VDP: Debunking Urban Legends
• The papers available for digital printing are way too limited.
In 1999, most of the available papers for digital color printing were uncoated, white stocks in a narrow range of weights, which were all the leading xerographic printers could handle. The industry has come a long way since then.
First, today’s leading digital presses perform better, printing a wide range of coated and uncoated substrates, from the very light to the very heavy—60 to 350 gsm for uncoated stocks, 90 to 350 gsm for coated stocks.
Second, paper manufacturers have continually developed new substrates for digital printing. In recent years, many printing needs have been met with coated one- and two-sided papers, parchments, off-white graphics stocks for text and covers, and specialty products for ID cards, labels, transparencies, photos, transfer to textiles, carbonless paper for digital color printing of multi-part forms and other applications. Many newer papers have been designed to run well in both digital and offset presses.
These substrates can provide a competitive advantage. For example, carbonless paper for color printing has permitted Beyond Signs & Graphics to move its multi-part forms printing business in-house, reducing turnaround from a week or more to hours, while boosting customer satisfaction and revenues. “Time- and money-wise, digital carbonless paper is a much better value for us (than outsourcing),” reports Annette Cogburn, production manager.
Further, today’s wide choice of stocks enable digital presses to produce some of the most elegant and demanding applications in the graphic arts. For example, Sands Des Roches, a wedding dress designer, recently worked with Atlanta-based Impel Media to produce an elegant catalog of its designer-quality wedding dresses. Impel produced the catalog on a digital color press using an 80-lb. cover stock with a matte finish and warm tone that enhanced the photographs and helped convey the lush opulence that Sands Des Roches sought.