By Melissa Donovan
Every November, Digital Output announces the top 50 companies and ten honorable mentions for our Readers’ Choice Top 50 awards. Using our lead generation system, DOdirect.net, we compile requests from readers based on their inquiries into vendors and specific products from both editorial and advertisements, as found in the magazine and online at digitaloutput.net.
The results are a snapshot of some of the most interesting and popular products, services, and current trends occurring in the graphic arts. For example, there are a high number of vendors offering fabric, fabric-based printing devices, or tools involved in the textile process. Likewise, rigid board suppliers, flatbed manufacturers, and finishing devices with table beds are prevalent in this year’s list.
If you don’t see your favorite vendor included below, be sure to inquire throughout 2017 on their newest products and services. Your interaction with the magazine—online and in print—drives the Readers’ Choice Top 50!
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. We’ve included information about each vendor here, listed alphabetically. Be sure to flip to the chart on page XX, which includes some of their top products from 2016.
3M Commercial Solutions helps customers worldwide build brands by providing total graphics and light management solutions. The company manufactures or certifies lighting solutions, graphic films and graphic protection, flexible substrates, as well as inks and toners used to create finished graphics that are consistent, reliable, and durable.
Agfa Graphics helps produce powerful messages by making graphic communication solutions more attractive, affordable, and profitable. Working with world-class manufacturers, Agfa provides an innovative and broad portfolio of products and services to help users choose the right hardware, software, consumables, and services that meet their budget and goals. The company offers integrated solutions that can maximize purchase power and put you in a position to profit.
Arlon Graphics, LLC manufactures and markets a full line of high-quality pressure-sensitive cut vinyl, flexible substrates, and print media films for digital imaging, signage, vehicle graphics, and screenprinting. The company is headquartered in Placentia, CA with strategically positioned distribution out of Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.K. to service customers worldwide.
Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. provides a range of high-quality textile and canvas products and is dedicated to helping customers succeed in today’s highly dynamic, ever-changing wide format print media markets through investments in ultra-wide width, state-of-the-art coating, and finishing technologies and comprehensive research and development expertise. A North American leader in innovative textile solutions, Aurora’s print media fabrics are compatible with all of today’s printing technologies, including latex, solvent, UV-curable, dye-sublimation (dye-sub) transfer, and dye-sub direct ink.
Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions features innovative products for digital and screen and cut print platforms. New vinyl films and adhesive technologies bring promotional graphics such as signage, exhibits, displays, car wraps, and bus graphics to longer term, durable applications such as fleet markings, backlit signs, vehicle color change, and architectural graphics to life.
Caldera is a software company with almost 25 years of experience in developing, marketing, and supporting high-quality technological software for wide format imaging with a commitment to increasing productivity, cost efficiency, and color output. The company’s suite of award-winning, production-orientated print and print-to-cut workflow programs offers color management, imaging, and driving solutions for large and grand format peripherals.
Canon Solutions America (CSA), Inc., a Canon U.S.A. Company, provides industry leading enterprise, production, and large format printing solutions, supported by professional service offerings. Helping customers stay ahead of print industry trends, CSA provides companies of all sizes with cutting-edge technology supported by the Canon and Océ brands. With a robust large format print portfolio, CSA helps customers turn speed and high-volume large format production into profit with a dynamic suite of applications, media, and equipment fit to meet demanding business needs. Discover the next level in large format productivity starting today.
CET Color is an award-winning pioneer in wide format UV printing. Founded by a print shop owner, the company draws on its firsthand experience to innovate flatbed and hybrid printers that offer both quality and efficiency at an unbeatable value. CET’s Q5-1000h 126-inch hybrid printer won the 2014 SGIA product of the year award, and its newest K2-Series features state-of-the-art 4.25-inch Kyocera printheads equipped with 2,656 nozzles each. With field upgradeability and custom configuration options, CET takes businesses to new heights.
Coveris Advanced Coatings’ Digital Imaging Division offers innovative products for wide format printing. It is best known for its award-winning Magic portfolio of digital imaging media and inks. Featuring distinctive coatings, Magic provides media compatible with most water-based, latex, UV-curable, solvent, and eco-solvent inks.
