Production Inkjet Printing: Ready for Prime-Time for Commercial, Package Printers?
- Color profile. Schilling sees the most important factor being ink/fluid control. Use a thin paper with poor porosity, and the ink will dive in and saturate the paper. Then, when it's dried quickly, it will resemble "a sweater that came out of the dryer," riddled with paper cockle, show through and possibly some offsetting if the paper is not drying.
Among other considerations, Schilling sees the importance of designing the artwork to the type of ink and paper that's being used. Often times, she notes, the designer will develop a project without having any input into what type of paper is used. A modified paper profile may be necessary for jobs requiring higher coverage and large image areas and color blocks used for full bleeds.
"Designers need to fully understand the high-speed inkjet process, the impact of ink and paper, as well as how it is being finished before the creative process starts. If designers understand the process, they will be able to manipulate the elements to achieve the creative look required. The designers have to be involved in the whole process."
The world of color inks can be a daunting one for those printers whose experience in this area is scant, which can be especially true for transactional printers. Much of their experience is traced to continuous-feed, black-and-white toner machines. It can be an education for these printers to capitalize on the operational opportunities offered by inkjet color, notes Elizabeth Gooding, president of Gooding Communications Group.
"They have to become part of a color culture and that means not only understanding the technical and operational aspects of color—the color management, the color workflow, understanding the impact of paper—but also dealing with people other than those they've traditionally dealt with," Gooding says. "With transactional printing, they're mostly dealing with IT and data folks.