By Digital Output Staff
Every November, Digital Output honors leading innovators in the graphic arts. The Top 50 Readers’ Choice awards are determined by readership response to editorial and advertisements found in print and online throughout the year. Thanks to www.DOdirect.net, our lead generation system, we track and tabulate the vendors that received the highest number of inquiries into their products and services.
A range of influential companies are included in this year’s lineup of winners. Overwhelmingly, 46 percent of the vendors included primarily offer media and substrates. This number aligns with the recent surge of unique digitally printable products, from fabric to window clings and rigid boards such as corrugated. Close behind, 38 percent of the winners fall into the hardware category, which refers to both printing and finishing devices.
And the Winners Are…
Digital Output congratulates the 2014 Top 50 Readers’ Choice winners. Read on to learn more about these companies and their innovations.
3M Commercial Solutions helps customers worldwide build brands by providing total large format graphics and light management solutions. 3M manufactures or certifies lighting solutions‚ graphic films and graphic protection‚ flexible substrates‚ as well as inks and toners used to create large format finished graphics that are consistent‚ reliable, and durable.
Agfa Graphics enables businesses to deliver powerful messages and be more profitable. It develops, manufactures, and distributes innovative products, and collaborates with world class manufacturers to provide complete solutions tailored to the ever-changing needs of the graphic communications industry.
Alpina Manufacturing offers Flip-Up, Slide-In, or Banner Grip frames made any size or quantity to hold graphics or banners. Change graphics without removing frames from a wall, all while featuring a beautiful presentation at a low cost. The company also provides any size A frame stands and pole stands. No minimum quantities are required and all products are made in Chicago, IL.
Arlon Graphics, LLC manufactures and markets a full line of high-quality pressure-sensitive cut vinyl, flexible substrates, and print media films for the digital imaging, signage, vehicle graphic, and automotive restyling industries. The company is headquartered in Placentia, CA, with strategically positioned distribution out of Australia, Europe, India, Latin America, the U.K., and Uruguay to service customers worldwide.
Artgrafix fabricates products to make mounting and laminating prints fast and easy with consistent professional results. Products include adhesive-coated mounting boards, pouch boards in a variety of boards and films, and sheeted laminate films.
Aurora Graphics Inc. offers a premiere design studio featuring one of the world’s largest libraries of digital art for wide and grand format digital printing.
Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a U.S. manufacturer, coater, and finisher of high-quality textiles and canvas for a variety of applications. Its full range of fabrics is compatible with latex, solvent, UV-cure, dye-sublimation, and screenprint technologies. Aurora introduces ColorPRO technology for use with HP Latex inks that will be available up to 120 inches wide; Northern Lights Premium Poplin LX is the first product in the lineup.
Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions features products for digital and traditional printing technologies, reflective and cut signage. Applications range from promotional graphics such as signage, labels, exhibits, displays, and bus wrap markings to long-term, durable applications like fleet markings, backlit signs, vehicle striping, and graphics.
Bordeaux Digital Printink is a developer, manufacturer, and distributor of customer-focused premium ink for inkjet technologies, printing, and the graphic arts. The company’s products are recognized worldwide as highly reliable and cost-effective inkjet inks and coatings, for wide and superwide digital printers. Its product range includes all types of ink whether eco, solvent, UV and UV LED, textile, or the latest latex inks. Bordeaux also offers a range of liquid laminates and UV coatings for wide format graphics, vehicle wraps, and document finishing.
Caldera is a software company with more than 20 years of experience in developing, marketing, and supporting high-quality technological software for wide format imaging with a commitment to increasing productivity, cost efficiency, and color output. Caldera’s suite of production-orientated print and print-to-cut workflow programs offers color management, imaging, and driving solutions for large and grand format peripherals.
Canon Solutions America offers the tools to help customers become more productive and profitable including imaging supplies, financing, training, and technical service. Expand business with the Océ line of large format flatbed and roll inkjet printers and finishing systems for a variety of outdoor and indoor applications.
