Hybrid Software partners with Digimarc Corporation

The partnership will drive sustainability in the packaging printing segment

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Hybrid Software partners with Digimarc Corporation
Digimarc’s digital watermarking technique being used for a seamless solution in the automation of brand protection and traceability

Hybrid Software, a global software company focused on innovative prepress and workflow tools for the graphic arts industry, has entered into a partnership with Digimarc Corporation. This agreement positions Hybrid Software as the ideal solution for driving sustainability and efficiency in the packaging printing market.

Combined with Hybrid’s cutting-edge software, this partnership will leverage Digimarc’s expertise in digital watermarking techniques to deliver a seamless solution in the automation of brand protection and traceability.

“Our partnership with Digimarc will allow Hybrid Software to enhance our technology to address our customers’ increasing needs in sustainable packaging and brand integrity solutions,” said Patrick Coussement, the company’s managing director. “We look forward to a long relationship with Digimarc and a shared commitment to providing scalable technology for our customers and partners.” 

The industry benefits from the forward-looking partnership

Hybrid and Digimarc have a longstanding history of providing leading technology to the packaging print market. Digimarc Verify has been available to select customers since 2020 in Hybrid Software’s Cloudflow software to allow for error-free inspection of Digimarc digital watermarks within automated workflow processes. 

Digimarc digital watermarks offer covert and overt protection for physical products, packaging, and digital assets, adding a crucial layer that supports brand protection. These digital watermarks are fully compliant with industry standards yet imperceptible to the human eye. Scanning is expedited since the imperceptible watermark is embedded throughout the artwork’s entire surface area. 

Users of Digimarc Verify benefit from an extra level of security due to the integrated robust workflow automation. The margin for error from the creation until the approval cycle is drastically reduced, and expensive printing mistakes will be avoided. Building on the integration already available in Cloudflow, Hybrid Software also plans to add Digimarc support to its Packz pdf editing software enabling applications and detecting digital watermarks during the prepress phase.

SGK, a leading global provider of packaging and brand experiences and trusted partner of Hybrid Software and Digimarc, has implemented new Digimarc functionality in Hybrid’s Cloudflow packaging workflow system across its facilities worldwide. “We believe that our partnership with Hybrid Software and Digimarc directly benefits SGK’s global clients by offering advanced levels of automation and quality control on jobs with Digimarc watermarks,” said Francois Estellon, senior vice president global operations and chief technology officer.

“Our intent is to play a key role in the future development of greater integration of Digimarc watermarking into Hybrid Software solutions, thereby helping the world’s leading brands and retailers accelerate their packaging connectivity and sustainability initiatives.”

Upcoming availabilities in Hybrid Software products

The current integrated version of Digimarc Verify with Cloudflow is available now, offering robust reporting and verification tools. The next version, scheduled for early 2022, will include advanced decoding and extended grading of Digimarc digital watermarks.

“We are excited to join in this partnership with Hybrid Software,” said Ken Sickles, Digimarc’s chief product officer. “Our organizations will continue to work closely to identify further opportunities for integration and a seamless customer experience across both platforms.” 

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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