WhatTheyThink Reprints: This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Our Reprint Service offers presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers.
View Reprint Sample (PDF)         Order Reprint of this article.

WhatTheyThink

Recent Commentary & Analysis

Premium Content Requires Premium Membership

Displaying 1-49 of thousands of articles

 

January Shipments: Well, We Started Great

At $6.94 billion, January shipments were down a little from December’s $6.98 billion, but that was just slightly lower than January 2016’s $6.95 billion—the best January we have had since then. But, elephant in the room...


Around the Web: Medical Masking. Tele Trolling. Mini Marathon. COVID Comedy. Virus Vocabulary. Awful Offices. Weird Webcams. Filter Fail.

So what are we talking about this week? Textile and apparel companies, among others, are helping provide masks and other protective gear for the COVID-19 crisis. Twitter tales of social distancing. “Zoombombing.” Running a 26-mile marathon on a seven-foot balcony. The evolution of Internet humor via coronavirus memes. New coronavirus-related words and phrases are entering the lexicon at a rapid rate. The grossest home offices ever. Webcams that keep eyes out for UFO, Bigfoot, and ghosts. Another livestream, another camera filter left on. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly self-quarantined miscellany.


Community Building in the COVID Economy

MindFire established the COVID-19 Print Group on LinkedIn to provide a forum for printers to help each other share volumes, information, and advice as more states issue Stay at Home policies and organizations are forced to close, leaving clients without service. In three days, membership has grown from zero to nearly 800 members.


Focusing on Value-Added Services for Market Differentiation

To keep their offerings fresh and current, today’s PSPs must change the conversation and shift the focus away from price and toward value-added services. This document discusses how PSPs can highlight the benefits that customers and prospects can enjoy from value-added services.


Printfullness: A Digital State of Mind and Machine Spawning the Next Industrial Revolution (Premium Content)

We have a new word for you: “printfullness”! A digital state of mind and machine that is spawning the next industrial revolution. It’s a growth of design, process, production and demand. Learn more!


Making Masks and Other PPE to Help with the COVID-19 Pandemic

One thing about a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic is that it can bring people together to come up with creative ways to help. We are starting to hear stories about how players in the textiles and apparel industry are doing just that, converting operations to the production of much-needed masks and other PPE, and we wanted to share these inspiring stories with you.


The Postal Strategy: What Will You Do in 2020 to Impact Your Mailing Business? (Premium Content)

The quality of the address on a mailing list can have a significant impact. A single error in an address—a wrong/missing apartment number or an incorrect zip code—can lead to marketing messages, bills, statements, critical privacy, or compliance materials being delayed, misdelivered, or returned. Improving address quality allows your organization to control these costs, improve efficiency, deliver great customer experience, retain loyal customers, and ultimately increase revenues. Postal expert Christine Erna explains how.


Got a 3D Printer? Save a Life

As the world reels from the impact of the coronavirus and the increasing scarcity of critical medical equipment like masks, gloves, and ventilators, the 3D maker community is stepping in to do its part. Do you have a 3D printer? Join the movement.


Strategic Optimization During COVID-19

Documenting your core workflows can be a good strategic use of key resources who might not be fully occupied working from home.


The Canna-Business: Diving into the Business of Cannabis and its Packaging (Premium Content)

As the articles in our series on the cannabis packaging market have shown, this is a high-growth area—but various pitfalls abound. David Zwang talks to several companies producing packaging for the cannabis market and highlights the opportunities they've found and the challenges they faced.


Covering All Bases: Applied Graphics Keep Evolving (Premium Content)

As the options for applied graphics proliferate, it can be a challenge for print service providers to keep up, and yet it has never been more important to understand how a material will perform both on press and on its intended surface. As a result, consumables manufactures are playing a greater consultative role.


Risk Management Roulette—How to Keep Your Business Cyber Safe (Premium Content)

Everyone thinks they don’t need to worry about cybersecurity—until they do. And when there is a data breach, it can be costly and embarrassing—and maybe even business-damaging. Cybersecurity expert Kevin Keane explains why printing businesses need to take data management and security seriously.  


