Focusing on the MESSAGE

Been a long time since I posted anything and I think that it is time to revive. 

This is the summary of an e-mail I'd really like to send to a prospect that has museum quality color matching on the top of her list of requirements for marketing materials. The rough part is that the most efficient way to print the job, is most likely not going to match their color standards on an inkjet web press running at full speed: 

Ms. Art Museum VP of Marketing

Thanks for taking the call.

If color matching is the number one deciding factor in all of your marketing pieces, it can definitely be accommodated. We can just chose equipment to match. (equals slower digital presses and more expensive total cost) The more important factor in marketing is the use of known recipient data. (This is what matters in mail!)

Let’s say visitors buy tickets for specific exhibits over the course of the year. You have this information. (I hope ticket master passes back addresses) It might be one exhibit, or they might be regulars, but next time an annual giving campaign comes around you are ready. Visitors now receive something in the mail from you highlighting the specific exhibit(s) that they attended, touching on a memory. (Awww Jim, remember when we went and saw the Monet Exhibit, wasn't that a nice evening?!!!) 

What was more important in the production of the mail piece?  
THE MESSAGE AND MEMORY far outweigh the perfectly color matched image that was printed. The recipient is already getting out their check book and if they want a high res image of a painting, they should have hit the gift shop at the museum or online! 

We are seeing customers embrace data to achieve personal connections with the people that they are reaching out to. Color matching can most definitely be done based on specific equipment, but it is the new age of fast, data driven print technology that is allowing marketers to finally reach out in pleasing full color, with full variable images and messaging, at a price point that makes sense. 

I'm back in the blog game! 
See you all next time. 


More to come, but for now!

The graph below is only one example of pricing a book in all three processes (Inkjet, Cut-sheet digital and Traditional Offset). I have accented the most import with the green lines. What you see is the gap being filled between just under 250 copies and just before 1500 copies of a 4 color book. A gap that toner based digital only fills up to about 350 books. 

Page count will generate varied results to this graph, and I plan to have a series of graphs in the next few days reflecting varied standard size books and page counts. I hope to find the page count and quantity ranges to better serve my potential customers who might still think of Inkjet Technology as just another digital press. 



All Titles In One Workflow – Digital Inkjet Technology Makes It Work

The next-generation of stream inkjet technology finally delivers the promise of cost
effective short-run digital color printing to the publishing industry. The Kodak Prosper 5000XL produces offset class output, up to 175 LPI at extremely fast speeds that yield millions of color pages per day. Bringing you these benefits at an exceptionally low cost of operation, up to 50-70% less expensive than current cut-sheet digital machines.

At the facility I work for, we have the option to also run on color iGens and B/W Nuvera presses as well as the Kodak Prosper. Ultimately we can handle the entire list of titles from one publisher, no matter the run length.

For larger orders, traditional offset on a 36” 2-color heat set web press, 55” and 50” 2-color perfecting presses and the 26” 6-color perfecting press.

What I scream to publishers is that it is now time to evaluate your production and distribution process:

How many titles print in color,
and how many are black and white
How many copies are ordered of each book
How many copies of each book are trashed
and don’t forget…
How much do you currently pay in storage fees

After evaluating these factors, the production team and I can develop a plan to place each and every book into an easy to order work flow where you see improved ROI and minimized obsolescence at the end of the year.

Please leave any comments or messages. I need to hear the your opinion. 

Have a great week everyone! 


In-Line Optimization Station

Stealing a little content from the Kodak site. This unit is currently being installed and who says it better than the people developing it. 

PROSPER In-line Optimization Station
For those printers who require an almost unlimited portfolio of papers, Kodak is developing the PROSPER In-line Optimization Station, a pre-treatment module as an addition to the PROSPER Press Platform. This technology will enable the optimization of almost any standard paper and is designed to provide a robust and flexible option to printers of short-run jobs with variable paper requirements and specifications. The In-line Optimization Station, which will be available commercially in early 2011, can be integrated into the PROSPER Press or, alternatively, can be operated independently as a near-line coating module.
Kodak’s In-line Optimization Station is designed to deliver optimal image quality and consistent operation, allow the widest possible choice of substrate and maintain high levels of speed and productivity. The pre-treatment process optimizes existing paper designs to create an appropriate surface for the physical requirements of inkjet printing, including aqueous pigment based inks, evaporative drying, ink adhesion and gloss, without affecting other paper properties.

