Local businessman Stephen Ball has an eye for detail.
Since January 2019, Ball has owned The Great Frame Up in Bluffton, where he offers custom framing, matting and printing.
Ball also owns and operates a large format, state-of-the-art Cruse scanner, one of only 15 for public use in the country, for capturing digital imagery. The business also has a large format printer that produces high-resolution images from the scanner onto paper or canvas.
“We have the only flat-bed digital scanner between here and Atlanta,” Ball said. “It’s very unique.”
When he purchased the franchise, founded in 2007, the scanner came with the deal, because Ball saw the potential in utilizing it.
“I saw the opportunity with the scanner and the business it could grow,” he said. He was right. His business grew 44 percent in his first year of ownership, partly due to expanding franchise services and financially investing in the infrastructure.
“We scan the art and digitize it and do digital color management,” he said. “Your camera, your monitor and your printer all see color differently. When we scan it, we have software so we can adjust the color.”
High-end digital cameras capture images at 28 megabytes; Ball’s Cruse scanner tops out at 455 megabytes.
Images are placed on a 40-by-60-inch bed. The museum-quality scanner can capture subtleties in natural materials such as wood or stone, or manufactured items such as wallpaper or textiles. High in resolution and geometric accuracy, a Cruse scanner also allows users to scan thick, mounted, delicate or three-dimensional originals.
Homogenous lighting and the moving table allow the original to remain in its frame or from under glass. The scanner never touches anything.
Basically, the Cruse scanner can flawlessly reproduce works of any size and design; larger objects are scanned in parts and then are digitally stitched together.
A sizable portion of Ball’s clients are artists from the region who want impeccable reproductions of their original artwork.
“I have people travel three hours to come in and get their art scanned,” he said. He owns the only Cruse scanner in South Carolina.