New Adobe PDF Print Engine Helps Printers Keep Up With Creatives

Ongoing innovations in printing inks and inkjet printheads are creating opportunities to print designs in a wide variety of new surfaces such ceramics, textiles, packages, and labels. So, Adobe has taken steps to ensure that the PDF files you create with tools such as Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe InDesign CC, and Adobe Illustrator CC will continue to produce the type of print results you envision.

Adobe has announced version 5 of the Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE). The Adobe PDF Print Engine is a software development kit that converts PDF job content (graphics, text, and images) to rasters for driving digital presses, wide-format printers, label printers, and platesetters. APPE is the leading rendering technology at the heart of prepress workflows in the $900 billion print industry.

Adobe collaborates with market-leading software vendors to bring the Adobe PDF print experience to every type of printing, including commercial printing, publishing, signage, CAD, GIS, photography, packaging, labels, direct mail, textiles, garments, and product manufacturing.

The Adobe PDF Print Engine is deployed as part of prepress solutions deployed by companies such as: Agfa, Caldera, Canon, CGS, ColorGATE, Dalim, EFI, Epson, Esko, Fujifilm, GMG, Heidelberg, HP, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Océ, Riso, Screen, Sharp, Xanté, Xeikon, and Xerox.

New Printers for All Types of Materials

The new version extends Adobe’s PDF Print Engine’s reliable color reproduction with new capabilities to harness the full potential of today’s digital and conventional presses. PDF Print Engine 5 will maximize color impact in the coming generation of textile presses, industrial print stations, and digital presses for label and packaging production.

The Adobe PDF Print Engine 5 is optimized to precisely render graphically rich jobs created in Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, and Illustrator CC for printing on flat and contoured surfaces including paper, plastic, fabric, metal, ceramic, glass, and food products.

The new color features in PDF Print Engine 5 strengthen support for Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) digital presses with ink sets that go beyond the traditional four-color base of cyan, magenta, yellow and black to magnify the visual and tactile effects of brand messaging.

“Brand managers count on accurate reproduction of vibrant designs to connect with customers,” said Adil Munshi, vice president and general manager, Print and Publishing Business Unit, Adobe. “Print jobs that are authored in Creative Cloud, reviewed in Adobe Acrobat DC, and proofed and output by Adobe PDF Print Engine 5 will now deliver the fastest rendering, best-of-breed color imaging and predictable results every step of the way.”

Why Designers Should Care

Printing has changed dramatically over the past 25 years. Despite all of the focus on improving  digital channels of communications, printing continues to be relevant. New types of printing can be used to: customize products and apparel; decorate homes, offices, and event spaces; and create interactive branding, educational, and entertainment experiences. Different types of prints can help you win the attention of key audiences and stand out in a crowded media landscape.

When designing graphics, you want to push the creative envelope with the latest functionality in Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and InDesign CC. But sometimes, this results in graphically rich files that are increasingly complex to print.

In an article entitled “Rendering for Creatives,” Adobe experts explain why rendering your PDF file for printing can be one of the most critical stages of prepress. As the text, graphics and images are broken down into press-ready instructions, transparency, knock-outs, and other complex effects will be simplified.

The article notes that,”Your rich palette of carefully selected hues will be funneled into a small number of separated printing colorants, each of which will be screened into half-tone dots. The rendering stage performs these operations at high speeds, producing billions of pixels in a continuous stream that instructs the inkjet printheads or laser beams when and where to apply color to the substrate.”

By enabling your printing firm to use the same algorithms for job management and final rendering that you used for content creation, Adobe is increasing the level of predictability in final results and lowering the chances of discrepancies. They claim that “If your printer uses the Adobe PDF Print Engine, you can rest assured that your artistic vision will print as expected – no surprises!”

Agfa Graphics, which makes wide-format printing equipment that can print on many types of rigid boards and flexible substrates, will be one of the first companies to incorporate APPE 5 into their prepress workflows. (Photo: Agfa Graphics)

Large-Format 3D Printer Creates Models for Events and Exhibit Promos

If you want to design some head-turning decorations for a big event, consider what’s possible with the Massivit 1800 3D printer.

Larger-than-Life Skeleton

Mexico-based print service provider, Moti Digital 3D printed this towering, head-turning skeleton for the Mexican Festival of Light celebrations in Guadalajara.

