By Digital Output Staff
We launch into the second issue of 2022 with our annual Reader’s Choice awards. Each year, through our lead generation system, DODirect.net, we collect the most requested vendors and products within the 12 month period. This group in particular is special—they weathered the ups and downs of a global pandemic, an economic shut down, and even more challenges thrown into the mix. Repeatedly, these vendors proved their resilience and this is in part thanks to loyal customers that stayed with them throughout.
Above: Drytac Weathershield UV overlaminates are 3.2-mil clear polymeric gloss or matte PVC laminating films used across a host of applications.
The Top 50
The Reader’s Choice includes the 50 top companies as determined by our readership—whether via print- or web-based editorial, advertisements, and even webinar participation. Learn more about each company here.
3A Composites manufactures an array of leading rigid substrates for graphics, signage, and display. Solutions include paper-faced foamboards, expanded PVC boards, high-performance foamboards, aluminum composite materials, PETG, and recyclable, rigid paper boards. Brands include FOME-COR, SINTRA, GATOR, DIBOND, LUMEX G, and DISPA.
3M Commercial Solutions’ products help customers worldwide build brands by providing large format graphics and light management solutions. The company manufactures or certifies graphic films and graphic protection, flexible substrates, as well as inks and toners used to create graphics for vehicle wraps, walls, floors, windows, and textured surfaces that are consistent, reliable, and durable.
Alpina Manufacturing offers LED Lightbox, Flip-up (snap), SEG, Slide-in, or Banner Grip Frames made any size or quantity to hold graphics or banners. Change graphics without removing frames from wall. Beautiful presentation at a low cost for indoor or outdoor use. 24/7 online quote and ordering website is available. No minimum order requirement and products are manufactured in Chicago, IL. New to the lineup is Modern Acrylic Stand-Off Wall Frames and Hospital Patient Whiteboards.
Arlon Graphics is a cast vinyl manufacturing company in the business of creating innovative material for visual expression. It manufactures and markets high-quality, pressure-sensitive materials for fleet, architectural, digital imaging, and signage markets. Through its distribution partners across the globe, a growing number of strategically positioned sales offices and warehouses, and customer-centric operations, Arlon is recognized as a global leader in graphic films.
Since 1950, ASLAN is renowned for its skills in engineering high-quality, niche products at its factory near Cologne, Germany. In-house research and development, laboratory, and adhesive manufacturing secure quality levels and tailor self-adhesive films while having an open ear to the customer and user base. Every ASLAN self-adhesive vinyl is made with special adhesives and characteristics that make the difference to mass products.
Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions is a materials science and manufacturing company specializing in pressure-sensitive vinyl films. Applications for these films range from promotional graphics such as signage, exhibits, displays, vehicle wraps, and bus graphics to longer term applications such as fleet markings, backlit signs, vehicle color change, and architectural graphics.
Caldera is a software company with more than 30 years’ experience in developing, marketing, and supporting high-quality technological software for wide format imaging with a steady commitment to increasing productivity, cost efficiency, and color output. Caldera’s suite of production-orientated print and print-to-cut workflow programs offers color management, imaging, and driving solutions for large and grand format peripherals.
Canon Solutions America offers printing and finishing solutions for large format graphics. From the Arizona flatbed and Colorado roll-to-roll series, to a range of dye-sublimation (dye-sub) printers for soft signage applications and a full line of digital flatbed cutting and routing solutions. All backed by Canon nationwide direct service and System Analysts offering on-site training and integration, and Canon Financial Services for one-stop leasing.
CET Color is a pioneer in the wide format UV printing industry. Founded by a print shop owner, CET draws on its experience to innovate UV flatbed and hybrid printers that offer both quality and efficiency at an unbeatable value. CET’s newest K2-Linear Model features high quality and speed while utilizing state-of the-art Kyocera printheads. With field upgradable and custom configuration options, CET Color takes your business to new heights.
Colex offers an extensive line of precision cutting equipment together with premier service. The Colex Sharpcut Flatbed Cutter features a Triple Interchangeable Tool Head, Energy Efficient Six-Zone Vacuum System, and Vision Registration offering versatility, speed, and price for the perfect combination. Colex offers Fotoba X/Y cutters, bubble-free applicators, and roll laminators.