After investigating a wide range of application methods, including inkjet deposition and spray coating, Kodak developed a roll coating method that achieves a consistent application of pre-treatment fluid accurately and reliably. The water-based pre-treatment fluids contain adhesion-promoting additives that can be customized depending on the specific paper stock being treated. The system provides paper flexibility, allowing for the pre-treatment of virtually any paper surface, whether coated or uncoated, and from matte to silk to glossy finishes. It ensures high quality print by delivering consistent coverage of pre-treatment fluid across the entire web, as well as ease of use and excellent performance on press.

“The In-line Optimization Station provides an efficient solution allowing printers to use the widest possible range of standard offset and commercially available inkjet papers,” said Anir Dutta, Inkjet Printing Systems Product Manager, Kodak. “The option to optimize a wide variety of paper stocks provides our customers with substrate flexibility allowing them to maximize productivity and achieve optimal image quality.”



Keeping the fingers crossed - Inkjet Web Prospect

Anyone out there who has ever been in sales knows the anticipation and excitement of making contact with a promising prospect.

It is like the first day of school; exciting, stressful, hopeful and most of all, there is the anticipation of how it will go.

I'm going to be talking to a novelty book publisher soon and man can this guy benefit from Inkjet Web printing. I can't wait to talk to him about it!

I'll update later to discuss how things went, but in the mean time, keep your fingers crossed for me!




New Video from the New Guy

One of the new guys at work put together this video. He did a great job, Clap, Clap, Clap!

Take a look.

Video was dropped, I'll replace when I have the new one.



Just a quick post to share some info. There was an article written about
the press as well as some video and other things. I'm still trying to keep the content of this blog generic, but you might get the point of who I work for out of it. O-Well, I guess if you're interested, you might just have to drop me a line before I get to your v-mail or in-box.

Technology that benefits the customer more than the printer

What they think - Print CEO Article

Publishing Solutions - A little bit of personal bias, but this is one example of where things are going. 


Education Publishing and the Inkjet Web

Education Content Developers get excited. On a national level, there are different standards for every state that need to end in the achievement of the same goals.

Did that make sense?

Well I'm willing to bet that if you develop content for the education world, you know exactly what I mean. Heck if you are in the education world at any level you probably know what I mean.

I'm a former teacher, granted I was an art teacher, but you better believe I was paying attention to the Maryland State Assessment tests, and the VSC when writing lesson plans. I couldn't imagine attempting to write content that could be used on a national level, much less the idea of producing one textbook, program, disk or SMART board application that could keep all the standards happy.

While digital alleviates many of these issues by simply hiding some content or selecting a version that is specific to your state, there is still the textbook. Those of us with good enough jobs to afford the luxury of internet, a computer, and a never ending supply of digital information might forget that most schools still don't have a computer for each student in every single classroom. So what is a curriculum director to do but order textbooks.

This is where Inkjet Web Technology will change the game. When it comes time for the content developers to sell to all 50 states in the union, they can rest assured that they will be able to custom print only the number of textbooks needed for each state or set of standards required. Furthermore this is not Print on Demand (POD) publishing, this is digital short run, with a price point much lower than POD, infact, it is much closer to offset, and from what I can tell, very close to the same print quality.

That will be my rant for the day. I recommend to all that you get your flu shots, I didn't and boy does this stink.




Quick photos of the Prosper 5000XL and part of of the finishing

Kodak Prosper 5000XL

Paper flips between units to Inkjet 4/4.
 Unwind, cut and stack below.
 This is the unwinder above and the finished 4 color book blocks that come out the other end.
The next piece of finishing will be a binder that the book blocks will feed into, bind and trim. Ending in a finished book. 


Printed Books: Can they be high end and forward thinking?

We all want our information as current as technology will allow, right?

Well as of late, the world seems to think that online and digital are the only ways to make this happen. For the most part, I agree. Reading sports news online is without a doubt faster than waiting for the morning edition of the newspaper, and when you need to know who moved on to the next round of American Idol, twitter probably has a post that has leaked it before the show even airs.

The other side of the spectrum is when there isn't full access to an online source, or that the information simply isn't relevant to pop culture or the rest of the human population. More specifically, I'm referring to academic research from kindergarten on up. Not every library has sufficient resources to keep each person it serves connected to the most trustworthy online information. Most of us remember looking something up in an encyclopedia, copying as much of the information down as we could tolerate, and rewriting it in our own words so as not to be accused of plagiarism. Though because it was from the encyclopedia, at least we knew it was correct information.

