Large format printing in Canada: how it all started

Arteest Marketing ltd.Gord's Notes

How large format printing came to Canada.

How large format printing came to Canada

It all started off with hand painting logos and letters on the sides of trucks until we brought large format printing to Canada and the game changed. We are the first company to have a digital printer in North America and this is our story.

Written by Gordon McCallum – Arteest’s Creative Director

In 1982, when I had “invented” the medium of truck graphics I had no way to produce the graphics except for hand painting by artists. For two years 5 very talented women (Rhona, Lynne, Analese, Cathy and Natalie), produced vehicle graphics until I was able to find the first digital printer in California. This digital printer invented by a gentleman who was doing large backdrops for the movie industry and was excited for the new uses of his machine. For the next three years we sent artwork to him and he sent back a complete truck graphic printed on decal material. We would apply the vinyl graphics like wallpaper on sides and back of trucks.

By 1988, a couple of engineers who had been working with Polaroid started a company called VUTE and produces an 8 foot wide digital printer in New Hampshire. About a year later I had occasion to get in touch with them and by working together we succeeded in making their first printer work consistently. I purchased the first printer in 1989 and installed it at our graphics facility in Mississauga.

The first images were used on trucks as we already had a pent up demand but were soon followed by production for billboard and wall murals and trade show booths under the name Artisan Graphic Production.

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Read more about us and how we use large format printing in our creative branding strategies today.

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