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HP enables customized National Geographic covers

Press release from the issuing company

PALO ALTO, Calif -- HP today announced National Geographic magazine is using HP Indigo digital printing solutions so people can order customized photographic covers of a special collector's edition magazine called National Geographic Your Shot.

Available now, the collector's edition publication features the best photographs from the more than 150,000 images submitted by the public to the popular Your Shot online feature, where readers can submit their photography for possible publication in National Geographic magazine.

Photography enthusiasts can order the collector's edition online with a cover that features their own high-resolution photographic image. Consolidated Graphics, a leading North American provider of print solutions, is using its HP Indigo digital presses to produce the covers, which are then bound to copies of the special edition magazine. This project is part of Consolidated Graphics' increasing focus on personalized digital print solutions, a reflection of the growing trend among magazine publishers.

"The outstanding visual imagery National Geographic magazine publishes makes it one of the world's most respected sources for photographic excellence," said Jan Riecher, vice president and general manager, Graphics Solutions Business – Americas, HP. "The magazine's decision to use HP Indigo technology for this print-on-demand customizable cover is a significant endorsement of the photo-quality imaging and advanced productivity the presses offer."

The National Geographic Your Shot Collector's Edition is the first special edition from National Geographic magazine devoted entirely to reader photography. The magazine has cultivated an extensive web-based group of photography lovers through its three-year-old "Your Shot" online offering and the more recent "My Shot," which was launched in 2008 as an active photography-based community where readers can upload their photos to take part in various interactive options, such as jigsaw puzzles.

Confidence in HP Indigo technology

"The pervasiveness of HP Indigo technology in the printing industry gave us the confidence to approach the cover customization project with HP," said John MacKethan, director, Consumer and Member Marketing, National Geographic Society. "Knowing that we would receive a level of quality that is consistent with our magazines, HP and Consolidated Graphics helped us create a new product that enables us to engage with photography enthusiasts and general consumers who like the idea of being able to customize the cover with a unique, personal photograph."

To create the Your Shot Collector's Edition, editors selected 101 images from the more than 150,000 photos that have been submitted through the Your Shot Webpage since June 2006. National Geographic's regular gravure and web offset print service provider produced the body of the issue, as well as a complete newsstand version that does not have a customized cover.

HP Indigo and Consolidated Graphics

National Geographic worked with its e-commerce solutions provider to develop a web-to-print tool for the creation of customized covers. Consolidated Graphics then prints the covers on demand using HP Indigo 7000 digital presses installed across its network of plants in North America.

Consolidated Graphics is a leader in the use of digital color solutions for high-end commercial printing, ranking as the world's largest user of HP Indigo presses. Last year, the company completed the largest-ever HP Indigo purchase agreement, installing 36 presses at various plants in North America and Europe and pushing its overall HP Indigo count to more than 50 presses.

"Consolidated Graphics is proud to be helping National Geographic bring this to market," said Aaron Grohs, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, Consolidated Graphics. "This is definitely part of the momentum Consolidated Graphics is witnessing in the marketplace, where unique, innovative and high-quality offerings are driving adoption of digital print-on-demand applications in an effort to provide consumers with a more personalized user experience."

More information about HP graphic arts solutions is available at www.hp.com/go/graphicarts.

The custom-cover National Geographic Your Shot Collector's Edition can be purchased at the National Geographic magazine website at http://ngm.com/your-shot-special.