By Melissa Donovan
Daily, DOdirect.net—a lead generation system—compiles requests from Digital Output readers based on queries into vendors and specific products. These inquiries are generated from editorial and advertisements found in both the print magazine and online at digitaloutput.net. The information nets the results of the annual Readers’ Choice Top 50 winners and ten honorable mentions.
This year welcomes new faces to the list as well as a healthy mix of returning favorites. If you don’t see your preferred vendor included, be sure to reference their product and company announcements on DOdirect.net throughout 2018. Your response to editorial and advertisements—in print and online—drive the Readers’ Choice Top 50.
From the Top
Congratulations to all of the 2017 Readers’ Choice Top 50 winners. Background information on vendors is included here, sorted alphabetically by company name. Turn to page XX to learn more about top products introduced or promoted by the companies this year.
3M Commercial Solutions helps customers worldwide build brands by providing total graphics and light management solutions. The company manufactures or certifies graphic films and graphic protection‚ flexible substrates‚ as well as inks and toners used to create finished graphics that are consistent‚ reliable, and durable.
Agfa Graphics assists customers in producing more powerful messages by making graphic communication solutions more attractive, affordable, and profitable. The company provides one of the most innovative and broadest portfolios of products and services to help choose the right hardware, software, consumables, and services that meet budgets and goals. Agfa offers integrated solutions that maximize purchase power and place customers in a position to profit.
Alpina Manufacturing offers LED Lightbox, Flip-up, Slide-in, or Banner Grip Frames made in any size or quantity to hold graphics or banners. Change graphics without removing frames from wall. Beautiful presentation, low cost, and indoor or outdoor use. A 24/7 online quote and ordering website with no minimums; all manufactured in Chicago, IL.
Arlon Graphics, LLC manufactures and markets a full line of high-quality pressure-sensitive cut vinyl and print media films for digital imaging, signage, vehicle graphics, and screenprinting. The company is headquartered in Placentia, CA, with strategically positioned distribution out of Australia and Europe to service customers worldwide.
Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions manufactures self-adhesive film for digital and screenprint and sign cut technologies. Applications for films range from promotional graphics such as signage, exhibits, displays, car wraps, and bus graphics to longer term applications like fleet markings, backlit signs, vehicle color change, and architectural graphics.
Caldera is a software company with almost 25 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, Inc., a Canon U.S.A. Company, provides enterprise, production, and large format printing solutions, supported by professional service offerings. Helping customers stay ahead of print industry trends, Canon Solutions America provides companies of all sizes with technology offerings supported by the Canon and Océ brands.
CET Color is a pioneer in the wide format UV printing industry. Founded by a print shop owner, CET draws on firsthand experience to innovate flatbed and hybrid printers that offer both quality and efficiency at an unbeatable value. With field upgradability and custom configuration options, CET takes business to new heights.
Condé offers everything needed to get into the custom imprinting business including transfer systems, software, blank imprintables, transfer paper and supplies, and instructional videos.
DGI manufactures quality user- and budget-friendly cutters and wide and grand format printers 64 to 126 inches. Printers are available in variety of printhead and color configurations and feature onboard bulk-in systems and carry full warranty. The Fabrijet product line features dye-sublimation inks and the Polajet line features solvent inks.
DreamScape, a division of Roysons Corporation, manufactures textured digitally printable/special effect wallcoverings and protective topcoats. With over 35 years of 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. Available in rolls for solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable, and latex printers.
Drytac is an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, including self-adhesive print media, graphic films, window films, double-sided tapes, label stock, industrial adhesives, and heat-activated and pressure-sensitive laminates and mounting adhesives.
Durst manufactures advanced digital production technologies. In today’s active imaging industry, Durst products are designed for performance, reliability, and longevity—offering high print quality, productivity, flexibility, and efficiency. Durst is a family company with an 80 year history, where values are focused on innovation, customer orientation, sustainability, and quality.
EFI is a global technology company leading the worldwide transformation from analog to digital imaging. It is passionate about fueling customer success with products that increase competitiveness and boost productivity. To do that, the company develops breakthrough technologies for the manufacturing of signage, packaging, textiles, ceramic tiles, and personalized documents, with a range of printers, inks, digital front ends, and a comprehensive business and production workflow suite.
Epson America, Inc. offers an 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 supplier of integrated solutions for sign and display, packaging and label, and commercial printing companies. The company’s products and services drive profitability in the printing supply chain by reducing time to market and raising productivity.
