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LETTER TO JOHANNES GUTENBERG – ON DIGITAL FOR MAINSTREAM PRINTING

Monday, 18 July 2016 | By Gerry Mulvaney

 

By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

Dear Johannes,

You probably missed one of the best Drupa shows ever held. I realise that being dead for 548 years does make it difficult for you to attend in person, but your spirit was very much in evidence around the show halls.

What you would have witnessed if you had been there was a fundamental change in the way that people viewed digital printing. No longer an interloper into traditional production processes, now an accepted method of production across a wide variety of applications.

One of your illustrious followers, Benny Landa, summed it up when he was interviewed by the PrintWeek Editor, Darryl Dannelli. He explained that for the last forty years he has been bringing the message that one day all printing will become digital. Finally it seems that it has happened at this Drupa show, visitors were “getting it”. They were coming to the stands of digital vendors like Landa and telling us that digital was the way forward and that they wanted to be part of it.

This is a significant change in attitude!, and in no small part was it driven by the sight of full sized B1 (41 in.) format Nanographic Printing® presses producing offset-litho quality at 13,0000 sheets per hour and with the contents of each sheet changing with every revolution of the press. It was enough to convince most people that they had seen the future of print and whether they were producing cardboard boxes, books, posters or plastic bags, they could see their own future was firmly lodged in the digital age.

It’s Impossible to Hold Back Digital Progress – in the Printing Industry Too

Of course not everyone was happy about this sea change in attitude. Many of the printing industry’s traditional suppliers had a vested interest in keeping digital off the agenda. When you introduced your movable type and printing press in Mainz all those years ago, you will have well remembered the attitude of the scribes whose future you threatened. They were certainly not rejoicing at the wonder of the new technology. And it was the same at the Drupa show.

Johannes Gutenberg and the movable type printing press and Benny Landa with Landa Nanographic Printing<sup>®</sup> Press

Johannes Gutenberg’s movable type press and Benny Landa’s Nanographic Printing® Press

However, the noise from doubters and critics of the new digital processes was drowned out by the chorus of praise from the visitors who could see the quality, speed and format with their own eyes and who queued up to stake a future in digital.

Landa’s print equality equation wall at drupa 2016

The print quality equation wall on the Landa stand at drupa

But like many other different industries and technologies, it is impossible to hold back progress, and with digital technology making inroads into design, pre-press, printing and finishing there are no real areas of your craft that are left untouched by digital technology. Even the craft of metal foiling got a makeover at Drupa, with Benny Landa introducing Landa Nano-Metallography® which puts an end to the huge amount of waste generated by the traditional process.

Landa Nano-Metallography sample on bottle label

Landa Nano-Metallography™ sample

Yet again you would have marveled at how far we have progressed from your movable type and would have relished the atmosphere of innovation and invention. One of these days you really must try to make it back to take a look.

Best wishes,
Gerry


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Landa S10 - Printing Press