Aside from this digital printing breakthrough, the cover’s luxurious look and soft-touch finish has been created using MMR, the latest matt cold-seal release film available from Ti Films.
Putting it all together
The project, conceived by Ti Films, was carefully planned to achieve a professional result befitting the printing and packaging industry’s leading publication.
Following lengthy discussions between all players, Banie Stafford, owner of Design by Brothers Design Studio and PPM’s cover design guru, set about creating a striking concept to showcase the luxurious matt qualities of MMR.
MMR has already been adopted by a leading South African confectionery brand and recognised by international market players to enhance shelf appeal and brand image, so it was a natural choice to use two striking chocolate images to deliver a strong brand message.
With the design signed off, the stage was set for the Didget Printing team to work their magic. DTP operator, Dean Stephenson, prepared a works map image, setting page parameters and the white layers ready for print.
By ensuring correct artwork, Dean was able to guarantee 100% image and colour accuracy at prepress. From there, the printing was simple!
For the purpose of the PPM cover, the image was prepared in a four-colour (CMYK) plus white format for the HP Indigo 4500 and, incorporating the outside front and back covers and inside front and back covers, the print run was set for 4 500 copies, at an estimated speed of 15m/min/pass (five colours).
Firstly, a 95g/m2 metallised PP was applied off-line to the printing side of a 333mm-wide 230g/m2 white Dukuza board and the reverse was coated to ensure print adhesion. Once these two processes were completed, the metallised print side was fed face-up into Didget’s Indigo 4500 digital press to create the bold design and cover copy.
Machine operator, Collen Mthembu, swiftly prepared the material placement and colour check on the operating panel.
The ‘belly’ of the HP Indigo press is temperature controlled to maintain perfect image to plate registration and transfer to the print blanket. Although multiple checks were made, there were no print registration hiccups throughout the entire run.
On completion of the front and back cover, the material was turned for reverse side printing; then taken off-line for reel-fed lamination with Ti Films’ one-side corona-treated MMR 18µm cold-seal release matt BOPP film.
The use of two nip rollers, situated before and after the GEW UV-station, avoided any creasing or bubbling.
Finally, the reel stock was drawn off the laminator, guillotined to size and despatched to CTP Printers for perfect binding in the usual way.
As with any trade or consumer publication, printing deadlines are always tight and last-minute changes are impossible once a publication is set-up for print on an offset press. The beauty of this venture was the flexibility that digital print afforded – allowing last-minute design tweaks and the freedom to change colour, detail and font size at a moment’s notice.
Additionally, the project highlighted the enormous versatility of Ti Films’ MMR matt cold-seal release film.
Developed for premium-quality flexible packaging applications, its properties have added a special look and feel to PPM’s front cover, with no creasing or wrinkling.
Practically speaking, offset or gravure remain cost-effective options for long-run printing. However, this project highlighted what can be achieved when progressive industry experts put their heads together. It’s all about creative thinking and using available technology to push the boundaries in printing and packaging!