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Around the Web: Mobile Medals. Human Tails. Reviving Bookshops. Ugly Gerry. Dog Mode. Artificial Tongue. Libeling Parrots.

The medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are being made from recycled mobile phones. An Irish teen wins the Google Science Fair for a system for removing microplastics from the oceans. Can Waterstones’ savior duplicate that success for Barnes & Noble? A typeface based on heinously gerrymandered Congressional districts. Scottish researchers develop an artificial tongue for whisky tasting. 3M streamlines packaging material. If you’re a UK publisher, go ahead and insult all the parrots you want. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


OpenText Enterprise World: A Shift into the Information Era!

Offering insights into the latest trends as well as stories on successful digital transformations, OpenText Enterprise World is designed to help attendees unlock their information advantage. This article provides a brief overview of the 2019 event in Toronto.


What Neuroscience Can Tell Us About Why Magazine Ads (and All Good Print Marketing) Work

Highlights from the white paper “What Can Neuroscience Tell Us About Why Magazine Advertising Works?” Published by the Magazine Publishers Association, the white paper synthesizes years of neuroscience studies on why people understand, recall, and are better motivated by information provided in print rather than digital.


What’s in a Letter?—July 2019 M&A Activity

Monotype Imaging Goes Private, DG3 Acquires, Coloredge Merges, and more…


Strategic vs. Tactical Print Employees (Premium Content)

Your print business has two kinds of challenges: the challenge of getting jobs out the door (tactical) and the business of continuing to strategically evolve so you maintain relevance and competitive advantage in the marketplace.


Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) Acquiring NAPCO Media

The state of printing industry associations is still very much in a state of flux with a few still trying to survive. This latest move may tip the scales.


Production Inkjet: Welcome to the Revolution—Front Line Report from Rochester’s Mercury Printing (Premium Content)

This article is a part of a series looking at production inkjet solutions leading up to and through drupa 2020. We will look at what’s new, how it’s being used, and how it’s  transforming print service providers. In this article, we go to the front lines and we take a look at Mercury Printing of Rochester, N.Y., a perfect example of a digital technology and business transformation. And for all the right reasons…


New in Technical Textiles: Smart Diapers, Lava Suits, and More (Premium Content)

The topic of technical textiles can be a bit geeky. But there are always new and interesting developments in this area. Take P&G’s new smart diapers, or the protective lava suit for geologists from the University of Missouri working in volcanic areas, for example. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne digs into these topics and more.


June Jobs: Up in the Short Term, Down in the Long Term (Premium Content)

In June, overall printing employment grew +0.5% from May to June 2019. On a year-over-year basis, it is down -2.5%. Production employment was up +0.4% from May to June, but year-over-year was down -4.9%. Non-production employment was up +0.7% from May to June, and year-over-year was up +2.6%.


Around the Web: Mechanical Marketers. Breathable Lava Suits. Smart Diapers. Wearable Air Conditioners. Paper Organs. Geomessages. Butternauts! Words About Words. Craving Carvers. Rebooted Airplanes.

Chase replaces its copywriters with AI. What to wear when immersed in molten rock. “If only there were a way to determine when a diaper needed changing...” Look cool being cool. Creating organ models from maps of Zürich, for some reason. Sending messages via geomapping. The dictionary explains “fursona,” upsettingly. The stone carver job market heats up. New books for language nerds. “We will start boarding as soon as the plane has rebooted.” All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Why is TransPromo Hot Again?

TransPromo—bicapitalized with a T and P to emphasize the link between transactional and promotional communications—is experiencing a resurgence. Consumer-facing communicators are using TransPromo techniques in their printed and digital communications. This article explores why TransPromo is re-emerging as a talk track.


SAi Launches Augmented Reality App for Signmakers (Premium Content)

SAi’s new VirtualSign is an augmented reality (AR) app that lets signmakers show clients how a sign will look in situ before it is printed and installed. We spoke wth SAi’s Gudrun Bonte, Vice President of Product Management, who oversaw the development of the app.


