By Melissa Donovan
It’s time for the 2018 Readers’ Choice Top 50. Each year through our lead generation system, DODirect.net, readers of Digital Output determine their top vendors. Based on interest in editorial—in print and online, as well as advertisements, the following companies are part of this year’s lineup.
Readers’ Choice Top 50
The following companies appear in alphabetical order. Flip to page XX to learn more about products and services.
3M Commercial Graphics helps customers worldwide build brands by providing large format 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 graphics for vehicle wraps, walls, floors, windows, and textured surfaces that are consistent, reliable, and durable.
Advanced Color Solutions offers a full line of Mutoh and Roland large format sublimation printers, Golden Laser VisonScan cutting systems, eco-solvent printing and cutting systems, flat and rotary heat presses, vinyl cutters, dye-sublimation (dye-sub) inks/papers, and on-site training.
Agfa Graphics helps produce more powerful messages by making graphic communication solutions more attractive, affordable, and profitable. Working with world class manufacturers, the company provides an innovative and broad portfolio of products and services to help users choose the right hardware, software, consumables, and services that meet a budget and goals. Agfa offers integrated solutions that can maximize purchase power and put customers in a position to profit.
Alpina Manufacturing offers LED Lightbox, Flip-up, SEG, 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. Indoor or outdoor use. 24/7 online quote and ordering website. No minimums; manufactured in Chicago, IL.
AnaJet is a pioneer in the direct to garment industry. The RICOH Ri 100 is the first and only compact all-in-one custom garment printing system at an entry-level price, and the RICOH Ri 3000/Ri 6000 Series boasts fast print speeds, industrial reliability, and showroom quality prints.
Arlon Graphics is in the business of creating innovative material that brings ideas to life. The company’s high-quality, pressure-sensitive materials are manufactured and marketed for endless print media and cut vinyl applications. It works on sharing industry know-how in ways that benefit sign and graphics. Arlon is headquartered in Placentia, CA, with strategically positioned business units in China and the Netherlands to better service customers worldwide.
Aurora Graphics offers the Premier Wrap Design Studio, featuring one of the world’s largest libraries of digital art for wide and grand format digital printing including popular BushWolf brand camouflage patterns.
Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions manufactures self-adhesive film for digital, screenprint, and cut vinyl technologies. Films are used in an array of market segments, from automotive restyling to corporate branding, signage, and architectural applications.
Caldera is a software company with more than 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 cutting-edge technology offerings supported by the Canon and Océ brands.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. is a leading provider of consumer, business to business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the U.S., as well as the Caribbean and Latin American markets. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based service and support for all of the products it distributes in the U.S. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility.
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.
DGI is a manufacturer of quality user- and budget-friendly cutters and wide and grand format printers 74 to 126 inches in width. Printers are available in variety of printhead and color configurations with onboard bulk ink systems and full warranties. The FABRIJET product line features textile printers and VELAJET line features eco-solvent printers.
Drytac is an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, including laminating films and mounting adhesives; window, wall, and floor graphic media; product development services; custom and pattern coating; high-performance tapes; industrial adhesives; and durable labels.
Durst is a manufacturer of advanced digital production technologies. In today’s active imaging industry, Durst products are designed for performance, reliability, and longevity—offering the highest print quality, productivity, flexibility, and efficiency. Durst is a family company with an 80 year history, where its values are focused on innovation, customer orientation, sustainability, and quality. Learn more about Durst product offerings and discover new business opportunities.
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, it develops 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 the business, commercial print, graphic arts, engineering, photographic, signage, direct to garment, and fabric production markets.
Esko is a global supplier of integrated software and equipment solutions for sign and display manufacturers. Its complete design and automated workflow products and Esko Kongsberg tables help drive profitability by reducing time to market and raising productivity.
Fisher Textiles is a leading supplier of fabrics for digital printing in North America. Its reputation in providing quality textiles with unsurpassed service is reflected in over 25 years of experience and workmanship in producing fabrics for dye-sub, latex, solvent, and UV printing. The company’s three warehouse locations allow it to fill just-in-time requirements. Fisher Textiles stands behind its products and takes pride in providing the best fabrics in the industry.
FLEXcon is a global leader in coated and laminated films and adhesives used in graphics applications, manufactured goods, and new products. For over 60 years FLEXcon has provided a collaborative consultative approach to deliver unique solutions that help customers achieve better business results. The company is a trusted partner to a range of companies from printers and fabricators to engineers and designers developing products for existing and emerging markets.
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, 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.
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 the inkjet technology used in everything from regular office printers to printers for actual photos in the outdoors. Additionally, InkTec develops a UV-curable inkjet printer, JETRIX, and a high-quality UV ink with cutting-edge technology in the inkjet area.
INX Digital delivers technologies that drive digital growth. Whether integrating digital technology into an existing operation or expanding and improving current digital capabilities, INX stands ready with digital ink systems, advanced technologies, and integrated services to help reach new levels of digital production excellence. It has full-service operations in the Americas, Asia, and Europe as part of Sakata INX worldwide.
