WhatTheyThink

Factory Automation for Printing Fabric On Demand Translates to Big Business for Raspberry Creek Fabrics

Diana Rammell wanted better fitting clothes but was disappointed in the selection of fabrics she could find. So she took matters into her own hands, founding Raspberry Creek Fabrics in 2010 to create more compelling fabric designs. When her dreams got a little out of control, her attorney husband, Justin, stepped in to help. Today, the company produces some 40,000 yards of custom fabrics every month and continues to grow.

drupa 2021 Essentials of Print: Assessments, Platforms, and Making Money with Workflow

The most expensive things you do in your printing plant every day involve talking to clients and physically touching their work. You talk to clients to better understand the work they want you to do, and you touch the work, in prepress or at other points in the process to ensure that the client’s intent is rendered on to the substrate. But every conversation and every touch has a financial impact. While you rely on workflow tools to aid the process, in most companies there are also spreadsheets, whiteboards, and sticky notes used to gather and communicate information about the jobs-in-progress. It’s only natural! However, the more you talk and touch, the less money you make on the job.

Fence-Free Collaborative Robots 4.0: Cobots and Robots Change the Printing Industry

The advent of small robots that bypass established robot security requirements (fences, scanners etc.) spawned “fence-free robots,” also known as “cobots” for their ability to collaborate with human operators. Graphic Robotics' Henrik Christensen looks at the current state of fence-free robots and their potential place in printing operations.

April Printing Shipments—Here We Go

As we expected, April 2020 printing shipments took a tumble—falling from $7.18 billion in March down to $6.56 billion. Hmm...what could have caused that?

It’s All About the Benjamins

In the course of Frank’s travels across America, he has tried to seek out every statue of and monument to Benjamin Franklin. Take your mind off the pandemic for a while and watch his “home movie” of Franklin memorials. More than once, he had to ask someone “Where’s the Ben Franklin statue?”

Around the Web: Digital Dyeing. Hat Hare. Color Conflict. Banning Ban. Bistro Bots. Bringing Back Boomboxes. Conferencing Cleanliness. Crazy Car Concept. Hidden Honda. Larson’s Latest.

More sustainable options for fabric dyeing. Turn your pets’ fur into knittable yarn. Today’s designers are taking new approaches to working with color. LinkedIn now offers audio support for correct name pronunciation. Berlin public transport bans deodorant to promote mask wearing. A Dutch restaurant uses robot waitstaff to enforce social distancing. “Boombox restoration.” NYC’s canceled Shakespeare in the Park heads to radio and podcasting. A municipal councillor in Spain neglects to turn off video while showering during a Zoom call. BMW to offer auto features on a subscription basis. Words of advice: don’t microwave library books. “The Far Side” is back...sort of. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly masked miscellany.

COVID-19 Accelerates Channel Fog and Channel Fatigue

Contrary to many assumptions and preconceived notions, the share of transactional communications that consumers accessed electronically declined steadily over the past three years. This article explores how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating consumers’ demands for service providers to communicate with them via their desired channels.

Estimating: Your Customers Least Favorite Aspect of Print Buying

Getting your customer’s pricing is a critical measure of customer satisfaction. Your customer might not be outwardly complaining, but many print customers are migrating to online solutions that provide immediate pricing. Not every job you produce deserves a manual estimate.

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Industry Data
TODO
April Printing Shipments—Here We Go

As we expected, April 2020 printing shipments took a tumble—falling from $7.18 billion in March down to $6.56 billion. Hmm...what could have caused that? Full Analysis

TODO
Book Publishing Establishments—2010–2017

In 2010, there were 2,973 US book publishing establishments; by 2017, that number had dropped to 2,440. Book publishers are especially well-represented in Non-Employer Statistics. Full Analysis

TODO
A Tale of Two Cities: The Pandemic Years

Annualized profits for Q1 2020 took a nosedive from $990 million to -$4 billion. Sure, the pandemic hit in the last three weeks of the quarter, but this is an old story that predates COVID. Full Analysis

TODO
Printing Outlook 2020 - The WhatTheyThink Overview of the Current State of the Printing Industry

The Printing Outlook 2020 report provides detailed analysis of the latest WhatTheyThink Printing Industry Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2020 and beyond.

Updated April 28, 2020 to include a COVID-19 Survey that we conducted Late March/Early April 2020.

Purchase Report

Recent Discussion

Dave Hultin on Estimating: Your Customers Least Favorite Aspect of Print Buying

Agreed! Leaving the world of estimating for a moment, think of all the electricity and advertising dollars pumped into high-traffic venues like NY Times Square. So much of that is just wasted because people are walking around with their noses down in… Full comment Reply

Jennifer Matt on Estimating: Your Customers Least Favorite Aspect of Print Buying

Dave and Robert - what I like about what covid-19 is doing to us is really looking at our "this is the way we've been doing it" behaviors. The world has changed rather dramatically in our life times; primarily due to the crazy-making pace of technolo… Full comment Reply

Joe Lindfeldt on Devastated by the Downturn, APPi Bounces Back with Antimicrobial Paper Coating

While I am sure many will watch this video, I wonder how many will read the response comments. Maybe David Zwang and John Beadel should consider a clarifying video or article. Reply

Naresh Bordia on PunchOut2Go and Radixweb Bring PunchOut and Sales Order Automation to OnPrintShop

Post COVID-19 Pandemic, online eCommerce & Procurement is an essential requirement from Corporate clients. Many Commercial Printers serving Large Corporates are challenged as B2B clients need an end to end integrated solution with their internal ERP … Full comment Reply

Cary Sherburne on Around the Web: Digital Dyeing. Hat Hare. Color Conflict. Banning Ban. Bistro Bots. Bringing Back Boomboxes. Conferencing Cleanliness. Crazy Car Concept. Hidden Honda. Larson’s Latest.

I thought the restaurant robots piece was pretty interesting, as was the headline. I'm old enough to remember the Twilight Zone episode called To Serve Man, wherein ETs came to earth with that stated purpose. Only it turned out to be the title of a c… Full comment Reply

Magazine

WhatTheyThink Magazine is the resource for the Commercial Printing, Visual and Graphic Arts Industries. Industry experts share their ideas and technical knowledge on ways to improve operations.

WhatTheyThink publishes 2 editions of the magazine: Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage. Subscription are free to qualified industry professionals or via paid subscription.