Global Imaging to Distribute PrinterEvolution Products As ATPColor

Global Imaging, a leading distributor of grand format digital printing equipment, announces that beginning immediately, they will begin distributing PrinterEvolution products under the original manufacturer name ‘ATPColor’, to simplify their branding initiatives and streamline internal operations.global imaging logo

PrinterEvolution has been one of the Global Imaging family of brands since 2011. These printers have always been manufactured in Italy by ATPColor, an Italian manufacturer of digital textile printers since 2003. With the strength of ATP’s engineering, PrinterEvolution has become one of the industry’s most successful brands of digital textile printers and has installed over 100 units throughout the U.S. and Canada over the 10 years since its inception.

Greg Lamb, CEO of Global Imaging, stated, “PrinterEvolution has been one of the strongest brands in our 26-year history since its pioneering product, the Evo33, all the way through to the most recent 5-meter D Series with an inline calender. While we’ve built a solid base of customers under this brand, there’s never been any secret that the products were being designed and built by ATPColor in Italy. We feel this is the right time to simplify our own branding efforts and strengthen ATPColor’s worldwide presence by making this transition.”

The timing of this branding transition coincides with the unveiling of the newly redesigned ATPColor OneTex and OnPaper digital textile printer platforms. These product lines are to be considered the next generation of PrinterEvolution machines as the PrinterEvolution Eos Series, D Series, Kayo and T Series printers are phased out, making way for the ATPColor OneTex and OnPaper.

While the PrinterEvolution brand will no longer be used to market these devices, service and support of existing serviceable PrinterEvolution and new ATPColor devices will continue
uninterrupted through Global Imaging.

The ATPColor OneTex 3300 printer will be available for demonstration at Global offices in Louisville, Colorado in the fall of 2021 and at the upcoming Printing United show in Orlando, FL.

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ISA Organizes 2021 Sign Manufacturing Day to Raise Up Tomorrow’s Sign Pros

Finding qualified workers is one of the biggest challenges facing the sign and graphics industry, an issue we’ve covered regularly here at Signs of the Times.

The International Sign Association’s (ISA; Alexandria, VA) answer to that challenge is its annual Sign Manufacturing Day, during which sign companies host facility tours to encourage students to explore career opportunities within the industry. In 2019, a total of 87 companies participated.

The 2021 Sign Manufacturing Day is scheduled for Oct. 1 and free to participate in for ISA and affiliated association members. ISA will provide participating companies with a toolkit and other resources to help plan and host a successful event.

To learn more and register, visit signs.org/mfgday. Questions regarding the 2021 Sign Manufacturing Day can be directed to Allie Kunc at workforce@signs.org.

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YESCO Commissions Custom-Built Neon Pumping Station for Las Vegas

Neon
On any given day, YESCO can produce thirty-five to forty neon units.

YESCO, the 101-year-old company known for creating, repairing, and maintaining internationally recognizable signs, announces the addition of a new, custom-made Neon Pumping Station now in service at the YESCO Las Vegas shop.

When neon signage enjoyed its height of popularity during the twentieth century, YESCO operated four neon pumping stations in their Las Vegas location. Currently YESCO has two stations in operation and three full-time neon technicians on staff whose combined years of experience total nearly eight decades. On any given day, YESCO can produce thirty-five to forty neon units. Generally each unit takes approximately thirty to forty-five minutes to create, though the colors used can affect this amount of time needed.

Neon
Neon pumping station.

The first step in the neon fabrication process is the forming of the glass tube. The neon technician uses various styles of gas torches to form the glass into straight or complex shapes. These torches include the stable ribbon-fire torch, which has an adjustable flame width, a CrossFire torch, and hand torch.

After the tube’s shape is established, electrodes are connected to the glass tube to facilitate the bombarding process, during which high voltage is applied to the glass tube to burn off any impurities. Any impurities that remain inside the tube could result in discoloration when the tube is illuminated.

Neon
Neon pumping station.

Following the bombarding process, gas is introduced to the tube via a vacuum pump, and the unit is sealed. Once this process is completed the unit is connected to a transformer and allowed to burn until the unit is stabilized.

