In the past, market testing of product packaging was a lengthy, difficult and expensive process. With digital printing, where each copy can be unique with variable data printing, the possibilities for innovative packaging and labelling development and testing are unprecedented. Not only are numerous variations and versions of labels, flexible packaging and shrink sleeves possible, but they can be printed quickly and on the same final substrates as might be used in conventional, long production runs.
Opus 21 Digital, of Newcastle, UK, invested in an HP Indigo press three years ago, as the centrepiece of its business. The company's sole business is short-run trial packaging mock-ups and sales models.
"We do every sort of packaging from shrink sleeves and labels, to cartons, foil products, pouches (doy packs), and all sorts of flexible packaging," said Mark Hunter-Purvis, director of Opus 21 Digital. "While our primary clients are mostly design agencies, we carry out work for many international brands. It's not uncommon for our products to appear on television."
Television advertisements often feature products not yet in full production and mock-ups are used to co-ordinate lead times between the advertisement and the product launch. They are also used at exhibitions and as samples for sales personnel.
"There's no minimum order," Mark explains. "We will run anything from one unit up, depending on what the customer wants."
Opus 21 Digital has used its press to print on pearlescent and holographic substrates - for which Mark says the ability to print multiple hits of white ink is invaluable - foils and even paper towels.
"For a new range of paper towels, we printed a roll in four colours as well as a mock up of the wrapping for use in a television advertisement," Mark explains. "The HP Indigo is the ultimate press, and we're watching the developments of this technology very closely."
B.I.G - Providing a Personal Touch
B.I.G, a subsidiary of U.S. owned Brady Corporation based in the UK has been using it HP Indigo to produce personalised name badges on behalf of its client, Tesco.
Tesco, a customer of B.I.G's for nine years, contacted the company because it recognised that name badges within its stores were being under used as a marketing tool. It challenged B.I.G to produce employee name badges that would improve the quality of relationships between Tesco's staff and customers. Tesco wanted to modernise the design of the badges in such a way that would maintain its corporate identity, enhance its stores' branding and make the name badge personal to the wearer.
B.I.G and Tesco worked together to develop the concept of the new name badges, which feature a combination of images, and text personalised with information about the wearer.
Each Tesco store has access to an electronic ordering form, created by B.I.G, where the information is collected to personalise the badges. Employees enter their name, job title, an optional interesting work-related fact and the year they started to work for Tesco, before being directed to an image library, where the wearer can pick from one of 50 images to represent an interest or hobby that will appear on the badge. The data is then sent to B.I.G for the customisation of the badges.
B.I.G produces the badges on an HP Indigo press and achieves corporate colours using HP's liquid ink technology. Once the ink has been applied to the substrate, the badges are then die cut before being coated with a clear resin to protect and enhance the information on the badge.
The company has produced and distributed over 100,000 new badges so far, but in order to supply all of Tesco's staff in the UK with badges, it expects to produce over half a million items.
Click here for more information about the HP Indigo Digital Presses: http://h10088.www1.hp.com/cda/gap/display/main/gap_home.jsp?zn=gap&cp=1-247-251_4011_0__