Innovation fuels our economy and the graphic arts. The invisible hand, a metaphor created by Adam Smith, truly governs growth and opportunity in our marketplace. Smith claims that a firm pursuing its own good tends also to promote the good of the market through a mechanism that he called the invisible hand.
We salute our industry’s innovators with sales! Over the past 12 months, our readers have inquired about what they consider the top products in the marketplace. The past year’s most sought products have greatly improved our market and we eagerly look forward to a new year of continued innovation.
Each year, Digital Output awards 50 companies as top innovators. We do this by compiling the responses from our readers about all of the products and services mentioned in our issues throughout the year. This includes Web site hits and Reader Service Cards, requesting information about products seen in our Marketplace section, trade show reviews, and all other editorial throughout the magazine.
The most popular companies make our Reader’s Choice Top 50 list. We have asked these winners for the following descriptions of their companies. Congratulations to our Top 50, as well as our Honorable Mentions.
Agfa serves the indoor and outdoor display market with wide format inkjet printing systems, and the short-run printing market with its :Dotrix industrial inkjet printing systems. Seeing the potential for inkjet printing, the company is investing heavily in the development of innovative technologies to fill market needs.
Alcan Composites USA Inc.
Alcan Composites offers the widest array of leading substrates for the graphic display market. Choices range from paper-faced foam boards to expanded plastic boards, aluminum composites, polyurethane foam boards with melamine-impregnated liners, and polystyrene foam boards with wood-fiber veneers. Industry leading brands include Fome-Cor, Sintra, Gator, Dibond, and Alucobond.
Alpina Manufacturing LLC
Alpina Manufacturing designs and manufactures Fast Change Frames. The Flip-Up and Slide-In frames are an efficient way to display and easily change any size graphic without removing the frame from the wall. These sleek, unique frames are popular at restaurants, hotels, retail stores, on vehicles, or just about anywhere.
Key to meeting everyday graphics needs is Arlon’s DPF 6000 and DPF4500 intermediate films. The premium cast offers excellent print quality, durability, and conformability for long-term signage and wraps. Shorter term promotional films vary in gloss, adhesive, and liner characteristics matching your application to the best print quality and value.
Avery Dennison Graphics Division
Avery is a global leader in self-adhesive and specialty media for professional graphics providers. The company delivers high-quality graphics solutions to its customers via a complete range of highly engineered media, including cast, calendered, reflective, ag, and specialty imaging products. The products are supported by printer hardware, software, and ink systems from world technology leaders.
CADlink Technology Corporation
Since 1987, CADlink has been developing software applications for digital printing and signmaking. Their products include SignLab and PhotoScript Digital Factory. CADlink software is available in over 50 countries worldwide, in 14 languages, through more than 200 dealers.
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon is a leader in precision business and consumer imaging equipment and information systems. A pioneer in imaging technology, its extensive product line and digital solutions enable businesses and consumers worldwide to capture, store, and distribute information and revolutionize work styles.
Charrette is the nation’s largest provider of large format digital printers, media, consumables, display boards, finishing equipment, and design products. With the new HP DesignJet 9000s 64" Low Solvent Printer, Charrette is bringing customers quality, speed, and support in one reliable solution. Stunning color, dependable technology, and HP reliability.
Contex Scanning Technology
Contex Scanning Technology is the leading manufacturer of large format scanners and large format scanner software for both color and monochrome scanning solutions. Contex creates scanning solutions for Reprographics, CAD, GIS, Graphic Arts, Document Archival, Copy shops, POP/Exhibit providers, Pre-Press, Sign and Billboard production, Architecture and Engineering offices, and many more. Contex also markets the world’s fastest, high-definition 3D printers.
Creative Juices Printing & Graphics Inc.
Creative Juices is a printing and graphics company with extensive knowledge and experience in full color digital printing, offset printing, and screen printing. The company houses an array of the latest printing and finishing equipment as well as a proud, competent staff in order to provide customers with the quality and service needed to be successful in today’s competitive market.
D&P Media For Print, Inc.
