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Print review

By The Drum | Administrator

July 19, 2004 | 8 min read

Eastern's Giant Print Packets

The print industry in Scotland has been through a tough patch. Like many of the creative industries that it works hand in hand with, consolidation and fragmentation have been two recent trends gripping the sector. Yet despite a change in the landscape, and a raft of uncertainties, the industry has been working hard to stand out and offer a change to the usual, boosting its reputation North of the Border.

One area in which this can be achieved is in the special print category. However, it is not always widely recognised just how much effort and resource goes into successfully manufacturing tailor-made printed products.

The goal of the creative industry is to provide innovative solutions that deliver measurable results for clients’ businesses. The industry has to be innovative creatively, in terms of format and design, innovative in the way it works in order to deliver more quickly to market, and innovative commercially to deliver ongoing cost savings. But it can’t achieve this without like-minded partners.

There are print companies that have invested heavily over the years and have fantastic plants and are able to deliver wonderful products, but even they can all too easily fall into a trap of punting formats to death for agencies or clients to slap their designs onto. Innovation can be just as much about people and ideas; a state of mind, a culture, and a “can-do” attitude that is willing to find and implement novel solutions to problems.

Thankfully in Scotland, there are some companies who share this outlook and as manufacturers of bespoke products, the Scottish print industry overcomes challenges every day to produce high-class printed products to meet tight deadlines. We asked a number to talk about some of the special projects they have ben involved with.

Eastern

The Brief: The brief set by Arc Marketing, for their client, Golden Wonder crisps, was to find a method to produce giant crisp bags that would withstand being transported, so had to be lightweight, were three-dimensional and able to be used outdoors.

The Solution: To print direct onto banner PVC, using our Zund process. The artwork was flattened out and used to print each image (crisp bag) onto one piece of PVC. The printed banner was stitched in the shape of a crisp bag, with an opening left at the top to fill the bag with large foam pieces, which had to also support the bags to allow them to free-stand.

The Brief and Solution: The Toast? Well, that was just a bit of fun printing this on the Zund. We have heard of a company that uses this process South of the Border and marketed it initially by printing on pizza bases and sending them out to prospective clients.

Woods of Perth

The Brief: From three A2 poster artworks we were briefed by Quality Meat Scotland, for the Royal Highland Show, to make three different (1.5m x 4.0m) jigsaws – Pork, Beef and Lamb – that would lie flat at the exhibition stand for children (aged five upwards) to piece together, jump on, spill fizzy drinks over and kick, but still retain their shape and be re-usable for further outdoor, as well as indoor, exhibitions.

The Solution: Three jigsaws, size 1.5 x 4.0 metres, each containing 36 pieces, printed four-process colours on 150gsm waterproof digital material and mounted onto 30mm LD45 Plastazote foam. Die-cut to shape, collated and packed. This product is suitable for outdoor use. The foam was cut with water.

Allander

The Brief: Advertising agency Family wanted to create a 270mm square, 36 pp brochure, plus 4pp cover and 4pp dust jacket for client John Partridge. The print run was 4000.

The materials used included GF Smith Colorplan Claret 270gsm for the dust jacket and Parilux silk 250gsm for the cover.

The dust jacket also included gold foil, with the cover and text utilising a four-colour process plus gold metallic throughout and in-line coating.

The Solution: Our customer elected to use Allander for this project very early on in the process and involved us in planning discussions with their creative and production team and the photographer. A lot of proactive work went into making sure that all aspects of this job would look great. For instance, the foil blocking on the dust jacket was particularly challenging, due to the fine detail of the logo. Selection of material for the cover and text was also an important factor in order to ensure getting the best results from the rich and detailed photography. The print process also involved a lot of re-adjustment of colour information in pre-press and re-plating, and extra make-readies were done in order to get the exact colour shades of some of the garments. The use of fine metallic text on top of images and large solid metallic areas presented further challenges.

Everyone who has seen this brochure commented on how great it looks but, interestingly, out of the many highly individual and expensive products we estimate for, very few go ahead, mainly due to budget constraints. It is a pleasure and very rewarding to be involved in the production of pieces of work such as the John Partridge brochure.

Inglis Allen

The Brief: Inglis Allen has worked with Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) on many projects and sponsors its annual Masters of Design Awards. They were recently involved in a project with two fourth-year design students who had been chosen to design the literature for the college’s annual fashion show. The students chosen to design all the print work for the show were given a free hand, with no restraints, just the instruction to make it snappy and different! They came up with “The Bobbin” design.

In addition to printing the literature, Inglis Allen had to source 1,200 bobbins in various colours and replace the top and bottom labels on each bobbin with new labels for ECA. They then printed dates and times on clear film and affixed the film to the bobbin. The use of clear film allowed the tickets to be colour coded, with different colours of thread determining which performance the public were allowed to see.

The second task was packaging. Inglis Allen had to provide a solution as to how the bobbins could be sent through the post without being damaged.

The Solution: The design was very innovative, whereby the ticket was printed onto a clear film, which was cut to size and hand-applied to the bobbins by the in-house finishing department. The labels were printed for the top and bottom of the bobbin, which were also hand-applied.

In addition to the bobbins, Inglis Allen also had to consider the packaging. After a number of prototypes, a card was designed that could hold a maximum of four bobbins, which, used with a clear bubble wrap envelope, allowed the tickets to arrive at the recipient undamaged.

It was not only the fact that Inglis Allen had the ability to print and finish the job in-house that made it possible but also the assistance and guidance they provided the students with throughout the entire project.

Applecroft

The Brief: What could make more impact at a toy event attended by children than a giant Duracell bunny? That’s exactly what London’s leading SP Agency thought when they briefed Applecroft, one of Scotland’s leading print management companies, to produce a one-off, freestanding display depicting one of the nation’s favourite brand icons.

The Solution: Difficulties Applecroft faced included the display having to be printed and produced in a single, high-definition piece to ensure a premium finish. It had to be easily erected, sturdy, and durable enough to withstand lots of handling, especially by the kids! It also had to be printed, hand-cut, constructed and delivered within 48 hours – so in no way could this be described as a “small” job. The piece was delivered on time, on brief and on budget.

At over 8ft tall and 4ft wide, the bunny literally dwarfed everything else at the event and became a favourite of everyone who attended, including the Duracell team.

21 Colour

The Brief: Our client Nexfor produces a large variety of laminated wood products and requires a brochure and inserts to promote the range. 21 Colour was approached because of our ability to not only reproduce colour more accurately but also avoid screen clash with the grain of the wood.

The Solution: This was achieved by scanning the actual wood so we had a first generation scan, after minor colour corrections a CTP Plate was produced using Staccato Square Spot technology which allows us to reproduce this product on the press to the actual standard. This is the standard 21 Colour apply across the board.

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