Meet the Brand - Draper, Inc.

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Draper, Inc. Manufacturing Innovation Since 1902.

A US based manufacturer who has been serving the AV market for over 100 years, and pioneering in the projector screen segment since 1957.

As a family owned company, Draper has not strayed from their initial core values and the integrity of the company and it's products cannot be questioned.

Having worked with the good people at Draper for many years, we are glad to introduce them to you in this "Meet the Brand" post.

Draper Inc HQ
ProjectorScreen.com:  While we of course are familiar with Draper, Inc., please take this opportunity to give our audience a brief introduction.

Draper: Draper was founded in 1902 in Spiceland, Indiana, 40 miles east of Indianapolis, by Luther O. Draper, selling the concepts of window shades to tackle heat and glare problems in schools. Draper is still headquartered in Spiceland, and is still owned and operated by the descendants of Luther Draper.

In 1957, Luther Pidgeon, grandson of the founder, invented a new and uniquely durable classroom projection screen. Projection screens and visual communications products are now the largest component of Draper's business. Draper has invested millions of dollars and years of time in the research and development of projection screen technology and innovation. 

Draper is an InfoComm International Emerald Certified AudioVisual Solutions Provider (CAVSP).

ProjectorScreen.com:  What separates Draper from your competitors? Why are you better?

Draper: Our innovation sets us apart. Draper was the developer of the "case first, screen later" style of projection screen—an idea that was quickly copied by other screen makers. We also spend a lot of money and time in researching and developing projection screen surfaces for any application. We have emphasized getting the chemistry behind our screens right, as well as the chemistry in our sales staff of personable and knowledgeable AV experts.

We are a personal company, and yet in tune with the modern way of getting information and doing business.

What that means is that our AV sales staff is there, ready to talk with you when you call in, and answer any questions or address any problems you might have. But we also feature the latest and greatest tools on our website for designing and choosing the correct product for an application. For instance, our customers can use Draper's Pro Surface Selector to spec the screen that will match their needs. (**so does the staff at ProjectorScreen.com!)

Draper offers one of the industry's widest selections of projection screens and projector lifts. Because we design and manufacture our products right here in Spiceland, Indiana, we have a lot more control over quality than many others.

ProjectorScreen.com:  While we of course are familiar with Draper, Inc., please take this opportunity to give our audience a brief introduction.

Draper: Draper was founded in 1902 in Spiceland, Indiana, 40 miles east of Indianapolis, by Luther O. Draper, selling the concepts of window shades to tackle heat and glare problems in schools. Draper is still headquartered in Spiceland, and is still owned and operated by the descendants of Luther Draper.

In 1957, Luther Pidgeon, grandson of the founder, invented a new and uniquely durable classroom projection screen. Projection screens and visual communications products are now the largest component of Draper's business. Draper has invested millions of dollars and years of time in the research and development of projection screen technology and innovation. 

Draper is an InfoComm International Emerald Certified AudioVisual Solutions Provider (CAVSP).

ProjectorScreen.com:  What separates Draper from your competitors? Why are you better?

Draper: Our innovation sets us apart. Draper was the developer of the "case first, screen later" style of projection screen—an idea that was quickly copied by other screen makers. We also spend a lot of money and time in researching and developing projection screen surfaces for any application. We have emphasized getting the chemistry behind our screens right, as well as the chemistry in our sales staff of personable and knowledgeable AV experts.

We are a personal company, and yet in tune with the modern way of getting information and doing business.

What that means is that our AV sales staff is there, ready to talk with you when you call in, and answer any questions or address any problems you might have. But we also feature the latest and greatest tools on our website for designing and choosing the correct product for an application. For instance, our customers can use Draper's Pro Surface Selector to spec the screen that will match their needs. (**so does the staff at ProjectorScreen.com!)

Draper offers one of the industry's widest selections of projection screens and projector lifts. Because we design and manufacture our products right here in Spiceland, Indiana, we have a lot more control over quality than many others.

ProjectorScreen.com:  What are your some of your best selling products and why do you think they are so successful?

Draper: Our Access motorized ceiling recessed roll-up screen, the  Targa and Premier wall mounted motorized screens, and the Onyx and Profile permanently tensioned screen frames are some of our most successful products.

They are innovative and flexible. The Access case can be installed above the ceiling during the "dirty" phase of construction, and the viewing surface can be installed later.

The Targa and Premier can be installed on the wall, suspended from the ceiling, or even recessed.

The  Onyx and Profile utilize a snapless viewing surface attachment system that keeps the screen completely flat.

ProjectorScreen.com:  What is your longest selling, flagship product line?

Draper: Since we got into the screen business in the mid-1950s, we have been particularly well known for providing manual and motorized screens for educational and other markets. While over the years we have made design changes and technological upgrades, in essence these products are still available and selling well, which speaks highly of the quality of the designs.

ProjectorScreen.com:  What product line is Draper most proud of and why?

Draper: This is a tough one. We are very proud of our wide choice of viewing surfaces for projection screens—the widest selection available in the industry. We have solutions for every application and every market—home cinema, commercial AV, you name it!

