A New Zealand-owned company is revolutionising the printing world with their UV inkjet digital technology which allows for textured printing with a 3D effect. Think bricks that look and feel like actual bricks! We catch up with Janah King from The Print Tank to ask her how it all works
Janah, where did the idea for The Print Tank come about?
My business partner Rowan O’Brien and I discovered UV inkjet digital technology, which produces cutting-edge printing, at a trade show in Australia in January 2015. We were completely blown away by the limitless capabilities and wanted to be the first to offer this to the New Zealand market. We decided to take a shot, invest in the printer and bring it to New Zealand.
We can print bricks that look and feel like bricksor print an elephant that feels rough and leathery
When did you start your business?
After six months of drawing up a business plan, working out financials and testing the machine, we were ready to hit the ground running in July 2015.
What makes you unique?
We’re the only company in New Zealand that can print on such a wide range of materials and we’re the first to introduce printed textures. Textured printing gives a ‘3D effect’ and brings the image to life, for example, we can print bricks that look and feel like bricks; or print an elephant that feels rough and leathery.
Where are you based?
We are based in Tauranga. My husband and I came here with our two children three years ago and just simply love the lifestyle. There’s also a lot of growth happening here as well as business opportunities.
Where does all of your specialised printing knowledge come from? What is your background?
I have a background in architecture and design having completed a Bachelor in Architecture Technology at Waikato University. I’ve worked in a range of positions in this field – as a draftsperson, project manager, creative designer and now own my printing business. Over the years I’ve also built up a strong understanding of both the practical and creative side of design. Being able to combine both with The Print Tank is the best of both worlds!
Where do you source the designs and prints from?
We have an extremely creative in-house design team that specialises in custom designs for our clients, who come to us from around New Zealand.
How does the process work? Is it all by commission?
Yes, people approach The Print Tank and we get creating to provide our clients with a product that is individual to them.
Do the prints get done at your factory or do you need to visit the site?
Our state-of-the-art printer is based here at the office in Tauranga but we can work with customers from around New Zealand via phone and email and send samples out so people know what they’re getting.
How are the prints applied to the home’s surface?
It depends what we’re are printing on to and how it’s being applied – you might need adhesives such as glue, silicone or nails.
What are some of the most interesting or challenging printing jobs you have done?
We can print on anything. Some interesting examples include printing on stones, rocks and on the cut surface of a log of wood. The options are endless and that’s what is so exciting about our line of work.
What is the easiest surface to print on?
We can print with ease on many materials such as glass, MDF, plywood, acrylic, canvas, fabrics, autex, clip wall and metal..to name a few! The greatest results for our textured prints are on MDF and plywood.
There are no other companies than can print directly onto the amount of materials that we’re capable ofbut our greatest specialty is that we are the first to offer printed textures in New Zealand
Visit The Print Tank for more info.