Areas Where Only Print Can Reach (Still)

We have been hearing for a while that 24% of Americans in rural areas still have no access to broadband, making print critical for marketers looking to reach those areas. This isn’t just a small pocket here and there. There are entire communities, even cities, without broadband access, where only traditional channels like print can reach.


Five Critical Issues Brands Face in the Global Packaging & Printing Supply Chain (Premium Content)

Idealliance CEO Timothy Baechle identifies the five most critical issues that brands face today in terms of their global packaging and printing supply chain: finding qualified vendors, effective communication, evaluation, validation, and the need to never stop learning. This article looks at those five issues and how mastering them can help build an unbreakable supply chain.


Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Using Targeted Print Samples: Banks (Premium Content)

In part 7 of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she puts together a print sample kit for a specific vertical market: banks. If you or your sales reps are trying to sell your services to a bank, what kinds of items should you include in your Bank Marketing Sample Kit?


Lectra Acquisition of Retviews Helps Bring Realization of Industry 4.0 Closer for Fashion Brands (Premium Content)

Lectra offers solutions that give fashion, automotive, and furniture companies the means to embark on the Industry 4.0 journey. Its recent acquisition of data company Retviews is another arrow in the company’s quiver. We spoke with Maximilien Abadie, Chief Strategy Officer for Lectra, to learn more.


Converted Paper Product Manufacturing Establishments—2016

in 2016, there were 3,638 establishments in NAICS 3222 (Converted Paper Product Manufacturing). More than four out of 10 of these establishments (42%) have 50 or more employees and two-thirds (65%) have 20 or more employees.


Around the Web: Medical Tattooing. Etsy Faces the Music. Guinness’ Road Less Traveled. Another Press Conference Cat-astrophe. Slugs in Medieval Manuscripts. Wienerbnb.

Disney’s “Escape from the Haunted Mansion” papercraft. Tattoos that function as medical diagnostics. Etsy buys musical marketplace. What technology will be obsolete in your lifetime? Is the world’s steepest road really the steepest in the world? What is it with these cat filters? A long, but well-worth-it Twitter thread about slugs in Medieval manuscript illumination. Spend a night in the Wienermobile...if you dare. “Disruption has come for toilet paper.” All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Are You 100% Digitally Transformed?

Many businesses believe they’ve made the digital transformation, yet market shares of digitally printed pages are only in single digits. This article explores the disconnect between perceptions and reality in our industry’s digital transformation, and also discusses what must be done to help close this gap.


Beware of Dog: Automation and Wide-Format Printing (Premium Content)

Automation for wide-format printing can encompass a lot of different processes, from automatic file processing, to robotics, even to database management. Where once wide format was deemed too “artisanal” or “craft-like” to be automated, the times are changing. After all, as competition in the wide-format segment continues to heat up, automation becomes a key element in controlling costs. We’ll take a look at the current state of automation for wide-format printing.


Are You Walking the Customer Retention Walk with Your Customers?

Whether it’s a print business or any other type of business (such as your customers’ businesses), retaining customers is critical. But knowing how important it is and being able to develop and execute an effective strategy are two different things. Here are five tips you can use to guide your customer retention strategy, as well as your customers’.


RFPs Are Not a Good Way to Procure Print Software (Premium Content)

Learning is the most important part of software procurement decisions. The vendor needs to learn about you (to assess if you are a good fit for their solution) and you need to learn about the vendor. An RFP doesn’t facilitate any learning.


Production Inkjet: Welcome to the Revolution—Time to Take Stock (Premium Content)

Production inkjet solutions are proliferating at an ever-increasing rate. The quality of many of the solutions has finally reached that of offset, and the productivity has surpassed that of toner. There are also a lot more options and opportunities. Perhaps it is time to step back and take stock of where we are and where things could be going?


Enabling Sales with the Right Story: How To Demonstrate Your Company’s Capabilities (Premium Content)

In part 6 of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she identifies some specific print samples to use to demonstrate your company’s capabilities.


SensorKnits: A New Approach to Wearable Tech (Premium Content)

As part of our coverage of textiles and apparel, we look for interesting developments, both in the more conventional textiles and apparel market as it transitions to a more digital approach, as well as developments in technical textiles. In this article, we present the work being done at the MIT Media Lab to use knitting to embed conductive fibers in fabric in order to add functionality.


