Chromaco was printing canvas before canvas was cool. Well, it’s always been cool, but Chromaco perfected its print processes on canvas and other fine art media years ago. During that time, canvas has always been the mainstay of Chromaco’s fine art reproduction business.
Based in Honolulu, Chromaco is at the heart of a vibrant art community, fed by (as you may have already guessed) a thriving tourist trade. Though most of Chromaco’s work serves the Hawaiian Islands, Chromaco also ships its superb prints to Japan and the mainland U.S.
The secret to Chromaco’s success? Quality. Chromaco’s business was launched by providing ICC profiles to end users and businesses. They were in the color game right off the bat, so it was a smooth transition to reproducing fine art, and reproducing it in Chromaco’s exacting way.
“Since we do our high-resolution digital capture here in-house, it’s all about maintaining accurate color profiles. We do all our own ICC profiling. We start off with our scanner profile for the Phase One back and then we have ICC profiles for all the different devices and materials, including our canvas of choice, Sunset Reserve Matte Canvas,” says Craig Ellenwood, Chromaco general manager. “I find that the Sunset Canvas has a large color gamut. When I print a grayscale bar I can definitely see every step cleanly. There’s no blocking up in the shadows, so the Dmax is there, and it offers a wide range of blacks. We profile the canvas after we coat it so we get the most accurate profile for how it looks as an end product.”
Ellenwood adds that they use Sunset Reserve Matte Canvas in tandem with Sunset Gloss Coating. The Sunset Coating, says Ellenwood, dries more quickly than most coatings on the market, which is essential for ensuring quick turnarounds for Chromaco’s clientele.
“Here in Hawaii we have high humidity and temperatures, and some of the coatings on the market can take three or four days to dry completely sometimes. It’s nice with the LexJet canvas and coating to have it dry overnight so we can package it up in the morning,” says Ellenwood.
Ellenwood adds that while canvas has been the company’s cornerstone for the past ten years or so, he’s seen an increase in clients requesting gallery wraps. He says gallery wraps are a simple solution for an artist to hand off to their clients because it can still be framed or hung up on the wall as-is.
“Framing can be expensive and people like the look of a gallery wrap without having to invest in a frame,” says Ellenwood. “The majority of our business is in canvas and most of our clients are painters, galleries and photographers. We also offer other art products like aluminum and watercolor prints and some commercial signage, but the mainstay of our business is canvas.”