Sydney’s Momento Pro continues to break new ground. It was one of the the first companies to produce high quality photobooks on-demand in Australia, and it has now launched the Momento Shop, an innovative online self-publishing model that is growing the market for photobooks in both consumer and pro-photographic channels
Both Geoff Hunt, the company’s managing director and a confirmed ideas man, and David Watson, sales and marketing director, have boundless energy and passion for the business. They talk about the opportunities ahead and how the HP Indigo platform that the company uses has delivered a point of difference that continues to allow Momento Pro to go from strength to strength. Late in 2011, the company upgraded its HP Indigo 5500 moving to the latest model, the HP Indigo 7500.
Momento Pro’s proposition is one of quality and Hunt believes this is a primary factor in enabling the company to continue its ascent. He says, “We have positioned ourselves at the top end of the photobook market, so we are not competing in the more crowded low-end space where it is all about the cheapest price and materials. Our customers are more discerning, they want a high quality product they can show their friends or clients. As a result, volume is growing in pro-photography and corporate markets as well as consumer.”
He continues, “In the consumer space, photobooks are seasonal, while the pro-photography market is more consistent. The majority of photobooks are single copy orders, but we do produce volume orders and are seeing uplift in the number of jobs where quantities fall between 100-200 copies.”
Hunt puts this growth down to advances in digital printing technology that allow the cost effective production of smaller quantities. “Companies no longer have to print hundreds of copies to get the best per copy price.
And they don’t have to worry about storage or distribution. As a result, the market is now open to a greater number of players.”
David Watson says corporate clients are producing photobooks for a wide range of purposes, including staff retreats and conferences, or to commemorate a milestone. Momento Pro also produces photobooks for institutions such as museums and galleries as thank you gifts for patrons and sponsors. “And we are seeing an increase in charities using print on demand as a fundraising option, because they don’t have to buy in bulk and incur the potential financial risk of having stock they can’t move.”
While photobooks are still very much the mainstay of the business, and growth is strong, Watson says, “Over the past three years we have introduced an ancillary range of products including diaries, greeting cards and calendars that has resulted in substantial year on year growth.”
Web-to-print plays a major role in the success of the business and streamlining workflow. All jobs come in via the company’s website and customers have a large degree of freedom in designing their product across all categories. For example, with the greeting card range, customers can design their own cards from the templates provided or upload an original design. Once the card layout is complete, it is sent to Momento Pro’s server in a seamless process that sees it directed straight to the HP Indigo without any human intervention. Cards can be ordered as single units, or in multiple lots and are printed on high quality stock at a price point that is comparative to purchasing a generic greeting card in store.
The company’s high-end proposition is backed by the HP Indigo technology, which in Hunt’s opinion produces the highest quality digital print available. “When we started the business we ran a number of prototypes on a variety of presses and decided the HP Indigo technology was the right solution for us. That opinion hasn’t changed and I believe our success in the pro-photography market in particular can be directly attributed to the quality we can achieve with the HP Indigo.”
He concludes, “We installed the new HP Indigo 7500 because it is faster and delivers even better quality and greater flexibility than our previous machine. We need to stay at the pointy end of the market and the HP Indigo enables us to meet that mandate.”
Momento Pro Shop
The Momento Shop is the next step in the evolution of this innovative company as Hunt explains. “We are offering a self-publishing service where there is no minimum order size, and there’s no cost to put your book up on our site. This model enables companies or individuals to list their book in our virtual shop and print copies as they are ordered. Internationally this type of print on demand is a growing trend, as large publishing houses don’t want to keep inventory of all of their titles. We see the print on demand model extending to all books and believe the opportunities for this market are endless especially at the quality end where we sit.”