ACUP Lesson: Wide-Format is Expanding
Wide-format printing is always a popular topic among college and university in-plants. IPG data shows that 83% of this sector is already doing it, and it makes up nearly 12% of their revenue.
IPG Editor Bob Neubauer presented this and other data on wide-format during the recent Association of College and University Printers (ACUP+) conference in Cincinnati, before introducing a panel of three managers, who each detailed their own innovative wide-format applications.
Laura Sicklesteel (California State University, San Bernardino) offered detailed information on wide-format media her shop uses, as well as mounting, laminating, with pricing for each. She showed pictures of some of the pop-up banners and signage the in-plant prints on its three wide-format devices.
Laura Lockett (California State University, Sacramento) showed shots of her shop’s printers, laminators, cutters and a welder, as well as images of wall graphics, window film and vinyl banners the in-plant printed, with pricing for its various services.
It was Liz Bowden (University of Illinois) however who captured most of the attention with her in-plant’s applications; she even wore a dress she made herself from fabric printed by the in-plant.
“Latex was a game changer,” she said of her shop’s HP Latex L26500 printer, which opened the door to m any new products, and reduced the need for laminating. Adding a Mutoh 1617H hybrid flatbed printer has also saved time and money, obviating the need for mounting by printing right onto foam core.
Bowden said fabric is now the No. 1 material used, since it can be transported easily by faculty without the need for poster tubes. Matte polypropylene is the second most popular material, she said, because it is waterproof and tear-resistant. In addition to signage (and dresses) the in-plant has printed custom water bottle labels using window cling material.
“When it comes to latex, the possibilities are endless,” she concluded.