The February 2018 edition of Printing Press: What’s Happening includes software upgrades for the DNP IDW500 as well as new photo book and photo gift bundles from Photomore. Also covered are GPA’s Touch Class specialty papers and the latest news on Shutterfly’s acquisition of Lifetouch.
DNP IDW500 Passport & ID Photo Solution Software V3.1
DNP Imagingcomm America released a software update for its IDW500 Passport & ID Photo Solution. V3.1 upgrades include new features and updates to the IDW500 system.
DNP retooled the image-processing engine for improved print quality. As a result, users can expect higher quality and sharper images immediately after updating. In addition, auto-print functionality now features additional setup choices. This feature is designed for faster, more efficient capture-to-print workflow, reducing the time for ID photos to print. In many cases, it eliminates operator interaction and image editing, DNP noted. Moreover, the biometric threshold is now configurable, allowing the operator to set auto-printing for several use cases.
Other enhancements also include: a streamlined user interface to permit easier selection of ID templates; additional country-specific ID layouts; state-specific ID formats, such as for firearms; and a generic higher education ID format. It also enables users to create and store custom ID templates.
The graphical user interface (GUI) of the IDW processing console was also enhanced to improve visual operation cues. The image gallery display indicates which photos have been printed and/or exported to USB as well as which images meet the biometric thresholds. And the messaging prompts better display the progress of each image transferred and processed.
Other upgrades include improved color management, providing setup controls to select a preferred white balance mode, and the onboard help button information has updated user guides and operation videos.
The IDW500 v3.1 software update file set can be downloaded from the DNP website at dnpphoto.com/en-us/Support/Downloads/Drivers-Tools. Furthermore, user guides for the IDW500 v3.1 update can be downloaded from dnpphoto.com/en-us/Support/Downloads/Manuals.
Shutterfly to Acquire Privately Held Lifetouch
Lifetouch and Shutterfly announced Shutterfly will acquire Lifetouch for $825 million in cash. Shutterfly is a leading online retailer and manufacturer of high-quality personalized products and services. For more than 80 years, Lifetouch has been the professional photography choice for schools and families nationwide. Headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Lifetouch is 100% employee owned.
“The two companies are uniquely well suited for one another, with similar target customers as well as complementary manufacturing capabilities,” said Christopher North, president and CEO, Shutterfly. “Most exciting of all is the potential to bring together Lifetouch’s unique access to millions of families who value high-quality photographic portraits with Shutterfly’s cloud photo management, product breadth and product creation capabilities.” Lifetouch photographs more than 25 million children annually during the fall picture day tradition. It serves more than 10 million households, including more than one million new kindergarten households annually, and 50,000+ schools.
The acquisition will provide Shutterfly with a highly complementary business. Shutterfly expects to adopt many Lifetouch customers as Shutterfly customers, where they can take advantage of Shutterfly’s cloud-photo management service, product creation capabilities, mobile app and product range.
Lifetouch will offer Shutterfly’s broader product range to its customers, as well as accelerate the development of its online platform. The companies also expect to realize supply chain, manufacturing and fulfillment synergies over time.
“I’m excited to join the Shutterfly team,” said Michael Meek, CEO, Lifetouch. “Shutterfly and Lifetouch have a common mission and a common culture. Similar to Shutterfly, Lifetouch has a large and loyal customer base, and a talented and dedicated team that is excited about the opportunities at the combined company.”
The acquisition will close 2Q 2018. shutterflyinc.com
GPA Touch Class Specialty Fine Papers
GPA, a provider of substrate solutions for digital, wide-format and offset printing, added Touch Class specialty fine papers. As their name implies, the papers are meant to be experienced through touch. With a rich tactile feel and a special surface treatment, they offer added resistance to fingerprints, water and even oils.
Fedrigoni originally introduced the papers in Europe. Now they are exclusively available in North America through GPA. “Their sophisticated appearance and superior performance make Touch Class papers ideal for everything from restaurant menus and museum maps, to wedding save-the-dates, family photo cards, birth announcements and more,” GPA announced. The papers can be transformed through various finishing processes: letterpress, folding, scoring, gluing, die cutting, embossing and debossing. The sheets can also be enhanced with foils or dimensional embellishments.
“Thanks to their unique surface treatment, these are the first uncoated papers in the world that perform beautifully with post-press embellishments produced by Scodix and MGI technologies,” GPA announced.
Customers can choose from two versions of the specialty papers. Nature Touch Class Cover offers a smooth finish and creamy, natural white shade. Tintoretto Touch Class Cover is a white sheet with a felt texture on both sides.
The collection is compatible with HP Indigo, dry toner and offset presses. Because they are FSC certified and acid free with archival properties, they provide assurance that they are made from responsible sources and will last for years. GPA offers these papers in 110# cover basis weights, in 19×13-inch and 20.82×29.5-inch sheets. askgpa.com
Photomore Adds Photo Book & Photo Gift Bundles
Among the largest photo book suppliers, Photomore is introducing bundles that include its most popular photo books, photo gifts and photo décor at WPPI 2018. The company will offer substantial discounts on orders placed at the show in Las Vegas.
The bundles, which provide photographers, retailers and labs with a range of special-event photography products, are comprised of photo books; shelf- or wall-mountable acrylic, wood and molded panels; and photo magnets—all in a range of sizes. Each item can be produced, using customers’ prints, in a few minutes and without any specialized equipment. Photomore, part of Peleman Industries, has invested in higher-grade raw materials with increased flexibility. As a result, its engineers have simplified the photo book and photo gift assembly process. The company is now offering ready-to-use products at competitive pricing.
In addition, introductory discounts will be available for any size order placed at—or during—WPPI 2018. Moreover, all orders include free shipping out of the company’s Atlanta-based warehouse.
The Photomore bundles were created to give studios, retailers and labs the ability to offer special occasion packages, such as for weddings, while having control over turnaround time, assembly, presentation and cost. As a result, professionals have more options. For example, if a retailer or studio is too busy, they can have a lab handle production. However, for quicker delivery, they can put the package together in-house and keep costs down. photomore.com/us