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Jeffrey Smith

Product Manager, Consumables, Professional Imaging Division

Jeff has more than 20 years of experience in developing, marketing, and selling consumables solutions to support the Professional Imaging industry. As our Product Champion for all Professional Imaging consumables, Jeff continues to establish Epson as a leading manufacturer of Professional Imaging media.

An Interview With Marco Fine Arts

March 10, 2010

This is a excerpt from and interview with Albert Marco, President of Marco Fine Arts, by Jeff Smith, Epson Product Manager that took place in January 2010 on Marco Fine Art and their use of Epson Technology during printing.


Albert Marco        Jeff Smith

                Albert Marco                                        Jeffrey Smith



Jeff Smith:  You have had a diverse work background from the nationals in Karate to real estate developer to world renowned atelier, how did you first get involved in Fine Art Reproduction?
Al Marco:     I first started in fine art publishing.  As I grew my art publishing business, limited editions became an important part of the business.  I started to commission various studios to print the editions and had a lot of problems with the printers at the time.  I decided to do it myself and bought a serigraph machine and started doing the color separations myself.  Overtime we became very good serigraphers and started to be approached by various people to do editions for them.  Slowly over the years that became a bigger and bigger part of the business and evolved into other technologies with different applications. 

Jeff:    How long have you been involved in Fine Art Reproduction?
Al:       25 years.

Jeff:    How many technologies have you used and what are you still using today?
Al:       Four different technologies.  Serigraphy, lithography, aqueous inkjet and solvent inkjet.  We still use all four although most is now aqueous inkjet with solvent quickly gaining on it. 

Jeff:    What has been the single most important technological advance in your fine art work process?
Al:       Inkjet printing as a whole.  I think solvent is the latest leap forward in that process. It has huge potential for the future of fine art reproduction.

Jeff:    Having been in the industry for 25 years and doing work for many of the top artists, how do you recruit all these Top Name artists?
Al:       Always being sensitive to the artists needs and having the latest in technology.  This provides the opportunity for the artists to present their ideas in new and creative ways. 

Jeff:    How has Epson helped your output / workflow?
Al:       Epson has taken the inkjet revolution and perfected it. When you compare the Epson machines to the IRIS printers the color gamut, longevity, speed and reliability are incredible leaps forward.  Our number one concern is quality.  Epson has allowed us to achieve excellent quality with speeds that would have been impossible in the past. 

Jeff:    What trends do you anticipate over the next 2-5 years?
Al:       An increased acceptance of solvents due to speed and ink prices.  The inks are actually better. 

Jeff:    What factors influence your selection of media?
Al:       Color gamut, texture and longevity.  We, of course, need a very high color gamut with good densities.  Textures vary depending on the image. I prefer smoother for photorealistic and more texture for fine art.  Our work almost always needs to be museum quality so we need longevity. There are outrageous claims about artists requiring 200 years longevity but most of my clients are delighted with 50 years. What really happens is that a piece of art is displayed for a few years and then it goes into dark storage. Even I get bored looking at the same image!!

Jeff:    What is the most requested canvas and why?
Al:       Most popular is matte aqueous smooth.  I believe that the over the next few years the solvent glossy or semi-gloss will grow quickly as they don?t need a top coat varnish applied which simplifies a printer?s workflow. 

Jeff:    What is the most requested fine art papers and why?
Al:       Thicker smooth 100% cotton mould made.  I personally prefer a very thick paper like a 500gsm but most popular is in the 300gsm range. 

Jeff:    Is there a media product you would like to see developed?
Al:       I think the specialty substrates have a lot of potential. Metallic?s, woods like bamboos and so forth have big potentials.  

Jeff:    What would you like to see Epson do to improve your business?
Al:       Continued innovation and top performing hardware married to a wide selection of papers and media offerings.

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