Popular applications include photo books, calendars and greeting cards, and according to the Photo Marketing Association (PMA), the value of the custom service market approaches US$1 billion and projections call for it to more than double in the next two years.
Photo books alone generated more than US$200 million of sales in 2005, according to PMA.
The 2006 PMA camera and camcorder digital imaging survey showed that 34 per cent of households that made custom products created photo books. Personalised photographic calendars were the second most popular items at 28 per cent of households.
The new Kodak Nexpress Photo Bundle recently released features a set of components that helps photofinishers and graphic communications providers create valuable photo services products.
The Photo Bundle includes the software and hardware components needed to enhance a Kodak Nexpress system for digital photo applications.
It consists of a Start Up Assist program, a professional service for shortened time to market with photographic products, better operational knowledge for lower cost and improvements on up-time performance.
Hardware products in the bundle include an upgrade for the Kodak’s Nexstation front end to improve throughput of large file sizes and one-off production typical of photographic services applications.
There are also new operator replaceable components that are claimed to enable access to longer peak performance and reduced maintenance.
Software includes premium ICC colour profiles designed for optimum photographic performance of output with one profile tuned for closest reproduction of professional photographic paper tonescale, colour balance, hue and saturation and a second profile tuned for tonescale simulation of photo output but with higher saturation in primaries, added Kodak .
The bundle also provides an add-on module to Kodak’s Professional Digital Print Production software, that is claimed to allow for greater connectivity between professional laboratory workflows and a Nexpress press.
Dry inks with improved fade resistance round out the Photo Bundle.
Important to safeguarding the longevity of any printed colour product, the new inks help reduce the damaging effects of light over time, it is says.
Kodak’s new Nexpress press boosts meanwhile has some added features including in-line booklet making and perfecting capabilities.
The booklet maker for Nexpress presses is available in-line, or off-line, for collating, stitching, folding, trimming, and creating standard or square-back booklets of up to 100 pages.
A variety of finishing options and qualified substrates allow for a range of product configurations and give photo books and other applications a published look and feel, said the company.