I was lucky I guess, that our library had the newest set of encyclopedias each year. But as a former teacher, I know what school budgets look like. 

~Side note, I was a middle school art teacher with a $200 budget per year. No surprise we did a very long life drawing unit on newsprint with crayons.~

Most schools can't afford a computer for every kid in every classroom. Furthermore, I know that there are schools with such a limited budget that the books haven't been replaced in 5 or more years.

Here is the main point of an e-mail I recently sent to a Media Specialist (School Librarian for those who have missed the title change in public schools):

The idea that I'd like to pitch to some companies is to do monthly or quarterly updates, ship them to current customers and include a sticker that the set owner can stick on the page referencing the updated material in a separate book.
Eventually it would become necessary to replace the entire set, but at least the ability to stay current doesn't depend on buying another $600-1400 set each year. If for 2 or 3 years you subscribe to the quarterly update, I feel like everyone wins and the likelihood of continuing to buy the same brand becomes valuable to you based on your quarterly contact with the update. Not to mention, how cool would it be to get a bound publication that simply has encyclopedia changes from the last 3 months.
Am I making sense? 
Let me know what you think and I'll be happy to share it in a future post. 


Full Color Fits for Inkjet Web

Just a quick list of the non-variable printing that would fit the Digital Inkjet Web:

Science Textbooks

Medical Textbooks

Technology Textbooks

Graphic Novels - Novel length comics, not the kind of graphic your mom thinks inappropriate.

Cook Books

History Textbooks

Art History Textbooks

School Assessment Test Books - Gotta keep the kiddies interested in that test. Teacher careers depend on it!

These are just a few, but I expect there to be more fits as we learn the press better.


Quick Post Today

Nothing new to report today, but there is rumor that the press will start kicking up the speed in the next week or so. I might even be able to get some video out of it.

Still looking for those full color publishers. I'm thinking that Graphic Novels could be a good fit. Every artist writing and illustrating them would love to find out if their novel will sell. This press will allow for a short run to print and hit targeted markets before sending it to press in the thousands. Publishers pay attention, more lines in the water means a higher chance to catch fish. Sort of like the old line about eggs in a basket, but who carries eggs in a basket anymore?


Learning about the business end of the beast

Sales meetings are a lot more fun when you have something brand new to talk about. Some of the key points coming up in reference to Digital Inkjet Web Technology are:

-Shorter runs at similar price points when compared to offset.
-The ability to keep a books content alive as trends and technology change. (If you are into instruction manuals and medical books with color illustrations and photos, this is for you)
-A cash flow that leaves money available for other projects, payroll, or paying off that other company you owe money to.
-My personal favorite is versioning (apparently not a word in spell check) Think the same basic sweater with zippers on some, buttons on another and the choice of a variety of different colors. This is what you can do the guts and cover of a book by just submitting another set of files with the same specs (or basic sweater). There are no plates and no hard repetitive content because the ink is JETTED onto the paper at 650 feet per minute.

I know that this is only the second post, and I hope to pick things up a bit as the sales process of this printer picks up and as I start watching jobs fire out of it back into the rolls.

Talk to you soon. In the mean time, please shoot me a message if you have anything to add. This is new stuff and I'm hoping to create some dialog.


Post #1 FAST printing

Here is the deal, I'm not going to divulge my motivation for this blog. It should be apparent from a quick google search of my name. I'm not here to get your sales pitch. And I won't give you mine. Unless you want it.

What I want to talk about is inkjet web printing at silly speeds and the future of this technology.

We already know that these machines are recorded at running 650 feet per minute. I'm even told that 650 is only because nothing exists to cut fold blah blah blah. I think they can run faster.

I'm not going to get technical because I myself am about 5 months into the printing industry, and I don't want to look foolish by using the wrong lingo. This by far does not mean that anyone commenting can't use the correct lingo, I'm just trying to keep it simple for now.

Another neat Inkjet web feature is the ability to print full color in runs as short as 200 but up to 1000 without the added cost of plates etc.

But how will my buddy patch the holes on his roof without leftover plates sitting around? I'll tell you when we figure it out.

Last thing for today, because I'm doing this over lunch, BIG PUBLISHERS get ready. If your not already looking into inkjet web technology, I encourage you to keep an eye on me.

More to come this evening or tomorrow morning. Probably morning, it's Discount Pizza Night at the local pub.

End of Post 1