At Sign, Print & Pack in Denmark back in September (18th-19th) 2019 our beloved host Pat McGrew dig into print samples. Actually very cool print samples from some of the exhibitors as well as our friends from Stratego Group in Italy – who just happened to stop by with a pretty amazing print sample. As usual, you get a lot of inspiration watching all the cool samples that are possible to produce on the latest and coolest equipment.


Hi, I’m Pat McGrew. We’re back live from Denmark from the Sign, Print & Pack Show. This is Print Sample TV Live, and what we’re going to do this time is look at a few more of the print samples that we found here on the show floor. Now, once again we have our sponsor Canon, so we want to start with some of the samples we didn’t look at from them yesterday. And the reason I want to show you these is because I want to give you some ideas of some things that you might not have thought to do with print.

The first thing I fell in love with is this piece here, and it’s actually done as a peel off. It’s a label piece and it’s got a really great shape. Now one of the things you should think about when you’re looking to show your customers what you can do is think in terms of how they might use it, but think of also of some things they’re not doing right now. And I really love the look at this and I love the ability to show the cut. And remember that to do this kind of finishing, it really isn’t very hard. There are any number of devices on the market today from all sorts of vendors and all sorts of price points that allow you to print really great, nicely textured pieces, beautiful color rendition here, and then show the piece as it is fully cut out.

Now, the other thing that they did is they were also showing… I don’t know how many of us use mouse pads anymore, but if you do, here is a lovely mouse pad. Now, I’ll think about this though. If you do something like this for a customer that you’re already engaged with and you hand it out to them as part of maybe the delivery that you do to them, it is going to sit on their desk, and maybe you have all your branding information on there of who to contact, maybe even their sales rep name. This is a really great idea as a great giveaway for anybody in any part of the printing business.

Now, the other thing that the Canon team did in the booth this time, and we love this sample. We wish they had actually put the Cannon logo on it, but they did a great job to show designers the difference between a matte coating and a gloss coating. Think about all the customers that you serve. If you have the ability to do coatings, if you’re using different types of substrates, this is a great way to actually show on a piece that they would recognize, how their work might look. Think about that as you’re building your own print sample set.

Now, the next print sample actually comes from… We’ll call them a friend of the show. The folks at Stratego in Italy have a beautiful piece of magazine print right here. Now I wish you could feel it. This cover is velvet. It is just the most luxurious feel and then it’s embossed with foil. The cover isn’t the only remarkable piece. It’s beautifully bound on the side. It is just a gorgeous piece. And if you look at the inside, this piece has multiple substrates, almost every style of printing you can think of is in here. And the folks that strategic, this is my friend, Enrico Barboglio, Valentina, Mauro, they are all just amazing people when it comes to promoting print and the printing industry. And some of the things that they’ve done in here, the different stocks are just beautiful. And then the other thing that they did, there are some inserts in here that are really pretty entertaining; but they did in several places in the book, they actually explain how they built the magazine.

Think about all the work that you do. If you could create a series of pieces that also explain how the piece is done and use that as a giveaway to your clients, this allows them to understand all the things that they might need to do to do something really cool like this. And we’re big believers in telling the whole story. I’ve got another story for you and please don’t laugh, but it is a story of how my picture ended up on this t-shirt. Yep, that’s me. Here’s the fun thing about pictures on t-shirts. Here I’m going to try and lay that out here. They’re really great marketing pieces.

The folks from DGS, who are a distributor of Epson equipment here in Denmark, came to Sign, Print, & Pack, and they set up shop. Now normally they would just distribute the printers and their clients would be doing the printing. But here, they brought a bunch of t-shirts and aprons and hats, and they are actually taking pictures; and with Photoshop, grabbing the picture, turning it into a poster and then turning it into a print, which is really pretty spectacular. Everybody who goes by their stand gets to take home their picture on their shirt. What better way to represent the quality that can be done printing on a dark substrate?

How do they do it? They’re using the Epson T-shirt Printing Machine, Garment Printing Machine. They’re laying down a coat of white and then they’re putting the color on top of it. And the great thing is that they’re doing it there live, so anybody who’s interested in knowing how to do it and might be interested in purchasing the machines that they’re the dealer for, get to see how it all works.

