Media & Substrates


Ecological-business

Photo courtesy www.blog.mdpi.com


During the past decades, the demand for sustainability has been amplified around the world and it is something in which the digital printing industry has been very involved in order to reduce its footprint.

From 1965 to 2019, carbon dioxide levels increased from 320 parts per million (ppm) to 408 ppm, making the earth warmer every decade.

As result of the pandemic lockdown, the decrease in oil demand was reflected in its prices, which fell to levels never seen before. This makes us see that we can make changes towards sustainability. Industrial companies are now scrambling to deploy more renewable energy sources for industrial applications.

While the world was in lockdown during the start of the pandemic, energy consumption was down roughly 25%, and global CO2 emissions down 8%. But as life gradually returns to normal, companies in general have realized their responsibility in the transition to a much more sustainable form of business.

Sustainable printing methods are becoming more and more popular as individuals and businesses work to reduce their environmental footprint. There are an increasing number of environmentally friendly printers that are more eco-friendly, with energy saving features and also incredibility efficient. Advances in technology allow suppliers to produce sustainable printed material with no effect on quality or in price.

Environmentally friendly innovations

LED UV Printing

UV-LED printing is one of the best ‘green’ printing innovations, which has been on the market for a few years now. It uses less power than traditional print-drying technology and the instant on/off functionality reduces standby consumption between jobs and reduces overall CO2 emissions and the instant drying process means there’s no need for an anti-set off powder spray or a sealing coat.

Ecocracy recyclable banner

This recyclable fabric for banners and signage was developed by combining Toppan’s processing technologies with Dow’s plastics expertise.

This material enables banners and signage printed on this substrate to be re-pelletized as a recycled resin, which can then be blended with timber from wood waste to produce wood-plastic composite materials for such items as benches, floors, and plant pots.


Ecological-business

Photo courtesy www.toppan.com


ECOLUSTER

Toppan Printing has developed an eco-friendly manufacturing method for offset printing that combines oil-based biomass ink with water-based varnish.

ECOLUSTER use of plant-derived material and the absence of UV lamps make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions associated with raw ink materials and the printing process by roughly 34% compared with general UV offset printing.


Ecological-business

Photo courtesy www.toppan.com


Paper tube-pouch

Toppan Printing developed a new paper-based version of the existing tube-pouch, which is shaped like a tube and easy to squeeze like a pouch. The paper tube-pouch is ideal for use in the food, toiletry, and pharmaceutical sectors.

Due to the use of thinner film material, the conventional tube-pouch is easier to squeeze and uses 30% less plastic than the type of laminated tube widely used for toothpaste. The new paper tube-pouch maintains the tube-pouch’s functionality while demonstrating better environmental performance by employing a paper-based material for the body, making possible a 50% reduction in plastic volume. Coupled with a redesign of the plastic parts of the head section, this enables plastic to be reduced by a total of 65%.


Ecological-business

Photo courtesy www.toppan.com


Plastic Recycling Scheme for Multilayer Packaging

Toyo Ink and ITOCHU entered into a cooperative agreement to develop an innovative plastic recovery technology for multilayered flexible packaging, where a deinking coating agent and a delaminating adhesive are applied to the plastic film surrounding the ink layers. After use, the packaging waste is subjected to an alkaline treatment in which the coating agent, adhesive and interlaying ink layers are cleanly released from the film substrate. This results in the recovery of high-quality plastic material that can then be reused to create products of new value, making currently unrecyclable multilayer plastic packaging into a recyclable material.


Ecological-business

Photo courtesy www.toyoinkgroup.com


Biodegradable Polyurethane Adhesive

Toyochem has developed a new series of biodegradable pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs), marketed under the Cyabines eries of polyurethane PSAs, suitable for materials for the packaging, construction, agriculture, etc.

By using plant-derived raw materials, the Cyabine adhesive achieves a biomass content on a dry weight basis of up to 45%. This means the product can reduce CO2 emissions throughout the lifecycle of the newly developed product, without compromising on adhesive performance.

The new PSA system demonstrates biodegradation rates of 60% or higher after 60 days. When combined with other biodegradable materials used in a wide range of products, it helps to improve the overall biodegradability of these products.


