Digital print onto metallic substrates

On a few occasions we’ve had designers approach us with two conflicting requirements. They have a budget that will not move and a need for reflective, metallic effects on their packaging, particularly with carton packaging. This happened only last week here at MPH.

We quoted for a straight forward, process digital print with a backing white spot colour produced on our digital press, the cost effective option.

Halfway house was digital print with mixed post-processes such as traditionally printed varnishes and foiling, nearly as close as the real production packaging.

The money no object option was a traditionally printed mockup using our flatbed, wet-proofing printing press using HD digital photopolymer* letterpress printing plates and hot foil stamping creating the ultimate, wet-proof prototype that can be presented to clients and given to a printer as a target to reach.

*The same kit that produces the flexographic printing plates in a real production situation, the machine images both types.

Metalics

Back on point. The designer was so concerned about it; they had felt the need to send two Adobe illustrator artwork files to me, one the standard artwork that would be used for final repro and another where the reflective effect was mimicked with half-tone gradients. Their concern was well founded as indeed, digital print onto standard white carton board was not very effective and the gradient version not much better.

The solution

A technique we employed enabled the print to be standard, no trick gradients and produced in a cost effective digital process print. The difference was that the carton board had been coated and thus made reflective. Some tweaks to the client’s artwork by our skilled artwork operator and a very effective printed result was reached, within budget and looking very close to a high end production piece with metallic inks and foils.

Contact us if you think we can help you with your project.

Shrink sleeves & tactile varnishes

Our twitter mascot discovered this on his journey around the web and I thought it was a fantastic example of what can be done with shrink sleeves (plus the photography is 100% better than what I can do here at MPH!). In the past we’ve experimented with our shrink sleeve mockups by printing undersurface as normal but then screen printing a tactile varnish on top.

As you can see with this picture, the moisture drops look effective as a print but imagine what effect can be achieved by having a raised tactile on top? Trust me, the results are impressive. Feel free to contact us if you need further specialist information on how to do it if you feel your design concept would benefit from it. We work with flexo printers that can produce this along with the specialist techniques required from the mass production side, not just how to make a great sales sample.

Designed by Taylor Goad | Country: United States

Conceptual work from Philly based designer Taylor Goad.

Northcoast Brewery | Lovely Package.

Digital print = fast turnaround

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Packaging samples are very important at the beginning of a project but do I need printing press accurate samples? Not always. Digital printing has come a long way in recent years, particularly with the sophistication of the RIP’s on offer.

At the more cost effective end, we sometimes employ several digital printing devices for low volume, very fast turnaround packaging samples. These tend to be used when authenticity isn’t of as much importance to a client but rather rapid 24 hour turnaround packaging is. Pictured above is one of our devices that can accurately mimic spot colours if required and will be best used with self adhesive labels and small cartons. Other digital printers we use offer much larger web printing and this can digitally print special colours, whites plus varnishes onto a wide variety of substrates and materials.

Sponge! on Vimeo

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The Sponge! new media effort knows no bounds. We’ve just joined Vimeo and will begin uploading some movies of our press rooms, digital printing & something rather special I think. In order to achieve a wide range of authentic printed mock ups, we use traditional as well as ultra modern. One of the processes include our occasional use of 1950’s Vandercook letterpress machine. More on this later!

Who we are – MPH Limited

A quick blog entry to highlight what it is we do here at MPH Ltd. As a company we provide a specialist pre-press service to the printing industry, chiefly the flexible packaging flexographic printers. This includes reprographics, print plate making, specialist advice for designers and printers plus wet proofing.

With all this pre-press knowledge we also service various businesses with sales samples and printed mockups. Creative agencies and designers use us for their prototypes and packaging ideas. We love to develop long lasting relationships with these people, we bounce ideas about and like to be part of that creative process when necessary.

If you want to take a look at our main website visit MPH Limited for more information on our pre-press business. The site is rather old however and is undergoing development.

Hello from the studio

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The first blog post should really be of me I suppose. My name is Craig and if you need anything from us through this website, chances are you’ll be coming to me. You may get to my colleague Mark but he’s a little shy & of the generation that’s little fearful of the internet still. Or maybe that’s actually just him thinking about it… anyway I digress.

Perhaps a tour of my desk? Perhaps not I hear you say! Quite right too, the only thing I’m going to write in this initial entry is that I run the website & deal with any work that arrives through it. As you may have noticed our studio is not big & it doesn’t really need to be as we’re a close knit team who have worked together for quite some time. A well oiled machine no less. You may have also noticed it is a little untidy & I have a good excuse for that, we run a working environment & we’re always busy so nobody has had time to tidy for a while. Good excuse huh? We run up to date Apple Mac’s with the latest software, mostly Adobe but also some pretty special, unique packaging software by Esko.

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I thought I’d sneak this picture in as it shows the back of Maria who works here, not everyone is up for appearing yet so taking sneaky, non revealing pictures is perhaps the easiest way for me to introduce everybody & won’t put me in prison. This image also proves that we must be professionals because as you can see, there’s a Pantone® Colour bridge book there. I think it’s up to date…

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My desk with another incognito shot of a colleague, Tim. He’s a director by the way so a very important chap. I thought this is an great shot because you can see that we have fun here & we’re not stuffy corporate types, look Morph is proving that by being quashed to death by my mug of coffee ha ha!

So yes, this, the first entry I think went quite well. Took a few pictures & I think I got away with it. Also you got that tour of my desk I promised you wouldn’t get, sneaky huh? I warn you though, future posts may occasionally be a little more formal as I go through some of the more interesting projects & techniques we’ve worked on. This has a two fold benefit too, you get a tour through & it might not be completely boring!

Thanks for reading!

Craig