I spent 6 years working in Art Finishing and Prepress for Mr. Pinball Australia.  My job was essentially to make spare artwork for pinball machines with the worldwide licence for Bally/Williams spare parts.  This work required me to gain an in-depth knowledge of several printing processes including Offset Press, Screen Print, Digital Solvent and UV.  I operated two wide-format digital presses, a thermal transfer press and a laminator in-house.

The original printing and prepress techniques used on the Bally/Williams machines were creative and innovative.  Recreating this artwork lead me to learn a lot about unusual substrates, complex spot-colour jobs, creative overprinting, trapping, complex knock-outs and other specialised print techniques.

12-Color Screen Print

Weighing in at 12 spot colors with special overprints and trapping, this playfield was a good challenge and required quite a bit of investigative work to make sure we were nailing the original color mixes.  Like many other projects we undertook, this piece was re-drawn from scratch using scans reconciled with the original technical drawings.  This was a highly detailed process which two of us worked on for weeks.

The art had to be exact, but also the ink choices, halftone angles, percentages and dot shape – all exact to the original. Substrates and laminates all had to be as close as possible to the original in appearance, weight and durability.   These fine details were checked using a custom workflow I developed which composites ripped separations and outputs an accurate full-sized preview – with overprint simulations – on a wide-format digital printer.

Through research and development I also created workflows that enabled us to make faithful recreations of many products in-house using just a digital printer and a laminator.  By creative use of substrates and by pushing the limits of UV and solvent ink, we were able to make accurate copies of artworks that were originally printed on a screen or offset press.

This short-run capability was necessary as the world-wide demand for pinball parts does not always mandate the large-runs necessary in screen or offset processes.  A licence to the printing processes and artwork was sold to a company in the USA for US $1mil.

I am very interested in tackling creative printing projects for the world wide market.  Get in touch to discuss your unique project.