Talk of Golf Balls, Candles and Digital Printing's Future
Golf Balls and Candles
Where digital dominates, though, is in the ability to customize labels. This would seem trivial, but it turns out to be a substantial chunk of business for companies like Acushnet Golf, manufacturer of Titleist and Pinnacle golf balls.
I travelled to Tulsa, OK, where Odyssey Printing uses a Xeikon 5000 to produce customized golf ball sleeves for dozens of country clubs, corporations and special events, such as tournaments and fund raisers. Odyssey has 100 templates for packaging that can be customized with logos and pictures and UV-varnished inline with the press, then diecut and shipped flat to Acushet, ready to receive the golf balls. Run lengths are under 1,000 and jobs can be turned around in just five days.
When you think about the number of country clubs out there, all of which have a pro shop that sells golf balls, the market for just this one form of custom packaging is a very attractive one. The folks at Odyssey and Xeikon gave me a sleeve of Titleist balls, which I brought home and gave to a kid I know on the local high school golf team. He was thrilled to get some Titleists, but was fascinated by the personalized packaging. It makes you think about the effect custom packaging can have.
Odyssey also does labels for Yankee Candle Co., one of the largest makers of decorative candles in the United States. Back in 2008, the company was seeking a way to produce short-run packages for sales samples, fill-in orders, and had its sights on developing a custom label program. Many of Yankee's labels are on clear film and require near photographic quality. Odyssey brought in a Xeikon 3300, the first installed in the U.S., to address Yankee's needs, and added a Xeikon 3500 in August 2010.