San Francisco signage and graphics company SF Landmark is meeting surging demand for textile-printed soft signage with the installation of an EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340 dye-sublimation printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc.
With production speeds of up to 5,381 square feet per hour and print widths of up to 133 inches wide, the printer uses genuine EFI water-based CMYK dispersed dye inks to produce brilliant displays, high-density backlit signs and more, with ultra-high resolution four-color printing.
Founded in 1982 with annual revenues of about $1 million and five employees, SF Landmark has built a reputation for high quality, fast turn superwide format printing among event planners, brands and agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area.
An ‘impressive offering’ to broaden SF Landmark’s customer reach
While researching the soft signage market, SF Landmark General Manager Bill Stender attended the 2016 SGIA Expo in Las Vegas and followed up with a visit to EFI’s users’ group conference, Connect. “I was very impressed with what EFI had to offer,” he said.
“We’ve been looking at dye sublimation fabric printing for some time,” Stender added. “We’ve seen many of our professional customers moving into soft signage, and we believed we could bring our great reputation for quality and service to those customers to capture that volume, and that is proving to be true. Plus, we expect to be able to gain many new customers as we market this service to a broader audience.”
EFI developed its new VUTEk FabriVU series using the advanced technology knowledge base that EFI Reggiani – a global leader in industrial textile imaging – has established over the past 70 years. SF Landmark’s new printer – which is ideal for the production of flags, banners, backlit displays, and other high-end display graphics – offers superior quality with high-resolution imaging up to 2,400 dots per inch (dpi) and four-level grayscale printing with 4 to 18 picoliter drop sizes. SF Landmark has greater versatility with its new investment as well, as the printer has the unique ability to print on transfer paper or direct-to-fabric with the same inkset, which saves considerable labor and machine downtime compared to other printers requiring ink changeovers for different substrates.
SF Landmark’s clients appreciate the company’s attention to detail and color matching capabilities, expertise that, according to Stender, is hard to find among area sign shops. The EFI Fiery proServer digital front end (DFE) installed with the new printer has the production and color functionalities to allow SF Landmark to maintain its high color quality standards.
“Fiery has lots of great tools for color matching and for adding additional automation to the process,” Stender said. “This will be increasingly important as our fabric business continues to grow.”
New product offerings and growth through online ordering
Stender is currently focusing on production of backdrops for stages and events, but is in the process of tooling up for other products such as flags and temporary pop-up exhibits. He also invested in a sewing system for finishing printed fabric products.
Plus, SF Landmark acquired an additional facility to accommodate the printer and will be staffing that facility up as his fabric volume grows. A new web-to-print offering – EFI’s Digital StoreFront software – is part of that growth initiative.
“As we expand our product line, we will be implementing EFI’s eCommerce for Soft Signage suite of solutions powered by EFI Digital StoreFront,” Stender said. “This will add a level of convenience for many of our customers by allowing them to order online 24/7. We also like that fact that Digital StroreFront is integrated with the EFI Fiery proServer DFE for the FabriVU printer, meaning that jobs submitted online can be delivered directly to print, saving time while reducing costs, errors and overhead.”
EFI is showcasing its ecosystem of advanced products for soft signage production this week at the 2017 SGIA Expo at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, where the VUTEk FabriVU 340 printer, Fiery proServer DFE and Digital StoreFront web-to-print solutions are on display in booth #1501.