By Melissa Donovan
While package printing and prototypes continues to gain favor when it comes to the newest and hottest ways to use digital flatbed printers, other applications with similar materials are used in the display and point of purchase (POP) space.
Many print service providers (PSPs) skilled at printing to fluted boards or corrugate board create product for aisle caps, end displays, skirted boxes, and other display-type items. These are some of the original users of flatbed printers—and sometimes even began with roll devices and experienced the long process of adhering flexible material to board via lamination. So while we think of packaging today in many forms, some of it is found in the POP space.
Above: LARGEPRINTING.com created a 16x16x16-inch box to showcase four holiday-themed plush toys paired with a related book for the 2021 holiday season.
Courtroom to Boardroom
Kansas City, MO-based LARGEPRINTING.com was once known as Digital Design, LLC. The company began in July 2000 with two employees, two computers, and a laminator in a 750 square foot space in the Kansas City River Market. It grew over the years and moved three times, from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet and finally to its current 33,000 square foot home that holds 19 employees.
Initially, the PSP focused on the legal industry in the Kansas City metro area. “At the time, trial exhibits were used widely in courtrooms. Attorneys paid top dollar for high-quality exhibits and super-fast turnaround times. But, trial technology evolved to Microsoft Powerpoint and video exhibits soon after we opened,” explains Tina E. Burnham, director of marketing, LARGEPRINTING.com.
The company needed to reinvent itself and quickly grew familiar with the advertising market. Burnham shares how it “found its products and services a natural fit for advertising needs.” The move allowed the PSP to expand its client base to engineering, marketing, retail, and municipal governments with most of the customers based in the Kansas City metro area, but a reach that extends across the U.S.
100 percent of LARGEPRINTING.com’s work is completed by digital print. “Digital printing offers high-quality prints and fast turnaround times. We produce small to large runs affordably. We print and ship on demand reducing the need for maintaining inventory and lowering our customers’ overall costs. In addition, our fulfillment team manages shipping and installations so our customers don’t have to,” shares Burnham.
Approximately 80 percent of the work conducted in house involves some type of POP. It offers a range of large format printing and cutting solutions from four-inch kiss-cut stickers to ten-foot banners, additive manufacturing, and vacuum forming. These are used for clients’ prototypes, displays, and packaging requests.
“One of the keys to our success is working directly with our clients’ marketing departments and designers during design. Depending on the needs of any project, we conduct site surveys of the installation spaces to ensure fit and function for final design. In many cases, we’re able to offer advice that identifies not only the best materials for the project, but also maximizes media utilization,” says Burnham.
Stable of Hardware
Maintaining a high rate of success means using trusted technology. First is the Agfa Jeti Tauro H2500 LED, which is a 2.5-meter UV LED hybrid inkjet printer. A second device is the HP Inc. Latex 3200 126-inch roll-to-roll printer. Both devices run with respective OEM ink sets. Reasons for choosing OEM versus third-party ink are color gamut, fade resistance, and adhesion across a variety of substrates. “Because they are both OEM inks designed specifically for each machine, they maximize adherence to the media and provide the richest color printers,” adds Burnham.
The printers are complemented by three Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems cutters and a Kern Laser Systems OptiFlex, which is capable of metal cutting, acrylic fabrication, and high-speed engraving.
The 2021 Holiday Rush
As we entered 2021 and businesses began to open back up, retail traffic increased and LARGEPRINTING.com’s traditional POP business returned, with more in-store displays and wall graphics orders. Further in the year, more requests for wallpaper, window graphics, and point of sale items like displays and shelf talkers were completed.
A display recently made at the company was for one of its largest marketing customers for the 2021 holiday season. The company reached out to LARGEPRINTING.com with an idea to showcase four holiday-themed plush toys paired with a related book. One box would display each of the four combinations separately in the same finished piece.
Printed with the Agfa Jeti Tauro H2500 LED press in six-color plus white on a rigid substrate, 200 boxes were finished using a Kongsberg C cutting table. The completed product was a 16x16x16-inch box, with each side a unique scene that highlighted a different character and book combination. Since the completed box was packaged and shipped to the client, the design had to keep in mind both affordable shipping and construction as well as remaining visually appealing on arrival.
“Digital printing was ideal for this job because it was a relatively low-volume run that required high-quality graphics and finishing,” shares Burnham.
POP and displays cross over into packaging and prototyping, as shown in LARGEPRINTING.com’s work for a customer’s holiday 2021 campaign. The PSP’s on demand workflow allows it to remain nimble and not boxed into a corner.
Oct2021, Digital Output