Signs of the Times - August 2017 - 47
Not easy questions, these, because some shop owners
stir their coffee with a screwdriver; others drink Evian
bottled water. Therefore, first ask if you can see a separate
element of your shop selling and then printing and packaging iPhone covers or personalized golf balls? Or fabric
printing and patterning and then sewing and fitting
tradeshow graphics? Can you deal with such minutiae?
Success in this field hinges on many things, but most
heavily on the nature of the shop. A screwdriver personality
may not have the patience for small details or the finesse
to handle customers who want their dog's portrait on a
dozen T-shirts by tomorrow.
SO, WHAT'S UP, REALLY?
I called Craig Miller, CEO and owner of Pictographics
(Las Vegas) and columnist ("Inside Output") for ST's sister
magazine, Big Picture. I enjoy conversations with Craig.
He's a clear thinking and astute businessperson who,
enjoyably, always tells it straight. In his September 2016,
Big Picture column ("Dye Sublimation on Rigid Materials"),
Craig wrote, "In all of wide- and grand-format printing, if
you select the right printer, ink, paper, and substrate, there
is no combination of print technology and media that can
produce large images that rival dye sublimation to rigid
media. It's simply the best."
Craig knows his stuff. His company produces largeformat, dye-sublimation images, lots of them, so the
above isn't hype - it's his personal, experienced-backed
observation. In that Big Picture column, Craig said the
(dye-sublimation) image superiority is consistent across
all qualitative measures, with bright, vibrant and saturated
colors. It's because the image penetrates the media surface
with dye gasses, he said, and not layered ink drops, which
provide a continuous-tone look that doesn't alter the
media surface sheen. This type of image integration into
the substrate is beautiful. It could be the winning point on
I asked Craig what he sees in the dye-sublimation field
today and learned that he senses a renaissance in largeformat dye-sublimation production. He explained that this