Blow Up Lab is a full-service digital printing and graphics business located in San Francisco and serving customers worldwide.
Owned and operated by Frank McGrath since 1977, the Lab was the first in the city to convert from traditional chemical photo processing to 100% digital in January 2000.
Always experimenting and following technological advancements, Blow Up Lab prides itself on its ability to offer clients custom, state-of-the-art digital production with old-fashioned, personalized service.
Toxic fumes from processing chemicals were also commonplace and a hazard to employees and clients alike. This significant change represented a positive, paradigm shift in the industry, one in which we were proud to participate.
This green system occurred by eliminating all old equipment and installing a variety of state-of-the-art computers, software, scanners and printers. It also cut water usage by 95% and electrical energy consumption by 80%.
Our all-digital production system also takes up
The Blow Up Lab conversion from traditional, chemical processors to a 100% green, digital system over 10 years ago was an extreme transformation, as all photo labs were being monitored by the EPA for silver in waste-water.
much less physical space so we moved from a 6,000 to a 2,000 square foot facility, after full conversion. We also have much higher productivity due to computers’ and printers’ enhanced capacities.
Fortunately, the digital printing industry also started manufacturing green supplies such as non-toxic, aqueous, vegetable-base, archival inks; 100% cotton (rag), acid-free, papers and canvases; as well as acid-free mounting substrates. All of which we stock and use daily. The prints we make with these materials, on this equipment are therefore 100% non-toxic and recyclable, too.
Our packaging materials are also recyclable since we mostly pack our products with craft paper, cardboard and wood crates. We also recycle mounting board scraps by donating to local art programs.
We practice all eco-friendly options currently available in all aspects of our business, but are always pursuing new ways to go green(er).