Mary Song of the Seattle-based NW Art + Framing knows a thing or two about printing. A photographer and print coordinator, she oversees the fulfillment of custom and commercial orders for a variety of clients throughout the Northwest. In fact, the company handles printing for three sets of stores, which include the flagship NW Art + Framing, Frame Central, Museum Quality Framing and Beard’s Framing.
“Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’ll fulfill 10,000 orders,” Song says. “We get 150-foot custom rolls, and we’ll go through four of them a day.”
That’s a lot of media for fine and framed art, metal prints, canvas and much more. To handle the workload, the facility houses nine printers, mostly Epson, including the recent purchase of the Epson SureColor P20000 64-inch printer, pictured above in action.
“The P20000 is helpful for large canvas and art prints,” Song says. “We have a demand for it, and everyone is going larger.”
The demand, she says, was specifically for large fine art, coated prints that weren’t latex-specific. The P20000 was specifically designed for high-production photographic and fine art printing with all new UltraChrome PRO inks, including four levels of grays. To ensure the color reproduction was up to par, Song but it through a rigorous test: her own work.
“As a photographer, I didn’t trust people to print for me,” Song says. “When we got the P20000 in, the first image I printed was one of mine, so I could see how good it was. The definition in the images was fantastic. The image has sepia tones, which is difficult to print, but right out of the box without profiles, it was spot-on. I couldn’t be happier.”
Since Song started with NW a year and a half ago, the company has doubled the number of its printers in effort to bring all print jobs in-house. “We really wanted to get the profit inside our building,” she says. That also meant that she and her team had to work faster, which was another selling point for the P20000.
“We needed a faster turn-around time, and this machine is faster,” she says. After considering some other less-expensive, older-model printers on the market, she chose to go with the P20000. “I said: If we’re going to invest in new technology, let’s invest in what’s the newest, not something that would be outdated within a few years.”
The company is also considering purchasing a SureColor P10000 44-inch printer, which uses the same ink set as the P20000, which will save on storage space and maintenance, she says, as well as delivering the consistency she expects. “Nothing beats Epson’s color or quality,” Song says. “Epson is by far one of the best printer companies out there.”