Artists and architects have been among Cutting Technologies’ customers since the company’s early days.
They account for about a quarter of its business and the company sees major growth potential in that sector.
It was with that in mind that the company teamed up with award-winning design and digital marketing agency DMSQD to encourage artists to design new works for an exhibition with one stipulation – they had to be made using lasers.
The event proved so successful that another is planned for next year, which could be themed around the Tour de France cycle race, which is due to start for the first time in Yorkshire.
Cutting Technologies sees a number of benefits working with artists.
Artists challenge the firm to push the boundaries of what lasers can do, simply because they don’t carry the technical baggage of some engineering clients to tell them what lasers cannot do.
They also challenge the firm to get the aesthetics right.
“Everyone wants good quality, but, with engineering, it is more important that the measurements are right,” says Jane Robinson. “The artistic client wants something to look beautiful.
The technical expertise Cutting Technologies builds up rising to artistic challenges benefits engineering clients and means the firm invests in new equipment, which may have applications for its engineering and architectural clients.
While artistic projects are almost always ‘one-offs,’ the volume of material the firm buys for engineering projects means there are economies of scale and artistic clients are always coming back for more – not least because Cutting Technologies takes the time and trouble to understand what they want.
“Artists tell us that no-one wants to talk to them and they can’t get any sense out of engineering companies, but they feel they can talk to us,” says Jane Robinson.
And, of course, Cutting Technologies also benefits from the publicity associated with prestige projects like the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games and prominent works for internationally renowned artists.
“Something is going on all the time and our fame is spreading far and wide,” says Jane Robinson.
“We go to London virtually daily with one or two vans full of parts, mostly for artistic clients, and we must be passing 50 laser cutting companies to get there. Even though people have the same or similar equipment, they are not using it in the same way.