May Printing Shipments Up from April

Printing shipments for May 2019 were up from April—and even came in above May 2018 shipments, albeit only very slightly.


Around the Web: Newspaperless Starbucks. Printless Textbooks. Madless Al Jaffee. Memeless TikTok. Painless Airplane Seats? Monkless Chanting. Methless Gators.

Starbucks stops selling newspapers. Pearson switches to etextbooks. All about the semicolon. Coder Margaret Hamilton saved the Apollo 11 mission. The inventor of the computer password is ******. What is TikTok? IBM patents a smartwatch that unfolds into a tablet. Whatever happened to all those Bob Ross paintings? F. Scott Fitzgerald and “cocktail” as a verb. Heavy metal knitting. Twinkies for Breakfast. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Why Gamification Matters to Print Service Providers

There are lessons that PSPs can learn in watching how the general public interacts with video games—a roughly $140 billion dollar industry that exists simply because people like to have fun. By bringing elements of game design into their companies and products, PSPs can create better, stronger training practices for their employees while also developing more engaging versions of their products. All of this can be accomplished through a process called gamification.


Getting the Most Out of Your P&L Statement (Premium Content)

Do you use your monthly profit and loss (P&L) statement to its fullest? Although few do more with it than quickly glance at—and perhaps lament—the bottom line, the P&L can offer valuable information about how your business is performing. In this latest installment of his Pricing series, Robert Lindgren explains how.


Is Heavier Weight Paper Worth It? This Study Says Yes

Last week, I posted a list of links to neuroscience studies showing the power of print over digital in many areas, including content retention, recall, and willingness to buy. One of those resources contains a reference to a 2015 study that is often overlooked. The study looks not just at print vs. digital, but the weight of the paper, as well. If you are not familiar with this study, you should be.


The Event the Print Industry Needs (Premium Content)

A learning event vs. a selling event—that is the event the print industry needs. An event where you go to solve your challenges through active collaboration, open-minded because nobody is trying to sell you anything.


The Evolution of APTech and the Future of the PRINT Show (Premium Content)

Cary Sherburne talks with Thayer Long, the current president of the Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech), about the evolution of APTech, the upcoming PRINT 19 show, and a look ahead to the new Brand Print Americas 2020, the result of a strategic alliance with the Tarsus Group, owner and organizer of Labelexpo and Brand Print Global Series, which will replace PRINT 2020.


Dare to Be Different! (Premium Content)

The impression is dead—long live the impression! Long live printing that is integrated alongside other communication channels. This is the way forward and to get it right, you need to make two changes: throw away the old baggage you’ve carried for so long and embrace a change of mentality. You must swap the old habits of traditional printing for digital ones!


Enabling Sales with the Right Story: Evaluating Your Print Samples (Premium Content)

In part 5 of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she talks about how to evaluate the print samples your sales team uses to sell your company’s capabilities.


Addressing Color Management Challenges in a Hybrid Analog/Digital Textiles & Apparel Industry (Premium Content)

In the textiles and apparel industry, color management has historically been a given. Now with the introduction of digital textile printing into the mix, new color management challenges have arisen. In this article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at the current state of color management in the textiles and apparel industry, and where it goes from here.


PR Agency Employees—2010–2016

In 2016, there were 58,489 employees in establishments in NAICS 54182 (Public Relations Agencies). Employment in this category has grown +17% from 2010 to 2016.


Around the Web: Knitted Sensors. Disabled Books. The City that Invented the Publishing Industry. Brands and Amazon Search. Most Valuable Brands. Underwater Internet. Another Photo Cake Incident.

The MIT Media Lab develops knitted sensors. Microsoft discontinues its ebooks—and erases everyone’s libraries. Venice and the dawn of book publishing. Most of product searches on Amazon are brand-free. Sea-level rise may adversely affect the Internet. An AR application to identify street artists. Working for the [Robot] Man. Use AI to keep your prey-toting pet out of the house. Levitating turntables. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


Handling Objections: It’s About Preparation and Identification

Sales objections can be daunting for even the most seasoned salespeople, creating a feeling of disapproval or opposition. Objections can come in many forms. This article explores how all salespeople, regardless of experience or tenure, can properly prepare for them.


