Archive for May, 2011

The History of the HP Indigo Printing Press

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Before the Indigo digital printing technology came to be owned by HP, it was originally owned by the Indigo company.

Founded in 1977 by Benny Lamma in Tel Aviv, Indigo was primarily a research and development focused enterprise that sold the technologies to other companies, but also focused its work on liquid ink which was rapidly gaining importance as the digital market grew. One of its most important developments was ElectroInk, a liquid ink that when heated, would transform into plastic. The company kept pushing with the technology and by the start of the 1990s were competing with traditional xerographic imaging techniques from companies such as Canon and Xerox.

The first printer Indigo launched was the E-Print 1000 in 1993. It proved to be revolutionary in the printing industry. Unlike traditional plate printing techniques, all the information was digital, and there was no lengthy set up process. The E-Print 1000 used a static charge along a photo imaging plate to get the ink into place, then the ink would be transferred onto whatever material was being used for the printing with a 100% transferral rate. This meant the printer could be used for short run and long run prints of different colours and quality, all rivalling the standard of regular printing.

After the success unveiling of the E-Print, Indigo was quick to attract investors and the share price went through the roof and the company was traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. By 1995 the company was worth two billion dollars.

In 2000 HP began to buy up shares in Indigo, keen to take ownership of the Indigo digital printing technology, and completed a full scale buyout the following year. Indigo continued its success under the ownership of HP, cornering 75% of the world market for printing commercial photos and is ranked first in the high volume digital press market.

What is the Most Expensive Liquid in the World?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Is it water? No, but admittedly it’s the liquid many people need most and shockingly 5000 children die each day across the world due to drinking unclean water.

Is it crude oil? No it’s not, though a barrel (42 US gallons) of oil isn’t cheap, currently reaching around £40 to £50 (depending on the state of the market). In the UK approximately two million barrels worth of crude oil are used every single day, enough to fill an entire football stadium.

Is it perfume? It’s not perfume, though some fragrances have sold for as much as $215,000, like Clive Christian’s Imperial Majesty. The real reason for that hefty price tag was because the bottle containing the fragrance had a five carat diamond adorning it. On average a 500ml bottle of perfume will cost £50.

Is it printer ink? Amazingly a gallon of printer ink costs around $8000 for inkjet printers! In a lot of places you may hear of printer ink referred to as the new black gold, much like oil used to be and obviously this is not without reason. The average price for a set of ink cartridges for a home use digital printer is about £40, and that’s around just 10ml of ink per colour. For something like a top of the range HP Indigo Digital Press, the ink costs around £120 for a litre refill. There are now more than 5,000 Indigo Digital Press printers in the world and their popularity is down to the high quality printing they produce. Often companies find it much better value for money to outsource their printing needs to a digital print company rather than printing in-house.

So it’s printer ink, right? Actually it isn’t. It’s scorpion venom, which comes in at $38,858,507.46 per gallon. The cost is so great because scorpions are nasty, obviously!

Saving Nemo and Taking Responsibility for Climate Change

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Recent studies by The Climate Change Project have shown that increased carbon dioxide levels in sea water are having a devastating effect on coral reefs and their inhabitants. It seems nothing is safe in the oceans and even the adorable clownfish (made famous in the Disney and Pixar film Finding Nemo) are being affected as higher levels of CO2 in the water is impacting on the fishes’ hearing which is making it hard for them to hear and escape from predators. Although climate change is a regular fixture in the news, it seems not enough is yet being done to prevent the devastating effects of CO2.

Here at Purely Digital we believe in doing things right which means we are taking responsibility for the affect our business has on the climate. We use a HP Indigo Digital Press that uses recycled ink which means oil usage is reduced by nearly half and the consumables from the HP Indigo Digital Press are recycled and reconditioned (as are the ink cartridges from our desktop and large format printers). The bonus for our customers is that they get the outstanding print quality from the HP Indigo Digital Press with the peace of mind that their order won’t be contributing to climate change. Most of the paper we use comes from managed forests and we’ve recently added Mowhawk Fine Papers Inc. to our suppliers list who match 100% of their energy usage with energy generated by windpower.

We’re EasyGreen Certified which means every unit of energy we use is matched by a unit generated from renewable sources and this is then fed back to the National Grid resulting in 100% of the carbon emissions from our site being offset. Outside of the office we also try to do our bit so we are partnering with UPS who will take care of our delivery needs with their carbon neutral shipping option.

