Printing Consistent High-Quality Work at DON DON DONKI
Stepping into the aisles, DON DON DONKI is a burst of colours and energy. A sprawling Japanese food supermarket filled with an assortment of colourful packaging, their interior environment is vibrant and invigorating, complete with distinctive neon sign boards and their signature DON DON DONKI jingle.
To date, they have 8 outlets across Singapore after opening their first in 2017. In every store, customers are sure to find a myriad of posters, print boards, Donpen (their penguin mascot) standees, and item pricing labels, which have all been printed and hand cut in-house.
To understand how all of this was possible, we sat down with Mr Ma Jingtao, a senior network engineer with DON DON DONKI who has worked with Canon’s imagePROGRAF PRO Series large format printer over the past two years.
At DON DON DONKI, we have this “Japanese discount specialty store” concept. Our founder Yusada Takao wanted to bring Singaporeans value-for-money Japanese products and deals after seeing the exorbitant prices of Japanese goods in the market. However, we wanted to go above and beyond that to make customers happy through our products. This is where the prints come in – we want to use posters that are colourful and makes customers happy when they read about deals on these prints.
We have been using Canon’s imagePROGRAF PRO Series large format printer for the past two years – so far, it is able to sustain high quality prints that are vibrant and faithful to the original design’s colours. I think that the vibrancy of colours is integral to our brand identity, and the 12 colour LUCIA PRO pigment ink feature is able to achieve this and help us carry across the message. Of course, the 2400 x 1200dpi maximum resolution is also very impressive and our POP designers who produce all our visuals have not complained about any quality issues thus far.
Quality and speed are definitely very important to us. We print around 3000 rolls of paper a month – we print every day, basically. It gets extra busy during store openings, so it’s important for us to have a reliable printer that is both efficient and able to produce quality print materials in order to pull off a smooth launch.
We have tried a few other models, but we found that the imagePROGRAF PRO Series large format printer is able to print around 30 pieces of paper a minute without compromising on quality and is the model we are currently most satisfied with.
I’d say the prints help us improve the consistency of our print materials and ensure that we can always deliver the information in our visuals well.
Actually, we don’t just print for the sake of printing, we take into consideration the environment the poster is placed in, and what would show up better in those circumstances. As you know, all our DON DON DONKI outlets are brightly lit, and compared to glossy prints, matte prints turn up better under strong lights. Canon’s imagePROGRAF PRO Series large format printer can print on both types of surfaces, but we print on matte more often because glossy prints are more reflective in bright environments. We are very happy with the quality of printing achieved through Canon’s products across the different surfaces because we get to fill the supermarket with colourful posters and promote DON DON DONKI products well.
Great. The servicing is reliable and we’ve not faced big issues thus far. We do have other printers besides the imagePROGRAF PRO Series large format printer, like the imageRUNNER ADVANCE multi-function devices. The latter is a colour laser multi-function printer designed to improve office workflow and cost efficiencies; it has smart features such as being able to automatically notify Canon if it runs out of ink. When that happens, Canon sends their team over to replenish. Canon is also able to be flexible; for instance, they gave us a spare printer ink after we requested for it.
We’re really happy working with Canon over the years – it's a really sincere relationship with mutual respect. We have given each other feedback after working together for some time, and it’s heartening to see how Canon has grown and improved based on our feedback. We are especially thankful for the dedicated Canon’s Japanese account manager, who specialises in taking care of Japanese companies based in Singapore – she was happy to help us with our overseas branches even during the circuit breaker period of the pandemic. This wasn’t within her job scope, but her enthusiasm to help made us really appreciative of this relationship we have with Canon.