Continental Grafix USA, Inc. manufactures high-quality self-adhesive and non-adhesive perforated window products for the printing industry. It also manufactures high-quality, versatile floor and wall films for event marketing, retail, point of purchase (POP), display graphics, sporting events, and environmental graphics, both for interior, exterior, and environmentally sustainable applications.
DreamScape, a division of Roysons Corporation, is a leading manufacturer of digitally printable wallcoverings. For over 35 years, DreamScape has been recognized as a leader in the wallpaper industry and offers the largest selection of commercial grade, Type II wallcoverings that satisfy some of the most iconic brands in the world. With its deep understanding and appreciation for large format digital printing, it develops superior, bright white, optically tuned printing surfaces. Available in rolls for solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable, and latex printers.
Drytac is an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, including window, wall, and floor graphics media; laminating films; high-performance tapes; durable labels; custom and pattern coating; industrial adhesives; and medical tapes.
Durst manufactures advanced digital printing and production technologies. Based on its independence as a family-owned company with 80 years of history in the print industry, its core values are centered on innovation, customer service, sustainability, and quality. Durst continues to invest in new product development and is committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly technologies. Learn more about Durst product offerings and discover new business opportunities.
EFI is a global technology company leading the worldwide transformation from analog to digital imaging. It is passionate about developing products that increase competitiveness and boost productivity with breakthrough technologies for the manufacturing of signage, packaging, textiles, ceramic tiles, building materials, and personalized documents with a range of printers, inks, digital front ends, and a comprehensive business and production workflow suite.
Epson America, Inc. offers an array of image capture and image output products for business, commercial print, graphic arts, photographic, signage, direct to garment, and fabric production.
Esko is a global provider of integrated solutions that accelerate the go-to-market process of packaged goods. Esko solutions enable each stakeholder in the process to work efficiently and deliver right-first-time packaging and marketing content on time, every time.
FDC Graphic Films, Inc. is a master converter and distributor of sign vinyl films, digital media, overlaminates, banners, and heat transfer films since 1988. It promises to respect customers’ needs for innovative, quality-assured products delivered on time, complete, and error-free in Canada and the U.S.
Fisher Textiles supplies fabrics for digital printing in North America. Its reputation in providing quality textiles with unsurpassed service is reflected in over 30 years of experience and workmanship in producing fabrics for dye-sub, latex, solvent, and UV printing. Three warehouse locations allow for filling just-in-time requirements. Fisher Textiles stands behind its products and takes pride in providing some of the best fabrics in the industry.
FLEXcon is a global leader in coated and laminated films and adhesives used as functional components in manufactured goods and in graphics applications. A family-owned company for over 65 years, FLEXcon has provided a collaborative, consultative approach to deliver unique solutions that help customers achieve better business results. FLEXcon is a trusted partner to a range of companies, from printers and fabricators to engineers and designers, developing products for existing and emerging markets.
In the digital world, Gans specializes in perforated window vinyl and is the exclusive provider of dual-liner Holographic Window Perf, as well as other high-end products, such as SENFA fabrics, exclusive ten year SRT Car Wrap Vinyl, backlit films, and trade show materials. Gans’ media catalog is compatible with latex, UV, solvent/eco-solvent, and aqueous printers. It is an authorized dealer for HP Latex and dye-sub printers; Mimaki dye-sub, solvent, and UV printers; Graphtec plotters; Graphic Finishing Partners laminators; and software solutions.
In June 2021, Lectra acquired Gerber Technology, a U.S.-based company founded in 1968. Like Lectra, Gerber Technology develops software and automation solutions for fashion, automotive, furniture, and other businesses across the globe. Lectra offers integrated digital design, print, and automation systems for sign shops and graphics professionals. These comprehensive solutions for durable vinyl cutting, digital color printing, and dimensional signage are also supported by quality, state-of-the-art aftermarket materials to maximize equipment performance and output.
Graphic Finishing Partners (Gfp) has shipped thousands of machines through a network of dealers and distributors covering all of North America. It is one of the sign franchise industry’s suppliers of choice for wide format laminators. Gfp machines are proven to shorten production time, increase profitability, and produce consistent, professional results. They are simple to operate, full of labor-saving features, and easy on the budget.
HP creates technology to make life better for everyone globally—every person, every organization, and every community. It continues to be the leader in innovation and technology, support for market needs and solutions, and the longevity, health, safety, sustainability, and profitability of customers.
