Breakthrough digital printing  

Breakthrough digital printing  

  • May 19,2020

This is a pioneering age – in a large survey conducted in the UK last week, only 9% wanted life to return back to pre-crisis ‘normal.’ Working from home, social distancing, reduced travel, shopping locally – these are all aspects that have been vitriolically embraced.  But how will the world of packaging and manufacturing look post-pandemic?  

I predict that we will see more brand owners looking for flexible solutions – the ability to easily customise packaging, more control over stock when they need it, greener options and in general, more versatility and adaptability across the process.  A packaging stockist, like P. Wilkinson Containers, can help with every part of that mission.  

There’s one aspect I wanted to cover today and that’s the ability to customise packaging.  

Already we’re able to offer affordable customisation – perhaps using a standard packaging format such as a slip lid tin or a PET bottle but adding a unique label.  However, we’ve been testing a new form of digital printing using Fujifilm’s Acuity B1 inkjet press which could offer even further exciting options.   

 

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Special edition tin design for @canmakersoflondon featuring their iconic founder William Say, described as a ‘wit and inventor’. The historic company is one of the few remaining tin can manufacturers in the UK, they produce tins for Harrods, Fortnums, Lyles Golden Syrup, and Farrow & Ball. Last summer I went to visit the factory at it’s site in Bermondsey and was shown around by Stu Wilkinson, fourth generation in the family business. Carrying on the line of innovation, the factory is powered by renewable solar energy and their tin cans continue to be made in London. Utilising new technology from Fugifilm, these designs were some of the first to be digitally printed onto metal in the UK. 🌿

A post shared by Harriet Lee-Merrion (@harrietleemerrion) on

We worked with award-winning artist and illustrator, Harriet Lee-Merrion, to develop two bespoke designs to trial on lever lid and slip lid tin. Her statement style uses pastel colours and delicate black lines influenced by botanical engraving, surrealism, and Japanese woodblock prints.  

She created a portrayal of our sister can manufacturer’s founder, William Say, with his iconic bowler hat plus another circus illustration with a detailed circus tent, performers and animals Using Fujifilm’s Acuity B1 inkjet press at its Broadstairs facility, we were able to digitally print with precision detail the individual metal sheets required to create these one-of-a-kind tins.  

We’ve also now used this technology for iconic London retailer, Fortnum and Mason, as part of a luxury hot chocolate promotion. The retailer required a short run of promotional tins for a display at its flagship Piccadilly store over Christmas. Importantly the colour needed to match the famous Fortnum and Mason Pantone perfectly and they needed to be delivered within a matter of weeks.  

Using traditional offset printing process would have incurred a high set up cost and taken too long to print which would have made the project unviable. So, Fujifilm’s new printing tech was a natural fit – wactually have a long-standing connection with Fujifilm as we’ve supplied them with cans and plastic tubs the company needs to store its inks.  

The Acuity B1 inkjet press, unlike other traditional forms of printing, was able to print a short run of the metal sheets we needed to create these large promotional tins at a really high quality 

Our can making factory manufactured the tins using solar power at our Bermondsey location, just a stone’s throw away from the product’s final retail destination. At Fortnum and Masons, the large promotional tins which stood at 50cm tall and with their colourful printed designs created an impactful Christmas display.   

These tins combined both heritage and innovation and were the first in the UK to utilise Fujifilm’s breakthrough digital printing technology. Who knows what creativity the future has in store!