The What’s Happening August/September 2021 installation covers merges and acquisitions. as well as new creative photo print products for same-day delivery. In addition, we look at a space-saving dye-sub printer that expands creative offerings.
What’s Happening August/September 2021
Shutterfly Buys Spoonflower to Expand beyond Photo Personalization
Shutterfly completed its acquisition of Spoonflower. An online photo-sharing platform and leading retailer/manufacturer of personalized photo products, Shutterfly bought Spoonflower for $225 million of enterprise value.
“At Shutterfly, we believe that anyone can be a creator. That’s why we’re expanding the aperture of what you can discover, make and buy on our platform,” said Hilary Schneider, CEO. “This strategic acquisition helps us expand our lens on creativity to include not only photo personalization but also a full range of custom designs created by independent artists.
“We will break down the barriers to creating and discovering custom products, gifts and home décor items by providing expanded access to high-quality manufacturing and production at scale for individual creators and small businesses alike.”
The move doubles the addressable market and also positions Shutterfly to close a gap in the creative economy; it is a $2.25 trillion industry. What’s more, it will do so by leveraging its vertically integrated production platform to deliver premium customized products for makers and small businesses.
A global marketplace of custom fabric, wallpaper and home décor, Spoonflower powers a community of 3.3 million artists, creators and businesses; 4,000 new designs are uploaded on average every day. Its acquisition will increase the depth and breadth of what people can create, customize and buy on the Shutterfly platform. The buyout will connect 21 million Shutterfly users to more than a million designs by independent artists in the Spoonflower global marketplace.
Shutterfly customers can buy custom designs or customize their own products in the Spoonflower artist marketplace; designers and artists can also sell their designs on Shutterfly.
Kodak Moments Kiosk Software Adds Same-Day Photo Products
Kodak Moments Kiosk software V11.0 provides consumers with more instant photo products. It also provides in-store self-service printing. Kodak Moments is a provider of photo products and services to retailers, consumers and entertainment venues.
The software gives consumers access to the personalized photo gifts and décor they are used to ordering online, but without the wait. The products are available for same-day pickup at most Kodak Moments retail partners.
New same-day photo offerings include wall tiles. The tiles are a modern take on the classic gallery wall. Consumers can update their décor with favorite moments showcased in easy-to-hang, sleek black frames. The tiles are available as 8×8-inch single images within a black frame or with a 1-inch white border. Consumers can purchase them in sets or as single tiles.
Photo clients can also turn images into art with canvas prints made the same day. The canvas prints come in gallery or mirror wraps in 5×7-, 8×10-, 11×14- and 16×20-inch sizes.
Also new are crystal-clear custom acrylic magnets. The 2×2-inch magnets are available as a single product or assets. Another new product is the Kodak Moments photo board. The display makes the photo the spotlight of any room; it can be propped up on an easel or lean against a wall. The photo boards, collage boards and décor boards will come in 11×14, 16×20 and 20×30 options.
“We are always striving to provide consumers with new, high-quality photo products in-store,” said Matt Lowenstein, senior product manager for software, Kodak Moments. “With Kodak Moments Kiosk Software Version 11.0, we can deliver instant products that consumers would traditionally have to wait for by mail.”
New Forever Print Products Debut at Forever Live! Event
Forever print products and updates debuted during the 7th Forever Live! event, where 1,000 community members celebrated family memories. The first products introduced were 8×8- and 10×10-inch seamless layflat AutoBooks.
“Forever AutoBook, which we launched in March 2020, saw immediate success,” said Matt Gray, Forever Print & Logistics manager. “With AutoBook, clients simply click a button and have their online albums turned into beautiful photo books. Because of its popularity, and that of seamless layflat photo books, which allow users to flawlessly display photos across both pages of a photo book, adding new seamless layflat AutoBook sizes was a no-brainer.”
