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4over Packaging – A new way of looking at Short Run Packaging

We read a lot of articles and company profiles in the packaging trades that describe companies who are growing their businesses by focusing on a specific niche of the market and developing specialized offerings to serve that niche. I recently interviewed Preston Herrin and Patrick Green of trade printer 4over headquartered in Glendale California who described for me their new offering 4over Packaging.


New Xerox Versant 2100 Raises the Bar for Mid-Entry Digital Presses

David Zwang takes a look at today's announcement by Xerox of their new Versant 2100 press and provides some insight into how the press was developed and what impact it will have on the mid-entry-level production market.


IMS, Inc.: A Role Model for Being Strategic (Premium Content)

The importance of a strategic business approach is becoming increasingly common as today’s technology-charged environment demands rapid change from us all. This article pulls ideas from Erika Andersen’s book entitled Being Strategic and describes how IMS, Inc. is serving as a role model to the industry by performing true strategic thinking.


2013 Newspaper Revenue

Circulation revenue for U.S. newspapers recorded a second consecutive year of growth, rising 3.7% to $10.87 billion in 2013 according to figures released by the Newspaper Association of America. Total revenue was $37.59 billion in 2013, a loss of 2.6 percent over 2012.


Table of Latest Inflation Multipliers

Below is the latest set of multipliers based on the Consumer Price Index. Multiply your historical financial statements by the figures below to adjust data to the CPI for the first quarter of this year.


March 2014 – Deals, Court Filings & Closures in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

The traditional divide between commercial and packaging printers continues to blur as commercial printers seek opportunities in packaging where they can apply their talents, utilize their capital equipment investments, and transition to the packaging industry.


Don't Prioritize Activity Over Strategy

Activity does not equal results. You can be really busy, work really hard and fail miserable because you were busy doing the wrong thing.


Why be a Certified Sustainable Printer (Premium Content)

Any company can say they are environmentally responsible. But what does it really mean? Print buyers who have a mandate from their management to use environmentally responsible suppliers have a tough task sorting through the claims. The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) is an independent, non-profit organization providing a certification label for sustainability in the graphic communications industry. Here is what certification means to four printers.


The Future of Publishing From SXSW

In March Bo attended South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX to see if he could find connections between emerging digital technology and the ever-changing world of magazine media consumption.


Printing Industry Shipments and Profits

For the year, profits were $4.34 billion. On an inflation-adjusted basis, that was the highest level of industry profits since 2007. This is despite there being $28 billion less printing shipments, 8,000 fewer printing establishments, and 73,000 fewer employees. It was the best profits per establishment ($173,000) since 2000.


Being Strategic: It’s Time for Focus! (Premium Content)

The concept of re-evaluating your strategic business plan often gets pushed to the wayside as you get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business. Erika Andersen’s book entitled Being Strategic provides a step-by-step model that business owners can use to build out their strategies. This article provides an overview of the book’s key points of advice.


Printing Profits per Employee Rise

Profits per employee increased to higher levels since 2000. Industry consolidation is a big factor in this report. It is not just mergers and acquisitions, but also plant closures and bankruptcies, and the opening of new businesses that absorb the best and most appropriate resources of the closed plants, and also the strategic changes that surviving companies make as they respond and anticipate marketplace changes, absorbing the sales volume of departed competitors.


Hudson Printing: Innovation and Inspiration (Premium Content)

On a recent visit to Salt Lake City, I had the pleasure of spending time at Hudson Printing. The company’s tagline is Reinvent Print, and it boasts a Director of Innovation. Read more about my visit and the great things happening at Hudson Printing.


Digital Value Discovery (Premium Content)

Those developing systems for packaging applications need to understand what brand owners are interested in, and what are their perceptions of digital printing.


Why it’s Important to Understand the Disruptive Technology Adoption Curve (Premium Content)

All members of the packaging supply chain are under pressure to better address the needs of their customers and offer more efficient products and services. This has led to the development of systems that are classified as “disruptive” to address “areas of need” or “pain points” in the process.


Pitch Perfect: Everyone Wants to be a Better Communicator! (Premium Content)

Results are determined by our words as well as our actions. This article explores Bill McGowan’s book entitled Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time can help you achieve the results that you want. It also highlights the key principles for effective communication that are highlighted in the book.


New Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke Briefs Trade Media (Premium Content)

Three weeks into his new job as Kodak’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors, Jeffrey L. Clarke conducted a briefing with the printing trade media. WhatTheyThink’s Senior Editor Cary Sherburne was on the line and shares some of the thoughts and insights from the call.