Kornit Digital develops, manufactures, and markets industrial digital printing technologies for garment, apparel, and textile. Leading the digital textile printing industry 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 (POP), 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, 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. It specializes in optically clear, frosted, and textured films for display, POP, 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 applications include indoor outdoor signage, vehicle wraps, trade show displays, and wall environmental graphics. In fact, for more than 50 years, it has been at the forefront of product development for digital printing, mounting laminating, screenprinting, and cut vinyl needs. Rely on the company for quality and unmatched service, and trust that it has the next up-and-coming innovation that will transform a business.
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, flexographic, inkjet, and digital. The company takes the time to understand an application before recommending a magnetic solution.
Master Magnetics, Inc. features an extensive line of magnetic assemblies, flexible magnetic sheeting, magnetic receptive, and magnetic strip. Ideal for sign making, vehicle graphics, and POP displays, PrintMagnetVinyl and ThinFORCE printable magnetic sheeting and FlexIRON magnetic-receptive sheeting work with most large format standard inkjet printers and plotters. With over 40 years of excellence, Master Magnetics is one of the best sources in the magnetic field.
MCT Digital offers innovative flatbed cutting solutions. In 1999, its team pioneered optical registration digital die cutting to accurately cut to print graphics. VersaTech2 solutions are made in the U.S. from 1.6 to 3.2 meters wide by 3.2 meters or longer for laser, router, and blade cutting applications including roll/sheet automation. It recently introduced a new solution, the V2Pack, specifically with heavy-duty creasing and packaging capabilities and software. The company operates CutGuru.com, with more than 1,200 customers nationwide with cutting blades, router bits, and mats/conveyors.
Mimaki is a leader of wide format inkjet printers, cutting plotters, 3D modeling machines, software, hardware, and associated consumable items, such as inks, media, and cutting blades. The company engineers and manufactures a complete range of products that attain the total workflow solution for sign graphics, textile and apparel, and industrial printing professionals. Mimaki excels in offering superior quality and reliable products, based upon its aqueous, solvent, and UV-curable inkjet technology.
Mutoh America, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of wide format printers and plotting cutters. Home to the ValueJets, Mutoh’s line of inkjet printers are known for their quality, speed, and Smart Printing technologies.
Newlife Magnetics is one of the world’s largest flexible magnet and print media manufacturers specializing in wide format magnetic media. It makes printable magnet sheeting up to 60 inches wide. The company manufactures the Newlife Magnetics Display Systems consisting of Ino-Steel + 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 at 54 inches in width.
Novus Imaging was founded in 2008 and acquired by The M&R Companies in 2017. Manufacturing takes place in M&R’s 330,000 square foot facility in Roselle, IL. Novus is dedicated to bringing to market the industry’s most innovative and technologically advanced large format digital printing equipment at an affordable price. The company was built on a foundation of exceptional quality, outstanding productivity, unmatched customer service, and uncompromising ecological sustainability.
Leading the industry since 1989, Onyx Graphics 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 Graphics as a market leader in powerful and reliable large format printing workflow software.
ORAFOL Americas, a subsidiary of ORAFOL Europe GmbH, is a leading global manufacturer of premium vinyl graphic products, reflective solutions, and adhesive tape systems used in the signage, graphics, industrial, and traffic and safety applications. The company’s distribution network spans Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S.
Orbus Exhibit & Display Group is a privately owned group of companies that specialize in the manufacture and trade-only supply of portable modular and custom modular exhibit and display products, graphics, and solutions. Companies and brands within the group include The Exhibitors’ Handbook, The Promo Handbook, SignPro Systems, and Nimlok.
For over 15 years, Que 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 sale advertising, and photo reproduction. Its expertise is most influential in the wide format and color laser industries. With regards to the wide format marketplace; it 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.
Ricoh helps companies grow businesses, capture new opportunities, and offer customers more. Its commercial and industrial printing business group leverages its advanced print portfolio, proven software, and world-class professional services to empower commercial printers and sign and graphics shops to achieve these goals with industry leading value to help them broaden their revenue streams.
Roland DGA offers a range of advanced, easy to use, and reliable wide format inkjet printers and printer/cutters for sign, apparel, textile, personalization, and vehicle graphics. All Roland inkjets come bundled with powerful, user-friendly RIP software, and several models offer specialty ink options, including white, metallic, silver, fluorescent, and gloss formulations. In addition to offering quality printers, inks, media, and profiles, Roland is renowned for providing some of the highest levels of customer service and support in the industry.
SA International (SAi) provides complete, professional solutions for the sign making, digital printing, and CNC machining industries. Whether looking to create signage, woodworking, or 3D signage, SAi has the right software to support and empower a business.
Long known as the graphic arts’ dominant player in CTP and workflow, Screen is a manufacturer of production class print on demand inkjet print engines for diverse markets such as commercial print, direct mail, transactional, publishing, as well as labels and packaging. Screen inkjet solutions help customers grow revenues, reduce costs, and find new business opportunities.
Sensient Imaging Technologies develops and manufactures 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.
Signs365 is a pioneer of trade-only grand format printing.
