Aqueous Media and the ArgentⓇ AQ Difference


Aqueous Media and the ArgentⓇ AQ Difference

Aqueous Media and the Argent AQ Difference
By Chris Jones

From fine art prints to gallery wrapped canvas décor and family photos to adhesive vinyl films and banners, aqueous inkjet printers are equipped to handle a wide variety of indoor and short-term outdoor applications. Thanks to the versatility and premium image quality of water-based inks, the aqueous segment of the wide format printer market continues to thrive as the preferred choice for photo and décor professionals who require top notch archival-quality and an eco-friendly printing environment free of harmful fumes and odors.

Whether you operate a commercial or wholesale printing business, we understand your need for quality and consistency when it comes to the products you—and most importantly, your customers—rely on. That’s why we created Argent AQ, Mac Papers and Packaging’s exclusive line of digital media for aqueous inkjet printers.

In addition to being a greener and cleaner way to produce graphics, aqueous printers typically have a lower cost of entry than their eco-solvent or UV inkjet counterparts. This makes aqueous printing an easily accessible option for companies seeking to create high-impact graphics using compatible media platforms such as Argent AQ for fine art and photos, canvas prints, proofs and posters as well as durable outdoor signage, such as banners and yard signs.

For example, commercial printers catering to budding photographers and home decor enthusiasts understand the importance of color. With Argent AQ, you get exceptional ink absorption, archival-quality media and an accurate presentation with vivid color output. These finished products can wind up as the prized portrait above a customer’s mantelpiece, a banner at a national trade show or a poster in a retail POS display.

Color, texture and ink absorption aren’t the only factors you need to consider. Managing inventory, cutting down on material waste and reducing costs are considerations that printing businesses of all shapes and sizes evaluate when selecting the best material for an upcoming project. We designed our Argent product line with that in mind, helping you zero in on each of these bullseyes so you can exceed customer expectations and deliver premium quality without the premium price.

Inventory management, for instance, remains a complex challenge for companies in many industries due to continued supply chain disruption. But this problem can be virtually eliminated when you choose Argent AQ. With a fleet of over 100 trucks, we’re able to provide an excellent product and peace of mind with next-day delivery to businesses across the Southeast.

Last but certainly not least: material waste. From stickers to window graphics, professional printers might print hundreds, or even thousands, of pieces a day. Errors, incorrect color calibration and test runs add up quickly, resulting in extra costs that significantly impact the bottom line. Our wide format media experts can help develop an inventory strategy and ensure you receive stock based on your business needs.

For more information about our line of digital media for aqueous inkjet printers, check out our Argent AQ products. If you’re ready to explore aqueous solutions but don’t know where to start, drop us a line—our wide format team is happy to help.

Rip software for large format printers

Rip software for large format printers

Sean Profera, Mac Papers and Packaging’s Wide Format Sales Director is back with another great topic on Software and Rips, and why you need them to print to most large format printers.

Learn more at or call us at 844.MAC.WIDE.

#WideFormatPrinting #WideFormat #LargeFormat #WideFormatPrintingEquipment #MacPapersandPackaging

Wide Format Printing Maintenance, Materials and More


Wide Format Printing Maintenance, Materials and More
By Sean Profera

When it comes to the wide world of wide format printing, there are a lot of terms to understand, functions to master and techniques to learn. After the initial set up and installation, you’re ready to dive deeper into what your wide format equipment can do and how these capabilities can be leveraged to improve your business.

Consider this your guide to getting the most out of your machine, where you’ll learn about the importance of preventive maintenance, as well as how to select the proper substrates—plus tips for cutting and finishing.

You Say Media, I Say Materials

Terms like substrate, media and materials all generally refer to the same thing: the surface or product you print on. Unlike your standard desktop model, wide format printers can print on anything from fine art paper to textiles, including materials such as pressure sensitive adhesive vinyl, wood, fabric, PET film, foam and even some metals.

You’ll want to have a firm grasp of your intended applications before you buy or upgrade your wide format equipment, as different machines have different capabilities. If you’ll be creating branded t-shirts, for example, you’ll want a direct-to-garment (DTG) printer, or a model that comes equipped with dye-sublimation technology. The more detailed you get, the better—even specific applications such as car wraps have nuances to consider, such as the type of vehicle and how contoured it is, which can determine the type of adhesive and supplemental media you’ll use.

Lastly, keep in mind that you might not always need top-of-the-line substrates to get the job done. If you’re printing signs for a one-time event, such as an election, you can save money on materials by opting for those at a lower price point, as durability and longevity won’t be your top concerns.

