Archive for May 2018

Yes, quality, speed and efficiency can co-exist: A look at the new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+

Yes, quality, speed and efficiency can co-exist: A look at the new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+

Choosing a large format printer requires several elements to work together. There’s, of course, the print quality. But, there’s also factors like print speed, ink efficiency, and extra features that help printers, photographers, and other artists deliver high quality work with an efficient budget. With HP’s latest large format series, the company is synchronising hardware, software along with the ink and printing surface to maximise performance in all those categories.

Available beginning June 7th, the HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ series encompasses large format printers designed for a mix of high print quality, fast performance and efficient ink usage. How? The hardware and software were designed specifically for each other, allowing the printer to capitalise on quality, speed and efficiency. HP says the printer is designed to keep up with growth in the industry as large photo merchandising jumped by seven percent last year alone.

The HP DesignJet Z6 launches in three variations with a 24-inch, a 44-inch and a 44-inch that adds a vertical trimmer. All three are Postscript printers. The Z9+ series also launches with 24-inch, 44-inch and a 44-inch with a vertical trimmer.

So what’s the difference between the Z6 and Z9? The Z6 series is designed for photo quality prints for a number of different types of prints, while the Z9+ is a Geographical Information Systems printer that works with final images designed to resist moisture and fading. Meanwhile, the option with a vertical trimmer helps boost productivity with 2.5 times the speed.

The series encompasses some of HP’s latest technology, including HP Pixel control for truer colours and dual drop. The series also includes security software to keep data and print information safe. Watch the blog for more details on just how these technologies work together in the new series.

Call Photo Direct (03) 9894 1644 and speak to one of our trained staff members to assist you further. Personal demonstrations are available in our CBD show room – simply call to book an appointment.

4 Reasons Print Shops Should Consider Web to Print (And Why It’s Easier Than You Think)

4 Reasons Print Shops Should Consider Web to Print (And Why It’s Easier Than You Think)

E-commerce powers many businesses today — and allows consumers to find all kinds of odd and previously hard-to-find items. But what does the shift towards online shopping mean for print shops? Web to print is a service that allows customers to order and ship prints online — and the many perks could offer a boost to even traditional brick and mortar shops. Here’s why — and why it’s not as complex as you might think.

Give customers the convenience of printing anytime.

Many of the benefits to web to print are the same as using e-commerce for other physical products. Chief among them, is that customers can shop on their own schedule, whether that’s in their PJs at 1 a.m. or while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office. All customers need with web to print is their digital files, an internet connection and a form of payment to order from a web to print service. That convenience could drive more customers to a business over competitors without the service.

Go beyond regional reach.

Continuing the perks that apply to multiple business segments in e-commerce, the web to print offering allows businesses to sell prints all over the world if the service is combined with shipping. With web to print and shipping, businesses can both offer more convenience for local customers while also extending the reach to non-local customers. The service will help keep existing customers returning, but can also help even small businesses reach more customers by expanding reach beyond just one city.

Spend less time investment on each customer.

When customers order online, they stop in store just to pick up the order, or maybe even not at all if that order is shipped. Using an online ordering system helps free up customer’s time as well as your employees. When online ordering streamlines the process, you can dedicate the extra time to marketing the new service or another task you’ve been meaning to tackle.

Offer faster service.

Web to print often doesn’t need extra work getting the file ready to print. Combined with the easier ordering system, using print to web, many print shops can offer a faster turn around time. Brick and mortar stores can even hold an edge over the global print giants by allowing local in-store pickup, eliminating the time necessary for shipping to offer an even shorter turnaround time.

But isn’t web to print hard to do?

The web to print trend hasn’t gone unnoticed by printer companies — which means that, for print shops, adding a web to print service is often painless. Diland Web, for example, offers an online software that’s identical to in-store kiosks. The software allows customers to use the same system as the in-store prints to send prints to your shop. The service easily integrates with studios already using a Diland Studio kiosk and still allows for redos, order editing and other easy features. The software even offers printing from a mobile device.

Still debating? Find out exactly what adding a web to print service would mean for your business by contacting Photo Direct today.

Tired of boring gifts? Here are 6 creative photo gift ideas sure to bring a smile

Tired of boring gifts? Here are 6 creative photo gift ideas sure to bring a smile

With Amazon a few clicks away and a big box store around the corner, finding a gift isn’t a challenge — but finding a unique, custom gift that shows you were really thinking about that person? That’s still a challenge. Photos, however, make perfect gifts because they are both personal and easy to do. But “photos” still has a lot of flexibility beyond just a simple print on paper. Here are six creative photo gift ideas for the next holiday, birthday or “just because” gift — and with it, six ways creative businesses can add new gift products for customers.


Photo albums are great gifts for when you can’t decide on a single photo to use. Albums are great gifts that can encompass an event like a wedding, or simply cover another year of growth. Albums can be inexpensive canvas covers, or high-end options with real leather and thick pages. Albums don’t need to be time consuming either — Fotospeed has Easy Books that are easy for small print shops to assemble.

Wall Art

Skip the mass produced art and offer a custom work of art with wall art prints. Wall art doesn’t just fit into a single category either — there’s framed prints, canvas, Foto Blocks, prints on wood or even prints on glass. Wall art makes a great dual purpose gift to both share a memory and dress up a living space.

Photo Cards

Cards are gifts that let the receiver know they are thought of — but don’t require big budgets. Adding a photo helps those cards feel even more custom. Photo cards are great for any occasion, or even ordering in bulk and sending throughout the year when a friend needs some cheering up.


Calendars make great photo gifts because there’s a fresh, custom photo for every month. Even within this category, there are still a lot of options for variety. There’s the monthly calendar, the annual snapshot calendar or even daily flip calendars.

Print boxes

While photo albums are excellent for protecting images, loose photos collected in a keepsake box are quickly growing in popularity. This has the advantage of being simple to add to over time, but you also need to make sure to choose a high quality, durable paper with a finish that isn’t prone to fingerprints.

Ornaments and magnets

Photo gifts don’t have to be large to make an impact. Ornaments and photo magnets are excellent keepsake gifts with a personal touch. Since they are small, they are affordable and also work for apartment dwellers and large homeowners alike.

Photographs make excellent gifts and double as memories and decor. Unlike a DIY gift, photos are both custom and easy (not to mention, high quality). Along with making great gift ideas, the same products create great opportunities for creative businesses such as photographers and print shops to expand their product offerings.