DreamScape, a division of Roysons Corporation, is a leading manufacturer of textured digitally printable or special effect wallcoverings and protective topcoats. With over 35 years of experience in the wallpaper industry, the company offers the largest selection of high-quality certified, Class A commercial grade vinyl and PVC-free wallcoverings for residential and commercial applications available in rolls for solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable, and latex printers.
Drytac is an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, including graphic films, window films, double-sided tapes, self-adhesive print media, label stock, industrial adhesives, and heat-activated and pressure-sensitive laminates and mounting adhesives.
Durst Image Technology US LLC is a world-class manufacturer of professional wide and grand format digital UV inkjet printers for today’s imaging industry. The company’s products are designed for performance, reliability, and longevity—offering the highest print quality, productivity, flexibility, and efficiency. Learn more about Durst product offerings and discover new business opportunities. Depend on Durst—a global leader in industry printing innovation.
EFI is a global technology company leading the worldwide transformation from analog to digital imaging. It is passionate about fueling customer success with products that increase competitiveness and boost productivity. To do that, the company develops breakthrough technologies for the manufacturing of signage, packaging, textiles, ceramic tiles, and personalized documents, with a range of printers, inks, digital front ends, and a comprehensive business and production workflow suite.
EnCore Products manufactures foamboard for digital printing, screenprinting, point of purchase displays, exhibits, cut graphics, indoor signage, and dry mounting. The EnCore Foam Board line includes White, Colors, Black on Black, White-Black-Black, Permanent Pressure Sensitive, Repositionable Pressure Sensitive, SingleStep Activated, MightyCore Rigid, PilloCore, DuraPrime, and Design Boards. All products are made in the U.S. and available in a variety of size and thickness combinations.
Epson America, Inc. offers an extensive array of award-winning image capture and image output products for business, commercial print, graphic arts, photographic, signage, direct to garment, and fabric production.
Esko is a global supplier of integrated solutions for signs and displays and packaging. The range of Kongsberg cutting tables tackle the production of signage, displays, and the finishing of normal printed materials. Dedicated prepress software allows companies to work faster without sacrificing quality.
Fisher Textiles is a leading supplier of fabrics for dye-sublimation, latex, solvent, and UV printing. Its reputation and pride in providing quality textiles with unsurpassed service is reflected in over 25 years of experience. The company’s capital investment of inventory and three warehouse locations allow it to fill just-in-time requirements. It stands behind its products and takes pride in providing some of the best fabrics in digital printing.
FLEXcon believes that relationships matter and that’s why it sells direct. With over 60 years of industry knowledge and experience in pressure-sensitive films and adhesives, customers benefit by collaborating with the company to gain a sharper competitive edge.
Fly Digital Print is a trade-only large format printer. It offers a full line of large format products using only branded media and original inks. Great prices, incredible service, quick turns, and a no banding lines guarantee.
Fujifilm North America Corporation, the Graphic Systems Division, delivers solutions for workflow, consultative services, remote monitoring, color standardization and G7 implementation, pressroom products, CTP, proofing, digital printing, wide format packaging, labels, and specialty printing. Fujifilm also manufactures and distributes Sericol inks and is a leader in the development of UV inks for screenprinting, narrow web, and large format digital printing.
Gans Ink and Supply Co. is a trusted choice for a full-service ink manufacturer and supplier in the printing industry for over 65 years. Recently Gans brought that legacy experience to wide format and became an authorized dealer for HP latex printers, Graphtec cutters, and Gfp laminators. The company is proud to take its place as a full-service integrator for all sign, banner, wrap, and specialty wide format products.
HP, Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. HP’s Graphics Solutions Business reinvents high-value and high-volume printing so that its customers can reinvent their possibilities and the possibilities of their own customers.
InkTec develops and supplies various high-quality inks for digital printers. These are based on the inkjet technology used in everything from regular office printers to actual photos in the outdoors. Additionally, InkTec develops a UV-curable inkjet printer, Jetrix, and high-quality UV ink with cutting-edge technology in inkjet.