The four-day event explored how light and art work in perfect harmony and encapsulates the culture of Guadalajara. Moti Digital used its Massivit 1800 3D Printing Solution to create a model that would ‘wow’ visitors to the event and demonstrate the impressive capabilities of large format 3D printing technology.

 

Measuring 27 ft  long and 11 ft high, the breathtaking skeleton was produced in just four days. The painted skeleton was positioned inside the Plaza Tapatía fountain pool and illuminated at night, where thousands of festival-goers were able to sit in its arms.The experience generated huge amounts of conversation and photos that featured prominently across social media platforms.

Life-Size Triceratops

METROPOLE, a visual-communications company in France, used a Massivit 1800 3D printer to produce this ultra-realistic, full-size triceratops to promote a paleontology exhibition at the Museé national d’Historie naturelle in Paris. Measuring 5.9 ft. wide x 7.6 ft. long x 9.8 ft. high, the dinosaur model is currently displayed at the Gare d’Austerlitz railway station adjacent to the museum.

Thanks to the 14-inches-per-hour print speeds of the Massivit 1800 3D printer, the visually striking dinosaur was brought to life in just two days. The model was printed in eight components. Once assembled, Metropole’s production team strengthened the construction with ballast to guarantee its ability to withstand sustained interaction with the public. The cinematic artistic team at Metropole covered the dinosaur with a textured surface to replicate natural-looking skin. They also produced realistic eyes to enhance the appearance.

“When it comes to producing giant attention-grabbing models that truly turn heads and capture people’s attention, our Massivit 1800 is the solution of choice,” said Denise Zanet, executive partner at Metropole. She says the museum staff “was completely blown away by how astonishingly lifelike our 3D-printed triceratops looks. It’s generating huge buzz at the train station with many passengers asking how it was created.”

The Massivit 1800 3D Printer is the first of its kind to produce super-size, crowd-stopping signage, displays, and props for visual communication. Offering unprecedented printing speed, can build objects up to 57 inches wide, 44 inches deep, and 70 inches high.

Massivit 1800 3D Printer
Massivit 1800 3D Printer

HP Showcases Limited-Edition Packaging at Cannes Lions 2018

HP continues to educate designers and other creative professionals about what’s possible with the latest advances in digital printing.

At the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, HP demonstrated how small runs of labels and packaging can be designed to create personal and lasting impressions. In collaboration with sculptural artist Karen Chekerdjian, HP created personalized and customized labels and packaging for Moët & Chandon MCIII premier champagne.

The limited-edition packaging was an artistically printed replica of a six-sided gold sculpture designed by artist Karen Chekerdjian. Each box includes her signature.

Each day of the five-day event, HP produced labels and packaging with the names of the winners of the coveted Cannes Lions Grand Prix awards for excellence in marketing communications. (Award categories ranged from mobile, outdoor, radio and audio, and print and publishing to industry craft, digital craft, film craft, creative e-commerce, entertainment, direct marketing, product design, PR, social and influencer marketing, and brand experience and activation.)

In addition, 300 award jurors received a personalized champagne bottle and 400 platinum-pass attendees received a digitally printed box with champagne and chocolates in a “toast to creativity.”

The luxury packaging was produced in collaboration with Barcelona-based print-service provider Serafi. The production team used an HP Indigo 12000 Digital Press, a gold metallized substrate, new HP Indigo silver ink, and an HP Indigo 6900 Digital Press for the labels.

To enable more festival attendees to see what’s possible with digitally printed packaging, the limited-edition packaging was displayed in a lounge of the Hotel Martinez in Cannes throughout the festival.

Scalable Press Uses AI to Help Protect Artists’ Rights in Apparel Business

Scalable Press is a technology-driven print and fulfillment company that helps independent designers sell print-on-demand apparel and other products through their own websites or Shopify or WooComerce e-commerce sites. The company uses cutting-edge automation to keep production quick and overhead low plus artificial intelligence to help protect the rights and profits of artists.

DTG printers at Scalable Press
The direct-to-garment (DTG) printers at Scalable Press can print full-color images on T-shirts. (Photo: Scalable Press)

Scalable Press primarily sells screen-printed, embroidered, of digitally printed apparel. But they are also equipped to print posters and smartphone cases.

