HP DesignJet Z series Printer
Chaudigital HK Ltd responds to changes in fine art market by taking print to the next level
HP DesignJet Z9 delivers unrivalled print quality while accelerating workflow efficiencies
Chaudigital HK Ltd is a provider of high-end, digital print services. By investing in the HP DesignJet Z9+ PostScript® Printer the business is delivering exceptional print quality and driving efficiencies across its workflow. The success of the HP DesignJet Z9+ Postscript® Printer is protecting its core business and helping open new segments.
– Danny Chau, founder, Chaudigital HK Ltd
The relentless quest for quality
Chaudigital is a provider of high-end, digital print services. The business is based in Hong Kong, but its origins go back to the early 1980s in London. “I’m passionate about printing. I don’t call this a business; it’s a means of making a living while enjoying life,” says founder, Danny Chau.
Chau returned to Hong Kong from London in 2006. Today, Chaudigital aims to produce the highest quality output for clients in Hong Kong and the surrounding Asian regions. Its fine art prints are bought by galleries, museums and collectors around the world. “This is fine art printing. It goes on walls. It has to be the best quality,” says Chau. Technology has always been at the forefront of the Chaudigital business, he continues: “My background is in photography and my hobby is computers, and I have been interested to use technology to get the best result possible. I want to see how digital printing can deliver new benchmarks in print quality and give me the speed and cost advantage that enables us to reach more customers.”
Sharper details and faster workflow
Chau’s latest investment is the HP DesignJet Z9+ PostScript® Printer with Vertical Trimmer which has been in use since the beginning of 2019. “As soon as we saw the HP DesignJet Z9+ we realised it could solve a range of issues,” he says. “We’ve got to keep pushing boundaries and I could see the HP DesignJet Z9+ could help improve our processes.” The HP DesignJet Z9+ PostScript Printer provides a number of features relevant to the Chaudigital business. HP Pixel Control ensures smooth transitions and sharp details and the high-definition HP printheads create an expanded colour range. Chau says print speeds are twice as fast, with no drop in quality, and automatic roll switching means he spends less time changing media.
Creating new possibilities for fine art print
In just three months, Chau says, the HP DesignJet Z9+ has opened up new possibilities: “I’ve been a printer all my life and this machine has pushed the quality a step further. There is a deep, deep density on the black ink that you just don’t get on any other printer.” This allows Chau to finesse a customer’s file at the print stage. “So much can be done with digital on the screen, but an LED screen is not an accurate representation of the real print. Also, we’ve used HP pigment inks for years, they don’t fade. For me, the HP DesignJet Z9+, combined with HP inks, creates a great tool. It allows me to use my experience to create the best possible print.”
The integrated Vertical Trimmer, he continues, saves time and reduces paper wastage: “Previously we’d be trimming both sides of the paper by hand. It would be painful. With the HP DesignJet Z9+, my life is so much easier.”
There are also improvements across the workflow.
The embedded i1 spectrophotometer halves the time needed to create colour test charts. The Vertical Trimmer is estimated to have cut paper wastage by 10%. With Chaudigital tending to work off 300 gsm Hahnemühle paper, the dual-roll functionality means less time wasted switching rolls. It can also store pre-set customer ink, colour and paper preferences. “Once you’ve created the pre-set, you’re good,” says Chau. The HP DesignJet Z9+, he continues, is the printer the fine art market needs: “The market is changing. There are very few customers who don’t question you on price. We have to be efficient, but we also have to deliver a quality service.”
Chaudigital’s HP DesignJet Z9+ will allow the business to offer borderless prints (previously, borders needed to be trimmed by hand, making them more costly) and to print on lower quality materials while in draft mode. “It opens new markets for us,” Chau says. “It means I can say ‘yes’ more often.”