A Look at Printing Embellishments: C.J. Graphics Printers & Lithographers
There’s a common refrain that printing and finishing specialists use when they describe a postpress process that takes a pedestrian piece of output and transforms it into a masterpiece befitting your local art museum: It just jumps out at you. Regardless of how one classifies the reaction that’s produced — the wow factor, pizzazz, bling — the results achieved from using foiling, spot coating or digital enhancement presses all say the same thing.
Money in the bank. And last we checked, that’s not a terrible thing.
But perhaps it’s necessary to set the record straight in terms of who is interested in these finishing enhancements and why. When one thinks of a foil or spot UV enhancement, high-end product packaging almost immediately comes to mind, such as cosmetics, fashion and automotive. In that case, it may be necessary to re-educate the masses.
Just ask Jay Mandarino, president and CEO of Toronto-based C.J. Graphics Printers & Lithographers, which is part of the C.J. Group of Companies. Mandarino doubled his pleasure with the twin installations of a Highcon Euclid II digital cutter and a Scodix Ultra digital enhancement press. In a buying atmosphere dictated by lowest cost provider, these machines have enabled Mandarino to push his way to the front of the line. Mandarino is a man who follows his own beat, which is another point of differentiation.
“When I saw the [Euclid] at Graph Expo, it had our name written all over it,” he says. “We’re always trying to do new things.”
The Euclid II series bills itself as a digital cutting and creasing machine, but Mandarino sees it as a Suessian-esque machine of wonderment, a tool that lets designers run amok. As it is the only machine of its kind in Canada, Mandarino has been given a great running start on the competition.
“Not only does it do the typical creasing and scoring for the folding carton industry, it also scores and laser diecuts, and then it automatically strips,” he says. “We used it to create an invitation for our annual open house, and the invitation was a big hit. Everyone is still talking about it.”
The invitation to the open house — which doubled as a fundraiser for a local food bank and their not-for-profit C.J. Skateboard Park & School — was printed black with metallic gold on Neenah Stardream Crystal 105-lb. cover. It was then finished with the Euclid and inserted into a matching envelope. The results speak for themselves.
The invitation, of course, serves as a de facto marketing piece to the 3,500 recipients to showcase C.J. Graphics’ capabilities. In a world where it’s getting increasingly difficult to sit down in front of new clients, the Highcon serves as a point of differentiation that helps printers get their foot in the door.
“The technology is really at the forefront, and there is no technology that is even close to this,” he says. “There are things to be ironed out with it, but it’s really going to revolutionize and change the way things are done in the future.”
The return on such an investment is hard to pinpoint but, in hard dollars, Mandarino sees it as a three- to five-year ROI proposition. But when factoring in the printing jobs C.J. Graphics has garnered from clients seeking one-stop shopping, the road to profit becomes much shorter.