Real Color Design, in Torrance, Calif., has been printing fine art reproductions for years. In 2008, it became an authorized print house for Warner Brothers Studios and they also hold the licenses to print images for Marvel, DC and other well-known studios in California. “Ninety percent of what we do today is related to the studios. Our customers are licensed with Marvel, WB, DC Comics, Dynamite studio,” says print manager, Alex Costa.
With a customer base like that, there is no margin for error. To meet the demands of qualifying as an authorized print resource, Costa and his team work with a fleet of EPSON printers. “We’ve been with Epson since the beginning,” he says. “Currently, we use the SureColor F6200 (dye-sub), SureColor S80600 (solvent) and SureColor P10000 (aqueous) and on occasion, we still use our old 9880.”
Given the wide breadth of Epson technology available, Costa and his team can offer diverse prints to their customers. “We do archival fine art on Hahnemühle, Sunset Velvet Rag and canvas, for dye-sub, we do aluminum prints on Chromaluxe as well as wood and sometimes fabric,” he says.
One of Real Color Designs’ largest customers is Sideshow Collectables. When they got their license to print, they realized right away that they couldn’t just use any printer, they had to find an authorized resource. “They came and met with us, and we helped them build from nothing to getting their print program up and running,” Costa says. “From mock-ups to introducing them to new materials, we’re there with them from conception to design to print.”
It’s that partnership with their customers that has helped Real Color Designs work with some of the most renowned high-end art gallery and collectibles companies around the world. “We were approached by Castle Fine Art, a gallery that is part of a major chain of over 50 galleries in the UK and Europe, that includes Halcyon Gallery which displays great artists like Picasso,” he says.
Relationship building and delivering results has helped Costa and the team create a name for themselves in an industry that demands perfection. “When Castle came to us, they said, ‘We want to start working with you because we’ve seen your work with Marvel.’ We are getting into the high, high-end fine art,” he says. “Right now, we are working with artist Domingo Zapata. They’re going to release a whole new line of prints and we’re working with them the same way we do with Sideshow.”
Costa says that they treat their customers the way they are treated by LexJet. “We see the customer as a partner, the way LexJet has worked with us since we started our business relationship in 2011. Stuart Haddow [LexJet sales specialist] sees us as a partner and tries to work stuff out, figure out our needs.”
The partnership relies on trust. Costa puts his trust in EPSON because he knows the quality that his customers and licensees demand. He puts his trust in LexJet to work with him on existing products and help him find new products that will excite his customers. His customers put their trust in him to create high-end art pieces that look like they stepped right off of a movie set or just out of a comic book.