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Colour Chiefs lead the way to digital quality

Monday, 27 November 2006
By Print 21 Online Article

Award-winning Brisbane prepress company decides on HP Indigo six-colour press to maintain its reputation for high-end production excellence.

(pictured) Robert Munster is part of the team operating the Colour Chief’s HP Indigo 1000.

The decision by Matt Naughton, managing director, to move into digital printing is part of the company’s overall strategic response to the dramatic changes in the prepress industry. The steady decline of film, along with the growing tendency for clients to deal directly with the printer on “bread and butter” two-colour jobs, set the scene for a major refocusing of Colour Chiefs.

“There is no growth in film so we knew we had to get into new business areas that complemented our skills. Digital printing seemed to provide an avenue where we could use our colour expertise. It gave us the opportunity to go back to our clients with another service,” he said.

Colour Chiefs installed a HP Indigo press 1000 at its facility and launched itself as a supplier of digital printing. The company’s customer base is centred on advertising agencies and design studios, so quality reproduction was a key factor in its choice.

“We had a look at the toner machines, but what I liked about the Indigo was that it is a dot-generated, ink-based system. It gives a better result and there are no problems with cracking on the folds,” said Matt Naughton “It is a versatile machine, you can do things like cello glaze the results. You can’t do that with toner.”

This flexibility and offset level quality has allowed Colour Chiefs develop a thriving print production business with its traditional customers. “It’s going really well. We are doing a lot of same day work, DL brochures, business cards, fliers, A4 leaflets. Everyone’s been very pleased with the quality.”

A concentrated marketing campaign is now underway to educate the market to the benefits of personalised printing from the HP Indigo, an area that Matt Naughton sees a great future for.

Other strings to the bow

The HP Indigo venture is just one aspect of Colour Chiefs’ response to the changing conditions in the market. It was an early entrant into CTP, installing a Heidelberg Trendsetter to complement its two A1 filmsetters.

Currently it is launching a major facilities management initiative, putting in two Creo Quantum CTP platesetters printer’s premises: one at PrintCraft, the other at Platypus Graphics. All three machines are networked via Prinergy and will be able to output plates anywhere at call.

“We think this is going to be a very good business for us,” said Matt Naughton.

At a time when so many prepress companies are disappearing, Colour Chiefs is a textbook lesson in how to not only adapt and survive in tough market conditions but to thrive by developing new business opportunities.

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