20 May 2024
Digital GIS mapping aids and compliments HALO’s task, and that depends on sophisticated hardware and software.

HALO Trust: Mapping the world’s minefields

Thirty years ago Afghanistan was under Soviet occupation and thousands of civilians were being killed or injured by landmines – landmines which also prevented the return of tens of thousands of refugees.

Esko's 3D packaging design software Studio 16 given a makeover

Esko Studio 16 3D design LFR

Esko has given 3D packaging design software Studio 16 its very own makeover with the launch of Esko Studio 16, part of the Esko Software Platform 16. Studio is a unique set of tools for 3D packaging design made for all packaging artwork professionals. With Studio you are virtually holding the pack in your hands.

Since 2006, Studio has been installed by thousands of packaging professionals, from small design agencies and freelance designers to the largest global brand owners. Studio has helped users produce better packaging designs, whether designers are trying out different ideas and want virtual mockups fast, or prepress operators are checking graphic positioning and reverse print. Creating this artwork for presentations, marketing campaigns or e-commerce is done with the artwork print production data and eliminates the need for separate packaging artwork creation in other software.

Esko Studio adds packaging 3D functionality to Esko’s Adobe® Illustrator® packaging workflow. "Unlike other solutions, designers and prepress operators don’t have to leave their design tool of choice. They are able to make very advanced 3D design actions within Illustrator - a platform they are very familiar with. Since ten years, Studio has been helping trade shops, converters and brands offer their customers a faster route to market for product design - and it continues to be the worlds’ most powerful and popular packaging 3D design and store visualization tool,” states Chris Stowe, Esko’s Product manager 3D solutions. “It eliminates the need for physical mock ups and reduces the approval process via instant online collaboration. Ultimately this means the time from design to production is much faster and cost effective. Creating test versions, new promotions and product variations can be designed and visualized at the touch of a button.”

“The benefits of Studio encourage designers to experiment with different ideas and allow prepress operators to do quality checks on graphics positioning, reverse print and other production critical elements," comments Stowe. "Users can quickly check finishing effects, create realistic visuals, see more details in pack shots and speed up the production of pack shots.”

Over the past year, Esko has accumulated feedback from its large base of Studio users and now has released a significantly advanced version, all focused on higher efficiency and working speed. The new features of Studio 16 include:

  • The ability to create 3D compositions 50% faster, thanks to new user tools such as snap to align while moving, vertical collision edge and detection, and a nudge tool for fast manipulation.
  • Fast artwork application in scenes, so designers can apply different artwork to the same structures in product line ups and multi-product combinations.
  • Studio 16 includes tools to select materials and apply print effects. Users can quickly check finishing effects by using a switch to turn on and off - and compare - finishing, to see how finishing effects apply and perform in isolation.
  • Faster creation of realistic visuals, with the ability to add and adjust realistic floor shadows and light source angles.
  • A faster way to create and output very high-resolution pack shots by adding automated scripting in Adobe Illustrator with new export options. The software is able to display barcodes; pricing and other metadata associated with each of the imported products. Even fine text is legible, and poster-sized images can be created. These are particularly helpful for artwork repurposing such as marketing and campaign use - creating product images even before a single package is produced.
  • Users can view stunning virtual packaging anytime, anywhere, on the web using HTML5 3D Studio Viewer. The mobile and desktop versions of the viewer are free and can be found here.


Studio is available in two bundles: Studio Essentials to create cartons, bottles, trays and displays; and Studio Advanced for agencies or departments that need to handle every packaging shape imaginable, including difficult to create realistic flexible bags and shrink sleeves. Studio is part of Esko Software Platform 16, released in July 2016.

Berkshire Labels’ “Passion for Getting It Right” drives investment in Esko HD Flexo

Esko Berkshire signs LFR

Berkshire Labels, one of the largest privately-owned label companies in the UK, has invested in next generation HD Flexo from Esko to improve flexographic print quality for all customers and increase throughput. It has also enhanced the company’s ability to expand into shrink sleeves, a relatively new market. In addition to shrink sleeves, Berkshire Labels serves a wide range of markets with self-adhesive labels and reel-fed filmic labels. Markets served include food, beverages, toiletries horticulture, nutraceuticals, security and promotional items.

The latest investment in Esko solutions includes a CDI Spark 4835 flexo plate imaging system with Full HD Flexo and Studio Toolkit for Sleeves to enable Berkshire to provide 3D proofs to shrink sleeve customers as well as to fully pre-distort sleeve artwork in-house. This latest investment is part of a company-wide investment programme in digital production. A long-term Esko customer, Berkshire Labels also uses Esko Automation Engine and DeskPack to support its full-service offering. Automation Engine is Esko’s workflow server. It automates prepress tasks, which speeds up the process, but also reduces the error rate and the need for operator intervention. Deskpack is a collection of packaging prepress plugins for Adobe® Illustrator® and Adobe Photoshop®. With these plugins, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop become full-fledged packaging prepress applications.

Managing Director Paul Roscoe explains: “Our objective was to fully upgrade our flexo technologies to bring them in line with the digital investments we have made over the last six years. Our goal, as always is to ensure perfect color consistency across all our printed products, regardless of the technology used to produce them. Esko solutions are a critical element of our Closed Loop Full Colour Management System that enables us to achieve those objectives.”

In addition to the Esko investments, Berkshire Labels updated its proofing system; installed new GTT anilox rollers across all presses; is now using new ISO Puretone Inks; and has implemented X-Rite InkFormulation Software, Color iQC and eXact spectrophotometers.

Roscoe says: “Stepping up to provide Full HD Quality to all of our customers is something we have clearly been focused on. It’s great that we can now provide this level of quality for our full range of products, be it labels, sleeves or film, with the same quality on both digital and flexo runs.

