Digital Output recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kevin M. Murphy, president/CEO, and Bryan Manwaring, director of product management, ONYX Graphics, Inc., to discuss the company, what it stands for, and where it is heading. Well-known for its RIP products—ONYX ProductionHouse, RIPCenter, and PosterShop—it continues to evolve into new segments of the market.
Color is at the core of ONYX’s philosophy. ONYX Color is a color management engine found in all of the company’s products developed specifically for the wide format industry. With numerous patents filed and two color scientists on staff, color is serious business for ONYX. In addition to a focus on reducing costs and increasing productivity for its customers, it aims to deliver superior and predictable color.
Then and Now
A history of innovation is found throughout the Salt Lake City, UT-based company’s timeline. The nearly 25 year old business launched in 1989, founded as a partnership between Charles “Chuck” Edwards and Dean Wittmann. ONYX emerged from a business that built a hardware-based image editing system.
Edwards and Wittmann introduced color printing to electrostatic plotters and to pay the bills, Edwards created a digital ID system with ONYX technology for an insurance firm. Realizing the software’s potential, it morphed and grew into what we know today.
The company continues to hold its position as one of the top players in the RIP market, reporting double digital growth throughout its core portfolio. Despite this, ONYX recognizes that print service providers’ (PSPs’) needs are changing, reacting to a fast moving industry.
As such, the company has taken its expertise and integrated it into other products that serve the large format market. ONYX launched its SmartApps VehicleWraps and Sign&Banner plug-ins in 2011. ONYX Thrive is a 100 percent Adobe workflow solution that debuted in 2012. “ONYX Thrive is a true workflow solution, it’s customizable, with all the benefits of a RIP—and no surprises,” explains Manwaring.
These new products enable ONYX to meet the needs of the full spectrum of wide format users, from high-end commercial print houses all the way to small PSPs. It is evident, according to Murphy, that ONYX is evolving as a company. “While still offering what we are known for—predictable color and RIPs—we are moving into new markets.”
With a focus on helping the end user, ONYX invests in a new venture—professional services. Recognizing that no one PSP learns the same, it looks to offer a range of ways to educate customers and potential buyers on how to use their software products in an efficient and effective manner.
“Print providers see professional services as a short-term investment, an easy way to quickly improve business,” admits Manwaring. The company hopes to change that view. With specialty applications growing and confusion over how to properly integrate design effects—white and clear ink—onto media, print providers must accommodate these challenges into their workflow.
One method is ONYX TV, home to on demand education videos. These videos outline topics step-by-step and in an abbreviated timeframe. Recognizing that a PSP’s time is precious, these two or five minute video clips get to the core of the problem. And even more ideal, a viewer can tune in at any time, learning tips and tricks on their schedule.