Color by Pergament: Going Super-Wide In the Big
by Bill Schiffner
Located in the heart of Manhattan is a company that could be one of the city's best kept secrets in visual communications-Color by Pergament. Chances are, if you've walked the streets of the city, you've seen their work prominently displayed on buildings and in windows of many of the New York's upscale retailers. While it may be a secret to some, Color by Pergament is a Manhattan-based provider of highly specialized digital and production services with a particular expertise in point-of-purchase display applications. The firm provides image management, photo retouching, large-format photographic and direct-to-press digital printing and pre-press services. The photographic retouching service offered by Color by Pergament has the reputation of being among the best in the world. The company serves a plethora of advertising agencies and Fortune 500 firms in markets all around the world.
In business more than 40 years, Color by Pergament today is one of the Big Apple's leading pre-press, graphic arts and visual display service providers. "We know both traditional and digital imaging technologies inside-out. We are color experts. Whatever the project, whichever the technology and whoever the client, it always comes back to color. The art of color, and the passion of getting it right," said Jeffrey Reardon, vice president of marketing and sales.
Color by Pergament was founded in 1960 by Henry Pergament to serve the advertising industry's commercial c-print and dye transfer needs. The company's current president Jeff Sinaw worked as a sales person for the company in the 70s and then purchased the company in the mid-80s. Once Sinaw took the reigns the company, he implemented many new ideas and technologies that started them on their digital path.
As digital technology has transformed the industry, Color by Pergament has evolved from photo lab to full-service provider of visual communications services for ad agencies and corporate clients. "In the early 90s, Jeff invested in Pergament Graphic Systems that introduced pre-press services to our print advertising clients. As the digital wave continued to grow, we also purchased a Heidelberg QuickMaster press. We can print jobs ranging from 250 to 20,000 pieces," said Reardon.
Color by Pergament's retouching services are said to be legendary in many circles. "Our retouchers are technically skilled artists, driven in their craft, and long considered the go-to experts for fashion, cosmetics and jewelry assignments. For them, an assignment isn't the next job - it's the next aesthetic challenge. From the slightest modification in color, shadow or silhouette to the most radical makeover, they can create images with impact you may never have imagined," said Reardon.
Pergament Graphic Systems' retouching services include both electronic and conventional methods. The firm offers Barco Creator, Quantel Paintbox and Mac capabilities in-house. "We can hand retouch, airbrush and color correct transparencies and prints, both color and black and white, with flawless accuracy as well," added Reardon.
Most recently, Color by Pergament introduced Digital Asset Management capabilities with the PergaLink Archive Management System. "With this new service, from their desktops, users can retrieve, format and output images and text stored on our servers. They can build a working layout, and we take it from there." declared Reardon.
In addition, Color by Pergament is a member of the priNexus network of integrated companies. Established to provide single-source, end-to-end print, online and electronic marketing communications solutions, priNexus offers customers technology-driven products and services that optimize new and traditional media, target messages more effectively, ensure faster time to market, and streamline project management and asset use. "The priNexus integrated national network is an industry leading enterprise with best-in-class communication service companies. We are immensely proud of the exceptional quality of our companies' people and services that allow priNexus to achieve our mission of delighting customers. PriNexus offers our clients one source and one solution for communicating in the 21st century," said Reardon.
Going Grand and Super-Wide
The company currently has about 170 employees, with about 30 being sales reps. The firms runs three shifts, 6 days per week.
About 40% of the lab's business is in large- and grand-format output display. Pergament's Digital Photographic System offers production of large-format, direct-from-disk visual display materials. "When it comes to large-format and visual display capabilities, we're one of the industry giants. New printing technologies have revolutionized the P-O-P industry, and we helped lead the way. Today, you'll find our display work all over the world," reports Reardon.
When the Durst Lambda was introduced, they were one of the first labs in the country to have one installed and they helped grow the business. They now have 3 in house. The Durst Lambda 130 provides photographic output direct from file on 30-, 40-, or 50-inch-wide continuous roll stock up to 164 feet in length. "This is ideal for digital murals and medium to long runs where true photographic quality is required," he added. For bigger jobs, they have an UltraVu 2360 super-wide digital printer.
Color by Pergament offers digital and photographic single-source solutions for all kinds of oversize materials: point-of-purchase, posters and banners, trade show signage, exhibits, transit, venue and more; for both indoors and out.
"We can print on paper, vinyl, mesh, fabric and other substrates up to .5-inch thick (pre-mounted, for instance) and prepare materials for either frontlit or backlit installations. And we can tile any output to produce displays of nearly unlimited size. Our photographic reproduction processes include optically imaged c-prints, display film, resin-coated prints and more. And we can trim, tape, mount, rig, laminate, grommet, easel-back, wire and ship just about anything we print," adds Reardon.
The company purchased the VUTEk 2360 eighteen months ago. "We have had great success with it. We keep it busy all the time, running all three shifts. The 2360 offers enhanced speed and quality as well as the option to print on 40-50 substrates. This variety of substrates fits most of our customers needs. In addition, the printer's high-resolution print heads reproduce photo-realistic images and sharp, crisp text," reports Reardon. The company is looking to purchase three more units in 2003.