Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Large Format Printing: “People Cut-outs”

Have you ever seen a street vendor offering to take photos of passersby with a large format print of the president? Or maybe a celebrity or movie star?

Why do they look so real when you see the printed photos? It’s like the president is just standing there with you.

How These Large Format Prints Are Made

I thought about this as my fiancee and I were installing standees at movie theaters. There was a special kind of standee called a “photo booth,” made to entice the viewer to step into the scene and have his or her photo taken. In the particular standee I’m thinking of, you could sit on a velvet covered throne with Johnny Depp as the Dark Shadows vampire standing right behind you.

Upon close observation I could see that an image of the character had been printed via offset lithography. (I could see the rosette patterns indicative of four process color screens turned at slight angles to one another.) The flat, untrimmed press sheet had been laminated to a thicker sheet of chipboard (the kind of cardboard you find on the back of notepads, memo pads, and personalized pads). I suppose that corrugated board could have been used as a backing instead of chipboard. Anything rigid would have worked just fine.

Once the printed press sheet had been glued to the backing board stock for durability (and to make the image stand up straight), cutting tools had been used to cut along the perimeter of the image and remove everything outside its silhouette. In the case of the Dark Shadows standee photo booth, everything that was not Johnny Depp had been cut away.

My assumption is that either a knife-based mechanical tool controlled by digital data so as to precisely cut the outline of the figure, or a laser-based mechanical tool similarly controlled by digital data, had made the cuts on some sort of routing equipment.

I assumed that the Dark Shadows cut-out of Johnny Depp had been printed via offset lithography because of the rosette patterns in the image and also the printer’s marks (screen builds, targets, crop marks, register marks, etc.) on the edges of the mounted press sheet. This made sense to me, since a huge number of copies of the standee had to be prepared for theaters across the country.

However, for much shorter commercial printing runs I would assume that flat-bed UV inkjet presses (such as the Inca) can be used for custom printing just a few people cut-outs. In addition, if certain roll-fed inkjet printers include inline, knife-based cutting equipment run by digital information, perhaps the UV flatbed presses can be fitted to do the same.

So in either case, it looks like the approach would be as follows:

  1. Print the image.
  2. Laminate the large format print to chipboard or corrugated board.
  3. Use a router to cut out the image.
  4. Then add an easel to make the large format print a free-standing “people cut-out.”

Why People Cut-outs Are Effective

I have a theory about this. When I was learning to paint in oils and acrylics, my fine arts teachers told me to never paint from photos because they were “flat.” The photographic images lacked a sense of depth. My painting teachers said that if I painted from photos, my paintings would reflect that “flatness” and would not give a sense of depth and dimension.

So my theory is that since a photograph collapses the normal sense of depth and dimension that you see in real life using your two eyes, if you take a photo of your spouse with a cut-out standee of Johnny Depp as a vampire, the photo you take will eliminate the spatial sense of depth, and your spouse and Johnny Depp will both appear on the same flat “plane.” In this way it will look like your wife or husband is next to a vampire.

This is just my theory, based on what I know about the human eye, optical perception, commercial printing, and photography, but I think it may be a valid theory nevertheless.

Comments are closed.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved