PrintEx 2015 Wrap – Printspiration Aplenty!
Sydney just recently played host to the largest printing and visual arts trade show that is hosted in our fair city every 4 years- PrintEx. Trade shows are a terrific way to learn and engage with what’s new in any industry and print is no exception. I thought it would be helpful for those who were not able to attend to give you a summary of the hot topics and trends being developed for suppliers and customers alike in the rapidly evolving graphic arts industry.
In the interests of keeping this post brief I will focus on three key trends we noticed most from the show.
- The continued progress of digital printing solutions/equipment.
It is impossible to not be impressed by how far digital printing has come. The output quality is superb and is to the average person the same in quality and appearance as offset print technology. The types of papers, boards and substrates that can now be printed is enormous and this opens up many more ways for clients to communicate their message in multiple ways and a cost point far below what they thought was possible. Ricoh displayed their new digital presses capable of printing 4 colours plus clear in line varnishes or a white ink that showed truly outstanding print quality on dark paper stocks. They are also now able to print a length of 700mm long and at a very efficient price point these will be sure to gain approval from a wide variety of customers looking to stand out from the crowd.
The team at Curries again showed their continued dedication and support of the Australian/NZ industry by taking the largest stand. They continue to showcase HP’s Indigo technology that is transforming many market sectors in print. The HP Indigo 10000 demonstrates offset quality production from a digital press in the B2 format (520mm x 750mm).
- Value added binding & finishing is advancing rapidly.
There were multiple companies demonstrating new and innovative ways to add value to your printed products. Curries were displaying the Scodix Ultra digital finishing press that has started to gain importance as customers look to enable digitally printed sheets to be enhanced to a level that previously was only able to be done using expensive and time consuming processes such as UV coatings and screen printed special effects. Konica Minolta also displayed their own version of this with the MGI Jet varnish Spot UV coating system that provided some eye popping printed results.
- Web 2 Print software to make your customer more efficient.
According to Info Trends Emerging Trends in Web to Print 2013,
“In the near future web to print and e-commerce will be competitive requirements for print service providers”.
I was most impressed by the work that has been done in the software and workflow tools that can not only enhance the printers’ production processes but also that of our customers. There was a great deal of new offerings from Pent Net, XmPie Storeflow, Chilli, EFI and others that are allowing a greater range of web based print and design tools to be made available to your clients right from their desktop. They are no longer just for on- line ordering but can include digital asset storage, campaign management, artwork collaboration & approvals and much more. These systems require a significant investment on the printer but it has the potential to make the marketing teams jobs so much simpler and more efficient that it is definitely worth considering.
We would love to hear from you on any trends or developments we may have missed?