As consumers continue to spend more and more time in their cars, advertisers are depending on outdoor signs to deliver their messages to the masses. But how can they be sure their billboards look just as good years after they were first unveiled? For many companies, this means selecting Inkware’s ink jet inks, specifically designed for outdoor signage applications. Billboards printed with Inkware ink can be found not only throughout the U.S., but on every continent with the notable exception of Antarctica.
Seven years since the company’s inception in 1994, Inkware continues to experience tremendous growth. “After a year of just doing pure research and development, we came to market with our first products. It’s been amazing ever since,” said Ian Johnston, Inkware’s director of research and development. “We’ve doubled our sales every year since our inception, and right now we are shipping tons of ink per day.” Today Inkware remains Vutek’s exclusive ink supplier.
Inkware’s top priority in 1994 remains the same today:manufacturing high quality inks that can stay on outdoor billboards for three to five years.The only change now is that the printers manufactured by Vutek have become extremely high tech. “The inks today are remarkably advanced.Every drop of ink is jetted out of an orifice half the size of a human hair,” said Mr. Johnston.“The new line of UltraVu printers can lay down around 43 million drops per second.
“In most cases, the number one priority of other ink suppliers is cost related,” said Mr. Johnston. “Our number one concern is quality; we want to have a product that is first, a very good ink, and second, a cost-effective product. We use very expensive pigments, but they offer longer life and are very colorful. The color gamut that our inks can achieve is tremendous and unparalleled in this industry.”
What helps Inkware stand out from its competition is the company’s technical knowledge. “Other companies know ink well, but do not understand the piezo technology,” said Mr. Johnston. “The only inks we make are ink jet inks, and as such, we’ve truly learned and understood the technology behind our company.”
Making sure their customers also understand the technology is another priority. “Educating our customers is also a key aspect of our business,” said Mr. Johnston. “We provide service, technical support and application support to allow our customers to get the most from their inks.”
As the global ink jet market continues to expand, Mr. Johnston said the trend is to be able to run “ink jet on anything from a sheet of Lexan to a sheet of plywood,not an easy feat for ink jet. Our goal is expand on the different types of media that we can print on.”