Two years ago Rhonda Evans, president/owner of Dougherty Blueprint & Supply, decided to bring wide-format color into her reprographic business and it’s been a decision that has really paid off. “We wanted to take our business model to the next level and move into new markets, so we purchased our first wide-format color printer and hired a graphic designer. We hit the ground running and it’s been a successful move for us,” says Evans.
Albany, GA-based Dougherty Blueprint & Supply has been a family-owned and operated business since 1955. Evans is a second generation owner and her son Jamison is also working in the shop running their wide-format equipment. As their color business continued to grow, they began to look for another unit that offered them more capabilities. “We wanted to add another printer to our location, one that printed up to 64-inches and offered a greener solution. We saw the Mutoh ValueJet 1608-64" Hybrid printer at the 2008 SGIA show. It had most the criteria we were looking for,” says Evans. “At the show we also had the chance to speak with a shop that had one and was doing some interesting things with it. After talking at length with them, we were excited at the potential markets we could enter once we had this printer in our shop.”
Evans purchased the printer at SGIA and it was installed in November. So far she has nothing but positive things to say about the remarkable color, quality, and speed output of the equipment. “The very first job we ran on the Mutoh ValueJet 1608-64" basically paid for the entire first year to lease the printer. It’s safe to say that our return on investment has been phenomenal. The speed capabilities on the 1608 have been outstanding.”
The ValueJet Hybrid offers drop–on–demand Micro Piezo Inkjet Technology. The four-color printer has a maximum resolution of 1440 dpi, and automatic media thickness detection.
Evans also likes the sustainable printing options the printer offers them. “Mutoh’s new MUBIO INK was recognized by the EPA Design for the Environment program. The ink is composed of 80 percent plant derived substances, contains no harmful VOC’s and has faster drying times. It helps give us a greener and cleaner environment in the shop. The ink coverage is phenomenal as well as economical. The unit gives a host of new media to output to. Jamison has been experimenting with a number of substrates to print on. Thus far we’ve printed on everything from balsa wood and canvas to aluminum. Printing on all this media has helped to opened up a whole new client base for us.”
Evans says her clients include professional photographers, contractors, and architects, such as Yielding, Wakeford & McGee, Architects, P.C. Past production projects consist of images for presentations on 40x60-inch foam board. “Architects love the fact that we can easily and affordably print directly onto foam board. The large output is great for meetings where architects can show color renderings of the buildings. It makes a great presentation tool for them where they can add color to their project. Colors can really make the project pop. We are also branching out into trade show graphics as well,” she says.
“All of my clients have been impressed by the wonderful print quality. It’s been a great machine and great addition to a small shop like ours,” she adds.