Only recently, Agfa announced that Cestrian Imaging, one of UK's leading digital print suppliers had upgraded its first :M-Press to full greyscale printing and also installed a second :M-Press Tiger in Manchester. To promote the versatility of the new technology, Cestrian Imaging produced a personalised hence unique piece of digital print for their customers.
"It started with a basic idea of a box of chocolates for Valentines day. We intended to invite our customers, both agencies and retailers, to learn about our core competencies. The ability for Cestrian Imaging to add variable data to the high quality print of the :M-Press Tiger has been a turning point in the evolution of digital printing" said Managing Director Paul Whitehurst. "True personalisation of both text and images without loss of production speed, even on long runs, has enabled us to offer the market the next step in print."
"The box is entirely printed on the :M-Press onto a brand new Art canvas board, with a fantastic texture, " said Phill Reynolds, Operations Director at Cestrian. "When opened, the inside flap shows chocolates whose descriptions reflect the services that Cestrian offers its clients. Inside the box is a dyesub fabric (printed with a chocolate selection stretched onto our Eflex Aluminium frame (see www.cestrian.co.uk/gonesoft for an example), a new product which Agencies and Retail are using a lot to cover walls, etc. "
On the outside of each box is a label where the recipient's name is printed, and the images inside reflect whether the recipient is from the Agency or the Retail sector.
"On the back of the box was a QR tag/code which when scanned takes you to our website, and next to that a unique number which identifies the recipient to a label which we then stick onto the envelope when sending it out. The inside the box invited the addressee "to make a date" with us to visit our production facilities, and to take a real box of chocolates home" added Reynolds. "From concept to delivery we had less than 2 weeks to turn this around. Thanks to the Variable data printing capability on our M-Press we could really let our creative juices flow".
"Even with the high printing speeds from :M-Press, our new breakthrough automated variable data printing allows for printing individual copies without slowing down the printing process. It reduces the risk for errors and allows for the optimal use of the substrates," said Tom Cloots, Business Line Manager for :M-Press at Agfa Graphics.
Agfa Graphics offers variable data printing through :Apogee Vibe, an optional extension to the prepress workflow system. Single individual copies are created automatically from variable text and images that are taken from records in a database. Each record represents a unique finished document.
It is possible to verify the page layout with and without variable live data in :Apogee Vibe before going to press. Page layout with variable data preview will display the actual content of the fields from the database and the actual static images, next to all static elements.
To optimize print capacity on the press, it is possible to create multiple-up pages with :Apogee Vibe. Multiple-up pages contain more than one document on a print page, that also can be printed with different variable elements.
Developed jointly with Thieme, Agfa's :M-Press Tiger combines the printing expertise of both companies: screen printing from Thieme and digital inkjet printing from Agfa Graphics. Adding variable data printing answers a prominent need from print service providers to print up to 700 square metres per hour including loading and unloading, with no make ready, films or screens. :M-Press can handle substrates up to 10 mm thick with a colour gamut better than ISOcoated V2, the offset gamut.