Categories
Blog Printing

Expand your Creative Options with Digital Dimensional Printing

How many times have you sat in those marketing meetings trying to think of a clever, unique way of creating marketing pieces? A new innovative and inexpensive printing method is digital dimensional printing. Digital dimensional printing is a raised, high gloss, spot coating that creates an additional sensory feel to your marketing pieces. This raised or 3-D effect helps your communications stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Images and photographs that look like they have a textural feel are perfect images to start with since the reader will already have a mental thought of what the image will feel like. Images that are highly detailed are also a great selection to use digital dimensional printing

One particular case study is from a residential commercial roofing company. Their marketing challenge was two-fold: one, how to produce marketing samples that accurately reproduce the many different colors of their roofing shingles and two, create the sensory effect of a shingle.

The solution? Digital dimensional printing.

The individual colored shingles were scanned, not photographed, and brought into Adobe Photoshop for color correction. The colors were accurately matched using a spectrophotometer and cross-referenced with LAB values on screen and readings from the actual shingle. Once the LAB color corrected images were approved, the images were converted to our GRACoL CMYK color profile for printing on Nexpress.

The selection for the texture was made by cross-referencing the various color channels and manipulating curves to create a high contrast selection of individual pebbles in the shingle. The marketing campaign results were incredible and great ROI.

Digital dimensional printing is a great alternative to raised UV coating and less expensive. It is completely recyclable and does not require any special de-inking process and uses no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to the environment.

What are your thoughts on creative ways to use digital dimensional printing?

 

Categories
Blog Coating

UV Soft Touch Coating – Alternative to Touché Paper

There’s no question soft touch ‘fiber’ paper stocks are very unique and create the sensation of feel to your design. However, they have production drawbacks with buying even cartons from paper mill and the effect of paper color when printing CMYK inks.

A less expensive alternative is coating your next print project with UV Soft Touch coating. UV Soft Touch coating is applied inline in the coating unit and is not a varnish. Varnish is a form of coating but it is applied in a printing unit, not a coating unit. Varnish will use a valuable printing unit on press and be more expensive. UV Soft Touch coating is also ‘cured’ inline on press by ultraviolet (UV) energy. The difference between aqueous Soft Touch coating and UV Soft Touch coating is UV Soft Touch has higher rub resistance, no streaking in coating and softer feel due to thicker coating layer.

Applications for using UV Soft Touch coating include: unique business cards, postcards, rack cards, flyers, greeting cards and presentation folders.

When using UV Soft Touch coating there are a few design thoughts to keep in mind. Number 1, Soft Touch coating has a matte finish and will flatten out color and contrast. Use a larger shadow dot when possible to help compensate. Number 2, if you have a particular Touché color stock in mind, you can create that unique background color in CMYK and use Soft Touch coating to re-create the look of the original Touché paper stock. Most importantly, number 3, there is no need to cross your fingers that the printing process is going to work. No special meetings required to read over the ‘printing tips’ with your printer that the ink will adhere to the stock surface on ‘fiber’ paper stocks. We run Soft Touch coating all day long on 20 point business cards with no issues.

Even better, combine soft touch with spot UV coating for a special effects. Here is an example of combining soft touch and UV and how the files were made:

CMYK plate for soft touch UV coated business cards
Original InDesign document saved as CMYK PDF
Spot UV plate for soft touch UV business cards
Spot UV coating plate made as 100% black. Saved as CMYK PDF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you used Soft Touch coating? What was your experience with Soft Touch coating?

Please leave your comments below…

 

Categories
Blog Design

What is a RIP – Raster Image Processor?

What is a RIP? A simple analogy is Photoshop. Have you ever opened a PDF with Photoshop? The ‘Import PDF’ dialogue window prompts you with two important fields: resolution and mode. After inputting resolution, mode and clicking OK, Photoshop starts the raster image process – converting the PDF into a bitmap. Raster is another term for bitmap.

 

Raster Image Processor FM Screening RIP
Our friend ‘amoeba’ shown at varying bitmap resolutions. Notice the outline super-imposed at various resolutions. Higher bitmap resolutions create longer processing times in the RIP (raster image processor).