HP launches SmartStream for designers

By Rhys Handley, Tuesday 07 November 2017

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HP has launched a slimmed-down version of its SmartStream software suite specifically for designers.

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Shrink sleeves for the Smirnoff vodka were specially printed by Berkshire Labels

SmartStream D4D (Designer for Designers) is a light version of its flagship job preparation and personalisation software, allowing designers to plug in different elements that can be randomised to create unique designs. By setting some restrictions, key brand or design identifiers can remain the same across all versions.

At a launch party in London last week, HP showcased the printed results of a brand campaign for Smirnoff vodka using the new software, with collaborators including designers the Yarza Twins, London-based printer FE Burman, Berkshire Labels, and Chippenham-based Image Factory. 

“Our aim with the new software is to show the possibilities of digital printing to brand owners,” said HP global head of brand innovation Nancy Janes.

“Digital print has the ability to make packaging and print more agile and limitless but until now there has been a gap between concept and creation.”

Janes said D4D is well-placed to close the gap in the packaging and labels sector. It began its three-month pilot run on 6 November, with registration open to up to 500 creatives and designers.

Unique to the event, FE Burman was commissioned to print posters on its HP Indigo 12000 and Image Factory used an HP Scitex 17000 corrugated press to create corrugated stand-up figures, as well as other decorations.

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Eva and Marta Yarza with corrugated figures printed by Image Factory and posters printed by FE Burman

Berkshire Labels was tasked with producing the shrink sleeves for the specially-produced bottles of Smirnoff vodka, which were served to attendees, with each individual item sporting a unique design. 

“HP let us play around with all sorts of different formats and processes for this project,” said Eva Yarza.

“We want to use RGB when we print and the colours we chose got us very close – the final results were pretty much what we saw onscreen while designing.

“One day we would love to print on 10 or even 20, colours – maybe that is the next step for digital print.”

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