Remember Ed #8? Digital Variables? Published a short six years ago, it was a primer on the exciting potential of digital printing. It was still an emerging technology then, and Ed showed you the state of the art at the time—decent quality, the ability to personalize to your audience, a technology with real possibilities.
And it was positively primitive compared to what’s being produced in digital printing today.
To put it simply, digital printing has caught up to your creativity and quality expectations. And like so many technologies today, its capabilities are advancing in shorter and shorter cycles every day.
The best digital print quality is now virtually indistinguishable from high-end offset. Equipment productivity and speed continues to improve overall economics. With new print techniques like metallic inks, varnishes, embossed-like dimensionality, ultraviolet ink (look at Ed #16 cover under a UV light to see his tattoo) and more, digital printing is winning over even the biggest skeptics. And with the convergence of data, GPS and other technologies, the realm of possibility has exploded for targeted, highly personalized print strategies.
OEMs like HP, Kodak, Xerox, Konica Minolta and a host of others are investing aggressively to offer the next big thing in toner-based and inkjet technologies. Why? Because they know what Ed® knows—when it comes to reaching and motivating an audience, print works. And when smart technologies meet smart marketers and designers, print works even better than ever. Read on.
Digital printing grows up. In just a few short years, digital printing has gone from an emerging to established technology. With offset-level quality and almost limitless ability to personalize to your target, the realm of possiblity has exploded.
A BRUSH-UP ON DIGITAL BASICS.
This isn’t the first time Ed has focused on digital printing. In Ed #8, he provided you with an in-depth briefing on what it is, how it works and what it can do. What it can do has changed and improved dramatically, but the basics haven’t changed. Here’s a quick refresher.
Unlike offset printing, there is no film, no color proofing, no stripping or plate making in digital printing. There’s no make-ready, no getting ink to desirable levels by running waste sheets through the press and no time-consuming changeovers. This is why color digital printing is much faster and has traditionally been more cost effective than offset in smaller runs.
The advantages of digital printing have only magnified with continued advancements in quality and economics.
Among many types of digital print technologies, two have made great inroads: toner based and inkjet. Toner-based digital print technology is called electrophotography, also referred to as xerography or laser. Color electrophotography toner is made of electrically charged plastic particles, in cyan, magenta, yellow and black, that are transferred from drums to the paper and fused with heat to fix the image.
Inkjet presses print the image by propelling ultrafine droplets on the paper or other substrate at a very high rate. Continuous inkjet printers use electrical charges to guide placement of the droplets on the substrate; drop-on-demand inkjet technologies apply the droplets in response to a signal.
Electrophotographic is the process used in high-end applications—brochures, catalogs, package labels, posters and others. Inkjet historically has been used mostly for high-speed, high-volume transaction-oriented applications such as billing statements, although this is changing with rapidly improving reproduction quality.
EVOLUTION FROM THE NEW TO THE KNOWN AND ACCEPTED.
To even the most discerning eye, it is now difficult to tell the difference between offset and high-end digital print.
MASS CUSTOMIZATION—INNOVATION AND SUCCESS FOR A BIG BRAND.
Awareness of digital print’s potential has increased steadily with each innovator who sees—and realizes—new possibilities.
MORE THAN TECHNOLOGY. AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE.
Print’s visual power stands out even more as people are bombarded with increasing amounts of electronic communications.
TO ELECTRONIC MEDIA—AND BACK.
GROWTH IN DIGITAL PRINT.
PAPER MATTERS MORE THAN EVER.
With specialized expertise, dedicated production capacity and a leader’s product breadth, we know digital print.
THE FUTURE IS HERE. RIGHT NOW.
Open your mind. Talk to your printer. Articulate your objectives. Ask how digital print can help meet them. That’s how innovation happens.
The art of the possible. If it’s been a while since you’ve considered digital print, you might be surprised at the techniques and special effects now possible. From emboss-like dimensional printing to Pantone® match colors, unusual substrates to larger sheet sizes, digital printing is more versatile than ever.