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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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Custom Printing: Nanography, a Breakthrough Printing Process

I recently have been reading about a breakthrough custom printing process that will be unveiled in a few days at Drupa 2012, known as the “worlds largest trade fair for the printing and media industry.”

The process is called Nanography™, and it has sparked considerable interest and enthusiasm since its creator, Benny Landa, also launched the Indigo digital press back in 1993.

Why It’s So Special

Nanography will target the commercial printing, packaging, and publishing markets with its technology, which combines the varaible data management of digital custom printing with the quality and speed of offset printing, for a significantly lower cost per page than prior options could provide.

Here’s What It Involves

The Landa NanoInk™ used in Nanography contains exceptionally small particles of pigment tens of nanometers in size. (To put this in perspective, a human hair is approximately 100,000 nanometers wide.) Because these NanoInk particles absorb light so well, they provide image quality not seen before in digital or offset custom printing. The Nanographic process provides crisp, exceptionally uniform halftone dots, a high-gloss sheen, and an unmatched CMYK color gamut.

But There’s More

Durability: The process yields an extremely durable and abrasion resistant ink surface.

Varied Printing Substrates: Unlike many other digital commercial printing processes, Nanography allows for printing on coated and uncoated press sheets, recycled carton stock, newsprint, and plastic packaging film. Pretreating the substrate with a special coating is unnecessary, and no post-printing drying process is needed.

Cost-Savings: The thickness of the ink film (approximately 500 nanometers) is about half the thickness of a comparable film of offset ink. This significantly reduces the cost of ink for a job. Combined with the elimination of paper pre-treating costs and post-drying costs, the ink savings will add up to a dramatically reduced cost per page.

Eco-Friendly Process: Less ink benefits the environment. Moreover, the water-based process is also more eco-friendly and energy efficient than prior technologies, due to the combined benefit of reduced consumables and increased printing speed. Also, the Nanographic press is much smaller than other digital presses and tiny compared to offset presses.

Nanographic Presses

Landa Nanographic Printing presses are not just small and fast. They also are varied in their configuration. These commercial printing presses can be used with up to eight ink colors and can produce either 600 dpi or 1200 dpi print output.

The presses also come in both web and perfecting sheetfed versions, so in either case the presses can print both sides of the printing sheet simultaneously. And they’re fast: The sheetfed presses run at 11,000 sheets per hour, while the web presses run at up to 200 meters per minute (over 650 feet per minute).

What Kind of Custom Printing Work Will Reap the Benefits?

Due to the variety of press configurations (i.e., both sheetfed and web), Nanography should make inroads into all areas of custom printing, particularly general commercial work, books and magazines, direct mail work, carton printing, flexible packaging, and labels.

Due to the color fidelity, Nanography should even be appropriate for such aesthetically demanding work as food and cosmetics marketing.

Why Nanography Is Important

  1. One of the reasons electronic and social media have taken a foothold is price. It costs almost nothing to reproduce and distribute an electronic book relative to the cost of a print book. A new process, such as Nanography, that increases printing efficiency and quality while reducing costs holds great promise.
  2. A second reason e-books have taken a foothold is their speed to market. Nanographic presses can compete better with digital media because these custom printing presses are fast.
  3. Since Nanography is a digital, inkjet process, Nanographic presses can produce infinitely variable print pages, allowing for mass customization of printed products.

Why I Believe What I’ve Been Reading About Nanography

The short answer is the Indigo. I have found no better digital press. As a printing broker, I send more and more of my clients’ jobs to commercial printing vendors with Indigo equipment. Without question, Indigo rivals the color fidelity of offset. And if Benny Landa created the Indigo, I can’t wait to see how Nanography will change the custom printing industry.

One Response to “Custom Printing: Nanography, a Breakthrough Printing Process”

  1. admin says:

    Thank you for your comment. I completely agree.

    With electronic media taking precedence over offset and even digital printing in some arenas, I have seen a tremendous push to improve both the speed and the quality of digital printing. I think that the reduction in cost, increase in quality, and varaible data capabilities of the newest equipment bode well for digital printing in the near future as a high-quality, financially viable alternative to paperless, digital media.


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