If you want fantastic quality print without the guilt and worry of the impact your print requirements may have on the environment then contact us on 01332 299553 or have a read of how we care by visiting www.purelydigital.co.uk/environment.php for a carbon free choice.

Going Back to Basics with Direct Marketing

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

In a world obsessed with social media and all things digital, does targeted direct marketing still have a place? According to a recent survey by the Royal Mail it does indeed and targeted direct mail could actually play a big part in the future of marketing.

The study, carried out among marketing students at the University of Hertfordshire, showed that 45% of those surveyed agreed that direct mail plays a vital role in marketing and 35% believe marketing directors are underestimating the value of direct mail. These students could well be the marketers of the future which means targeted marketing could make a comeback in a big way and with good reason. Highly targeted marketing campaigns may seem like a step backwards but in the current business world, wouldn’t a highly relevant and attention grabbing mailing, meant just for you make a nice change to the constant babble of digital marketing?

Direct mail has the lasting effect that digital marketing doesn’t offer. It’s easy to delete an email or ignore a social media feed or video as we’re bombarded by these constantly – a well thought out, funny and eye-catching piece of direct mail has quite the opposite effect. If you’ve researched into your database and sent out a piece of direct mail which directly relates to the interests of your potential customers then once they open this they aren’t going to feel irritated or frustrated with your company, they’ll be glad they received it. If you make the direct mail worth keeping then this is even better as it means your potential customers will hang on to your marketing message even if they don’t require your services right away.

The very nature of targeted direct mail makes it cost effective as you won’t be wasting money on reaching people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer. Short run printing means you can stay in control of your budget and your target audience and get better results by focusing on sending high quality, targeted mail to high quality leads. Short run printing can also ensure you do your bit for the environment by only printing what you use.

To find out how we at Purely Digital can help you with your direct mail give us a call on 01332 299553 or visit us at Purely Digital

What is Short Run Book Printing?

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Short run book printing is generally used by novelists looking to self publish their work. The great advantage of this style of printing is that as it’s a short run print, you can order fewer copies so you don’t end up with piles of books if your work doesn’t sell too well. If you do find you have a future best seller on your hands then you can simply reorder more copies to be printed as you require them. Other benefits of short run book printing are that it’s better for the environment as there’s less wastage and you are also more likely to receive your finished book quicker as the volumes are lower. This type of printing also helps to remove some of the risk associated with self publishing such as paying for large volumes of books before you’ve sold any as short run book printing is a flexible options which offers a ‘print as you sell’ approach. Once your book is printed, the next step to get it onto the shelves is book binding.

Good printers will also offer perfect binding services which means the quality of your finished book will be just as professional as one from a large publishing house. Perfect binding uses water resistant glue to stick the aligned and ordered pages of a book together, giving you a flawless completed book with a squared edge. As the definition of perfect binding on Answers.com states, “Perfect binding is sometimes used to denote quality.”Using the book binding services of your printers will mean that the whole self publishing process will run smoothly and will probably be much cheaper than going to different suppliers to complete both elements of the book. Another option which is a little more expensive is PUR binding this is more reliable than perfect binding and by using this method you are not restricted by the material or the fact that the ink runs to the spine edge.

The techniques behind short run book printing and perfect binding can also be applied to other large printed documents such as brochures, catalogues, magazines, journals and any other documents which benefit from a ‘print on demand’ approach.

Your Guide to Duplex Printing

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Printing technology is constantly improving and digital printing companies not only provide fantastic quality results but they can also slash the time and cost associated with even simple printing tasks such as duplex printing. You can find out more about this type of printing below, including the benefits it has for your commercial print requirements.

What is duplex printing?

Duplex printing simply means that text or images are printed on both sides of a piece of paper. However, it can also refer to more creative print runs as ‘duplexing’ can also mean combining different sheets of paper or other materials together to create beautiful effects on your documents. This is achieved by joining different coloured sheets of paper together or using effects such as foiling and diecutting to create truly bespoke print work.

What are the benefits of this type of print?

When referring to printing on both sides of paper, the most obvious benefit of using duplex print is that the amount of paper required for a print run is cut by half. This can greatly reduce your print costs as less paper and ink is required and it is also a more eco friendly option for the same reasons. If professional documents are printed on both sides then this means you can save space in your office when it comes to filing. The more complex duplexing projects allow companies to create eye catching documents which showcase their creativity and can be used in a number of promotional ways.