“Upgrading to Full HD Flexo has enabled us to ‘think digitally’ when outputting flexo plates. The higher optics and increased speeds have improved our productivity significantly. The Full HD Flexo screening has allowed us to improve our quality to the highest level of print for all customers, regardless of the product type we are providing. Especially in shrink sleeves, a relatively new market for us, we are achieving fantastic results and able to do everything in-house.”

Studio Manager James Taylor adds: “Due to the new Full HD Flexo CDI being able to hold very small dots (<1%), our output has increased dramatically, by as much as 80% in some cases!  Adopting this new technology has delivered some great results for both ourselves and our customers.”

For more details please visit www.esko.com.

CHILI publish to highlight Asian expansion at drupa 2016

CHILI publish LFR

Having established successful operations in Europe and North America, CHILI publish has expanded its operation into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market. In addition to the company’s geographic expansion, CHILI publish has also announced support for Asian languages in the most recent update of its signature technology, the CHILI publisher online editing solution. Together, these developments extend the power of CHILI publish to brand owners, advertisers and marketers in Asia who are seeking to enhance the way their products are customised, produced and distributed online.  

CHILI publish’s expansion into the APAC market comes at time of great opportunity. Increasingly, this market is demanding fast-paced, shorter runs that are highly personalised. CHILI publisher is the ideal solution to support the production of these types of products, providing a robust online editing experience that can be integrated into a wide variety of workflows.

Guiding growth in Asia

Leading CHILI publish’s expansion into the region is Richard Watson, a skilled business development professional with over twenty years of experience opening and growing markets for graphic arts companies in the APAC region. Most recently, Mr. Watson served as Vice President of Sales for Taopix, the leading photo book and photo gift software platform. In this role, Mr. Watson was responsible for successfully growing Taopix’s market presence in the APAC region.

Kevin Goeminne, CEO of CHILI publish said: “CHILI publish is ready to introduce the APAC market to the best online editing technology in the world. But to gain success in this market, we needed a guide who could help us to navigate this expansive opportunity. Richard is that guide. His knowledge of the industry, people and the region, combined with his proven success in business development, gives us exactly the resource we need. With Richard in place, I can confidently say that CHILI publish is open for business in Asia.”

Transforming the e-commerce experience in Asia

CHILI publish has also announced that the newest version of their software, CHILI publish 5.0, now includes support of Asian languages for direct creation and editing in CHILI publisher. In this release, Chinese, Korean and Indonesian are supported, with more languages to follow. Output of these documents to PDF and InDesign Mark-Up Language (IDML) is also supported.

This new language capability, combined with expansion of the company, means CHILI publish stands ready to give companies in the APAC region the resources they need to transform how documents and other materials are created and managed.

Mr. Watson concludes: “The open architecture of CHILI publisher means that it can be integrated into any e-commerce solution. This easy integration, combined with robust features like 3D viewing and an intuitive user interface, dramatically expands the types of experiences brand owners in Asia can offer their end-user consumers, while opening up new financial benefits. It gives brands a whole new way of looking at their e-commerce experience.”

To learn more about CHILI publish’s expansion into Asia, visit CHILI publish in stand F40 in hall 7a at drupa 2016 from May 31 till June 10 at the Messe Düsseldorf, or contact CHILI publish at http://www.chili-publish.com/contact/drupa2016.

Contex adds HP PageWide XL Printer driver to Nextimage’s supported devices

Contex Adds HP PageWide XL Printer Driver to Nextimage's Supported Devices

The Market’s Fastest Wide Format Scanners Can Now Pair With the Market’s Fastest Printer.

Flexi 12 software now available from Graphtec GB

flexi 12

The new and massively upgraded Flexi 12 software program from leading international provider SA International is now available in the UK from Graphtec GB. It will add a host of new design and production capabilities to existing Flexi offerings and has been introduced to coincide with the recent release of Microsoft Windows 10 whilst remaining fully compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 and 8. Of special significance is that Flexi 12 is available free to all existing Flexi subscribers, thus providing access to arguably the most comprehensive and versatile software program currently available to professional sign makers, wide-format digital print businesses and CNC machining operatives without the need for new investment.

As with all earlier Flexi packages, the new flagship Flexi 12 offering will support a large number of the most popular printers and cutters via a raft of additional design and production tools that will accommodate every conceivable manufacturing requirement in these sectors. Collectively, the new tools will greatly enhance and streamline workflow capabilities on key issues such as artwork management and approval, printing and cutting accuracy, colour management and end-product finishing.

Among the many significant upgrade features of Flexi 12 are the Contour Cut True Nesting Tool that can, it is claimed, save up to 50 per cent in media wastage on print & cut work and the improved Colour Management Tool that enables easier and more efficient printing with metallic and white inks. These advanced features are supplemented with the new Artwork Approval Tool that greatly assists and simplifies artwork changes and the new Cut Order and Animated Cut Viewer Tools that greatly reduce otherwise time-consuming cutting requirements whilst enabling users of the software to see how a particular design will be cut before commencement of the cutting process. Other important production tool enhancements include Banner and Canvas Finishing, an Auto Serialisation facility that will save production time whilst ensuring greater accuracy and QR and Data Matrix Code Generation that will make it faster and easier to add interactive elements to signage.

For existing Flexi subscription-based customers, the entire family of Flexi packages (FlexiSIGN, FlexiPRINT, FlexiSIGN & Print and FlexiDESIGNER) will automatically be upgraded to Flexi 12.

For further information, visit www.graphtecgb.co.uk or sales@graphtecgb.co.uk or telephone Neil Roberts on 01978 666700.