Bellak Color -- Making Magic In Miami
“We thought the in-line foil unit would differentiate us from other printers. We were very strong in publications, but wanted to stand out from the point of view of agencies, marketing firms and wholesalers.”
Spreading the News
Since the foiling press didn’t go live until early 2008, Bellak Color is still going through the process of spreading the word among potential clients. Soublette adds that one of the bigger challenges is showing the design community how it can incorporate foil into its concepts. But the printer is currently negotiating with potential customers outside the Miami marketplace, and extending its reach to places like Atlanta, New York, Chicago and other cities along the East Coast.
Fernandez was so enamored with the new press and its signature capability that he decided to add a new wrinkle to Bellak by developing a Web-based trade printing portal, FoilMania. The Website targets printers, brokers, designers, photographers, publishers and design agencies that seek foil-enhanced general commercial products ranging from flyers, business cards and brochures to mailers, menus and door hangers.
Since Bellak doesn’t have a national reputation, let alone a natural link to foil printing, the printer’s corporate brain trust came up with a name that spurred a “go crazy with foil kind of thing,” notes Neil Fernandez, vice president of sales for FoilMania. The younger Fernandez points out that the opportunities for gang-run printing of general commercial products with the added wrinkle of in-line foiling will allow his family’s company to address a wide-open niche.
“Printers, brokers, wholesalers and end users lack options for product that they can upgrade to beyond four-over-four UV work,” he says. “We’re trying to take foil and make it affordable to the masses. Our initial marketing effort was very significant; we sent tens of thousands of mailers to wholesalers across the country. The interest is there, but the educational process remains as our biggest obstacle.”