Catalyst Fabric Solutions Leverages Automation for On-Demand Production of Home Décor (Premium Content)

The continued evolution of digital technologies, including printing, for textile-based products has opened the door to more reshoring of manufacturing as well as on-demand production, ease of customization and more. Florida-based Catalyst Fabric Solutions is taking advantage of all of these trends for business growth.


Managing Employee Stress During the COVID-19 Crisis

This is an unprecedented and chaotic time, the nature of business is changing rapidly, and everyone in the organization, from the top down, feels the stress. Wayne Lynn offers some guidance for business leaders to help alleviate employee stress.


Around the Web: Social Salutations. Demanding Distance. Lavatorial Leaves. Restaurant Relics. Menschy Macmillan. Mammoth Manse. Plane Panes. Terrific Tablet. Mine Music.

More alternatives to handshaking. A Chicago restaurant offers free...dinner rolls. “Social distancing enforcement object.” A field guide to local foliage should the TP shortage become acute. Brooklyn restaurateurs uncover a trove of historical materials from a 19th century restaurant. A woman mistakes cheese for soap. Macmillan cancels its plans to deny libraries access to ebooks. An Ice Age house made of mammoth bones. Faux stained glass window clings for airplanes. E Ink’s new tablet could be a hit. The Shaft Bottom Boys play world’s deepest concert. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly self-quarantined miscellany.


Printing Establishments—2010–2017

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2017 there were 25,256 establishments in NAICS 323 (Printing and Related Support Activities). This represents a decline of 13% since the decade began.


Designer Spotlight with Jie Ren: A New Generation of Sustainable Textile and Fashion Design (Premium Content)

Designers are quickly becoming aware of the new opportunities offered by digital technologies for the fashion and home décor industries. In this article, we focus in on Jie Ren and his Fashion Collections, reflecting a new era of fashion manufacturing.


Improving Employee Retention with Effective Training

Employee retention is a top-of-mind issue for nearly every organization. Proper training can improve employee retention and increase company growth. This document explores how today’s print service providers (PSPs) are allocating their training dollars.


Marketers Aren’t Always Using the Most Effective Channels, Even When They Know What They Are

According to new research from Printing for Less (PFL) and Demand Metric, marketers are not always using the most effective channels, even when they know what they are. Instead, they use the channels they know and are most familiar with. A look at some intriguing data on channel use and channel effectiveness, including types of direct mail.


Cannabis Packaging Market to Triple in Three Years According to Smithers

The second in a series of articles about the current cannabis landscape, and the potential opportunities in cannabis product packaging. Market research from Smithers—The Future of Cannabis Packaging to 2024—forecasts that as this market evolves, the value of the packaging for legal cannabis products will rise from $493 million to exceed $1.63 billion in 2024.


Strategic Software Projects—COVID-19

We find ourselves in difficult times, the conditions of which are delivering a window of opportunity to do strategic projects that will accelerate your business when the economic engine starts running at full speed again.


The Cannabis Gold Rush: New Business Opportunities in Packaging and Apparel Are Here for the Taking (Premium Content)

The first in a series of articles about the current cannabis landscape. While this is a high-growth market opportunity for packaging converters, it is also still a Wild West environment, and there are many misunderstandings about what it is comprised of, what’s legal and what’s not, and what the actual benefits of cannabis-derived products are from a health and well-being perspective. In this introductory feature, Cary Sherburne provides an overview of the current state of the market, including definitions, and applications, as well as developments in packaging and even apparel.


Selling CYMK+: A Starter Guide (Part 1) (Premium Content)

One of the popular additions to print shops around the world is the ability to create products that add white ink, embossing, debossing, foil, iridescent and neon colors, metallics, varnishes, texture, and unique folds to create high value. We call it CYMK+ because much of this work is created on digital presses and the ability to add enhancements is the plus. The breadth of options for enhancement provide myriad possibilities, but that might make it hard to find a talk track for the sales team. In tbis two-part feature, Pat McGrew walks through the steps to sell CMYK+ capabilities.


