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The Top of the Year: Annual Readers' Choice

Digital Output  Readers Pick Their 2012 Favorites

Welcome again to our annual Top 50 Readers’ Choice awards. Each year Digital Output’s (DO’s) dedicated readership dictates the top 50 winners—and ten honorable mentions—that provide tried-and-true, durable, innovative solutions. Using DO’s Web site metric system, www.DOdirect.net, we tally reader interest in companies throughout the year. This is done via requests made on print and Web advertisements and editorial seen in the magazine, on the Web site, or in our weekly newsletter the Digital Queue.

 

New in 2012, instead of asking each of the winners to choose their featured products, we tabulated the top three—where applicable—products for every company based on what readers requested more information on throughout the year. The result is a true readers’ choice awards. Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees!

 

3M Commercial Graphics helps customers worldwide build brands by providing solutions for large format printed graphics, digital retail signage, and graphic services. The company manufactures graphic films, graphic protection, flexible substrates, and inks that offer consistency, reliability, and durability. Top Products: Scotchprint Wrap Film Series 1080; Scotchcal Graphic Film Series IJ10; and Controltac Graphic Film with Comply v3 Adhesive IJ180Cv3. INFO# 146

 

Agfa Graphics offers one of the most comprehensive portfolios of products and professional services for the prepress, pressroom, inkjet, and packaging segments. The company’s innovative technologies, unmatched distribution, integrated service, and collaboration with world class manufacturers allow customers to differentiate themselves and grow profitably. Agfa Graphics develops comprehensive digital inkjet solutions for printing applications such as banners, signage, displays, labels, packaging, and rigid substrates such as glass, ceramics, and wood. Top Products: :Anapurna M2540 FB; :M-Press Tiger; and :Jeti 3324 Aquajet. INFO# 147

 

Alpina Manufacturing is one of the only fast change frame companies that designs and manufactures frames in the U.S. It is an OEM supplier to thousands of sign shops, distributors, and the U.S. government. Top Products: FlipUp front load frames; Slide-In frames; and Banner Grip frames. INFO# 148

 

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 screenprinting industries. Top Products: DPF 4560GTX; DPF 6000XRP; and DPF 8000. INFO# 149

 

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. Top Products: Polar Laminators; ProSEAL; and Pouch Boards. INFO# 150

 

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a U.S. manufacturer, coater, and finisher of high-quality textiles and canvas. Its full range of fabrics is compatible with digital, latex, solvent, UV-curable, dye-sublimation (dye-sub) transfer, dye-sub direct, screenprint, and litho print technologies. Aurora’s Northern Lights Printable Textiles line includes fabrics up to 126 inches in width. Top Products: ACT II SP; VC Poly Banner Light; and AC Canvas Glossy. INFO# 151

 

Avery Dennison allows customers to imagine the possibilities with their next project. Products provide users with a canvas upon which they can bring a vision to life. Whether a message needs to be mobile, on windows or walls, or outdoors on pavement, Avery Dennison graphics films accommodate. A complete line of digital, reflective, screen, and cut vinyl products are designed to help produce the most durable and dazzling graphics. Top Products: Supreme Wrapping Film; MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS; and DOL Overlaminates. INFO# 152

 

Big Systems LLC is an experienced firm specializing in selling and supporting large format digital inkjet printers since 1994. Product lines include Canon, Epson, Gerber, Hewlett-Packard, Mimaki, and Oki Data. It installs nationwide, provides training, color management, and complete turnkey systems including workstation, scanner, RIP, and workflow software. The company also stocks inks, a variety of specialty media, and a complement of sign making supplies. Top Products: SeraMark; WetJet; and ValuJet. INFO# 153

 

Bordeaux is a leading developer, manufacturer, and distributor of premium digital inks, liquid laminates, and solutions for a spectrum of inkjet technologies and applications. The company is recognized worldwide as the first choice for highly reliable and cost-effective inks. Bordeaux’s innovations such as Mix & Match and Plug & Print allow printers to generate more out of equipment and improve profits. Top Products: UV LED Mix & Match Solution; Eco-Solvent Mix & Match Solution; and True Solvent Mix & Match Solution. INFO# 154

