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Choosing the right printer can make a difference

Here’s how choosing the right printer made a big difference to one small Sydney publishing company.

Since I founded eliot as a one-man band nearly three years ago on Sydney’s North Shore, it’s grown rapidly. We recently relocated to a bigger studio and increased our staff base to nine employees; a move which heralded the need for new service offerings and high performance equipment.

At eliot, we work across a varied space known as creative publishing, and develop, execute and deliver projects for print, online and mobile devices. Our aim is to help our clients publish information more effectively, irrespective of the media channel used.

The team specialises in cross-media publishing, however print continues to play a critical part in business operations. Print only makes up approximately 25 percent of eliot’s project requirements, however the need for print is always high. We create anything from software specification lists and corporate reports through to client presentations and mock-ups of new packaging ideas. For our own use, we also develop storyboards, proposals, website concepts, proofs and project documentation. Our print requirements are not large, but vary widely and are quite specialised.

As eliot grew, and the range of projects we undertook expanded, we found our general multifunction device was stretched beyond its capabilities, so we looked to the market for a device that was versatile enough to meet its needs. We needed to find a printer with the capability to print monochrome, as well as colour, accurately enough to be considered a final proof. We also needed a solution that could print on heavy stocks for packaging and labelling projects, and on quality art stocks for high quality proofs.

The creative solution

We identified Fuji Xerox’s Color 550 Printer with a C2 finishing module as the right device for eliot’s needs. The Color 550 Printer combines a number of characteristics which made it ideal for our requirements. It offers very high image quality with 2, 400 x 2, 400 dpi resolution, and utilises Fuji Xerox’s unique EA low-melt toner to give a smooth print finish, similar to that of offset printing. The Color 550 Printer can also handle an expansive paper range for both coated and uncoated stock, up to 300gsm. The C2 finishing line can also produce saddle-stitched booklets very conveniently and cost-effectively. This has allowed the company to print bound proposals instead of 50 loose leaf sheets of paper which then require binding.

Another added bonus is the SRA3 print area. A4 print jobs can be conveniently printed and bound, while saving the company extra costs in doing so. Practice has proven that it is much more cost effective to print on A3 sheets and bind them efficiently in one operation; printing on one A3 sheet reduces the need to pay for two A4 sheets, significantly reducing the print cost of a typical A4-size job. On the other end of the spectrum, eliot can now turn out short-run client print runs, such as newsletters and business cards.

Along with reduced costs and improved print quality and efficiency, the list of additional business benefits is lengthy. By installing this colour printer, we were able to achieve competitive best value and deliver ongoing cost savings.

eliot’s publishing and media projects invariably involve tight deadlines for clients who sometimes have little understanding of the complexities in a sophisticated media campaign. In such instances, we need our staff, and our technology, to deliver, which is another reason we chose to work with Fuji Xerox Australia – not only for its technology, but also for its support and reliability. When making an investment in technology, it’s great to know that we can also rely on someone for service and support in the event of a problem.

A future of business benefits

The choice of finishing options available also gives us the opportunity to upgrade in the future if clients require a different finished product. It’s very scalable; you can have a variety of finishing options, as well as paper feed tray options. If we change our work output or print volumes we don’t have to buy another machine – because it’s modular, we can just change the feeding or finishing units attached to it.  We’re currently looking at adding a feeding module which will allow us to use heavy stock up to 300 gsm, which would be useful for our packaging mock-ups.

In the end, it was Fuji Xerox Australia’s credentials in colour management and colour control that convinced the team at eliot to invest in a Color 550 Printer. We can now apply target colour profiles, get consistent colour quality, and use the printer as a proofing device. Through implementing the device, eliot now has the right technology to meet client needs, and ignite its clients’ projects.

-Eliot Harper is managing director of eliot, a publishing firm that loves to live on the leading edge of publishing applications and technologies.

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