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 10,000sq ft 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 wetproofing, 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 says. "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's 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 1440dpi 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 Hartley says that 'service has been excellent to date'.
In the future, Hartley adds, the company's services may also include 3D modelling – another key area of innovation for Roland.
For further information on Litmus Mockups, please visit www.litmusmockups.co.uk.
For further information on Roland DG, please visit www.rolanddg.co.uk.