 

CADlink Technology Corporation, celebrating its 20th anniversary, provides software solutions to the sign making, wide format digital printing, screenprinting, vehicle graphics, engraving, and routing markets. The company is best known for its brand software products; SignLab, Digital Factory, FilmMaker, EngraveLab, and ProfileLab. CADlink also provides numerous custom software solutions to dozens of hardware manufacturers worldwide. Top Products: SignLab Version 9.1; Pro Vehicle Outlines; and Digital Factory Version 3. INFO# 155

 

Caldera is a RIP software company with 20 years experience in imaging technologies, specializing in driving solutions for large format peripherals. Caldera’s suite of production-oriented print and print-to-cut workflow solutions offer color management, imaging, and driving solutions for large and grand format peripherals. Top Products: Caldera Version 9; Variable Display; and Flow+. INFO# 156

 

CET Color manufactures affordable, digital large format, vacuum table UV flatbeds and hybrid roll-to-roll/flatbed UV printers. Utilizing state-of-the-art UV-curable ink sets that are volatile organic compound free and eco-friendly, the printers print on virtually any substrate, are field upgradeable, and can be configured to fit the needs of business now and in the future. Top Products: X-Press 500H and X-Press 500. INFO# 157

 

Clear Focus Imaging, Inc. perforated and unperforated window films open up premium advertising space using eye-catching, see-through graphics. These digitally printable vinyl films are compatible with solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable, latex, and aqueous inks, as well as screenprinting and thermal transfer. They are available for exterior or interior mounting; and ideal for point of purchase/retail/commercial graphics, vehicle and building wraps, and corporate identity. Top Products: PVSee; DecoVue; and ClassicVue. INFO# 158

 

Decorative Panels International (DPI) is recognized industry wide as a leader in design style innovation and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. DPI’s Green Core Rigid Print Media is FSC certified and is an ideal alternative to plastic and petroleum-based media. Green Core is a totally natural engineered wood product, free of added formaldehyde. Top Products: Green Core RPM; Green Core Premium Hardboard; and Green Core Decorative Wall Paneling. INFO# 159

 

DigiFab Systems, Inc. is a developer and manufacturer of software, supplies, and equipment for the digital printing industry. The product lines currently include inkjet fabrics, inks, RIP software for textile and graphics applications, inkjet printers, heat presses, and steamers. Top Products: DigiDye; Evolution RIP; and StampaJet IN-64. INFO# 160

 

DreamScape, a division of Roysons Corp., is a manufacturer of textured digitally printable wallcoverings, protective topcoats, and textured printable privacy window films. With over 35 years experience in the wallcovering industry, the company offers the largest selection of high-quality certified, Class A commercial grade vinyl and PVC-free wallcoverings for residential and commercial applications. They are available in product rolls for solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable, and latex printers. Top Products: Terralon; Commercial Grade Wallcoverings; and Silver Flash and Gold Flash. INFO# 161

 

Drytac Corporation is a manufacturer and distributor of graphics finishing equipment and supplies including laminating films, liquid coatings, roller laminators, vacuum presses, and digital print media, including the Visual Magnetics graphic system. Top Products: Drytac Edging Systems; Enduracoat Aqueous Liquid Coatings; and ViziPrint. INFO# 162

 

Durst Image Technology US LLC is a world class manufacturer of professional wide and grand format digital UV inkjet printers for today’s imaging industry. The company offers superior technology with the orientation to customers’ needs. Durst products are designed for performance, reliability, and longevity, offering the highest quality, productivity, and efficiency. Learn more about Durst products and discover new business opportunities. Top Products: Rho 1000; Rho P10 250; and Rho P10 320R. INFO# 163

 

EFI is a world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation. The company’s solutions, integrated from creation to print, deliver increased performance and cost savings. EFI’s robust product portfolio includes Fiery digital print controllers and solutions, VUTEk superwide inkjet printers, EFI Wide Format inkjet printers, Jetrion industrial inkjet printing systems, printing production workflow and management information software, and corporate printing solutions. Top Products: GS5000r; GS3250LX; and H652. INFO# 164

