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Large Format Imaging – NOW

Let’s say for the sake of discussion that “large format” images are larger than 12 inches by 18 inches – bigger than the average high speed copier can print. And further, to clarify, all of the technology available for reproduction of documents smaller than 12 x 18 is interesting, but not really what we are talking about for the moment.  The thing that identifies our company and the core business that we represent is the ability to reproduce or duplicate Large Format originals.

Historically there were separate technologies used to duplicate large format color and large format black and white documents.  Scanning and imaging from digital files has leveled the playing field, though, and now it forms the basis for all methods of copying, duplicating, distributing and archiving documents that are created or designed.

In the traditionally technical world – blueprints, engineering documents, architectural plans – reproduction depended on a translucent original, generally manually drafted.  But in most North American offices design offices today manual drafting is an unfamiliar skill.

CAD software gives the designer very sophisticated tools to imbed data in technical documents for construction.The scanning and application software is very precise and with the appropriate hardware can recognizes color in created and scanned files.  We now have the ability to ability to plot/print technical drawings in accent or full color – quickly and affordably.

In the world of full color imaging, the biggest improvement is in the world of output devices.  Graphics can be output on inkjet, paint jet, and photo quality digital devices.  These plotters can image on paper, film, vinyl, fabric and rigid substrates.

The “originals” of the documents are digital files that can be transferred and archived using all the computing tools available – web portals, document management systems, Cloud computing and Data Center applications.  These files represent the data that our clients own and value.  And our role in their process now includes managing that data for distribution and delivery, digitally and in printed form when necessary.  VERY different from the role we played fifty years ago.

Cathie Cushing Duff

One of the third generation membership owners at Cushing, Cathie has been active in the organization since 1975. A graduate of the University of Toronto (St. Michael’s College) she attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Illinois School of Business. A Past President of the North Central Reprographic Association and International Reprographic Association, she has served on the ReproMAX Association and Chicago Family Business Council Boards. When not exploring print and digital communications, her passions are family, knitting and crocheting. Visit Cathie’s Google + profile.

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