Shape and size are two elements of a sign never to be overlooked. Having the freedom to manipulate these elements allows sign makers to incorporate another level of creativity into their work. This is done with the technology of table cutters—automated X/Y cutters designed for cutting sheet materials.
These machines are used in high-volume productions, in three-dimensional sign work, to create special effects and more. As a result, sign shops can generate “new and exciting applications or enhance existing applications by adding shapes in today’s market,” says Keri Blackburn, Director of Marketing, North America, Esko. “Shops are no longer just print providers.”
Of course, digital prints are a large portion of the graphics industry but when a shop can take the printing aspect and add dimensionality and original contours, there can be much more appeal for the end user and an opportunity to cross into other markets. Beatrice Drury, director of marketing and communications at Zünd America Inc., points out that because of cutters’ capabilities, inroads have been made in packaging and fabrics “with no end in sight.”
Demand has increased for original sign work and cutters have provided an avenue to produce them.
Improvements in table cutters over the past few years have allowed sign shops to improve their offerings and keep their business diversified. More specifically, today’s cutters offer more speed, more durability, more power and more versatility than ever before.