Gustavus Goes WideAugust 2013 By Bob Neubauer
Prior to October, wide-format printing at Gustavus Adolphus College was the domain of the Media Services department. There, student workers, using an Epson Stylus Pro 11880, printed the posters and other items needed by faculty and students, working mostly in the evenings.
For Naomi Quiram, director of Print and Mail Services at the St. Peter, Minn.-based college, this was not the ideal scenario.
“I had been advocating that we should put all print under one department,” she says. “When you’re trying to print high-end posters, they really require the printer’s eye.”
Ensuring the accuracy of college branding and colors, and providing the best possible quality are the in-plant’s strengths, she says. If a professor gives a presentation at a conference with a poor quality poster, she reasons, “that brings negative attention to the academic program, as well as to the entire college.”
Quiram got her wish last fall when the in-plant inherited the Epson, and the business that went along with it. A big chunk of this was printing posters for student projects. But Quiram saw even more opportunities. The Epson, an acqeous printer, could not produce outdoor signage, so those jobs were being outsourced.
“We were looking to bring all those jobs back to campus,” she says.
So after convincing her vice president of the benefits of expanding into outdoor printing, Quiram got approval to install a new 64˝ Mutoh ValueJet 1624 eco-solvent printer, along with a Mutoh ValueCut cutting plotter.
“We knew we had a market here on campus for outdoor [items], we just didn’t have the equipment,” remarks Andy Biedermann, production coordinator.
The in-plant, with two full-time, one part-time and 12 student workers, is still exploring the potential of this new printer/cutter combo, but Quiram has grand plans. Among them are wall graphics for the sports programs.
“The coaches are just really excited about options for expanding that kind of thing,” Quiram notes. “Wall graphics are going to be huge.”