CET Color offers a unique and refreshing approach to doing business. With a formula for success that keeps customers coming back for multiple UV printers, the company is one of the top producers in the UV flatbed arena. CET Color provides the ability to custom configure a printer and the number of printheads to meet business needs. In addition, machines are field upgradeable and can grow as business grows. The company offers exceptional service, support, and warranty coverage.
DreamScape, a division of Roysons Corp., is a leading manufacturer of textured digitally printable wallcoverings, protective topcoats, and textured printable privacy window films. With over 35 years experience in the wallpaper industry, DreamScape offers the largest selection of high-quality certified, Class A commercial grade vinyl and PVC-free wallcoverings for residential and commercial applications. Products are available in rolls for solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable, and latex printers.
Drytac is an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, including graphic films, window films, double-sided tapes, self-adhesive print media, label stock, industrial adhesives, and heat-activated and pressure-sensitive laminates and mounting adhesives. The company also creates unique customized adhesive products to customer specifications.
Durst Image Technology U.S. is a world class manufacturer of professional wide and grand format digital UV inkjet printers. The company offers superior technology with the orientation to customer needs. Durst products are designed for performance, reliability, and longevity—offering the highest print quality, productivity, and efficiency. Learn more about Durst product offerings and discover new business opportunities. Experience the Durst difference.
EFI is a worldwide provider of products, technology, and services leading the transformation from analog to digital imaging. Based in Silicon Valley, CA, with offices around the globe, the company’s powerful integrated product portfolio includes digital front end servers; superwide, wide format, label, and ceramic inkjet presses and inks; production workflow, Web to print, and business automation software; and office, enterprise, and mobile cloud solutions.
EnCore Products manufactures foamboard used for digital printing, screen printing, point of purchase displays, exhibits, and cut graphics. The EnCore FoamBoard line includes White, Colors, Black-on-Black, Acid-Free, Bright White Acid-Free, Pressure Sensitive, SingleStep, MightyCore, PilloCore, and Fine Art Boards. All products are made in the U.S.
Epson America, Inc. offers an extensive array of image capture and image output products for business, commercial print, graphic arts, photographic, signage, direct to garment, and fabric production.
Esko is a global market leader providing automated design-to-print-to-cut solutions for print service providers (PSPs). Esko manufactures Kongsberg digital cutting and routing systems and develops premiere software solutions for PSPs that contribute to reducing time to market, raising productivity and efficiency, increasing throughput, and minimizing costs associated with production and pre-production.
FDC Graphic Films, Inc. is a leading supplier and master distributor of FDC, 3M, Aslan, and RTape sign vinyl, heat transfer films, digital media, and laminates. Nobody ships more media, banner, heat transfer, and sign vinyl in the same day. FDC gets what you need when no one else can. Over 7,000 SKUs ready to ship same day, in both standard and custom sizes.
Fisher Textiles’ reputation and pride in providing quality textiles with unsurpassed service is reflected in over 25 years of experience and workmanship in producing industry-leading fabrics for dye-sublimation, latex, UV, and direct digital printing. Its capital investment of inventory and three warehouse locations allows it to fill just-in-time requirements. The company stands behind its products and takes pride in providing the best fabrics in digital printing.
The Graphic Systems Division of Fujifilm North America Corporation delivers solutions for workflow, consultative services, remote monitoring, color standardization and G7 implementation, pressroom products, CTP, proofing, digital printing, and wide format. Fujifilm also manufactures and distributes Sericol inks and is a leader in the development of UV inks for screenprinting, narrow web, and large format digital printing industries.
Gans Ink and Supply Co. has six distinct ink divisions focusing on every aspect of the commercial and inkjet printer’s needs. The business is built on offering custom inkjet and offset product printing solutions.
Graphics One promises to provide service, value, and quality to customers. Most importantly, its goal is to contribute to a company’s continued success and growth. It looks forward to being your imaging partner.
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments, and society. With a technology portfolio spanning printing, personal systems, software, services, and IT infrastructure, HP delivers solutions for customers’ most complex challenges in every region of the world.
INX Digital delivers technologies that drive digital growth. Integrate digital technology into an existing operation or expand and improve current digital capabilities with INX Digital. Combining the ink formulating expertise of INX with Evolve, Prodigy, and Triangle brands makes INX Digital an unequaled source for products, technologies, systems, consultation, and services. The company offers services and manufacturing with operations located in China, Europe, and the U.S.