The color coating used inside the glass tube combines with the gas used to create different colors once the gas is activated by electricity. For example, neon gas creates a red color and argon gas creates a blue color when pumped in clear glass. However, when glass tubes are coated with different color compounds, up to one-hundred different colors can be achieved.

Neon
Neon pumping station.

“These devices are built to order; you cannot buy them off the shelf,” said Dan Beza, production manager, YESCO Las Vegas. “We have a second new station on order to replace an older model which has been in service for many, many years.”

Neon signs when well-built and protected from the outside elements, have an indefinite life expectancy.

—Press Release

 

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A Sign Company Shares Their Experience with Digital Signage

By Ashley Bray

Family-owned, full-service sign company KC Sign & Awnings located in Aston, Pennsylvania has been servicing the Delaware Valley region for almost 30 years. The sign company offers everything from awnings to vehicle wraps to ADA signs, but it’s entry into digital signage was a little more recent.kc sign & awnings digital signage

KC Sign & Awnings entered the digital sign market in the late aughts after it observed prices coming down and digital signage making inroads into more markets. “We were probably early compared to most sign shops that got in, but we saw the new wave coming and people were going to go that way,” says Steve Clark, director of Sales, KC Sign & Awnings.

The sign company offers both indoor and outdoor digital signage through Vantage LED that comes with a multi-year content creation package and a seven-year warranty. KC Sign & Awnings also partners with some third parties to offer financing on the signs to its customers.

While outdoor digital signage is pretty well known and established, Clark sees demand for indoor digital signage starting to grow beyond the super high-resolution displays in the casino, city, and stadium markets. He predicts indoor digital signage soon making bigger moves into the commercial and public sector in businesses like restaurants.

Currently, KC Sign & Awnings provides digital signage for a number of markets, including country clubs, bars, and auto dealers. On the public sector side, the sign company does projects for fire companies, school districts, and townships.

Clark says installing outdoor and indoor digital signage both has its perks and drawbacks. With outdoor digital signage, Clark says sign companies are working with mediums and processes they know well—such as a putting a display on a pole for a pylon sign, or digging a footing.

Interior digital signage, on the other hand, can present new challenges with wiring and finding ways to run power through buildings that can be very old. However, indoor digital signage does eliminate the variable of weather delays on an install.

Speaking of challenges, Clark says one of the biggest hurdles KC Sign & Awnings faces in selling digital signage is educating its customer base. Clark says the difference between resolution and brightness has come up a lot lately. “It gets tricky with brightness levels because everyone is now accustomed to comparing resolutions, and the client base has gotten used to knowing the difference between something that’s 6mm 12mm, or 20mm. The tricky part is there’s a lot of people out there offering higher resolution boards, but they don’t put out the same brightness and that’s almost as big of a factor as resolution when it comes to outdoor signage,” says Clark, who explains that the discussion used to revolve around pixel, resolution, and pixel matrix, and it is now about pixel, resolution, pixel matrix, brightness, and durability.

kc sign & awning

Another challenge that will be familiar to any sign maker is the permitting process. “Permitting is always an issue. A lot of townships are still behind in their code, so we spend a good bit of time going through variances to get things approved because the government works slow. A lot of the code that was written was to prevent people from putting big billboards on a two lane highway; they weren’t to prevent a business putting a two-by-eight sign out,” says Clark, who says many of the codes are just a blanket ordinance saying no LED signs allowed. “It’s getting better as time goes on, but a lot of townships still won’t change the code. They’ll make you go through a long, drawn-out process, pay extra money, and then they’ll approve it.

“Know what the code is before you waste your time selling an LED to someone,” continues Clark. “Permitting is the only thing that usually prevents a job from being sold or completed—when you get a township that won’t budge.”

For other sign shops considering the digital signage market, Clark recommends to first and foremost choose your LED display partner wisely. “It’s probably the biggest thing that holds sign shops back—the horror stories or the bad experiences they have from picking an LED product or vendor that doesn’t stand behind their product or isn’t quality. I mean, they are high ticket items, so if you put something out there that doesn’t work, can’t get fixed, or you can’t service, it’s the quickest way to see your Google ratings dip or business disappear,” says Clark.