Uptime, All the Time

Routine maintenance is a must when it comes to keeping your equipment in working order. Particular processes will vary according to printer type, size, usage rate and more, but here are a few universal golden rules:

  • At a minimum, perform weekly maintenance. This includes cleaning components such as your printheads, and capping and wiping stations.
  • If you increase usage, or you’re printing panel after panel for eight hours per day, switch to a daily or every-other-day maintenance
  • Don’t forget to keep an eye on your ink expiration dates. Some, but not all, printers will alert you when the ink has reached its expiration. Rotate your stocked inventory and be sure to agitate or circulate your ink if your current printer doesn’t automatically do it for you.
  • Run diagnostics and assess your data. Your printer is smarter than you think and can produce a number of reports that track maintenance activity via easy-to-use apps and digital tools. Use these insights to stay on top of your cleaning and maintenance routine, and to troubleshoot when issues arise.

Regular maintenance and cleaning are also important for staying in compliance with your warranty. If you ever run into a problem and need to file a claim, your printer manufacturer will likely ask for and check your maintenance records.

Finishing Touches

Finishing tools and techniques, such as cutting and laminating, shouldn’t be an afterthought in the printing process. Production of the printed piece may be the main event, but you also need to think about what comes next by asking questions such as:

  • Where will the final product be placed? If your sign or graphics will end up outside, for instance, lamination is key for UV protection and general durability.
  • Will you need to purchase a cutter? Some machines come with cutters, but most are sold separately.
  • Does the material need to be further manipulated after printing? Some pieces, like large canvas structures (think: bounce houses and blow-up games), will require liquid UV coating lamination. Others, such as massive banners, may even need to be welded or sewn prior to installation for additional strength.

In the end, you don’t need to know everything about wide format printing (that’s our job), but understanding the basic capabilities, substrate options, maintenance best practices and finishing techniques will help you get the most out of your equipment.

Power requirements for wide format equipment

Power requirements for wide format equipment

Sean Profera, Mac Papers and Packaging’s Wide Format Sales Director is back with another great topic on power requirements for your printer. What do you need and how to go about researching.

Learn more at or call us at 844.MAC.WIDE.

#WideFormatPrinting #WideFormat #LargeFormat #WideFormatPrintingEquipment #MacPapersandPackaging

Ink Types for your Printing Needs – Dye Sublimation

Ink Types for your Printing Needs – Dye Sublimation

This week, Mac Papers and Packaging’s Wide Format Sales Director, Sean Profera is back discussing another ink type topic for your printing needs. Dye-sublimation inks for large format printers offer a wide array of capabilities on various materials from soft to hard products. Dye-sub inks have high color pop and rich blacks on different types of materials.

Learn more at or call us at 844.MAC.WIDE.

#WideFormatPrinting #WideFormat #LargeFormat #WideFormatPrintingEquipment #MacPapersandPackaging

Ink Types for your Printing Needs – UV Inks

Ink Types for your Printing Needs – UV Inks

Sean Profera, Mac Papers and Packaging’s Wide Format Sales Director is back with another great topic on ink types for your printing needs. This week he is explaining UV ink benefits and the ability to print on various materials.

Learn more at or call us at 844.MAC.WIDE.

#WideFormatPrinting #WideFormat #LargeFormat #WideFormatPrintingEquipment #MacPapersandPackaging

ISA Expo Recap: 3 Observations from the Show Floor Shaping the Industry This Year By Sean Profera

ISA Expo Recap: 3 Observations from the Show Floor Shaping the Industry This Year By Sean Profera

The sign, graphics and visual communications space is constantly evolving to keep pace with shifts occurring across the business and consumer landscape. It’s important for industry leaders to stay in step with these trends, so they can identify which up-and-coming products, services or technologies might help their customers achieve their goals. One of the best venues for trend-spotting and product-scouting is the ISA International Sign Expo 2022.

For the first time in three years, the industry’s largest trade show took place live and in person—and it did not disappoint. Graphics and visual communications leaders from across the Southeast gathered in Atlanta to network, explore new suppliers and get a glimpse of the latest innovations shaping the market.

From direct-to-film (DTF) printing to fabric-based signage, the ISA International Sign Expo featured several new applications, as well as a long lineup of new printers and gear. Here are just a few notable highlights from the show.

DTF printing is a trend to watch

DTF printing allows users to print their designs on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film using aqueous or water-based pigment inks before transferring it to their chosen fabric or piece of apparel. Unlike direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, DTF doesn’t require fabric pre-treatment, saving printers precious time and resources. Additionally, DTF is compatible with fabrics such as nylon and polyester, which can be difficult to work with when printing directly onto a garment.

Given the efficiency gains and potential cost savings DTF has to offer, we’re excited to see how this technology impacts the sign and graphics industry moving forward.

 The user experience is dictating product upgrades

As the adage goes, the customer is king—and brands that abide by this principle tend to score high in the customer loyalty department. One brand that pays close attention to the customer experience is Roland, who used the ISA International Sign Expo to debut their latest addition to the TrueVIS series.

When designing the VG3, Roland used customer feedback to enhance key features and improve usability. Not only does the new model have an easy-to-navigate LCD touchscreen, it includes an expanded color output to meet end users’ needs. It also boasts an integrated cutting feature and automated media calibration to help optimize time and materials. By keeping the user at the center of product development and incorporating customer feedback into new equipment, Roland has built a brand that buyers can trust.