D&P Media for Print is a leading distributor of wide format inkjet media. It provides trade show and display graphics, photo quality FR fabrics, bubble free vehicle graphics, wallcovering and banner media, instant dry photobase papers, and printable films and clings. The manufacturers it has chosen as partners are worldwide leaders in the marketplace.
Digital Auto Library
For 13 years, Digital Auto Library has produced Pro Vehicle Outlines, currently a 3-CD-Rom set of over 6,800 accurately measured and scaled commercial and sport vehicle templates in .AI format for use in all major and most minor graphic design software packages. Pro Vehicle Outlines is considered the industry standard with by far the largest selection of North American vehicles and is used by nearly all serious graphics shops engaged in vehicle signage.
Drytac is a manufacturer and distributor of mounting, laminating, framing, and finishing materials, as well as finishing equipment, laminators, hot presses and accessories, and portable display units. The new line of JetMounter cold roller laminators deliver a combination of performance and value.
DuPont Imaging Technologies
DuPont offers inkjet technologies that enable, "color any way you want it," for a wide variety of applications. Systems include Cromaprint UV for graphics and signage, Cromalin Largo for proofing and indoor graphics, with Cromanet color control and digital workflow software suite, and Artistri for direct digital printing to textiles.
Durst manufactures advanced digital imaging systems for graphic, pre-press, signage, commercial/retail display, packaging, industrial, and photographic applications. New products include the Rho 600 Pictor, an affordable high-quality flatbed printer; Rho 350R Roll-to-Roll UV Inkjet Printer, the world’s most advanced superwide printer; and Rho 160R UV Inkjet Printer, developed in collaboration with 3M.
Electronics For Imaging, Inc.
EFI is a leader in digital controllers, VUTEk superwide format printers and inks, and commercial and enterprise print management solutions. EFI’s solutions deliver increased performance, cost savings, and productivity. The company’s portfolio includes Fiery color print servers; VUTEk superwide digital inkjet printers, UV and solvent inks; print production workflow and management information software; and corporate printing solutions.
Prezenta Presentation Products, a division of EXPOGO, Inc., offers its MagicPak Banner Case designed to protect banner systems during transport. This durable case comes complete with a shoulder strap and 50-watt halogen light. Prezenta also manufactures many innovative presentation solutions including ShowMax self-packing tabletop display, ShowStyle briefcase display, and TranZibit portable trade show table.
Fisher Textiles Inc.
Fisher Textiles is one of the leading suppliers nationwide of fabrics used for direct digital, sublimation, solvent-based, and UV printing. It offers custom tailored fabrics for dye sublimation including wide format and grand format widths. All can be coated to meet NFPA 701 flame requirements. The Solvent Inkjet line is made specifically for solvent-based printers including Nur, Vutek, Roland, Mutoh, and Mimaki.
Gandinnovations manufactures the Jeti series of grand format printers. The line includes the 3312(3m) Dye-Sublimation; 3324(3m) and 5024(5m) solvent ink based units; and the Jeti 3150 UV Flatbed. The newest addition to the product line is the Jeti 3324(3m) UV Roll To Roll printer. All printers feature Spectra printhead technology.
Glen Raven Custom Fabrics
Glen Raven Custom Fabrics offers graphic solutions that meet the highest standards for quality. In addition to the Sunbrella Graphics System (SGS) for efficient application of artwork on Sunbrella fabrics, the company also offers a family of printable fabrics that are suited for virtually every need.
GTI Graphic Technology, Inc.
GTI offers a wide range of high quality color viewing systems under the name Graphiclite. Graphiclite products are designed and manufactured to conform to the strict tolerances specified by current industry standards, and are marketed worldwide through more than 300 graphic arts and photographic dealers and distributors.
Graphic Whizard Inc.
Graphic Whizard is a leading manufacturer of numbering systems. The company also manufactures and distributes systems worldwide which impact score, slit, perf, fold, perform inkjet printing, and other finishing functions. Its CreaseMaster line of impact scorers has experienced significant growth in sales due to a rapidly growing digital market.
HP is a leader in commercial printing, offering the most comprehensive portfolio of digital graphic arts printing solutions. Whether it’s an HP Indigo digital press, HP Designjet printer, or HP Scitex superwide printer, HP’s renowned quality, performance, reliability, and support empower print service providers to deliver their digital difference.
