(from Neal)

Konica Minolta Partners with CREO Branded Products to Print Personalized Covers of Quick Printing Magazine


PIP Printing’s Burlington, N.C. Center Makes Variable Data Printing Project a Success Using the bizhub PRO C6500 System from Konica Minolta

Ramsey, N.J. – September 30, 2008 – Gearing up for the Graph Expo Conference, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, has partnered with CREO Branded Products to print roughly 44,000 personalized, high-quality magazine covers for Quick Printing’s October issue. One of the largest-ever ventures of its kind, the intense variable data printing project was made possible in part by the PIP Printing and Marketing Services Center, located in Burlington, N.C., which uses the fast and reliable Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C6500 production print system with CREO Color Server technology.

“We want to show Graph Expo attendees just how versatile and reliable our bizhubTM PRO C6500 system is for this marketplace," said Fred Winckler, Director, Key Accounts, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. "This variable data printing project not only highlights those vast capabilities, but it also illustrates the exciting possibilities available to Quick Printing’s large subscriber base of quick and small commercial printers. Namely, it shows the ability for VDP offerings to drive revenue and profit by expanding the sales mix and increasing customer counts."

Subscribers’ names, a graphic of their home state and the distance in mileage from their subscription address to Graph Expo in Chicago are the personalized variable elements. The VDP initiative marks the first time that such a project has been undertaken by Quick Printing magazine’s publisher, Cygnus Business Media, which through its 51 publications in 15 major markets reaches more than 1.7 million print subscribers, nearly 1 million industry professionals via its Custom Marketing services, and attracts almost 2 million unique visitors to its web sites monthly.

“We had tremendous cooperation from everyone involved, and it really made it go as smooth as possible,” said Jimmy Brumley, Owner, PIP Printing and Marketing Services’ Burlington N.C. center, which uses two bizhub PRO C6500 systems and a bizhub PRO 1050e monochrome system from Konica Minolta driven by CREO Color Servers. “We always deliver on what we say we are going to deliver on, and when you do that consistently, it helps you stay ahead of the competition.”

Quick Printing’s October issue is being delivered some three weeks before Graph Expo, which takes place Oct. 26-29 at McCormick Place in Chicago. There, Konica Minolta will be demonstrating their complete line of production print systems and software applications in Booth #4816. Quick Printing will be on hand at Booth 3394, and is confident its readers will quickly notice the personalized covers.

“What will be very interesting will be the reaction of our readers,” says Kelley Holmes, Publisher, Quick Printing, which is the leading source of management, technology, and industry information for the quick and small commercial printing industry. “How will they respond to a digital VDP cover for a magazine that has been printed offset since its inception 32 years ago?”

The covers were varnish coated offline instead of UV coated inline on a web press, which is how they usually are printed. Tom Martin, VP of manufacturing and IT for Cygnus Business Media, added that offset vs. digital quality issue was a non-factor.

“The quality was excellent on the Konica Minolta system,” he said. “It was within the high end of four-color offset and we had no worries about coating. It was a very long run for this kind of project, which is larger than anybody has tried.”

Konica Minolta partnered with CREO Branded Products and together with DARWIN VDP Software made the covers personalized, and provided toner, supplies and made other arrangements with PIP Printing to lower their costs. Around Labor Day, the project started taking shape, with several employees contributing, including Greg Mullis, digital manager for PIP; Jeremy Mitchell production manager, PIP; and Barry Grubbs, a Konica Minolta service technician.

“We are very excited to collaborate with Konica Minolta and Quick Printing on the personalization of the front cover," said Mooki Talby, Director of Worldwide Marketing, CREO Branded products. "The production process involved state-of-the art solutions including the Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C6500 driven by the IC-304, a CREO Color Server and the DARWIN VDP Software. The joint team managed to meet the extremely tight schedule, while exceeding the high quality expectations."

About Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is a leader in advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop. In 2008, Konica Minolta was recognized as the #1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys. For more information, please visit http://www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us.

About Print On-Demand Solutions Group
The Print On-Demand Solutions Group develops and supports high-performance CREO Color Servers and key workflow solutions for a range of digital production printers and presses. It also develops advanced on-demand applications to enable the creation of personalized direct mail, targeted catalogs and other powerful one-to-one marketing communications tools. This independent unit of Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group will continue to help its customers leverage their investment in digital printing. For more information about CREO Color Servers, visit http://www.creoservers.com.

Creo and Darwin are trademarks of Kodak.
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