Making More Productive People Decisions (Premium Content)

You know how it is: You’re looking to fill a position in your company. You find a prospect who has a great resume and interviews like a pro. They know the job and have the requisite experience, so you hire them, only to find their actual job performance lacking. What happened? Chances are, you only evaluated basic technical qualifications rather than behavioral traits that could determine if that employee was a good for for your company. In this article, Wayne Lynn explains why you should look beyond the resume.


Email Is a Terrible Way to Communicate (Internally) (Premium Content)

Internal communication deserves better tools than email. Real collaboration happens best when more, not fewer, people are involved. Taking internal communication out of email reduces the cognitive overhead of deciding whom to communicate with.


Neuroscience and Print: Compiled List of Links

Print and digital communications both have their strengths, but when it comes to comprehension and recall, studies consistently show that information communicated in print is more deeply embedded, recalled with more detail, and creates a more powerful emotional engagement than digital. Here is a compiled list of links on studies on the neuroscience of print, or how our brains respond to print vs. digital communications, listed in chronological order of publication.


Landa: And They’re Off… (Premium Content)

Benny Landa first introduced the concept of “Nanography” at drupa 2012. There was a reaffirmation of the introduction at drupa 2016, and since then, lots of quiet. It turns out the quiet was self-imposed, and in the interim Landa has been very busy building an organization and shipping presses.


Let There Be More Light: LED Signage Hits the Big—and Small—Time (Premium Content)

Advances in LED technology—and of course lower costs—have enabled LED signage to move indoors, and are even replacing LCD-based dynamic digital signage (DDS) for many applications.


Digital Technologies, Innovation and Sustainability Top the Conversation List at ITMA 2019 (Premium Content)

Digital technologies, innovation and sustainability were key elements that drew a great deal of attention at the recent ITMA 2019 show in Barcelona. In this second ITMA article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne highlights some of the advances she noticed during the show. This just scratches the surface of ITMA announcements but provides a feel for the speed with which the industry is adopting digital technologies that affect the entire supply chain.


Print Publishing in Turmoil—June 2019 M&A Activity

Justice Department Blocks Quad, Condé Nast Sheds W, Colortree Closes and more…


Xerox Baltoro Inkjet Platform Overview (Premium Content)

Xerox has announced the availability of the Baltoro High Fusion Inkjet Press. Xerox has positioned the Baltoro as a “platform” in the model of the Trivor, iGen and DocuTech series of devices.


Printing Industry Profits: What Goes Up...

Industry profits data came out earlier this month, and overall profits slipped a little. Annualized profits for Q1 2019 were $3.58 billion, down slightly from $3.66 billion in Q4 of last year. Again, it’s the large printers that are dragging down overall industry profitability.


Around the Web: Yet More Meeker! Madvertising. Roasting Design. Trouble On the Map. Public Domain: The Musical. Danger: Slugs! The ENIAC Programmers Project. Portugal’s Plastic Rocks. Fishbots!

Mary Meeker Slide Roulette. Brands harness online outrage. How can an Albany antiquarian bookstore outlast its owner? Core77 roasts bad industrial design. Fake businesses on Google Maps. Celebrating the original six ENIAC programmers—women all. Country Time is on your side. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.


The Bürkle and EFI Partnership: A LIGNA 2019 Interview

During LIGNA 2019, Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends caught up with José Luis Ramón Moreno of EFI and Olaf Rohrbeck of Bürkle/LIGNA to learn more about the recently announced partnership between EFI and Robert Bürkle GmbH. This article provides a transcription of the interview.


Avery Dennison Launches New Car Wrap Visualizer (Premium Content)

To help vehicle wrap installers better help customers with color change vehicle wraps, Avery Dennison has launched an online Car Wrap Visualizer that shows how a particular vinyl film color looks on a representative sample of vehicle types. We spoke with Avery Dennison’s Abby Monnot, who helped develop the tool.


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