Employment-Population Ratio Still Below Pre-Recession Levels

One of the measures of the health of the labor market is the comparison of the total population to civilian employment. This measure has yet to approach levels achieved prior to the recession. This measure is important because it follows the growth in population. The number of workers is now nearly what it was at the start of the recession, but population has grown about 6% since that time. In rough terms, this means that the economy is short about 5.6 million jobs.


Industrial Printing Moving to Digital (Premium Content)

Industrial printing is a massive industry, serving vertical markets from aerospace to electronics, and from medical to interior design. What makes industrial printing (for the most part) unique (and mostly hidden from view) is that most industrial printing companies are not “print for pay” enterprises.


In a “Digital Sneak Peek,” Heidelberg Offers First Word on New Products and a Promise of a Changed Attitude (Premium Content)

In announcing a new and in some ways strikingly different digital strategy, Heidelberg has acknowledged that it can no longer live by sheetfed sales and its own technologies alone.


Print-to-Mobile: An Interview with GTxcel CEO and President Peter Stilson (Premium Content)

Reaching target audiences typically means connecting with these consumers on their desktops, laptops, tablets, and/or smartphones. This article explores how GTxcel is working with its customers to turn a printed document into a browser-based digital edition that can be enjoyed by readers on a desktop/laptop, tablet, smartphone, or any web-enabled device.


Employment Changes in the Printing and Content Creation Industries


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Do I need to do it all at once?

In preparation for this article, David spoke with a wide format print service provider with a portfolio of disparate equipment that implemented the first phase of a production workflow system to automate and optimize some of his processes. The results were quite impressive.


Landa Nanographic Printing – A New Approach for Printing? (Premium Content)

Andy Tribute reviews the nanography printing process and where Landa is with commercial availability of its Nanographic presses. How the claimed advantages of Nanographic presses compare to modern sheetfed offset and liquid toner technology and inkjet systems from Canon/Océ, Xeikon and Konica Minolta.


IPEX 2014 Review (Premium Content)

The Ipex 2014 event in London was not one for major product introductions. The size of the event was much smaller than originally planned due to the withdrawal of many of the major suppliers. Highlights include Konica Minolta, FFEI, LumeJet, Scodix, Riso and others.


Dscoop University: A Competitive Advantage

At Dscoop9, the organization debuted Dscoop University, a member educational initiative announced last year that has come to fruition in a big way. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne provides insight for our readers into the competitive advantage that this offering provides for Dscoop members.


Future-Proofing Your Business

In Part One of this Two-Part series, learn how to “up your game” in sales by changing the customer conversation. Are you “talking the talk” and “walking the walk” in a way that reflects the way marketers approach their day? In Part Two, we will look at the people, process and technology required to successfully and profitably change customer relationship dynamics.


IPEX – A New Approach for Trade Shows

Ipex 2014, which moved from Birmingham to London, was anticipated to be the key event for availability of the raft of new digital presses announced at drupa 2012. Unfortunately Ipex was hit with two major difficulties. First the printing industry did not appear to be recovering from the recession, and second almost none of the new products announced at drupa were going to be ready for release by March 2014.


New Proposal Stresses “Economy of Language” to Save Printing Costs

Last week, the mainstream media were abuzz with the results of a new study—conducted by a 14-year-old-high school student—that found that the U.S. Government could save $400 million by switching typefaces from Times New Roman to Garamond. While the results of this study have not gone without legitimate criticism, that hasn’t stopped others from proposing initiatives that would save the government even more money through changes in typography.


Open House at Mark Andy had a few Stars (Premium Content)

On March 26th I attended an open house at Mark Andy’s global headquarters in Chesterfield, Missouri. The main reason I was invited was to be part of the formal introduction and “coming out” of the company’s Digital Series press.


Signs of the Times—and Times of the Signs: Countdown to the International Sign Expo 2014

The ISA International Sign Expo 2014 is coming to Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center this April 23–26, with educational and networking sessions starting on the 23rd and the trade show itself starting on the 24th. (Each year, the Sign Expo alternates between Las Vegas and Orlando.) Some new features of the show debuted in Vegas last year, and will thus be new to an Orlando—and thus a largely Southeast U.S.— crowd.


Mobile Trends in 2014: It’s Time for PSPs to Pay Attention! (Premium Content)

The Forrester Report entitled Predictions 2014: Mobile Trends for Marketers offers advice that also applies to print service providers as they evolve their businesses and leverage cross-media communications. This article offers recommendations for reaching today’s on-the-go consumers.


The Value Proposition for Digital Package Printing; Part Two – The Two-Track Approach

In Part One of The Value Proposition for Digital Package Printing, we discussed the operations (material and operations planning) and marketing benefits relating to digital printing. Recognizing the reality of this operations and marketing dual purpose for digital, we break the compelling reasons for digital printing in packaging into two tracks.


