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Acme Bookbinding installs HP Indigo press 5500

Press release from the issuing company

PALO ALTO, California, September 2, 2008 – HP today announced that Acme Bookbinding has installed a seven-color HP Indigo press 5500 for on-demand production of high-end books. With the press, Acme meets the stringent quality benchmarks the company has established in its 187-year history of providing the very finest hardcover and softcover products.

Acme is using its new press to print top-quality, short-run books, such as professional photography portfolios, fine art portfolios and coffee table books, in runs as small as one. Acme's on-demand books are produced on a variety of media using a diverse selection of in-house binding methods and materials, and they are often unique creations that offer a higher value than standard commercially printed books. Acme selected the HP Indigo press 5500 because the press and its liquid HP ElectroInks offer the color fidelity and true offset look and feel needed to meet the company's exacting standards.

"HP has earned a leading position in the digital press market because of its ability to help customers achieve profitable growth with the best combination of high value and high productivity," said Rich Raimondi, vice president and general manager, U.S. Graphics Solutions Business, HP. "A company that knows the book manufacturing business as intimately as Acme realizes that the HP Indigo press 5500 is an ideal solution for bringing top quality production into the print-on-demand space."

The HP Indigo press installation is the latest advancement Acme has undertaken for on-demand production of books in color. In 2004, the company used its HP Designjet 5000 large-format printer to produce one of its most noteworthy on-demand books, "Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Himalayan Kingdom," a photographic showcase of the South Asia nation by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Michael Hawley. The 5'x7', 130-pound book was certified by Guinness World Records as the largest book ever published, and served as the central part of a fundraising campaign that generated hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Bhutanese schools, scholars and educational programs.

Work produced on both the new HP Indigo press 5500 and the HP Designjet printer is enabling Acme Bookbinding to establish a competitive advantage with a level of quality once strictly limited to long-run offset-printed books. Books are often cost-prohibitive to print in short runs using offset, and Acme's HP technologies help the company position itself apart from commoditized, low-price book manufacturing operations. As a producer of on-demand, offset-quality books that have well-crafted bindings and virtually every option designers might imagine, Acme offers solutions to a discriminating audience for back list titles and other works that would otherwise go unpublished.

'Faith in HP's technology leadership'

"We see ourselves as a technology company that manufactures very high-quality books," said Paul Parisi, Acme's president. "We have faith in HP's technology leadership and in HP's ability to deliver beautiful printing that provides value to our customers. As a manufacturer of long runs of hard cover and paperback books that also has a long history of producing single-copy hard cover books by the thousands on a daily basis, Acme has all the bases covered."

The HP Indigo press 5500 helps increase utilization and reduce operating costs to offer high productivity and profit potential for print shop owners. The press supports an expanded range of economical, off-the-shelf media including leading brand standard offset uncoated papers. It also prints on all media within specifications at press-rated speeds and uses high-definition dot placement technology for resolutions of up to 1,200 dots per inch. 

For spot color changes on the optional 5th, 6th and 7th color stations, an on-press, fast ink replacement feature enables near-zero downtime. HP DreamColor Technologies, which are featured on the HP Indigo press 5500, provide greater consistency and more accurate color matching.

Based in Charlestown, Mass., Acme first established its digital book production operation as a way to serve libraries by reprinting damaged, out of print books. Using the skills and production workflows established in its library division, the company established a digital on-demand book manufacturing business that produces thousands of books per day. Given its reputation, Acme's new digital color press reflects a company emphasis on offering the very best.

Acme specializes in books that are beautifully printed and bound, with full rounded spines, luxurious cover materials including imported fabrics or genuine leather, and top-quality foil stamping all being routine offerings. Options such as ribbon markers, round corner covers, mounted pictures, leather spine labels and deluxe slipcases are a small sample of custom features that Acme offers, as well as a nearly unlimited selection of trim sizes, page counts and binding styles.

Parisi expressed confidence that the HP Indigo press 5500 was the right print engine to move Acme ahead with its standards for quality in the rapidly growing print on demand market – a smart investment based on a sound strategy and Acme's deep expertise in high-quality book binding.

"If you position your business to compete on price for low-value products you will need enormous scale and still your future will be bleak," said Parisi. "Custom manufacturing of high-end products is where you want to be in the book business, and Acme's HP solutions are helping us bring high-end manufacturing to the on-demand market."