Print Embellishment is Here
Si Nguyen, Vice President of Sales, Duplo USA - 10/24/2016

I’d been thinking about how far print has come since its letterpress days.

Customers didn’t always care about color until four-color processing was introduced and it was very expensive. Adding color to black and white provided a layer of value that made it stand out. Our world is saturated with color now and we see it everywhere on a daily basis, but it has gotten boring. And we’re all looking for ways to add value to it.

While attending Graph Expo in Orlando, I saw a bit of what I had seen a lot of during drupa earlier this year and that’s print embellishment. It’s the next phase in print, a growing area of opportunity, and the next wave of services that print service providers should start paying attention to.

What is print embellishment?

Print embellishment can be divided into three layers which are specialty printing, specialty finishing, and specialty substrates. Today’s customers want more and want to experience the touch and feel of the printed product, which is very minimal nowadays since we live in a generation where much has gone digital. Smartphones, computers, tablets, and TVs have us interacting with screens more than ever. Yet, it doesn’t mean print is dead. Print is everywhere, but it has become a commodity. Adding an element of touch provides unlimited opportunities to stimulate our senses and creativity.

There is a lot of curiosity about equipment costs and how to market these services to customers as print embellishment remains expensive. But both print and finishing manufacturers, including Duplo, have been embracing these new technologies to make it more accessible and more economical to print service providers. Solutions are becoming available to fit the demands for entry level, mid-range, and high productions.

Duplo has excelled in developing traditional paper handling equipment but since 2010, the traditional market has been declining. However, Duplo has been working closely with its end users and engineering teams to develop specialty finishing solutions. At drupa and Graph Expo, Duplo previewed its very first Digital Spot UV Coater. Featuring a user-friendly interface similar to its other solutions, this Digital Spot UV Coater will expand Duplo’s offerings into inkjet and help meet the growing demand in the market.

Without a doubt there is a lot of competition among printers and the products they’re selling are no longer profitable. Traditional and digital printing alone aren’t enough and printers will need to offer that value-added service to raise profits. Specialty printing, finishing, and substrates are all here and print service providers can stay profitable by expanding their print offerings.