An Old Friend Resurfaces –Waldman

For me, what once was the most exciting surface in all of printing has resurfaced. Well, actually, it never really went away. But looking back almost 30 years, I can remember that when a customer specified Kromekote it was a special project. And, yes, there was King James and Mark 1, and we were supposed to call these glass-like papers by the generic name: cast-coated. However, no one did, as every printer I knew used Champion’s brand name, Kromekote, as the category nomenclature.

Time marches on, and new varieties of paper—both domestic and foreign—have paraded through. Couple that with on-press varnishing techniques, aqueous and UV coating, and some of Kromekote’s luster may have faded. I also can recall when many designers no longer wanted a cast-coated finish as their tastes changed to less glossy and dull stocks.

More Good Memories

So the excitement of printing that special project on Kromekote had become just another memory in a mind cluttered with so many memories of this great industry. That is until I met Garth Geist in a small booth at the On-Demand show in New York.

If you’re a regular reader of my column (anybody?), then you’re aware of my belief that single-pass office color laser printers like the Xerox Phaser 7700 will eventually play a large role in short-run printing. Garth is director of digital media for Smart Papers, and his impressive knowledge and enthusiasm for the future of digital print and the role of paper soon enveloped me in a fascinating conversation.

Garth suggested that I try KromekotePlus on my next Phaser 7700 project, as he has seen some excellent results using the updated version of this old industry great for digital printing. Smart Papers now owns Kromekote—complete with the original mill that continues to make the super-shinny paper.

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