From direct mail to packaging, the future of print has changed for the better as a result of the pandemic. After more than a year of a basically touchless life, the embellishment print market has become more important than ever as consumers crave a tactile experience with their brands. As we emerge from a digitally saturated period of history, meaningful and impactful print will take a greater role in branding, keeping embellished print at the forefront for the unforeseeable future.
This annual Gold Leaf Awards competition comprises an exciting assembly of color, dimension, and eye-catching effects representing the most exquisite works throughout the graphic arts industry. Entries are judged on design, execution and level of difficulty in over 35 different categories with a gold, silver and bronze award presented in each category. A Best of Show award is selected from among all of the Gold Award winners. The program has grown, with entries submitted from around the world by finishers and binders that want to compete against the best in the industry. New technologies have also fueled growth, with expanded award categories in areas such as digital foil and other specialty UV coatings. This year, FSEA received 237 entries from all over the world.
In the Category of Best Foil/Coatings Selection Guide, Print Panther was awarded the Gold Award for the Konica Minolta Extreme Digital Guide – Capturing the Feel of Creativity, a labor of love for Christine Yardley, president, Print Panther, and her production team. As FSEA reviewed the Gold Award recipients for the Best in Show award, this year’s high competition left the organization with two strong standouts and a difficult decision, leading to a Best in Show Honorable Mention, awarded to Print Panther.
The guide was produced using a variety of Konica Minolta equipment. In addition to the Konica Minolta MGI Jet Varnish 3DS with iFoil S, Print Panther used the AccurioJet KM-1e LED UV Inkjet Press, described by Print Panther as a “phenomenal inkjet press” that allowed for a lot of texture, embossed papers and unusual substrates, with incredible registration. The project also utilized an AccurioPress digital color press and the AccurioWide 160 hybrid UV LED wide format inkjet printer.
“The world is going to be looking for new ideas when we emerge from this, and print can tell a story like nothing else can,” says Yardley. “Konica Minolta handed us the reigns for creative license on the guide, and wholeheartedly embraced the concept and design. The guide became my savior during the pandemic, giving me a much-needed creative outlet with my designer.”
“Print Panther is an amazing partner and we are so proud of the fantastic work they did on the Extreme Digital Guide,” says Bill Troxil, senior VP, Strategic Business Development, Konica Minolta. “As a vendor it is truly satisfying to see our clients push the envelope and get recognized for their expertise.”
PostPress Magazine, the official publication of the FSEA, also featured Yardley on its September cover, where she donned a gold holographic foil dress with boa she made herself with the used rolls off her MGI. Yardley also contributed an article to the issue, sharing her deep passion for foil embellishment complete with additional photos including a silver holographic foil skirt.
“The boa was quite a complex undertaking,” added Yardley. “It took ten hours to thread the foil through.”
Print Panther took home two other awards, a silver award for Best Use of Foil Embossing – Softback Book Cover or Jacket (Most Creative) for Cal Poly’s Compilation of Student Work, Spring 2020, and a bronze award for Best Use of Foil Embossing – Greeting Card (Difficult) for The Kennedy Sisters Real Estate Team Christmas Card.
The JETvarnish 3DS with iFOIL S can turn regular print jobs into high-margin spot UV jobs, or even higher margin 3D embossed jobs. The device offers high speed and high productivity, with production speeds up to 3,000 sheets per hour based on 30-micron coating thickness. With the ability to varnish up to 232 microns for 3D raised effects and tactile finishes, the JETvarnish 3DS with iFOIL can transform 2D flat surfaces into textured sensory experiences.
The Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1e is a 29-inch sheet-fed LED UV inkjet press. The KM-1e can produce up to 3,000 sheets per hour on a wide range of paper thickness, from 40 lb offset to 24 point board. The KM-1e prints on the widest ranges of substrate types in the industry including clear film, pvc, styrene, rigid vinyl, teslin, metallic media, canvas and embossed paper.
The AccurioWide 160 boasts superior image quality and high productivity for outdoor and indoor job applications will impress even the most challenging, quality-minded customers. The printer is equipped with UV LED lamps that allow users to print on a wider range of media — while simultaneously saving energy, time and costs. The end result is a versatile printer that helps increase job applications — and grow business.