I timed the printing of my t-shirt, two minutes from the time the printing process started to the time they handed me the shirt. The shirt after it’s printed it, it gets fused for a couple of minutes to get it to set. This is machine washable. You turn it inside out, you it at 30 degrees, but it is just an amazing piece. And for any kind of organization that supports events, this could be a great ad. And think about any kind of open house you might do, getting your logo on something with one of your client’s pictures or their brands, I think it’s absolutely brilliant.

Quite a few other organizations here at Sign, Print, & Pack did some really great set up for their stands. We did like what the folks at FLYERALARM did. FLYERALARM, you probably know them if you’ve done any business in Europe at all. They’re a huge, huge company. They brought this really great beautifully bound piece. There is actually a F3 race car over in their stand. But this magazine actually not only tells their story, but it also shows all the specifications for all the kinds of things that they can do. It’s one piece to take away, beautifully printed, beautifully designed, just so easy to understand how to work with them and all the different products they can do. They do have samples of all the products over in their stand and it’s brilliant, but this is the piece I love because it’s one stop shopping to understand their story. I think, FLYERALARM folks, you did a really great job here and definitely worthy of discussion here on Print Sample TV Live.

Now, a lot of the vendors here, they had some ideas of things that they wanted to show. The folks at Domino were definitely showing their labeled printing technology and I think that they did a great job. They have a whole wall of labels in different styles and shapes over there. I would have liked to have seen them maybe do something with augmented reality that brings the label to life. That’s an idea that they could use, but this is an idea you could use too. If you’re a label printer of any kind, you might want to consider doing more than just showing labels, glossy, matte, big, small, sticky, not sticky. You might actually want to bring them to life with one of the many augmented reality options that are out in the marketplace so that maybe the nutrition label comes to life and does more than just give you a bunch of numbers.

In addition to the folks from Domino, I had to go spend some time with the folks over at Xerox. And the Xerox team brought a couple of devices this time that really got my attention. They brought their Versant color device and the color on this is really beautiful. Substrates they can print on are beautiful. They did a nice job of telling the color story and giving you some ideas. Now, of course, if you are one of their customers, this is the kind of piece that you could take from them. Take the files and put your own branding on and tell your own stories, and you would want to do that. Don’t just take the vendor’s technical samples, as beautiful as they are, and hand them to your customers. Put your own branding on it, maybe finish it a little bit differently. Maybe take the format down a little bit, maybe change a couple of the images. Use all the work they’ve done, but turn it into something that is essentially your own.

In addition to the Versant, they brought in Iridesse, and I love the Iridesse printer. We talked a little bit about it in yesterday’s live episode. And the Iridesse gives you this ability to do these amazing metallics, these amazing shines, and they also give you some really spectacular, vibrant color on dark background. If you look at something like this, it’s got many shades of gold on here and on the inside you’ll see that they can show a lot of different vibrant color. Now with the Irisdesse, you can actually overprint several times and build layers up as well, and that is some of the most beautiful work that they do. You could take all these octagons and hexagons and you could turn them into raised pieces, which are really kind of fun. The same thing goes for this piece, which they did, their motion piece, and I’m really never sure which way it’s supposed to go, but all of these striations in here could also be overprinted and raised. Think about the work that you can do.

Now, of course, Xerox is not the only company that’s providing that kind of raised print. You can also take a look at the folks at Duplo. Duplo is doing their varnishing and they’re doing the raised print. And again, I wish you could feel this. This has so much texture. If you’re working with luxury brands of any type or restaurants of any type, they have a really spectacular… for adding this kind of texture and print. I love these boxes that they did. This is just your typical substrate. It is not magic, but it is something that can be folded into a carton or a standing piece for a table. It’s got texture.

Imagine if you serve restaurants, you would be able to do something that stood on the table for each season. You could build a program where you custom printed them for events that they might be holding, graduation parties, wedding parties. Or you might consider doing even just the really lovely menu. Now, this is on a substrate that just is so soft to the touch. I love it. But this is all raised print. It’s raised with the UV and embossed, and even on the inside the printing quality is just absolutely brilliant. We love this kind of sample. It’s something that if you do any work in the hospitality industry, you could create some of these for your customers and show them your capabilities, and I suspect you’d be taking orders pretty quickly.