Future of Changing Leadership

Companies are continually exploring situations that transform their businesses. Leadership must embark on a personal transformation that results in new behaviors and builds a strong aligned team that requires serious-minded personnel decisions.


Partnering for Printing Sustainability

SGP is helping to define what it is for a printing company to be sustainable. Sponsoring organizations play a large part in guiding and supporting SGP. The following article looks at the reasons why some of the sponsors participate.


Big Data…The Right Data! (Premium Content)

“Big Data” is a buzz-phrase that is tempting marketers with the promise of increasing customer engagement. While big data is part of the solution, the real power lies in using the right data. This article discusses the data challenge that today’s marketers face and explores how service providers can help them embrace data to deliver a relevant message.


The Value Proposition for Digital Package Printing; Part One (Premium Content)

Most decisions made by brand owners related to digital printing have a basis in their understanding of the value proposition that digital brings to their organizations. In our report; Is Digital Printing Part of Your Brand or Operational Strategy? we describe how this value proposition is directly tied to unmet needs.


Latest Trends in Packaging Create New Opportunities

Brand owners rely on packaging to not only carry their products to market, but to represent the quality and desirability of those products on store shelves. The package is typically the first interaction a consumer has with a product or brand, and from then on serves as a visual reminder of the experience.


Ad Agency Revenues On Steady Rise Higher

Since the second quarter of 2007, the first quarter for which we can create four-quarter inflation-adjusted moving totals, ad agency revenues are up more than 13%. Publishing industries have note fared well at all.


The Colour of Money (Premium Content)

Sean Smyth of Digital Demand World looks at the importance and capabilities of colour control in print as brands invest more heavily in design.


Breaking the Mold at Dscoop9: Education, Collaboration, and Community

Dscoop9 took place during March 6 – 8 in Orlando, Florida. This article describes how this year’s event emphasized Education, Collaboration, and Community to help promote business growth.


Wide-Format: Pain Points & Opportunities (Premium Content)

Dan shares some of the most pertinent pain points discussed at SGIA's annual Congress of Committees, as they provide a unique view into today’s wide-format industry.


The Way You Do Anything is the Way You Do Everything: Great Lessons for the Printing Industry (Premium Content)

Before you can hope to change your company’s fortunes, you must first change yourself. This article highlights advice from Suzanne Evans’ book entitled The Way You Do Anything is the Way You Do Everything and discusses how print service providers can use these insights to make better investment decisions.


The Growing Role of Digital Printing in Brand Protection Strategies

For marketers and manufacturers of consumer products, true value lies not only in the products themselves but also in the recognition and reputation of the brand. Unfortunately, brand owners are facing more risks as counterfeiting and diversion activities increase around the globe.


...But Is It Art? (Premium Content)

It was a sunny morning Southern California. An ocean breeze was blowing in from nearby Redondo Beach, and as the freight train next door—the bane of our existence—clattered endlessly and rattled the building, we gathered in the first floor conference room of the Torrance offices of Micro Publishing News magazine to evaluate the hundred or so submissions to what, back in 1999, was our Seventh Annual Digital Art contest.


New Travel Planning Apps are the Star of the Celebrity Cruises Marketing Show (Premium Content)

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne interviews Celebrity Cruises about its first-ever set of digital vacation planning apps and what they mean for brochures and other printed materials. Most of what we have written about Adobe DPS and other publishing app makers has been focused on digital magazine issues. This story takes digital publishing deeper into print territory. Is it good news or bad for print?


US Commercial Printing Industry Demographics, 2011 to 2018 (Premium Content)

In recent weeks, readers have asked for industry demographics and some prognostication about them. The data tables are below. But first, some information about the data and where they come from. Get a strong coffee.


The Value Proposition for Digital Package Printing; Part One (Premium Content)

Most decisions made by brand owners related to digital printing have a basis in their understanding of the value proposition that digital brings to their organizations.


Industry Veteran Ramesh Ratan Joins Bell and Howell as CEO (Premium Content)

Industry veteran Ramesh Ratan joined Bell and Howell as its CEO in January of 2014. He previously held executive positions with the DMA and Pitney Bowes, among others. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with him about Bell and Howell’s current state and it strategies for the future.


DG3 Blasts Off into High-Volume Personalization with the Debut of Its HP T230 Color Inkjet Web Press (Premium Content)

The installation lets customers add high-volume digital web printing to the array of services they buy from DG3, one of the top providers print and visual communication products in the Northeast.


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