ACUP Recap: A Wider Perspective
The Association of College and University Printers (ACUP+) conference took place in Vancouver, Washington, recently for the first time in three years. More than 40 higher-ed and K-12 managers from 34 schools, including 19 first-time attendees, attended the 57th ACUP+ conference. Here’s a look back at some of the sessions.
Wide-format printing is always a popular topic at ACUP+, and one session featured Nathan Thole (Iowa State University) and Dylan Turner (Northern Arizona University) discussing their equipment and substrates.
Thole listed the multiple roll-fed and flatbed printers, as well as contour cutters, his shop uses to produce vehicle wraps, window clings, awards on acrylic, name badges, and even ADA-compliant signage. For the last item, the shop’s Canon Arizona lays down 12 layers of ink to create braille dots. The in-plant uses an HP Latex printer and Graphtec FC8600 to print and cut reflective graphics for wrapping vehicles, including campus police cars.
Turner noted that NAU’s sign shop (separate from the in-plant) was not very motivated and had been declining a lot of work, so the in-plant stepped in with a “fake it till you make it” approach, and slowly began building its wide-format business. Today this work generates $175,000 a year and is growing, he said. One issue his Flagstaff, Arizona-based in-plant faces because of its location at 7,000´ above sea level is increased UV exposure, which means long-term outdoor prints must be laminated to keep them from fading. He standardizes the media the shop uses to simplify inventory, and has trained his staff to handle graphics installation on campus.
In a separate session on wide-format applications, Brian Geimer (California State University, Sacramento), Tom Lydon (Bucknell University), and Gary Warren (Fayetteville State University) showed off examples of creative projects their in-plants have produced. Among the highlights:
- Geimer showed a study space in the library that featured a full-wall graphic of a tree, with leaves that were diecut and spread out from the wall and onto the windows, creating an eye-catching and unique space.
- Geimer also showed a lamp shade his in-plant cut and fit with transparent materials to create a clever piece given to alumni.
- Warren noted that his in-plant does quite a few elevator wraps around campus, in some cases wrapping the casing and the door, and in others, wrapping the interior of the spaces.
- Another project Warren highlighted was an acrylic award created for an outgoing chancellor, printed with a poem written about him. The piece itself, he noted, was a matte black, and he used a clear coating for a logo in the middle for a sentimental piece of memorabilia that will be treasured.
- Lydon shared photos of the campus performing arts center, which features 20 windows, with window-perf graphics that aren’t contained in the frames — they span across the entire grouping for a bold new look for each new year.
- Panelists suggested using frosted or printed window graphics to allow light to come through, while giving those inside a measure of privacy.
- Lydon shared images of a project where he printed onto a circular saw blade to create a unique gift for a staff member who was retiring. That staff member then turned the saw blade into a wall clock.
Related story: First ACUP+ Conference in Three Years is a Success
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.