Wide-Format Leads The Way
Every business starts somewhere, right?
A month before the great stock market crash of 1929 — and depression that followed — the doors opened at Cushing. Despite the challenging economy, builders needed blueprints. From the ground up, F. John Cushing Sr. built the customer base. New prospects? He made the cold-calls. Securing business? He closed each deal. Architects, engineers, engineers or the nucleus of the “AEC” acronym, counted on Cushing for construction documents. The name spread throughout the city of Chicago.
Fast forward to 2018, traditional construction document printing that established Cushing in the city of Broad Shoulders, occurs at a fraction of its old pace. With the advent of the PDF, companies don’t print construction drawings as frequently. However, many are still Cushing clients — relationships have come full circle.
To say things have changed would be an understatement. Nowadays, customers and prospects initiate projects with a site survey to measure interior walls for graphics. Customers ask about printing to acrylic, cinder block or prepping office walls for a vinyl installation. Projects are no longer completed in a print shop — Cushing has a graphics lab, with half a dozen 5x10-foot layout tables.
Did Cushing’s founder know AEC customers would cement a footprint in the world of wide-format? Hard to say, but almost ninety years later, AEC firms are using wide format graphics. This includes office renovations, interiors and new builds. Cushing has made the pivot into a display graphics firm and fortunately, each day we receive calls for consultation, material recommendations, imaging and installation.
Graphics are more than a splash of color. Environmental branding improves employee retention and recruiting. And it’s not just office interiors. From retail to hospitality, companies want to brand everywhere. Wide-format companies are the key to project execution.
That brings us to Wide Format Impressions and this introductory column, from Cushing. We’re humbled, excited, and honored — all at the same time — to contribute. Each month, we’ll discuss topics we hope make an impact in your world. For example, the development of our in-house installation team (and lessons learned.) Or marketing topics such as writing an effective website case study.
Many graphic designers use wide-format for branding. We’ll do our best to interview a couple to find out what drives decision-making and how they choose printers for output and installation. No doubt we’ll pick the brains of our production team for their insights (and ask them to assist with an article or two.) It wouldn’t be complete without sharing a couple of customer success stories. And of course, we would love to hear from YOU. What content or subjects are you interested in?
As the market for wide-format graphics grow, branding possibilities are endless. There are so many voices making an impact in this industry and we are excited to be involved. No matter the article, we’ll do our best to keep it interesting.
See you next month!
Jon Davis is in the marketing department at Cushing, a commercial printer and environmental branding firm in Chicago. Recently he has contributed to articles to Self Employment in the Arts, the Business Marketing Association, and Work Design Magazine. From marketing strategy to office branding and customer case studies, he writes on a variety of topics.