Legendary Roland Quality is the Key to Success at Virtuoso Graphics
Virtuoso Graphics | Houston, Texas
When the competition got tough, Thomas Wink got… Roland! Thomas began Virtuoso Graphics in 2004 and soon determined he’d need to improve his production environment to keep his business going strong. Virtuoso Graphics is located in Houston, TX where the signmaking business is flourishing. “There are seven shops within three miles of us. What separates us from the competition is the quality we offer.”
Virtuoso chose to upgrade their production platform with the Roland VersaCAMM VP-300 30” printer/cutter. “We decided to go with Roland because I had seen the Roland ad and ordered the free printed sample. The sample’s resolution and the die cut were phenomenal,” said Thomas.
“We used to have to outsource our banners, but now we save ourselves time, money, and, most importantly, the extreme frustration of having an outsourced job come back late and with low quality work.”
Soon after, Thomas bought the VersaCAMM VP-540 54” printer/cutter to handle larger format jobs. “We used to have to outsource our banners, but now we save ourselves time, money, and, most importantly, the extreme frustration of having an outsourced job come back late and with low quality work,” said Thomas.
With two VersaCAMMs, Thomas has been able to take his business in innovative directions. Recently he’s begun moving into solvent printing of four-color signs and banners and producing labels for his customers, which include restaurants, real estate offices, and other local businesses. “Roland’s versatility has been critical to our business,” said Thomas.
Thomas describes a recent high-profile project for long-time customer Novalash: “My client came in saying she had a new shop space that she wanted to divide, but she didn’t want to use a wall. She asked me to come up with something creative, and she loved our solution.”
Virtuoso’s graphic designer, Jamie, suggested using a model’s face (known as the “Novalash girl”) on a translucent acrylic panel suspended from the ceiling. To accomplish the desired semiopaque effect, Thomas used Avery Sparkle Crystal frosted vinyl to print three panels with the model’s face, each 32” wide and 10’ long. Then he applied the vinyl onto 3/16” acrylic. On the reverse side, he applied unprinted frosted vinyl. This dual-sided application allowed the room to maintain a light, airy feel while still dividing the space into two distinct work areas. Thomas finished the job by installing the completed room divider using a Mustang suspended display cable system, with a track along the floor to keep it aligned. “My client was thrilled,” said Thomas. “They have ordered two other panels.”
Virtuoso’s in-house designer uses Illustrator and Photoshop to render designs, then uses Roland’s VersaWorks RIP software to output the print. Virtuoso relies exclusively on the accurate color matching from Roland Color and ECO-SOL MAX inks to make his projects pop. “Roland Color matches colors better than any system I’ve ever seen.”
Thomas reports his shop is also branching out into interior and exterior restaurant signage with great results. In a variation on the typical restaurant sign, Virtuoso designs a die cut metal shape for the background that they send out to be cut. Then Thomas lays four-color graphics on the metal die cut. They finish by mounting the sign one inch away from the wall. “The signs appear to float on the wall. My clients and their customers really like that look,” said Thomas.
In a saturated marketplace like the one in Houston, quality is a critical product differentiator. “There are so many other companies out there, but their quality is not as crisp,” said Thomas. “Our VersaCAMMs give us the versatility and high quality output we need to keep our edge in the market.”