High-Energy Discussions at RadTech UV + EB Conference (Premium Content)

Last week we attended RadTech’s 2020 UV+EB Technology Conference in Orlando. Richard Romano reports on some of the new trends in energy-cured inks for packaging, 3D printing, and how UV technology is helping combat the coronavirus.


Denim Reimagined: A New, More Eco-Friendly Way to Think About Denim (Premium Content)

We all love our blue jeans. They are comfortable, often stylish, but what about their impact on the environment? What if you could have a pair of jeans with an almost indistinguishable look on the outside, but silky soft on the inside, with a 97% water footprint reduction? Sound impossible? With new fabric printing technologies, it’s totally achievable. Read what Dalton Cheng of Intech has to say on this subject and more.


Printed Electronics: Closer Than (But Not Where) You Think (Premium Content)

Printed electronics have been hyped as a potential growth area for printers for years. Pete Basiliere offers a reality check on the current state of printed electronics, what some top applications are, and what printers need to know if they want to pursue them.


Around the Web: Meddling Microbes. Apple AR. Virtual Vestments. Morphing Malls. Wacky Warrants. Crustacean Causeway.

A round up of some virus-laden news items. Apple’s Quick Look adds AR to shopping. Virtual fashion makes “fit pics” sustainable. A Dutch shopping mall that doesn’t sell anything. “Geofencing warrants” trace geolocation data to crime scenes. Building a crab infrastructure on Christmas Island. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Graphic Arts Employment—February 2020

In February 2020, overall printing employment was virtually unchanged from January (-0.1%) and on a year-over-year basis was down -2.0%. Interestingly, production employment was up, albeit infinitesimally.


drupa 2020: HP Indigo Steps Up Their Game All Around (Premium Content)

On the heels of the HP PageWide announcement last week, HP Indigo has now announced some significant technology and product advancements which seem to reaffirm industry shifts, but more importantly highlight the company’s direction going forward.


Don’t Forget to Finish It!

Virtually every printed document requires some type of finishing. The expanding array of digital printing methods has changed the nature of finishing from large-scale devices focused on offset printing to automated methods that often occur alongside a production digital printer. To reach its true potential, the role of finishing must evolve as well. Recent research from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends offers important insights on how print service providers (PSPs) can leverage finishing to win business and drive profitability.


The Economic Case for Employee Engagement (Premium Content)

Having employees that are engaged in and satisfied with their jobs can give a business a powerful competitive edge. In this article, Wayne Lynn looks at the positive impacts that engaged employees can have on a print business’ bottom line.


Which to Choose: Natural Language or PR Speak?

How we speak to our customers matters. Are you using natural language or that “PR speak” that investors love but that causes the average person to tune out?  


Printers Need More Selling During Print Software Implementations (Premium Content)

The sales process should extend into the implementation of print software because all humans need to be persuaded of the merits so that they can become enthusiastic about the new toolset.


Understanding The CCM-to-CXM Evolution

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, the Customer Communications Management (CCM) market is undergoing radical changes on an evolutionary scale. In order to better understand the forces behind this evolution, late last year Aspire CCSsurveyed businesses across the globe, interviewed stakeholders in every facet of the market, and published an extensive report entitled “The State of CCM-to-CXM Transformation.” This four-part series, published in partnership with WhatTheyThink, will take a look at some of the key takeaways from this research by first examining the forces driving this evolution.


drupa 2020—HP Inkjet Has Become Brilliant (Premium Content)

HP likes to combine technology innovation with the release of a new press. In this case, the new innovation is HP Brilliant InkTMand the press is the new HP PageWide Web Press T250 HD. Targeted at commercial and publishing markets, initially Brilliant InkTMadds compatibility with offset coated and uncoated media through the selective use of a new HP Optimizer. This brings HP PageWide to the level of media handling capabilities of the competing Canon ProStream and Ricoh VC70000.


