Here’s a secret: It’s entirely possible for you to walk all over your ex’s face today. I hope you’d never do that. But the technology exists to make it doable without your ex even knowing. That’s because you can now have digital images printed on darn near anything, including flip-flops. So, technically, you can walk on anyone (or anything) you’d like.
Don’t worry. I’m not recommending this off-the-wall therapy. It’s just an example of how versatile print technology has gotten. You can output digital images on so many different things now—blankets, mugs, jewelry, wooden boxes, cutting boards. It’s pretty cool stuff. You should come check out the machine we use to do it. She’s a real workhorse.
As with any new technology, it can take a while for consumers’ imaginations to ignite. Most don’t set off thinking I’m going to photograph something to print on a blanket for my mom. Instead they look through photographs on their hard drive and think, hey, this would make for a kind of neat photo blanket for my mom. Or they decide a photo blanket would be a nice gift, and they go through those existing photographs to find one that would work. The point is, they don’t begin with the end in mind. Imagine what great things could happen if they did.
Metal prints are a good example here. They make for vibrant, rich colors, create a sense of depth, and are especially good for images that actually do have reflectivity or metal in the subject matter (e.g., a river, a motorcycle, or a couple’s wedding bands). I’m sure you can find a number of images you’ve taken that would look stunning on metal. But what if you thought first about what would look awesome on a metal print, and then took the shot? I think you’re apt to end up with something even better.
Putting some forethought into the medium can also just be fun. Recently we had a customer bring in a photograph she took of a pair of high-end high-heels she saw in a store window while on a trip to NYC. She wanted the image printed on six pairs of flip-flops, for her bridesmaids. “I thought it would be funny if I could tell them we’re all wearing Jimmy Choos in the wedding!”
So, the technology’s quite new, but imagination is as old as the hills. Begin with the end in mind and see what great things you could create. We’ve got the “magic machine” in our shop to bring your awesome idea to life on the media that does it the most justice!