The founders of Scalable Press believe artist copyright infringement is rampant in the apparel industry — from corporations that mass-produce designs for T-shirts to individual consumers who use photos and designs without the appropriate permissions.

So Scalable Press now uses Google Cloud APIs and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to pinpoint stolen art and lead the fight for artists’ rights. The AI and machine learning help detect stolen art for apparel designs.

The Scalable Press technology doesn’t just detect infringements of the copyrights of well-known license holders, but also the copyright infringements of new, unknown artists who are just starting to build income from their work.

At first, the company used human moderators to judge when incoming garment designs contained elements that infringed on an artist’s copyrights.

“But as orders for shorter runs of prints started becoming the norm, the amount of artwork that was coming in made it difficult for human moderators to detect copyright infringement,” explains Eric Zhang, VP of Engineering for Scalable Press. “We wanted to find ways to reduce the workload on our human moderators. So, we started using artificial intelligence along with human moderators to check incoming artwork for copyright violations. As humans flagged different types of work, machine software became more proficient at identifying problem images.”

When Scalable Press spots art that may be inappropriately used, they contact the artist and explain how to request the appropriate royalties.

Zhang says their company continually looks for ways to use technology to improve all facets of their operations. He says, “AI is good at some things. Humans are better at other things. And there is less overlap than you might think.”

Scalable Press is equipped with multiple screen-printing presses and direct-to-garment printers in 6 facilities in California, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Indiana.

More than 3,000 Products

If you are an independent designer, Scalable Press is well-equipped to help you add different types of products to your website. In addition to printing each order that comes in, Scalable Press will pack it and ship it directly to your customers — complete with a packing slip with your company’s branding. There are no minimum quantity order requirements and the company can handle higher volumes of orders as your business grows.

In the Scalable Press Product Catalog, you can choose from more than 3,000 products that you would like to have decorated with your art, photography, or designs. Hundreds of different types and colors of T-shirts, polo shirts, tank tops, dress shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, shorts, hats, tote bags, and more can be customized. The catalog clearly indicates which type of products can be used with which garment-decorating processes.

The company’s Artwork Guidelines provide more details on how to prepare files for the different processes: DTG printing, screen printing, embroidery, and dye-sublimation printing.

The blog provides lots of useful advice about how to succeed with e-commerce email marketing or sell seasonal products such as sweatshirts and jackets.

About Scalable Press

Scalable Press was founded in 2012 in San Francisco as an e-commerce company. Today, their six facilities across the U.S. have more than 40 screen-printing presses and 60 direct-to-garment printers.  They deliver custom T-shirts in three to five days and dye-sublimated phone cases within 72 hours.

 

Epson’s Digital Couture Project Will Inspire Fashion Entrepreneurs

At their third annual Digital Couture Project, Epson will show fashion designers and fashion entrepreneurs some of the limitless design possibilities created by advanced digital imaging technology. In keeping with the theme “Textile Stories,” 13 design teams from North and Latin America will leverage Epson’s world-class textile printing solutions in a one-of-a-kind fashion presentation.

The Digital Couture Project  is scheduled February 7, two days before the official start of Fashion Week in New York City.

Digital Couture Project Logo

“In the high-fashion business, nothing stands still. The designer’s vision is constantly advancing, ultimately creating and driving fashion trends that change how we look and feel,” said Keith Kratzberg, president and CEO, Epson America, Inc. “Our goal with the Digital Couture event is to spotlight the power and potential that digital printing technology plays in the apparel industry.  From haute couture to sports team apparel, Epson technology gives designers and apparel manufacturers the digital platform necessary to launch the next great design.”

Epson Digital Couture Project

 

At the Digital Couture Project event, each designer or design team will tell a story through their collection via textiles created with Epson dye-sublimation and direct-to-fabric printing technology. These technologies enable high-quality, original prints on fabrics that will convey the signature style of each designer.

