One of the secrets to remaining a successful company is by differentiating yourself from your competition. For print service providers (PSPs), the ability to offer unique finishes or services certainly sets them apart. This month, Wide-Format Imaging examines how white ink, varnish, spot color, and lenticular imaging have allowed PSPs to gain market share and increase profits.
Many manufacturers offer printers that can handle all types of specialty value adds to PSPs, so we asked them tells about their products and features and to explain just how these features can help PSPs increase business.
Agfa Graphics is seeing advancements in finishing functionality within UV systems such as a spot varnish and white printing functionality. “Our :Anapurna Mv can produce a gloss or spot varnish which gives a 3D-like effect, and the newest addition to our UV Inkjet portfolio, the :Anapurna Mw, features white-printing functionality that is quite outstanding,” said Deborah Hutcheson, senior marketing manager, Commercial/Wide Format, Agfa Graphics, North America, Ridgefield Park, NJ.
The :Anapurna Mv (varnish) is a six-color, flatbed, wide-format UV inkjet printer designed for printing high-quality signs and displays. With the :Anapurna Mv, gloss effects can be added to enhance the look and feel of designs with spot varnish or overall varnish. :Anapurna Mw adds single pass pre-white and multi-pass post-white to the :Anapurna M series. This creates new possibilities for printing on transparent material and backlit applications or printing white as a spot color.
Hutcheson noted that digital printing is fast becoming the “go-to” method for short-run and variable-data applications and that wide-format inkjet applications such as trade show displays, billboards, signs, posters, banners and vehicle graphics are helping PSPs expand their product offerings and develop new profit streams.
“The inherent versatility of inkjet technology, and now the availability of a wider range of inkjet inks, are pushing the envelope and the industry even further,” she said. “With specialty inkjet inks it is possible to extend beyond the conventional CMYK color set as utilized in offset printing. These added colors dramatically expand the gamut and provide commercial, sign, display and screen printers with a color palette that allows them to match customized colors and reproduce vibrant, eye-catching output, giving them greater opportunities to gain market share and increase profitability.”
As for the future, Hutcheson said the new UV flexible inks were interesting because they will improve the performance on many substrates and have the ability to produce output on some substrates that were previously problematic or not possible. “The new advancements via UV flexible inks will likely create opportunities for users to expand their application portfolio even more and this is very exciting news,” she said.
“Lenticular imaging is particularly successful at capturing the attention of the consumer because of its visually arresting effects,” said Bradley Fitzhenry, marketing director, Big3D.com Worldwide, Fresno, CA. “Whether used as a direct mail piece, DVD cover, point-of-purchase display, or a giant trade show display, lenticular commands attention and differentiates a client’s message from the competition.”
Lenticular imaging is a very complex print process and Fitzhenry says that very few printers have the capability to produce lenticular, and even fewer do it well. “Partnering with an established, experienced lenticular printer like Big3D can help PSPs stand out in a field where there is very little difference in capability, and enjoy nice margins in the process” he said.
Fitzhenry noted that Big3D is seeing a great deal of interest in the utilization of lenticular printing in the direct mail industry as a way to reverse declining response rates. “We are also spearheading advances being made in the development of oversized, single-panel, large-format lenticular graphics, breaking the traditional 48x96-inch panel size.”