Premier Communications Group

Azuna: a New Frontier for Print Design

Transilwrap's Azuna 3-D Material on the cover of Graphic Arts
Yesterday’s daily production meeting at PCG came with an added bonus when Randy shared the final result of a recent project involving our client, Transilwrap, Inc. Through our various PR connections, we were able to secure a prominent feature on the cover of the February 2010 edition of Graphic Arts Monthly magazine, showcasing Transilwrap’s newest dimensional substrate. Far from your father’s print cover, this breathtaking 3-D piece (click to enlarge, though viewing it digitally truly doesn’t do it justice) was produced through a cooperative arrangement between Transilwrap and Azuna, LLC, a new media company with patented, cost-effective 3-D print technologies.

Throughout the meeting, we ruminated over the magazine and a handful of other print samples that our team created and produced highlighting the 3-D print technology. Is it possible that these types of innovations can save print? Indeed, it would take a near-miracle for this alone to boost magazine and newspaper subscriptions to their previous heights. But it’s clear that new doors can be opened.

Both the television and movies industries have reacted to growing public thirst for the enhanced illusion of depth perception by rolling out 3-D televisions and installing 14,000 digital projection systems in theaters across North America throughout 2010 and beyond. Whether or not the 3-D craze in these mediums is sustainable remains debatable. However, here are some reasons why the technologies could be a game changer for the print industry:

Marketing/Branding. When you view a television show or movie you are left with memories, but print leaves you with a tangible object to refer to. The most important part of an initial meeting with a potential client (next to the pitch, of course) is how things end—the lasting impression. You don’t want your business card dropped into the bottom of a desk drawer—you want that prime spot near the top. How to achieve this? On one side, memorable, eye-grabbing images that market your brand in new ways; then a laminated flipside containing vital business contact information. In much the same way, postcards and direct mail pieces, once limited by their print medium, will now be able to take on new life.

Advertising. The technology needs to be tested further, but the potential is vast. Companies will be able to grab the attention of would-be buyers with unprecedented effectiveness through point-of-purchase, ad inserts, indoor/outdoor signage and other printed material.

Displays. Those who have worked at conventions or trade shows know that the events tend to turn into nonstop meetings, which is a good thing. Depending on the size and scope of the show, the number of exhibitors can range from a few dozen to hundreds, with crowds so large that many get lost in the mix. Using captivating, unforgettable 3-D graphics on displays will bring the desired attention to your brand.

The four-color print pieces, which contain three to five perceptual 3-D image layers, are made from recycled polypropylene and are recyclable. This new and exciting nontoxic medium overshadows existing products, such as lenticular, through a more simplified and cost-effective print process.

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