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Gapen on UV

Gapen on UV

By Darren Gapen

About Darren

Darren has worked in the printing industry for 30 years and spent more than 12 years at two of the nation's leading high-end commercial printers: Bradley Printing in Des Plaines, IL, and Williamson Printing Corp. in Dallas, TX. During that time, he operated conventional and UV 40˝ sheetfed presses and also successfully managed a $15-million pressroom equipment transition. Darren also was Lead Press Instructor for Heidelberg, where he directed specialty equipment startups and was involved in all aspects of the printing process by teaching both instructor and pressroom employees.

In addition, he served as a troubleshooter for various printing companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. As operations manager for a start-up specialty folding carton company, he played a key role in achieving more than $6 million in sales within two years. Currently Darren is president of D.G. Print Solutions, a consulting firm that supports printing companies of all sizes. He specializes in growth development planning, pressroom color management and pressroom training through specialty print applications.

 

Casting Products in a New Light to Spur Sales

 
I’m sure all of us had someone in our family, through the years, that collected coins. Maybe it was your mother, father, aunt or a grandparent? Perhaps not to the extent of an advanced collector, consistently buying and selling, but possibly just a cookie jar or coffee can stuck away in the bedroom closet. Or for those real treasure seekers, a mason jar buried in the back yard. Usually sitting there filled with some loose coins and the thoughts of saving them over time in hopes they will increase in value.

I know my father was one of those people. He had small jars and cans around his house which contained an assortment of coins. And now, unsure of any worth or value, my brother and I have the containers with the plans to pass them on to our children.

With that said, do you remember the “50 State Quarters® Program” launch in 1999? The U.S. mint spent the time and money to design, produce, market and release new quarters representing each state in the country. The plan was to introduce five new state quarters each year, over a 10 year period. They used more efforts on this campaign than any new coin launch in the past. I do give them a great deal of credit. This was a great idea to get new people of all ages involved in the pastime of coin collecting. It also regenerated some veterans to get back into the hobby.

The fact of the matter is that my wife had purchased three sets of the coins each and every year of release, along with the display case, for our three daughters. I can guarantee that she had spent more than the actual face value of a quarter for the uncirculated coins to be delivered to our home straight from the mint. However, it will be something that I hope my girls will always cherish and possibly pass down to there children.

I’m sure your thinking, “What does coin collecting have to do with UV printing?” Well in Dan G’s previously posted comment about targeting vertical markets, UV printing is similar to the quarter program. Chances are the majority of your current customers will not spend the extra money to print their existing products with UV inks and coatings just because you have invested the money for the dryers and supplies. And I don’t think that you as a business entrepreneur would you expect them to do so.

To some, the state quarters are only worth the $.25 that is stamped on the coin. Use the Mint’s idea and gather some new audiences or even possibly renew interest with your current customers by offering some fresh ideas. Marketing is everything, and with all of the various substrates available, UV can be the answer. Print buyers are still searching for something that will differentiate their product from the next package on the store shelf or the campaign piece that you received in the mailbox yesterday.

Plastics and foils will be around for sometime. Why not take out some of the worries and concerns? Will it dry? Did the ink adhere? Did we run small enough lifts and an adequate amount of spray powder so the sheets don’t offset? Why not find the answers to these questions as soon as the sheet is pulled out off the delivery?

You also have to keep in mind the possibilities you will have with uncoated stocks. The hold outs are phenomenal. You can achieve a look-and-feel that will not be duplicated with conventional printing. Not to mention, all of the wild and crazy special effects possible. They’re endless if you want to spend some time and effort on testing.

Keep all of this in mind when you’re contemplating the idea of either purchasing the equipment to produce UV printing or just to enhance and develop your existing book of business.

As always, we invite you to share your comments and look forward to your thoughts.

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