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Wide F♀rmat

(November 2011) posted on Tue Oct 25, 2011

Five women changing the face of large-format printing.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Paula L. Yoho

The original photo studio has grown over the years to now include two sister companies: Solar Imaging, a Columbus, Ohio-based wide-format custom digital printing facility, and PageOne Productions, a high-end retouching and digital pre-press studio – both under the umbrella of EclipseCorp. Today, Solar Imaging ( produces everything from wall murals, tradeshow graphics, banners and backlit signage to point-of-purchase, window graphics, directional signage, and vehicle wraps for a wide range of corporate and retail clients. One thing that sets the company apart, says Burt, is the range of production options it offers its clients – from aqueous and solvent to UV-curable.

Burt attributes her success in the industry less to being a woman and more to hard work and dedication.

“I don't think that being a woman is necessarily an asset or a hindrance in this industry, even though it is definitely a male-dominated industry,” she says. “Regardless of whether you’re male or female, you still need to know the same things to succeed.”

Staying on top of technologies and industry trends is part of the education process that Burt says has helped her build a reputation for herself and her company.

“This industry is constantly changing, with new materials and new products always becoming available. I think that the key to being successful is continually learning and finding a niche,” explains Burt. “Our niche is that we have three separate companies under one roof, making us a unique source of creative minds, experience, talent, and technical knowledge.”

Identifying what makes your company unique from its competitors is only half the battle. To get ahead in the business, Burt also suggests women arm themselves with information and know the industry, as well as their own company’s processes, backwards and forwards.

“Ask questions, start working hands-on, make sure you understand and know the complete process, from quoting a job to printing and finishing,” she says. “Learn what materials are used for what applications and know alternatives, know the business and educate yourself – don't stop learning.”

She also sees the value of building strong relationships, not only with your clients and suppliers, but with other women working in the industry, as well.