Considering the Benefits of Hybrid Inkjet Color
Many print service providers print shells on their analog presses, pack them into boxes, and then watch as a truck transports them to a competitor where digital printing equipment applies personalized text, graphics and details. Those boxes might as well be filled with money. Somebody else got paid for finishing the job.
Other print providers can add the digital content, but it requires extra steps, handling, material movement, and time.
Instead of shipping extra revenue away, or producing the work with a complicated, multi-step process, why not keep all the work under one roof and add the digital content in line?
Adding hybrid color inkjet modules to web presses allows print service providers to personalize direct mail offers or add other variable elements to what has typically been a static product. This is an appealing prospect. Printing companies can protect their investments in existing printing and finishing equipment, add new services, and even move into new markets. They can add a full range of colors to the finished product with little increase in incremental cost, and do it all in a single pass.
Color management is often a missed step in color inkjet printing. A color management workflow is required to achieve sustainable desired color output. Color may be manipulated both at the input as well as the output of the process.
Input - The Artwork - You may correct or optimize your artwork with image editing software such as Adobe's suite of products.
Output Device - The Printer - As a result of the print technology, ink-set, and and other factors, each type of printer has its own unique range of reproducible colors known as its color gamut. This, combined with the color and ink absorption properties of the substrate (usually paper), greatly affects the image quality and color fidelity of the final product. Paper is the fifth color.
By applying a set of ICC profiles (essentially offset tables) created with the help of specialized hardware and software tools, the output of a color printer may by altered in order to more closely reproduce the intended colors; again within the limits of the printer's color gamut.
Many Applications for Personalization
Marketing experts agree - personalizing a mail piece increases response. Mail recipients respond even better if the variable data is presented in high quality color, made possible with the latest generation of digital print modules. Existing customers who have traditionally used generic direct marketing pieces will enjoy the higher response rates made possible from adding variable digital content to their previously static pieces.
Applications for full color digital content are wide-ranging. Marketers can use demographic data to assign appropriate graphics or photographs to individual documents and personalize items such as membership cards or coupons.
Additionally, digitally-printed barcodes can enable further personalization and segmenting such as controlling selective inserts, PURLS, or QR codes. Print providers can integrate direct mail pieces with complementary personalized messaging delivered in additional channels such as email.
Not Just for Marketing
Digital personalization can go beyond marketing applications. Multiple inkjet print heads can be aligned to cover an entire page. Print providers can create documents such as notices, bills, letters, or statements using this method. You can add personal statistics such as full color investment allocation graphs or electricity usage history charts to make dull transactional documents stand out.
Besides the benefit of an additional revenue stream, digital personalization can help you retain customers. Keeping the job under one roof presents competitors with fewer opportunities to lure the business away.
The newest digital inkjet printing solutions take advantage of existing transports. They are small, and they require much less maintenance or specialized training to operate.
Specialized tools are available to assist with color management allowing even a novice user to achieve the best possible print quality. Print service providers looking to expand their business should consider the benefits of full color digital printing systems.