 

EnCore Products manufactures foam board for digital printing, screenprinting, point of purchase displays, exhibits, and cut graphics. EnCore’s Foam Board line includes White, Colors, Black-on-Black, Acid-Free, Bright White Acid-Free, Pressure Sensitive, Premium Tac Repositionable, SingleStep Heat-Activated, MightyCore Rigid, PilloCore, MightyPrint Expressions, and MightyBull. All products are made in the U.S. Top Products: Premium Tac; MightyPrint Expressions; and MightyBull. INFO# 165

 

Epson offers an array of award-winning image capture and image output products for several markets including the consumer, photographic, business, and graphic arts. Top Products: Stylus Pro GS6000; SureColor S30670; and Stylus Pro 9800. INFO# 166

 

Esko is a global market leader providing automated design-to-print-to-cut solutions for print service providers (PSPs). The company manufactures the Kongsberg digital cutting and finishing systems with i-cut Vision Pro 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. Top Products: i-cut Suite; i-cut Vision Pro 7.2; and Kongsberg i-XP 24. INFO# 167

 

Fisher Textiles is one of the leading suppliers nationwide of fabrics for direct digital printing, dye-sublimation, latex, and UV printing. They are at the forefront of providing fabric solutions to the digital printing industry. Sample rolls are available for testing before purchase and the company works with customers to get the most vibrant print possible. Top Products: GF901 Glossy Canvas; DD 8600 Twilite; and Enviro-Tex. INFO# 168

 

Fujifilm’s Graphic Systems Division, as the nation’s largest distributor of equipment, consumables, and technical services for the graphic communications industry, provides its customers with products and technologies from best-in-class manufacturers, all backed by a nationwide network of technical service and support. Top Products: Inca Onset S40i; Uvistar Pro8; and Acuity LED 1600. INFO# 169

 

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 digital design, printing, and production products integrate via its Matched Technology System to provide customers with comprehensive engineered solutions for every color printing and dimensional signage and graphic needs. Top Products: EDGE FX and GerberColor Transfer Rolls. INFO# 170

 

Graphics One, LLC is an international distributor dedicated to providing innovative, professional, and high-quality digital imaging products and solutions. Top Products: EcoMax 24 Print-n-Cut System; RIO PRO 44 Printer; and FlagMaster 44 Printer. INFO# 171

 

Hewlett-Packard (HP) creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments, and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services, and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. HP’s expansive large format printing portfolio allows print service providers of all sizes to capture a larger share of the digital sign and display market. Top Products: Scitex LX850 Industrial Printer; Designjet L26500 Printer; and Designjet Z6200 Photo Printer. INFO# 172

 

INX Digital is the digital arm of INX International Ink Company and part of the Sakata INX company’s worldwide network, focusing on delivering the technologies that drive digital growth. It offers a full palette of digital ink systems, application and technology integration services, including—chemistry: inkjet ink systems, electrographic toners, OEM ink development; hardware: application-specific electronics and equipment; software: develop, install, validate; and engineering: total system integration expertise. Top Products: EDX Eco Inks and RHU High Performance UV-curable Inks. INFO# 173

 

KAPCO Graphic Products is a manufacturer, converter, and coater of pressure-sensitive flexible materials offering water-based inkjet and solvent/latex/UV digital media, laminates, mounting films, backers, plus sign vinyl and supplies. View its extensive lines of digital/graphic products, online specials, and order on the company’s Web site. New products recently introduced. Top Products: Water-Based Inkjet Media; Solvent/Latex/UV Media; and PSA and Thermal Laminates. INFO# 174

 

LexJet Corporation 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. for a flat rate of only $9.99, telephone and online ordering, highly trained account specialists, free and unlimited product and technical support, and extensive educational resources. Top Products: Poly Select Light; 8 Mil PolyGloss Banner; and PolyGloss PSA. INFO# 175

 

