Noel Ward is Managing Director of Brimstone Hill Associates, which specializes in marketing communications in the printing industry, including video production. He can be reached at 603-672-3635 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is brimstonehill.com, and he has a YouTube channel.
We are a sensual species. The more of our five senses we use, the more memorable the experience. This certainly extends to print, yet nearly all digitally printed pages involve only our sense of sight.*
Now, a company called Scodix plans to change that with “FinalTouch,” a process done on a digital embossing press that lets printed pages engage our sense of touch. “This,” says Ziki Kuly, vice president of marketing at Scodix, “lets printed materials be experienced in a way that makes them much more memorable.”
The Scodix 1200 is the result of some Israeli engineers seeing a UV press as a way to do more than add a nice coating to a document. Using some proprietary hardware and software, UV ink is laid down as a fifth color on pages printed on HP Indigo or offset presses. The UV can be an exceptionally hard gloss that stands proud on the surface of a sheet, but also matte-like textures that make you want to touch and feel it. Either way, images visually pop off the page.
While Kodak NexPress owners have been able to achieve pleasing results with the dimensional toner (Dimensional Clear Dry Ink) on those machines, Scodix technology offers broader options for digital and offset printed sheets from HP Indigo and offset presses alike.
Rolled out at Ipex last May, several Scodix devices were soon in place in print shops from Norway to South Africa, enhancing a wide range of materials. The first Scodix press on U.S. soil arrived in time for Dscoop6 in Orlando, FL, where nearly all the samples being shown were real jobs from European customers.
The system immediately drew a crowd of HP Indigo owners who saw uses in photo books, direct mail and marketing materials—the mainstays of HP Indigo page volume. The press at Dscoop was on its way to a midwestern direct mail firm, and Scodix execs say other North American customers are already lining up.
What I find great about this technology is that it’s not limited to HP Indigo digital presses. The machine, which looks much like a super-sized Indigo 7500, can accommodate A3 and B2 sheets, enabling it to work in both offset and digital print shops, expanding the range of jobs that can be run. You can get all the details at scodix.com and take a look here at what Ziki Kuly of Scodix has to say in an interview at Dscoop.
What I like most about Scodix is that it’s really something new. UV presses and coaters have been around for years, but this is very literally a whole new dimension of UV coating. It’s relatively easy to produce superb print quality these days. Being able to let people “experience” those pages could be a game changer for a host of applications. [* Note: Kodak has been offering the Dimensional Coating option for raised printing on Kodak NexPress machines with a Fifth Imaging Unit since 2007.]