When the first colour laser printer was created in 1987, it soon became clear that this innovation needed another kind of paper: one created specifically for the purpose, with special surface treatments that would set it apart from standard office paper.
Thirty years of successes
As Abhijit Ghosh, former head of Technical Customer Service, recalls:
I was always on the road, US, Japan and the manufactures in Europe. This cooperation was extremely important.
It was very important that the quality, the tone and the vibrancy of a colour picture, would be perfectly reproduced.
Color Copy is born
In 1989, after two years of research and development, Color Copy was introduced to the market, and it hit all the right spots, especially for manufacturers. Manfred Maczuga, technical specialist for Minolta Europe at the time when they presented their first digital colour printer, CF70, had been using Color Copy from the get-go.
He was so convinced of the paper’s quality that as the Technical Product Manager Production Printing Colour he had introduced the habit to bring twenty to fifty sheets of paper to customers who were battling print quality problems. Witnessing the difference between ordinary paper and Color Copy first hand was, to many, an eye-opening experience:
I just put in the paper - then they started printing. And it was clear that the result was always better - due to Color Copy. It showcased the difference between good and bad paper - with Color Copy they got exactly what they expected, every single time.
And he's not the only one — many manufacturers nowadays appreciate the smooth runnability of Color Copy, using it as the benchmark paper for development and trouble-shooting.
However, innovations are, by their very nature, disruptive.
Customers used to a certain product might not always jump at the chance to try something new, especially if those products are tied to brand-new technology.
As Wolfgang Riedl, Purchase & Product Management Director of Office Papers at paper distributor Europapier Austria, recalls vividly:
Well, many customers weren't yet ready for this product - at the beginning at least - because colour laser printers were still a rarity then.
It doesn't stop hereFor the last thirty years, Color Copy has provided users with the same quality, day in and day out. But how is this kind of quality consistency possible? For Kurt Brandl, it boils down to this:
It's important to think carefully about sourcing the right quality of raw material. The level of purity and rigidity has to be exactly right.
Even thirty years ago, the quality standards were high, as Carina Kropp, Technical Customer Service and Development Engineer says, but innovation brought improvements through the years.
Advances in print technology have powered Color Copy’s development. Close collaboration with printer manufacturers is just as essential now as it was then.
It's important that we react quickly, and that is indeed one of our secrets: great collaboration with our customers.
The main challenge is the large variety of machines on the market. Through innovation, we're trying to create a paper that's suitable for all machines.
Today and tomorrow
For print customers, this wide variety of machines, along with advancements in print resolution, mean more options in digital printing. For many, Color Copy is their choice for every-day applications and for others, especially in less ordinary grammages or formats, it is the kind of premium paper they use for special occasions.
As remarked by Sabine Schwerthauer, Head of the AUVA in-house printing shop:
We use Color Copy especially in grammages of 120 and 160 g/m2 for diplomas and other important certificates, but we also like to use the heavyweights, like the 200 g/m2, for the backs of adhesive bindings.
Looking at today's Color Copy portfolio, ranging from uncoated and coated versions, grammages of up to 400 g/m² and a highly diverse format offer, such as the recent banner formats, Color Copy proves that consistency and innovation are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary: combine them both and thirty years of successes are only the beginning.