Digital Printing Services Exhibited at Japan Marketing Week

Print service providers display the value of print at the show



Masato Atoda


Japan Marketing Week - Spring 2021, an exhibition about products and services related to sales promotion, was held at Makuhari Messe (near Tokyo) from January 27-29, 2021. (The show usually takes place three times a year in Japan, and the next ones are in Tokyo in April and then in Osaka in September.)


This time, there were seven sub-divided events: Promotional goods EXPO, Signage & Display EXPO, Sales Support EXPO, Advertising Support EXPO, Digital Promotion EXPO, Store Operation Solutions EXPO, and Internationalization Support EXPO. A total of 154 exhibitors displayed their products and services for 6,474 attendees, a significant reduction from the last event in Spring 2020, where the numbers were 265 and 26,475, respectively.



Here are some outstanding services found at the show floor:


GP Center

GP Center is a commercial printer that, in addition to offset printing presses, owns equipment such as digital printing (Fuji Xerox Color800), wide format (Agfa Anapurna H, Roland DG LEF-300, VS-540), and laser processing (Speedy 360/80W).The company exhibited its Advertising Pocket Mask, which is a non-woven mask and a leaflet enclosed in a transparent film and was developed for promotional novelties. GP center is promoting an advertising kit idea for brands to promote their products and/or services by giving potential prospects a free mask, which is very relevant special these days during a pandemic. This concept of giving something for free such as tissue packs on the streets to capture the attention of potential buyers is already very popular in Japan.



Asia Luggage Inc.

A.L.I is a bag and suitcase manufacturer. In 2018, they introduced a UV wide format printer and started a service to print graphics on a hard carry case. Customers can print graphics of up to 600 mm x 400 mm, for ¥4,000-¥8,000 yen (depending on size). The company also produced materials for advertising campaigns and original goods requested by customers that were used in convenience stores (LAWSON campaign) and movies (Frozen, EVANGELION's original goods). According to the person in charge, sales for such interests are increasing.



Morinaga & Co.

Morinaga & Co. exhibited an original confectionery package creation service. In 2016, the company launched Okashiprint, a service that makes original prints on its confectionery packages. Initially, it started as a service for B2C, but after some success it expanded its business by starting a B2B service—so far, 1,800 companies have sold three million sets. The minimum lot is 50 pieces, the minimum delivery time is one week, and the minimum order amount is ¥12,200 yen. Printing is outsourced to a printing company, done mainly with digital printing machines such as Konica Minolta.



Nikko Process

Nikko Process is a plate-making (pre-press service) company. Historically is common to see pre-press service companies investing in digital printing in order to sustain and grow their businesses.  This is the case of Mikko Process who acquired a Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C1060 and a swissQ Impala 3 wide format printer. Additionally they use ZUND G3 L-2500 for post-processing and a Cruse real scanner to provide a service that scans textures, including tatami mats and wood, to produce three-dimensional printed products  with their wide format printer. Lastly, the company has launched a mail-order site called niko plus, which sells and produces products such as message cards, calendars, mask cases, puzzles, coasters, and clear folders.


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