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Mid-Year Progress Report: The 2016 Story So Far

The first half of 2016 is in the books. How is the industry faring thus far compared o last year? Our new Economics and Research Center report looks at the latest economic, technological, and cultural trends affecting the industry.


Look What I Found! Print! (Premium Content)

An Olgivy & Mather executive discovers print. We need to discover it, too, looking at print through the eyes of our clients and prospects. It's not that print is dead or not dead, there is a generation of media buyers for whom print is not alive. This ad exec's comments are vital in understanding how to make print relevant and, surprisingly, new.


Color Plus Personalization: Selling the Value of Inkjet (Premium Content)

Many marketers are turning to color and personalization to create pieces with strong visual appeal that prompt consumers to take action. This article cites recent InfoTrends research to explore the effects of color and personalization.


Arizona-based bluemedia Takes Unique Approach to Large Format Workflow

Arizona-based large format printer bluemedia has taken a unique approach to workflow that is serving them well, making it possible to efficiently produce large and small projects – including all of the Super Bowl graphics.


Packaging Material Moving Towards a $1 Trillion Milestone in 2020

The demand for packaging is growing everywhere, but the growth is far from being uniform or monolithic. As always, consumer trends and preferences dictate which packaging formats will gain the most market share.


The New OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Rule Is Final

OSHA’s latest injury and illness recordkeeping rule is now on the books. Now is the time to review your records and safety policies and make sure they are accurate and compliant with. SGIA’s Rick Hartwig walks us through the new rule and requirements and what they mean for print businesses.


How Much Excellence Is in Your Operation?

A new book by former HP Executive Dieter Legat is a how-to guide for getting to operational excellence. Surf the Waves of Opportunity: Lead your business to operational excellence with five things done right, draws on Legat’s many years of operational and consulting experience to provide a working model that can be used in any business.


Dotcom Survivor Retains Print – June 2016 M&A Activity

Dot-com era company, Internet Brands, with backing from KKR, invests in Fodor’s travel guides and commits to maintain print editions, Transcontinental builds flexible packaging division with third US acquisition, Weyerhaeuser completes next step of exit from paper business, ALJ Regional bolts Color Optics onto portfolio company Phoenix Color and more.


Social Media Should Be Part of Your Marketing Mix (Premium Content)

When used effectively, B2B social media marketing can be an essential avenue for building awareness. It can also establish you as a thought leader and act as a mechanism for creating an ongoing dialogue with customers. This article explores what social media techniques B2B firms are using, as well as why and how they are being used.


Xerox and RR Donnelley to Merge? What Would This Mean for the Industry?

Say what? Mainstream media is reporting that the two are in talks, and all this in the middle of Breaking Up Is Hard to Do for both companies. Xerox responded to an email inquiry early this morning with this: “All we are willing to share at this point is that we don’t comment on market speculation.” Expected. RR Donnelley has always been extremely close to the vest even when the topic is not material, so there wasn’t any point in reaching out there. But we do have our feelers out to see what we can pick up.


Web-to-Print From the Customer’s Perspective

Web-to-Print software is sold to printers. Yet, the primary users of web-to-print solutions are the printer’s customers. This situation is the cause of many issues with the success of web-to-print programs. We have three perspectives at work (only one really matters).


Shutterfly and HP Indigo: The Inside Scoop (Premium Content)

At drupa 2016, HP Indigo announced its largest deal ever – 25 HP Indigo 12000s to go to photo specialty printer Shutterfly. This is notable not only for the size of the agreement but for the fact that all 25 units are to be installed over the summer in order to be ready for peak production in the 4th quarter – a monumental task.


Think 3D Printing is Not for You? Think Again!

3D printing was one of six focused areas at drupa 2016. Most printing operations are probably wondering how this can apply to their businesses. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne has some ideas to share that will shed light on the subject.


Next Stop, Industry 4.0: an Interview with Anthony Thirlby (Premium Content)

A master printer, a consultant, and now, the leader of Heidelberg’s Prinect workflow software business, Anthony Thirlby has a framework for process automation that he says can transform every printing plant.


Employment Data Discombobulation Might Require an IRL Meeting (Premium Content)

Commercial printing's workforce reflects consolidation and leaner management. Last week's employment data was so haphazard it looks suspiciously like a dart board was involved. The USPS still needs to be Spooner-fed. If this all sounds confusing, perhaps it's time for an IRL with Dr. Joe.


For This Wrap Cup Master, Competition is Education

This year’s FESPA Wrap Cup Master Jim Miller started in vehicle graphics at the age of 15, applying screen printed decals to his father’s Little Debbie truck. Today, Miller Decals installs vehicle graphics and other types of displays for more than 600 customers around the country.


Successful Sales: Finding the Right Talent (Premium Content)

The relationship sell that worked perfectly fine just a few years ago isn’t good enough anymore. Many sales managers face a common pitfall—they fail to define the skills that are required before determining a strategy. This article discusses the six capabilities are essential for selling successfully in today’s market.


Recovery Indicators Better than Recent Economic News

The recovery indicators showed better economic activity in June. This ended the second quarter in a manner that seemed contrary to many recent economic data.


Are We Headed to QE4?

This chart shows the Fed's balance sheet in the format known as the St. Louis Adjusted Monetary Base. Prior to the doubling of that balance sheet, it was growing at the annual rate of 6%, which was basically comprised of the long term rates of 1% for population growth, 2% for inflation, and 3% for economic growth.


drupa 2016: A Watershed Event

In this article, David Zwang gives a recap of some of the interesting exhibits, products, and some important trends that came out of drupa 2016.


Fall in Love with the Problems - That Software Solves

The biggest mistake in software decisions is relegating the discussion down to the feature level. The feature is a potential solution to an often ill-defined problem which may or may not be relevant to your business.


May Printing Shipments Up +1.2% Versus 2015; Trend is Flattening

US commercial printing shipments for May16 were $7.37 billion, the highest level in current dollars for the month since 2013. For the first five months of 2016, shipments are up approximately +$476 million in current dollars (+1.4%) and up +$79 billion after inflation (+0.2%)


Start-Up Label Producer Seeks Short-Run, Multi-SKU Opportunities

A new label and package printing company is open for business in Lowell, MA. It's called InTouch Labels & Packaging, and while its start-up footprint may be small, its ambitions are anything but.


Emmy-Worthy Press Conferences at drupa 2016

For journalists, drupa means a press conference marathon. Most of these conferences have great content, and it is important to be able to ask questions of executives during these sessions to be able to bring the most accurate and important news to our readers. In this post, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne highlights four press conferences that are deserving of special recognition.


GCSF Eclipses Previous Fundraising Records with Sum Amassed for 2016 Scholarships

In New York City, industry members who care passionately about education have given nearly $700,000 in scholarship grants to students of graphic communications—all without overhead expenses or strings attached.


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