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A Commendable IDEA

Two projects from Optima Imaging highlighted in Inca's IDEA competition.




Optima Imaging ( in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, received Highly Commended honors in the recent Inca Digital Excellence Awards (IDEA), the first-ever print competition sponsored by Inca Digital Printers earlier this year. Optima was commended for its work in both the Décor and the Product Decoration & Specialty Products categories.

In the Décor category, Optima’s work for the Downtown Rideau arts and theater district of Ottawa was showcased. The project: the decoration of a steel fence in a pedestrian passageway. Optima’s designer worked with a photographer to develop the colorful, flowing water shapes that create a vivid contrast between the passageway’s concrete and steel. “The flowing shapes and underwater swimmers were a great combination,” says Paul Thivierge, Optima’s production director.

The graphics were directly printed onto the pre-cut, powder-coated aluminum forms, using the shop’s Inca Turbo with Sericol UV inks. “The big trick was to register all the images to their respected shapes.”

The project highlighted in the Product Decoration category began as an R&D request from client Meubles Branchaud (as well as other furniture stores) — to find a way to imitate wood inlay finishes, says Thivierge. “This way we could produce bed headboards and doors with custom designs at an affordable price.”

The process began with Optima collecting as many different types of wood veneers as possible, then photographing each to create a catalog. Each sample was color matched to its original and stain effects were added; Optima designers then created each pattern. The final product was directly printed onto exterior-grade Sierra Pine Medite, using the Inca Turbo with Sericol UV inks. Finishing included the application of high-quality varnishes in Optima’s carpentry department.

Designed to help celebrate Inca’s 10th anniversary, the IDEA competition included five categories: P-O-S/P-O-P Graphics; Display Graphics; Décor; Product Decoration and Specialty Products; and Off the Wall. Output had to be done on Inca equipment, and a panel of independent judges evaluated all submitted work in terms of “high-quality graphics that exceed expectations for creativity and delivery.” Winning IDEA entries received a VIP trip to FESPA in Munich earlier this year.


A full list of the IDEA winners as well as a PDF file of the winners competition booklet can be found at Inca reports that its IDEA competition will be conducted again in the future, exact dates to be determined.





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