City of Joy surges with new-age signage solutions
Whenever the travelling bandwagon of Sign & Graphics drives down the roads of Kolkata, which is metaphorically known as ‘City of Joy’ after Dominique Lapierre’s novel of the same name, we never fail to meet a host of signage companies in the city, who update the latest market trends and developments. This time, the host consists of some companies from BB Ganguly Street, a street famous for nestling sign makers of all kinds in Kolkata. Jyaneswar Laishram writes about the works, backgrounds and future plans of these signage companies.
Rajendra Prasad More Huf
A continuing legacy
Rajendra Prasad More Huf is one of the popular signage and graphic arts firms in Kolkata with its legacy dated back to an era of hand-painted signage and display. In that era, this company as a painting corner offered a tradition of high-quality and fine line-finishing promotional posters, display graphics, etc. “This firm is a brainchild of my uncle Shri Late Rajendra Prasad More, who was a pioneer for all of us to enter into the graphic arts business,” says Hari Prasad Dandharia, General Manager, Rajendra Prasad More Huf.
He continues, “Uncle Rajendra Prasad was a man with a vision. He was an artist who painted posters and portraits, but his endeavour was to adapt the latest machines and technologies for innovations. We started from the point where he left an opportunity for us to grow with the adoption of new-age signage technologies and solutions.” Around 14 years back, the production facility of Rajendra Prasad More Huf was upgraded to another level with the first investment in the digital large-format printers, such as Caldron CJ, Colorjet NEPTUNE, among others.
When asked about the latest addition in the machine portfolio of Rajendra Prasad More Huf, Hari Prasad says they are now gearing up for investment in some new-age technologies. “We have recently adopted a Gongzheng GZH3206SG from the Mehta Cad Cam Systems. The machine is a workhorse, designed for all indoor and outdoor applications.” Rajendra Prasad More Huf boasts of a state-of-the-art production facility with a well-experienced team of 12 sign-making professionals. Kolkata Police (Traffic Department) is one of the oldest clients in the company’s clientele.
Smart Digital Print
A walk in the profitable zone
As an old sign making firm in Kolkata, Smart Digital Print is known to almost everyone, particularly in Howrah district. The company started as a painting shop for posters of all kinds—be it cinema poster, election campaign poster, shop-front poster, etc. In this respect, Sumanta Som, who is the main proprietor of the company, narrates that the manual painting jobs have little or no scope in today’s digital world. He further mentions that the company finally changed its name to Smart Digital Print for an ultimate venture into the world of smart digital print.
Sumanta remarks, “When we look at the industry dating back to two decades, there was a swift change taking place in terms of digital wide-format printing technologies and innovations which we implement in signage solutions.” He adds that the City of Joy is witnessing the latest new-age technologies for sign making and they are going along with the market trends. Around three years ago, Smart Digital Print unveiled its large-format digital printing facility with their investment in a Monotech PixelJet printer.
“We kick-started our digital journey with Monotech Systems. In fact, we didn’t do anything wrong by choosing the PixelJet printer. We are looking ahead for a change with the printer and Monotech Systems,” says Sumanta, adding that the production team of the company will also be upgraded soon in near future. Smart Digital Print, as on today operates by a team of six sign making professionals, is looking ahead to magnify the team as well as technologies for new-age innovations in signage.
Klassic Ad World
A value of quality print
Klassic Ad World on the BB Ganguly Street in Kolkata is one of the prominent PSPs in the City of Joy. The company has a long lineage of sign-making business. In this, Faizal Rahman says the company started in the year 2010 as a mere sign making shop. The first machine in the production facility of Klassic Ad World was a Mehta CNC router and a local cutting plotter. “As a rule, we never stop searching for new and advanced printing products and technologies in the market,” emphasises Faizal.
Latest addition to the machine portfolio of Klassic Ad World s a Mutoh Xpertjet 1682SR eco-solvent printer, supplied by Negi Sign Systems & Supplies Co. On the adoption of this high-end printer, Faizal mentions that they adopted the new advanced Mutoh printer with an aim to maintain a value of quality print. He adds that it has been the company’s value of print and service which have been widely acknowledged by its customers across West Bengal.
