3 Ways Print Has Moved Beyond CMYK

Guest post by Raj Rishi, Managing Director at Xerox India. A version of this article appeared recently on LinkedIn.

embellished print
Raj Rishi

In a challenging economic climate where many industries struggle with digital transformation, the print industry has an ace up its sleeve. It comes in the form of digital printing. Digital print companies reinvigorate themselves by offering customers more features, better quality and greater flexibility at lower costs. Automation and streamlined workflows also drive cost and process efficiencies in creation, campaign management and manufacturing processes.

This blog looks at three ways that the printing industry is moving beyond CMYK.

  • Case 1: Increased Color Gamut with Specialty Dry Inks
  • Case 2: White Is the New Black
  • Case 3: Creating Excitement with Silver and Gold

Digital Print: Designed to Enhance

The digital market was born out of a need for print companies to command premium prices and offer higher value for their clients by providing digital printing enhancements. It’s a market where specialty dry ink technology leads the way.

The history of print may be rooted in CMYK, but the move to digital print and digital enhancements has ushered in a new range of colors, specifically metallics and White Dry Ink, while also increasing quality, flexibility and speed. It’s technology that customers have been clamoring for, and it’s an $813 million market that’s predicted to grow at an impressive 27% through 2020.

Printers currently use specialty dry inks to innovate, and a range of new colors isn’t the only advantage these inks bring. The latest specialty dry ink stations open new opportunities for rich layering and eye-catching embellishment. Unparalleled vibrancy and a smoother finish boast a more even sheen, adding extra depth and a more consistent look. You can experience the opportunity first-hand here.

Case 1: Increased Color Gamut with Specialty Dry Inks

embellished print

Specialty dry inks offer an increased color gamut and improved efficiency, with the capability of printing up to 120 pages a minute. Printing resolutions of 2400 dpi means companies won’t have to sacrifice quality in the quest for speed.

Print companies can provide shorter runs, quick turnaround and greater personalization. Also, printing on demand is possible, so printers can act as a virtual document repository and offer improved options for just-in-time manufacturing. Advanced automation and streamlined workflows cut the number of human touches required to receive, plan, execute and deliver print jobs, When all this gets combined in the Iridesse production press, it makes a massive difference to running costs, productivity and business supply chains.

Case 2: White Is the New Black


dry white inkMarket research by Keypoint Intelligence has indicated that over 80% of European respondents see white as the specialty color they need most (and India is not too far off). It’s a color that Xerox has already introduced with White Dry Ink for the Xerox iGen 5 Press print station. This makes it possible to print incredibly bright whites on colored substrates and packaging.

Xerox’s White Dry Ink provides a unique solution, more than doubling the brightness and opacity of competitive inks for digital presses and setting a new industry benchmark. Better yet, that benchmark is delivered after only one pass, surpassing the four or more passes traditionally required by competitive digital presses, saving on time, resources and money.

Case 3: Creating Excitement with Silver and Gold

metallics printing

Lessons learned when creating White Dry Ink have also been put to good use when it comes to other colors beyond CMYK. Smaller EA Toners make it possible to deliver metallic silver and gold – two of the other most in-demand colors – using specialty dry inks as well.

Digital foil stamping has previously provided an alternative for print companies wanting metallic colors and high quality. Now metallic specialty dry inks on the Xerox Iridesse production press provide a better blend of quality and affordability, incorporating flecks of metal to deliver outstanding image quality with a true metallic appearance. Metallic Specialty Dry Inks deliver stunning results in a single pass, saving money and resources and helping print companies to take on shorter run, short turn digital jobs without compromising on quality.

The Case for Moving Beyond CMYK

With benefits like these, the case for moving beyond CMYK is clear. Buyers are more than willing to pay for these capabilities, with research indicating a willingness to pay a premium of between 24 and 89% over CMYK jobs. With potential profit margins on digital print enhancements as high as 400%, according to a 2016 InfoTrends study, it’s an investment worth making – and an opportunity that’s simply too good to miss.

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