Cape Town’s premier high-street digital print and design specialist Hot Ink has brought the ‘wow’ factor to digital printing in Cape Town with the city’s first Xerox Iridesse production press from Altron Bytes Document Solutions (BDS).
Hot Ink is renowned for providing the highest quality digital printing and design services in Cape Town’s competitive corporate CBD market, and is the go-to studio for many of the city’s designers, artists, advertisers and smaller print shops. The newly released Xerox Iridesse, which replaces the company’s previous Xerox flagship, the Xerox Color 1000 Press, raises the bar once again, giving Hot Ink’s clientele an extra level of quality and versatility.
The Xerox Iridesse opens new production-level application opportunities, including clear, silver, gold and white dry inks, in addition to CMYK. It raises the bar on media type, extra length and density support, print speed, colour calibration technology, and numerous other enhancements that make the Iridesse the new industry standard for high-end digital printing.
Co-founders Nic Johnson and Lisa Saville believe the extra dimensionality of the Iridesse makes perfect sense for the company’s client base.
“Our success is built on the twin principles of loyalty and quality, both of which resonated with us when we were first introduced to the Iridesse by BDS,” says Johnson. We enjoy a 21-year partnership with Xerox, and while there may be one or two alternatives for high-end embellished printing on the market, when the Iridesse was launched, there was nothing else that came close to consideration.”
Saville adds the Iridesse also made sense from a production perspective.
“The Iridesse allows us to create more variation for our clients, such as gold and silver layers under and not just over CMYK colours,” she says. “Support for thicker (400gsm) media also increases our options, especially for premium business cards, folios and packaging, and the Iridesse is a much faster machine as well, with extra trays that potentially allow us to queue five jobs in a row and walk away knowing they’ll be perfectly produced.”
Sporting an improved ultra-high-definition engine with a combination of 1 200dpi x 1 200dpi x 10bit RIP rendering and 2 400dpi x 2 400dpi x 1bit print imaging, the Iridesse also includes Xerox’s all-new low-gloss, small-particle high-definition emulsion aggregate (HD EA) toner, xerographic design advantages and automatic IQ corrections that work together to create brilliant results for text, fine graphic details, tints, solids and photographs.
With standard 4 000-sheet capacity media trays and extended support for media up to 400gsm, HD EA silver and gold dry inks can be layered with CMYK to create vibrant spot colours, metallic gradients, photographic enhancements and more, inline, in a single pass, and at rated speed.
“This is a design-based business with printing as a service,” says BDS Production Press Specialist Bryn Whithair.
“Many start-up print shops focus on price, quality and service, but in a crowded market, everyone is doing that,” he says. “Few are talking about how to differentiate themselves in the market, whereas companies like Hot Ink are becoming communication experts using design and market leading-products like Iridesse to offer their clients a competitive edge.”
Johnson agrees: “The print world is changing, people are looking for a difference. Embellished printing is set to grow significantly faster than standard CMYK over the coming years. The Xerox Iridesse has literally created a market around itself; knowing what it can do, graphic designers and ad agencies are creating their own new products just because they can. Everyone wants something better than the ‘norm’, products that will literally stand out on the shelf. Embellished printing creates that extra ‘wow’ factor, and that’s exactly what the Iridesse brings to our business.”
From a business perspective, Hot Ink likes to keep the numbers confidential, but Saville says that since the Iridesse was installed, volumes have increased along with gross profits, “so it makes perfect business sense”.
“We did a co-launch of the Iridesse with BDS and invited several other printing businesses in the city to come and see what it can do. As a result, it’s opened yet another market opportunity for us in the B2B space, and we’re already working closely with the likes of DigitalXpress, Print Tag, iClick, Wizardz, Blush Media and others to make the most of what the Iridesse gives us.”