WhatTheyThink

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Actega EcoLeaf (aka Nano Metallography) Digital Metallization Ready for Prime Time

At drupa 2016, Landa Labs introduced Nano Metallography, a new metallization technology to replace foils for embellishments. This process is designed to produce zero waste at less than half the cost of foil. In February of 2017, Actega Metal Print, a division of Altana AG, acquired the technology and rebranded it EcoLeaf. The solution is now going into beta and will be fully commercialized in time for drupa 2020.

Five Packaging Design Trends That Work

The packaging world is evolving across shape, form, and function. Agencies and designers have novel canvases to work with. Here are a few packaging trends being seen in various markets, and why each is unique. 

The Penguin’s Native Tongue is Now German—December 2019 M&A Activity

Bertelsmann Buys Balance of Penguin Random House, Ripon is Sold, Blackstone Invests in HH Global, and more…

Replicate the Real Thing

One of the fastest-growing applications in wide-format and industrial printing is textures. While a lot has been written about how these kinds of materials are printed, not much has been said about how these textures are created. This article looks at multi configuration scanners from METIS, used to capture high-quality, photorealistic reproductions of existing surfaces.

AATCC and SGIA Digital Textile Printing Conference 4.0 Another Huge Success

For the fourth straight year, AATCC and SGIA joined forces to bring the Digital Textile Printing Conference to the industry, a forum that addressed pressing issues and provided nearly 140 attendees with the ability to learn, network, and provide feedback that will help the associations continue to meet the needs of an evolving industry.

The Next Chapter in the Printing Profits “Tale of Two Cities”

Industry profits data for the third quarter of 2019 were down from $3.05 billion in Q2 to $2.65 billion. Large printers continue to be the trouble spot.

Around the Web: Decade Dilemmas. Fiber Fallout. Paper Packing. Tentacle Trouble. Nifty Notebooks. Clever Keyboard. Helping Hive.

What are technology’s biggest challenges for the next decade? What are the top emerging technologies? Are natural fibers better for the environment than artificial fibers? Paper-based alternative to Bubble Wrap. The eternal struggle: eagle vs. octopus. For sale: Alaskan newspaper. Cost: $0. A teenager installs a 1,500-pound mainframe computer in his parents’ basement. A portable roll-up keyboard for smartphones and tablets. The rebirth of cursive writing? Bees as service animals. Rejoice: Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” is now online! All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Reinventing the Craft Industry Utilizing Digital Textile Printing

The Maker movement continues to grow around the globe. In this post, WhatTheyThink contributor and textiles expert Debbie McKeegan outlines how digital technologies are spurring even further growth and opportunity in the UK market. These trends are relevant to North America as well, enabling creative individuals, designers, and artisans to build their own unique businesses and together generate a vibrant craft Industry in ever increasing numbers.

Effective Sales Training Starts with Strategy

Print service providers with the highest growth rates employ great salespeople, so investing in your salespeople makes sense—especially with the rapid rate of change in our industry. New technologies and evolving buyer behaviors leave us with no choice; we either continue to learn or we become obsolete. Print service providers often believe that sales training is the key to closing more deals. Although this is a sound belief, it’s only part of the story. This article explores ways to ensure that your sales training investment pays off.

Most Adults Don’t Learn Until They Have To

People in your organization have to keep learning new things so that you can continue to optimize your business using new tools (mostly software). Leadership’s job is to deliver the “have to” part of the learning equation.

10 Industry Changes That Make Me Grateful

Looking back, the industry has changed considerably in 20+ years. Here is a list of 10 changes for which I am grateful. How about you?

Three Things to Stop Doing in 2020

As 2020 approaches, it’s a great time to break bad habits that can be costing your business money. Pat McGrew identifies three bad habits for print businesses to break in 2020.

Drive Your Business at the Mailbox: Learn How to Design Better Direct Mail

Everyone loses when poorly designed pieces make it into the mail, so making direct mail better should be a priority for every print organization that even remotely touches the direct marketing segment. In this article, Elizabeth Gooding offers some best design practices for effective direct mail.

Executive Q&A: Massivit 3D’s Erez Zimerman

Lod, Israel’s Massivit 3D was founded in 2013, and in the past six years has made a substantial impact with its 3D printing technology. Erez Zimerman joined Massivit 3D four years ago as VP of Global Sales, and was appointed CEO in May 2019. We caught up with Zimerman at the recent PRINTING United show in Dallas.

Shimmy into the Digital Future with AI-Supported Training for Textile Workers

At the recent SPESA Executive Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Krasley of Shimmy, a company that provides training for garment workers using gamification (to make it more engaging) and artificial intelligence for localization, among other things. With automation increasingly expected to eliminate jobs in the textiles and other industries, upskilling of these workers is a critical investment in our future—and theirs.