Long known for its Magic brand, InteliCoat Technologies has added the Magiclée brand of Fine Art and Photo Media to its product offerings. The brands perfectly complement each other, focusing on the media requirements of digital artists for products such as canvas, watercolor-type, and photo papers.
KAPCO Graphic Products
KAPCO is a manufacturer, coater, and converter of pressure-sensitive flexible materials, offering digital inkjet and solvent media, laminates, mounting films, backers, sign vinyl, and supplies. Its solutions are great for indoor and outdoor signs, banners, art, and more. The Solvent Canvas is stretchable and won’t crack when framed like many other canvas substrates.
Kodak is a leading provider of innovative solutions for conventional, digital, and blended print production environments. With the most expansive portfolio for the graphic communications market, Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group features technologies, products, and services that help print providers streamline processes, optimize efficiencies, broaden services, and grow their businesses.
Leggett & Platt Digital Technologies
Leggett & Platt Digital Technologies is a full service provider of VIRTU industrial grand format digital printing machines and systems. Models include the VIRTU72, the fastest, most automated grand format digital printer available today; Virtu36 award-winning superwide digital printing technology; and the VIRTU with DirectUV, the industry’s first production digital textile printer for apparel and home furnishing products.
MACtac is a global manufacturer of pressure sensitive adhesive products. MACtac Graphics provides media to the large format printing industry for P.O.P, vehicle wraps, decals, floor graphics, and more. The newest product in the Graphics family is IMAGin B-Free media for solvent/UV inkjet printing. B-free offers a high gloss face and air-egress adhesive technology.
Mark Bric manufactures a growing family of dependable displays including Flexiframe modular frame and display systems, BannerUp retractable banner stands, and the SnapUp line of pop-up displays. The company focuses on providing top quality, high-value sign and display hardware to an expanding network of talented graphics and display producers.
MGE, Inc. invented the patented i-cut system for accurately cutting contoured graphics. Recently, together with Esko/Kongsberg, MGE introduced the fastest flatbed digital cutting system—the I-XE10. Latest i-cut version 6.2 includes linear and non-linear print distortion information and more.
Mimaki USA has stood at the forefront of technology with its large format plotters and cutters. Its key strength is its range—from large-scale solvent and aqueous printing and cutting solutions to smaller, more affordable plotters, plus new breakthroughs in printing for UV- curable inkjet systems.
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, foam boards, mounting adhesives and tapes, display systems, and archiving supplies. The company serves the needs of the sign and display, digital printing, photographic, picture framing, and library/archive markets throughout North and South America.
Noritsu America Corporation
Noritsu is a leading manufacturer of photo processing systems and digital imaging equipment. Noritsu provides professional photofinishing solutions that deliver unmatched productivity and versatility. From fully digital silver-halide minilabs to dry inkjet minilabs and consumer imaging kiosks, it offers an array of hardware and software options that produce consistently superior output.
NUR America Inc.
NUR America Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets a growing line of wide format and superwide digital printers. From photorealistic printers to high throughput digital production presses, NUR’s complete line of digital products addresses the full range of needs including billboards, bus shelters, scaffolding wraps, POP, event graphics, vehicle graphics, and more.
ONYX Graphics, Inc.
Since 1989, ONYX Graphics, Inc. has been a leader of commercial printing software and solutions for the large format digital color printing marketplace. Award-winning products include ONYX ProductionHouse, ONYX PosterShop, and ONYX RIPCenter, supporting more than 350 popular printer models from small, large, grand format inkjets and flatbeds.
ORACAL USA markets a wide range of premium pressure sensitive films for sign, screen print, and digital imaging applications. A great alternative to higher-cost wrapping films, ORAJET Series 3551RA features an advanced air release system without visible channels, and ultra-calendared construction for cast-like performance over simple and moderate curves, corrugations, and rivets.
Pantone, Inc. is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. Key products include PANTONE huey monitor calibration solution and PANTONE COLOR BRIDGE, an invaluable multi-use color reference tool.