Why go to a digital printing company for duplex printing?

Paper which has been printed on both sides looks more professional, especially if you ask a digital print company to complete the work for you as their high quality paper and ink will ensure that the pages look clean and crisp and that text and images can’t be seen through the back of each sheet. Digital printing companies also provide automatic duplex printing which can radically reduce printing time as it is done automatically. Expert printers will also be able to talk you through your options for using duplexing to bring creativity to your marketing campaigns.

Saddle Up for our Book Binding and Saddle Stitch Guide

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Sometimes folded leaflets or plastic wallets in a ring binder are not good enough to wow your clients, customers or lecturers and simply don’t do your documents justice. If you’ve spent ages designing a brochure or booklet or writing a book or a thesis then make sure you give the best impression by having your work professionally bound.

Saddle stitching

According to the PrintWiki Encyclopaedia of print, saddle stitching is “…a means of binding pages together by driving staples through the centrefold of a signature or group of signatures.” Signatures are printed sheets of paper which have been folded into 16, 32 or 64 pages. This traditional bookbinding method uses a saddle stapler which has distinctive v shaped staples (hence the term saddle) which allow the central fold of the pages to be easily aligned. Common uses for saddle stitch binding include brochures, catalogues and booklets and this technique gives these documents a neat and professional finish.

Other bookbinding options

Perfect binding

If you have a larger document to bind such as a book, thesis or manual then saddle stitching won’t be the best option as the staples used in saddle stitching won’t be strong enough or big enough to hold all the pages together. Perfect binding is a common choice for paperback books and according to the Dictionary.com definition this technique is done with “…a machine that cuts off the backs of the sections and glues the leaves to a cloth or paper backing.” Perfect binding is great for thicker books and even theses but if you’re on a budget or want your readers to be able to leave pages open easily then wire binding could be your best option. Wire binding is suitable for books, brochures and manuals and is a popular choice for the workplace for training manuals and company guides. Smaller academic documents such as dissertations can also be bound using the wire method of bookbinding.

PUR binding

Another option on binding is that of PUR binding (polyurethane reactive) adhesive binding, this can be used for a wide range of applications such as catalogues, annual reports, manuals and text books.

Benefits of using PUR

•While inks and coatings compromise the adhesion strength of perfect bound books, PUR is impervious to these intrusions, the aggressiveness of PUR adhesive makes it ideal for books where heavy ink coverage or flood coatings are pressed into the spine area.

•Works with a wide range of paperweights and different finishes of stock.

•Crossover images are more accurate.

•Thin books are most suited to PUR finishing as there is no build up of glue.

Boost Your Campaigns with Personalised Marketing Literature

Monday, May 9th, 2011

It’s becoming more and more difficult to achieve good response rates from direct mail campaigns as people are bombarded with promotional mail on a daily basis. Cut through the junk mail and show your customers that you care about them with personalised marketing literature which will also boost your campaign response rates. Below are some top ideas for adding a touch of individuality to your marketing campaign.

  • Include more than a name

It’s easy to include your customers’ names within direct mailers and companies often create a standard letter or postcard message and simply change the customers’ names on each one. Truly personalised marketing literature should go further than this though and include the customers’ names within the innovative design of the mailer. You can also include other personal information related to birthdays, families, careers or special occasions in people’s lives. No matter what option you choose, make sure you include a personal message relevant only to the recipient.

  • Include a special offer

Any company can create a special offer but this alone is unlikely to bring in the response rates you’re looking for especially if you blanket-market the offer to all your customers. Special offers which are targeted to the customers’ preferences are much more effective in capturing the attention of your customers. Review your customers’ data to find out what they buy or what interests them and tailor your offers to suit them. You can include quirky touches in your designs which make the offer irresistible. For example a fast food company could offer their best customers a free pizza with their favourite toppings on it or a clothing company could give customers a money off voucher which is presented in the company’s luxury branded packaging.

  • Use a digital print company

A digital print company will be able to print your designs to the highest standard so the quality of the print will ensure your mailers stand out to your customers. Attention to detail is vital both in the design and print of your campaign so make sure you speak to a digital print company about the best printing options for your mailers.