For Dallas-based Gigantic Color, digital printing is about more than just fulfilling an order—it’s about making that customer look better than the competition. The company began in a garage with one employee, but has since gone through several steps to get to be the 60-person, two-location shop it is today. Originally starting as a typography company called Creative Type back in 1988, the company has continued to expand and evolve as the market changed. From typography, Creatiev Type evolved into a film separations company and then moved into small-format and large-format printing. By the time 1995 rolled around, Gigantic Color was officially born as a brand and John Bowers, Sr., owner hasn't looked back since.
"We do everything here from business cards to billboards and everything inbetween," says Bowers. With a mix of local and national accounts, Gigantic Color knew an upgrade in its production equipment was needed. They started looking at UV printers about two years ago and knew "someone's UB printer had to fit into our business," says Bowers. "We looked at all of them, but after a demo in the EFI VUTEk facility in Meredith, NH—where we put the printer through its paces—we knew this was the machine that would best fit our business."
Five features really stood out for Bowers when they were testing the EFI VUTEk GS5000r. The printer offers eight-color plus white capability that produces life-like skin tones and smooth gradients and the advanced three-layering white ink capability allows users to create high-impact, customer-satisfying images. The white ink, in particular, which allow Gigantic Color to open up new markets and provide new applications—including backlits and window graphics.
The printer also features gray level print heads that output up to 3100 sqft/hr (288 sqm/hr) and offers dual resolution of true 600 dpi (24pL) or 1000 dpi (12pL). The variable drop sizes and multiple resolution choices gave the printer the flexibility they needed in the shop to be able to take on a larger range of applications from their customers.
Additionally, the printer's versatility was a main selling point. The GS5000R can switch easily between mesh and vinyl, offers multi-roll printing on two or three rolls simultaneously, and is also available with optional double-sided printing capability. The ability to use multiple rolls and run multiple jobs at the same time was a key feature that drew Bowers to the printer.
But one of the most important features was the GS5000r's media handling capabilities. The GS5000r can print up to max media thickness of .125 inches (3 mm) and up to max media width of 198 inches (5.0 meters). "The printer had to be able to run heavier-weight styrene," says Bowers.
The printer was installed in August and even more notably marked the 500th installation of the GS series of VUTEk printers.
"We are pleased to be adding this outstanding printer to our production floor," says Bowers. "We were looking for a reliable, very fast work-horse machine and wanted to work with an industry leader, a company with the latest technologies and one capable of addressing every possible application need. EFI and the VUTEk GS5000r best meet those requirements. But we'll also be able to offer higher resolution images than anyone in the industry, unique multi-layer white ink printing, plus the MCS Warranty in partnership with 3M. With the new VUTEk printer, we can serve our existing customers better and faster, acquire new customers and develop new applications such as printing onto rolled styrene."
"Gigantic Color is the ideal location for the GS5000r," said Scott Schinlever, senior vice president and general manager of EFI's Inkjet Solutions. Schinlever presented the Gigantic Color team with an award during an on-site luncheon at the Gigantic Color plant on August 28, 2012.