KAPCO Graphic Products is a manufacturer/converter offering digital media for water-based inkjet and solvent/latex/UV printers, mounting adhesives, laminates and backers, sign vinyl, and supplies. Specifically available, adhesive-backed, water-proof, and specialty vinyl; banner, canvas/fabric, film, and paper inkjet media; vinyl, banner, film, canvas, and paper solvent media plus PSA UV and thermal laminates in four finishes.
LexJet is a one-stop, direct source for all kinds of equipment, materials, and software used to print photos, art, and commercial graphics. Dedicated to total convenience and personal customer service, LexJet provides one day ground delivery to most of the continental U.S., online ordering, highly trained account specialists, free and unlimited product and technical support, and extensive educational resources.
Lintec of America is a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive films for visual marking, signage, and architectural window applications. The company specializes in optically clear, frosted, and textured films for display, point of purchase, and window graphics. Lintec offers a range of laminates, mounting, and printable films.
MACtac is a global manufacturer of pressure-sensitive adhesive materials for over 50 years, providing solutions for digital imaging and print technology, mounting and laminating, and CAS or screenprinting for a variety of applications. MACtac’s industry-trusted digital print media product lines include IMAGin, Starliner, and REBEL. Also included is MACtac’s long-standing PERMACOLOR line of overlaminating and finishing films.
Magnum Magnetics is a U.S. manufacturer of flexible magnetic sheeting, strip, and custom profiles. It offers printable magnetic sheeting for multiple printing presses including offset, flexo, inkjet, and digital. The company takes the time to understand an application before recommending a magnetic solution.
Marabu North America is a leading manufacturer and supplier of liquid coatings and digital inks. With over 100 years of experience in ink and coating development, Marabu’s products meet the highest quality standards on the market. It is also the exclusive North American distributor of the Apollo GM6042 Turbo UV LED flatbed printer, a machine it worked to develop along with its UltraJet DLE UV inks for a total package solution.
Media One is a full-service provider for the large format inkjet industry. Its specialty is print manufacturers with production environments. The company covers the entire workflow from equipment, RIP software, and color management to consumables—textiles, inks, and films. Media One is an industry leader for textile printing and finishing solutions, and its clients are the most recognized companies in the industry.
Mimaki is an innovator and a pioneer in the development of digital printing and cutting products worldwide. The company has engineered and manufactured a complete line of digital printers and cutters, and offers a total workflow solution for the many applications found in sign and graphics, textile and apparel, and industrial. In 2014, Mimaki USA celebrates 15 years of serving customers in the Americas.
MultiCam Inc. is an international leader in CNC machine manufacturing, providing affordable and user-friendly cutting systems to the sign and digital finishing market. Its digital finishing systems are equipped with an automatic knife-changing system for rotary, kiss-cut, drag, angle-knife, oscillating, and ultrasonic cutting, and all ensuring seamless production.
Mutoh America, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of wide format printers and plotting cutters. The company is home to the ValueJets, Mutoh’s line of inkjet printers, which are known for quality, speed, and Smart Printing technologies.
Celebrating 25 years of innovation, ONYX Graphics is dedicated to helping customers increase productivity, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge with superior print and color quality. Innovative, productive, and satisfied customers motivate ONYX to continually develop and enhance its technologies. Longstanding relationships with printer manufacturers position ONYX as a market leader in powerful, reliable, large format printing workflow software.
ORAFOL Americas Inc., a subsidiary of ORAFOL Europe GmbH, is a leading global manufacturer of premium vinyl graphic films, digital media, laminating films, and reflective products used in signage, graphics, digital printing, screenprinting, and traffic and safety applications. To accommodate increased product demand and industry growth, ORAFOL Americas now markets a range of industrial tapes for applications from the solar industry to point of purchase. The company’s distribution network spans Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S.
