In this issue, What’s Happening October – November 2021 covers printers and more printers. We look at the latest large-format Canon imagePrograf GP printers that use fluorescent ink. We also look at HP’s new DesignJet printers that offer enhanced professional-quality photo printing. For good measure, we include Roland’s newest desktop printer/cutter as well as Shutterfly’s renewed branding campaign.
What’s Happening October – November 2021
Canon imagePrograf GP: First LF Printers to Use Aqueous Pigment Fluorescent Ink
The Canon imagePrograf GP inkjet series comprises the first large-format printers to use aqueous fluorescent pink ink. The series consists of the 24-inch imagePrograf GP-2000; 44-inch GP-4000; 24-inch GP-200; as well as the 36-inch GP-300. The printers produce vivid neon colors for value-added output to increase print business opportunities.
Moreover, Canon’s Radiant Infusion technology layers the fluorescent pink ink with other inks on the paper surface during printing, to create bright and soft color reproduction. The fluorescent pink ink can also be used to print in specific areas. Users can print with or without the fluorescent ink.
The printers specifically allow consumers to replicate high-impact graphic posters, wall art as well as custom pop art that appeal to millennials and gen Z.
imagePrograf GP-2000/4000 printers have a 10-color pigment-based plus fluorescent pink ink set: green, orange, red, violet, matte black, black, cyan, magenta, yellow and gray. They produce the largest color gamut in the history of the imagePrograf line. They also achieve 99% coverage of Pantone Formula Guide Solid Coated and 97% coverage of Pantone Pastels & Neons Guide Coated.
The printers come with a built-in multi-sensor to enable easy, economical color calibration for consistent color from print to print and printer to printer. They also feature intelligent media handling; operators can place the roll in the machine and the printer automatically loads the paper and detects media length, width and type.
The imagePrograf GP-200/300 printers have a 5-color pigment-based plus fluorescent pink ink set: matte black, black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Their compact design allows them to fit into the small confinements of a classroom or office. Operator related tasks are performed from the front, so it can be flush against a wall.
All four come with PosterArtist Lite, Canon’s poster creation software.
Shutterfly’s Make It a Thing Campaign Showcases New Brand Positioning
Shutterfly launched its Make It a Thing integrated marketing campaign. The campaign amplifies the brand’s new positioning; showcases all that’s possible on the Shutterfly platform; and appeals to a broader set of consumers. The multimillion-dollar campaign seeks to shift the paradigm from what you can make at Shutterfly to the emotional benefit of creation and self-expression.
“We want to inspire and enable people to create products that reflect who they uniquely are. In our research, we found that desire for more creative self-expression is shared with our existing customer base and within a younger demographic,” said Craig Rowley, chief marketing officer, Shutterfly.
“Many consumers know Shutterfly as the pioneer in online photo sharing and personalization; now we’ve unearthed an even more powerful way to enable self-expression and help people create things with a deeper sense of meaning.”
The campaign highlights the power of creativity and self-expression. It also shows how Shutterfly enables people to transform objects into treasured items.
It’s the largest Shutterfly brand campaign to date: between the mix of content and a fully integrated media plan; across online and streaming video; and leaning into social channels, including Snapchat and TikTok to capture a younger target audience.
In September, Shutterfly officially kicked off a new evolution of the brand positioning with a fresh brand look and feel. The branding brings to life a modern color palette and illustrations. The Make It a Thing campaign signals the next chapter in this brand evolution.
HP DesignJet Pro Large-Format Photo Printers
HP DesignJet Pro printers, for large-format print providers, deliver advanced photo and color quality, enhanced precision and new graphics application potential. The printers include the DesignJet Z6 Pro and Z9+ Pro—upgraded solutions that produce professional photo-quality prints.
In addition, “HP DesignJet Z6 Pro is the world’s most secure large-format printer, promising the best data protection through encrypted communications and Access Control List,” HP announced.
