Tidewater Direct Embarks on Digital Inkjet Revolution

Direct Mail Commercial Printer Offers High-Quality Roll-Fed Inkjet to the Trade

Centreville, MD, 4/20/2017 – Tidewater Direct, a web offset printing company with 3 manufacturing facilities nationally, has revealed the purchase of a Screen 520HD inkjet press. The printing press, capable of completely variable 1200x1200 dpi image quality, speeds of up to 492 feet per minute, now boasts a series of inks that will cure on untreated coated stocks. Located in Centreville, MD and staffed 24 hours per day, Tidewater is capable of significant high-quality digital inkjet printing output.

Tidewater’s business model is unique to the industry in that the sole purpose of the printer is to be readily available to the trade. The benefits of inkjet, including unlimited personalization, decreased time to market, and vastly reduced make ready costs for shorter runs are beginning to take hold. With inkjet inquiries becoming common place, this offers direct mail contractors a source to procure high-quality inkjet without a costly investment or risky commitment to a machine without the work to fill it. Tidewater sees this as a win-win scenario.

“Tidewater has been a dedicated direct mail component part supplier for many years. This role we play is a proven critical support system for the direct mail industry. Our business model inspires direct mail contractors to buy and resell digital inkjet printing, and for that matter continuous forms printing and generic insert printing, without owning the equipment,” encouraged Ken Boone, President and CEO of Tidewater Direct. “Many of our clients have enough potential work to support a fraction of a machine in today’s marketplace. Offering high-quality digital inkjet printing as a service is a natural progression to our business as an industry supplier,” he added.

On assessing equipment, Geoffrey Eisenberg, Executive Vice President oversaw the selection process. “We took our time evaluating our options, knowing that our success in this new marketplace would largely rely on the reliability, quality and affordability of the product coming off the machine. Just as important, we sought a partner that believed in our business model from our unique perspective. The 520HD press and Screen’s team hit all the right notes; we’re confident we’ve chosen wisely.”

“The ability to print on readily available untreated, coated and uncoated commodity stocks created a new pricing dynamic that is exciting to us,” added Geoffrey. “We expect run lengths to be shorter than typical litho jobs, so printing on paper stocks we already warehouse creates obvious efficiencies. But this also eliminates inkjet treated paper premiums which improves the break-even point between digital inkjet and offset printing.”

Tidewater also announced that Phil Travers, a prepress management and IT veteran, has been selected as the managing director for Tidewater’s digital print department. Phil is encouraged that his operators were trained swiftly and full production is underway.


Tidewater Direct specializes in efficient, quality web offset & Commercial Inkjet Printing including variable data printing, transactional printing, direct mail printing, continuous forms printing, and pharmaceutical printing and folding. With 3 locations across Maryland and Iowa and a production footprint of 200,000 square feet, Tidewater is equipped to meet the tightest deadlines and highest volume print demands.