Design teams featured at the Digital Couture event include:

  1. Argentina – Vanesa Krongold
  2. Brazil – Daniel Barreira
  3. Canada – Sarah Stevenson
  4. Chile – Daniela Hoehmann
  5. Colombia – Ricardo Pava
  6. Costa Rica – Daniel Del Barco and Sonia Chang
  7. Dominican Republic – Carlos de Moya
  8. Ecuador – Miguel Moyano, Alex Polo and Maria Susana Rivadeneira Simball
  9. Mexico – Leonardo Mena
  10. Peru – Susan Wagner
  11. United States – Lindsay Degen
  12. United States – Sarah Richards
  13. United States – Kanbar College of Design Engineering and Commerce, Philadelphia University

“For the third year in a row, the Epson Digital Couture event showcases how digital textile printing helps designers expand their vision for creativity without limits,” said Agustin Chacon, Epson America’s vice president of international marketing. “The future of fashion and technology is in the process of being shaped. We are excited to be at the forefront of the industry – providing designers with printing solutions that offer a host of new and exciting opportunities.”

Technology Showcase

During the Technology Showcase portion of the Digital Couture Project, Epson’s global president, Minoru Usui, will outline Epson’s continued vision for the role that digital technology will play in fashion.

A panel of fashion and apparel industry experts will discuss market trends and the role of technology in fashion. The panel will be moderated by Anthony Cenname, vice president and publisher at WSJ Magazine.

The 2017 Digital Couture Project event will also serve as the official introduction of the Robustelli-Epson brand to the international fashion community. Based in Como, Italy, Robustelli has developed and manufactured the Monna Lisa series of digital textile printing equipment with technical support from Epson. Robustelli became part of the Epson Group in June, 2016.

Attendees at the Digital Couture Project event will see an array of textiles that have been printed on the Robustelli equipment.

 

Monna Lisa Textile Printer

Epson Digital Textile Printing Solutions

“New technologies from Epson are allowing designers to push the boundaries of color and quality while simultaneously giving creative teams incredible versatility and productivity,” said Kratzberg.

Epson’s dye-sublimation and direct-to-garment printing technologies give entrepreneurs and fashion brands the creative freedom to print on a variety of fabrics, including cotton and synthetic fibers.

The Epson SureColor® F-Series dye-sublimation printing technology gives designers an accessible means to bring their ideas and inspiration to life. The Epson UltraChrome® DS ink in these printers has an all new high density Black ink. The density of the black ink delivers printed designs with better tonal transitions, rich colors, and smooth gradations. The Wasatch SoftRIP workflow software included with the printer includes features for textile and fashion printing. The software enables designers to create and print original designs with greater flexibility and control.

Epson SureColor F Series

The Epson SureColor F2000 Series direct-to-garment (DTG) ink jet printers can print high-quality images directly onto garments. The printers can handle fabrics ranging from 100 percent cotton to 50/50 fabric blends.

The SureColor F2000 offers fashion entrepreneurs a quality, affordable printing solution. The Epson SureColor F2000 Standard Edition is a high-speed CMYK-only model and the White Edition offers the added benefit of white ink for printing on dark or color fabrics.

Epson SureColor F2000

Fashion designers and professionals interested in learning more about Epson’s digital printing technologies can visit www.proimaging.epson.com. For more information about Digital Couture, visit www.epson.com/nyfw.

ThePaperWorker.com Helps Artrepreneurs Make Memorable Impressions

Building an identity for yourself as an artist, designer, author, or photographer is a challenge. Not only are you judged by the creativity and originality of your work, but you may also be judged by how creatively and professionally you present yourself.

Whenever you interact with fans and customers online (through your website, blog, and social media) and in real life (at art fairs, book signings, or photo exhibitions), every interaction adds up to make a memorable impression. (Marketers call these interactions ‘touchpoints.’)

How you package your products also speaks volumes about your commitment to your craft. Is your packaging bland, boring, and cheap-looking? Or do customers feel like they are receiving a wonderful gift to themselves when they receive a box in the mail from you.

paperboard-boxes_d

One company that can help you make a consistently first-class impression is ThePaperWorker.com.