INX Digital delivers technologies that drive digital growth all over the world. Integrate digital technology into an existing operation or expand and improve current digital capabilities with INX Digital. Combining the ink formulating expertise of INX with leading Evolve, Prodigy, and Triangle brands makes INX Digital an unequaled source for products, technologies, systems, consultation, and services to help reach new levels of digital production excellence. The company offers services and manufacturing with operations based in China, Europe, and the U.S.
Kapco Graphic Products is a manufacturer and converter offering digital media for water-based inkjet and solvent, latex, and UV printers; mounting adhesives; laminates and backers; sign; vinyl; and supplies. Adhesive-backed, water-proof, and specialty vinyl, banner, canvas/fabric, film, and paper inkjet media; and vinyl, banner, film, canvas, and paper solvent media plus PSA UV and thermal laminates in four finishes are available.
Katz Americas is a producer and converter of wood pulpboard. Its products are eco-friendly, contain pre-consumer recycled content, and are fully recyclable. According to the company, it provides a superior alternative to foam and plastic display options.
LexJet is a one-stop, direct source for equipment, materials, and software used to print fine art, photography, point of purchase, trade show displays, and commercial graphics. Dedicated to total convenience and personal customer service, LexJet provides one day ground delivery to most of the continental U.S., online ordering, highly trained account specialists, free and unlimited product and technical support, and extensive educational resources.
Lintec Corporation is a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive films for visual marking, signage, and architectural window applications. It specializes in optically clear, frosted, and textured films for display, point of purchase, and window graphics. The company offers a range of laminates, mounting, and printable films.
Mactac Distributor Products’ applications include indoor-outdoor signage, vehicle wraps, trade show displays, and wall environmental graphics. In fact, for more than 50 years, Mactac has been at the forefront of product development for digital printing, mounting, laminating, screenprinting, and cut vinyl needs. Rely on the company for industry-leading quality and unmatched service, and trust it has the next up-and-coming innovation to transform business. That is its unwavering commitment to its customers.
Magnum Magnetics is a U.S. manufacturer of flexible magnetic sheeting, strip, and custom profiles. It offers printable magnetic sheeting for multiple printing presses including offset, flexographic, inkjet, and digital. The company takes the time to understand an application before recommending a magnetic solution.
Marabu North America draws on more than 150 years of experience in developing inks and coatings. Its product line includes MaraJet digital printing inks, ClearShield water-based coatings, the StarLam liquid laminator, and Marashield UV-curable coatings. The company’s success is built on not just high-quality products but its ability to work with customers to offer tailor-made solutions to their printing and coating needs.
Master Magnetics, Inc.—the Magnet Source—features a robust line of magnetic assemblies, flexible magnetic sheeting, magnetic receptive, and magnetic strip. Ideal for signmaking, vehicle graphics, and point of purchase displays, PrintMagnetVinyl and FlexIRON—printable magnetic sheeting and receptive—works with most large format standard inkjet printers and plotters. Celebrating 40 years of excellence, Master Magnetics is one of the best sources in the magnetic field.
Media One is a full-service provider for large format inkjet. Its specialty is print manufacturers with production environments in the textile printing segment. The company covers the whole workflow from equipment, RIP software, color management, finishing equipment, consulting, and consumables—textiles, inks, and films. It offers full nationwide technical support. Media One is an industry leader for textile printing solutions and its clientele are some of the most recognized companies in the industry.
Mimaki USA, Inc. is an innovator and a pioneer in the development of digital printing and cutting products worldwide. The company engineers and manufactures a complete line of digital printers and cutters, and offers a total workflow solution for the many applications found in sign and graphics, textile and apparel, and industrial. In 2014, Mimaki USA celebrated 15 years of serving customers in the Americas.
Mutoh America, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of wide format printers and plotting cutters. It is home to the ValueJets, Mutoh’s line of inkjet printers known for quality, speed, and Smart Printing technologies.
Newlife Magnetics LLC is one of the world’s largest flexible magnet and print media manufacturers specializing in wide format magnetic media. It makes printable magnet sheeting up to 48 inches wide. The company manufactures the Maco Magnetics Display System consisting of Ino-Steel + Wall-Mag or Mag-Paint. Cling-King print media adheres to smooth and non-porous surfaces without any adhesives. It is ideal for window graphics and car signs. Cling-King is available in white, transparent, and frosted in 100-foot rolls by 50-inch widths.
