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Close Knit Graphics

Spotlight on Textile Printing

By Gretchen A. Peck

Foothill Ranch, CA-based Image Options is truly a one-stop shop for print buyers seeking display graphics. The company’s 26,500 square foot facility is equipped to handle virtually any large format job that comes through the door, including those that may require a softer approach. Fabrics are the substrate of choice for an impressive client list that includes 20th Century Fox, Adidas, Callaway Golf, Ikea, Lexus, Old Navy, Sony Electronics, and many more.

Image Options’ current customer base includes both local and national clients due to a broad range of in-house digital capabilities including two DuPont Artistri direct textile printers, an Océ Lightjet 500XL, an EFI/VUTEk 3360, EFI/VUTEk 5330, and two EFI/VUTEk PressVu 200/600 UV flatbeds.

"In addition to end users, we have a number of trade customers—printers—who understand our business ethic and use Image Options for volume fabric and other jobs," shares Tim Bennett, president, Image Options. "Reputation is everything in this close-knit industry."

Image Options’ client base is concentrated in retail and exhibit graphics, but also produces a considerable amount of architectural and environmental graphics. "Somewhere along the way we unwittingly—and fortunately as it turned out—became known as the ‘oddball’ company. If it’s larger than normal, needs an array of substrates, or something weird, people get referred to us," says Bennett.

For example, Nike is a constant customer, and the shop received a call from one of its divisions handling sponsorships for the Beijing Olympic Games. Using the DuPont Artistri, they produced a giant, double-sided Nike jersey, measuring 75x65 feet for the 2008 Women’s Olympic Softball Team, which was shipped to China following an unveiling at Dodger Stadium.

The DuPont Artistri is the workhorse for most of Image Options’ fabric-based jobs. At least one of the Artistri printers is used every day. Sometimes both printers are in use 24 hours a day.

"We first saw the device at a trade show and believed it had the potential to eclipse anything else on the market at the time, with some additional RIP development. Given we had considerable experience using Colorburst RIP technology, with whom DuPont had already been in discussion, we became a natural choice to support the development and testing. The color, quality, and speed were so impressive, we purchased a second printer later that year," explains Bennett.

The purchase of the Artistri proved to be a smart investment for Image Options by providing access to larger fabric markets. "As a company, we were mainly interested in large volume accounts. That said, we have not yet explored markets requiring materials other than polyester, such as silk and cotton, which are more specialized."

When Image Options does make the move into more specialized territory, we are sure they will find success.

Oct2008, Digital Output

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