Printer Review: HP Designjet L25500

For Joan Torrents, general manager and owner of Igualada, Spain-based Tot.rètol, a graphic services company with more than twenty years of experience designing, producing, and installing commercial signage, 2009 has been a challenging year. In addition to a global recession, Torrents’ hard solvent sign shop suffered a decrease in print volumes up to 40 percent in some of its core applications. In addition, he had turned to outsourcing for some of the high-quality work their solvent printers couldn’t turn out, but profit margins were low and turnaround times were not ideal.

He needed a better option. The HP Research and Development department contacted Torrents after his company had taken part in usability testing with the new Latex printer. They agreed to become part of the beta program for the HP Designjet L25500, installing it in April 2009.

“This printer complements our digital print service, allowing us to offer a high resolution product that we didn’t have up until now,” said Torrents. “Our printers were all ‘hard-solvent’ with a medium-low resolution.” The printer opened up new opportunities by allowing him to offer products and services such as digital printing for close-up viewing, exposition graphics, and interior signage.

Tot.rètol recently bid for a job that demanded 150 sqm (492 sqft) of in-store signage up to 2x4 meters (6.6 x 13.1 feet) on vinyl. Because the job called for a close-up viewing distance, the solvent printers were not an option. “It was an important opportunity as the job was for an advertising agency—an ideal customer in terms of return business,” said Torrents. “By using the HP Designjet L25500 Printer, as opposed to outsourcing, we were able to make an extremely competitive offer to acquire the new agency as a customer and still make a profit. Delivery time was halved from six days to three by printing in-house. Without in-house printing it is very unlikely that we could have beaten the competition to win the job. The customer was satisfied with our printing service and we have become their first choice supplier.”

Torrents plans on communicating his company’s new printer and services by explaining the versatility his company can now offer. “Now we are able to cover any need, in both large-format (hard-solvent), and small- to medium-format, and those with a greater need for high quality with the Latex printer.” The print quality, ease of use, and the incorporation of an ink system that is environmentally sustainable made this printer stand out. He plans to use it for photographic printing, vehicle applications, leaflets, placards, retail signage, and elements for events and fairs.

Additionally, output with a lower environmental impact will give his company a competitive edge. “Printed output using solvent inks may be perceived as unsuitable in certain types of activities, particularly those widely used by the public. The health service sector, restaurants, fresh food stores or kids’ toy shops are a few examples where environmental health and safety are of paramount importance. Printed displays in these environments represent an ideal application for Latex output from the HP Designjet L25500.”

Tot.rètol now has an alternative to its solvent technology. “A regular client requested 60 x 60 sq cm (23 x 23 sq in) coffee table tops for their outdoor terrace bar. Output needed to be tough and weather resistant. We printed the job on white vinyl at a higher quality and more quickly on our new HP Latex printer and laminated output to avoid scratching,” said Torrents.

Would he recommend it for other shops? “Yes, for the print quality and for the solvency of the manufacturing company. HP offers complete confidence and a rapid solution should issues or problems arise. Also I would recommend it for ease of use.”

The HP Designjet L25500 Printer at a Glance

  • Two models available: HP Designjet L25500 42-inch and 60-inch
  • Print technology: HP 789 Designjet Printheads
  • Resolution: Up to 1200 dpi
  • Ink types: HP Latex Inks; six-colors (CMYK, Lc, Lm); 2,112 nozzles per color using HP Double Swath Technology
  • Print speed: 42-inch model: Up to 228 sqft/hr; 60-inch model: Up to 246 sqft/hr