City Colors — Direct Imaging Devotees
At the heart of City Colors’ operations are its direct imaging presses. The company installed its first Presstek 52DI in December and, within 30 days, ordered a second. Infante cites the ability to print 300 lpi at 2,540 dpi with makereadies of under 10 minutes as crucial to the quality and turnaround time the company offers.
The 52DI is a landscape press that prints up to 10,000 sph. Sheet sizes ranges from 20x14˝ maximum to a minimum 10x7˝. Files image on all four cylinders simultaneously in 4.5 minutes. Since the press is waterless, there’s no ink/water balance to achieve before coming up to color. All business card and postcard orders are printed on the 52DIs at 300 lpi.
More Gangs for the Buck
Infante points out that in addition to the significant leap in quality for both color and text, the new 52DI’s wider format enables larger gang runs. Since 80 percent of City Colors’ business card and postcard orders are for 1,000 items, it typically runs 1,000 sheets per job, producing 20,000 to 30,000 sheets per day per press.
For brochures, orders are placed for more than 10,000, but the typical order is from 1,000 to 5,000.
With the remaining Heidelberg QM DI, City Colors prints brochures, flyers, etc., at 150 lpi and 1,270 dpi. Postpress equipment includes guillotine cutters, folders and “at least” 10 Rollem slitters.
Ironically, the company used to purchase Chinese papers, but switched to American and English stocks some time ago, buying 10 to 15 skids per week. “The price is not as low as the Chinese was,” Infante notes, “but with the recent tariff increase on Chinese papers, that may no longer be true. For our competitors and other small printers, a 6 to 10 percent increase is significant.”
Not a company to stand still, City Colors will be concentrating on geographic expansion. “Our future looks positive for growth,” he says. “It’s a secure market. Everyone needs a business card—and our price, turnaround and quality are going to be there.” PI