Digital label presses have delivered smiles during the pandemic

Label industry review – Let’s reveal those who heal

Reveal those who heal, digitally produced stickers help identify health workers and bring a smile to Covid-19 patients. image website
Reveal those who heal, digitally produced stickers help identify health workers and bring a smile to Covid-19 patients. image website

Digital print and digital label presses have been useful during the pandemic because they could be run by a single person, didn’t need plates to be made and the prepress design and workflow could be done by an operator working from home. Labels for multiple SKUs with short-runs and even those including variable end-of-line markings could be printed.

In India, digital printers have also brought a much-needed smile to front line health workers, nurses, doctors, and their Covid-19 patients. As Dr Sharmila said, “If I can’t recognize my staff, I can only imagine how patients must feel having nurses and physicians coming in and not being able to differentiate who is who.” she says. Her idea was simple: have staff members stick smiling pictures of themselves so that patients can see their faces.

A special website and process was established by several partners including HP printers which delivers stickers free of charge to the doorsteps of health workers. The site says, “We needed special material in accordance with the standards of the medical center, and we decided to go ahead with HP’s Indigo Prints, printed on a special environment-friendly media appropriate for use in sensitive environments like hospitals and flights.”

Unit assistant Jagan says it’s also helpful among staff members, who may not immediately recognize who is working alongside them. “It’s nice for co-workers to be able to see a friend who is still here.”

But the focus is on making the patients feel as comfortable as possible. “We’re the only ones the patients have right now, so when you smile behind your protective equipment, you hope your eyes are showing it,” Pankaj from Vysmo says. “But at least in the picture, it’s a reflection of your eyes and smile, the care, the comfort you want to offer patients knowing their families are not able to be with them.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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