Inkjet! Inkjet. Inkjet?

Inkjet, inkjet, inkjet! Seems as inkjet is the only thing to talk about in the book printing community. I am as anxious as anyone is to see inkjet develop into the “golden technology” that everyone is predicting and in time I’m sure it will. At the moment however I am not ready to sign on the inkjet dotted line. Most if not all of the major digital print companies have or are announcing inkjet solutions and some have great promise however the quality still lacks relative to offset printing. Just in the last week I have spoken to numerous digital print manufacturers who admit the technology has a long way to go both in terms of economic justification and in product quality. What’s more, the true benefit to the publishing community is still unclear. Certainly a publisher can produce fewer copies with inkjet but I’m not sure that problem isn’t already solved. We produce single copy books every day using current digital print technology and the books look great. We will continue to research and investigate inkjet developments; in fact I am flying out to a manufacturer this week to see their newest inkjet press. I’m hopeful to be astonished at the developments but what I suspect I will see is very average quality at an unknown price point with a ton of complexity relative to binding options. Rest assured we will invest when we can translate the technology into a tangible benefit to our publishers at a quality level we can all be proud of. Will we invest this year? I’ll let you know when I get back from my trip this week.

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