Best Practices: Photo Printing Takes Off
A little creative thinking and a small compromise can sometimes lead to unsuspected revenue. When a previous state commissioner placed a request to the State of Tennessee’s Division of Printing and Media Services for matted and framed photographs to be hung in the commissioner’s suite, Director Tammy Golden had to get creative.
The Nashville-based in-plant does not have the capability to produce matted and framed photos, but Golden did not want to lose the opportunity to print work that would be on such prominent display. A staff designer mentioned that the print shop’s Epson proofer could print photographs on canvas, and they could be gallery-wrapped in house.
The commissioner gave the gallery wrapping the “OK” and since then, Golden says, the service has taken off. Without adding in any new equipment, she says her in-plant has collected approximately $10,000 from this service.
“We did one and they loved it,” Golden says. “Now we do it for people all over the state government.”
With three state photographers snapping images all over Tennessee, Golden and the in-plant have no shortage of material. She says the photographers have approximately 200,000 images in a slide library from before they switched to digital photography. That, plus all of their digital images, makes for a wide selection of photographs the shop can produce on canvas.
In addition to decorating state offices and buildings, Golden says the canvas prints have been popular items as door prizes for events and gatherings. As a marketing tactic, the division will print a canvas photo to be given away as a door prize with the in-plant’s contact information on the back.
The photos have also received some prime display space inside the main entryway of the Tennessee Tower, a 31-story skyscraper in Nashville. Golden recalls that when the people in charge of the building discovered some old photos that were taken during the time of its construction, they approached the Division of Printing and Media Services to produce them as gallery-wrapped canvas prints. These prints now adorn the lobby area of one of the state’s most recognizable landmarks.
While the prints have been great for added décor to state-owned buildings and a way to build revenue, Golden says the state-employed photographers have appreciated the in-plant adding the service. With how popular the prints have become, the photographers have been pleased to see their work displayed in such prominent locations throughout Tennessee.
“Our price is definitely competitive to the local market for that sort of thing and canvas prints in general are cheaper than matted frame and glass,” Golden explains. “They’re pretty inexpensive and look great.”