Supply55, Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of workflow products for the digital printing segment of the sign, screen, graphic arts, exhibit, home decor, corporate identity, and athletic apparel markets.
swissQprint is a manufacturer of high-end large format printers. The UV LED inkjet printers are 100 percent Swiss made. The real flatbed printers offer a roll-to-roll option as well as a board option for oversized board printing. A loading and unloading robot is also available.
Top Value Fabrics (TVF) is an international supplier of print media, apparel, and home furnishings textiles to the digital printing community. With over 40 years of success in textiles, TVF offers a complete line of polyester and cotton textiles engineered for digital printing. It provides solutions for dye-sub, latex, direct disperse, UV, and digital pigment printing for soft signage, apparel, and home furnishings. Known for digital textile expertise, TVF customers enjoy fabrics with outstanding performance and exceptional print characteristics.
Ultraflex Systems, Inc. is a supplier and one-stop shop for high-performing, digitally printable textiles and substrates. With over 500,000 square feet of global stock holding space, the company offers one of the world’s most comprehensive inventories across its varied product lines. For over 25 years, Ultraflex has maintained a commitment to service, quality, and product development by offering diverse product options at all price points for any media application. Ultraflex’s textiles and substrates help bring to life billboards and building wraps, outdoor and indoor banners, digital fine art and photo reproductions, soft signage, wallcoverings, trade show graphics, floor and window graphics, and light boxes.
Zünd, a manufacturer of digital flatbed cutting systems, offers multifunctional cutters/routers with a full range of tools, workflow, and material-handling automation for processing substrates up to ten feet wide. 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 for easy and productive digital cutting/finishing.
Beyond the top 50, we added another ten vendors to the list—simply because there are too many excellent vendors out there. These are also ordered alphabetically.
CET Color is a pioneer in wide format UV printing. 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. INFO# 211
EnCore Products manufactures foamboard used for digital printing, screenprinting, POP displays, exhibits, cut graphics, indoor signage, and dry mounting. The EnCore Foam Board line includes White, Colors, Black on Black, Permanent Pressure Sensitive, Repositionable Pressure Sensitive, SingleStep Heat Activated, MightyCore Rigid, PilloCore, DuraPrime, Design Boards, and PrintPro. All products are made in the U.S. and available in a variety of size and thickness combinations. INFO# 212
Headquartered in Germany, Marabu North America draws on more than 150 years of experience in developing inks and coatings. Its product line includes MaraJet digital printing inks, UltraJet UV-curable inks, ClearShield water-based coatings, the StarLam Liquid laminator, and Marashield UV-curable coatings. The company’s success is built on not just high-quality products but its ability to work with customers to offer tailor-made solutions to their printing and coating needs. INFO# 213
With over 13,000 machines built since 1989, MultiCam is a manufacturer of advanced and built-to-last CNC cutting solutions for hundreds of industries. Its product portfolio includes CNC router, laser, plasma, waterjet, and knife cutting machines. Each machine is meticulously engineered and manufactured in a 108,000 square foot headquarters in North TX. Designed to seamlessly incorporate into existing workflows, each system is easy to use and helps minimize downtime, increase throughput, and maximize productivity. MultiCam is backed by a knowledgeable and reliable technical support team, which includes 60 locations worldwide with 20 technology centers across North America. INFO# 214
Photo Tex Group Inc. is the exclusive distributor of multi-patented polyester self-adhesive removable fabric. Photo Tex can be printed on any inkjet printer and does not shrink, rip, or wrinkle in any climate and can be easily removed, reused, and re-positioned. For 14 years this product has been known for its easy installation and removal without damaging the walls. The Opaque/Block Out and High Tack versions work great on no or low volatile organic compound paints, eggshell paints, and semi-textured walls. INFO# 215
Piedmont Plastics is a national distributor of flexible and rigid graphics solutions for all major print media technologies. Proven solutions include acrylic, polycarbonate, FPVC, foam core, PSA vinyl, paper, window films, laminates, fabrics, wallpaper, PETG, Falconboard, banner, and polypropylene. With over 40 stocking branches throughout North America ready-to-ship local graphics products today, Piedmont Plastics is where solutions take shape. INFO# 216
Ritrama, Inc., an Italian multinational company, is a leader in the design and manufacture of 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. INFO# 217
Valloy Inc. provides the total solution in signage, labels and packaging, textiles, decorations, and industrial printing. The company has numerous worldwide installations of digital label presses and finishers for short-run production of various labels and stickers as well as special textile inks and heat press machines for dye-sub. INFO# 218
Vanguard Digital is an experienced team of professionals, developing new ideas in the digital printing industry that is dedicated to providing its customers the solutions and products to grow business. INFO# 219
Verseidag US is a manufacturer and distributor of more than 50 PVC coated, laminated vinyl, and textile substrates for solvent, latex, UV, aqueous, screenprint, transfer/direct dye-sub, and flexible sign applications. A versatile offering ranging from 36 to 196 inches wide seamless goods, it is available at a number of warehouse locations throughout North America. INFO# 220
The Top 50 in Review
Congratulations to this year’s Readers’ Choice Top 50 award winners.
Nov2018, Digital Output