By Melissa Donovan
The term rigid substrates refers to a number of materials, from foamboard and foamcore to PVC, corrugated flute, and paper-based product. With a variety of options available to print service providers (PSPs), the ability to direct print on rigid substrates is becoming a necessity. Customers demand fast turnarounds while requiring a quality print and digital flatbed printers meet both criteria.
One application regularly requested involves direct to rigid substrate printing—standees. Used in point of purchase (POP) for retail promotions, they are also becoming a popular option for events. Whether it be a trade show, intimate gathering, or concert, attendees are often enamored with a large cardboard cutout of a celebrity or character. Pictures are taken and often shared on social media, which equates to bonus marketing for whomever is being promoted.
Flexible with Digital
Heritage Printing & Graphics offers wide format signage for interior signs and event signage and standees are one of the applications it prints. In addition to wide format, the company also offers commercial printing of booklets, magazines, and marketing materials.
In business since 1977, the PSP started with one employee in a garage in Leonardtown, MD. It operated out of various locations in Southern MD for the first 38 years and in August 2015 it acquired Beacon Printing and relocated to Waldorf, MD. There is also a branch of the business in Charlotte, NC, which was established in July 2008.
Today, a staff of 29 is scattered throughout five locations total, which combined together equal 30,000 square feet. The Heritage Printing team celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017.
The company added wide format digital printing services to its portfolio in 2008. According to Kevin Smith, marketing manager, Heritage Printing, digital printing technologies were attractive because of their ability to serve a large market with a variety of custom products. In particular, Heritage Printing looked to expand capabilities and enhance flexibility by adding digital printing to its organization.
Digital printing exceeded its expectations and new goals are in the pipeline. Wide format products the PSP offers its customers include banners, backdrops, custom signs, event displays, wall displays and graphics, adhesive vinyl graphics, and fabric printing that includes applications such as custom printed curtains, canvas prints, portable fabric backdrops, table runners and throws, and feather flags.
Printers and Media
Today the company works with a ValueJet 1638UH from Mutoh America, Inc. The 64-inch hybrid UV LED printer offers a staggered dual printhead design that allows for higher production capacity. It prints on material up to a half-inch thick and features CMYK plus white and varnish ink options.
Like many of the digital printers in Mutoh’s product portfolio the printer is equipped with the Mutoh ValueJet Status Monitor application for remote printer management and an optional SpectroVUE VM-10 spectrophotometer for color management.
In addition to the Mutoh printer, Heritage Printing also owns HP Latex 560 and 360 printers, with the HP Latex 560 added to the company’s NC location in June 2017. The HP Latex 560 is a 64-inch roll printer offering a maximum speed of 980 square feet per hour. At 1,200×1,200 dpi with a roll feed, take up reel, wiper roller, and automatic cutter, the printer handles media types such as banner, self-adhesive vinyl, film, fabric, paper, canvas, synthetic, and mesh.
Heritage Printing prints all of its rigid substrates on the Mutoh ValueJet 1638UH. This includes half-inch thick UltraBoard, manufactured by United Industries; foamcore; PVC substrates; gatorboard; conVerd Board by Neenah Wide Format, which is a fully recyclable paper-based rigid board; and EAGLECELL, an all-paper honeycomb graphics board from The Gilman Brothers Company.
Standees to Action
Standees are one of the rigid substrate-based applications Heritage Printing offers its customers. Smith says they are ordered for events, promotions, and parties. It recently printed 100 for a demonstration on the U.S. Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C.
Client Avaaz wanted to call attention to fake Facebook accounts spreading misinformation and called on Heritage Printing to create standouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The request came in on a Friday and had to be in Washington, D.C. the following Monday morning. Using the Mutoh ValueJet 1638UH, a hundred coroplast boards were printed on. Digital printing was ideal for this job because it was fast and consistent.
Heritage Printing offers its customers a variety of application options. While rigid standee cutouts aren’t necessarily enough to sustain a business, they are a nice add-on to any job and keeps the company top of mind when it comes to its customers. The application plays a part in Heritage Printing’s goal to serve customers with custom-printed products.
Jul2018, Digital Output