Andrew Cook of AJC Printing noticed when CLIQXTM embossed the cover of Australian print trade journal, ProPrint. 'I was amazed with the quality of the work,' he says. He picked up the phone and started talking to inventor and printer, Allan Fawcett, straight away.
He flew from Melbourne to Sydney to watch the technology in action and was convinced it was what he needed to broaden his businesses potential.
AJC Printing has been established for 18 years. Andrew was excited by the ease of implementing a product that would essentially create a whole new offering to his clients without requiring training or heavy investment on his part. 'We already had the equipment to do letterpress printing (which I have a background in). The attractive thing about the product is that it's an attachment that can get us into a market we weren't already in without needing outsource the work.'
Some years ago, letterpress printer Alan Fawcett and his wife Ange O'Dea began investigating the possibility of turning CLIQXTM into a reality. The pair has invested heavily in research and development, lodging patents for the CLIQXTM technology in Australia, USA, Europe and Japan.
'Embossing used to be considered an exotic black art, but it's not. It's now something everyone can offer to their clients. The cost-effectiveness of CLIQX TM allows you to offer a value-add to your customers,' O'Dea told her industry peers at the Lithographic Institute of Australia night last year.
For businesses like AJC Printing which before introducing CLIQX outsourced embellishments like embossing, the impact on their bottom line is evident straight away. Cook believes the cost of the block for a CLIQXTM job is 50% what it would be with a traditional embellisher and, of course, there's no more middle man. But the major difference for Cook is that in the last 18 months of using the technology, he has produced a higher quality of workmanship that he didn't think his business would ever have the capability to achieve.
'I have been in the industry a long time. I started when I was 15 and I'm 45 now, so you can do the math. But in that time, I have seen plenty of embossing but I haven't seen it as good as that [CLIQXTM embossing]. The crispness of it; it's just very different. Normally with embossing it has rounded edges but this is sharper and jumps out,' he says. 'It's been a big surprise that we can do it.'
The product fits AJC Printing's Heidelberg Cylinder and Heidelberg Platen, and he run the jobs himself, 'Once you get the hang of the technique, it's very easy.' It was just 18 months ago when Andrew first took on the CLIQXTM license but his customers, who range from local businesses to corporate companies, have already noticed the difference and the word is spreading. Andrew is able to hold AJC Printing embossing jobs up against his competition's work, and the difference is visibly clear to his clients. He notes that many of them are rediscovering embossing and its creating something of a revival of the craft, 'Clients who have been producing yearbooks or annual reports each year have suddenly forgotten spot UV, which they have been doing for the last five years and they say "I want that," when I show them our embossing.'
Andrew has never considered entering his print work into industry competitions but this is now something that he definitely sees on the cards. His clientele is expanding into graphic designers and advertising agencies which is something of a coup for the printer. For a company that has prided itself for 18 years on being small but unique CLIQXTM has offered AJC Printing a viable edge in a market that demands innovation for businesses to remain relevant.