PACKAGING TRENDS OF TODAY: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
By today’s standards, packaging is not only defined as some material used to enclose a product to the consumer. The packaging, in addition to the product, is now like a representation of the company, and therefore the company must treat it as such. Sourcing a report from Mintel detailing five packaging trends of 2017, this article breaks each trend down in detail to “highlight the best that brands are delivering to consumers around the world” (“Global Packing Trends 2017”).
Number One: The Union of Package Structure and Branding. In a global market, companies are facing the challenge of interchangeable products from around the world to compete with their products which can be created and sold just around the corner. These companies must focus on brand identity, otherwise defined as “how the business wants to be perceived by customers … READ MORE
Squid Ink: Flexible ink-jet printing system
With up to 2.8 in. print height per printhead, and the ability to run up to two printheads from one controller, the CoPilot 500 offers a versatile, yet cost effective solution for coding and marking.
Squid Ink’s CoPilot 500 features the new 502 series print engine from Xaar, a leading developer of piezoelectric technology for the industrial ink-jet market. The inclusion of the 502 series engine allows more print flexibility including binary and greyscale printing, faster print speeds at lower levels of resolution, and user-defined print droplet size output ranging from 15-75 picoliters. In addition, the new larger 2.8 in. printhead makes an ideal solution for users looking to replace the high cost of labels for their case-coding needs.
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Videojet: CO2 laser marking systemVideojet Technologies has introduced the 3640 60 W laser marking system, engineered to process complex codes at the highest speeds, with the industry's widest mark field.
- Alexander Flordelis
The Record Breaking Largest Book & Smallest Book in the World
There are approximately 2.2 million books published worldwide every year with just a bit over 300,000 published in the U.S. alone (according to Wikipedia).
But only one can be the largest. And by largest, we mean literally. The title of the world’s largest book goes to ‘The Little Prince’ published back in 2007. The dimensions are 6 feet 7 inches high by 10 feet 1 inch wide (when opened). That’s 1 inch longer than the height of an NBA hoop (10 feet) and also, coincidently, 1 inch longer than the average height of an NBA player (6 feet 6 inches). Needless to say, that’s one big book!
On the flip side (pun-intended), there can only be one book that is the smallest. And that distinction goes to a book named ‘Teeny Ted from Turnip Town’. Measuring a minuscule 70 micrometres by 100 micrometres the book is impossible to read with the naked eye (you’ll need a scanning electron microscope to read it). That’s not the only thing that’s eye popping about this book. The price will also have you doing a double take as this book is valued at over $15,000. Unless Turnip Town turns out to in fact be the legendary lost city of El Dorado, the price does seem a bit steep.
For how much longer these two will hold onto their respective largest and smallest titles remains to be seen. Best guess would probably say the largest book title would be easier to break, just due to sheer logistics (not to mention the monetary cost). So be careful Eidouro Gráfica e Editora Ltda. (publishers of ‘The Little Prince’). You may soon have some competition.
- Dan Phan
What’s the Difference between Raw Squid Ink and the Ink Used in Printers?
Raw Cephalopod ink (i.e. Octopus, Cuttlefish, and Squid) is a dark pigment that can range in color from dark red, to brown, to black or blue-black.
For this post we’ll be focusing and comparing Squid ink specifically, since it’s more widely used in cooking and printing.
A Squid’s ink is stored in sacs located between the gills. It is used as a defense/escape mechanism to elude potential predators such as spiny lobsters. The ink consists mainly of melanin. However it can also contain dopamine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid.
For cooking purposes (e.g. Squid ink pasta) the ink is primarily used for food coloring and/or flavoring. The ink is extracted from the Squid’s ink sacs, typically during the preparation process. Additional seasoning can then be added (but doesn’t necessarily have to be) to enhance the natural flavor. As you can see not much is done to modify the raw ink that is used for cooking/consumption purposes.
How does this compare to the ink that’s used in printers?
Ink that’s used for commercial printing purposes (from companies such as the aptly named Squid Ink) can be composed of many chemicals including: solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants, solubilizers, surfactants, fluorescents, along with other materials, depending on the manufacturer. Ink formulas can vary but usually involve two main components: colorants and vehicles (i.e. binders). While there are only two main formulas, there are generally four different classes: Aqueous, Liquid, Paste, and Powder. Printer inks and solvents typically fall under the first two classes, Aqueous and Liquid.
So could printer ink be used as a substitute for raw Squid ink?
No, definitely not. The ink that’s used in industrial printing (like the kind of ink we sell here on our site) is absolutely not for cooking or consumption. To give you an idea here’s the warning label from one of our Squid Ink products:
Needless to say, printer ink should never be consumed, under any circumstances. And if for some reason there is accidental contact with the eyes or swallowing that occurs, seek medical attention immediately.
So even though the names may be similar, there’s definitely a big difference between edible Squid ink and brands that make industrial printer ink like Squid Ink.
- Dan Phan
Why are U.S. Dollars called Greenbacks?
All U.S. currency, from $1 to $100, has green ink on the back of the bills and black ink on the front. But if you’re like many people, you may at some point have wondered, why?
The answer to this question is an interesting one.
According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), the government agency that is in charge of printing United States currency, the answer goes all the way back to the 1800’s:
“With the growing popularity of U.S. currency and the development of photography in the mid-1800s, it was customary to print the notes in black combined with colored tints as a deterrent to counterfeiting. The early camera saw everything in black. Features that were distinguishable on a bill by color variant lost their individuality when reproduced photographically. However, counterfeiters soon discovered that the colored inks then in use could easily be removed from a bill without disturbing the black ink. The counterfeiter could then eradicate the colored portion, photograph the remainder, and then make a desired number of copies to be overprinted with an imitation of the colored parts.” [source: BEP]
Needless to say, this created a serious problem. If the government was unable to thwart counterfeiters, U.S. currency would quickly be devalued. And if enough fake bills came into circulation, the dollar could have been seen as completely unreliable and very well could have triggered a financial crash that would have come right as the civil war began. So the need to deter counterfeiters was absolutely vital.
Luckily the solution was in developing an ink that could not be erased without also adversely affecting the black ink coloring as well. Just such an ink was developed and the patent rights purchased by Tracy R. Edson, a noted banknote engraver. The new bills were produced in 1861 under contract with Edson’s company, American Bank Note, and were printed with a green tint, presumably of the protective ink. As these new bills began to circulate, the public nicknamed them “greenbacks”.
The federal government continued their arrangement with the American Bank Note Company up until 1877, when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was founded.While the term “greenbacks” may not be as prevalent as it once was, if by chance someone mentions it in conversation, you’ll now at least be able to drop some knowledge on them.
- Matt L