Through ThePaperWorker.com, you can use online templates and digital design tools to order as many boxes as need, whether it’s 5, 10, 20, or 100, or anywhere in between. At the same time, you can order presentation folders, tabletop display signs, or banners that you can take with you to events where you will be selling your works in person.

paperworker-customcorrugboxes_860

“Our packaging has detail and dimension, we have created ways to make the process easy and straightforward for our customers, regardless of their knowledge of custom packaging,” said Todd Anson, president of ThePaperWorker.com “Pricing is broken down simply by quantity, product descriptions are detailed, templates are provided in PDF/EPS formats, and 3D PDFs are available to view on every product.”

If you prefer to have an experienced package designer create your packaging graphics or review the designs you have uploaded, you can request those services on ThePaperWorker.com website.

thepaperworkerusbpackaging860
If you deliver files on DVDs or thumb drives, you can create presentation materials that remind clients of why they should continue to work with you.

Expertise from The Colad Group

All of the products available through ThePaperWorker.com reflect the deep expertise of The Colad Group, a company that has been developing custom presentation materials and packaging for more than 60 years.

Until five or six years ago, The Colad Group could only serve customers who needed at least 250 boxes. That’s because their printing processes required making plates for each color of ink and dies for cutting and scoring the box designs on a die-cutting press.

Digital printing and cutting technology has changed all that. Orders submitted through ThePaperWorker.com are produced on automated digital presses and finishing equipment. Full-color photographic images can easily be printed on the boxes without the extra time and costs associated traditional offset printing.

For more information about the benefits of custom packaging, see the infographic posted on The Colad Group blog.

More about The Colad Group’s commitment to using and recycling environmentally friendly packaging materials, is available on their website.

 

Packlane Serves Creative Entrepreneurs Who Want Custom Packaging

If you sell your own branded products online, consider custom packaging. It can set you apart from competitors and make a big impression on your customers.

According to a 2016 eCommerce Packaging Study by Dotcom Distribution, the quality of your packaging can play a role in fostering customer loyalty. In their survey, 40 percent of the respondents said they would be more likely to purchase from an online retailer again if the product they ordered came in gift-like or premium package.

Thanks to companies such as Packlane, you no longer have to be a high-volume seller of products to afford great-looking packaging.

Packlane custom boxes

Whether you need a few small cartons or large printed shipping boxes, Packlane can help you create full-color, customized packaging that will get your customers excited about what’s inside.

In addition to ordering as few as 10 boxes, you can choose the graphics, the size and type of box, and the type of materials used.

When it’s time to re-order new boxes, you can adjust the design to include seasonal messaging or update your branding. You won’t risk being stuck with hundreds of boxes with outdated graphics.

Types of Boxes

Packlane offers three main styles of boxes: a classic carton, a mailer box, a shipping box. Each type can be sized to snugly fit your products. You won’t have to stuff a box that is too big with extra material to keep the contents from shifting around.

Types of Materials

When you place your order, you can choose to print the graphics printed on stocks ranging from thin, flat paperboard to thick corrugated graphics. You can specify whether you want your graphics printed on brown Kraft paper or a crisp white paper. The brown paper is fine for simple graphics with muted colors. The white paper is ideal for bright colors and designs that include images.

packlane_blue_v2

Design Tools

The website includes tools that make it easy for you to create and preview your design in 3 dimensions.

Or, you can request a 2D dieline for the box style and size you choose. A dieline is flattened outline of the box design that shows where the folds and cutlines will go. Just follow the Artwork Guidelines, and Packlane will take care of the rest.

For quantities from 10 to 2,000, you can get an instant quote. (If you need larger quantities, you can request a quote.)

Design Training

To help creative entrepreneurs get the best results from their packaging, Packlane has developed a free 36-minute Skillshare course: Packaging Design for Creatives and Entrepreneurs.

The video series discusses  box styles, design considerations, production and finishing techniques, dielines, RGB vs. CMYK color, how to use Illustrator, and tips for creating or uploading your design on the Packlane website.

Additional Insights

On the Packlane blog, you’ll find interviews with some of the entrepreneurs who have ordered boxes from Packlane. Michael Kushner, of Stefans Head explains why he is using custom-designed boxes to ship his company’s limited-edition T-shirts.

Another Packlane customer is a start-up that sends a curated selection of Paleo-friendly snacks to subscribers every month. He says, “A professional image is extremely important to start-ups. Custom packaging sets us up for success from the very beginning.”

The Packlane blog also contains tips such as How to Choose the Right Packaging for Your Product.