INX Digital delivers technologies that drive digital growth all over the world. Integrate digital technology into an existing operation or expand and improve current digital capabilities with INX Digital. Combining the ink formulating expertise of INX with EVOLVE, PRODIGY, and TRIANGLE brands makes INX Digital an unequaled source for products, technologies, systems, consultations, and services to help reach new levels of digital production excellence. It offers services and manufacturing with operations located in China, Europe, and the U.S.
Kornit Digital develops, manufactures, and markets industrial digital printing technologies for the garment, apparel, and textile industries. Leading the digital textile printing industry through its NeoPigment process, including an integrated pretreatment solution, its caters directly to the needs of both designers and manufacturers to address the changing needs of the entire textile printing value chain.
Lintec of America manufactures pressure-sensitive films for visual marking signage and architectural window applications. It specializes in optically clear frosted and textured films for display POP and window graphics. Check out its newest product offerings that include an 80 percent recycled content optically clear UV inkjet printable polyester window graphic material. Also the company offers a polyester-based matte overlaminate, which is impervious to spray paint. It is also scratch resistant and provides great protection to spray-painted graffiti.
Mactac applications include indoor-outdoor wall, window, floor, signage, vehicle wraps, trade show displays, and environmental graphics. In fact, for over 60 years, the company has been at the forefront of product development for digital printing, mounting, laminating, screenprinting, and cut vinyl needs. Rely on the company for quality and unmatched service, and trust that it has the next up-and-coming innovation that is going to transform your business.
Magnum Magnetics Corporation is a U.S. manufacturer of flexible magnetic sheeting, strip, and custom profiles. It offers printable magnetic sheeting for multiple printing presses including offset, flexography, inkjet, and digital. It takes the time to understand an application before recommending a magnetic solution.
Headquartered in Germany, Marabu North America draws on more than 162 years of experience in developing inks and coatings. Its product line includes MaraJet digital printing inks, UltraJet UV-curable inks, ClearShield water-based coatings, the StarLam Liquid Laminator, and Marashield UV-curable coatings. Its success is built on not just its high-quality products but ability to work with customers to offer tailor-made solutions to their printing and coating needs.
Master Magnetics, Inc. features an extensive line of magnetic assemblies, flexible magnetic sheeting, magnetic receptive, and magnetic strip. Ideal for signmaking, vehicle graphics, and POP displays, PrintMagnetVinyl and ThinFORCE printable magnetic sheeting and FlexIRON printable magnetic-receptive sheeting works with wide format inkjet printers using solvent, eco-solvent, UV, and latex ink systems. With more than 45 years of excellence, Master Magnetics is one of the best sources in the magnetic field.
Mimaki is a global industry leader of wide format inkjet printers, cutting plotters, three-dimensional (3D) modeling machines, software, hardware, and associated consumable items, such as inks and cutting blades. The company engineers and manufactures a complete range of products that attain the total workflow solution for sign graphics, textile and apparel, industrial products, and 3D markets.
Since 1989, MultiCam Inc. has delivered over 14,500 machines worldwide, each made to order and built to last. MultiCam manufactures CNC router, laser, plasma, waterjet, and knife cutting machines at its 108,000 square foot facility in North TX. A global network of experts supports MultiCam, which includes 60 locations worldwide with 20 technology centers across North America.
Mutoh America, Inc. is a manufacturer of wide format printers and plotting cutters. Home to the ValueJets and XpertJets, Mutoh’s line of inkjet printers are known for their quality, speeds, and Smart Printing technologies.
Newlife Magnetics is one of the world’s largest flexible magnet and print media manufacturers specializing in wide format magnetic media. It manufactures printable magnet sheeting up to 60 inches wide. The new Platinum line of magnet-receptive print media offers the highest quality, best print results, and lowest price in the market. Cling King Spider Mat is becoming the industry standard for counter top displays and graphics. Newlife Magnetics is the future of magnetics.
Leading the market since 1989, Onyx Graphics is dedicated to helping customers increase productivity, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge with superior software solutions for the print industry. Innovative, productive, and satisfied customers around the globe help motivate the company to continually develop and enhance its leading-edge technologies. Global channel partnerships and longstanding relationships with printer manufacturers position Onyx Graphics as a market leader in powerful, reliable, large format printing workflow and print business software solutions.
