Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Red and White—A Thrilling Combination!

Recently, I attended the Printing Industries of America Trade Show in San Diego. Each year, businesses in our industry gather to tout their wares and each year, I look forward to attending to see what's new.

I visited the Neenah booth, where our rep, Jill Dunleavy was present. We chatted for awhile and then, she handed over the pièce de résistance.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Did I say wow?

Having been through a crazy process trying to figure out how to print white ink on a colored stock, the answer to that dilemma came in the form of her new business card.

A RED PEPPER Classic Linen Digital 100#C printed digitally—on the HP Indigo—with WHITE ink. Niiiiice. This photo doesn't do the crispness (or whiteness) of the printed type justice but, it'll give you the idea.

Not only has this feat become obtainable(!), it can be produced economically! Awesome. Simply awesome.

And, shortly after I shared her card with everyone in the studio, one of my co-workers pointed THIS fabulousness out in this months edition of Print. Printed using the Indigo on Neenah Esse Digital 105#C Pearlized Silver Smooth. Way cool.

Ahhhh, the possibilities.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Have a production problem? I have a solution!

Do you have a vision? We can get there. Together.

One of our long-term clients hired us to create a set of printed pocket guides for an exciting new product launch. Besides designing a piece that clearly communicated the camera's features and benefits, there were two specific production requests:

1) The guides needed to be the same size as the cameras.
2) The guides needed to feel like the cameras.

For the design, we decided on a special die-cut cover that replicated the cameras exact
size and true-to-life features. We incorporated a special varnish technique (spot gloss UV juxtaposed next to a dull UV) to make the lenses and screens "pop."

The interior show
cased a concise layout with beautiful photography—expressing the cameras capabilities clearly.

As for finding a solution to the "feel" part of this request, embossing was out of the question because the impression would affect the design on the other side. I remembered a printed sample we received from EarthColor Houston that featured a double layer of gloss UV varnish. When you apply two layers of varnish, it thickens the coverage and creates a texture without affecting the design on the other side. It was the perfect solution!

Here's how the designer set up the spot gloss UV layer in the file (double-thick spot UV indicated in magenta):

And here is the final product!

Hugs and big smiles speak volumes, and for these projects, I got both. There's nothing like a happy client!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy New Year + Print Inspiration

Hope this blog post finds you well on your way to many successes in year 2011! Thanks for your support along the way and for reaching out, offering suggestions and keeping me in check in 2010. I'm grateful to connect with such a passionate group of people in the printing and design industries.

Since I've been busy getting back on track with my schedule, routine, etc., today, I wanted to share a great video, produced by Visual Inclination, that takes you through a custom job from start to finish. I learned a bit myself, watching it! Enjoy.

Print Craft from Visual Inclination on Vimeo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The H Pad—Here to stay! Should be called the Hilarity Pad!!

I found myself laughing out loud as I was viewing this video. SO TRUE! The H Pad, here to stay! This video was retweeted on twitter by the fabulous
@SandyHubbard (via @JohnKyp), who, besides calling me from Portland, Oregon to offer suggestions for my blog (I was totally blown away), has, along with fellow print professionals, created a hash tag on twitter titled #HelpPrintThrive as a way to support print in all it's venues.

I'm on board! Along with it's history and culture, I still view print as an important, viable industry and vital part of our lives.

Check out this hilarious video!! I love it!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pretty darn close to offset quality at a digital price

Happy December! Hope you had your fill of gratitude and goodness over the Thanksgiving holiday!

The last time we printed business cards for MORRIS, we went through quite the rigamarole (for more on the learning experience, see part 1 of Murphy's Law here and part 2 here). And, every time a new employee graced our doorstep, it cost us a small fortune to print new cards. Knowing this, I took a fresh approach when our agency recently refreshed our brand and business cards.

For a long time, we have been printing our case studies on a digital HP Indigo press. This particular digital press is not only unique in it's hybrid-like technology but in it's print quality as well. I would have to say, quite honestly, there's no comparison when it comes to quality. The Indigo pretty much kicks ass over all other digital presses and is a GREAT option for nearly-offset-quality small runs at a digital price.

Like all digital presses, there are limitations to the Indigo. Finished size is constrained to 11" (h) x 17" (w) and you have to choose from Indigo approved digital papers (which include a broad range of options) but for projects such as business cards, greeting cards and minimal-paged documents at low quantities (that don't exceed the size specifications), it's truly the best bet.

But shop around. Not all vendors have an Indigo. My recommendation, in the San Diego area, is SOS Printing. Beyond their experienced team and a press that is calibrated close to perfection, they produce high-quality products at extremely competitive prices. You can get to know their digital pressman, Kent Wright (aka rocking' guest blogger), here.

Trust me on this one. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Absolutely INKcredible!!

Thanks to my friend, Kim Tackett, for sharing this video on her amazing design blog: Who would have thought that blending ink was so complex?! Much respect to these folks!!