Pacific Coast Fabrics (PCF) is a pioneering provider of digital print textiles, in wide and grand format, for direct dye, dye-sublimation, latex, UV, and pigment printing. All of its fabrics are developed to high-quality and performance standards. Many of the company’s premium fabrics are offered with flame repellant coatings. PCF also stocks fabrics for apparel and home furnishings. The company warehouses and ships from both the West and East Coast.
With 50 years of expertise in the industry, Palram has established manufacturing, distribution, and sales operations across seven continents and 120 countries around the world. The company manufactures most of its sign and graphics products for U.S. consumption in the U.S., and markets them through a network of authorized distributors.
Perception Wide Format Media is a brand of Worthen Industries and manufactures high-quality coated fabric and canvas for customers worldwide. The company brings many years of coating and coated substrate development and manufacturing experience to the wide format media marketplace. Focused on creating chemistry-perfect coatings on fabrics woven in American textile mills, Perception creates customizable products that meet strict quality standards and the highest consistency expectations. Designed and manufactured in the U.S., Perception products are available for use in OEM, private label, or Perception-branded programs.
Polytype America is the manufacturer of the NQ32 3-in-1 UV production printer. The NQ32 is a patent-pending 3.2-meter combination high-speed flatbed/roll-to-roll printer. Polytype is the exclusive U.S. distributor of the swissQprint Nyala 2, Nyala, Impala, and Oryx UV printers. swissQprint UV flatbed printers feature a unique 3-in-1 design; true flatbed, hybrid, and roll-to-roll at speeds up to 1,500 square feet per hour. Polytype also exclusively sells and services the Jetrix 2030, a 6.5×10-foot flatbed/roll-to-roll UV printer and the NKM 21 4×8-foot flatbed/roll-to-roll UV printer through its preferred dealer network.
For over a decade, Qué Media, Inc. has grown to become a distinguished global coating manufacturer of aqueous, solvent/eco-solvent, and latex digital print media for display graphics, point of purchase advertising, and photo reproduction. With regards to wide format; it currently coats substrates such as polypropylene, PVC, backlit film, fabrics, banner material, and multi-layered PET film in addition to a full line of pressure-sensitive laminates.
Ritrama is an international group of companies dedicated to the worldwide manufacturer of specialty and commodity self-adhesive materials. The company is a worldwide manufacturer of pressure-sensitive graphic films with a reputation for performance and value. The commitment of Ritrama is to provide excellent quality, innovation, and worldwide service.
Roland offers wide format inkjet printers and integrated printer/cutters equipped with eco-solvent, solvent, sublimation, UV, and aqueous inks, including SOLJET, VersaCAMM, VersaUV, VersaStudio, and Hi-Fi Express models. All Roland inkjets come with VersaWorks RIP software, and several models are equipped with specialty inks, including white, metallic silver, clear, and light black options.
SA International (SAi) is recognized as a global leader in providing complete, professional software solutions from design to production for sign making and digital printing. Its SAi Flexi ranks as one of the world’s number one software products for print and sign making, and is a leader in the industry with cloud-enabled business tools and a subscription option. SAi also enjoys partnerships with companies like Hewlett-Packard and Mutoh America, who integrate SAi Flexi as part of their equipment solutions.
Seiko Instruments is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacturing of high-performance wide format printers and inks ideal for vinyl, banner, canvas, film, textiles, and flexface. ColorPainter printers and Jetrix flatbed printers are distributed in the Americas by Seiko Instruments U.S.A., Inc. Customer service and support are provided through an authorized network of distributors.
Ultraflex Systems, Inc. is a supplier of digital and screen printable substrates in seamless widths from 30 to 198 inches for UV, eco-solvent, solvent, latex, dye-sublimation, and screenprinting. Product lines include frontlit, backlit, blockout, mesh, wallpaper, carpet, textiles, and biodegradable and recyclable banner media. Printable sample rolls are available for test printing as well as product literature and sample swatches.
VKF Renzel USA Corp. is a leading international producer and supplier of innovative display and point of purchase solutions to manufacturers, resellers, and end users. Its product line consists of signage hardware such as aluminum snap frames and aluminum poster and banner holders. The company also heat bends PVC, PETG, and acrylic items including price labeling and shelf management systems.
