By Cassandra Balentine
Wide format printing is a versatile industry, enabling the creation of high-impact displays to vehicle wraps and everything in between. With the right tools in place, wide format print providers step out of a commodity product and offer truly unique prints that help turn design visions into reality.
Founded in 2008, Novachrome Digital Design and Imaging is a Brentwood, MO-based, all-digital print shop with just under ten employees. Specializing in large format roll and flatbed printing, it primarily produces graphics for museums, casinos, retail, restaurants, and trade shows. The shop also offers precision digital die cutting and metallic print capabilities.
Run by several partners, including Jim and Chris Varney and Beverly Fairies, it is always on the lookout for new technologies that meet current demands.
Above: Brentwood, MO-based Novachrome utilizes metallic capabilities for projects in the cosmetics, food and beverage, and pet industries thanks to Color-Logic, Fujifilm, and Nekoosa.
Novachrome is stacked with printing and finishing equipment, including Canon Solution Americas Colorado UVgel printers, a Fujifilm North America Corporation Acuity Prime with white ink, Epson printers, a Roland DGA Corporation printer, and a Durst Lambda. For finishing it operates laminators—64 and 80 inches from GBC, a division of ACCO Brands; and a Zund America, Inc. cutting system.
In addition to providing expertise and versatility for nearly any wide format graphic need, the shop stands out thanks to its color management capabilities. In fact, Novachrome is one of the few print providers in its area that invested in Color-Logic Inc. software for metallic printing.
Color correctness is essential. It utilizes a Barbieri reflection and transmission photo spectrometer to profile media. “My experience with color management goes back to when it was first introduced to help control output,” comments Jim Varney, part owner, Novachrome. “We have confidence in color consistency by comparing output from multiple devices.”
Several years ago, Novachrome realized the potential of metallic printing effects in the wide format space. During its research the shop came across the Color-Logic plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. After immediately realizing the potential, it invested in the technology and today offers metallic effects on wide format work. To do this the print provider utilizes metallic media from vendors like Nekoosa run using the white ink option of the Fujifilm Acuity Prime.
“With white ink on metallic films and board, we achieve beautiful metallic effects, even on runs of just one piece. In our business, however, one piece might measure eight by 15 feet so the payoff potential is large,” shares Varney.
Metallic work isn’t a factor in a majority of Novachrome’s output, but it is a differentiator. Varney explains that it often creates samples or self-promotional pieces with these effects, which get the attention of potential customers. “Our staff shows samples of these effects to customers and it’s something they’ve never seen before.”
Once its corporate clients understand the potential, Varney says it kick starts ideas on how to utilize it. “Metallic is an attention grabber with customers—especially designers—and some immediately try to find a use.”
When it first started working with Color-Logic for metallic printing, there was a lot of experimentation. Novachrome still experiments, but now has an extensive portfolio of samples and knowledge.
One method it uses is a mix of the Color-Logic tool and metallic to replicate foil stamping, which is more retail focused.
The shop utilizes its metallic capabilities for projects in cosmetics, food and beverage, and pet products. Over the years, it also created wayfinding with metallic effects as well as interior wallcoverings.
The use of metallic effects is an emerging area that Novachrome has mastered. It is a great way to attract new business.
Jun2023, Digital Output