Lintec Corporation of America is a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive films for visual marking and signage. It specializes in optically clear films for display and point of purchase. The company offers a broad range of laminate, mounting, and printable films. Top Products: Wincos UV; Wincos SSJ; and Mistlass Textured Privacy Films. INFO# 176

 

MACtac Graphic Products is a global manufacturer of pressure-sensitive mounting adhesives, laminating films, digital print media, and colored vinyl for the graphics market. The full line of MACtac media includes IMAGin, Permacolor, MACmark, and Rebel, which provides solutions for wide format digital printing, mounting and laminating, CAS, or screenprinting. Top Products: IMAGin DecoSatin; Glass Décor 600; Permacolor ColorGard. INFO# 177

 

Magnum Magnetics Corporation 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 the application before recommending a magnetic solution. Top Products: DigiMag VINYL; RubberSteel; and MuscleMag. INFO# 178

 

Mimaki USA, Inc. provides digital printing and cutting solutions for a world that demands the latest technology, increased productivity, broader media options, and environmental responsibility while reducing costs. The company is headquartered in Suwanee, GA. Key strengths are large format printing and cutting solutions, smaller affordable plotters, eco-friendly ink solutions, plus new breakthroughs in printing with cool UV LED, latex, and solvent UV inkjet systems. Top Products: JV400LX Series; TS34-1800A; and JV33 Series. INFO# 179

 

Mutoh, founded in 1952 in Tokyo, Japan, celebrates 60 years of business beginning as a manufacturer and distributor of mechanical drafting products. Since then Mutoh is a manufacturer of large format piezoelectric printers, the ValueJets. Top Products: ValueJet 1638; ValueJet 1624; and Kona Cutters. INFO# 180

 

Neschen Americas manufactures and markets Seal and Neschen brand products including film and liquid laminating equipment and materials, wide and grand format printing media, pressure-sensitive sign vinyl, mounting adhesives and tapes, display systems, and archiving supplies. Top Products: Seal 54 EL; SolvoTex Cotton Premium Light S; and SolvoTex Cotton Premium Heavy S. INFO# 181

 

Océ allows businesses to expand with its line of large format flatbed and roll inkjet printers and finishing systems for a variety of outdoor and indoor applications. The company offers the tools to help customers become more productive and profitable including imaging supplies, financing, training, and technical service. Top Products: ColorWave 650; ProCut; and Arizona 318 GL. INFO# 182

 

ONYX Graphics, Inc. helps companies improve their bottom line results by reducing printing costs and increasing productivity. The company develops and markets commercial printing software and solutions for the digital color printing marketplace. By combining color science, image processing, and print production knowledge, ONYX delivers powerful, reliable print workflow solutions. Top Products: Thrive; SmartApps; and ProductionHouse. INFO# 183

 

Oracal USA, an Orafol company, manufactures premium pressure-sensitive products including high-performance cast films, retro-reflective films, digital inkjet media, laminating films, calendered vinyl, screenprinting film, and industrial tapes. Sign makers and digital printers embrace the company’s products, from economical calendered vinyl to advanced high-performance cast films. Top Products: Orajet Series 3751RA Wrapping Cast Film with RapidAir Technology; Oraguard Series 290 Premium Cast PVC Laminating Film; and Orajet Series 3169RA Intermediate Removable Calendered Digital Media with RapidAir Technology. INFO# 184

 

Pacific Coast Fabrics (PCF) is a provider of digital print textiles, for wide and grand format, direct dye, dye-sublimation, UV, latex, and pigment printing. All of the fabrics are developed to high quality and performance standards. Many of the premium fabrics are offered with flame repellant coatings. PCF also stocks fabrics for apparel and home furnishings. The company warehouses and ships products from the West Coast and its distributor, ITNH Inc., ships from the East Coast. Top Products: Deko-Tex 7057FLBS and PES Mesh 6953FLBS. INFO# 185

 

