Litmus Mockups hasn't stopped progressing since it was founded four years ago, and hit the accelerator in 2016 with the installation of a Roland DG VersaUV LEC-540 reducing turnaround times from days to hours. The Yorkshire company has now picked up the pace further, installing another VersaUV LEC-540 in July 2018.
Litmus Mockups began as a two person team, after seeing a gap in the market for high quality packaging prototypes. Since then it has grown to employ 20 people and currently occupies a facility in Hull as well as an office in London. Its clients include blue chip brands, design agencies and large reproduction houses looking for innovative new packaging designs.
The company had already been using two Roland VS eco solvent printers for longer runs, but relied on traditional printing and tooling methods for creating initial design prototypes. These included wet proofing, cold and hot foiling, embossing and debossing, and die cutting – slow processes that contributed to turnaround times of two to four days for a typical carton mock up.
Gareth Hartley, managing director, explains that he went to drupa in 2016 to explore the options for speeding up the process with digital printing technology.
‘The Roland LEC was on our must see list at the drupa printing show in Düsseldorf,’ he said. ‘We were impressed so we organised full trials at Revolution Digital, a Roland distributor with whom we already had a great working relationship, and the great results we saw really made the decision for us.
‘The Roland printer has incredible functionality; it is able to produce effects like foils, spot varnishes and embossing far quicker than the traditional techniques we were using – and in accurate, real world colours, using a unique RIP and colour management solution.
‘The packaging prototypes market is very fast, with clients typically requiring mock ups the next day or even the same day, which simply wasn't possible before the LEC was installed.’
The Roland VersaUV LEC-540 is a combined printer-cutter perfect for the creation of packaging prototypes as well as labels, special effects decoration and a host of other applications. Able to print onto a wide variety of materials at resolutions up to 1440 dpi and to produce custom textures with white and gloss ink, the LEC-540 is an incredibly versatile machine.
Litmus Mockups uses the Roland LEC alongside other printing processes including flexo, litho and silk screen, offering customers a number of options. For all four Roland printers, Litmus Mockups is covered by Roland DG Care warranties. Gareth says that 'service has been excellent to date'.
In the future, the company's services may also include 3D modelling – another key area of innovation for Roland.