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HP Adds New Products to Graphic Arts Portfolio
New HP launches include wide-format inkjet and digital presses

Rome, Italy—HP launched a range of new products for its Graphic Arts portfolio here today. The products range from two new Indigo digital presses, to an HP-branded UV coater, Designjet Z6100, and other specialty printers.

The HP Indigo 5500 is the company's new flagship model digital press, designed for high volume printers. The press uses seven color inks, including light cyan and light magenta, for higher quality photographic output. The Indigo 3500 was designed for smaller press runs, where only one or two digital presses would be the norm.

HP has combined several new solutions to create its new HP Indigo photo package. This includes the HP Indigo Photo Enhancement Server, which was designed to automatically enhance images with regards to sharpening, smoothing, contrast and shadow detail.

Along with those customers who have multiple digital or analog presses in-house, a growing number of photo specialists and prolabs have been incorporating digital printing presses and laser printers into their workflows to be able to create such photo items as photobooks, albums, greeting cards, and calendars in their stores and labs.

"Five years ago, nobody was talking about photo albums," says Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Graphics and Imaging Business, HP. He explained what many in the photo industry are already aware of—that possible revenue from photobooks is higher than it had been for 4x6 prints.

He explained that a traditional photofinisher could add a digital press such as the Indigo for the production of the higher margin photobooks, calendards, greeting cards, and other products that are becoming more popular among today's consumers.

[Editor's note: One such photo dealer who has installed an HP Indigo press in the past year is New Orleans, LA-based Lakeside Camera Photoworks. See the December issue of PTN for more.]

Along with the two new digital presses, HP introduced its own branded UV Coater, the first such finishing product that the company has brought to market.

New Inkjet Printer Uses Pigment Inks for High Quality Output

The newly introduced Designjet Z6100 is intended to offer professional photographers and fine-art printers, as well as photo specialists, minilabs and prolabs, and digital print providers with a new option for wide-format printing. The Designjet Z6100 utilizes eight color HP Vivera pigment inks and is available in 44- and 60-inch models. The inkjet printer features HP's DreamColor Technologies, incorporating an embedded spectrophotometer for accurate, predictable color on a consistent basis.

According to the company, it is the ideal printer for outputting fine-art photographs and other artwork, indoor signage and short-term outdoor signage, maps and renderings.

HP also added two new media to the over 50 original substrates now available for the Z6100.

Six RIP vendors are currently working on solutions for the Designjet Z6100. HP is developing a compatibility certification program linked to the new printer series, and will award such status to vendors after meeting the required compatibility criteria.