Written by Ira Bowman

Have you ever wondered what the word ‘reprographics’ means? If you’re like most in the AEC (Architectural, Engineering, and Construction) industry, you should not only know what this word means but you should know that you’ve depended on reprographics companies (such as Thomas Printworks) as a vital part of your business for generations.

For the record, ‘reprographics’ is a derivative of two words (reproduction and graphics) smashed together. Reprographics is literally the mechanical reproduction of an image. Reprographics is not only thriving, it is evolving. More technologies with a variety of inks and toners, combined with new substrates, are allowing reprographic firms to expand their offerings at an almost neck-breaking pace.

Traditional reprographics started with blueprint equipment and eventually moved into blue-line copiers. Now, it has progressed to high speed digital equipment that can print and copy with brilliant quality faster than ever before. Contrary to popular belief, the reprographics business in the United States is not a dying industry. In fact, it is thriving.

The winds of change blow in every walk of technology, and printing is no different. Many young professionals entering the AEC world have never held a handheld vellum or mylar print, and probably never will. They’ve never had the pleasure of walking into an ammonia-filled room to make a few copies. Rooms filled with flat files are no longer the norm in today’s world. Now, digital vaults filled with a never-ending series of 1s and 0s, printed on demand or viewed on one of many different computing devices, are the usual sight.

For that reason, some thought that reprographics companies would suffer as print volumes and demands for full size sets in large quantities have evaporated (to a certain extent). What those people forgot is that reprographics companies are more than just full-size plan copy companies. They are full of creative and solution-minded professionals seeking ways to help their clients succeed in their businesses each and every day, a quality that will never suffer as long as great customer service is desired.

Yes, the reprographics industry has changed quite a bit since the first blue print machines were invented in Pittsburgh. The change in reprographics, like the change with technology at large, has been a good thing for the industry, allowing for faster and better operations, and ultimately happier clients.

The change in the industry is easy to see for those who’ve been around a while. When you walk in a reprographics firm today, you’ll notice many vibrant colors and all kinds of different materials other than 20 pound bond paper. You can get your new trade show graphics, your vehicle wrapped, marketing collateral for your business, external and internal signage, interior decor such as custom wall paper, framed and mounted artwork on all kinds of materials, and traditional copy shop services like booklets, brochures, binders, plan sets or supplies for your printing and copying equipment (just to name a few).

Larger shops, like Thomas Printworks, also offer clients full service equipment sales and service and supply management at the client’s locations. Thomas Printworks also offers digital vaults for interactive information sharing with clients.

It’s safe to say that almost any and all things you need printed, you can receive by utilizing your favorite reprographics companies. Whether you are looking for more of a traditional reprographics job or you are looking to modernize your store, restaurant, or office building with colorful wall graphics, the reprographics industry has got your covered.

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