Special Effects/Finishes: Turn How Into Wow!

Westamerica Graphics employs Kodak's Fifth Imaging Unit on its NexPress 3300 digital press to add gold ink capabilities.

One particular job saw Westamerica generate a museum fundraiser that include mailers printed in red and gold, blue and gold, and green and gold. The museum received a wealth of positive feedback from the benefit attendees and is now sold on the golden tickets.

Chasing technology can be time consuming, expensive and frustrating. Imagine being the first tenant in an exclusive, gated community—the quiet, the beauty, the excitement of it all—then, within a year, you become knee-deep in neighbors. It no longer seems special when the masses join the party, does it?

Yes, with certain technologies, the market can devolve into a sea of “me, too” competitors, and soon this specialized offering you once boasted of becomes a ho-hum commodity. This turns the hunt into identifying the next big thing that won’t become infested with users into a vision quest.

Well, we won’t make you fast or sleep in your back yard. It’s too cold to be outdoors, so just stay inside, rip open a bag of pork rinds and immerse yourself in the value-added possibilities offered by special effects, finishes, foils and coatings.

Why is this a good area? As with any technology worth an extended look, these embellishments can enable a printer to achieve a point of differentiation in the eyes of its customers. Take David D’Andrea, president of D’Andrea Graphic Communications (DGC) in Los Angeles. The City of Angels is saturated with printers, notes D’Andrea, hence the decision to become a boutique, high-quality provider that can churn out 10 micron with UV “all day long,” he says.

To augment DGC’s quest to become more than the average print provider, the company acquired an Eco-Eagle cold foil system from Eagle Systems in December of 2012. With a client base that includes advertising and design agencies, entertainment companies, movie studios and other film/music concerns, DGC can now print a silver film material in-line and overprint process and spot colors, achieving the full spectrum of metallic colors.

“Foil is in vogue again,” notes D’Andrea. “We’ve got a lot of young designers looking at foil for the first time, so it’s nice to see different products or processes coming back to the printing world with vigor. Our cold foil system has really allowed us to provide that extra process without creating extra days in the schedule.”

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