To succeed as a professional trade finishing business in the printing industry requires specialized skills, equipment and the ability to add valuable expertise to the supply chain as a postpress project consultant.
C & T Print Finishing in Connecticut has mastered all these requirements by creating a new Digital Enhancement service with a MGI JETvarnish 3DS press provided by Konica Minolta. The result has been an increase in jobs, projects and interest from both long-term, existing customers and new clients across the Northeastern United States.
A Reference & Referral Business Model
C & T was founded in 1980 by Butch Cole and his wife Maryann to perform die cutting and finishing services for local area print shops. They quickly expanded from that niche into other traditional realms of foil stamping, folding, gluing and package converting.
As a longtime member of the Foil & Specialty Effects Assn. (FSEA), the leading international trade finishing group, C & T gained knowledge of highly advanced techniques for decorative embellishment on the most difficult of graphic designs.
Consequently, they became known as trusted, reliable finishing experts throughout the New England area. This reputation gave rise to a natural, organic corporate growth curve fueled by client referrals.
The Digital Future
When the 2nd generation team of Jeff and Tracy Cole took up the reins of C & T management leadership, they decided to secure a bright, long-term future for the firm by leveraging their decades of traditional skillcraft with a new emphasis on digital technology. The outcome was investing in a new JETvarnish 3DS solution for 2D flat UV coats, 3D special texture effects and variable embossed foiling.
A Printer Partnership Strategy
C & T President Jeff Cole explained, “Providing finishing advice and new enhancement ideas strengthens our partnerships with commercial printers and converters. We sought out the JETvarnish 3DS technology as a method of offering unique digital solutions that would add value to their own brand and print buyer relationships. Our role in the supply chain is to help educate people about the potential to improve the effectiveness of print applications and campaigns.”
"We’ve seen the rise of digital UV in the last few years and wanted to be in a leadership position to help our customers take advantage of the benefits.” Cole continued. “MGI’s exciting dimensional and foil decoration features can be produced for either short or long runs. The JETvarnish 3DS “Finishing on Demand” (FOD) function of complete variable personalization and customization helps us reinforce the potential to make each piece different.”
Creativity & Productivity
To help spread the word in the marketplace, the firm now adds JETvarnish 3DS samples and different options to requests for traditional work that comes in the door. The fact that no dies, plates or screens are used also helps improve job turnaround times and the shop’s operational flexibility as well. The MGI Image Editor is another powerful resource since it allows C & T to produce multiple new project versions and variations without the delay of sending files back to the client’s prepress department.
Treasurer Tracy Cole added “We’re now inviting creative folks in the design and agency community to learn about what the JETvarnish 3DS solution can do. It’s gratifying to see how artists and marketing people get energized when their work comes to life in sculpted relief with foil. We want to show everyone how cool this technology is. The possibilities are endless.”