A family man with a big vision
Rooted in the arts, Big Image has been trusted by the world’s biggest stages since 1987. However the story of the family business within acoustics engineering, light solutions and premium printing begins back in 1981 in Australia, where Swedish-German family man Werner Schäfer works as an industrial photographer. He falls in love with the idea of blowing up photos into their rightful size, to convey their message and emotion in the best possible way in any given context.
As the innovative man he is, he decides to find a process that makes it possible to share this with the world. He studies the method of printing images on fabric, the advantages clearly being that they do not need to be handled with as much caution as when working with easily damaged paper. Images on fabric can also easily be taken down, folded and therefore used again and again.
Werner returns from Australia and finds one of the, then few, printing presses in the world for big images, located in Liverpool. Soon he becomes a general agent, selling big images passionately for many years in the European region. His conclusion is that big images are revolutionary for the arts but that the images at hand do not measure up to his idea of the premium quality that culture deserves. Werner, whose interest in culture was nurtured during his childhood in Berlin, wants to make the experience match the craftsmanship he grew up around.
Werner decides to purchase his own airbrush printer from the USA in 1987 and sets up shop in an empty factory outside Stockholm, Big Image is born. The printer is an immensely complicated system with hundreds of knobs and switches and Werner can not get it to function properly. Instead of giving up, he decides to invest everything he has. With the help of students from Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) he develops his own printing process.
To this day, Big Image is still a leading innovator in the field.
These students stay with the company and become part of the Big family, together with Werner’s wife, son and daughters. Today that same family has grown bigger, in numbers of family members (employees), in the number of square meters in their premium printing studios in Stockholm and Berlin, in the number of printers and above all the number of big images crafted for stages, stores and rooms around the world for customers with the highest aesthetic standards.
Big Image has taken its deep understanding of artistic expression and the need for perfection into other demanding fields like film, events and in-store experiences.
True to its heritage, and Werner’s culture infused childhood, Big image treats every creation, no matter its size or setting, like a star’s backdrop on opening night.
Today the group of companies is led by Werner and Margrit’s daughter Johanna Schäfer.