Fisher Textiles’ reputation in providing quality textiles with service is reflected in over 25 years of producing fabrics for digital printing. It is the company’s mission to keep its value proposition high while maintaining quality and service to the entire customer portfolio. Three warehouse locations allow for filling just-in-time requirements. Fisher Textiles stands behind its products and takes pride in providing some of the best fabrics in digital print.
FLEXcon understands relationships matter and that’s why it sells directly to printers. Benefiting from the company’s over 60 years of industry knowledge and experience in self-adhesive films, customers gain a competitive advantage by collaborating with FLEXcon.
Fujifilm North America Corporation’s graphic systems division delivers solutions for workflow, consultative services, remote monitoring, color standardization and G7 implementation, pressroom products, CTP, proofing, digital printing, wide format, packaging, labels, and specialty printing. 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. Fujifilm is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of its products and operations, proactively working to preserve the environment, and strives to educate printers about environmental best practice.
Graphics One develops and is an international distributor of professional digital imaging products. It provides a worldwide network offering in-country installation, service, and technical advice in support of its products. In 2017 it was acquired by Prism Inks.
HP, Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through its portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions and services, the company engineers experiences that amaze.
InkTec develops and supplies various high-quality inks for digital printers. These are based on inkjet technology used in everything from regular office printers to printers for actual photos in the outdoors. Additionally, InkTec develops UV-curable inkjet printers, the JETRIX line, and high-quality UV ink.
INX Digital delivers technologies that drive digital growth all over the world. Combining the ink formulating expertise of INX with Evolve, Prodigy, and Triangle brands makes INX Digital a source for products, technologies, systems, consultation, and services to help reach new levels of digital production excellence. The company offers services and manufacturing with operations located in China, Europe, and the U.S.
Kapco Graphic Products manufactures/converts digital media for water-based inkjet and solvent/latex/UV printers, mounting adhesives, laminates and backers, sign, vinyl, and supplies. Adhesive-backed, water-proof, and specialty vinyl; banner; canvas/fabric; film and paper inkjet media; plus PSA UV and thermal laminates in four finishes are all available.
Kornit Digital develops, manufactures, and markets industrial digital printing technologies for the garment, apparel, and textile industries. Through its NeoPigment process, including an integrated pretreatment solution, the company caters directly to the needs of both designers and manufacturers to address the changing needs of the entire textile printing value chain.
LexJet is a one-stop, direct source for equipment, materials, and software used to print fine art, photography, point of purchase and trade show displays, 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, trained account specialists, free and unlimited product and technical support, and educational resources.
Lintec of America is a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive films for visual marking, signage, and architectural window applications. It specializes in optically clear, frosted, and textured films for display, point of purchase, and window graphics. Lintec’s VisionControlFilms consist of a family of specialty privacy films. When adhered to glass the layers of film provide a frosted effect that can appear and disappear as the viewing angle changes. These are available in varying levels of degree from either the horizontal or vertical positions.
Mactac celebrates 50 years at the forefront of product development for digital printing, mounting, laminating, screenprinting, and cut vinyl needs. Mactac applications include indoor and outdoor signage, vehicle wraps, trade show displays, and wall environmental graphics. Rely on the company for quality and service, and trust it has the next up-and-coming innovation to transform business.
Magic’s, part of Dietzgen, comprehensive print media offerings include universally compatible products as well as solutions optimized for each segment of wide format print. Magic products include canvas, photo paper, poster paper, matte paper, banner, vinyl, photorealistic paper, display film, backlit film, clear and matte film, pressure sensitive, textile, wall décor, fine art paper, and eco-friendly alternatives. The Magic portfolio includes Magic, Museo, and JetSet brand products.
Magnum Magnetics is the U.S. manufacturer of flexible magnetic sheeting, strip, and custom profiles. It offers printable magnetic sheeting for multiple printing presses including offset, flexography, inkjet, and digital. The company takes the time to understand an application before recommending a magnetic solution.
Marabu North America draws on more than 150 years of experience in developing inks and coatings. The product line includes MaraJet digital printing inks, ClearShield water-based coatings, the StarLam liquid laminator, and Marashield UV-curable coatings. The company’s success is built on not just its high-quality products but its ability to work with customers to offer tailor-made solutions to printing and coating needs.
Master Magnetics, Inc. features a robust line of magnetic assemblies, flexible magnetic sheeting, magnetic receptive, and magnetic strip. Ideal for signmaking, advertising specialty, vehicle graphics, and point of purchase displays, PrintMagnetVinyl and FlexIRON—printable magnetic and receptive sheeting—works with most large format standard inkjet printers and plotters.
