Into the Belly of the Beast

Last week I had the opportunity to head to Chicago for a press and analyst meeting with Océ North America. It was an interesting—and information-packed – meeting, focusing primarily on the technical documents market. We discussed many of the trends affecting the technical documents market such as: Increased decentralization as printing is pushed downstream, i.e. deliver digitally, print locally Increased use of electronic document workflow, primarily PDF Increased adoption of BIM and Integrated Project Delivery Transition from monochrome to color printing in AEC More complex GIS applications One of the topics we delved into in detail was about the ROI for measuring a realistic return through the use of color construction documents. In the coming weeks, Oce will be releasing a white paper focused around just that topic, offering a four-step approach to measure ROI—including case study examples of how it has been successfully implemented in the field. It's really much too complicated to go into it via a blog post, but as soon as I can get the white paper from Oce I'll be sure to share it with you. It was actually the start of the trip --even before I left New York for Chicago -- that got me thinking about wide-format graphics. I tend to fly Southwest when I travel because it's a lot closer to our offices and my house here in Long Island. And honestly, if I can avoid the traffic headed to the city—even better. But I digress. As I was waiting for my plane, I noticed  "Shamu" landing at the airport and discovered a few minutes later that I'd be riding in the "belly of the beast" to Chicago. After a few thoughts about Jonah—and hoping I wasn't going to spend three days on the airplane—my mind turned to graphics (of course). Years ago when Southwest introduced one of its newest named planes, I called up to find out how they did the graphics. I was disappointed to discover that they actually did it the old-fashioned way: with paint. It almost seems like a missed opportunity for them to have to be "stuck" with the one design on the plane. Now I now that there are some companies who actually install airplane graphics. A few years ago, there were the graphics on New Zealand Air's plane's promoting the Lord of the Rings movies. They had been printed on a special 3M media—the only one approved by the FAA at the time—and installed by a company Down Under. Is anyone in the States doing airplane graphics? I’m curious because I don't hear a lot about them. Drop me a line and let me know if you're taking to the skies with some wide-format graphics.