KC Sign & AwningsHe also recommends choosing a partner that will be able to provide parts and support on repairs. “We typically only have to make one trip to fix a sign because we stock extra of pretty much everything,” says Clark. “We can go out and fix it with parts we keep stocked then ship back the bad ones and replenish our stock.”

Above all, Clark recommends sign companies seriously consider adding digital signage to their line-up as it will keep them competitive and draw in additional business.

“The more digital presence we have, the more it draws us to other business. Because if someone is going to trust us with a $30, $50, or $100,000 dollar project, they’re definitely going to call us for a $3,000 dollar awning. So it qualifies you that you can handle it,” says Clark. “It has definitely led to a lot of other business.”

All photos courtesy of KC Sign & Awnings

The post A Sign Company Shares Their Experience with Digital Signage appeared first on Sign Builder Illustrated, The How-To Sign Industry Magazine.

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Paradigm Imaging Group Introduces New Colortrac SmartLF SGi Scanner Series

Paradigm Imaging Group, the North American Distributor of Colortrac scanners, announces the introduction of the New Colortrac SmartLF SGi scanners. Colortrac is a world leader in large format scanning and has been applauded by independent industry experts for producing quality scanning with technical innovation. The NEW SGi Series brings new patented technology and is available as mono, color, or enhanced in 36” or 44” models.colortrac sgi scanner

The NEW generation of award winning SmartLF SGi 36/44 series scanners are affordable high quality large format CCD scanners with optimized color imaging performance. Featuring wide color gamut and 1200dpi optical resolution CCD’s that are ideal for full-color graphics, photographs, and maps and delivers realistic color with superb accuracy. With the CCD technology and greater focal length, the SGi scanner can handle originals with raised surface detail or texture and media up to 15 mm (.6”) thick.

SuperSpeed data transfer provides fast, high quality scans or copies of wide format maps, site plans, engineering drawings, blueprints, architectural renderings, posters, and photos. The Colortrac SmartLF SGi large format scanners deliver fast performance, with optimized preset controls and an extended list of internal printer drivers to connect directly to large format printers, including the HP PageWide. Dynamic Document Feed technology ensures that delicate or fragile media such as newspaper and old blueprints can be safely and accurately scanned.

Create a customized MFP Solution by combining a SmartLF SGi scanner with an HP, Canon, Epson or Océ printer of your choice or an existing printer in the organization providing increased productivity and greater ROI. Paradigm Imaging’s Flex SGi Series enables you to turn a large format printer into a complete multi-function system for most of your scanning, copying, and printing needs. The Repro Stand provides 4 height adjustments with clearance to accommodate printers from 39” to 45” high. Paradigm Imaging’s Flex Base model allows you to utilize your own PC and printer and our Flex Pro model includes the Rocket ONE all-in-one controller. Just add a printer for a complete MFP solution.

New SmartWorks Imaging scanning software is dongle-free and users can download the free SmartWorks Imaging Link, an app that lets users operate the scanners by remote control from a tablet. (Tablet not included.) SmartWorks Imaging software offers a host of new features including a new multipage thumbnail pop-out view, extended PDF for longer and wider documents, and higher dpi. With a new interface, the scanning software also boasts a number of new capabilities such as closed-loop printer color calibration, quick-fix image correction tools, and a full edit history for one-click easy undo.

Randy Geesman, President of Paradigm Imaging Group, “The new SmartLF SGi is truly a revolutionary breakthrough for the wide format scanning market. It is the perfect combination of innovative technology and quality manufacturing, resulting in a one-of-a-kind solution for many large format scanning applications”.

KEY FEATURES:

  • High speed scans at 13 ips (mono) and up to 8.0 ips (color)
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 data transfer rates up to 85 MB/sec
  • 36″ and 44” scan width and 1200dpi optical with 9600dpi maximum resolution
  • CCD technology with extra long-life, instant-on Bi-directional LED illumination
  • SureDrive paper transport system for reliable document handling
  • NEW Optional SmartWorks Imaging Software Link tablet app right on the scanner
  • FREE on-site warranty and FREE SmartWorks Touch Software

The post Paradigm Imaging Group Introduces New Colortrac SmartLF SGi Scanner Series appeared first on Sign Builder Illustrated, The How-To Sign Industry Magazine.