Around the Web: Gaga for Graphene! Vexing Valuation. DNA Data. Explaining Ecommerce. Sham Shipping. Stalking Signage. Mysterious Millinery.

A graphene jacket. A costly typo in Utah. Merriam Webster’s Word of the Year. The DNA of things”—creating materials with built-in memory. Intricate paper sculptures of microorganisms. Free shipping isn’t always free. User-tracking billboards—and with whom they share data. Who is putting hats on Las Vegas pigeons? KFC’s chicken-scented yule log. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

October Printing Shipments: Raise a Glass of Holiday Cheer

The value of printing shipments for October 2019 was $7.65 billion—a pretty big jump from September’s $7.14 billion. October has become the biggest month of the year, and this is the best October the industry has had since 2016.

Future-Proofing Your Workflow

2019 ushered in new levels of interest in improving and automating workflows, but the level of actual implementation was not as high as we would have hoped to see by now. This article explores some of the barriers to workflow automation and offers insight on overcoming them.

What’s the Point of Behavioral Assessments?

We can have the best business model—i.e., value proposition, profit formula, conversion process, technology, etc.—but if we don’t have qualified people suited to the jobs they hold, it all falls apart. Is this the sort of risk you are willing to take? Shouldn’t you give as much thought to hiring decisions as you do to equipment and software decisions?

Basic Personalization Isn’t Enough Anymore

Where are retailers along the curve of personalized marketing? What is the ROI? What works and what doesn’t? These were some of the questions Liveclicker wanted to answer with its report “Driving Value with Advanced Personalization.”  The takeaway? Basic personalization isn’t enough anymore.

What is Your Print Business Differentiation?

What do you provide for your sales team to get the upper hand in the marketplace? Do you have differentiation? Are you investing in something that will not only win new customers but keep existing ones?

Flexible Packaging with Inkjet Gets Fast and Wide

Uteco and Kodak have just announced that they sold the first UTECO Sapphire EVO W product production inkjet press designed for flexible packaging. The “W” refers to “Wide” since this press has a 1250 mm (49 in.) width. The EVO W is the first press to be powered by the Kodak ULTRASTREAM technology. The press supports a higher resolution of 600 x 1800 dpi at up to 150 mpm (492 fpm). Overall productivity can be 4X over existing digital solutions.

Wide-Format 2019: Where Are We Now?

As 2019 winds down, we take a look at the current state of wide-format printing. Where have we come, where are we now, and where are we going?

Blunt Skincare One of First CBD Companies to Consider Neenah’s Hemp Fiber Folding Board for Packaging

A cosmetic chemist who has worked with some of the largest beauty brands, Stas Chirkov saw an opportunity to develop his own line of skincare products based on industrial hemp. In this article, he explains how he got started and details how specialized packaging impacts his ability to market his products.

Digital Printing Driving Innovation in Textile Printing

For decades, digital printing for the fashion, décor, industrial, and graphics industry was relegated to sampling and short-run printing. With the advantages of innovative inkjet technology, the industry is now addressing the demand for environmentally responsible output, innovative designs, and the need to improve supply chain operation. This article examines the latest textile industry trends and the dynamics of digital innovations on this massive industry supply chain, and looks at innovations in design and digital print, as well as cutting and sewing of textile-based products.

Commercial Printing: Consolidation or Regional Expansion? —November 2019 M&A Activity

Mittera acquires business assets of Fuse, Knepper purchases Dual Print & Mail, H.I.G. Capital invests in print (again), and more…

Around the Web: Crafty Carlsberg. Couture Clash. Fatal Fashion. Local Losses. Sham Shipments. Brainy Brush. Cuneiform Cookies. Purring Professors.

Carlsberg Group replaces plastic ring carriers and shrinkwrapping with innovative adhesive dots. The environmental toll of haute couture. A textile-based horror movie. The death of local news. An interactive look at the graphic design and development of New York City’s subway map. An AI system attempts to write about printing shipments. “A fitness tracker for your mouth.” A new look at Marco Polo’s last year in Venice. A Welsh password generator. Cats teaching economics. A $1 hotel room—exhibitionists preferred. A smoke-breathing Godzilla Christmas tree. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly, Baby Yoda-free miscellany.

First Look: Industry Business Conditions 2019

Preliminary results from our 2019 Business Outlook Survey show that one-fourth (24%) of survey respondents reported that, compared to 2018, revenues for 2019 were up more than 10%. That’s the highest this has been since we started our annual survey in 2015. Elsewhere, though, things are a bit more muted.

The Role of Spandex in Digitally Printed Athleisure and Performance Sportswear

Spandex, Lycra, elastane: Whatever would we do without these stretchy, comfortable fabrics. And digital textile printing adds even more flexibility to what can be done with them. Textiles guru Debbie McKeegan explains.