Photos.com from Jupiterimages provides creative pros with professionally shot, model-released, royalty-free stock photography by subscription. Subscribers can download up to 250 photos a day from a growing collection of 310,000 premium images. Lightbox tool, multiple download sizes, powerful search engines, staff picks, and wallpaper selections are some of the ways it meets subscribers’ needs.
Postcard Press offers a quick, easy way to boost sales. Get qualified leads with targeted direct-mail campaigns or compliment your product offering with professionally printed business-cards, postcards, brochures, sell-sheets, and custom products. Next business day service available. Over 30,000 customers trust Postcard Press, the high quality—high service choice.
Pres-On is the first choice for digital imaging professionals with a broad selection of boards and tapes including dark edge boards with value-adding graphic appeal. Choose from black foam board, Gatorfoam, Styrene score-and-snap, and Sintra, all with high-tack adhesive coating. Pres-On’s foam, hook-and-loop, and removable foam tape speed production while enhancing quality.
Prizm Imaging provides convenient, low cost, professional quality digital large format printing, laminating, and mounting services for trade show exhibits, retail promotions, corporate communications, courtroom illustrations, product packaging mock-ups, outdoor advertising—just about any applications that need to convey messages in a big way.
Roland DGA Corp.
Roland manufactures wide format inkjet printers and printer/cutters for durable graphics applications including signs, banners, posters, labels, decals, vehicle and fleet graphics, and textile decoration. Roland inkjets include the SOLJET, VersaCAMM, Hi-Fi JET, AdvancedJET, and Hi-Fi Express product lines.
SA International, Inc.
As the large format industry continues to expand and transform, SAi’s PhotoPRINT 5.0v2, once again grows to enhance your workflow and increase your productivity. Take advantage of the numerous technological breakthroughs and advancements easily with the continued ease-of-use, logical user interface, and the new features and improvements in PhotoPRINT 5.0v2.
Sihl Digital Imaging
Sihl is the recognized worldwide specialist in wide format digital print media and applications. With factories in Switzerland, Germany, France, and Italy, Sihl has over 500 years experience in the paper industry. Sihl offers the widest inkjet product range available today—all substrates, all technologies of high quality media for the most discriminating printer.
Southern Imperial, Inc.
Southern Imperial is a world leader in store fixtures and displays. Its new line of retractable banners and graphic walls offer top-notch quality at extremely affordable prices. Recently added to its collection is the fabric pop-up wall with included graphics, lights, and case for only $1,295.
Tara Materials, Inc.
Fredrix Artist Canvas, by Tara Materials, is designed for desktop and large format inkjet, mild and true solvent, UV-curable, litho, offset, and silkscreen printing, as well as Glue-coated Canvas for photo and print mounting.
Testrite Instrument Company, Inc.
Testrite is a family owned and operated manufacturer of Banner and Graphic Stands, Signframes, and Pop Up Frames. Originally a camera tripod manufacturer, Testrite embraces change and new opportunities. Its new Mightee Mounts offer an innovative, simple but elegant display solution.
US Sublimation, Inc.
US Sublimation specializes in wide format dye sublimation ink and paper. Responsible for introducing Rotech Digital Dye sublimation to the U.S., it now re-branded it as US Sublimation Digital LFP series. 2006 also marks the introduction of UV MAX, a UV-resistant sublimation ink and the DTX series for direct printing on cotton and blends.
Wasatch Computer Technology
Wasatch develops leading software RIP and print management solutions for large format digital printing, screen separations, flexo, textile, photographic, giclée, and other specialized printing markets. Wasatch SoftRIP is one of the industry’s most respected RIPs, with tools to manage any print environment from a single printer to a complex multiple device production plant. New users can start printing immediately with easy plug-and-play color. Advanced users will love the full control that SoftRIP gives them over their color and production.
Zünd, a leading manufacturer of flatbed cutting technology, offers digital, multifunctional cutting/routing systems with a complete range of tool options and material-handling features. With sophisticated optical registration/compensation capabilities and unsurpassed speed, Zünd cutters/routers are the ideal tool for automated graphics production involving substrates up to 2" thick.