Pre-PMA 2010 News from HP: Indigo Longevity and ARTtrust

This news just came across my in-box and I believe it will be of interest to anyone who currently uses photo labs, or for anyone who currently has short-run books printed by Blurb.com or other company who uses Indigo printers. HP also just announced longevity testing by Wilhelm Imaging Research for the HP Indigo digital press on at least one paper (see information below). My guess is that the report will be posted on Wilhelm-Research.com sometime soon (hopefully with additional papers added).

I’ve been hoping to see Wilhelm Imaging Research’s results on the Indigo process for many years, since I have been a longtime fan of the Indigo process (I worked for a company who had the first two Indigo machines in New York City way back in the 1990s). The print quality of recent Indigo Press models is nothing short of outstanding, and from the press release, it looks like HP has decided to position the Indigo not just as a “printing press,” but as a logical choice for photo-quality prints. It should be interesting to see how things progress as companies start marketing the Indigo’s output as “ready-to-frame.”

Below is the full press release-there is so much info, I think it is best presented in its entirety:

HP Boosts Quality and Value of Graphic Arts Photo Printing
HP Indigo photo printing technology gains 45-year permanence rating

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 18, 2010 – HP today introduced two digital press solutions with capabilities that improve photo printing quality and color consistency.

The company also announced that output for HP Indigo presses has received a Wilhelm Imaging Research (WIR) Display Permanence rating of approximately 45 years, the first of its kind for a digital press.(1)

The new press solutions are designed for photofinishers, professional photographers, yearbook publishers, print service providers and other graphic arts professionals.

—    The HP Indigo WS6000p offers professional portrait output quality as a high-quality, low-cost replacement to silver-halide systems.

—    The enhanced HP Indigo W7200 Digital Press improves color management and consistency for high-volume printing of photo specialty products, including photo books.

HP additionally launched a partner solution from M-photo to manage professional lab workflow for HP Indigo presses and silver-halide output devices. HP also announced the general availability of the ARTtrust self-certification system for photographers and artists using HP Designjet Z Series Professional Photo Printers.

“Digital has crossed the gap between traditional and digital photofinishing in terms of quality, productivity and consistency, and now digital printing surpasses silver halide for photo permanence,” said Christopher Morgan, senior vice president, Graphics Solutions Business, HP. “HP’s solutions are accelerating the shift to digital, creating new business opportunities for print service providers, publishers and photographers.”

Display permanence for HP Indigo prints
New print permanence research from WIR – the industry’s most respected authority on digital print permanence – supports the value and image permanence of HP Indigo printing for photography applications.(1)

The study gives pages printed with HP Indigo presses on a Kromekote paper from Smart Papers a WIR Display Permanence Rating of approximately 45 years, which is longer than the best-rated silver-halide photo paper, Fuji Crystal Archive. The HP Indigo rating is also more than twice as long as the WIR Display Permanence Rating for prints on Kodak silver halide photo paper. The study also shows that HP Indigo photo book prints received a WIR Album/Dark Storage Rating of greater than 100 years.

“The permanence ratings from WIR provide an important validation for the use of HP Indigo in consumer and professional photographic markets as well as in the fine art world,” said Henry Wilhelm, co-founder, president and director of research at Wilhelm Imaging Research. “Good display permanence combined with excellent long-term stability, as well as freedom from yellowing for images that are in albums or are stored in other dark locations, are essential to preserving the value of historical photographs, art works and photo books.”

New HP Indigo digital press targets portrait studio market
Expected to be available in July, the HP Indigo WS6000p Digital Press brings HP’s high-quality liquid electrophotographic printing technology to the portrait studio market. Designed to replace silver-halide output solutions, the new roll-to-roll press includes inline lamination for professional portrait output at a low cost.

Unlike other digital presses, the solution includes light cyan and light magenta inks, offering photo-realistic imaging when added to the standard CMYK ink set.

A higher-volume solution for a fast-growing market segment
The launch of the new HP Indigo W7200 Digital Press for photo specialty applications raises the level of quality and productivity for an important market segment.

Photo specialty printing is one of HP Indigo’s fastest-growing segments with:

—    30 percent year-over-year increase in 2009 for new HP Indigo press placements used in photo specialty applications; and

—    47 percent year-over-year increase in photo specialty page output for the segment’s annual, holiday-driven Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 peak-production season.

Designed to meet large photo-specialty firms’ production needs, the enhanced W7200 press prints 240 four-color letter-size pages per minute at volumes up to 7.5 million pages per month. It also includes new, linked color-management utilities on both of its print engines for more accurate, consistent photo prints. Optional finishing systems for the press allow inline cutting, offset stacking of book blocks and lamination.

New production software from HP partner M-photo provides comprehensive workflow management for professional photography labs using the HP Indigo W7200 and other HP Indigo press models. The software, which also works with silver-halide output devices, helps eliminate finishing time and reduces costs with tools to streamline lab management, color correction and image creation.

Self certification for HP Designjet prints
ARTtrust is a simple self-certification system that enables photographers and artists to provide individual identity to any HP Designjet Z series pigment print produced using HP Vivera Pigment inks on compatible media or paper.

A joint development between HP and Prooftagâ„¢, and endorsed by WIR, the ARTtrust solution is accessible from a new website (www.arttrustonline.com) that allows registered photographers and artists to activate an ARTtrust Tag, register newly certified prints, provide information and proof of authenticity, and promote their work. Tags and membership cards will be sold on the same website by ARTtrust Company, a subsidiary of Prooftag.

Companies that support and promote ARTtrust include Canson INFINITY, Hahnemühle FineArt, ILFORD Imaging and Innova Art. Early adopters of the ARTtrust system include world-famous photographers and artists who are members of the HP Experts & Mentors program, including Joel Meyerowitz, Thomas Hoepker, Martin Parr, Douglas Kirkland, and Digital Atelier artists Dorothy Krause, Bonny Lhotka and Karin Schminke.

“In this age of refined mechanical reproduction, the temptation to forge photographic works of art is easily satisfied,” said Meyerowitz. “We have been hoping and waiting for a foolproof method of security and maintaining the authenticity of our work. ARTtrust has appeared at precisely the right moment.”

More information about new HP Indigo and Designjet photo solutions, which were announced at the Dscoop5 conference and PMA tradeshow, is available in online press kits at www.hp.com/go/dscoop5 and www.hp.com/go/pma2010, as well as through the HP Graphic Arts Twitter feed.

About HP
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at https://www.hp.com/.


Photography Holidays - March 16, 2010

I love this blog. I visit it every now and then. It’s inspiring to see people getting out and doing it! Keep on posting!

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