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Enfocus Releases Connect YOU and Connect ALL 2021

Enfocus, a solutions provider in PDF quality control, advanced PDF editing and workflow automation for the graphic arts industry, has announced the release of Connect 2021, which brings Connect YOU and Connect ALL up to speed with the latest PitStop libraries.

PitStop 2020 included Overlay PDF, Check Page Bleed, Add Copied Graphic with variables, Normalize Pantone Names and Check for Corrupt Images. With PitStop 2021 came Check Bleed on Contour, Impose to Spreads, Consolidate Fonts and Flatten Type 3 fonts.

New features in the latest PitStop libraries:

  • Overlay PDF – allows one multi-page PDF to be overlaid onto another and merged into one file
  • Check Page Bleed – a new page-based method of ensuring bleed
  • Add Copied Graphics – use variables to place graphics in a PDF
  • Normalize Pantone Names – rename Pantone Colors to your standard convention
  • Check for Corrupt Images – finds corrupt images during preflight
  • Check Bleed on Contour – checks defined bleed along a dieline
  • Impose Document – impose a PDF as either printer or reader spreads
  • Consolidate Fonts – cleans up fonts for more efficient processing
  • Flatten Type 3 Fonts – flattens Type 3 fonts into raster or vector content for consistent output

Connect 2021 also provides support for macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple Silicon via Rosetta.

For more information, visit enfocus.en.

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General Formulations Names David “Doc” Clampitt as New Southeast Regional Sales Manager

General Formulations (Sparta, MI), a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive films, has appointed David “Doc” Clampitt as its new Southeast regional sales manager.

Prior to joining General Formulations, Clampitt held a range of positions with distribution companies, including Florida Graphics Supply Inc. and Mac Papers. At these companies, he served in roles such as general manager of Florida Graphics Supply Inc. and purchasing manager of wide format and graphics for Mac Papers.

Working under the vice president of sales, Scott Spagnolli, Clampitt will be responsible for managing all sales activities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

For more information, visit generalformulations.com.

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A Nifty Trick for Applying Vinyl Graphics, and More Tips for Signshops in August

VINYL Sticky Solution

1 “Ever find yourself trying to apply vinyl graphics to an aged, chalked-up vehicle and the lettering won’t stick?” asked Meri Lindenmuth of G&L’s Sign Factory (Bethlehem, PA). She’s got the answer: “Carburetor cleaner. Spray it on just as you’re getting ready to apply and wipe it off,” she said. “The graphics will stick like a dream to the vehicle.”

EQUIPMENT Be Part Smart

2 Look for items you are buying to see if a piece of machinery can be cost-effective to make the same parts, suggested John Johnson, A-Plus Signs (Fresno, CA). His company recently bought an “iron worker” to make parts they had been buying for 10 years. “The machine paid for itself in seven months and we can turn the parts around twice as fast,” he said.

PRODUCTIVITY Don’t Answer Email on Your Smartphone

3 Beware the urge to reply instantly to every email that drops into your smartphone’s inbox. There are two reasons: 1. It’s more efficient to use your desktop than your mobile’s tiny keyboard; and 2. You should be fully engaged when you are dealing with staff or customers and not distracted by your phone, said the Harvard Business Review’s “Guide to Getting the Right Work Done.”

STAFF Time for Fine Whine

4 What do you do when a staff meeting turns into a complaint session? Roll with it — for four minutes. As Steve Errey wrote on lifehack.org, “When I’m in a coaching session with someone, it’s pretty obvious if they’re in a bad mood. When that happens, I say to them, ‘Right. You have four minutes to bitch, moan and whine all you want. When the four minutes are up, there’s no more moaning. Deal?’” Taking just a couple of minutes can get everything out there, everything that’s bubbling beneath the surface. The key is not to pause or think. Often you’ll find that the whiner will run out of steam before the four minutes are up and sometimes end up laughing. Either way, when you’re done, you’ll all feel lighter.

