For a successful paper relationship, the supplier should understand your inkjet process and the ink-to-paper compatibility, as well as how you use the paper. The amount of ink applied, paper thickness, surface type and post-processing needed creates a successful print run. Understanding your partner is the biggest part of any relationship.
The other day, someone asked me “if I could simplify high-speed, wide-format, aqueous inkjet in one simple explanation what would it be?” So, like many times before, I referred back to a trusty childhood toy: “Mr. Potato Head.”
As I have mentioned many times before in my blogs, it is the market’s responsibility to teach new and existing users the differences and the impact inkjet will have now and in the future. And to make them feel comfortable with changes that will occur to their processes and markets.
Choosing an inkjet-compatible paper will provide a more stable platform to print to G7 Gray. Some coated inkjet papers using aqueous pigment inks will even achieve G7 Color. How do you currently measure, match or control your high-speed aqueous inkjet processes?
Do you currently sell both offset and inkjet? Are you confident that your sales staff understands the basic differences? Not knowing will affect your sales and integration of new technology.
Until there is an inkjet fluid that dries quickly and stays on the uncoated paper surface, designers wanting to design to the machine color space will have to require the printer to “fingerprint” the machine on the uncoated paper, as well as request the output profile for soft proofing. We can call this proofing profile “Uncoated Kool-Aid.”
The inkjet industry’s lack of communication reminds me of my 16-year-old teenager. He is a bright, creative, innovative and responsible young man, whom I can depend upon to be consistent and hard working. But, when it comes to communication
Inkjet is a new and wonderful “disruptive technology” that is ever-changing to adapt to customer and market needs. Speed requirements are pushing print head jetting capabilities which, in turn, is requiring changes in inkjet fluid chemistry.
The biggest paper news during the PRINT 13 show in Chicago this past week, was the announcement by International Paper of the permanent closure of its Courtland, AL, mill. As to the show itself, digital remains front and center, and within digital, papers treated for continuous-feed aqueous inkjet, continue to be the buzz.
A young designer I spoke to the other day was very frank about the fact that she did not like digital printing because you could only print on white paper. Granted there are some print providers that prefer to print on white coated stock all day long (digital or offset, it does not matter to them). And these few give our whole industry a bad reputation.