The Ace Group adds HP ElectroInk White
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Palo Alto, Calif – HP today announced that its HP ElectroInk White - a white ink for the HP Indigo press 5000 and 5500 models – has helped print service provider (PSP) The Ace Group Inc. win new jobs that would otherwise exclude valuable variable-data features and require the use of static printing through analog print methods.
Available worldwide this month, HP ElectroInk White is the industry's first white ink for sheetfed digital presses. It allows HP Indigo press users to print full-color images on transparent, colored or other substrates commonly used in point-of-purchase (POP) signage, greetings cards, direct mail and other applications.
"This new ink helps PSPs offer more with their existing HP Indigo platform," said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. "For customers like The Ace Group, it represents a chance to gain incremental business on jobs they previously could not produce on a digital press."
Better printing with fidelity to design
PSPs can use the white ink to visually improve existing work, as well as produce new high-value premium jobs. The Ace Group, based in New York, has used HP ElectroInk White on its HP Indigo press 5500 to produce unique jobs such as personalized invitations for a movie-industry client's Hollywood gala.
To attract studio executives and well-known directors and actors, the invitation's designer wanted to print on a high-quality dark-colored paper to make an understated but formal impression. Without white ink, The Ace Group would not be able to achieve the desired look on a digital press. Instead, the personalized invitation would typically require printing a dark background on white media and showing the white text as a knock-out within the printed surface.
The result would only be a rough approximation of the designer's original intent because the heavy ink coverage would eliminate the understated look. The heavy ink coverage would also create the risk of cracking along folds. With HP ElectroInk White, The Ace Group was able to print on the specified dark-colored paper, producing a more elegant piece with a cleaner, finished look, reflecting the designer's original intent.
"The white ink presents innovative new applications we could not have produced before," said Val DiGiacinto, Vice President Sales/Partner, The Ace Group Inc. "Not only do we gain a broader range of capabilities for standard commercial products like invitations, the ink makes some market segments, such as digitally printed point of purchase signage, a more natural extension of our business."
The Ace Group has discovered that digital press production using HP ElectroInk White provides a distinct advantage over offset when printing on transparent film, which is common in POP signage. While offset inks can take hours or even days to dry on nonporous plastic film substrates, HP ElectroInks are dry by the time they come off the press, significantly reducing turnaround time.
The Ace Group, which also produces offset POP, is now exploring new opportunities with customers that use transparent media and could benefit from having faster delivery and shorter lead times.
Benefits in packaging design applications
Another PSP benefiting from the new business opportunities is Italian firm I Tech, which has discovered significant opportunities to use white ink for packaging design.
"Our company, which has worked with HP Indigo for years, offers large multinational companies not only print, but package design, prototyping and merchandising," said Alberto Vianelli, managing director, I Tech. "About 50 percent of our prototypes and mock-ups use the new white ink. It differentiates us from competitors and builds customer loyalty because we can help our customers develop their marketing ideas in record time with excellent quality."
HP has worked with two of its preferred media partners – Fedrigoni and Mohawk –to develop customized colored papers for use with the new white ink. New white ink compatible media from Fedrigoni include brown, blue, red and orange colored papers. Other media supporting white ink include colored and metallic-effect papers from GPA and Arjo Wiggins, as well as transparent films from Tekra, Folex and Hanita.
HP displayed white ink jobs from The Ace Group, I Tech and other HP Indigo customers at the recent Dscoop5 user group conference. More information about HP Indigo presses is available at www.hp.com/go/gsb and through the HP Graphic Arts Twitter feed.