is Steve Howard. You have been reading the Digital Circus.