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Theo Pettaras of Digitalpress shares a collaborative project

Published on June 8, 2012

Theo Pettaras, CEO of Digitalpress in Sydney Australia shares a unique project that was done in collaboration with designers that showcases their work in a creative way using different substrates and printing methods.

My name’s Theo Pettaras, Managing Director and CEO of Digitalpress in Surrey Hills, Sydney, Australia.  

This project that I have, which is called Just Your Type, is a book about collaboration and collaborating with many, many designers.  The original concept was, and the brief was for many graphic designers that I work closely with to come up and create a nice piece of type.  So, the idea was, you have the letter “A”.  So, “A” is for attraction.  So we think that this particular design is attracted to our company.  This one is my design, not that I’m a designer, but “C” for collaboration with all the little people.  Anyway, so it goes on, so on and so forth, lots of different printing methods.  Now, the idea is that we wanted to give our designers no limitations in what they were able to produce, what they design.  So what we ended up doing is interpreting what they have designed and work out the best way to execute that into print process.  

Now, the great thing about that is that we’re not being briefed in how to produce the job, but we are looking at this design and working out the best way.  That kind of sums up what we do when we speak with our clients and collaborate.  A lot of times, the printer, the agency, will not give me a job and say, here’s the job.  Here’s the brief.  How much? Are you successful with the quote?  Get the job; don’t get the job.  We do it a different way.  They understand our capabilities, they then design around or capabilities to get the best result.  Now I’m a firm believer that with print, it not only has to look good, has to feel good, it has to stimulate more than just one sense.  It has to be touch, smell, lots of different things.  And this book, this is essentially what it does.  We interpret what the designer has prepared and reproduce it in the best possible way.  So, we’re talking 25 different designers, 25 different stocks, 15 different processes, all done in house.  

For this one, for instance, it’s printed on a nice pearl essence stock with a very fine black raised print.  This one here is done with fabric.  So, you might ask, well why would I want to print something on fabric?  Well, quite simply, we can use it for a book cover, case binder or book cover we can produce book marks; we can do anything with it, an invitation, for instance.  So we go on, there’s lots of different processes.  We have raised print; we have the ability to showcase our capabilities with printing CMYK, plus a special red color to increase the color gambit.  Now, what that does, you can then match famous color.  So in the past, print buyers weren’t aware of the sort of famous color matches that you can do digitally.  

So what we’re trying to do is give the tools, the resources for all our clients to look at what you can now do digitally.  Give them the power, the power to print.  

So it just, you know, it’s been a great book.  It’s been well received.  It shows you lots of the capabilities, a lot of format printing.  We even have here some digital foiling that we produced in a digital method as well.  I don’t know whether you can see that properly under the light, but again, the digital foiling is a great process.  So what it allows you to do now is to produce foiled work without using printing blocks.  It allows you to write a letter to – have an addressed envelope to, say you have an organization with a name in silver or gold foil or whatever.  Always helps the process.  And that’s what we’re about, essentially making things tactile, making things really effective with the print.  

And so this book was launched last year.  It was very, very successful, and what we do now is sell it in the book shop, not to make money, but because we’ve only had – we had a limited run of 500, we don’t want to be inundated with people asking for copies, so we sell them for a nominal price of $30.  Now, we’ve had three orders of it since from the bookstore.  And so it’s obviously a powerful tool and a powerful resource tool for them.  

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