What’s Happening December 2019 covers unusual photo gift items from MailPix.com as well as the latest news from three large-format printer manufacturers. In addition, we look at the recent acquisition of Shutterfly and new fine art photographic paper from LexJet.
What’s Happening December 2019
Unique Photo Gifts for the Holidays from MailPix
MailPix introduced unique photo gifts for the holidays. MailPix offers consumers photo books, canvas prints, metal prints, posters and also other personalized photo products. Now, the company is expanding its portfolio.
“MailPix brings the widest variety of photo gifts to the market,” said Fred H. Lerner, founder and CEO, MailPix. “With the latest digital printing technology, it’s possible to make wonderful photographic-quality gifts on almost any product or surface. Moreover, the limit is only your imagination.”
The company is making it possible for consumers to personalize their cars with custom photo car mats. The easy-to-clean latex car mats come in sets of two. Consumers can personalize them with favorite photos, text as well as a choice of background images.
In addition, the mats are available for both the front and back of a vehicle. The front car mats measure 27×17 inches, and rear car mats measure 13×17 inches. The mats are also backed with latex and have black edges.
Another new photo product is a photo yoga mat. Now consumers can head to the yoga studio with their own personalized photo yoga mats. Each 24×70-inch, 1/4-inch-thick photo yoga mat comes with a carrier sling. mailpix.com
Canon Marks Installation of 1,000th Océ Colorado Printer
Canon Solutions America is celebrating 1,000+ global installations of Océ Colorado printers. The roll-to-roll wide-format printers are powered by UVgel technology.
“The Océ Colorado series of wide-format printers, powered by UVgel technology, has successfully filled the gap performance wise between current technologies in the roll-to-roll production market,” said Peter Kowalczuk, president, Canon Solutions America.
The company stated that since September 2019, print service providers operating the Océ Colorado 1640 and 1650 printers have produced combined monthly print volumes of more than 10.7 million square feet.
The company initially launched the 1640; the 1650 model debuted earlier this year. Among the 1650 printer’s upgraded features is new flexible ink for customers producing applications that need to be folded, wrapped or bent. These may include framed canvases; soft signage; front- and back-lit graphics; wall décor applications; and outdoor applications, such as vehicle graphics. The printer also integrates Océ FLXfinish technology, which enables customers to choose between gloss or matte effects without changing ink or media.
“Our R&D philosophy is to listen and work closely with our customers and partners to focus our innovation on actual customer demand,” said Dick Brouns, vice president, large-format graphics, Océ Technologies. “After the initial success of the Océ Colorado 1640, we identified further growth opportunities for customers who can benefit from a matte finish and a more flexible ink.”
Shutterfly Officially Acquired by Apollo Funds
Shutterfly, Inc., and Apollo Funds, which is managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, completed the transaction in which Shutterfly was acquired by the affiliates of the Apollo Funds. The acquisition represents a value of $2.7 billion. Shutterfly is now a privately held company.
However, the companies stated that the proposed combination of Shutterfly with Snapfish is still in process. That merger was announced simultaneously in June 2019 with the Shutterfly transaction. “We are thrilled to finalize this transaction, which benefits our stakeholders, including customers, partners and employees,” said Ryan O’Hara, Shutterfly’s president and CEO. “Today marks a new era for Shutterfly as we work with the talented team at Apollo to advance our primary goals of product and mobile innovation; as well as ongoing integration efforts with Lifetouch, while continuing to drive momentum in our manufacturing and technology investments.
“As Shutterfly celebrates 20 years leading the memories market, with more than 10,000 employees across North America working to generate over $2 billion in annual revenue, we’re thrilled to take this important next step with Apollo,” added O’Hara.
Founded in 1999, Shutterfly has three divisions. Shutterfly Consumer and Lifetouch help consumers preserve and share life’s moments through professional and personal photography, via personalized products. Lifetouch is the national leader in school photography. It also serves families through portrait studios. Shutterfly Business Solutions delivers digital printing services that enable customer engagement through personalized communications.
Mutoh America Strengthens Sales Team
Wide-format printer and cutter manufacturer Mutoh America announced the hiring of two regional sales managers. They will oversee sales and growth in the central and northeast regions of the United States.
Kevin Szczerba is the new regional sales manager for the central United States. Szczerba will work out of Chicago. He brings more than 30 years of sales experience in various roles in the printing industry to his new position. He has worked in professional outside sales roles on the manufacturing end of the business for the majority of his career. However, he also has experience in a reseller sales role, selling consumables, pre- and post-press, as well as wide-format printers.
Furthermore, the company also announced that Gary Yacono is Mutoh’s new regional sales manager for the Northeast; Yacono will be located in New Jersey. He spent the last four years in the wide-format industry as a channel sales rep. Prior to that, Yacono worked elsewhere within the industry, performing a range of jobs over 16 years.
LexJet Adds Three Fine Art Papers to Sunset Line
LexJet expanded its line of photography/fine art papers based on demand. The company released three new versions in its Sunset lineup.
“These are the finest options for photographers or artists who are putting a lot of emotion into their work,” said Justin Lehman, vice president, Sales, LexJet. “These are for anyone who’s printing because it truly matters.” Sunset SUV Fine Art Paper 210g is a heavy-weight option for photography and fine art reproduction. It’s compatible with eco-solvent, solvent and UV ink technologies. “Print houses that choose technology other than aqueous have had a difficult time finding a quality fine art paper that delivers exceptional results on their chosen printer technology. Our product development team at Sunset has delivered the answer with Sunset SUV Fine Art Paper 210g,” LexJet announced. The paper comes in 100-foot rolls in 54 inches, $279, and 60 inches, $310.
LexJet also released two aqueous-compatible photography/fine art papers. Sunset Cold Press Textured Bright White 300g adds richness to photography and art reproductions. It has a wide color gamut to deliver delicate details and deep blacks. The paper comes in 50-foot rolls in three widths: 24 inches, $94; 44 inches, $158; and 60 inches, $209.
Sunset Hot Press Smooth Bright White 300g provides a silky matte finish for portraits or finely detailed work. It’s available in three 50-foot roll widths: 24 inches, $94; 44 inches, $158; and also 60 inches, $200.
For photography, art reproductions, unframed cards or customized home décor, both papers are acid-free for long print life.
Epson SureColor F570: First 24-Inch Desktop Dye-Sub Printer
Epson America debuted the company’s first desktop dye-sublimation printer: the 24-inch SureColor F570. For printing right out of the box, the SureColor F570 is a solution for promotional products, including personalizing awards, mugs, mousepads as well as garment embellishments.
The desktop dye-sub printer uses Epson’s PrecisionCore MicroTFP printheads. Moreover, a turnkey solution, the F570 arrives with features to streamline workflow. They include specialized transfer paper for both rigid and soft media; a 50-sheet auto-feed tray; a built-in cutter; and drivers for Windows as well as Mac.
In addition, the printer accommodates rolls and sheets up to 24 inches wide. Its high-capacity ink bottles with auto-stop allow for mess-free filling. The printer also integrates a 4.3-inch LCD color touch screen to simplify print tasks. Users can connect to the printer via USB, Ethernet or integrated wireless connectivity.
The Epson SureColor F570 is available for $2,695. It comes with a standard Epson Preferred limited warranty.