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Catherine: FASTSIGNS is in the marketing/communications business. We think about our clients and their needs and how they need to communicate their message visually, and that’s where our franchisees focus. We have over 550 locations in seven countries, just signed a development agreement for Saudi Arabia so that will be our eighth country, so we are very excited about that. As we look to the future, we want to take our FASTSIGNS franchise partners into expanded products and services and really broadening the range of what they provide to their customers.
Michael: We want to keep innovating, so we are always looking for new applications and new products. With latex ink technology from HP, we are seeing more and more variety of materials that it can print to.
Catherine: We are extremely excited about textile printing, printing on different kinds of fabrics and allowing us to get into expanded trade-show applications, lightweight signage, so we really see the textile printing as a great, new growth avenue for us.
Michael: The HP air release vinyl, we’ve done a wrap on lockers. We’ve printed on the HP PVC-free wallpaper, and you just get it wet and then you can apply it to the wall just like normal wallpaper, and Backlit Films. In fact, Backlit Films is one of my favorite applications for the latex technology. You can get really crisp, dense blacks, bright, vibrant colors. You really can compare that almost to a photographic product, and it compares very favorably. There is a lot of flexibility that the latex technology gives us because it allows us to print on materials that normally would be out of our realm if we only had solvent. The Designjet L26500 has a lot of technology built into it that helps prevent the common issues of banding that we see in other printers. The quality, the color gamut, the smoothness of gradations-it does all of those things very well. The whole issue of “When can I have it?” is always something that customers ask. They are always wanting it quicker and quicker. That is something we see in the marketplace all the time. For the latex ink, the fact that it’s dry and cured when its finished printing can be a huge advantage so you can take the print off the machine and immediately run it through the laminator and potentially save a day or two of time.
Catherine: We are getting increased pressure from our customers to be a little more environmentally friendly and the HP latex inks help us do that. They are water based and they help us get into places that in the past we might not have been able to get into-places where food was served or maybe a hospital.
Michael: The Designjet L26500 is a great alternative to solvent. It gives us the durability we want. It still gives us the quality we want. It is a low entry point for cost. It is a great product and it works really well.
Catherine: The key for our franchise partners is to be very proactive to look for the best solutions for their customers and bringing really great value to their customers and that’s how we will succeed in the marketplace.
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