New York Printer Uses Indigo Digital Offset Color Press For Variable Data
Press release from the issuing company
WOBURN, MA, January 17, 2002 – In recent years New York City’s The Ace Group has seen a dramatic increase in digital variable imaging jobs, according to company Vice President of Technical Sales Val DiGiacinto. "A year and a half ago, pushing two years at this point, we were in the 15% to 20% range of variable data. Now our workload is in excess of 75% variable data," he notes.
In fact, these days he’s almost evangelical about variable data printing, and meets regularly with current and potential customers to explain the benefits of one-to-one marketing and high-return results.
"The biggest problem is that most people don’t know this process is available, and even if they do, they don’t know to what extent it can be used," DiGiacinto says. "So I’ve been holding seminars at companies and corporations around New York, where I go in and show them the work that we’ve done. This helps me educate them about the possibilities. It might take a week, or a month, or even two months before someone gets back to me with a job that, in their mind, seems to fit – but eventually, they do."
Most of The Ace Group’s jobs already fit the variable data niche, with the company’s daily output ranging from personalized direct mail postcards and short-run personalized promotional packets to high-volume, highly complex newsletters produced for the New Jersey-based division of Novartis, a global agricultural and pharmaceutical conglomerate. In fact, up to 90% of these four-color, 11x17" newsletters consist of variable data information tailored specifically for recipients across the country.
"Novartis truly understands the power of personalization in one-to-one marketing," explains DiGiacinto. "These are pieces that go out with a front panel with the name and address on it, which is obviously part of the personalization, and one of four return addresses, based on where in the country it’s going. But it also includes information about a product the reader may have used last year or the crop they’re growing this year, so the first thing they see is something relevant to them."
Since last summer, the newsletters have been printed – in runs of up to 72,000 – on the company’s new six-color Indigo UltraStream 2000 Digital Offset Color press, and the results have been even better than expected. "The quality of the UltraStream’s printed product and its offset look is something we’re pretty excited about," he says. "We also think the six colors will be an added incentive for our clients, since that’s one of the areas where we’ve had to compensate by offering a process color. The ability to put in a Coca Cola Red, for example, and actually do a piece that’s based on that fifth and sixth color, is going to be very important in the long run."
"The UltraStream provides offset-quality, on-demand printing at a remarkable rate of 4,000 4/C 8.5x11" pages per hour, and was designed for the high volume production of up to seven-color printing jobs," points out Ron Kukla, Vice President of Sales for Indigo America. "And because of its embedded SNAP (Swift Native Accelerated Personalization) technology, it can handle the most complex variable data. That makes it a perfect fit for The Ace Group, which is one of the leading producers of variable data printing products in the country today."
Owned by brothers Vincent and Tony Gagliardi, whose father founded the company in 1970 as Ace Typographers, The Ace Group has its own five-story building on Manhattan’s West 27th Street. Their offices include separate areas for digital prepress, printing, design and production, scanning and retouching, database management, and sales and customer service.
Digital printing is a longtime specialty but the company’s ongoing focus on variable data is not only an increasingly successful niche but also correspondingly profitable.
"We are absolutely committed to personalization, customer relationship management and one-to-one printing," says Val DiGiacinto. "That’s the direction we’ve taken, and that’s the direction we’re going to continue in. I don’t know a company anywhere that’s doing more than we are when it comes to personalized work."
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