UV printing technology continues to become more affordable and more eco-friendly; and Pennsylvania-based print, packaging and direct mail company Epic Litho wanted to demonstrate all the benefits of UV printing with a non-traditional packaging project. The result is a 6 x 5.5” hexagonal box, constructed using Finch Fine, Antique, 130 lb. Double-Thick Cover and printed using four-color process and the cutting-edge Komori H-UV curing system.
“It is unusual. It’s going to catch people’s attention if they see it sitting on a table,” said Epic Litho’s Senior Account Manager/Product Development Jim Manley, adding that uncoated stock was chosen to enhance the feel of the piece.
“Many of our customers who sell high-end luxury goods are switching from coated to uncoated [paper] because of its tactile quality and premium appearance.”
It’s hard to argue with that. The images on each panel of the box are richly detailed and vibrant, an advantage of UV inks that sit on the surface of the sheet rather than being absorbed into the sheet like conventional inks. However, with 18 folds in the box construction and 18.8 pt. stock, Epic was initially concerned about crack-on-the-fold.
“Because UV inks sit on the surface of the sheet, cracking on the folds can be more visible, but Finch Fine performed great,” Jim said.
The box was printed on a Komori GL840P HUV press, which Epic installed in 2011. The press is marketed as an environmentally friendly choice. The “H” stands for “high-efficiency,” as the UV lights use less energy to dry inks. In addition, its CO2 emissions are one-fourth those of than conventional UV curing systems.
“It’s the greenest press in the world,” Epic’s VP of Marketing Jeff Pintoff said. “We went from washing a conventional offset press with six to seven barrels of solvents per month, to zero.” Additionally, the HUV lamp’s low heat generation means the press requires very little cooling.
A Nod To The Past
Epic Litho, formerly Bentley Rowland, first opened in 1960, and Pintoff wanted to pay homage to company’s past with the box’s vintage theme. Each of the box’s six panels features a nostalgic image – vintage gas pumps, car hops, a pink Cadillac Deville. The theme is continued inside the box with two sets of recipe cards for old-fashioned favorites like meatloaf and milkshakes. The cards serve a dual purpose, each demonstrating a different UV-printing technique for comparison, including UV gloss on coated grades, conventional inks on coated, UV inks on uncoated, and conventional inks on uncoated.
“It was another way to showcase the cool techniques you can achieve using UV inks,” Pintoff said.
Like many printing companies, Epic Litho’s business was built on commercial printing. In 2011, it underwent a rebranding and changed its name from Bentley Rowland (which Pintoff says sounded like a law firm) to Epic Litho. With the change, they invested in the Komori press and opened a satellite location in New York City to cater to the luxury goods market. In the digital packaging market, Epic Litho brings its conventional printing ability and combines it with the high-end look of UV.
“Now, packaging can match other collateral and meet the high expectations of discerning clients. You can have your cake and eat it too,” Manley said.
To learn more about Epic Litho’s print, packaging, and direct mail services, visit http://epiclitho.com/.