Marking the 30-year anniversary of the first DesignJet, the DesignJet Z6 Pro and Z9+ Pro offer the highest professional photo quality and precision yet, along with security features. Thanks to the chromatic RGB HP Vivid photo inks, they achieve 93% Pantone coverage. They can also produce prints with the image quality of a 12-ink printer with just nine inks.
In addition, features include High-Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) printheads and dual drop technology. This reduces visible grain and also eliminates the need for light colored inks.
The DesignJet Z9+ Pro offers a wider color gamut for PSPs looking for a professional photo-quality printer. Users can customize ICC profiles to achieve the desired color accuracy and consistency. PSPs also have the option to include the HP Gloss Enhancer Upgrade Kit to produce gloss uniformity.
Additionally, the HP PrintOS mobile app lets PSPs monitor performance and react to issues, as well as share media presets remotely. For the first time, the HP DesignJet Z Pro series incorporates the HP PrintOS Service Center application. This smart cloud-based solution enables users to gain a single, real-time view of all ongoing service cases, with updates.
Both the HP DesignJet Z6 Pro and Z9+ Pro enhance efficiency. They offer fast media handling with spindle-less and automatic roll feed. And they are rated as Energy Star 3.0 compliant and EPEAT registered. The printers are also made of 30% recycled plastic.
FastSigns Named a Top Franchise for Veterans
FastSigns ranked fifth on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2021 list of top franchises for veterans. This is the fifth year FastSigns was included on this list, which highlights a wide variety of franchises that provide advantageous opportunities for veterans.
According to FastSigns, the company provides veteran-friendly financing options, including 50% off the initial franchisee fee for veterans and first responders. It also offers reduced royalties for the first 12 months of business.
“FastSigns is proud to support and offer our veterans the opportunity to open their own business and become successful entrepreneurs,” said Mark Jameson, chief support and development officer at Propelled Brands. “Over the past several years, we have seen many veterans become highly successful franchisees due to their strong work ethic and motivation to succeed. Because of this, we look forward to each chance we get to add a veteran to our growing network of FastSigns franchisees.”
To date, around 10% of FastSigns 750+ locations are owned by veterans.
To develop the list of the Top Franchises for Veterans, Entrepreneur invited hundreds of companies to take part in a survey that requested information regarding each company’s veteran programs. Such information included the company’s veteran incentives and how veteran franchisees are attracted to and supported by the company.
Roland DGA Unveils VersaStudio BN-20A Desktop Printer/Cutter
Roland DGA launched the VersaStudio BN-20A desktop printer/cutter. Based on its best-selling VersaStudio BN-20, the new BN-20A offers the most popular features at a lower price.
“Our new BN-20A makes VersaStudio desktop printer/cutter performance more affordable than ever,” said Daniel Valade, Roland DGA manager of digital print. “This compact yet powerful device is just the ticket for start-ups and existing operations.
“Whether you want to start a print business that you can operate from home or expand your shop’s current print-and-cut product offerings, the BN-20A is the ideal inkjet. It’s an incredibly versatile, easy-to-use device that offers legendary Roland DG quality and reliability at an unbelievable price.”
The BN-20A delivers the same ease of use and print quality of the BN-20. However, by removing the recirculating specialty color channel for white and metallic inks, Roland can offer it for $4,995.
Moreover, the imaging and integrated contour cutting capabilities of the BN-20A make it ideal for a range of applications: signs, posters, decals, labels and customized apparel. With its ability to produce vibrant graphics as well as automatically cut around virtually any shape, the device enables print providers to stand out without making a large initial investment.
The BN-20A also comes with output software that even beginners can use to produce high-quality prints from illustrations and photos. Plus, it is compact enough to be placed on a desk.
In addition, it takes advantage of Roland’s GreenGuard Gold certified Eco-Sol Max 2 inks in a standard CMYK configuration. The specially formulated inks dry quickly as well as provide scratch resistance on a range of 20-inch media, including poster paper, thermal transfers, PVC sheets and PET films.