16 August 2011
Essential Image expanding to larger location
WATERLOO—A printing business that started as a fine arts photography printer a decade ago is expanding its wide format division due to increased demand.

Essential Image
currently operates out of two locations: The Laurelwood Shopping Centre in Waterloo, and a facility at 330 Gage Ave. in Kitchener. Josip Tuka, production manager, said the hope is that both sides of the business will be housed as one 5,500 sq. ft. operation in the Gage Avenue location by Nov. 1.

Josip Tuka of Essential Image with 2.5 m eco-solvent printer

While Essential Image already has a 3.2 m grand-format solvent printer from Infinity (as well as a 2.5 m eco-solvent printer, an HP 5500, Epson 9600, Roland XC-540 and more), the business is currently in the market for another 3.2 m printer with plans to acquire it by the new year, said Tuka. "We really see the commercial side of the business growing right now," he said, noting the business has clients "from all over, but we do a lot of local clientele."

However, the consumer aspect of the business isn't faring so well, added Tuka. "The fine arts side is really tough now with more online competition," he said.

The printing company currently has six employees, but there will likely be room for one or two more within a year, added Tuka.

Essential image offers digital prints, posters, large-format solvent prints, custom finishing (plaque mounting, framing), photo restoration and more.
— Jeff Hayward
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