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HP has added a new Edge Printing feature to its variable data SmartStream Designer software for Indigo users.
The latest feature for the technology manufacturer’s Smartstream Designer software plugin for Adobe InDesign Version 11, will allow printers to create images on the page edges of books as well as across multiple spines.
Printers can use the feature to create a broad range of effects such as personalised designs that are only visible when the book is closed, that are different according to which angle the book is being viewed from, or only visible when the pages are fanned.
According to HP Indigo Research and Development manager Amir Gaash, although printing on the edge of books is nothing new, the ability to do so in one pass and with such accuracy using this latest update, is.
He said: “This is a tool we ordinarily use for creating variable data and this is a new application for it. Usually it can only be done by using a second printing process where the layers of ink are very thin. It is very difficult and time consuming to do and involves a great number of steps.
“The new feature allows users to select an image, using one simple interface, and divide into tiny slices, according to the number of pages in the book, and print that consecutively onto the bleed area of each page. “This has such huge possibilities in terms of application, not just books. It could be used to print on the side of blocks of show tickets for example, which could also be a security feature,” he added.