Inside Columbia's State of the Art Digital Print Center

Digital Print CenterThe Digital Print Center. Photo: Phil Dembinski '08
The Digital Print Center (DPC), a new state-of-the-art, two-story print shop, opened on campus last spring at 623 S. Wabash.

The Digital Print Center (DPC), a new state-of-the-art, two-story print shop, opened on campus last spring at 623 S. Wabash.

Through an exciting partnership with Canon, the college upgraded nearly 140 image printers and printer logic software in campus units and invested in industry standard equipment at the DPC to offer services that can fulfill a variety of printing options such as laser printing and archival, wide-format, and UV printing. 

When visiting the DPC, students, faculty, and staff can expect to receive personalized experience from DPC staff as well as student employees that are trained in utilizing the equipment. 

printer light

Students that have used the DPC for print jobs related to their courses have found that the enhanced equipment allows them to explore their creative ideas in new ways. Lorelei Miyamura, a current Design student and DPC student employee, has used DPC printers for student projects spanning Augmented Reality, screen printing, and Guerilla Sustainability Campaigns: “From screen-printing to Augmented Reality, working at the DPC has made me fall in love with mixing the analog and digital experience of print design.” By utilizing the resources available at the DPC, students will be able to more easily share their work with one another and showcase it in a variety of formats, further enhancing the student experience.  

In Miyamura’s case, she’s gained valuable hands on experience from working at the DPC that has helped her better understand how to interact with customers, troubleshoot technical issues, and find ways to be more adaptable: “Working at the DPC has made me aware of all those extra fees that go into print file setup. By properly setting up files for print, I’ve saved our clients thousands of dollars in extra registration, bleeds, or layout fees from their external printers. Even now, I’m able to have exciting conversations with clients about the infinite possibilities of media they can print on.”  

Printer printing wall decals
Chris Kerr, director of instructional facilities, explained that the DPC’s pricing is more affordable than other print shops and offers the convenience of being at a central location on campus. Rather than outsourcing print requests, many academic offices have started to work more closely with the DPC on wide format printing for walls, decals, windows, and more. “We’re here to collaborate with academic departments to meet their artistic printing needs. There may be departments who are considering expanding their creativity through print or different campaigns in the future, and we want to partner with them.”  

In addition to being budget friendly and convenient, DPC staff are familiar with college academic programs, events, and branding, allowing for a more seamless interaction when working on complex jobs.  

Another feature unique to the DPC is that customers can submit their large print jobs efficiently through the PRISMAdirect Portal and set up a time to pick up their order. Smaller orders can be completed on the walk-up machine in person.  

Additional amenities and services include: 

  • Nine new state-of-the-art printers. 
  • Ability to print in a variety of formats such as contour-cut stickers, business cards, posters, perfect-bound books, saddle-stitched books, archival museum quality inkjet printing, UV printing, window clings, vinyl, floor vinyl, PhotoTex, fabric,and more!  
  • Online training via Microsoft Bookings to help students learn more and build skills in printing and design. 
  • Trained staff of student workers who can assist with design and printing. 
  • Ability to make appointments with staff to help with printing and design needs. 
  • High-volume copy requests and large, complex printing projects. 
When visiting the DPC, like other campus buildings, everyone must wear a face covering and practice social distancing. For the summer and fall semester, be sure to check their website for current hours and to submit your jobs through the Prisma Direct submission portal.