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Thu, Mar

Your customers want print with a ‘wow’ factor? You can give it to them. John Charnock, director of Print Research International, looks at the special effects you can now incorporate.

‘Special effects’ is such a generic term that it could cover almost any type of print beyond four-colour output. But for the sake of this article let’s take a look at three key areas of development: effects with inks, with substrate and with software - or indeed the combination of any of the three.

When it comes to investment there’s a temptation to think mainly in terms of hardware, but it's the software that can really make the difference.

Software is often seen as a bolt-on extra like a printer driver or a Rip, or else as a solution to a particular problem, such as colour management or adding cutting lines to a design. But if we look at some recent announcements we can see a number of new trends emerging that suggest a different approach to organising a wide-format business.

The Creative Place explains the significance of its AGFA Anapurna M2050 purchase.

In 2012 The Creative Place turns 20. Since its inception the company has seen plenty of change and now provides full creative, artwork, digital photography, large-format print production and installation, and four-colour printing (including short-run digital) from its purpose built facility in Watford. Yet, as a provider of design and branding solutions, the company was aware that it was not able to directly deliver all the requirements of a marketing communications campaign.

How image factory has invested its way into new markets. 

For more than 50 years, Image Factory has worked hard to offer its customers the latest services and cutting edge applications and, as you might expect, that’s meant significant investment in digital print kit. “In 2007, we made our first investment in digital printing technologies, so that we could offer a wider range of printing services,” says Tim Boore, head of digital technologies. “Throughout its many years in business, the company had earned a reputation for high-quality print and exceptional customer service. So when the time came to purchase a digital alternative to screen printing technology, it was vital that any investment reflected this.”