Some of the key customers of Klassic Ad World, which have been associated with the company for years, include Oppo, Vivo and many other telecom and retail companies in Kolkata. “Ever since the onset of our company we always dreamt of working with some of the leading telecommunication companies. Of course, we are today able to meet the needs of big smart-phone companies,” shares Faizal, adding that they are now planning to expand the customer base. Collectively a team of 30 sign making professionals takes care of the company’s overall tasks.
A new way of sign making
Yet another signage shop on the BB Ganguly Street, Kohinoor Plastic is a young player in the block. Despite being a young signage player, this signage company is full of enthusiasm and taking the business to another level with innovations and new ideas. “We always look forward to gaining a new way of sign making. In this, our attempt is to create something new and innovative,” says Salman Ali, Partner, Kohinoor Plastics. He adds that CNC routing technologies still have a long way to go for diverse applications in different market domains.
It has been almost a decade that Kohinoor Plastics has been in the signage and graphic arts market of West Bengal and its neighbouring cities. Salman mentions that they more or less now engage only in the CNC router cutting, making signage and display solutions using rigid materials. “Today, the world of router-cut jobs and outputs is expanding from one level to another. The sector has a lot of prospect and growth potential,” he adds.
Kohinoor Plastics has three branches, part from the one at Ganguli Street. On this, Salman says they are impressed with the CNC machine from Tech Machines. “All our production facilities are equipped with a line of Tech Machines CNC routers,” he adds. Each of the facilities of Kohinoor Plastics has staffs of well-trained machine operators cum sign makers. Salman mentions that the company’s workforce may be magnified.
A well-equipped facility
Being a unique sign maker located on Ganguly Street in Kolkata, Taj Advertising is one of the specialists in all sorts of cut-letters and router-trimmed signs and others made with perfection. Apart from the normal router-cut display solutions, the company is well known for its expertise in making of special mementoes, trophies and accolades. In addition, Taj Advertising is also an expert in unusual router-cut and laser-engraved items like wooden doors, wall décors, wooden almirahs, etc.
“Now the router-cutting and lager-engraving market is gradually expanding with our customers come to us with newer applications,” says Prop Raja of Taj Advertising. He further mentions that the signage and graphic arts industry is gaining new momentum in the unconventional domains like wall furniture designs and graphics. Moreover, Taj Advertising widely recognised and acknowledged for its overall expertise in unconventional applications.
Taj Advertising is one of the oldest and closest customers of Mehta Cad Cam Systems. The company boasts of its well-equipped facility where installed a line of Mehta laser engravers and Mehta CNC routers. With the line of high-end laser engraving and routing cutting machines, Taj Advertising has been working for a number of customers, which predominantly include a number of sports organisations, cultural groups, retail brands, etc. A team of six well-trained sign makers are the main force behind the company’s creative signage and graphic arts related applications. Geographically, Taj Advertising works for customers from different parts of Kolkata in particular and West Bengal in general.
National Router Cutting
A router cutting expert
Many sign makers in Kolkata are specialising in CNC router cutting. In the league, National Router Cutting is an old player with new concepts of router-cut signage applications. Established in the year 2001, National Router Cutting is a family-run company, which boasts of working for a number of corporate companies and walk-in customers from different parts of Kolkata. Some of the long-term customers in the company’s clientele include Rupa, Oppo, Vivo and others.
Mohamed Maaz from National Router Cutting recalls that his father with a little help from all family members started the business in 2001. “In the beginning, we exclusively engaged in moulding service. After constant updates in our machine portfolio, a big u-turn took place in the year 2010 when first installed a Mehta CNC Router,” mentions Maaz, adding that the versatile CNC machine from Mehta Cad Cam is the game changer in the company’s overall activities.
Nearly a team of 20 sign-making professionals is the main force behind the overall competency and prowess of National Router Cutting. In this respect, Maaz narrates that more than fifty percent of the company’s overall production team consists of his family members. “Three of us from our family (me, father and my brother) and our relatives are in the company’s production team. We are family and we work together for different projects,” informs Maaz. He conclusively says that they however tie up with some third parties for fabrication and installation jobs when they engage in big projects.
