Why it pays to get creative with photos and images
Mike Horsten, Marketing Manager Mimaki Europe B.V.
When it comes to taking pictures, I’m like most people: I take hundreds of shots on holiday, then never have time to look at them. What, never?! Yep, because accessing them isn’t as easy as vendors tell us. Sure we can be snap-happy and just bin the lousy shots. But what about the pictures I actually like, what happens to those? More often than not they’re copied from the memory stick to the laptop, and there they remain.
I could send them to a print shop or upload them to an online processor. But they’ll still just end up in some album or photobook, which I’ll file away and bring out a few years. If that.
The thing is, I’d actually like to see my favourite pics every day. Well, there is a solution: print them on objects.
Imagine you could print shots of your children on the back of your iPad or a smartphone cover. Or maybe you’d like to be reminded of that stunning mountain you visited on holiday by personalizing your coffee mug with a photo?
This is something we’ve been making possible the new Mimaki UV printers and dye sublimation devices. They allow consumers to create personal items that make ideal gifts, and enable print houses to generate extra revenue.
Take the Mimaki UJF 3042 flatbed printer, which prints on a 5cm-thick acrylic that I can put on my desk and print my pictures on. I can do this on smart phone covers, pens, lighters and many more products. I can even print photos on glass and wood.
The personalization market is expanding fast, and there’s huge potential for long-term growth. Why? Because we all like personalized stuff – we want to be different and unique.
And there really is not limit to how far personalization can go. For example, I recently had the pleasure of meeting a customer who was making ceramic tiles for the bottom of hotel swimming pools. They were printing on our UV machines, and had a special coating applied to protect the printed tiles.
They could go even further with Mimaki solutions. I could just imagine swimming in the hotel pool in Finland, standing on tiles featuring images of coral reef. And the personalization doesn’t need to end there – the pool could also feature the hotel’s logo. Even the glass doors leading to the pool could be emblazoned with an attractive image or logo.
All of which got me thinking that we should be developing more creative applications. Maybe we’re all too busy to take the time to think creatively. But if we do broaden our creative horizons, we’ll create a win-win situation – consumers get more unique products, and printers boost revenue.
And the great thing is, if you have a Mimaki system you already have everything you need to unleash your creative flair. Indeed, the next time you see someone with a personalized iPhone cover, it could well have been produced by a Mimaki printer.