Skip to main content

IMG_2047With the arrival of the digit­al revolu­tion, we saw things go through a fairly quick cycle where people went from hav­ing everything on a screen to actu­ally want­ing to have phys­ic­al objects again,” explains Grant Muir of digit­al print spe­cial­ists INK. “There is a rela­tion­ship people have with prin­ted media. Once they real­ised the import­ance of this, they came back to print and star­ted to explore how to use it more. Young­er people use it in a very dif­fer­ent way.”

We’re hanging out at INK’s box-fresh new shop on Mari­on Street in the Cuba quarter. Grant and his son and busi­ness part­ner Joseph have been show­ing me around their spa­cious work­rooms and giv­ing me a run-down on the envir­on­ment­ally friendly and sus­tain­able equip­ment and pro­cesses they make use of, which along­side mod­ern access­ib­il­ity-focused inter­faces and a demys­ti­fic­a­tion of prac­tice are part of INK’s strategy to con­trib­ute to a future-proofed print industry. “They use print to do one-off things rather than a whole run,” Grant con­tin­ues. “Now people can inter­face with the digit­al age and still have a phys­ic­al product to hold or put on the wall.”

Think about it. Back in the 1990s or even early 2000s you’d shoot a roll of film on your cam­era and get the whole thing pro­cessed. Now you can keep a whole archive of pho­tos stored in an online cloud-based back-up and pull the very best down to print out, mount or even frame. It’s access­ible in cost and it can be done quickly. Under the lead­er­ship of Grant’s son Joseph, INK intend to take this ease even fur­ther through online design func­tion­al­ity. “You’ll be able to go to our web­site, do everything and send it off,” Grant enthuses. “Then you can order the product, pay for it, pick it up, or have it delivered. We’re going to take the mys­tery out of design and make it access­ible to the man on the street. If you can use the Inter­net, you’ll be able to do it your­self.” Posters, busi­ness cards, book­lets, bump­er stick­ers, you name it. “It’s a total unlock­ing of cre­ativ­ity,” he continues.

First estab­lished as Big Image Print on Vivi­an Street in 2001, the com­pany evolved into BIP Digit­al before set­tling on their cur­rent name and loc­a­tion. “I think our cheesy tagline sums up what we do,” laughs Joseph. “Big or small we print it all. There is lit­er­ally noth­ing we don’t do.” Hav­ing recently acquired long-stand­ing loc­al photo lab Image Lab, they can now also offer pho­to­graph­ic pro­cesses to a museum-grade stand­ard, a com­pel­ling con­nec­tion to our ana­logue past.

Heav­ily involved with ser­vi­cing and provid­ing spon­sor­ship towards the loc­al arts com­munity, as well as Wellington’s bur­geon­ing cof­fee and craft beer scenes, museums and uni­ver­sit­ies, INK stay loc­ated in the Cuba quarter to be in the thick of things. “The arts is what makes Wel­ling­ton really,” Grant reflects. “You walk down Cuba Street or this quarter, and it’s kind of like a mini New York in the late 1980s. The inter­ac­tion of the arts with music, dance and theatre, the graf­fiti and the posters. It just has that vibe.”

We’re very focused on the com­munity we live with­in,” Joseph adds. “We’re inter­ested in how we sup­port that and how we inter­act with oth­er busi­nesses and the pub­lic. Aside from that, it’s about cli­ents com­ing to us and walk­ing away with some­thing bet­ter than what they wanted. That’s what we’re about.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.