Makings of an Award-Winning Digital Print

A “Dragon-Scale” look gave this print the wow-factor. Sha Jumari speaks to Beijing Zhong Xian Tuo Fang Science and Technology Development Co. Ltd and finds out what goes into producing this print.

One of the more stunning pieces of print to come out of the Asian Print Awards 2018 came from Beijing Zhong Xian Tuo Fang Science and Technology Development Co. Ltd.

Hailing from China, the company won the coveted Gold in the Innovation/Specialty Printing category at the 2018 edition of the Asian Print Awards for its entry titled: “The Art Collections of Beijing Opera Master Mei Lanfang”.

The same entry was also submitted for the Fuji Xerox PIXI Awards in 2017, and it emerged winner of the Art Reproduction category. On top of that, the entry won “Best in Show” in the PIXI awards. This marked the second time the company has been acknowledged.

Beijing Zhong Xian Tuo Fang Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd. was established in 2001, as a subsidiary of Intellectual Property Press LLC. Its core business is in digital publishing. The company also provides professional digital printing, book print-on-demand and content design enhancement services.

“We are so glad and proud to win the Best in Show Award and this is the second time we have achieved this recognition from the PIXI Awards programme,” said a representative from Beijing Zhong Xian Tuo Fang Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd.

The winning entry was a special memorial piece that expresses admiration for the ‘Mei School’, an opera legend in Beijing. The piece commemorates the school for its achievement and contribution to the art scene.

“Our clients’ requirements were for the product to be a combination of creativity, efficiency, cost and quality,” added the company. “With an edge in variable data handling and flexibility, as well as the relatively low volume of production needed, digital printing was our technology of choice.”

An attractive feature of the entry was the ‘Dragon Scale’ effect: “Aiming to create a high collection value, we decided to inject more of a wow-factor by applying the ‘Dragon Scale’ methodology – an ancient Chinese traditional book finishing technique.”

One of the main challenges in producing the piece was printing on delicate 60 gsm rice paper, which would complement the intricate ‘Dragon Scale’ finishing technique.

“Due to the thickness and the texture of the 60gsm rice paper, paper wrinkling was an issue when water-based glue was used for the finishing. Our team had to put in a great deal of effort in testing various kinds of rice paper and glue in order to achieve the results we were looking for. Finally, rice paper with a different roughness on both surfaces and spray glue were used in the final creation of the product,” the company explained.

Due to the nature of the rice paper, the company had to test on several different printers, before finally finding success with the Xerox® iGen® 150 Press. The iGen 150 can handle a range of paper stocks including textured, translucent and even heavy cover-weight papers. With this ability, print service providers can create mixed paper jobs.

“The iGen 150 was able to handle the challenging printing requirements of the job due to its ability to achieve tight registration, high printing speed and excellent paper handling capability. It also displayed great performance in colour management and consistence,” said the company.

The machine can deliver 150 pages-per-minute, or 3,000 26-inch oversized sheets per hour, at a print resolution of 2400x2400dpi. Each page is created with patented image-on-image technology and matte dry ink for vivid colour digital prints.

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