Graphics One Announces MAC-Based RIP for Screen Printers

Graphics One is introducing a new family of Macintosh-based production software named ColorMate™ RIP. GO’s ColorMate™ RIP SP (Screen Print) will initially be released for use with the Graphics One turnkey ScreenMate™ film positive printing systems and will be followed by other versions for separate targeted markets.GO’s ColorMate RIP SP

Dan Barefoot, Graphics One V.P. indicated, “For many years, screen printers who used the Macintosh as their platform of choice have had limited-featured RIP products to use in their screen print workflow. With the launch of GO ColorMate™ RIP SP, this changes with the inclusion of our extensive range of software power tools developed specifically for the use of Mac-based screen printers.”

“In addition to our ColorMate™ RIP SP, Graphics One will launch other Macintosh native RIPs for the following targeted applications:

  • GO ColorMate™ RIP TT – Toner Transfer for OKI printers
  • GO ColorMate™ RIP DS – Dye Sublimation printers
  • GO ColorMate™ RIP DTG / DTF – Direct-to-Garment and Direct-to-Film printers

Although ColorMate™ RIP offers advanced professional features not found in other RIPs or drivers, the workspace is designed with simplicity with the underlying functionality being fully featured for the targeted applications,” stated Barefoot.

GO’s ColorMate™ RIP SP will be available in late summer through the Graphics One distribution channel and will have list pricing starting at $549 for printers 24-inches and under in width.

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PGSF to Award $527K in Scholarships for 2021-2022 Academic Year

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF; Pittsburgh, PA) has announced it’s distributing $527,000 in scholarships to 185 students in the U.S. for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Marking the highest amount awarded by the PGSF in the past 20 years, the funds will be given to students hailing from 100 colleges, technical schools and universities across the nation.

PGSF scholarship recipients take courses in graphic arts and imaging technology. Areas of study include graphic communications, packaging science, printing technology, visual communication, graphic design, digital media, graphic information technology, interactive design, advertising, marketing, paper and printing science, web design, production management, graphic communication management, business administration and digital marketing.

Since 1956, the PGSF has dispensed undergraduate college and technical school scholarships, graduate fellowship assistance and grants. PGSF scholarships are renewable for up to four years. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better and remain enrolled full-time (12 credits or more) in the graphic communications field.

For information on how to apply for a scholarship or grant, visit

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Cushing Expands Offerings to Include 3D Laser Scanning

Cushing, a leading graphic imaging service provider in Chicago, today announced the addition of 3D laser scanning to their construction and project management services. The investment further cements their commitment to the architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate communities in Illinois. The family-owned firm has served Chicago for over ninety years. cushing 3d laser scanning

“We are excited to bring 3D laser scanning to the Chicago market and to help our clients improve their processes at the onset of projects, while providing an exact as-built for our GC and owner clients, upon completion,” said Joseph X. Cushing, Executive Vice President at Cushing. “This digital as-built is the perfect complement to our Close Out Docs web portal which electronically tags important mechanicals. This combination is the optimal tool for LEAN operations for future facility managers.”

3D laser scanning is the process of analyzing an environment such as a warehouse, building, or related structure. The laser scanner creates “point-clouds” of data from the surface of an object, which is a set of vertices in a 3D coordinate system. Typically, they represent the external surface of an object and this data can then be used to create 3D models of existing real estate. Scanning provides project managers with accurate data and clash prevention prior to construction.

The Cushing team invested in a Trimble X7 3D scanner, which works in both interior and exterior environments. Features include automatic registration, HDR imaging, and laser pointer. This allows for scan and BIM data to be referenced, registered, and refined in the field. It produces both photogrammetric and LIDAR scans.

“Trimble was the right choice because of the versatility and easy-to-use data visualization software,” added Cushing. “Professionals can easily create AutoCAD drawing files or BIM models of existing conditions to launch into their conceptual design work.”

The addition of laser scanning enhances solutions for the closeout process, with exact, electronic recordings of as-builts. Documenting existing conditions with visual tags on all the important mechanicals is the ideal solution for the general contractor, owner, and facility manager. Contractors finish projects confident subs’ documentation is tied to the scans in a relational database.

Customers can hire Cushing to perform scanning with options to rent the scanner per day and week. Email to schedule a consultation or visit Cushing to learn more about the benefits of 3d laser scanning. Or call 312.266.8228.

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Nazdar Ink Technologies 770 Series

Suitable substrates for these low-odor, graphics inks includes foamboard, vinyl banners, flexible PVC, flexible backlit media and more. Designed for an array of flatbed, hybrid and roll-to-roll machines using Kyocera KJ4A printheads.

Nazdar Ink Technologies

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Signshop Sees Dividends from New Management System

BUSINESS IS ROARING back, yet certain things are hindering us. Nationwide shortages of just about everything are rampant. Rising material pricing is engulfing entire industries and gobbling up profit margins like wildfire!

