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HP introduces wide-format VDP with SmartStream Designer 4.0

Mar 11, 2010 12:00 AM

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HP has announced commercial availability of HP SmartStream Designer 4.0, software that extends variable-data printing (VDP) capabilities to a wide range of large-format inkjet applications. It is available as part of the HP SmartStream Solutions digital workflow portfolio.

HP SmartStream Designer 4.0 streamlines prepress processes and helps users create, integrate and preview versioned jobs with any combination of fixed data, variable text and image elements. It is also an easy-to-use impositioning tool for HP large-format printers, whether the job includes versioning or not.

"There is enormous opportunity for variable data printing," says Yariv Avisar, vice president and GM, Scitex Large-format Solutions, HP. "HP SmartStream Designer 4.0 unlocks this opportunity in the large-format market and helps our customers grow their business by expanding their services and increasing the value of print jobs."

Graphic Tech, a leading graphic services and printing firm based in Fullerton, CA, implemented HP SmartStream Designer 4.0 to expand its capabilities and provide customers with effective localized campaigns.

"VDP and versioning are growing market trends but, until recently, it has been challenging and costly to manage for large-format printing," says Jim Blee, COO, Graphic Tech. "With HP SmartStream Designer, we have the added value of offering our customers, at very little additional cost or time, regionalized marketing materials – and not just geographical versioning, but also localization for highly specific elements, such as weather patterns. As a result, we have taken on bigger jobs than we could have previously."

Graphic Tech recently completed an urgent print job for a nationwide preschool chain approached that involved printing 460 large banners (96 x 35 in / 244 x 89 cm) on vinyl and 243 yard signs (23.5 x 23.5 in / 60 x 60 cm) on paper and self-adhesive vinyl, all with different phone numbers and each featuring one of three different logos. Without VDP capabilities, Graphic Tech would have to produce each file separately for each variation, requiring more than a month of work hours just for prepress. Instead, the designer built a single file and, using the VDP software, linked it to a database provided by the customer.

The PDF proofs were sent within two days – an approximate 93 percent reduction in prepress time. The banners and yard signs were printed on the HP Scitex TJ8500 Printer and drop-shipped to each individual location number on the file.