Photo Tex Group Inc. is the exclusive distributor for patented Photo Tex polyester self-adhesive removable inkjet fabric. This proprietary media comes in different versions to adhere to walls, windows, doors, and smooth floors. Simply easy to install and remove with no life limit. LEED certified, safe, and fire rated.
For over 20 years, Que Media, Inc has grown to become a distinguished global coating manufacturer of aqueous, solvent/eco-solvent, and latex digital print media for display graphics, point of sale advertising, and photo reproduction. Its expertise is most influential in the wide format and color laser industries. With regards to the wide format marketplace; it currently coats substrates such as polypropylene, BOPP, PVC, backlit film, fabrics, banner material, and multi-layered PET film in addition to a full line of pressure-sensitive laminates.
SA International (SAi) is recognized as a global leader in providing complete, professional solutions for signmaking, digital printing, and CNC machining with top-of-the-line global service and support. Whether you’re looking to create signage, vehicle wraps, or 3D signage, SAi has the right software to support you and empower your business.
Signs365 is a grand format, trade-only wholesale printer. It offers a variety of full-color, high-quality printed products all produced in 24 hours. $10 Overnight Anywhere shipping is standard on all products. Visit signs365.com for more details. Signs365… we are only trade only!
At StratoJet, the company’s mission is to build the best printers you will use for years, to make and save money. It invests its resources into building rock-solid hardware and continually developing cutting-edge automation instead of advertising.
Summa is a leading manufacturer and supplier of high-end vinyl and contour cutters, finishing flatbed cutters, and laser cutters. For over three decades, the company maintains a clear objective—to develop cutting-edge solutions that boost productivity and eliminate complexity in cutting. Enabling businesses, whether they are large or smaller, to finish their applications to the highest standards and improve their margins.
Supply55, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of workflow products for the digital printing segment of the sign, screen, graphic arts, exhibit, home décor, corporate identity, and athletic apparel markets.
swissQprint is a manufacturer of high-end large format printers. The UV LED inkjet printers are 100 percent Swiss made. swissQprint offers both true flatbed printers with a roll-to-roll option as well as dedicated roll-to-roll printers.
Tekra offers an array of substrates for the digital marketplace. Its offering includes Dura-Go for HP Indigo printers, JetView Solvent Inkjet for solvent inkjet printers, JetView UV Inkjet for UV inkjet printers, and JetView Latex Inkjet for latex inkjet printers. Tekra can also create custom products to meet your specific needs.
Trotec Laser is a leading international provider of advanced, high-speed laser equipment for cutting, engraving, and industrial marking. Trotec was originally founded in Wels, Austria in 1997 and established in the U.S. in MS in 2002. Now headquartered in Plymouth, MI, the U.S. business has grown to ten times its original size, with a growing number of support facilities located throughout the U.S.
TVF is a leading international supplier of print media, apparel, and home furnishings textiles to the digital printing community. With over 40 years of success in the textile industry, TVF offers a complete line of polyester and cotton textiles engineered for digital printing. TVF provides solutions for dye-sub, latex, direct disperse, UV, and digital pigment printing for soft signage, apparel, and home furnishings. Known for digital textile expertise and the best service in the industry, TVF customers enjoy fabrics with outstanding performance and exceptional print characteristics.
Ultraflex Systems Inc. is a global leader, supplier, and preferred partner developing and delivering high-performing, digitally printable textiles, flexible materials, and rigid substrates. With over 500,000 square feet of global stock holding space, it offers a comprehensive inventory across its product lines servicing Canada, Latin America, and the U.S. through five North American warehouses and an impressive network of highly trained distributors. Ultraflex’s ever-expanding media portfolio includes front lit, backlit, blockout, mesh, textiles, and flooring, ranging from 30 to 198 inches in width for solvent, eco-solvent, latex, UV, screen, and dye-sub printing.
A Korean venture, VALLOY is a global digital printing solution company. BIZPRESS13R is a Xerox engine-based roll label press and DUOBLADE WX is a fully automatic blade-driven roll-to-roll digital label finisher. DUOBLADE WX II features eight cutting heads to catch up with the speed of laser cutters, showing clean cutting edges without dust nor scratches. DUOBLADE FX is an intelligent sheet fed sticker cutter, which produces various kiss and full cut outputs in unmanned environments.
