Steve Kozle displays a banner printed by Printastic.
By Ed Avis
IRgA member Printastic wants to ease other members’ entry into large-format vinyl printing with a new wholesale service that’s launching September 1. The service, called Printtrader.com, will offer prices to IRgA members that are substantially lower than those on the company’s retail site, allowing the members to enjoy a decent margin.
“Printtrader.com will only be selling to the trade,” says Steve Kozle, the vice president of Printastic, which is located in Novi, Michigan. “We have the capacity and expertise to help other members get into high-quality vinyl printing without the investment in equipment and training.”
Printastic is a four-year-old printer that operates solely on the internet. Its current customers are retail end-users who visit the site to have vinyl banners and signs printed. Kozle says the idea behind the company was that it would compete with Vistaprint, the giant in online printing. But there are differences.
“We’re a high-end, high-quality printer,” Kozle says. “We’re not a mass production house on the scale of Vistaprint. The feedback I get from users is that you’re not just a number with us. You get a much more personal touch.”
Kozle himself is a veteran of the reprographics world, having worked for KIP, Vidar, and National Azon. “I attended every IRgA convention for 17 years, starting in the mid 1990s,” he says.
Printtrader.com will tap all of Printastic’s equipment capabilities. The heart of the company’s vinyl printing program is an array of Mimaki Ecosolvent printers that use eight-color heads. The company also has Seal hot and cold laminators, Summa tangential contour cutters, a UV coating system, a Xerox 1000 digital press, and more.
The company offers banner vinyls in 13-, 14-, and 18-oz weights in matte and gloss
finishes, as well as a long list of premium and intermediate adhesive vinyls with matching laminates. The company can mount the vinyl on a wide variety of rigid substrates, including Coroplast, foam core, PVC, and aluminum. The latter material can be used to make street signs, for example. The other substrates are commonly used to produce yard signs, indoor and outdoor way-finding signage, and other applications.
When printed on premium vinyl and laminated, certain products leaving Printtrader’s production floor can last up to 10 years outdoors, Kozle says.
Printtrader.com allows IRgA members to upload large files for printing on an individual or bulk basis. Instead of retail pricing for fully finished products, wholesale pricing is based on square foot for all media types. Drop shipping is available to IRgA members for all orders in unbranded packaging at no additional charge.
Kozle is incentivizing other IRgA members to try his service by offering a $50 credit for each member. The credit will need to be used within 45 days, but a member can use it on his or her first order.
Printtrader.com will go live September 1, but IRgA members can begin registering right away by clicking here. Stay tuned to news about this and other offers that will accompany the launch of the Association of Printing and Data Solutions Professionals on that same day.