• Recently expanded facility merges its sheetfed digital, sheetfed offset, and bindery under one roof
  • New inline UV capabilities expand important innovative finishing techniques
  • The new Rapida 105 will provide a competitive advantage and meet the growing demands of its high-end clientele

Enter the brand new 26,000 sq ft facility of Direct Edge, an industry-leading print communications company with locations in both Southern California and Colorado, and visitors are sure to see some of the most innovative and unique print work being produced for its well-known national portfolio of customers. Its team of employees might be creating innovative packaging for an exciting movie premiere or producing a new boxed kit to encourage shoppers to try a new skincare line. Promotional items for the Nascar season opener at Daytona are being printed alongside window displays to attract attention at the Downtown Disney complex in Anaheim.

Celebrating its 20th year in business, Direct Edge has earned its stellar reputation for being technology driven, visually inspired, and offering progressive solutions through its mix of both digital and conventional offset printing. This spring, the firm added firepower to its pressroom with a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 41-inch fully automated press.

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(Left to right) From left to right: Jay Sheffield, director of operations of Direct Edge; Ryan Clark, co-founder of Direct Edge; Marcus Schoen, Koenig & Bauer regional sales manager; Toby Johnson, director of sales at Direct Edge; and Ryan Brueckner, CEO and co-founder of Direct Edge

“We have been able to produce amazingly creative work for our clients because of our deeply rooted core value of ‘Say Yes’ and a commitment to exhaust all options to deliver results,” says Ryan Brueckner, CEO and co-founder of Direct Edge. “Over the past 20 years, Direct Edge has built its success on providing our customers with industry leading customer service, while investing in superior technology and innovation to deliver powerful print and visual marketing solutions. This focus allows us to continuously evolve and expand our capabilities without limiting what we can offer our clients.”

That was the impetus when the firm decided to retire an older offset press and seek an upgraded machine with the latest automation that also included inline UV coating. After thoroughly vetting all of the top press manufacturers, Direct Edge chose the Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 for its quality, high speed, superior automation, and UV capabilities as well as its press efficiency and real time production tracking. Partnering with Koenig & Bauer’s more than 200 years of experience also gave Direct Edge peace of mind as it reinforced the confidence in ensuring that the firm exceeds its strategic goals, added Brueckner.

Currently the firm’s litho department produces 60% of its work digitally and 40% using conventional offset. “We plan to grow our high quality litho clients with the new Rapida,” says Jay Sheffield, director of operations. “Its high production will help accelerate faster turn times. While lower costs, higher quality and quicker turn time have remained a constant trend, we have also noticed that clients are looking for impactful finishing techniques that are cost effective. The Rapida’s UV capability will increase our capabilities by offering additional specialty coatings to our clients.”

Toby Johnson, director of sales at Direct Edge, sees potential in expanding the firm’s finishing techniques through the new UV capabilities. “We’ll be able to offer flood gloss and dull UV, spot gloss and spot dull UV, strike thru UV, reticulating UV, and textures such as sandpaper,” he remarks. “We believe the Rapida will help give us a unique advantage over our competitors and meet the growing demands of our clients in order to ensure the highest value and ultimate customer satisfaction.”