AccuLink Wins Customers and Awards for Exceptional Print

To create a captivating print campaign that would motivate viewers to purchase luxury sky box seats to NFL football games is a challenge even when the economy is booming. However, that was the task that AccuLink—a trade printer that partners with commercial printers, value added resellers, and marketing agencies—was recently tasked with. One of its customers asked the North Carolina communications provider to produce printed pieces that would be used in a personalized marketing campaign to help the customer sell an abundance of luxury box seating to professional football games.

To achieve the best results, AccuLink used its Scodix 1200 Digital Press to create 1,500 printed pieces featuring a textured football that engages viewers to touch and feel the print. The Scodix press makes print stand out by producing the Scodix SENSE printing experience, which engages viewers’ senses by enticing them to touch the dimensional print.

“The fact that Scodix engages two of your senses is a big deal,” says President Tom O’Brien. “People remember the images longer because your recall ability goes up by a factor of four or five times, if not more, if you use more than one of your senses.”

With its unique tactile effect, the printed piece succeeded—the customer sold its entire sky box inventory. Not only did the printed project accomplish its goal, it caught the attention of judges of a printing competition. This project, and two others using the Scodix effect, won AccuLink three awards from PICA (the Printing Industries of the Carolinas) at the 45th Annual Awards.

AccuLink, which specializes in short-run, small-format print, implemented the Scodix 1200 Digital Press in September 2011. The press makes print stand out by using inkjet technology to register clear polymer in varying levels of thickness and texture, up to 250 microns. The Scodix 1200 also has the ability to produce up to 99 Gloss Units (GU) and features density capabilities from one to 100%.

With 80% of the company’s revenue derived from printing (about 80% of that is printed digitally), and about 20% obtained from finishing, the new press was a natural fit, says O’Brien. “When I first saw the press at a DSCOOP event in 2011, I couldn’t get my mind off of it,” he exclaims. “I thought it made so much sense for us that we decided if we made it available, business would come.”

AccuLink is pleased to see its growth pattern reaching its peak levels seen in 2007 and 2008. O’Brien credits the growth to its ability to differentiate itself with quality print, such as from the HP Indigo presses, and high-end finishing services, such as from the Scodix digital enhancement solution. With both the Scodix and the HP Indigo presses ideally complimenting each other, AccuLink is experiencing an upward growth trend in jobs for both systems.

The impressive printed materials are alluring to customers and judges. The judges of the Print Excellence and Knowledge (PEAK) Awards recently granted AccuLink a 2012 Grand Award for its packaging product “Tissue Box”, which showcased a unique design and striking tactile finish. The competition, presented annually by Print Services and Distribution Association (PSDA), recognized that AccuLink’s new 3dUV digital embossing capability from the Scodix 1200 Digital Press added eye-catching detail to the printed product for its client, Thermotype.

“Customers are stunned; overwhelmed by the effects,” enthuses Lindsay Gray, co-owner of AccuLink. “It’s so different than anything they’ve seen before. We’ve gotten all kinds of interest.”

AccuLink, for instance, was selected from a pool of thousands of qualified printers to produce the coveted 2011 AIGA Award Ceremony Invitations. The attendees of the event represent the most prestigious design firms in the world, so the invitation plays a critical role in attracting their attention and attendance. AIGA, which is the oldest and largest professional membership organization for designers, with 66 chapters representing 22,000 members, contacted AccuLink, knowing that AccuLink was the only commercial printer in the USA offering the special Scodix (3dUV) digital enhancement and mail fulfillment capabilities. AccuLink produced 7,000 eye-catching invitations. At the event, AIGA said to Gray that the 2011 invitation was the most unique invitation and that the attendance surpassed their goals.

For another customer, National Geographic, AccuLink delivered textured covers that brought nature to life. Using the Scodix press, AccuLink has created a wide range of projects, including business cards, book covers, posters, and marketing pieces. “Our customers who have used it once have been successful with it and are finding new ways to use it all the time,” says O’Brien.

The press was easy to install and was in operation within a week of installation. “The Scodix enhancement press was a piece of cake to implement; far easier than I thought it was going to be,” explains O’Brien. “It’s built tough and is well engineered. If you have a good Indigo operator, you have a good Scodix operator. The learning curve—for us and our customers—is in the prepress and learning how to prepare good files.”

O’Brien and Gray recently upgraded their Scodix 1200 press to the company’s new model, the Scodix S74, and expect to continue adding extensions to the press as new modules become available.  They have already added the braille and barcode reading modules, further enhancing their capabilities. They were also impressed with a new glitter station. O’Brien concludes: “I can confidently say, if I had to do it over again, I would.”