Exploring the Barriers—Real and Imagined—to Augmented Reality

Many print service providers are considering if and how AR solutions might improve their product offerings. This article explores some of the perceived barriers to AR adoption. Although some of these barriers are very real, some PSPs may be surprised to learn that the impact of others has been exaggerated.

Heat Transfer Dye Sublimation: The Next Profit Opportunity for Commercial and Display Graphics Printers

Cary Sherburne looks at how print businesses can profit from offering heat-transfer dye-sublimation services, including textile-based products, as well as mugs, metallic substrates, and more.

2D and 3D Printing Have More In Common Than You Think

The technological innovations that propel 3D printing also drive advances in 2D printing technology. Whether software, firmware, or fluids, what manufacturers learn about jetting materials for 3D printing can be applied to 2D printing—and many familiar names in the 2D printing space are active in 3D. In this article, Pete Basiliere of Monadnock Insights reports from Formnext, the largest 3D printing technology conference and exhibition, and identifies where 2D and 3D printing technologies overlap.

Trends in Digital Video Advertising

Round-up of digital video advertising trends and top-line data on the digital video advertising market.

The Print Customer’s Narrative

A customer narrative documents the experience of doing business with you—from the sales process all the way through invoicing—from the customer’s perspective.

AATCC and SGIA Join Together to Present the Digital Textile Printing Conference 4.0

The Digital Textile Printing Conference 4.0, jointly presented by AATCC and SGIA, is a great way to wrap up a year full of dynamic change for the industry. It’s a full agenda designed to address the needs of everyone, from those that need a primer on digital textile printing, to those looking to expand their digital footprint, to developers who want to bring to market solutions closely attuned to existing and emerging market needs.

How To Sell Enhanced Printing

“Digital enhancement” or enhanced printing is one of the hottest trends in the industry and has been the talk of many recent trade shows—but enhanced print doesn’t sell itself. Pat McGrew offers some tips and strategies for selling enhanced printing to maximize ROI.

CannaBath: From Massage Therapist to CBD Entrepreneur

The market for CBD-based products is exploding, and will grow even more once a few of the regulatory issues have been ironed out. California-based CannaBath is an example of an entrepreneurial company that has brought CBD-based bath and body products to market and has benefited from a creative approach to packaging these products in partnership with San Diego-based Hippo Packaging.

Cyber Risk Management in the Printing Industry

If you have one employee, one customer, one supplier, you have data, and that makes you a target. Are you ready for the inevitable?

Product Spotlight: Konica Minolta’s AccurioJet KM-1 LED-UV Inkjet Press Delivers 90% Uptime for Franklin Direct Marketing

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne interviewed Craig Chumney, Vice President of Baton Rouge-based Franklin Direct Marketing, to gain insight into how the acquisition of a Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1 UV inkjet press has enhanced his business.

Before-and-After Shots Show Anti-Greenwashing Efforts Are Working

Two Sides North America has been on a campaign to remove greenwashing. Here’s visual evidence that it’s working.

BOBST Ups the Stakes with Next-Generation Hybrid Press and More

BOBST has been providing solutions to the printing and packaging industries for four generations, and more recently has added digital textile printing to the mix. Cary Sherburne talks with CEO Jean-Pascal Bobst.

Digital Print Output to Grow 65% over Next 10 Years, According to New Smithers Strategic Forecast

Digital print output is forecast to grow by 65% over the next 10 years to reach $230 billion by 2029. This dynamic growth rate will be driven by incursions into package printing, as well as books and other graphic printing areas, according to Smithers report The Future of Digital Print: Long-Term Strategic Forecasts to 2029.

Know the Signs: A Non-Print Signage Primer

Print businesses have been expanding into signage by leaps and bounds—but print signage is only the tip of the iceberg. “Signs” comprise a lot of different manufacturing products and materials.

Color Management: Gandhi, Pop Music, the Human Psyche, and Resolve

How are the players in the print production process like a group of musicians playing on stage? Idealliance CEO Tim Baechle offers advice for filtering out all the noise we are bombarded with and focusing on “playing in time” with others in the supply chain.

Buy a Sweater, Adopt a Sheep

As the textiles and apparel industry continues to take heat for its highly negative impact on the environment, some companies are taking creative approaches to not only creating sustainable garments, but pushing the industry to take more aggressive steps toward carbon-neutral operation. Sheep, Inc., is one of those companies.

October Jobs: Production Down, Managerial Up

In October, overall printing employment dropped -0.3% from September. On a year-over-year basis, though, it was down -2.4%. Production employment was down -0.7% from September to October, but year-over-year was down -4.8%. On the other hand, non-production employment was up +0.7% from September to October, and year-over-year was up +2.9%.