Another “automagical” product was introduced: Mini AutoBooks. These 5×5-inch and 7×5-inch books are lightweight and geared for gifting.
In addition, Nathan Bowers, Forever’s vice president, announced the company will add customizable coasters, drinkware, magnets and mousepads to the Forever print catalog by the end of 2021. “You asked, we listened,” said Bowers.
These products will join current Forever photo gifts and printed keepsakes, including photo books, wall décor, mugs, photo cards as well as calendars.
Moreover, clients can create these products online using Forever AutoPrint and Forever Design & Print platforms. They can also create them on a desktop PC using Forever Artisan, the company’s design and scrapbooking software.
In addition, Forever offers a permanent memory-keeping solution in the cloud where people and organizations can preserve and share their memories. The company guarantees that the memories stored with Forever permanent cloud storage will be preserved, protected and available for at least 100 years.
Canon Solutions America & LexJet Form Strategic Partnership
LexJet announced a sales and distribution partnership with Canon Solutions America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon USA. The goal of the strategic partnership is to provide wide-format inkjet customers with reliable equipment, service and support solutions to meet new and existing challenges.
“We take great pride in working closely with organizations also committed to offering top-quality products, solutions and services to customers as it directly aligns with ours at Canon Solutions America,” said Peter P. Kowalczuk, president, Canon Solutions America. “With our expertise in the wide-format inkjet product space, and LexJet’s industry knowledge and support capabilities, we believe our union will provide both customer bases with solutions that continuously evolve to meet new and existing challenges in the print space.”
“This new partnership will give customers an opportunity to increase their output and drive down their costs,” added C.J. Forker, LexJet’s vice president of Sales. “It also provides LexJet clients an introduction to Canon Solutions America; and it allows our customers to purchase the right device for the job with our ever-expanding best in class offerings.”
LexJet markets professional-grade, wide-format inkjet printing equipment and supplies. The company provides business owners with the knowledge and products they need to convert digital images into new forms of visual merchandising, out-of-home advertising and custom décor. LexJet products create dozens of products, including photo prints on canvas; custom wall coverings; murals; trade-show graphics; point-of-purchase, retail and event signage; and fine-art reproductions.
Canon Solutions America provides enterprise, production and large-format printing solutions, supported by professional service offerings.
Epson SureColor F570 Pro 24-Inch Desktop Dye-Sub Printer
Epson America introduced the 24-inch Epson SureColor F570 Pro edition desktop dye-sublimation printer. The printer is an option for professionals creating promotional products and apparel decorations; this may include personalizing awards, mugs, mousepads as well as garment embellishments.
The SureColor F570 Pro includes Epson Edge Print Pro software with Adobe PostScript 3 and PDF Print engines for professional results. Consequently, the printer features job layout and nesting, pattern repeats and advanced color controls.
“We’re seeing professional users looking to enter the textile printer business with an easy-to-use dye-sublimation printer that still offers powerful print software; allowing them to create personalized promotional products, fashion apparel and home décor and furnishings,” said Tim Check, product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America.
“The SureColor F570 Professional edition delivers one of the most compact, feature-rich dye-sublimation printers in the market with high image quality and commercial-grade reliability.”
The space-saving printer employs PrecisionCore printhead technology. A turnkey solution, the SureColor F570 also arrives with features to streamline workflow. For example, it includes specialized transfer paper to produce images on rigid and soft media; a 50-sheet auto-feed tray; and a built-in cutter. It’s also bundled with two full sets of inks. The high-capacity ink bottles feature auto-stop for mess-free filling.
In addition, fitting on a desktop, the printer has a 4.3-inch LCD color touch screen to simplify print tasks. Users can also connect it via USB, Ethernet or integrated wireless connectivity.
The SureColor F570 Professional 24-inch dye-sub printer ships this fall with a price of $2,895. Moreover, it will include a standard Epson Preferred limited warranty, a one-year program that includes toll-free advanced telephone access Monday through Friday.