Upcoming Sign Expo Offers Hands-On Educational Opportunities (Premium Content)

As of this morning, the ISA Sign Expo 2020 is still a go. This year, the show heads to Orlando April 1–4, with four days of educational sessions and its continuously expanding exhibition floor. We spoke with Brandon Hensley, ISA’s Chief Operating Officer, and Iain Mackenzie, ISA’s VP of Meetings & Events, for a preview of this year’s show.


Urbanization, Population Growth Drives Rising Worldwide Packaging Market

In 2019, packaging will reach a total global value of $917 billion with demand growing steadily at 2.8% yearly to reach $1.05 trillion in 2024.Rising incomes, growing populations, and rising urbanization are some of the key growth drivers for the global packaging market, according to The Future of Global Packaging to 2024, a new study from Smithers.


Advances in Smart Textiles Add Functionality to Apparel, Home Décor, Health (Premium Content)

Expect to see accelerating developments in smart textiles through 2020 and beyond. A few of the more recent developments are explained in this article by Senior Editor Cary Sherburne, who is keeping tabs on this market segment and the exciting news coming out almost daily. Be sure to check out WhatTheyThink’s Around the Web every Friday for additional smart textile news.


Executive Q&A: Kevin Shimamoto, Chief Marketing Officer, Memjet

Kevin Shimamoto is the CMO of Memjet, a company that is positioned to provide the tools for the next generation of printing applications. His background, and the Memjet mission, is a great story that brings energy and innovation to print.


Catching the Wave in Corrugated Cartons—February 2020 M&A Activity

Welch Packaging Group Stays Strategically Focused with PAX, Thomas Printworks Acquires Dynamic, GSP Adds Custom Color, and more…


Around the Web: All About CBD. The Death of the Apostrophe? History of the Sticker Museum. Paramedical Tattoos. Hive Heists. The Big Data of Big Hair.

A close look at what CBD does in the body. Have we killed the apostrophe? Terry Jones’ final project. Beehive theft is now a thing. Which decade had the biggest hair? A history of sneaker design. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Prepress and Postpress Establishments—2017

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2017 there were 1,373 establishments in NAICS 32312 (Support Activities for Printing). The majority of these establishments (66%) had fewer than 10 employees.


Five Digital Textile Ink Sets and Print Processes Explained (Premium Content)

There have been many advances in ink sets for digital textile printing over the last several years. Are you up to date with the latest information? This article will give you insight into five ink types available, how they work, and which fabric types they are suited for.


Creating a Better Sales Process: Tips for Success

Thanks to an abundance of online information, many buyers conduct a good amount of research on their own before they even engage with a sales rep. This places additional pressure on sales organizations and their reps. This article provides tips on creating a sales process that will engage more customers and close more business.


New Owner Greg Ellison Gets Up to Speed at SpeedPro Denver (Premium Content)

Last November, Greg Ellison took over as the new owner of the well-established SpeedPro Denver. Coming from outside the printing industry, he found the learning curve has been steep but enjoyable.


The Impersonal Personalized Letter

Today I received a marketing letter that was an interesting twist on the use of faux handwriting to make a communication feel more personal. But instead of the handwriting being on the front, it peeked through a window on the back.


Elevating Foundational Print Software Decisions (Premium Content)

There are a lot of decisions to be made around print software; it might surprise you which ones I think are the most important.


Designing With Technology In Mind (Premium Content)

A designer can create a fantastic-looking printed piece, but great design doesn’t mean much if it can’t physically be printed. ColorKarma’s Shoshana Burgett discusses how the technological limitations imposed on designers—whether it be web or print—can actually be empowering.


drupa Preview: Re-Automating Automation—The Next Wave (Premium Content)

On the 20th anniversary of Enfocus PitStop Server, one of the earliest of the automated workflow tools, there is a broader movement to bring automation tools to the next level in order to support the new business and production requirements of today and tomorrow.


Printing Outlook 2020—Happy Days Are Here Again? (Premium Content)

WhatTheyThink’s annual printing industry outlook report, including the results of our Fall 2019 Business Outlook survey, is now available in our Report Store. This article offers some of the top-level results from that survey.


1  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 Next

Copyright © 2011 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Our Reprint Service offers presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers.