Loving Digital, One Customer at a Time
by Melissa Tetreault
Part 4 of a 4-part exclusive online series
Image King Visual Solutions’ name did not vaporize out of thin air. The company, based in NY, with facilities in Nevada as well, is the result of a merger between a print shop and photo shop that occurred in 1999. "When the companies merged that’s how we got the name Image King. It was a merger of Image Photographic Laboratories and King Graphic Technologies. It sounds like we are the king of images, which we are, but that is in fact a name based on two companies," explains Spencer Jacobson, VP.
The company, which was fully digital at the time of its creation, specializes in a wide range of applications including pre-press, large and grand format printing, photo enlargement, fabrication, and Scotchprint.
When Jacobson thinks back to Image King’s initial relationship with digital he remembers two things. People were very used to dealing with output coming from conventional printers, which was taking weeks to be created. It was hard for them to accept that a project would only take days or hours to be created as digital became more enhanced. Secondly, Jacobson remarks, "in the beginning there were compromises in quality for the sake of doing digital printing. Someone wanted something done digitally and it really wasn’t the best way to do it but it was done anyway."
As evident, the company works closely with its customers, letting them choose their own path if need be. Of course there are those times that Jacobson and his team find themselves in the role of the guide. "Sometimes a customer does not know the most pragmatic way to approach a product and because we have so many output devices we can help them create the best way to do something based on quality and budget."
It helps that Image King has the staff -- 90 people placed throughout three shops -- allowing for excellent customer service. Jacobson continues, "people just don’t want you to print on paper, they want to talk about feasibility of materials, how they will fit. We do lots of turnkey projects where we provide everything from working with them from concept to fabrication and installation."Image King’s customers include major retail companies that specialize in fashion and luxury items and they also do a lot of architectural, real estate, and sales office showrooms.
This past summer Image King has been involved in the early planning stages of several customers’ projects for Holiday 2006. Although Jacobson could not go into more detail about them he did say that, "they require all of our capabilities from creative, to printing output, to fabrication and installation services."
Lately, Jacobson has noticed a trend towards electronic media. Which is why the company keep the word visual in its name. "We call ourselves Image King Visual Solutions because we’re not just about printed displays, but also about video and digital displays as well."