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Commentary & Analysis

Welcome to the Future of Finishing!

Today marks the launch of a new Finishing Section on WhatTheyThink and section editor Trish Witkowski gives us an overview of the kinds of things she'll be covering in this special interest area. Welcome to the future of finishing!

By Trish Witkowski
Published: February 5, 2018

I end every episode of my video series with one simple statement: “Think finishing at the beginning.” It’s my mantra, because a perfectly printed sheet can instantly become a costly “make-good” due to a bad trim, cracking at the folds, poor glue adhesion, and a laundry list of other print finishing nightmares we’ve all seen or heard of over the course of our careers. It’s what keeps us up at night. 

I hate to see great print go bad, and I have always appreciated skilled finishing from the most complex to the simplest of jobs. So, with good reason, in 2018 there is tremendous focus and momentum in the finishing category—and it is my honor to moderate a channel dedicated to the latest technologies, trends and strategies in post press. 

Those of you who know me know that I have spent nearly 20 years studying folding, finishing and direct mail. I’m an RIT grad and a former student of industry legends Frank Romano and Werner Rebsamen. I’ve been on the client side as a creative director in my early career, on the shop floor touring print facilities and trade binderies large and small, and on stage at print industry events. These days, I’m on the manufacturing side as well, running a B2B and now a B2C division of my company, Foldfactory. I’ve spoken to hundreds of printers, and reached tens of thousands of their clients over the years at in-person events, and through videos and social media platforms. 

Given my dimensional graphic arts background, I’m looking forward to engaging with everyone in the category to learn more about what you’re doing and where you’re going—both technologically, and strategically. I’d like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to contact me (trish@whattheythink.com) with your latest finishing news, ideas and strategies. 

This section is going to be covering the following topics for the commercial print and packaging industries:

  • Binding – perfect, saddle stitch, sewn, mechanical, Layflat, etc.
  • Folding – standard, small and large format, specialty
  • Emboss, Foil Stamp
  • Cut, Crease, Slit
  • Laser Cut, Digital Cut
  • Coatings – UV, Specialty, Lamination
  • Drill, Insert, String
  • Glue, Seal, Attach
  • Inline Automate
  • Mail Prep

To the printers and binderies, I ask: What is important in print finishing? If there’s something you want to know more about, or a recurring challenge you’re facing, I’d like to help close those gaps.

Lastly, I’d like to give a shout-out to Standard Finishing Systems for their sponsorship of this channel. It’s with their generous support that we are up and running. 

Thanks for taking the time to check out this new section, and I look forward to collaborating and keeping everyone informed about the hottest issues, trends and strategies in print finishing today.


Trish specializes in creative solutions and engagement strategies for direct mail and marketing. She frequently travels and speaks to print organizations and their clients to illustrate the power of print. 



By Pat Barnum on Feb 05, 2018

I need a "like" button! Looking forward to hearing more from you Trish.


By Thomas Lickert on Feb 05, 2018

How do I follow your articles, videos on What They Think. I been a fan of your folds for a few years now. Would like to connect to your new articles etc.



By Connie Manoliu on Feb 05, 2018

I agree with Thomas. I too have been a fan for years and would like to follow your new articles.


By MIke Murray on Feb 05, 2018

Please don't forget padding and how it relates to the direct mail and pad business.


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