The new Xerox Iridesse™ Production Press has just been released and it’s the only digital press that can print metallic gold or silver dry ink, CMYK and clear dry ink in a single pass. In case you missed the announcement, it comes with some incredible hardware innovations and whereas previously printers would need separate lithography, foiling or embossing finishes, now these can be done in one pass and with a faster turnaround.
Demand for printing beyond CMYK is increasing and with the Iridesse we can see a new world dawning for imaginative designers who can now create highly embellished documents with layouts and colors that leap off the page. The design possibilities are infinite and the only thing holding your designers back is their imagination.
Just Static Jobs?
But even with these exciting capabilities, if your designers are just producing short-run static jobs, then you’re missing out on the chance to use this pioneering technology to its fullest potential. These types of print jobs don’t have enough added-value to sustain a growing business.
To add more value to the printed page, Printers must include applications where each copy is different; documents that are personalized to each recipient or customized to particular audiences.
And to allow the ground-breaking qualities of the Iridesse to shine, the design file must be created with the optimal software to match the quality of the hardware. The Adobe product line is a no-brainer for this. Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, for creating artwork elements or single-page pieces, and Adobe InDesign, for designing a composed layout. Your designer will know how to define the special colors as spot colors, and most importantly, how to create brilliant effects with the special colors of the Iridesse.
And because XMPie software, which uses an end-to-end Adobe workflow, can drive variability into every aspect of the InDesign document, these effects can even vary between individual recipients or customized versions.
End-to-End Adobe Workflow
By using both XMPie and Adobe together and preparing the optimized dynamic file using the designer’s familiar design tool, producing variable data jobs becomes a trivial task. XMPie doesn’t intervene in layout decisions, color separation decisions, text decisions, etc. and it doesn’t force any format conversion in order to create a composition for variable data printing. XMPie natively supports the Adobe workflow across all its design applications.
In fact, XMPie retains the quality of the design into the variable data print stream, as if you were printing each document manually straight from the Adobe application. You can ask the Iridesse to render amazing vignettes, or use top quality images, without damaging the color management wisdom or any other quality measure that Adobe adds; XMPie harnesses Adobe’s technology as part of the composition process.
And don’t forget that because the Iridesse has a print controller (the Xerox® EX-P 6 Print Server Powered by Fiery®) that renders each color separation at the super fine granularity of 10 bits per color components (per dot), the high-quality content that XMPie sends to the Iridesse, is maintained and allows the Iridesse to shine.
Mono or Stereophonic? Ceramic-Tipped or Diamond-Tipped?
To give an analogy that any music lover will appreciate – let’s look at the process for assembling a Hi-Fi record player/turntable system. Think of the Iridesse Press as your top-of-the-range music speakers and the Xerox® EX-P 6 Print Server as a powerful amplifier.
When it comes to selecting the turntable to add to this Hi-Fi system, would you choose one that plays only mono sound? Would you want to hear a mono version of Handel’s Halleluiah Chorus, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony or Lennon’s Imagine on top-of-the-range speakers?
And what about the stylus (turntable needle)? Would you want a mediocre ceramic-tipped stylus to move along the vinyl grooves and feed the electric signal into the amplifier which in turn would send that final signal out to the speakers?
Of course not! You simply wouldn’t be doing it justice! The path to sonic enlightenment is to realize that to achieve a high-quality sound reproduction you need to select high-quality components for your Hi-Fi system – from the point of creation through to reproduction.
Adobe software – Photoshop, Illustrator and, of course, InDesign – represents the turntable choice in this analogy because it’s the best design solution on the market.
And instead of a ceramic stylus, the best choice is a diamond-tipped stylus and that represents XMPie technology. The entire playback process is based on how well the stylus and the turntable play the record. If the stylus and turntable don’t send a good signal you won’t hear a good sound. The entire system is only as good as the weakest component.
And it is just the same with printing highly embellished documents. If you were to purchase the Iridesse for its astonishing beyond-CMYK capabilities, but not use Adobe software to create the files or not send XMPie-powered VDP jobs to the RIP, you wouldn’t be making the most out of your investment.
Prioritize Higher Value Applications
The Iridesse is a game-changing press but a single piece of equipment is not the whole story. Creating higher-value applications such as Variable Data Print (VDP) should be a priority as you strive to offer your clients a winning service and grow your business.