Additional 3M co-branded inks launched in the past year include the EFI VUTEk GS and GSr inks. One of EFI’s newest printers uses a mild solvent dye sub ink. The VUTEk TX3250r enables soft signage printing, such as on a textile substrate instead of vinyl. The printer’s core technology is a mild solvent dye sub ink that combines high-definition color and high resolution at high production speeds. This T Series ink stands up to the unique demands of textile printing. It is wash-resistant and dryer-resilient for indoor and outdoor graphics so they can be used over and over again. The inks can be infused into fabrics for head-turning color vibrancy and excellent draping qualities.
Enter the “Night Graphics Market” with the world’s first solvent fluorescent inks for wide-format printers, making their debut this month. Seiko has developed new fluorescent inks in two vivid colors: neon yellow and neon pink. These inks can be used with ColorPainter W Series printers to produce fluorescent graphics that shine bright under normal lighting and glow under blacklight conditions. Neon inks will work in all existing ColorPainter W printers and will be available in September, Seiko said.
Seiko also introduced new, low cost inks for the ColorPainter H2P Series printers. This VX ink set is designed for high-volume banner shops for ’round-the-clock printing. While saving production time, these ink sets also are less expensive and reduce running costs.
Consistent brand-perfect color reproduction is always a challenge when producing point-of-purchase (POP) displays for regional and national marketers, or global brands in multiple international venues. Obtaining client approval with minor or no alterations plays a key role in the process. All too often, variable or less-than-ideal lighting and imprecise tools can skew perceptions, resulting in costly, time consuming color adjustments and production delays.
At drupa, the SAKATA INX Group—including INX International Ink Co. and INX Digital International—demonstrated new tools and technologies that can dramatically improve color management and control, reducing if not eliminating major promotional problems en route to the marketplace.
“Our global presence along with cross-platform ink product and application know-how enhances our ability to offer comprehensive consulting services for total color management and quality improvement,” said Kuniyoshi Horimoto of Sakata INX. “Ongoing involvement in this area with users of our inks and related technologies has led to development of two highly practical, effective tools.”
There is no better light than natural sunlight for viewing color output, and now the Natural Light LED viewing box provides the next-best thing.
“The Natural Light LED light source is designed to allow objects to be perceived in their natural color, as it is with sunlight,” Horimoto noted. “drupa visitors [saw] for themselves the difference it makes in an object’s color hue compared to the fluorescent lights frequently used in our industry.”
The Natural Light LED removes subjective guesswork, expressing high color rendering property “by the numbers,” as a general Color Rendering Index (CRI) value of 98. That’s just shy of sunshine’s 100 CRI, indicating the Natural Light LED viewing box’s ability to faithfully reproduce colors in comparison with nature’s own.
“This makes it an ideal light source for color-critical applications which printers and global marketers deal with daily,” Horimoto added. “Natural Light LED closely emulates sunshine in both the breadth and depth of its spectral distribution. In contrast, fluorescent light sources have a much lower CRI and, more importantly, they exaggerate some colors while downplaying others. This significantly impacts what the viewer sees, which makes this viewing box a natural for conventional or digital print operations.”