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Taking the Plunge (Introduction)

by Jack Gocher

Windows graphics in cafezinos created with a wide format printer
A new wide format printer can open up many new application possibilities

No one likes to turn away work if they can possibly avoid it. Particularly when the request comes from existing customers. Posters, banners, cut vinyl, wall-coverings, vehicle wraps, window graphics; these are all the sorts of applications that can be added to a sign-maker’s portfolio with a relatively manageable investment, now more so than ever.

If you are a sign-maker that has so far resisted the move into large format digital print, it may well be time to take a deep breath and jump in. The main manufacturers of these printers really know what they are doing now and many have compressed all that leading-edge technology into solid, reliable, high quality and easy to use machines that don’t take up huge amounts of space. More to the point, the cost relative to what these printers can do has come down to the extent that return on investment can be fairly fast, particularly as the order book fills up.

This feature takes a look at some of the market-leading printers and integrated printing and cutting machines that you could consider taking on. There are of course further requirements, such as a laminator, other finishing equipment, software and so on, but these machines are designed to provide all you need to get going straight away.

Bear in mind, whichever machine you select, you will need to work with companies that can provide support and maintenance, media and ink. This could of course be the same company that you bought the printer from and that could well be worth considering. This will be a company that you will be sharing the journey with and you should feel they are a company you can trust to help and support you properly. Check out some reviews, ask to speak to other customers similar to you that have made the investment and see how they have got on.

Success in business is largely to do with maximising the amount of work you can do for your best customers. Increasing your capabilities through additional equipment will allow you to build better and more lasting relationships. Before making the investment, perhaps talk to your top customers about your intentions and discuss with them what sort of work they could put your way. If it’s banners and posters, consider a more powerful, wider machine. If it is lots of cut vinyl lettering and decals, then maybe it is worth adding a cutter or even an integrated print and cut machine. It is always worth giving yourself a headstart if you can.

If you are thinking of taking the plunge, we hope this insight into some of the more popular machines is helpful. There is a whole range of technology options, but as a new user you want something as versatile and easy to use as possible that will deliver the quality that customers will love. Good luck!