Raw materials such as aluminum, steel, wood, and even wrap vinyl might as well be on the endangered species list. Now, more than ever, we must pay strict attention to how we price jobs, and even what jobs we choose to take on! Every business we talk to is slammed busy … so sign companies need to make conscious decisions to take on the best projects they can. Obviously, your major, returning clients remain at the top of that list. But new clients? Make sure they will be the best use of your time and your possibly limited materials during this crazy period.

Immersion Experience

Which brings us back to finishing up my assessment of Square Coil, the sign management software we implemented two months ago. In my last column, Aaron Clippinger, founder of Square Coil, had just arrived from San Diego to walk us through his three-day Immersion Clinic training. The first day was wrought with apprehension as Aaron first guided all 34 employees through the entire program, so all of us would have an overview of the system and how it worked. After that, we broke into department groups to delve further into the software.

During the full-group introduction, Aaron was met with a room full of blank stares, but once in smaller groups, training was easier over the next two days. He met with the sales team, then project managers, then designers and so on. Finally, on day three, all hands were on deck again to walk through a project together, start to finish.

And that’s also a great feature of the program: Set up in steps, it systematically walks users, step-by-step, through the entire sign selling/manufacturing/installing/costing, and my favorite — money collecting — processes. Follow the steps and you end up with a successful, hopefully profitable, project.

One of our big issues was scattered communication on every job. On a daily basis hundreds of emails were searched like a K-9 looking for contraband to locate the single piece of info needed. Square Coil offers dedicated, numbered job “folders” that the salespeople populate at the very beginning of the project. All contact info, scope of work, design PDFs, survey photos, install calendars, etc., are dropped into that job folder, and all correspondence regarding that job is conducted inside the program. No more endless questions; everything is fully accessible to all employees from their laptops, tablets or phones, 24/7. The install section even features a Google Maps link to the job site, and a five-day weather forecast to boot!

Reports are In

I could write another entire column on the software, as this is just a snippet of all it does. But let me finish by saying, in our first month, we ran $503,000 in sales through the program, with full controls over product cost with our specific overhead pre-loaded, and we know exactly where we stand in profit, in organization, and in company-wide, trackable communication.

Does it take some effort to load everything specific to your company? Sure it does. Is the software flawless? Of course not, but it’s damn close, and Aaron and his team have been awesome to work with. They’re dedicated to constant improvement of the system, evident in his willingness to listen to all his clients to make changes based on our suggestions.

If you’re struggling like we were, give Square Coil a once-over. We think you’ll be impressed. We are!

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How to Pick the Best Sign Blank for the Job

WHEN DESIGNING A sign for a customer, how much time do you spend thinking about the substrate options for where the design will be applied? In many cases, this is a non-issue, as the type of sign or its ultimate location will determine the blank to be used. For example, backlit signs require some type of translucent plastic, like acrylic, but for many other signs you have a choice, and will want to select the right blank for the design. Let’s take a look at some sign situations and the types of blanks for the jobs.

Real estate and other hanging signs present a number of options. The most popular selections are aluminum blanks and corrugated plastic. The blanks are cheap, come in standard sizes and handle outdoor conditions well. In many cases, aluminum signs also can be easily changed. Corrugated plastic is typically cheaper but may be more susceptible to weather conditions.

For more traditional storefront signs that are not backlit, many signmakers choose an exterior-grade plywood. Typically available in 4 x 8-in. or 4 x 4-in. sheets in either a primed or painted surface, this material readily accepts vinyl, painted or printed graphics. The outdoor durability is great and the edges can be routed or cut with typical shop tools to create non-rectangular shapes. Even if you don’t have the tools or time and you want a circle, oval or sculpted blank, you can find a number of companies offering PVC blanks in various sizes and shapes.

However, if your shop is proficient in carving, CNC routing and/or sandblasting, the above materials won’t work for you. For these sign types you need a soft, but rigid material. Redwood is available in various-sized blanks, though it can be very expensive. Large boards are typically made by gluing strips together to create a rectangle or square blank. When sandblasting, the glue joints may show up in the blasted area, in addition to the hard grain. Sign foam (high-density urethane or HDU) is lighter than and the best alternative to wood. Sign foams are easy to carve, sandblast and rout — and have no knots. After priming, the foam accepts paint and is very weather-resistant.

You may want a flat, rigid board for mounting or hanging, and corrugated plastic and aluminum sheet options may be too thin, while MDO plywood or wood blanks may be too thick. A good alternative is an aluminum composite material (ACM), in which a foam core is sandwiched between two aluminum sheets. The boards are rigid, lightweight and easily accept graphics.

Obviously, there is a great variety of sign blanks available on the market. Be sure to consider the blank material as part of your design. You may be able to offer options to your customer and select a material that will last a long time under the expected conditions.