In addition to that, you might just want to play with the embossing. And again, this is something that Neopost here with with Duplo has at the show, and this is literally just an embossed image on a card. Imagine things like birthday cards, wedding invitations, any kind of event cards, just something a little bit different, something that has some texture. You send this out to your customer as a sample, put their logo, their name, they’re not going to throw it away. It’s going to live on their desk forever and you’ll be visible to them forever. It’s something definitely to consider.

Now again, not the only ones on the floor with some really cool embossing and dimensional technology. The last ones we’re going to look at here are actually from MGI. And I want to spend a little bit of time not only talking about MGI, but also just this idea of how you use this kind of print sample in your business. MGI, you may know them, they are are now bought by Konica Minolta. And here at Sign, Print, & Pack, they have one of the devices here and they’re printing with it, and they’re doing two different styles that really caught my attention.

I’m familiar with this one. We’ll look at this one first. This lovely Heineken bottle. If you run your finger along it, it feels like there’s water dripping down the bottle, like you just pulled it out of the cooler and it’s condensing. It just feels beautiful and they’ve done it so that there are different size droplets, different depths of droplets. It’s got just this amazing, luxurious look and feel, but it’s something that you have to think about from a design perspective.

This isn’t the kind of thing that you literally just take a flat InDesign file or a flat Quark file and you throw it at the 3DS JETVarnish press, and it magically puts all the droplets in. You will have to work with your designers and give them some education about what it takes to do all with this kind of work. The good thing is that all of the vendors have guidebooks for how you can get these different types of effect. Getting this type of effect where it’s all the droplets, there is a layer that you’ll build into your design tool to do that. This piece here, which is a very flat, glossy kind of spot varnish, it’s the same thing. There will be a layer that will control that, and you’ll have to do that for any kind of device that you work with.

Yesterday, we looked at the Scodix devices. Today we’ve looked at the Duplo devices. We’ve looked at at a lot of different devices that have these capabilities. You’ll want to make sure that you understand all the design files. Because doing this, is significantly different than doing this. You have to build a little bit different kind of file to get this kind of textured foil effect and the clear, glossy, textured effect. And the thing to watch here is that there’s also a very subtle, almost watermarked piece here over on the side. Designers have to learn how to develop the right kinds of layers, with the right kinds of textures in order to do that. It is not a trivial thing to do.

Every manufacturer has their own requirements for how the layer has to be set up, how you want to set ink densities because all of those things control the level of gloss, the level of texture and how things actually work. And what we want to see you do it with your print samples is show all the capabilities that are possible. Whether you show something like this, or you decide to go the Duplo route where you’re showing pieces like this, or you decide to show things like the Iridesse can do, or you want to show just very glossy labels, or you want to show the kinds of things that my friends from Italy did, from Stratego did; all of these things will have design ramifications.

Make sure that if you have in-house designers and you’re offered training that you take it. Make sure that if you are using freelance designers that you find a way to get good quality education to them. Because in order to make this the luxurious feeling piece that it is and to create the kind of incredibly sumptuous printing that you can see here, what you’re going to have to do is make sure that your designers understand how to set all the ink limits up, how to set all the layers up, how to do the things that will make someone stop and say, “Wow, that is absolutely brilliant. I want to pay you a lot of money for that.”

Remember that all these styles of printing that we’ve looked at today, they have different price points and you will want to make sure that you’re quoting and estimating program is aware of what you are planning on doing. Don’t assume that you have the right cost model immediately. Work with your vendors. Make sure you understand the cost of foiling, the cost of the textures, the cost of the substrate differences. This will be absolutely imperative to your long-term success, not only building print samples, but actually going out and selling the print, which is what we hope you will do.

This has been a another episode of Print Sample TV Live from Denmark from Sign, Print & Pack. Thank you so much for listening and I’m Pat McGrew. See you next time.

Pat McGrew · McGrew Group · HP PreDrupa E...

23 Mar 2024

Atomyx Launch Event · Specialist · Pat McGr...

5 Feb 2024

Pat McGrew · President McGrew Group · NON...

3 Dec 2023

McGrew Group · Pat McGrew · Bronte · Hun...

1 Mar 2023

Editor's Outlook Presented by · Pat McGrew ...

3 Dec 2022