OKI Data Americas serves sign and graphics, production, and specialty printing with OKI ColorPainter wide format printers as well as its innovative line of professional digital production devices for short-run, on demand commercial applications. ColorPainter printers use inks that last longer outdoors, cost less per square foot, and provide industry-best color density and image quality at fast real-time speeds.
Onyx Graphics, Inc. celebrates over 25 years of innovation and is dedicated to helping customers increase productivity, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge with superior print and color quality. Innovative, productive, and satisfied customers around the globe motivate Onyx to continually develop and enhance its technologies. Longstanding relationships with printer manufacturers position the company as a market leader in powerful, reliable, large format printing workflow software.
Orafol Americas Inc., a subsidiary of Orafol Europe GmbH, is a leading global manufacturer of premium vinyl graphic products, reflective solutions, and adhesive tape systems used in signage, graphics, industrial, and traffic and safety applications. The company’s distribution network spans Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S.
Pacific Coast Fabrics (PCF) is a pioneering provider of digital print textiles, in wide and grand format, for direct disperse, dye-sublimation, latex, UV, and a full line of fabrics for pigment printing. All of its fabrics are developed to the company’s high-quality and performance standards. Many of its premium fabrics are offered with flame repellant coatings. PCF is proud to be a global partner with Georg+Otto Friedrich, one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of digital warp knit fabrics. PCF also stocks fabrics for performance and fashion apparel as well as home furnishings and frame systems.
Palram is a leading manufacturer of Palight foam PVC, Palclear transparent PVC, and Palsun polycarbonate sheets and coils for sign and graphics. All products are optimized for digital printing, display, and fabrication work. With over 50 years of expertise in the industry, Palram has established manufacturing, distribution, and sales operations across seven continents and 120 countries around the world. Products sold in the U.S. are marketed through a network of authorized distributors.
Perception Wide Format Media, a brand of Worthen Industries, is based in Nashua, NH, and is a family-owned, ISO 9001 certified manufacturer of specialty coated canvases and fabrics designed for the graphic arts. Its mission is simple—consistently manufacture and deliver the highest quality, innovative America-made craft wide format media. The company is committed to responsible manufacturing and environmental sustainability throughout its operations and is a patron of SGP.
Qué Media, Inc., for almost 20 years, has grown to become a distinguished global coating manufacturer of aqueous, solvent/eco-solvent, and latex digital print media for display graphics, point of sale advertising, and photo reproduction. Its expertise has been most influential in wide format and color laser. With regards to wide format, it currently coats substrates such as polypropylene, PVC, backlit film, fabrics, banner material, and multi-layered PET film in addition to a full line of pressure-sensitive laminates.
Ritrama is an international group of companies dedicated to the worldwide manufacturing of specialty and commodity self-adhesive materials. The company is a worldwide manufacturer of pressure-sensitive graphic films with a reputation for performance and value. The commitment of Ritrama is to provide excellent quality, innovation, and worldwide service.
Roland DGA Corporation offers an award-winning lineup of wide format inkjet printers and integrated printer/cutters equipped with eco-solvent, sublimation, and UV inks, including SOLJET, TrueVIS, VersaCAMM, VersaUV, VersaEXPRESS, VersaStudio, and Texart models. All Roland inkjets come bundled with powerful, yet easy to use RIP software, and several models offer specialty ink options, including white, metallic silver, light black, and clear coat.
SA International is recognized as a global leader in providing complete, professional solutions for signmaking, digital printing, and CNC machining for users.
Signs365 is a trade-only grand format wholesale printer. It offers 24 hour standard production with overnight, anywhere shipping to trade professionals and graphic artists.
Top Value Fabrics is a leading supplier of quality print media. With over 40 years of success in the textile industry, it offers a complete line of printable banner media including digital and screen banner, specialty textiles, and dye-sublimation for indoor and outdoor use. The company supplies a wide selection of frontlit, backlit, blockout, PET, water based, mesh, PP, and specialty textiles in standard and custom widths from 38 to 197 inches, manufactured to its specifications.