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One-Man Signshop Has Learned the Value of His Limited Free Time

Tyler Wegener
Owner, Wags Sign Co. (Omaha, NE)

I’m a one-man signshop, so having a work-life balance is crucial for me. I enjoy playing ping pong daily to clear out my head. When the work day ends, I look forward to going on walks with my wife and our little German Shepherd, Ruby. On the weekends, I like going to different tracksides throughout the city to document trains, and love fishing trips with my family in Wahoo, NE. Looking back on it all, I’ve learned with my very limited free time that it’s vital to make time for yourself and enjoy life outside of work.

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Brad from Kentucky Is Digging Our New Look, and More Reader Comments for August

Redesign love

  • Enjoying the “issue specific” or “specific topic” articles in the newly designed issue. Real world examples with real world employees telling their story. — Brad Turpin, Jr., Ruggles Sign, Versailles, KY

Shop Trucks Benchmarks

  • Thanks for running the pic of my old truck, and the old guy in it! — Geoff Orlick, Quality deSigns, Campbell River, BC, Canada

More Women in Signs Feedback

  • Glad to see the spotlight being put on some of the great women who are doing wonderful things in the sign industry. The sign industry is full of opportunity for anyone who seeks an exciting career. It is my hope that we all do more to spread that message and inform others of all of the possibilities this industry provides. — Stephen Russ, Ortwein Sign Co., Chattanooga, TN
  • Don’t sell women short. They can be a huge asset to any business when they are listened to and included in various fields. — Larry McCain, Here’s Your Sign, Jennings, FL

  • Good to see women get recognized for the part they play in our industry. We are 40% women. They play a huge part in our success. — Doug Bray, Alpine Sign, Dallastown, PA

Services directory

  • As a national sign contractor, I continue to use the Services Directory (see page 45) to find qualified vendors in unfamiliar markets. — Skip Moore, Bill Moore & Associates Graphics, San Rafael, CA

Errata: Our July issue cover story included an error about the SoFi Stadium project location, which should have been “Inglewood, CA” and not “Los Angeles.” Also, all of the quotes should not have been attributed to Tom Bergeron, who provided answers on behalf of the entire DCL (Avon, MA) team.

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Fujifilm Acuity Ultra R2

Available in 10.5- and 16.4-ft. models and prints up to 1,200 dpi. Design eliminates stray UV light and allows for easy access for ink refills. Uses LED lamps for CMYKLcLm and CMYKLcLm+white configurations, and UV lamps for double CMYK formation.


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Tormach Announces Machinery Giveway Winners

Tormach Inc., an industry-leading supplier of affordable and compact CNC machines, has announced the winners of its machinery giveaway to support schools, makerspaces or robotics teams. The giveaway was part of the TITANS of CNC ‘BOOMBASTIC’ event that took place May 25-27.

“We are thankful to everyone who nominated a deserving makerspace, CNC program, or robotics team,” said Lori Morrison Bufalo, marketing director of Tormach. “We had hundreds of submissions. It is gratifying to know we are helping to kick off the careers of the next generation of machinists.”

The winners of the Tormach machine giveaway are:

Salamanca Central High School of
Salamanca, NY.
Grand Prize – 770M+ CNC Machine (the same model used on TITANS of CNC Academy)

Salamanca High School
Salamanca, NY
First Prize – xsTECH CNC Router Mill

Academies of Loudoun
Leesburg, VA

Second Prize – $500 Tooling/Store Credit at store

Iron Range Makerspace
Hibbing, MN

Third Prize (5) – $100 Tooling/Store Credit at store

Billerica Memorial High School – FIRST Robotics Team 4909 – Billerica Bionics
Billerica, MA

Whitewater High School – FIRST Robotics Team – Ferradermis 6574
Whitewater, WI

Zanesville High School – VEX Robotics Team #4112A
Zanesville, OH

Sierra College Makerspace
Rocklin, CA

Ladysmith High School
Ladysmith, WI

For grand prize winner Salamanca High School, the new Tormach 770M+ CNC machine will be a welcome addition. Based in western New York, Salamanca recently incorporated a virtual STEM academy called “Project SAMI,” a comprehensive distance-learning STEM program where students may study one of eight college majors in drone inspections, engineering technology and cybersecurity.

“We are thrilled to be taking delivery of the Tormach machine,” said Aaron Straus, STEAM Coordinator at Salamanca High School. “This machine and the PathPilot software will help us teach our students CNC machining, a skill that will help many of them secure a gainful career upon exit from our high school. Machinists are in high demand not only in our region but throughout the entire country.”

As part of their applications, all of the winners shared a brief story on why their school, makerspace, or robotics team could use Tormach CNC machines and how they would help them achieve their goals. More information on the winners and how they plan on using their Tormach machines will be provided in the near future.

—Press Release

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