Printer & Signage Trade Shows
ISA sign expo, April 9, 10, 11, 2015
Because this is the first large signage and wide-format inkjet printer expo of the year for all of North America, we are sending five from FLAAR Reports to ISA 2015.
Since there are signage and printer expos all around the world, we would not waste time (and money) sending this large a team if the expo was not worthwhile.
Printers (UV cured, latex, textile, water-based) are the main focus.
Inks, especially after-market inks are crucial to learn about.
Media and printable substrates are worth learning about: there is far more than just PVC vinyl. For example, we will be searching to see if any booths are offering PE, as an eco-friendly alternative to vinyl.
Plus it is crucial to learn the trends: what kinds of inks are no longer popular?
What brands of printers are no longer being manufactured?
What distributors are growing (compared with which distributors are no longer having a booth).
If a manufacturer or distributor is no longer exhibiting, how can you get tech support? And what about the re-sale value of your printer (if this brand is no longer manufactured)?
So attending ISA is a good investment. We hope to see you there, Booth 416, though most of us will be in the aisles and evaluating printers, inks, media, coaters, laminators, cutters, and software throughout the halls.
FLAAR in Guatemala:
Nicholas was already in Guatemala. He and project manager Eduardo Sacayon took part in several projects:
A botanical and ethno-botanical project to find and photograph specific trees that were sacred to the Maya people. Of particular interest was the "Nikte" flower. Fortunately May was the month this species blooms, so they got some good photographs. It is ironic that this is the same flower that is used for the lei in Hawaii. These plants were transplanted to Hawaii in the last century.
The second project was to study metamorphosis in butterflies, using the garden around the FLAAR office as the test area. An entomologist from the local university came to take samples of butterfly cocoons which were being eaten by parasitic wasp larvae. A butterfly is part of the logo of FLAAR in part because this insect was pictured frequently in the incense burner lids of Tiquisate, a colonial area of the extension of the Teotihuacan empire in the 4th-6th centuries A.D.
A third project that is beginning is to identify which beetle or cockroach-like insect is the bug commonly pictured on Tepeu 1 (Late Classic) Maya bowls from the Peten area. Nicholas and Eduardo (who is a trained biologist working with FLAAR for many years) visited the leading university reference collection of these insects in Guatemala. We hope to photograph the collection.
All these projects bring to bear our experience in evaluating digital imaging hardware and software.
In past years several companies have provided digital camera backs for us to evaluate.
These are the cameras that we recommend for museum photography, and for field photography by archaeologists, botanists, zoologists, and geologists. One of the many long-time projects of FLAAR has been to find out what equipment is best, by actually using it ourselves. Most professors don't have time to experiment with a wide range of equipment.
We have evaluated Kodak, Phase One, Leaf, and Hasselblad digital backs over the last ten years.
FLAAR evaluates the entire workflow: from digitization through RIP and printing to finishing
FLAAR evaluates digital cameras, 3D scanning (6to5 at Dr Wirth company), and all forms of digitization. We had a Cruse scanner for many years and are now considering a Metis scanner (so as a consultant we can suggest pros and cons of each of these brands).
In addition to printers we also evaluate XY flatbed cutters, CNC routers, lamination equipment, RIP software, etc. Although most of our readers seek information for basic signage, FLAAR itself is primarily dedicated to how to improve museum exhibits, museum signage, and related aspects of botanical gardens, zoos, and national parks (archaeological sites). So all of these aspects of digital imaging are as crucial for anthropologists, archaeologists, botanists, geologists, zoologists and museum curators as they are for print shops around the world.
FLAAR provides consulting services at each international trade show. But time to speak with Dr Nicholas must be booked, and invoiced, in advance. Write FrontDesk "at" FLAAR.org to check whether time is still available in his 2015 schedule.
We work with theme parks, zoological gardens, research stations; two of our exhibits of high-res photographs of sacred Maya flowers and trees has been at MOBOT in St Louis over the recent three years.
Our institute is growing and we are now providing consulting services for cacao (cocoa, chocolate), for amusement parks (who might want a Maya-themed event or area). We are consultants for wide-format inkjet printer companies literally around the world.
Below is our schedule of wide-format printer trade shows for 2016.