Ecological-business

Photo courtesy www.toyoinkgroup.com


Published in Media & Substrates

Screen printing process it’s more complicated and laborious than digital printing. The entire process is made up of several steps that take so long that it would be a shame to delay or even ruin it due to poor preparation of the printing file.

There are probably a million variations on this process, and everyone does it a little differently. This time we will see it from the point of view of a digital printing graphic designer, who from time to time must do screen printing and the mistakes I have made (and boy I have made mistakes).

First thing first

First of all we must understand that the screen printng is divided into two categories: spot color or four color.

Spot color means that each color is separate prints only in that shade. So if you have a three-color design, you would need to create a film for each of those three colors and would be printed one at a time.

Four color process is used to replicate photographs, paintings and any other kind of art with a variety of colors in different shades and gradations. When using four-color process, the image must be separated into cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK).

Vectors vs. Raster Image

Before starting the creative process you must be very clear about the use that will be given to your design; since this will depend on the choice of software that we will use to design our art.

Raster image

Raster graphics images are best used for digitized photographs, scanned artwork or detailed graphics.

When you create your design in a raster based software you are kind of married with the original dimensions.

Always remember to start your documents at the intended print size with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. If you have drawn the artwork at actual size, then scan it at 300 dpi. If your artwork was created a 50% scale, then you will need to scan the artwork at double the recommended resolution (scan at 600 dpi).

Common raster formats include TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PCX and BMP files.

Vector

There is no limit for sizing vector images. Can be resized indefinitely without sacrificing print quality, blurriness or pixelation that occurs when resizing images created in photographic software.

Common vector formats include AI, EPS, SVG, and sometimes PDF.

Avoid web Images

Using images from the web can be convenient, but keep in mind that most of these images are very small and with low resolution (most of the time they are set to only 72 dpi)

Convert your text to outlines

Always remember to convert your font to outline on all your text, this allows to open the file without requiring the original font file or modify the design.

Choose your color

Using a specific Pantone for each color will help to properly match your design without any color variation.

Porosity of the substrate

The porosity and texture of the materials is something that must be keep in mind. For exapmle some fabric has holes that cannot be printed on, so you should keep your design details to a minimum.

Think on the background color

If you are going to printing on a dark color (or transparency), you will need to add white ink layer under the image to make sure the colors are visible.

ALWAYS save an editable copy

When you finally have finish your design, always be sure to keep an editable copy of your work, just in case you need to do some last minutes adjustments.


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FLAAR-REPORTS photo archive.


Published in Textile Printing

Three months have passed since I wrote the FIRST PART of what appears to be a multi-part story, dedicated to keeping track of how the world of digital printing has coped with the COVID-19 global pandemic.

With more than 4,228,896 confirmed active cases, 285,363 deaths and 1,512,971 recovered around the world, it seems that this virus has been much more aggressive than the world thought. Even with the hermetic closure of borders around the world this has been spread throughout it.

China, the country where the virus originated, finally has managed to significantly flatten the contagion curve; decreasing new cases per day, as well as the number of deaths. Iran and Italy who were also severely affected have also managed to flatten the curve. But now the virus has reached the new continent, and the United States is one of the most affected countries. Although many measures have been taken to contain COVID 19, it is still far from the whole world flattening the curve.

At a time when the whole wold struggles to control the virus, we all agree that the coronavirus has the potential to be as damaging to the human health as for the global economy. With almost everyone in quarantine and only the essential businesses working, it hasn't taken long to make the economic effects felt in all industries.

AVIANCA, Latin America's second largest airline, has filed for bankruptcy protection in a US court, since the pandemic had cut more than 80% of its income and the airline industry continues with more and more travel restrictions.


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Photo courtesy of www.news.gtp.gr


With the majority of people locked at home and the mobility restrictions imposed by governments around the world, the oil demand also has decreased to such a point that the barrel of oil is almost the same price as it was in 1974 “$24.37” (acording to www.oilprice.com, May 2020-05-11).

These have been times of change and evolution around the world. From the oil industry to the printing industry we have been affected in one way or another.

