Empire Printing Ink Enjoys Key Role in Entertainment Industry
By David Savastano
The movie industry often appears larger than life, with spectacular movies accompanied by vivid posters, DVD and video packaging and other specialty items. When it comes to creating printed products for movies, whether it is posters or packaging, designers and printers strive to create eye-catching displays to bring in consumers.
Of course, ink is essential, and it takes excellent inks and service to make these products jump out. That’s where Empire Printing Ink, a Hawthorne, CA-based specialist in sheetfed, open web and waterless inks, comes in. From its beginnings in 2002, Empire Printing Ink has quickly become the printing ink for the entertainment industry.
“We primarily work with printers who deal with the entertainment industry, working on movie posters and design advertising,” said Giovanni Medina, co-owner of Empire Printing Ink. “The area we cover – West Los Angeles – is full of design firms and printers who cater to the studios.”
In order to succeed in this area, service is absolutely essential, and Mr. Medina said that is a strength of Empire Printing Ink.
“Our background is in in-plants, and we try to service our customers the same way,” Mr. Medina said. “We hear about companies that will send ink and provide service in a day, even four or five hours, but in our business, our customers expect us to deliver within the hour.”
Providing high-quality inks is also critical. Empire Printing Ink’s has three main product lines. Its Boss quick dry process inks are formulated especially for stochastic printing. The company’s Brava high performance ink offers high pigment content, is fast-setting and has great rub resistance.Brava is formulated with ultra-clean pigments, and is used in movie and car catalog printing. TD Process inks are formulated for extremely fast adhesion and drying for plastic and synthetic substrates as well as uncoated stock, and are used as an alternative to UV inks in window display. All of these inks are foil-stampable, UV-coatable, embossable and laser-friendly.
The company also customizes these inks. For example, Empire Printing Ink just worked on the Star Wars Episode 3 posters, which utilized glow-in-the-dark inks and invisible inks. “It was some pretty cool stuff,” Mr. Medina said. “People want to see something new.
“We need to provide strong, eye-catching inks, and being in the industry for as long as we have, we have the experience,” Mr. Medina said. “We see the majority of our customers on a daily basis, and we typically see jobs pretty much as soon as our customers see them. It’s almost like we are part of their company.”
Experience is a key aspect to the company’s growth. Prior to Empire Printing Ink, Mr. Medina worked with Ink Systems as an in-plant and in the lab, and also with Toyo, and he said he learned a lot about service and quality from these companies. Co-owner Jimmy Acosta Jr., who leads the technical and manufacturing sides of the business, also came from Toyo.
“Jimmy handles the inside and I handle the outside,” Mr. Medina said, adding that everyone at Empire Printing Ink has been thoroughly trained in all aspects of the ink business. “We are all cross-trained, and everyone can do everything. We do a lot more work than a typical six-person shop.”
Empire Printing Ink is enjoying success in its unique marketplace. “Business has been really good,” Mr. Medina said. “Even though some of our customers have slowed down, we are gaining new business to more than offset that. “
For Empire Printing Ink, offering excellent service and quality is second nature, and is the key to their future.
“We need to offer the best product and service,” Mr. Medina said. “ A lot of companies don’t want to do full-service. It’s demanding, but we are so used to it. It comes natural to us.”