Zünd, a leading manufacturer of digital flatbed cutting systems, offers multifunctional, high-productivity cutters/routers with numerous tools and automated material-handling options for processing printed/unprinted materials up to two inches thick and ten feet wide. Designed for maximum versatility and modularity, all G3/S3 models are powered by a direct-drive system and Zünd Cut Center, an efficient and easy-to-use digital workflow suite.
Close behind the 2014 Top 50 Readers’ Choice winners are ten honorable mentions. These companies are also notable leaders in the industry.
Condé is a recognized leader in the digital transfer market and offers everything needed to get into the custom imprinting business including transfer systems, software, blank imprintables, transfer paper and supplies, and instructional videos. Call for a copy of Condé’s catalog featuring sublimation and heat transfer products.
Coveris Advanced Coatings, Digital Imaging Division has a strong reputation for delivering innovative products for the wide format printing market, including the Magic portfolio of digital imaging media and inks and Museo brand digital fine art and photo media. Magic media addresses the evolving needs of digital printers with grand and wide format inkjet paper and film. Featuring distinctive coatings, Magic provides media that is compatible with most water-based, latex, UV-cure, and solvent/eco-solvent inks.
Daige is a manufacturer of affordable cold laminators for mounting and laminating, adhesive coaters for duplexing and making hard covers, and liquid laminators for protecting outdoor signage and canvas prints.
The Seal and GBC brands, both part of the ACCO brands umbrella, each offer market-leading print finishing solutions. Seal manufactures and markets film laminating equipment and materials, mounting adhesives, wide and grand format textile and PVC print media, and display systems. GBC has been at the forefront of the document finishing industry for more than 65 years as a global, trusted leader in binding and laminating equipment and supplies. GBC products allow users to present, protect, secure, organize, and enhance printed material.
Gerber Scientific Products is a leader in the development and manufacture of computerized sign making and specialty graphics systems, software, materials, and accessories. The company’s start-to-finish digital design, printing, and production products integrate via its unique Matched Technology System to provide customers with comprehensive engineered solutions for every color printing and dimensional signage and graphic needs.
Founded in 1976 and located in Castle Rock, CO, Master Magnetics manufactures and distributes all types of magnets and magnetic devices for commercial, consumer, and industrial use. PrintMagnetVinyl allows for high-resolution printing directly onto flexible magnetic sheeting, and combined with FlexIRON magnetic-receptive sheeting, provides an easy-to-use and economical magnetic graphics system. The company also offers a wide selection of magnetic assemblies for sign building and point of purchase displays.
McGrann Digital Imaging (MDI) offers an array of products from microporous photo papers to adhesive wall fabrics and scratch-resistant rollup banners. MDI prides itself on wide format media via a complete spectrum of printer platforms from water-based dye and pigment, to eco-solvent, solvent, UV-curable, and latex.
Sensient Imaging Technologies is an industry leader in the development and manufacture of high-quality, innovative inkjet inks. As a global leader in color, the company has the background, expertise, and technology to help guide customers into new markets, media, and applications with high-performance ink solutions. Sensient recently launched its ElvaJet Alpha platform, an innovation in sustainability that reduces the environmental impact of textile printing without compromising on the quality of the printed product.
Top Value Fabrics is a leading supplier of quality print media. With 40 years of success in the textile industry, it offers a complete line of printable banner media including digital and screen banner, specialty textiles, and dye-sublimation for indoor and outdoor use. The company supplies a wide selection of laminated or coated frontlit, blockout, PET, water-based, mesh, PP, and fabrics in standard and custom widths from 38 to 197 inches.
Value Vinyls has been a supplier of sign and graphics textile and vinyl media, as well as industrial PVC, since 1984. The company expanded its product line, introducing an array of new Pongs textile fabrics. Additionally, it provides white and colored laminated, coated, and mesh substrates for UV, solvent, and latex ink printers ranging from 26 to 196 inches wide.
Don’t see one of your trusted vendor partners on this year’s list? Visit www.DOdirect.net throughout 2015 and be sure to look up their newest products and services. Click through links to request more information directly from the vendor. Remember, you decide the Top 50 Readers’ Choice award winners!
Nov2014, Digital Output