Polytype America is a Swiss manufacturer of the Quantum and Evolvo UV flatbed and roll-to-roll digital printers. The Quantum series of UV printers feature a unique 3-in-1 design offering true flatbed, hybrid, and roll-to-roll printing. The Evolvo is a five-meter wide roll to roll delivers printing over 3,300 square feet per hour (sf/h). Polytype also distributes the swissQprint Nyala, Impala, and Oryx UV printers in North America. The swissQprint printers feature a unique 3-in-1 design; and true flatbed, hybrid, and roll to roll at speeds of up to 720 sf/h. Top Products: Evolvo; swissQprint Impala; and swissQprint Nyala. INFO# 186

 

Ritrama is an Italian family company with a global presence in manufacturing, sales, and distribution of commodity and specialty self-adhesive materials. Manufacturing and distribution facilities located in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Far East are able to serve more than 50 countries in the five continents, through a consistent and reliable sales network on an international scale. Top Products: Decorative Cast Vinyl Wraps; Textured Cast Vinyl Wraps; and Calendered films. INFO# 187

 

Roland DGA Corporation offers a line of wide format inkjet printers and integrated printer/cutters equipped with eco-solvent, solvent, sublimation, UV, and aqueous inks, including SOLJET, VersaCAMM, VersaArt, VersaUV, VersaStudio, and Hi-Fi Express models. The company also provides media. Top Products: VersaUV LEJ-640; Roland/X-Rite Color Management Tools; and VersaCAMM VS-640. INFO# 188

 

SA International (SAi) is recognized as a leader in providing complete, professional software solutions from design to production for the sign making, digital printing, screenprinting, and CNC machining industries. The company’s Flexi ranks as the world’s number one software for sign making, while PhotoPRINT is found on more wide format printers than any other RIP. SAi is also one of the leaders in the CNC machining market with EnRoute. Top Products: FlexiPRINT; PixelBlaster; and Flexi 10 Family. INFO# 189

 

Sawgrass Technologies Industrial Division leads the wide format market with innovative water-based solutions for profitable digital printing, including dye-sublimation and pigment inks. Whole product solutions, including inks, equipment, media, software, and support, are tailored for high-production printing environments. Top Products: M-XTR Textile Ink; SubliM Sublimation Ink; and Sublim Direct Sublimation Ink. INFO# 190

 

Seiko Instruments USA – Infotech Division is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance wide format printers, inks, and toners for a range of applications including signs, banners, exhibit displays, engineering, reprographics, photography, point of purchase, and promotional items. Top Products: ColorPainter H2; HAPs-Free IX Ink; and VX Ink. INFO# 191

 

Teckwin International designs, manufactures, and supports large format digital UV flatbeds and roll-to-roll inkjet printing systems for use in the most demanding and innovative graphics applications. Its UV printers combine cutting edge UV technology with brilliant color gamut and blazing speed. Top Products: TS-300; TeckPro UV 3200; and Teckut 2030. INFO# 192

 

Tex Visions is one of the leading manufacturers of custom printed products and display hardware. The company provides high-quality flags, banners, displays, backdrops, promotional counters, literature stands, advertising umbrellas, and flagpoles to suppliers worldwide. Exclusive brands include the Bowflag, Q-Frame, and T-Pole product lines. Discover the wonders of printing with Tex Visions. Top Products: Roll Up 100; T-Pole Plus; and Bowflag Street Banner. INFO# 193

 

Ultraflex Systems, Inc. is your exceptional supplier of digital and screen printable substrates in seamless widths from 30 to 198 inches for UV, solvent, latex, dye-sublimation, and screenprinting. Product lines include frontlit, backlit, blockout, mesh, wallpaper, carpet, textiles, and biodegradable and recyclable banner media. Top Products: FabriTac; MultiTex C220; and DSS Pro 14 oz. INFO# 194

 

Zünd, the leading developer and manufacturer of digital cutting systems offers multifunctional, high-speed flatbed cutting/routing systems with a range of tool options and material-handling features for processing materials up to two inches thick. Zünd cutters are designed for maximum versatility and modularity—with every component, including the Zünd Cut Center Software suite that powers them, geared toward productivity and ease of use. Top Products: G3 and S3. INFO# 195

 

Nov2012, Digital Output

 
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