With many trade shows canceled or postponed, It seems that this year will be a very difficult year for companies that had their hopes set in this new decade for the launch of new technology. We will have to wait and see if the tradeshows postponed for the other half of the year can be made or if 2020 really will be a year without exhibitions.

But something that has always characterized the printing industry is that despite the difficulties has always managed to adapt and get ahead. This is a united industry that never gives up and always looks for a way to get afloat, keeping their human side and reaching out to help each other.

Such is the case of A.T. INKS, that despite having delivery times for its products, they have also managed to readjust their work chain to produce hand sanitizer to help their country (India) with the shortages of this product.


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Hand sanitizer manufactured by A.T. INKS. Photo courtesy A.T. INKS.


Just like A.T. INKS many other ink companies, such as Polymeric Group, Marabu, and Dupont among many others, have also joined forces using their expertise in formulation and production to help provide solutions, developing various products that are of great importance in order to stop COVID-19.

Durst Phototechnik is producing community masks in its demo center at Brixen, Italy. Just Vision It (JVI), a dye sublimation wholesale manufacturer based in Missouri, is also manufacturing sublimated facemask to support efforts toward preventing the spread of the virus.


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Photo courtesy www.durst-group.com


The difficult times are those that have shaped us into what we are now. A solid industry with a human side that has always characterized us. I know that this will not be solved overnight but I also know that we will get out of this situation by being better.

Remember "Stay home, keep safe and wash your hands"

See you on the PART 3 “The Rise of the Humanity” (still working on the title don't judge me)

Published in Signage

Whether we love it or hate it advertising has always been and will be part of our daily lives, which could have a significant impact and can be relate to our collective action.

Billboards form an integral part of advertising and could do more than just advertise. Thanks to the current trend that increasingly focuses on worrying about ecology and trying to reduce our footprint, it was only a matter of time that green technologies would make their spirited foray into this popular field of advertising.

As a graphic designer I have always admired those advertising campaigns that have taken that extra mile, necessary to merge advertising with the protection of the ecosystem without losing its focus and purpose.

UTEC - Air Purifier Billboard


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Photo courtesy of www.utec.edu.pe


The creators of the billboard that turned air into drinkable water, (the University of Engineering and Technology of Peru) now they have created a billboard that sucks pollution from the sky and returns purified air; claiming that the billboard can purify almost 100,000 cubic meters of urban air per day (equivalent to the work of 1,200 mature trees).

Toyota - Air Cleaning Eco Board


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Photo courtesy of www.utec.edu.pe


A few years ago Toyota also created a billboard that could clean the emissions of several vehicles each month.

Coca-Cola - Absorbs Air Pollution


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Photo courtesy of www.interest.cl


Coca-Cola did not want to fall behind and together with the WWF designed a billboard made out of sustainable, recyclable materials, covered with 3,600 pots of the air pollutant-absorbing Fukien tea plant.

Mc Donald’s - Bee Hotel


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Photo courtesy of www.popucity.net



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Photo courtesy of www.theanimalclub.net


Everyone knows that as a result of the growth of cities, bees have lost much of their habitat, alarmingly reducing their number to the point of extinction in some populated areas. This is why Mc Donald´s Sweden, knowing the importance of them, has conditioned many of its bilboards to provide accommodation, creating hotels for them.

Koleston Naturals - Change


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Photo courtesy of www.adsoftheworld.com


This company, dedicated to the manufacture of hair dyes, invites us to admire the beauty of nature taking advantage of its environment and without visual pollution.

Corona - Wave of Waste


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Photo courtesy of www.campaignlive.co.uk


Corona, together with artist Andy Billett, created a billboard / sculpture which aims to raise awareness that we must properly recycle our waste since most of it does not reach garbage dumps and end up in the oceans.

Coca-Cola - Open, Taste, Recycle


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Photo courtesy of www.adeeveen.com


It is not always necessary to alter the structure of a billboard or that it has a mechanical or chemical operation so that advertising is beneficial to the environment. Such is the case of this Coca-Cola campaign that slightly modified its logo to encourage consumers to recycle.

Advertising that Invite


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Photo courtesy of www.designyoutrust.com


Many times it takes just a little imagination and a minimum effort to invite us to put the garbage in its place.

 

Published in Signage

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