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Digital Color Graphics Transformation from Offset to Digital

Published on September 8, 2011

C.O.O. Jim Rosenthal outlines Digital Color Graphics' digital processes they've included as the technology advanced and why they may well never buy another offset press.

My name is Jim Rosenthal and I am Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Digital Color Graphics located outside of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.  So the name of our company, Digital Color Graphics which started in 1997, kind of lends itself that we do digital printing.  Well, originally we started out as an offset printer, all small format; and what was digital about what we did is the days that the doors opened we were 100 percent computer to plate.  So that was the digital component of what we did.  So artwork never existed in a traditional form; it always existed digitally.

Then as digital became more prominent we started small and eventually went to NEXpress technology.  And at the time when we put in the NEXpress our—what the statistics showed and what the rationale was that if all we did was put the NEXpress on the floor and our offset volume went up it was a win for us.  Well, it turned out that both things happened.  Obviously we did a significant offset volume but our digital volume grew very quickly.

What we’re starting to see, particularly over the last year, year and a half, is that more and more of what we do does not have to be done offset any more.  It can be done digitally.  It’s acceptable.  Where people had to have five, six color with metallics and coating and spot varnishes and things like that, they don’t necessarily need it or want it any more.  And where they wanted 50,000 of something, obviously they only want 1,000.  So from our standpoint, while our offset volume has held pretty steady if not grown a little bit, our digital volume absolutely continues to grow, and more and more of it is actually driving our mail operation.  More and more of it is VDP.  We’re no longer addressing postcards and letters in a traditional inkjet or black and white laser fashion; we’re doing it in color.

So we think that that digital volume is going to grow significantly and we often joke, although maybe it won’t be a joke, that we’re never going to buy an offset press again; that digital is ultimately—we will have offset for things like envelopes and specialty things that require it.  But for the most part digital is going to be the bulk of what we do.  And I think that the toner that you see now, while it continues to get better and better in five years, it’s really going to be the high-end inkjet technology that’s going to be driving the whole market.

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