 Virtual demonstrations can’t compete with a live showroom

At the height of the pandemic, remote events became the norm. Although virtual walk-throughs and how-to videos can be impactful, nothing compares to a live demo—especially when it comes to something as advanced as a wide format printer.

Events like the ISA International Sign Expo are perfect venues for test driving wide format printers and other equipment before committing to a purchase. But trade shows are limited-time events, and they aren’t guaranteed to offer the specific product you’re looking for. That’s why we built our very own demo center in downtown Orlando—to give our customers the chance to see, use and ask questions about the items on their wish list.

Whether you’re ready to explore a new application, purchase equipment or simply want to pick our brains about how you can accomplish your organization’s goals, drop us a line and we’ll ensure you get the full wide format experience.

Ink Types for your Printing Needs – Solvent & Eco Solvent

Ink Types for your Printing Needs – Solvent & Eco Solvent

Sean Profera, Mac Papers and Packaging’s Wide Format Sales Director, explains one of the most popular ink types used in large format printing, solvent and eco-solvent! This ink is durable for outdoor displays and prints beautifully with high color pop.

For more information contact us or call us at 844.MAC.WIDE.

#WideFormatPrinting #WideFormat #LargeFormat #WideFormatPrintingEquipment #MacPapers

10 Questions You Need to Answer Before You’re Ready to Buy Wide Format Equipment By Paul Granaroli

10 Questions You Need to Answer Before You’re Ready to Buy Wide Format Equipment By Paul Granaroli

Decisions, decisions. There are plenty to make when it comes to researching, testing, and eventually investing in a wide format printer. That’s why it’s wise to address the following questions well in advance of making your purchase.

1. What are your overall business objectives?

Before you take a deep dive into product particulars, features, and benefits, take a step back to assess your organization’s overarching business objectives. Answer the age-old question: Where do you see your organization in three, five, ten years? This will help guide your decisions around which wide format technology fits the bill for your business.

2. What are your current printing capabilities and what are your future goals?

Are you looking to scale up existing operations or are you starting a wide format production program from scratch? Will this investment solve an immediate problem or is it more aspirational? Having a firm grasp of where you stand will help you get to where you’re going.

3. What works about your current print setup and what doesn’t?

The employees operating your equipment on a day-to-day basis will have the best insight into what is and isn’t working, so don’t neglect to collect and implement their feedback. Use this firsthand knowledge to inform decisions around your printer purchase and close the gap between your current and ideal future state.

4. What types of projects do you plan to produce?

The answer to this question tends to spawn many others: Will you be printing on PVC or foam core? Falconboard or acrylic? Are your printed pieces for outdoor display or indoor use? Do you want UV or solvent? Know what your projects require and what purpose they’re fulfilling.

5. How much volume do you put out?

Understanding how many boards or square feet you’ll be printing per hour is crucial. Consider the size and frequency of your print jobs—do you have more large-scale one-offs or are you printing continuous projects? The answer could dictate what size, type, and even what brand of wide format printer you buy.

6. How will your new printer integrate into your existing production?

Making sure your new machine plays well with your current equipment and software is key, as is factoring its physical footprint into your production workflow.

 7. Do you have the people power to run your printing program?

Wide format technology is designed to be user friendly, and most of it is—a veteran printing technician can get up and running on a new machine or software in a matter of hours. At Mac Papers and Packaging, we provide personalized training for any customer who needs it. Our goal is to empower your business and your people with the tools they need to produce their best work.

8. What are the details of the warranty and who will be responsible for repairs?

Aftermarket products and services, such as warranties, are often an afterthought for buyers. Resist the urge to overlook the fine print, including who is responsible for repairs. If the responsible party is located far from where you’re based, maintenance and repairs can become a logistical headache.

 9. Has the printer you’re considering been tested in the market?

It’s never a good idea to be the guinea pig for a product that hasn’t been road tested and user approved. Some wide format manufacturers might offer deep discounts on their newest models, but that can turn out to be a risky investment. You want a product that’s demonstrated its utility, quality, and durability in the field, especially if you plan to rely on this printer for significant, high-visibility projects.

 10. What type of environment will the equipment be placed in?

Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity level, and air quality all play an integral role in how well your wide format printer performs. For example, if it’s placed in an area where the air quality is poor, aerial debris can attach itself to your machine’s print heads and damage them, so consider your equipment’s placement carefully.

While not an exhaustive list, starting to answer these questions will help you select a wide format printer that will serve your needs for years to come.

You can print on anything with wide format equipment

You can print on anything with wide format equipment

Mac Papers and Packaging’s Wide Format Sales Director, Sean Profera explains what can be printed on with large format equipment.

For more information contact us or call us at 844.MAC.WIDE.

#WideFormatPrinting #WideFormat #LargeFormat #WideFormatPrintingEquipment #MacPapers

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