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Decorative Dye Sub Experts: Colorchrome

This Atlanta company creates dye sublimated metal prints, tabletops, and more.

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COLORCHROME is an Atlanta-based art, graphics, and signage company that began as a commercial photo lab 34 years ago. They now offer a wide range of large-format digital printing and photo processing services, including dye sublimation.

As a B2B company, Colorchrome primarily produces dye sub metal photo prints and reproductions for art consultants and interior design firms. While most dye sublimated panels are used as wall décor, Colorchome has produced multipanel murals, prints for elevator walls, and tabletops.

“We’ve been doing dye sublimation printing for almost 20 years, but for the first 15 of those, it was all on fabric for markets like P-O-P and tradeshows,” explains President John Rhodes. “We added rigid dye sublimation as part of our push into the decorative art market, and we’ve been doing a lot of great projects with it. We’re doing a really cool one right now for a new outdoor arena in the Northeast that involves 72 pieces” – each 38 x 84 inches, he adds. Textiles remain an important part of the business, says Rhodes, and the company can print on everything from ultra-sheer polyester up to upholstery-weight fabrics. They started dye sub printing on rigid substrates about 10 years ago but only did sizes up to 20 x 24 inches because of the size of their heat press.

When ChromaLuxe metal photo prints started getting popular, ColorChrome invested in a George Knight dual shuttle heat press that can handle 4 x 8-foot ChromaLuxe photo panels. Their dye sublimation department now includes two Mimaki wide-format dye sublimation printers (a JV5-320DS and a JV300-160) and an Epson SureColor F7200.

According to Rhodes, color matching photo panels can be tricky because the dye sublimation process introduces the added variables of heat and pressure: “Once you get the process dialed in, it’s fairly repeatable.” Because of their roots as a photo lab, making large photo murals isn’t anything new. They make their own color profiles and have a lot of color management expertise in house.

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Eileen Fritsch is a Cincinnati-area-based freelance writer who served as assistant editor of Screen Printing magazine in 1994 before being named a founding editor of Big Picture magazine.

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