Sign & Digital Graphics

November '12

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Printing on leather can bring additional revenue to a sign business. Leather is appreciated as a high- end material and commands a high price tag. He points out that Mimaki's leather printing process is drawing an interest from some heavy hitters in the fashion industry including Coach, Christian Dior and Ralph Lauren, as well some sports footwear companies. Print Solutions from Roland Roland offers a number of print solu- tions for this market, says Ono. "For our wide-format VersaUV print- ers, the LEC series and the LEJ-640, the process is similar to that of any roll media," he says. "You simply load your roll of leather media onto the printer and you are ready for production. The LEC series, offered in 30" and 54" models, prints and cuts your graphics into virtually any shape. The 64-inch LEJ-640 accepts flat substrates as well, up to a half inch thick." He adds that by using their compact VersaUV LEF-12 flatbed printer, users can print directly onto leather objects up to 11 inches by 12 inches and 3.94 inches thick, including wallets, smart phone covers and key chains. "What makes these print devices so unique is their versatility. All VersaUV printers come with CMYK, white and clear UV inks, which produce bright saturated colors. VersaUV's white ink images well onto leather media. Clear inks can be used to add textures and high gloss spot varnishing effects on leather items for added visual impact. With each of these devices, you can print directly onto leather substrates with no retreatment." Ono adds that sign shops should really look at this market. "Printing on leather can bring additional revenue to a sign business. Leather is appreciated as a high-end material and commands a high price tag. The ability to customize leather products with printed graphics and text increases their value perception to the customer and is a great way to diversify your business," he concludes. Leather FX Fashion Statement Glendale, Calif.-based Leather FX offers a process of leather decoration called digital image transfer on leather. "We started out in the fashion industry and have since moved into other markets. Basically, we can print anything directly onto leather," reports company presi- dent, Ruben Gevorkian. "We do all the digital printing at our location," Gevorkian says. "A few years ago we converted our Mutoh roll-to- roll printer into a flatbed machine. The ability to apply graphics to leather gives designers unlimited opportunities to cre- ate their leather pieces with color images. No more painstakingly slow and expen- sive hand painting or even more expen- SIGN & DIGITAL GRAPHICS • November 2012 • 63

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