MCT Digital engineers and manufactures the VersaTech2 in the U.S. It is a three-in-one finishing platform that delivers productivity and sensible automation for both board and fabric rolls. Add options and automation as business grows.
Mimaki is an innovator and pioneer in the development of digital printing and cutting products worldwide. The company engineers and manufactures a complete line of digital printers and cutters, and offers a total workflow solution for the many applications found sign and graphics, textile and apparel, and industrial.
Mutoh America, Inc. manufactures wide format printers and plotting cutters for a number of markets and applications. Eco-solvent printers for signage and wraps, dye-sublimation printers for soft signage and clothing, textile printers for home décor and custom apparel, and UV LED printers for industrial, specialty, and package printing are all part of the Mutoh product family. Mutoh’s line of inkjet printers are known for quality, speed, and superior reliability and support.
Newlife Magnetics, LLC specializes in wide format magnetic media. It makes printable magnet sheeting up to 48 inches wide. The company manufactures the Maco Magnetics Display System consisting of Ino-Steel and Wall-Mag or Mag-Paint. Cling-King print media adheres to smooth and non-porous surfaces, without any adhesives. It is ideal for window graphics and car signs. Cling-king is available in white, transparent, and frosted in 100-foot rolls by 50-inch widths.
OKI Data Americas provides print professionals with a color palette unmatched by its contemporaries in the sign and graphics, production, and specialty printing markets. For wide format applications both outdoor and indoor, OKI’s ColorPainter line of wide format printers use eco-solvent inks that last longer, cost less per square foot, and provide color density and image quality at fast real-time speeds. For graphic design and specialty print applications, OKI’s proColor LED light production and textile transfer printers feature white toner for printing on dark stocks.
Onyx Graphics, Inc. is dedicated to helping customers increase productivity, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge with superior print and color quality. Global channel partnerships and 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 global manufacturer of premium vinyl graphic innovations, reflective solutions, and adhesive tape systems used in signage, graphics, industrial, and traffic and safety applications. The company’s distribution network spans Canada, and the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S.
Pacific Coast Fabrics (PCF)—now a part of Top Value Fabrics—is a pioneering provider of polyester, cotton, and silk textiles for digital print. Offering a complete line of premium digital textiles for soft signage, apparel, and home furnishings applications, PCF specializes in supplying an array of fabrics for dye-sublimation (dye-sub), direct disperse, pigment, UV, and latex printing. PCF is a global partner with Georg+Otto Friedrich, Europe’s largest digital warp knit manufacturer, and stocks its most popular fabrics in wide and grand format, 60- and 120-inch widths. PCF’s collection of apparel fabrics are developed with the latest in advanced moisture management and wicking technology and engineered with a full line of luxurious upholstery weight polyesters for dye-sub printing.
Photo Tex Group Inc. is an exclusive distributor for this four-time U.S. patented Photo Tex self-adhesive removable fabric material for the past 13 years. Photo Tex is distributed through an authorized worldwide dealer channel. It is a 100 percent polyester fabric and does not shrink, rip, or wrinkle in any environment. It can be easily installed, repositioned, removed, and reused. Since Photo Tex patented adhesive is fully cured prior to shipment, there is no time limit on removal, so feel free to install for a day or a decade.
Que Media, Inc. is a global coating manufacturer of aqueous, solvent/eco-solvent, and latex digital print media for display graphics, point of sale advertising, and photo reproduction. Its expertise is most influential in wide format and color laser. With regards to the wide format, the company currently coats substrates such as polypropylene, BOPP, PVC, backlit film, fabrics, banner material, and multi-layered PET film in addition to a full line of pressure-sensitive laminates.
Roland DGA Corporation offers a lineup of wide format inkjet printers and integrated printer/cutters, including TrueVIS, SOLJET, VersaEXPRESS, and VersaStudio eco-solvent printers; Texart dye-sublimation printers; and VersaUV UV printers. All Roland inkjets come bundled with RIP software and several models offer specialty ink options including white, metallic silver, fluorescent, and clear coat inks.
Sensient Imaging Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of high-quality, innovative inkjet inks. The company has the background, expertise, and technology to help guide customers into new markets, media, and applications with high-performance digital ink solutions.
Signs365 is the pioneer of trade-only grand format printing.
Top Value Fabrics is a supplier of quality print media. With more than 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. Top Value Fabrics supplies a wide selection of frontlit, backlit, blockout, PET, water based, mesh, PP, and specialty textiles in standard and custom widths from 38 to 197 inches.
