Hitting The Big Screen
The demand for screen printing is on the riseand could be the ticket to a blockbuster summer for package printers.
By Chris Bauer
IT LAYS DOWN ink thicker than the British accents of the Red Coats in the movie "The Patriot." The eye-catching graphics it produces grab your attention faster than Renee Zellweger in "Me, Myself & Irene." It's much quicker than any of the bulging characters in "Big Momma's House," and the quality work it produces will definitely keep your business afloatunlike George Clooney's doomed Massachusetts swordfishing boat, the Andrea Gail, in "The Perfect Storm." Of course screen presses are not usually associated with your local megaplex theater and buttered popcorn, but these analogies between summer cinema and screen give a quick review of how suppliers see the screen printing market.
"Whereas letterpress, water-based flexo, UV flexo, and gravure printing processes were standard choices, the need for more vibrant colors, greater durability, more protection from fading, and thicker protective surfaces have led converters to install screen heads on their presses," explains Gerry Nigg, sales director for Ko-Pack. "Another added feature is the eye-catching raised image."
Label printers are becoming increasingly aware of consumer demands for more specialized labels, particularly bottle-beverage labels, Nigg says. Due to this and other trends, screen printing is becoming a more appealing option.
"We see the health and beauty market as still the largest for screen-printed labels," adds John Costenoble, sales manager for Stork Rotaform. "We are seeing high growth in the beverage marketwines, beers, [and] soft drinks are using screen-printed labels for more eye-catching effects."
The beverage market was well represented in the Labels, Screen category at the recent Excellence Awards judging. One printer, Spear of Mason, OH, swept the category with its beer label entries. Produced on a Kammann press, its screen-printed label work for Coors, Miller Genuine Draft, and Icehouse took home awards for their complex production and overall good looks. (See page 26 for these and other Excellence Awards winners.)