Mega Art Centre
A rising new player
Barely a couple of years back, Mega Art Centre sprouted as a leading signage company in Kolkata. The two-storey production facility of the company is now equipped with CNC routers and laser engraving machines from DHM and Bodor. Akil Akhtar, Manager, Mega Art Centre, says that Mega Art Centre is quite a young player in the industry. “We are now testing the waters of the region’s signage and graphic arts market. In accordance to the vibrancy in the market we will be expanding our facility and man power.”
Akil further mentions that the current production facility of the company is a bit congested. So, they are planning for further expansion for a spacious customers’ lobby and easy movement for transport vehicles in the premises. “We are now figuring out the possibility of expanding our workshop and assembling areas,” he mentions, adding that the CNC-routing and laser engraving activities are gaining momentum in the signage and graphic arts market of Kolkata. Mega Art Centre exclusively indulges into routing and laser engraving activities.
When asked about the company’s major clients, Akil replies that they closely work for ad agencies. “The ad agencies and design firms in our list are all reputed firms that work for big real estate companies in Kolkata. We have been working for all these design and real estate firms ,” he adds. Behind the success story of Mega Art Cente is its strong team of five experienced sign-making professionals.
A master of CAD & photo printing
Originally, SK Associates was a popular commercial printing house in Kolkata in the late 1990s. Following the split of partners, the company converted its name to Prolific Print in the year 2020 and expanded its overall activities and machine portfolio. Santanu Parichha, Proprietor of Prolific Print, narrates that the company initially indulged in printing and selling of stationery items. “From time to time we keep expanding our activities from commercial printing to special graphic prints. We are also known for printing CAD drawings and graphics,” mentions Santanu.
Being a commercial printer cum a digital large-format printing major, Prolific Print still has different divisions in their facility where installed a string of digital presses and a line of digital large-format machines. The large-format printing division is equipped with a Canon PR 5415 printer. A line of digital presses in the adjacent division consists of Canon imageRUNNER 3245, Xerox Versant 180, HP LaserJet 4000 and others. “The latest addition to our machine line-up is the Canon PR 5415, a workhorse, capable to produce finest textures in photo printing,” says Santanu, adding that the machine is perfect for photo printing.
Main activities at Prolific Print consist of photo printing and CAD drawing printing. “Over the last few years we have grown more like a centre for CAD drawing and Map printing. Nearly 60 percent of our overall works now devote to the CAD and Map printing,” mentions Santanu, adding that photo printing come next. In this respect, he emphasises the photo printing market of Kolkata, which he foresees for a major leapt in near future and they move widely to tap the vibrant segment for a new business opportunity.
A new road to quality
Big Eye one of the well-established signage firms in Kolkata. The company is known for delivering finest quality prints in the City of Joy. There is the reason why Big Eye always goes big when it comes to investing in new technologies and machines. In this regard, Saumanta Hazra, Director, Big Eye, mentions that they were in pursuit of a highly versatile machine, preferably a Gongzheng machine. “In our search, we finally embarked upon Lisco Systems, one of the authentic and authorised distributors of Gongzheng machines in India. Then, we chose the versatile Gongzheng GZ AC1802 UVZ UV roll-to-roll inkjet printer,” says Santanu.
Santanu continues, “The newly adopted Gongzheng roll-to-roll inkjet printer is a game changer for us. We already had a Gongzheng eco-solvent printer from Mehta Cad Cam. As an additional prowess, we look forward to using the Gongzheng GZ AC1802 UVZ UV with a gamut of new UV applications.” In fact, the newly adopted UV printer in the production facility of Big Eye is changing the ways the company prints signage graphics. The machine is known for churning crispy and sharp images that cannot be churned on any other conventional machine.
Big Eye is a big signage corner in Kolkata which customers from all walks of life and different industrial clusters believe them for quality in prints and consistency in service. Talking about the way they maintain quality in prints, Samanta says it is all about the machines and technologies they sue. “Our production facility keeps updating from time to time with new machines. In our latest move, the newly adopted Gongzheng GZ AC1802 UVZ from Lisco Systems paves a new road to quality for us,” mentions Sumanta. He emphasises that Lisco Systems needs a pat for the amazing UV printer.