Ultraflex Systems, Inc. celebrates being recognized as an international innovator and leader in PVC and specialty substrates for 25 years. With a commitment to progress, quality, and product development, Ultraflex continually adds and modifies formulas to offer a variety of materials to meet the ever-changing needs of the global market. The growth and success of Ultraflex is due to the knowledgeable sales team and customer service specialists who guide customers to the appropriate product choice for their application. Ultraflex services Canada, Latin America, and the U.S. through six North American warehouses and a network of highly trained distributors. With over 70 items, customers are guaranteed to find the ideal fit for any application.
Zünd, a leading manufacturer of digital flatbed cutting systems, offers multifunctional, high-productivity cutters/routers with numerous tools and automated material-handling options for processing printed/unprinted materials up to ten feet wide. Designed for maximum versatility and modularity, GS3/S3 and now D3 cutters are powered by Zünd Cut Center, an end-to-end workflow suite including automatic quick response code capture that makes Zünd cutting systems efficient and easy to use.
Ten vendors also made the cut under honorable mention—congratulations to them! Again, we’ve included information on each company below, listed alphabetically.
Advanced Greig Laminators, Inc. is a manufacturer of high-quality laminating equipment and a provider of laminates and media solutions.
Alpina Manufacturing offers LED light box, Flip-up, Slide-in, or Banner Grip Frames made in any size or quantity to hold graphics or banners. Change graphics without removing frames from wall with a beautiful presentation at a low cost. Frames are for indoor or outdoor use.
Condé Systems, with an emphasis on dye-sublimation (dye-sub) technology and the sublimation printing process, offers everything needed to produce and market personalized products including dye-sub transfer systems and supplies, heat transfer systems, heat presses, blank imprintable products, production software, and a huge collection of educational and instructional videos. Find out how creating personalized photo gifts and awards can help your business be more profitable.
DigiFab Systems is an innovative developer and manufacturer of equipment for digital printing, supplies, and software. The product lines currently include inkjet printers, heat presses, steamers, inkjet inks, paper, fabrics, and CAD-RIP software for textile and graphics applications. DigiFab is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and conducts business globally.
GCC, founded in 1989, is a worldwide leader and manufacturer of cutting plotters; laser engravers, markers, and cutters; and UV inkjet printers for various applications such as signage and advertising, personalization and identification, gifts and promotions, apparel, and electronics. Headquartered in Taiwan, GCC has branch offices in China, Europe, and the U.S.
Graphics One is a leading developer and international distributor of professional digital imaging products. It has established distribution in over 60 countries, with offices in Colombia, Mexico, and the U.S. Graphics One provides a worldwide network offering in-country installation, service, and technical advice in support of its products.
PhotoTex Group, Inc. is an exclusive distributor for the original patented Photo Tex self-adhesive removable material. Photo Tex is distributed through a worldwide dealer network. This material can be printed on any inkjet, DI, or lithographic equipment. It does not shrink, rip, or wrinkle in any climate and can be easily removed, reused, and repositioned over and over again. Install for a day or a decade. Now offering Block Out and High Tack versions.
Screen USA is long known as a dominant player in CTP and workflow, and is now a leading manufacturer of production class inkjet print engines helping customers grow revenue, decrease cost, and find new business opportunities in diverse markets with inkjet printing technology for high-speed continuous, wide format, and label and packaging platforms.
Verseidag US is a manufacturer and distributor of more than 50 PVC coated, laminated vinyl, and textile substrates for solvent, latex, UV, aqueous, screenprint, transfer/direct dye-sublimation, and flexible sign applications. A versatile offering ranging from 36 to 196 inches wide, seamless goods are available at a number of warehouse locations throughout North America.
VKF Renzel USA Corp. offers Aluminum Poster Snap Frames, which bring an upscale look to any business, office, or home. The sleek, aluminum finish of the poster frame highlights advertisements and graphics while displaying a unique and contemporary look.
Signing Off for 2016
Congratulations again to all of this year’s Readers’ Choice Top 50 winners! Thanks to product introductions from these vendors the graphic arts continues to grow into new markets and expand its presence in existing ones. DO