ProjectorScreen.com:  Which of Draper's products are the most unique compared to what your competition is offering?

Draper: The Profile is a thin-bezel screen—the frame edge is very thin and give the impression of a flat panel TV, only in much larger sizes. What is unique is that we accomplish this thin trim without sacrificing strength and stability. The Profile is just as sturdy as our Onyx, which has a much wider border. The Profile also uses the same snapless surface attachment system as our other permanently tensioned screens which keeps the surface flatter and allows for adjustment of the tension.

We have also recently introduced the Scribe™ write-on projection screen. The Scribe has 80% less gloss than the typical whiteboard, so the hotspotting and glare that are often seen with whiteboards—even those marketed for projection—are not issues. It also has a matte surface to maintain clarity and contrast. Other products in this class usually give you the option of adding a low profile bezel frame, or making the screen surface magnetic; on Draper's Scribe, though, those features are standard.

ProjectorScreen.com:  What new products/concepts are in the works for your Draper going forward that our readers will be interested in learning about?

Draper: Although we can't give any specifics, our engineers are always working on finding new solutions to the changing needs of the projection industry. We are constantly introducing new solutions, or upgrading existing ones to react to the changing needs of projection.

ProjectorScreen.com:  What do you see as being the "Next Big Thing" from Draper?

Draper: The Scribe was mentioned above, but it bears discussion here as well. Particularly in education and higher ed, the Scribeoffers some real benefits over competitive products.

We already mentioned the lower gloss levels to cut hotspotting and glare; the excellent clarity; and the better contrast.

All in all, the Scribe simply works better as a projection screen than similar products, which greatly increases the likelihood it will actually be used for its intended purpose, and not become just something to write notes on.

ProjectorScreen.com:  What are some of the biggest mistakes that consumers make when purchasing projector screens?

Draper: The biggest mistake is in not buying a projection screen at all, but instead going with a flat panel display. Screens are available in much larger sizes than TVs, so going with the supposedly easier choice of a TV means there will be people who can't see what's going on. It's as simple as that.

Another mistake is assuming that you can project onto a wall or just buy the cheapest screen and be OK. This is one of the pathways to another frequent problem we see: choosing the wrong screen surface for the job. When planning for a projection screen, it is important to take into accounts all aspects of the installation: light on the screen, light over the viewers, projector model, location of the viewers, and the content to be projected. If you go cheap the quality will suffer.

Another issue we see is people not planning for the ceiling height. You need to make sure there is enough black drop to bring the bottom edge of the viewing area down to 48" above the finished floor.

Draper has a Surface Selector tool on our website to help you figure out which viewing surface is right for the job, and properly size the screen. We also have a pro version that narrows it down even further. You have to register to use the pro version, but it is free. By choosing a screen that is big enough and designed for the application, you can often save money while making sure everyone sees and comprehends your content.

ProjectorScreen.com:  What tips can your offer to consumers looking to purchase projector screens?

Draper:

Understand where you want to put the screen, and research how to get the best image based on your area. Make sure the screen is sized to the viewing distance, rather than the size of the wall.  You want a screen that is big enough, but not too large; it can cause eye and neck strain, and eventually make using your theater undesirable. A properly sized screen allows you to take in all the action, focus on what is necessary, and enjoy the experience.

Be aware of projector and screen brightness and contrast, since most classrooms have an abundance of ambient light. Make sure your screen is big enough for everyone to not only see but also comprehend your draper scribecontent.

Choose enough properly-sized screens to make sure entire congregation can see the projected image. Also screen placement should be planned to the projected light stops before reaching the choir or the pastor and shines directly in their eyes. Be aware of the projector and screen brightness and contrast, since these spaces also have a lot of ambient light.

Screen surfaces do matter. Choose a surface that will shine in your application and that is designed for your content.Once again, be sure the screen is big enough to get your message across to everyone. Use Draper's Surface Selector Pro, call a Draper AV Specialist or contact a representative at ProjectorScreen.com. Also, use canned lighting that can be dimmed in front of the screen.

Draper: Bars & Restaurants - Don't put in glossy/reflective flatscreens, they are hard on the eyes and hard to see. They also can't match the sizes available in projection screens. You can use a White surface in areas where light is not directly hitting the screens, but do consider using ambient light and ultra high contrast screen materials. They may be a little more expensive than plain white, but the payoff in your customer's satisfaction will make the investment worth it.

ProjectorScreen.com:  Thank you for taking the time to help us introduce Draper, Inc. to our visitors. Are there any final thoughts you would like to end off on?

Draper: Draper is glad to be part of the product offering here on ProjectorScreen.com. A lot of things have changed since my great-grandfather started Draper in 1902—from technology, to manufacturing processes, to customer communications and expectations. What hasn't changed is our philosophy of providing a well-made product at a fair price, and our willingness to do whatever it takes to provide a solution to whatever projection need is out there. - John Pidgeon, President, Draper Inc.

ProjectorScreen.com:  Thank you for the kind words John! We appreciate all of your support and look forward to many more years of working together.

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