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Transforming Printing: New Inkjet Technology

This post was written to supplement Inkjet Printing Defined, part of a series seeking to uncover unfamiliar terms in the world of print.

Recent technology advancements have transformed the world of full color digital print, giving it a new face as it brings inkjet printing to the main stage.

Toner based technology has traditionally been considered a superior product to inkjet but also came with higher price points. The newest inkjet technology has made great strides to close the quality gap and provide some cost savings along the way.

Compu-Mail is part of a select group to adopt the short web inkjet. We recently installed three new inkjet presses of our own: an Oce VarioPrint i300 inkjet color digital press and two Xerox Rialto 900 inkjet presses.

A few things to remember about inkjet printing:

  1. Inkjet printing is great quality for the price you pay, and the quality of output depends on media selection. Opting for a less expensive media may save money, but runs the risk of sacrificing quality. You can overcome this by opting for high quality finishes. The medium selected will have an impact on the look: different paper grains and thicknesses will help determine the amount of ink and the mixture of ink used to make your piece be the best it can be.
  2. There are limitations to the color gamut of inkjet printers. Colors may not be an exact match, but inkjet printing will get you very close. The cost savings associated with inkjets is often directly attributable to the amount of ink used, and the design of the creative can impact the level of cost savings achieved.
  3. This type of printing is highly media-centric, and there are restrictions to the types of media that can be used on color inkjet projects. Each media or paper stock reacts differently as it is run through the machine. We work closely with Canon and Xerox to test and approve different types of media for use on our inkjet printers. Every media must be tested and approved before use. Inkjet technology is still new enough where the paper suppliers are working on their depth of product offering. To get the most out of inkjet technology, talk to your Compu-Mail rep to get a list of papers approved to run optimally on the equipment. We can provide samples if you need.
  4. With full color and full variable capabilities, jobs that were run off-set and then black laser for variability to save on cost may now be able to incorporate full color variable print and still be less expensive. Your Compu-Mail rep can help you determine which strategy will work best for your campaign.

The Bottom Line

The newest inkjet technology allows for full color variable printing at a great quality level and price.

The industry has made great strides to close the quality gap and provide some cost savings along the way, and our customers are reaping the benefits.