“We first had GPA in trying to run window clings for a big beer company,” he continues. “Two words an Indigo operator doesn’t want to hear are ‘static’ and ‘cling’, but the folks at GPA made believers out of both of our operators and the brewer.”
Gardner also complimented Mohawk for being proactive in explaining how specialty substrates work with Indigo. Since then, “The folks at Mohawk have come up with more cool digital substrates than I ever could have imagined.”
Richard Peck of CyberChrome in Branford, CT, runs two Xerox iGen 3 presses and uses “Xerox vinyls, polyesters, plastics, paper and synthetic pressure-sensitive sheets, and magnetic sheets.” He also uses specialty substrates from GPA (vinyls, polyesters, pressure-sensitive sheets, and cling materials) and Mohawk (Bravo polyester, PVC, and Velvet) as well as substrates from other manufacturers and distributors.
At Xerographic Digital Printing in Orlando, FL, which is an entirely Xerox shop, they use a full range of Xerox specialty substrates for a vast array of applications. Xerox six-up CD Label Gloss Coated is used for CD labels, while Xerox High-Gloss Sheet is used for refrigerator and car magnets, and Xerox Clear Lo-tack Window Cling is used for Orlando Magic door signs and window clings as well as in-house promotions. They also use Xerox Premium NeverTear for recipe cards, coasters, badges, and name tags.
Another GPA customer is an AlphaGraphics operation that has four locations in the Seattle area. Reid Baker, VP of sales, says typical jobs involving specialty digital substrates include four-color menus printed on 12mil polyester then scored and folded, and four-color cookbooks, also printed on 12mil polyester with 14mil rigid vinyl tabs and covers. Both types of jobs are printed on an HP Indigo.
Using specialty substrates, printers often come across interesting projects they would not have thought about otherwise. One job that stands out for Baker involved ID labels with variable numbering and QR codes printed on Teslin face-stock, permanent adhesive, printable liner, which was also printed on an HP Indigo. The customer was Foundit, which offers complete sets of ID labels for customers to affix to any of their belongings that could possibly be lost or misplaced. The labels contain customer-specific contact information, but no personal information such as the client’s phone or address, which is used to alert Foundit when a lost item is located.
In my research on LinkedIn, I got an inquiry from a printer who wondered what specialty substrate would be suitable for beer coasters. Allen Havens of Clampitt Paper in Dallas/Ft. Worth chipped in one answer: “Crane’s Lettra makes an 18x12-inch, 90-pound cover, which is certified for the HP Indigo as well as toner-based digital machines. This is an unsized, uncallendered sheet that works well as coaster stock. It is 100 percent cotton so the price point is up there, but for short-run digital that may not be a factor.”
Just goes to show the usefulness of the Internet and social media and the variety of jobs that can lend themselves to specialty digital substrates.