by Cassandra Balentine
Print finishing and embellishment effects are gaining attention with the introduction of digital technologies like UV spot coating, raised metallic foil, and digital die cutting.
“People continue to look for ways to make their messages stand out. Modern embellishments offer more options and at lower prices than traditional embellishments that incur die charges,” suggests Pam Gonzalez, director of marketing, BCT, Inc.
“A business card with metallic foil embellishments creates a striking first impression, and also catches the eye more easily, so recipients are less likely to throw it out right away,” adds Brian Meshkati, VP, SinaLite.
As demand from end users is notably increasing, Meshkati says its clients have more opportunities to profit from these products, which are not as commoditized as ordinary products like non-embellished business cards. “These embellished products help our clients earn higher profits from marking up and reselling them.”
In addition, shorter runs are increasingly popular while longer runs are declining in demand. “With digital embellishing, since we do not need to buy dies for die cutting, we can meet the growing demand for shorter run jobs and offer it cost effectively to our print reseller clients,” says Meshkati.
From greeting cards to packaging, the embellishment opportunities are endless.
“Business cards are our most requested item, but we see it being used on all types marketing pieces such as post cards, brochures, covers, tags. It’s fun to see the creative ways people use embellishments,” says Gonzalez.
Meshkati agrees, says SinaLite’s most popular items for embellishing are business cards, postcards, and greeting cards. “Our Spot UV and metallic foil business cards in particular have gained a lot of popularity.”
Other popular products include roll labels with custom shapes that are done using digital laser cutting, and one-off yard signs, which are possible thanks to digital cutters such as ESKO, Kongsberg, and Zünd, shares Meshkati.
One benefit of utilizing a trade printer for embellishment work is that you yourself doesn’t have to make the capital investment until there is a profitable demand.
Finding a good partner for this is essential and the relationship should not be rushed.
“It comes down to the same considerations made for any good trade partner,” says Gonzalez. “Our longtime dealers will often contact us for recommendations for embellishments. In many instances we can provide a sample that the dealer can show their customer to help sell a project.”
As a wholesale trade printer, Meshkati says SinaLite has already invested in the necessary equipment for digital embellishments, and after more than five years of producing these products it has the expertise as well. Printing with us provides resellers with the opportunity to test out the embellishment market with minimal risk. They do not need to invest in equipment to start offering new products to their customers.
Trade printers serve as excellent partners when you’re looking to enter or grow a new area of business before investing in your own technology. Here are a few examples of trade printers that offer embellishment services.
BCT, Inc. offers effects like raised spot UV; specialty finishes like lamination and UV coating; foil stamping, including traditional and digital; embossing; die cutting—traditional and foil; ultra heavy weight cards; edge painting; and thermography.
“Our business model has always been known for thermography, which is essentially an embellishment,” shares Gonzalez. She says about 20 years ago BCT added traditional foil stamping, embossing, and die cutting. The modern embellishments started in early 2019 when it added raised spot UV. “Since then it’s been a natural evolution adding the specialty finishes and digital foil and die cutting.”
SinaLite offers a variety of digital embellishments including raised metallic foil, raised spot UV, and digital cutting for signs, banners and roll labels.
Meshkati says the company started offering print enhancement and embellishment services in 2010 and continued to add new equipment and processes for digital embellishments. “We started offering them because our print partners wanted to sell more customized products such as custom shaped labels and one-off signs, as well as high-impact premium products like business cards with metallic foil and other special effects. These embellishments allow them to increase their markups and earn more profit.”
“Digital embellishing was an economic choice for us and helped us save on costs because we did not need to buy expensive dies. For example, most of our roll labels are cut via laser, so we do not need to wait for dies to be made. We can go straight to production and finishing,” he notes.
Tools of the Trade
There are many ways to begin offering a new service, such as print finishing and embellishment. One of these methods is partnering with someone, like a wholesale printer, that already has the technology in order to gauge demand or build up the business to ensure profitability with an investment.
Jul2022, DPS Magazine