Toronto’s Imaged Advertising Creations first in Canada to install an EFI VUTEk FabriVU 520

EFI VUTEk FabriVU 520 dye sublimation printer.

Imaged Advertising Creations (IAC) of Toronto has become the first company in Canada to install a 17-foot-wide EFI VUTEk FabriVU 520 dye-sublimation printer from Electronics For Imaging (EFI). IAC, which is a full-service visual communications company, will leverage the quality, productivity and expanded format of the printer to grow its dye-sublimation business into new markets and industries. Imaged Advertising Creations is an industry leader in large-format printing, digital signage and more – from brochures to tradeshow booth sand everything in between.

Sean Sadhoo.

“The size of this printer, at 17 feet, opens up new markets for us where customers need larger graphics,” said Sean Sadhoo, General Manager of IAC. “One of those markets is theatre companies that need theatrical backdrops or curtains. They used banner vinyl until recently, but are now switching to sublimated panels. These are very custom, one-off jobs. There are only five shops in North America that can do them, so the VUTEk FabriVU gives us a huge advantage.” Other markets where IAC sees growth opportunities are large-scale events, such as music festivals and sporting events. The company serves clients looking to create exciting brand experiences that resonate with audiences. Event companies also want compelling visual impact with high production values to distinguish their brands. Printed fabric is optimal for these clients because it’s less expensive to ship, while the quality and versatility of the substrates create many new opportunities for IAC to grow its business. In addition to the potential for expanding into new markets, the VUTEk FabriVU line (which is also available in 5.8- and 11-foot widths) will set IAC apart with its current customers. IAC was an early adopter in Canada for dye-sublimation printing, having identified the growth potential of the segment. Now, more than half of its sales volume is currently in dye-sub work for clients needing graphics for tradeshows and pop-up events, as well as corporate and retail environments. Nearly all of IAC’s customers are increasingly using fabric over other substrates to enhance their brand impressions.

“In the last six months or so, it seems that retailers in Canada have caught on,” Sadhoo added. “There’s so much fabric going into retail stores now, especially silicone-edge graphics like light boxes. The cost savings in shipping when they’re rolling out national programs are significant, and the graphics are easy to install.” For these clients, IAC’s new VUTEk FabriVU 520 printer will deliver faster and better quality than the shop previously could provide.

The printer is a highly productive, robust solution designed for 24/7 operation. Its aqueous inks deliver four-colour printing in a wide colour gamut with deep saturation up to an ultra-high resolution of 2,400 dpi. It can print at a maximum speed of 4,800 square feet (446 square meters) per hour. The printer’s massive size also provides a number of distinct advantages for IAC in its local market. “When we opened in 2007, even a 10-foot dye-sub device was rare in Toronto,” Sadhoo said. “That’s not the case any more. So, being the first in Canada with a 17-foot device makes us unique and gives us an edge. For example, our clients can now have larger, continuous graphics instead of stitching panel graphics together. We can now give them backlits with seamless backs. There are no backlit boxes bigger than this printer, so this is a huge benefit.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.