The PPP Comes to the Aid of the Industry

The Government has begun releasing details of the recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aid. In general, the Treasury Department and SBA have issued $7.2 billion to graphic communications industry businesses, retaining 440,609 industry jobs. We break down loan amounts paid out to industry businesses by NAICS code, as well as the number of jobs retained.

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.

Donuts Lead the Way in Return to Normalcy  —June 2020 M&A Activity

Southern Champion Tray Acquires, Brook & Whittle Establishes Western Presence, and more…

Five (No or Low-Cost) Ideas for Turning Downtime into a Path to a Stronger, More Profitable Business

Your print shop is still open and you don’t want to lay off or furlough employees unless you have to, but the work isn’t flowing in like it was. How can you justify keeping them on? One of the answers is to see this as an opportunity to invest in strategies that will pay off in an even stronger, more profitable workplace for everyone long term.  Here are five ideas for starters.

Between the Sheets: Digital Printing for a Digital World

More businesses and brands embrace digital print as an efficient and cost-effective way to reach their audiences. This article, sponsored by Neenah Paper, offers some tips, best practices, and new ideas for using digital printing for direct marketing, and looks at the latest in Neenah’s popular Explore series that uses creatively designed print samples to help designers and printers alike get the most out of digital printing technologies.

SpeedPro Launches InfoLnkX for Contactless Restaurant Menus—and More

In development even before COVID-19 hit, InfoLnkX by SpeedPro is an NFC-based chip that can be programmed to deliver digital, contactless menus to patrons’ phones right from restaurant signage or table decals. But the uses for InfoLnkX go far beyond restaurant applications.

What Came Before Munsell and Pantone?

Back before Pantone, and even before Munsell, there was the Traité Des Couleurs Servant à la Peinture à L’ea. Colorkarma’s Shoshana Burgett traces the colorful history of the color reference guide.

Trends Update: Textiles and Apparel

As we proceed into the second half of 2020, Cary Sherburne rounds up some of the top textile and apparel trends we have seen thus far this year.

A moment of levity. View Today's Dilbert

Dilbert is brought to you by the hiring pros at PrintLink. PrintLink is the industry leader in Executive Search & Professional Placement.

Industry Data
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

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

Periodical Publishing Establishments—2010–2017

In 2010, there were 7,221 US periodical publishing establishments; by 2017, that number had dropped to 5,279. Magazines have been struggling in the Internet age, with closures and consolidations, but also have been seeing a shift in what constitutes “periodical publishing.” Also: we’re officially in a recession (surprise). Full Analysis

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

Joe Lindfeldt on The PPP Comes to the Aid of the Industry

I wonder how accurate this data is. We are hearing of many companies who did not take PPP, but who were reported as taking PPP, including our company. Reply

Wally Pocius on The PPP Comes to the Aid of the Industry

It does not seem to matter where I look, but narrow web flexographic labels are an overlook market segment that has remained in a steady growth profile while other markets keep loosing market shares...it would be interesting to see what part of your … Full comment Reply

Thomas Hybki on Two Sides Says Direct Mail Provides Opportunity for Brands to Cut Through the Noise

Love it. That's a wild stat about the 17 days the mail is around the house. I wonder how many impressions that is on average haha. I doubt there would be any way to check. But it's impressive. Digital and TV aint got nothing on that! Reply

Wayne Lynn on The Amazing Balance That Was Creo Culture

David, nice article. It's a beautiful thing when something like that comes together. Reply

Pat Berger on PRINTING United Cancels 2020 Trade Show, Transitioning to Virtual Event

I hope they don't do a virtual show. I am tired of looking at videos for information. Viewing body language is much a part of the shows as kicking tires. Live interaction between all sellers and buyers. Spoken language descriptions entails… Full comment Reply


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.

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