In its quest for a competitive edge, C2 Reprographics in Costa Mesa, Calif., was one of the first companies to try LexJet’s Sunset Metallic Photo Paper after it was introduced this summer. C2 Reprographics’ marketing director, Eric Monroe, says the company has been on the lookout for a way to replicate the unique pearlescent qualities of a paper that had previously been available only for chemical process, continuous-tone printing systems like the LightJet.
“I was dying to get this paper because we often compete with companies that have LightJets. We were looking for an inkjet version of that look so that we could compete in that space,” says Monroe.
Now that an inkjet version is available, C2 Reprographics can use its battery of HP Z6100s to produce a similar effect without having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a photographic system. For C2 Reprographics, the paper has made the biggest impact in the architectural market.
“When architects create 3D renderings and modeling for their presentations, you’re seeing a lot of vibrant images, like the colors they use in the buildings, trees and sky. We have one architect who uses it exclusively. At first, I wasn’t thinking of my architect clientele as the main market for this paper, but they really like it,” says Monroe.
Monroe says that making a presentation splash has become increasingly important for architects who have been competing in smaller niche markets in response to the tighter economy of recent years. He says the paper gives the presentations a higher-end, more professional look that makes a difference.
Monroe adds that you should choose images with a lot of contrast to bring out the qualities of the paper that cause it to stand out from the crowd. “I purposely pick images I know will play well with the paper, like the flyer we printed on Sunset Metallic that shows a nighttime cityscape with lots of darks contrasting against reflections and light. If it’s a sterile image on a white background you probably won’t notice the difference, so you should just use a less-expensive paper for those applications,” says Monroe. “We charge more per square foot for prints on Sunset Metallic, and so far that’s flown. No one has said, ‘Wow, that’s too expensive.’ Instead they say, ‘I want to try that, because it gives me a distinctive look.’”