Indigo digital printing

21st April 2017

In the beginning...

When the HP Indigo 1000 Series 1 appeared on the scene in the early 2000’s it was ground breaking. Reliability was an issue and print quality was acceptable but what it revealed was the true potential of digital print for the first time and started the move away from litho. Its trump card was that it printed at the click of a mouse, even printing a different page with every spin of the drum if required, and paved the way for low volume high quality printing.

This is why, today, you can ask for a business card print run of just 25, whereas 25 years ago a minimum order might have been 500 cards with an annoying and frustrating 10-day wait. These machines have inflicted a lot of damage on traditional printers. The cost advantage of Indigo printing over litho prints only runs out where substantial print runs of the same subject are concerned, but that still depends on whether you have time to wait.

Demand for digital print outstripped capacity

Entwistle Group’s customers responded in their droves and in only a few years we were forced to increase our capacity by buying two HP Indigo 5500s. Demand for digital print quickly out grew these two machines so we augmented our capacity by the addition of an HP Indigo 7600.

Compared to our original Indigo 1000, the quality improvements, capabilities and speed of our Indigo 7600 is like the difference between light and day. Speed is now a phenomenal 2000 double sided SRA3 an hour, dpi 1200 x 2400 and capabilities such as white ink printing or embossing are available.  These are incredible engineering achievements.

What is the technology behind Indigo print machines?

Unlike offset printing, the Indigo 7600 employs a digital press that uses ‘electroink’ in conjunction with liquid toners in which the colourants are suspended in liquid. Not only does this provide the opportunity to print using white ink and spot colours, but it also allows for the creation of raised and embossed-style textures – after all, you still have to stand out from the crowd.

Electroink provides an exceptionally wide colour gamut and which includes special-effect inks. Through the Indigo process in combination with Electroink the printing process delivers a very thin layer of ink which provides a uniform gloss.

So what do Indigo printers deliver to you, the customer, that makes them such good machines?

Well for a start they can print small quantities of print staples such as:

  • Brochures
  • Business cards
  • Booklets
  • Lookbooks
  • Reports
  • Mailshots
  • Invitations

But their real success was cracking the holy grail of marketing: image personalisation and variable data printing, affordably and quickly.  You may have come across the term variable data printing, particularly where digital printing is concerned, yet you may not be aware that this important marketing tool is becoming more and more effective as marketers search for optimum response rates to promotional campaigns.

Variable data digital printing works in direct conjunction with your digitally stored client database. Digital printing technology now means a digital printer like the HP Indigo 7600 can perform a print run where every single printed promotional text is personalised to the individual recipient. Research has shown that when marketing material is of a personally identifiable nature, response rates are appreciably higher. According to InfoTrends, digital print volume is set to grow 15.1% year over year for the next few years.

The current situation

The digital revolution has certainly created a massive sea change in the way so many businesses approach marketing efforts. With the speed and increased accuracy of marketing via social media and email campaigns, not only is it possible to more accurately target your market, but analysis of results can enable further improvements as you move forward.

However consumers are suffering from email and social media overkill. Where these platforms were once highly effective they are now offering poor returns on investment. Creative, personalized print is having a resurgence as a standalone marketing tool or part of a integrated digital campaign – cross media.

Today’s latest challenge

Today you are faced with the challenge of how to make your digital marketing campaign stand out. While everyone is looking towards a blank horizon for answers, the solution already exists, though in a better format than before thanks to Indigo printing. While the digital revolution may have changed how we communicate, it has also changed how we print documents and material. With Indigo printing allowing you to print in ‘relief’ or in an embossed form, the range of usable media, from metals and plastics to recycled paper means you can get your marketing message over in even more memorable ways.

The immediate advantages of Indigo printing

  • Less marketing material is being sent via traditional mail, so you have less competition for the reader’s attention
  • A high-quality and unusual Indigo-printed marketing leaflet or pamphlet immediately tells your potential customer you are a serious business
  • Using unusual forms of printed media means your message has a greater chance of remaining visible, thus extending the marketing power

Your next move

Whether you need to work reactively to market changes, or have a long-term marketing strategy in place, don’t skip over the potential of digital print. You might be very surprised just how cost-effective it can be, and what can be achieved to make your business stand out above the competition. Whatever your current thoughts may be, why not give us a call here at Entwistle Group and we can discuss possibilities. After all, talking doesn’t cost anything, does it? 

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