This year we introduced our Application of the Year awards. Our readers were asked to nominate innovative applications by print service providers. The nominees were then voted on by the same readership. The first place winner is BACA-DG of Maracaibo, Venezuela. BACA’s winning work—art for an exhibition—was featured on the cover of Digital Output’s August issue.
Founded in 2005, the company offers design, cut, heat transfer, sublimation, and high-resolution printing services. Its clientele spans a number of verticals from corporate clients such as L’Oreal to local retail stores, universities, doctors, and architects. In house, BACA employs a graphic designer, a design technician, and a design student. It outsources some of its installation, sign production, and plastic piece manufacturing services.
Eight months ago BACA added its first digital printer—a Roland DGA Corporation VersaCAMM VS-640. A multitude of features attracted the print provider to the device. The eight color ink set, including white and metallic, was one draw. “We can say we’re the only ones in our city who can print with these specialty colors,” says Bárbara Carroz, graphic designer, BACA. Additionally, the device also includes cutting capabilities, which Carroz believes sets them apart from the competition.
It was the Roland VersaCAMM VS-640 that created the application for the art exhibition, Alma Mia by graphic designer and artist Coral Hernández Finol. A Venezuelan native, Finol’s lived in Barcelona since 2003 to study illustration, exhibition project design, and management and visual communication at the Elisava School of Design.
The entire exhibition consisted of illuminated pieces printed on ESM-GBF Glossy Backlit Film from Roland. “In addition to providing the body and resistance we needed for the structure of the lamps, the colors that were projected once the film was illuminated were perfect for the graphics in the designs,” explains Carroz. It provided a high-quality finish, with imagery not too saturated but sharp and defined.
Finol’s exhibition was the first big print project on the Roland VersaCAMM VS-640; however none of the specialty ink sets or the cutting feature was used. It took 82 hours of printing to create all of the pieces. The actual design, print, and installation process took a month; however BACA was in talks with Finol for about three months before anything even began.
Finol created the artwork in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as through hand drawings. Each is based on life, nature, and birth themes—which were the main focus of the exhibition. Finol tries to represent the folklore of Venezuela through plants and the Caribbean in all of her artwork.
BACA visited the exhibit space prior to printing to determine how many lamps it could hold and the size of each piece. After printing, the print provider was also instrumental in creating the structure of the lamps and then attaching the artwork. It also installed the electric power cables and then transported all of the pieces to the exhibition space and set them up throughout the room.
Alma Mia was a success. All of the pieces were sold and some have even been recreated due to high demand. “It is a project celebrating light and life, full of good intentions and hope. It is original because it gives the art and exhibition industry a new perspective, a new light. It uses industrial equipment commonly used for commercial purposes to create pieces of light and art,” says Carroz. These points are what define Alma Mia’s win for BACA in Digital Output’s Application of the Year awards.