Sign & Digital Graphics

August '16

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48 • August 2016 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS 50 different backdrops and displays for the Invictus Games, some as large as 8' x 30' or larger. In taking a closer look at McRae, I got to know Bob Murray and his com- pany better. I'm now a big fan. They truly understand how to build impressions in a visually competitive world that involves signs, print and display. M c R a e I m a g i n g i s l o c a t e d i n Mississauga, Ontario. Murray is the chairman and CEO. He purchased the business in 1997 with partner and com- pany president, Richard Kisiel, as a suc- cessful photograph and color lab. Their vision and foresight brought fabric print- ing into the organization well ahead of the industry and competition. Today the company is one of the leading digital textile printing entities in North America providing an extensive range of printed display services and prod- ucts including for the sign, trade show and exhibit industries as well as specializing in retail store graphics and decor. With a 50,000 square foot production facility just outside of Toronto, they can handle a variety of projects at any size. They control all of the processes and production in-house. They even devel- oped their own color profiling, calibra- tion and matching system called Image DNA to achieve the highest quality image resolution possible. "We focus our capabilities and expertise on servicing a variety of key market segments," explains Murray, "where we are among the largest and most experienced companies. McRae is a pre-eminent provider of innovative, printed, and tensioned fabric solutions for visual displays. As printing experts, we continually push the boundaries of what's possible." Being a world leader in printed graphics on fabric helps position McRae Imaging for unique opportunities, like the Invictus Games. Staying on top of print technology and making invest- ments in that technology also helps them be prepared for and attract those special opportunities. McRae believes in using the very best and newest industry-leading print equip- ment. For example, their recent invest- ment in a Reggiani Renoir digital textile printer from EFI makes them the first to own and operate one in North America. This machine will boost their ability to meet a growing demand for their printed fabric products. It is also an eco-friendly alternative to printing signage and dis- play by printing with water-based inks and featuring low energy consumption. Combined with their other large-format printers, McRae Imaging now has more than 50 million square feet per year of annual print capacity. I asked Murray about his take on fab- ric printing specifically. "There are just so many advantages to fabric printing," he says. "The growth in the fabric market for display signage has been exponential. It has taken us 10 years, but it has been amazing. And there is more growth coming in the future. More people will use fabric printing in retail applications, and changes will come in the world of apparel and design as well. There will be more short runs. The future is really amazingly bright and its wide open for this process." Among their many other large-scale digitally printed fabric projects is the work they've provided to EB Games, the largest video game retailer in Canada with more than 300 retail locations. EB Games came to McRae Imaging for help to refresh the interior of the stores and enhance the consumer expe- rience with new visually engaging graph- ics. Bob and his team then went to work to provide an array of printed display solutions including the wrapping of in- store columns and a series "soft signs" using LED illuminated light boxes and printed fabric for the faces. Another unique feature about the McRae organization is that they provide full turn-key solutions so that they con- trol a process from concept to comple- tion, which is critical for the success of EB Games came to McRae Imaging for help to refresh the interior of the stores and enhance the consumer experience with new visually engaging graphics.

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