At the cutting edge of digital printing is the Iridesse Production Press. At a recent Sunrise Session and Breakfast Workshop, hosted by Fuji Xerox and the Marketing Association, the possibilities for using the press for print embellishments in direct marketing campaigns were showcased.
“A game changer.”
These were the words of Brenden Rolston, managing director of personalised communications marketing agency ActionHQ, to describe Fuji Xerox’ Iridesse Production Press.
Rolston was presenting to a packed out audience of industry professionals at the Marketing Association in Parnell; explaining the possibilities and capabilities of the press for creatives and clients.
The session was opened with an introduction from the Marketing Association’s chief executive Tony Mitchell.
A special invitation pack for the event was sent out six weeks previously, explained Mitchell, with each element in the pack produced on the Iridesse, displaying the unique print embellishments the press is known for.
“It had a whole different feel, a different look,” Mitchell explained.
“The graphics and print quality had a whole lot of outstanding cut-through.”
For Rolston, he and his team at Action HQ had a Fuji Xerox machine but it was due for renewal last year.
“Fortunate for me, new technology was coming along. I was looking for something that would change the game for our clients,” Rolston says.
And this is what the Iridesse has provided.
Featuring the first six-colour print engine from Fuji Xerox, it is able to print specialty colours, including metallics, with a single pass, by housing up to two additional specialty dry inks of gold, silver, clear and white in addition to the usual cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK).
“Every once in a while a revolutionary product or service comes along that changes everything,” Rolston explained.
“For me, the Iridesse is that machine and the time is now.”
Re-imagining the creative dimensions
One of the key things about this technology, Rolston points out, is that it will “change the way we think about print, digital print in particular, and also it will change the way we create”.
Previously, creatives have been limited to how much they can do in digital print.
With the Iridesse machine, there are stock and paper benefits “you’ve never dreamed you could work with before,” Rolston explained.
To illustrate these incredible possibilities of the Iridesse machine, Rolston showed the audience several examples of client direct marketing work. The samples illustrated the fine detail, texture and glossy metallics the press is capable of producing.
“From a creative perspective if you’ve got really fine gradients or shading, wanting to explore a new spectrum of iridescent colours or embellishment then this is a really interesting technology coming through,” he says.
Depending on your needs, the Iridesse can do small runs – from a unit of one upwards – and has the ‘magpie effect’, drawing the eye with its metallic, shiny gloss. It can also produce books and has a variety of finishing techniques such as inline stitching.
And to illustrate the quality and technology of the Iridesse, Fuji Xerox has produced the entire story of Moby Dick on a single A4 piece of paper which can be read through a magnifying glass.
Another key point is the ease of the process, Rolston says.
“It’s not complicated. The experiences we can create for people, be it through invitations, print or direct marketing, are also cost-effective from design through to finished piece.”
Stand out from the herd
Several Fuji Xerox clients had samples of their work – from gift boxes to booklets – on display at the Sunrise Session for the audience to take away.
Matt Mills, director of award-winning, multidisciplinary print company Fuzed, says the Iridesse offers clients and creatives points of difference to traditional printing.
Fuzed has won more New Zealand Pride In Print awards using the Iridesse than any other New Zealand print company.
“It’s being able to achieve results that you could previously only dream about,” says Mills.
“There are still more options available to agencies and designers that haven’t been explored yet, but I can assure you the Iridesse is up for the challenge. It’s so robust and customisable that it becomes another member of your team.”
Diedre Winter, managing director and owner of direct marketing communications company Mailshop, adds that personalisation is another key asset.
“Personalisation that can be highly creative – with metallic inks and white laser printing – is a highly-effective way to cut through to your clients. The opportunity to personalise packaging like we have never seen before is a huge bonus.”
Mailshop’s print samples at the event used metallics on personalised envelopes to show how one can print flat sheet form, with the first thing the customer seeing being the artwork popping off the page, Winter explains.
“What we are showing is dynamic content, interesting stock types, vinyl and personalisation. Imagine a computer digital campaign that can look just as good on paper – we can do that now”.
Having started the journey with the Iridesse in March last year, Janice Page, creative director of design and print company Caxton, says the company had seen what the press could do and was very interested in offering something additional to standard full-colour digital print.
Page says that the aim of the design of Caxton’s sample was to create a complete pack that was fun and useful to designers, and gave them a good idea of what the metallic, white and clear would look like using many different types of stock.
“The pack can sit on a designer’s desk and includes a folder with pen, doodle notepad, coffee coasters and desk calendar”.
Power to be harnessed
Another benefit of the Iridresse is the incredible resources Fuji Xerox have included, such as a whole new palate of different colours. These colours have been patented due to their iridescent effect, and designers and creatives can upload them to their design files for free.
The Iridesse is also pre-set up with more than 60 specified Pantone colours. It can print up to 1.2m long (which is able to be personalised), has a 330mm width maximum and a speed of 120 pages per minute.
With only imagination holding you back, the Iridesse Production Press offers clients and creatives alike the ability to create memorable, personalised direct marketing campaigns that people can see, touch and experience.