Take a Bow
As practices and technologies evolve, so does a magazine.
Writing the feature article for this issue of Screen Printing was exactly like putting on a play. In the beginning you do not see how the final play will work itself out, but it works like magic in the end.
The target for my feature on page 32 of the October/November 2011 edition was to provide a showcase of graphic applications produced on UV inkjets. I wanted to show what could be done with a creative approach to design, the ability to lay down white, and photographic-quality prints using a specific UV inkjet in the field. That might seem odd in itself, since by title alone Screen Printing is our founding area of interest. However, as practices and technologies evolve, so does a magazine. We reflect what’s happening to printers rather than determine it, and that gives us lots of wiggle room.
Getting back to the feature, I solicited participants and asked the pre-arranged questions right after oral surgery with a swollen, bruised face, and lips that would hardly form crisp words when talking. A few printers turned away from the opportunity, assuming that Bubba from Forrest Gump had called them by mistake. Others knew the quality of the magazine or knew me from previous articles and shared their experiences willingly, even though talking was somewhat difficult.
In the end, our attempt to provide useful insights as to what can be done with UV inkjets came through just as planned in a variety of examples: wallpaper, graphics suspended from ceilings, images on unusual substrates, window graphics (see the cover of this issue), tin lids, and more.
However, there are lots of printers who should take a bow for their willingness to share their expertise with Screen Printing for this feature article and cover. Jeff Sparhawk of Severn Graphics sent images from his projects on city walls. Aaron Kirsh at Astek Inc. shared his experience at printing 24/7 to meet a deadline, and using specialty artists and designers to make the look fit a chinoiserie design. Boris Winograd at Photocenter Imaging shared the photographic quality he can obtain when printing vintage candy tins. Joe DeMarco wasn’t even in his office when he answered our questions and sent the images from The Ad Art Company’s ad campaigns.
Scott Holland of Holland & Crosby took a recent Foot Locker back-to-school ad campaign and showed us how he could create a 3-D standing graphic. Anthony Pace of ADJ Group, Inc. showed us prints on wood and others on substrates suitable for tough laboratory environments. Joe Presto of Albert Screenprint Inc. showed us strings of banners across restaurants. Norm Ruth sent huge pictures of guitar pick images that seemed surrealistically large and layered in thickness. Keith Pritchard of Timsco Inc. showed us lots of images printed for commercial and government use. We thank them all for the role they played in this issue.
Along the way we met Albert and Margaret Falkenstein, founders of Albert Screenprint, who talked about being in business in Akron, OH, since 1962. During that time they have expanded to larger facilities, provided employment to 125 staff, and they continue to serve many Fortune 500 companies with large-format screen, digital, and litho printing. These people really contribute jobs to the area, technology to the industry, education to those interested in similar printing, and we appreciate their efforts.
Although this issue struggled in the early stages, it all came together in the end, as in any good play. Ah, the play’s the thing.