Ultraflex Systems, Inc. is an international innovator and leader in PVC, fabrics, and specialty substrates. With a commitment to progress, quality, and product development, Ultraflex continually adds and modifies formulas to offer a variety of materials to meet the ever-changing needs of the global market. The company services Canada, Latin America, and the U.S. through five North American warehouses and a network of distributors.
Valloy Inc. provides total solutions in digital packaging and textiles, including label and garment applications. The company has numerous worldwide installations of digital label presses and finishers for short-run production of various labels for cosmetics, food, winery, and chemicals. Durability of printing is one of the company’s main strengths. It also offers various solutions for garment and textile items like laser transfer films, inkjet transfer paper, and rotary heat press machines.
Verseidag US manufactures and distributes more than 50 PVC coated, laminated vinyl, and textile substrates for solvent, latex, UV, aqueous, screenprint, transfer/direct dye-sublimation, and flexible sign applications. A versatile offering ranging from 36 to 196 inches wide seamless goods is available at a number of warehouse locations throughout North America.
Zünd offers multi-functional cutters/routers with a range of tools and automated/robotic material handling options for processing rigid and flexible substrates. Designed for maximum versatility and modularity, G3/S3 and dual-beam D3 cutters are powered by Zünd Cut Center, a simple but comprehensive user interface and end-to-end production workflow.
With more companies introduced on a regular basis or existing ones making waves in the graphic arts space, 50 is just not enough for the Readers’ Choice awards. Here we include ten honorable mentions that readers felt should be recognized. Companies are listed alphabetically.
Advanced Greig Laminators, Inc. (AGL) is an engineering and manufacturing facility specializing in custom designed industrial and wide format digital imaging laminators. In many laminating markets standard laminating presses do not meet specific laminating requirements. AGL has found a solution by customizing it various laminator models to suit specific customer requirements. From laminators for digital imaging, or for industrial applications, it has the solution.
Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a U.S. manufacturer, coater, and finisher providing a range of high-quality textiles and canvases for today’s wide format digital printing market. Aurora’s fabrics are compatible with, latex, solvent, UV-curable, dye-sublimation (dye-sub) transfer, and dye-sub direct ink technologies. The company produces all fabrics in widths up to 126 inches.
Colex offers precision cutting equipment together with premier service. The Colex Sharpcut Flatbed Cutter features a triple interchangeable tool head, energy efficient six-zone vacuum system, and vision registration offering versatility, speed, and price for the ideal combination. Colex is the exclusive dealer in North America for Fotoba X/Y roll cutters offering models from 64 to 126 inches wide for flexible media and textile fabric.
Gans is an authorized dealer for HP latex printers, Mimaki sublimation printers, Graphtec cutters, and GFP laminators. Gans also has an exhaustive media catalogue that is compatible with UV, aqueous, latex, solvent, and eco-solvent printers. The company is a one-stop solutions for all digital and offset needs.
Mac Papers is one of the largest wholesale distributors in the Southeast U.S., with 23 locations and 16 retail stores across nine states. Founded in 1965, the family-owned and operated company works with best-in-class suppliers in paper and print, packaging, facility supplies, and office products to help businesses and consumers deliver quality results, improve efficiency, and increase bottom line. When it comes to wide format and graphics, Mac Papers has a comprehensive offering, from the latest in printing and finishing equipment to an extensive line of rigid materials and roll media. Its wide format experts develop customized solutions for improved workflow and job turnaround time, and support the equipment offered with training and expert technical service.
Media One is a full-service provider for large format inkjet. Its specialty is print manufacturers with production environments. The company covers the whole workflow from equipment, RIP software, color management, finishing equipment, consulting, and consumables. Media One offers full nationwide technical support.
MultiCam Inc. manufactures heavy-duty machines that route, knife cut, crease, and perforate at speeds up to 7,000 IPM. The EZ Knife supports rotary, kiss cut, drag, angle knife, oscillating, and ultrasonic cutting. The company’s automatic knife-changing system ensures seamless production.
Nazdar SourceOne offers screen and digital printing equipment, inks, and supplies. It maintains relationships with the world’s foremost manufacturers, providing best-in-class technology and quality to specialty graphic printers in Central America, Mexico, and the U.S.
SA International (SAi) provides complete, professional solutions for signmaking, digital printing, and CNC machining. In addition to software, SAi offers added-value services through its cloud platform.
Supply55, Inc. manufactures and distributes workflow products for the digital printing segment of sign, screen, graphic arts, exhibit, home décor, corporate identity, and athletic apparel.
Cheers to 2017
Congratulations again to all of the honorees part of this year’s Readers’ Choice Top 50. Their contributions advance the graphic arts as well as other industries where digital maintains a strong presence.
Nov2017, Digital Output