SALES Avoid a Simple “No”

5 Many people are used to getting what they want, so do whatever you have to in order not to give customers a flat “no.” At popular New York City drink spot Please Don’t Tell, staff are instructed to always try to find a way to say “no … but,” as in, “No, we are all booked up at 8:30, unfortunately, but how about 11?” or “No, we don’t have brand X, but we have brand Y. Would you like to try it?”

WEBSITE Small, But Powerful

6 Does your website have a favicon? That’s the little icon that appears next to the URL in a web browser — like Facebook’s blue box with the “F.” If you haven’t set one, you might have a generic one from the browser or one that indicates your web host or content-management platform. A favicon is a small, but noticeable, professional touch for your business. Create your 16 x 16-pixel square masterpiece, name it favicon.ico, and place it in your web server directory. Bam, you’re looking better already!

MONEY Keep a Separate Card for Auto-payments

7 Most banks have accommodating policies for credit card theft. However, it can still be a pain to cancel your card and all of its automatic payments. NerdWallet writer Virginia McGuire has a solution: Designate one credit card exclusively for automated bill payments. “I now keep that credit card at home — well-hidden and protected by a burglar alarm — and carry a different credit card for daily spending,” she said. “That way, if my wallet takes a walk without me … I won’t have to change the payment information on my Netflix account yet again.”

MARKETING Adverbs to Avoid

8 According to Seth Godin, these descriptive words cause people to ignore your marketing message: “actually, totally, absolutely, completely, continually, constantly, literally, really, unfortunately, ironically, incredibly, hopefully and finally.” (We’d add “truly” to that list as well.)

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How a Single Digital Printer Rescued This Company from Potential Ruin

SOHO EVENT RENTALS (Fairhope, AL) opened in 2014 in a garage with 50 chairs and quickly grew into one of the largest event rental companies in the southeast, with a 35,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and 30 employees. When the pandemic shutdown began last spring, cancellations started rolling in. However, SOHO had just purchased a Roland DG TrueVIS VG2-540 digital printer/cutter. To preserve their employees’ jobs, they decided to begin producing safety sign-age and other digital graphics, calling their new venture Decal Doodle.

“Our original intent with the printer was to use it strictly for event branding with SOHO. We wanted to bring this portion of our business in-house to eliminate outsourcing costs,” said Mary Beth Massey, director of marketing. “We quickly transitioned from an event rental business to keeping our team employed through digital printing.”

An in-process shot of Decal Doodle’s tent-graphic job at this year’s Super Bowl LV in Tampa, FL.

An in-process shot of Decal Doodle’s tent-graphic job at this year’s Super Bowl LV in Tampa, FL.

Super Doodle

While producing COVID-related signage, Decal Doodle added a UV printer, screenprinter and DTG machine for T-shirts. “We [now] also offer digitally printed floor and window decals, banners, and signage, which have been well-received by our clients,” Massey said. By January of this year, the offshoot had landed two graphics jobs in Tampa at the Super Bowl, creating custom decals for a tent at the Riverwalk and custom stage skirting for a local news station broadcasting on-site. “We were only a very small part of the Super Bowl, but it was a big opportunity for our team,” she said.

Few events are larger than the Super Bowl, but events of every size are now back in force, led perhaps by so many weddings postponed from last year. Custom dance floor and bar wraps have been the most popular for weddings, Massey said, as are partial tent wraps. “The most popular tent wrap is wrapping the gable end of the tent,” she said, adding, “We also offer decals for sidewalls.”

Decal Doodle was also recently hired to create an entire carnival-inspired event for the juvenile Mardi Gras court in Mobile, AL. “We designed and printed an 8-ft. backdrop for the stage, a custom façade entrance, signs for carnival games and more,” Massey said. For some events, she said clients want collateral items to take with them, including T-shirts, banners, vehicle wraps and other signage.

Print Proofs

“We are able to be more creative with an in-house printer,” Massey said. “When outsourcing, you lose the ability to test and get creative with different print projects.”

When SOHO added their printer, their intention was event branding, but over the last year and a half, the printer has opened doors to many different opportunities. “We’ve moved from a vinyl company to a full-service print shop.” Massey said. “This has taught us that the opportunities are endless in the printing world.”

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