Zünd manufactures several lines of modular digital cutting systems for sign and display graphics, packaging, and other industrial applications. The G3, S3, and dual-beam D3 are adaptable digital finishing solutions for custom manufacturing to high-volume production environments. These systems can accommodate a complete palette of cutting, routing, and even laser tool options designed to process rigid and/or flexible substrates up to two inches—with extended beam height up to four inches—thick and ten feet wide. To complement the hardware, Zünd also offers a range of application-specific digital workflow solutions that ensure simple, efficient operation and reliable non-stop productivity.
In addition to the top 50 honorees, we’d also like to recognize these ten companies as 2022 honorable mentions.
Advanced Greig Laminators, Inc. (AGL) is an engineering and manufacturing facility specializing in custom designed industrial and wide format digital imaging laminators. In many laminating markets standard laminating presses do not meet specific laminating requirements. AGL has found a solution by customizing its various laminator models to suit specific customer requirements. From laminators for the digital imaging market, or for industrial applications, it has a solution for you.
Banner Ups offers a variety of adhesive grommet tabs and tapes. The products may be used to create super-strong banners without the hassle or expense of sewing or grommeting. Create beautiful fabric graphics with SEGDesign 2.0 frames. SEGDesign 2.0 modular frames are made of strong ABS plastic and have newly designed snap-together mitered corners. Also available KederSew LITE, a low cost and lightweight keder solution. Silicone edge graphics have never been easier to cut, paint, and assemble. Available through distributors worldwide.
Condé offers everything needed to get into the personalized photo gift business including sublimation and digital transfer systems, blank imprintable products, production software and supplies, and unmatched technical and educational support. Whether you are a screenprinter, sign maker, embroiderer, pad printer, photographer, engraver, artist, or home business entrepreneur, Condé can help expand your current product offerings to include a variety of high-margin gifts and awards.
D&K Group is a quality manufacturer of print finishing solutions. Products include lamination equipment, thermal and pressure-sensitive films, and specialty coated products, all made in the U.S. D&K manufactures SuperStick digital adhesive and new ENDURA OVERLAMS that are revolutionizing thermal lamination.
All of Displays2Go’s products are ideated and designed to provide the most effective, easy-to-use display and merchandising solutions for businesses at any stage in their life cycle. It’s the company’s mission to help you connect with the world and build your brand with products that are personalized to your needs.
Fujifilm Graphic Systems Division is a global solutions provider in multiple segments for the printing industry including commercial—analog and digital—wide format, labels and packaging, and industrial. Fujifilm is an industry leader on color knowledge leveraging its 80-plus years experience in imaging. The company has a proven commitment to investments in research and development, infrastructure, and skilled segment experts supplying print service providers the best products and consultative solutions to increasingly challenging business scenarios.
GPA expands brand potential, providing substrates to help its partners and clients innovate and shape the printing industry. Collaborations with strategic partners, creatives, and printers help facilitate ideas through its substrates. The Global Fedrigoni Network team manufactures and distributes an unparalleled range of products in support of digital, offset, and flexographic press technologies.
Graphtec America, a subsidiary of Graphtec Corporation Japan, markets and distributes high-performance, roll feed and flatbed cutting plotters for the signage, heat transfer apparel, label, decal, and package prototyping industries. It acknowledges its standing as a leader in cutting technology and is committed to further enhancing its competitive strengths, product features, performance, and drive for excellence.
Orafol Americas Inc., a subsidiary of ORAFOL Europe GmbH, is a leading global manufacturer of premium vinyl graphic products, reflective solutions, and adhesive tape systems used in signage, graphics, industrial, as well as traffic and safety applications. The company’s distribution network spans throughout Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S.
Roland DGA offers a lineup of wide format inkjet printers and integrated printer/cutters, including TrueVIS, SOLJET, VersaEXPRESS, and VersaStudio eco-solvent printers; Texart dye-sub printers; and VersaUV UV printers. All come bundled with powerful, easy-to-use RIP software, and several models offer specialty ink options, including orange, green, white, and gloss inks.
Congratulations again to all of 2022’s winners! If you don’t see a vendor on this year’s list that you support, visit DODirect.net throughout 2022 and request information on their products.
Feb2022, Digital Output