in addition to the four traditional process colors (CMYK). Today, we have seen leaders in the high-end electrophotographic market, such as HP, Kodak, and Xeikon, expanding the capabilities of their devices to provide additional efforts to accommodate five or more print stations also known as, “5+” colors, during production. There has also been some activity in off-line digital devices that provide the ability to add value to a printed page through the application, typically via inkjet heads, of a gloss coating or some other effect. New entrants to the offline market such as, Scodix and MGI, are a few of these offline companies entering this market.
Last year around this time I reviewed all of the corporate greeting cards I received over the holiday season. I’m at it again this year and cover such diverse topics as colored signatures; recycled paper, FSC, and other green initiatives; text & image personalization; QR codes; printing on the envelope; metallics & pearlescents; special effects like dimensional printing; and non-card items such as calendars, menus, photo books. I also rant about electronic greeting cards that come with insincere tag lines like: “In our appreciation for the environment, we chose to send you our holiday wishes electronically.” Baloney! Face it, you’re just lazy and trying to hide your cheapness in an eco-green candy coating. If you really care, send me a physical card next year. My address is Jim Hamilton, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, Massachusetts 02189, USA.
Last week I traveled to Rapid City, South Dakota to visit Fenske Media, a data-driven solutions provider that installed a Kodak Prosper 5000XL last December. Fenske Media is using the Prosper 5000XL for a range of full color mail applications on glossy paper. Glossy paper is the key to expanding high-speed inkjet printing into new applications at offset quality levels. As Dave Fenske, Partner at Fenske Media, concisely puts it “Printing is entertainment, and entertainment equals shine.”
In this video I discuss the corporate holiday cards I received over the past month or so. Some of these cards were conventionally printed and some were digitally printed. The list of special effects include pop-up die-cuts, silver and gold metallic, embossing, and variable data tools such as personalized URLs, stamps, and QR codes. I also show two photo books that I received as gifts after attending industry analyst briefings.
I’ve been giving some thought to devices that offer one or more imaging stations above the typical four (for the four process colors). HP Indigo, Kodak NexPress, and Xeikon have had this capability for many years but recent announcements are expanding this capability, and, in addition, others are entering this space. The possibilities range from simple spot color use to custom colors, coatings, and magnetic image character recognition (MICR). The table below shows a brief summary of the current state of the art. This table includes only currently available products used for document applications. Another table would need to be dedicated to adequately address products in the flexible label and packaging space. Read more »