Ines Hulftegger founded IN_EX design GmbH in Switzerland in 2004. As a photographer and artist herself, Hulftegger identified a commercial opportunity in the supply of high-quality, digital fine art reproductions, and established the company as a platform for providing this service, as well as selling her own artwork.
Hulftegger invested in the Digital Fine Art (DFA) solution from HP, ErgoSoft, and Nikon to streamline her workflow and reduce inefficient use of printing supplies. The solution consists of the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer, the Nikon D3X or D3 camera, and a special DFA edition of the ErgoSoft StudioPrint photo RIP software, powered by HP Artist Software technology.
Almost immediately, Hulftegger was able to fully realise the benefits of the new DFA solution to improve her production workflow and the resulting print quality.
Improving the bottom-line
Hulftegger started her career as a fashion designer, and soon discovered that she had a real talent for photography. Her true passion lies in photographing nature and digitally manipulating the pictures she takes to produce unique and stunning images on canvas.
Reproducing prints of her original work and the work of other artists was seen as a natural expansion for the business and a potentially lucrative revenue stream.
„While we had identified this opportunity to expand the business, the previous processes involved in creating an art reproduction were time consuming and wasteful," explains Ines Hulftegger. „We found that we were spending a lot of time manipulating the images, to ensure an accurate colour match for the original artwork. We'd then need to print the reproduction two or three times, each time correcting the slight colour discrepancies we hadn't seen on screen. This resulted in wasted printing consumables and time."
The solution, Hulftegger concluded, was to install the new Digital Fine Art solution.
Hulftegger says, „The new DFA solution has streamlined our workflow significantly. Now, there are just six stages involved in creating an art reproduction-the six steps to success as we say. Briefly, we photograph the artwork and the background, evaluate the colours and print it out. The previous time spent editing an image has been reduced considerably due to the embedded HP Artist Software, I would say the process is now two or three times faster. The software automatically corrects the light and colours so we only need to print once. This new streamlined approach ultimately translates to cost savings and more time to process jobs, positively impacting our bottom-line."
The embedded HP Artist Software is an HP Dream Color technology system that simplifies the workflow for digital image capture. It automatically corrects for light uniformity, calculates and adjusts colours for accurate printing, and generates a digital image with an embedded custom ICC profile, ready to be printed on the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer.
Components that power the DFA solution
The HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer also enables easy calibration and profiling with its embedded X-Rite spectrophotometer. Together with the ErgoSoft Studio Print v.2008, a powerful, open-architecture colour management system, these three components combine cutting-edge technology with user-friendly functions to ensure consistently high-quality fine art reproductions.
The Nikon D3X camera's 24.5 megapixels FX format CMOS sensor is ideally suited for digital fine art reproduction, delivering image files with outstanding levels of detail and tonal gradation. Coupled with AF-SVR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G, the Nikon camera enables highly accurate, large-format image capture with minimizing the distortion and visual stretching. In addition, Nikon camera control Pro2 software allows instant visual feedback and image processing, increasing the productivity of the shoot and the efficiency of the entire DFA solution.
„The Nikon camera is ideal for high resolution photography and it is very easy to use, even if it's the first Nikon product you've purchased," Hulftegger comments. „The HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer is also very easy to handle, plus, the HP Vivera pigment inks enable us to create prints with exceptional durability and the extended colour gamut delivers outstanding colour accuracy."
The HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer features 12 HP Vivera pigment inks including the HP Quad-black ink set for true neutral greys, and with the addition of HP73 Chromatic Red ink, the printing system achieves 95 percent PANTONE® coverage.(1) HP Vivera pigment inks also produce long-lasting, water-resistant prints for excellent durability.(2)
Better equipped to meet customers' requirements
Often, IN_EX design GmbH customers present the company with challenging tasks. Since implementing the DFA solution, the company has found that it is better equipped to meet these challenges, and deliver the high-quality prints its customers require.
„We were recently approached by an art dealer who wanted to reproduce an ancient Japanese panel, featuring gold and silk detail," explains Hulftegger. „Prior to having the DFA solution, we wouldn't have thought it was possible for an inkjet printer to produce anything close to a true representation of these details. However, using the DFA solution, we believe we have managed the impossible. We photographed the panel and printed it on to HP Satin Canvas, and all the colours reproduced perfectly. The yellow colour, in particular, reflected exactly as if it were gold. The quality of the print was amazing and the customer was extremely happy.
„Having run my business for five years and taken an active interest in digital imagery for even longer, I have never seen such print quality as is achievable with the new DFA system and HP printing materials. It's clear that this outstanding solution brings increased customer satisfaction, which is always at the forefront of our business objectives. There is also no mistaking that this solution has improved the efficiency of our workflow and IN_EX design GmbH is reaping the benefits."
(1) 95% coverage of PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM® and PANTONE GoeTM System, based on HP internal testing (PANTONE approval pending). Please visit www.hp.com/go/Z3200/PANTONE for final results.
(2) Image permanence estimates by HP Image Permanence Lab based on testing on a range of HP photo, fine art, and specialty papers: confirmation tests in progress at Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc.