By DPS Staff
Print providers often boast a varied skill set to attract a broad audience and to ensure their customers don’t look past them for all print—and sometimes creative and marketing—needs. As part of this strategy, these shops must stay on top of the latest trends and offer the newest technologies to remain competitive.
Established in 1976, GAM Graphics and Marketing offers digital, wide format, and offset printing services as well as mailing, bindery, fulfillment, marketing, and creative services. With this scope of offerings, the company targets a range of clients from technology and entertainment to hospitality and financial services. Based out of a 14,000 square foot facility in Northern VA and the metro Washington DC area, the shop employs a staff of 16.
The company originally started as a place where students of the local Grace Christian Academy could learn a marketable job skill. The shop quickly became well known with hundreds of customers in Loudoun County. Brother and sister team, Nathaniel and Faith Grant took over the business their father, Reverend Charles Grant, started and built it up to what it is today.
The goal, according to Nathaniel Grant, president, GAM, is to be a one-stop shop for all of its clients. “What I mean by that is you come to GAM to have us create the piece that will hit the mark with the client, and then we produce, finish, and mail or deliver it to you. We strive to make a customer’s engagement with us one of the best you have ever had, and most memorable,” he shares. “We look for technology and machinery that will allow us to do this,” he offers.
The shop utilizes a range of digital printing equipment, including the RICOH Pro C7100X 5th Color Digital Press and the RICOH Pro L4160 Latex printer. “We’ve been using the Ricoh digital presses for about eight years, and those two for about two years,” shares Grant. He says the shop is pleased with the results.
The RICOH Pro C7100X prints up to 90 color pages per minute on a variety of substrates from traditional paper products to synthetics, envelopes, and textures. The solution also features the option for clear or white toner in addition to CMYK, which enables users to highlight point of purchase displays, business cards, menus, and oversized prints. For working with darker paper stocks, users can choose the entire document, selected images, or specific text with clear coating. Users can switch between the two options, a feature GAM utilizes.
“We’re always on the lookout for new, creative ways to get our clients’ messages across and the Ricoh presses help us do this at an affordable cost point. The presses we purchase for production need to be at a price point that makes sense for our business and also have a good service record. Ricoh meets both of these needs,” says Grant.
The shop runs a variety of media on the RICOH Pro C7100X, including Pro Digital Paper, Finch, Mohawk, and Neenah, just to name a few. “We prefer that for digital, the paper be available in digital cut sizes,” explains Grant. He says this helps the shop produce jobs faster without as many steps.
For its wide format output, the print provider looks to solutions from Fellers and Grimco as its suppliers, and trusts them to recommend the right media for the project at hand.
GAM recently created invitations for its long-term client’s 50th anniversary dinner. Inova Blood Services, a customer of the shop for more than ten years, wanted a traditional invitation with an elegant look, including gold foiling.
The job took a total of two weeks, from job submittal to delivery, but only 24 hours between proof approval and mailing.
To create the invitations, GAM used the RICOH Pro C7100x with the 5th station clear option. Pieces were then scored and folded using a Morgana Digi-Fold. For media, the shop used 100# ProDigital Silk Cover. Grant says in his experience, clear toner stands out well on this media.
The first run was 1,000 pieces with additional runs of 200 ordered after.
For the gold foil, the dilemma was creating the effect without incurring the cost of foil stamping, which it was able to successfully accomplish with the RICOH Pro C7100X. In the past, GAM would have had a die made, which Grant estimates would have cost about 60 percent more and taken over a week to produce.
By investing in the latest digital technologies, print service providers—like GAM—offer solutions that help their customers stand apart from the crowd. By understanding market needs and pushing the boundaries of its equipment, a shop’s talent and creativity is able to shine through. dps
Jul2016, DPS Magazine