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News . Feature Stories . Q&A: Josh Werling

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November 28, 2016

Q&A: Josh Werling

Digital Output Center Coordinator

Q&A: Josh Werling

In the art community, when an idea strikes, artists and designers tend to breeze right past “that sounds hard” and land directly on “How could I do that?”

Josh Werling is no exception. As coordinator for the Cleveland Institute of Art’s in-house digital printing facility, he’s used to curveballs.

“I come across so many challenges everyday that I really don’t consider them challenges anymore. In a way it has become the fun part: problem solving,” Werling says. “What I have discovered is that there is always a reason why something doesn’t work the way you want it to, or doesn’t turn out the way you expected it. Figuring these things out and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with that has become one of the more rewarding aspects of my job.”

Among the challenges: How to make prints for a photographer whose show was on a deeply personal level? Werling worked with him to print the images on a soft cotton fabric that could be purposely torn to convey vulnerability. “It turned out to be strewn with challenges and difficulties that I hadn’t even begun to imagine, but we got it to work and it was well worth it,” Werling says. “The show ended up being really beautiful, extremely powerful.”

Werling also makes photographic landscapes and portraits. “What I am really interested in and drawn to is honesty,” he says. “Not so much in reproducing things exactly as they were or are in a documentary sense, but more in capturing the spirit of a person or a place or an event, or at least my interpretation of such.”

Fifteen years of experience in the digital imaging field, from Fineline Signs & Graphics in Denver, Colo. to American Greetings in Cleveland, has equipped Werling to handle the challenges of printing and reproducing fine art.

Werling recently answered a few questions about the Digital Output Center.

What is the Digital Output Center?
The Digital Output Center (DOC) is a reproduction and print service for high quality art, photographs and graphic displays.

Who can use the center?
Anybody. Our primary function is to serve students, but we are open to faculty, staff, alumni and the public.

We want to work with individuals who want fine art for their homes or artists looking to sell their work. Our inks and media are chosen for their archival qualities and permanence under display conditions, and so we intend our premium prints to be treated like the fine art that it is by artists or art enthusiasts.

What products and services does the DOC offer?
We are geared toward white-glove type prints — prints that are precious. The ink is designed for long-lasting, fine art prints that are valuable and can last long enough to be handed down from generation to generation.

We are one of the only places in town that specializes in wide-format printing and mounting with acid-free materials for archival purposes. We can also do second-surface mounting, where we mount prints behind Plexiglas or acyclic, so it looks as if it is printed inside the material itself. Other, more commercial shops can produce similar prints but our process provides a much better quality print that have a better print permanence rating. We can also create high quality, custom-built graphic displays for indoor use.

How would I use the DOC?
Customers can submit orders in person at the DOC or online. If it is a print job, then it can be done completely online, and all I need are the file and the order form. If it is a scan or reproduction, then the customer just needs to bring the work to be scanned to the DOC. In either case I encourage people to come in person at least the first time, so they can see it all firsthand and have a chance to actually see and feel the materials and printed pieces so they know what they want is actually what they will get.

To access the DOC, enter the public access door at the Cleveland Institute of Art on the west side of the building right across from Dynomite Burger. Customers can park either in the free, two-hour lot behind the Dunkin’ Donuts on the corner opposite the building, or in the metered lot to the east, across 117th Street.

Can I work on or finalize my file on site?
Yes. Yet another advantage of the DOC is that customers come in and preview their files in our color managed lab. Looking at an image on a screen and in print are inherently two different experiences, but our workstations allow the closest possible viewing experience to seeing it in print. We use monitors that are manufactured to accurately represent the color that we get off the printers. We also calibrate them so that what you are seeing on screen is more representative of what you would see in the actual print.

When can I pick up my completed print?
Normally, for outside customers it is anywhere from two to five business days, depending on our workload at the time. We always do the best we can to accommodate people’s timelines.

How can I pay for my print?
We prefer credit card payments, but we do accept cash and personal checks.

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