Around the Web: Publishers’ Peril? Gargantuan Gannett. Assessing AR. Female Pirate Printer. Festive Footwear. Shirt Supreme. Goofy Gravy.

What happens when a print publication goes all-digital? Has Apple News Plus cannibalized publications’ own digital efforts? Gannett and GateHouse to merge and create the biggest newspaper publisher in the US. What is in store for AR in 2020? Well, not Apple Glasses. Manhole cover-based art. Painting on Vans loafers. Hacking into pet dishes? A unique way to drug your Thanksgiving guests. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

The RMX Network: United They Grow

The RMX Network is an alliance of more than 100 independent North American wide-format print service providers. It’s not a franchise, but rather an affiliation of like-minded companies that band together to support each other and help solve problems. We spoke with President Rick Bosworth to learn more about their unique business model.

Reinventing Interiors—A Digital Transformation

Digital textile printing is being used for more than apparel. Interior design is a hot market as well! Textiles guru and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan explores the effect of digital printing on an industry with many similarities to that of fashion: the interiors sector, including wall coverings.

Who Went to the 2019 Digital Packaging Summit and Why?

The 2019 Digital Packaging Summit (November 11–13) makes keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry a little easier. The equipment and technology providers, packaging and label manufacturers, and analysts in attendance gathered together for a master's level educational experience. This article provides a brief overview of the event and its benefits to the industry.

Your Postal Strategy: Key Benefits of Postal Resources, Experience and Expanding Your Network

Does your organization have a postal strategy? Mailing may be considered an ancillary service offering for a professional printing company, or it may be your core offering as a mail service provider.

Survey: Consumers’ Willingness to Give Up Personal Data is Waning

In the past, surveys have shown that people are willing to provide their personal data in exchange for personalized experiences, but new research from the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) shows that this willingness is changing. What’s going on?

Selling Print vs. Selling Web-to-Print Software

Your print sales people need a different perspective when selling web-to-print solutions. They need to understand short vs long term benefits as well as how the customer’s convenience is driving loyalty.

Kodak Celebrates 20 Years of Prinergy in Berlin

Kodak Prinergy celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and European customers marked the occasion with a gala held in Berlin, Germany, last October. WhatTheyThink’s Pat McGrew attended the event.

The Moving Canvas: Wrapping “Kings” Turn Vehicle Graphics Into Art

Last Fall, Avery Dennison held its Wrap Like a King (WLAK) competition, which honored some of the best and most creative vehicle graphics projects. We spoke with one of the judges and some of the regional winners to get some insight into the vehicle graphics design process.

Transformation Is Not Always What You Plan…

David Zwang details the recent merger/acquisition dance going on between Xerox and HP, and the forces that are impelling both companies to transform—one way or another.

OnPoint Manufacturing to Add Digital Textile Printing for a Complete On-Demand Microfactory Implementation

OnPoint Manufacturing has been looking for a digital textile printing solution that could keep up with the rest of its manufacturing process for some time. The company has determined that the new Kornit Presto digital textile printer fits the bill. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Chairman Kirby Best to learn why.

Paperboard Container Manufacturing Establishments—2016

In 2016, there were 1,971 establishments in NAICS 32221 (Paperboard Container Manufacturing). One-half of these establishments have 50 or more employees, and three-fourths have 20 or more employees.

Around the Web: Looming Automation. Tough Lung Love. Fantasy Fabric. Sea Silk. Tangled Tapes. Cochlear Craziness. Olivetti Oddity. Missing Millennials. Canine Conversation.

An automated digital weaving loom. Hemp cigarettes are apparently a thing. A hat made of silk from mollusks goes up for auction. The Zagat Guide is back in print. Cassette tapes are coming back into fashion, for some reason. Send your ear data to Sony, for some reason. The bizarre tale behind the first desktop computer. Is online advertising the new dot-com bubble? There’s no such thing as a Millennial—or even a Boomer. Salvador Dalí’s Tarot deck. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Beer Giant AB InBev Launches Trial “Direct Object Printing” for UK Market

This month, AB InBev will launch a campaign for its Beck’s brand in the UK using glass bottles that were printed via “direct object printing” inkjet technology. ABI has partnered with Dekron to develop its first UV printing line for high-speed inkjet digital printing of glass bottles. Ths article provides a brief overview of the campaign.

Are You an Entrepreneur or Just a Business Owner? And Why Does It Matter for Your Business?

What separates small businesses that grow and thrive and those that don’t? A large part of it is whether the business owner has an entrepreneurial spirit. In this article, Wayne Lynn looks at the behavioral traits that make an entrepreneur, and the difference between being a CEO or a business owner and an entrepreneur.

Do Consumers Love QR Codes and Just Don’t Know It?

What happens when you show people they can save time by holding their phones up to a black-and-white graphic and connecting directly to a website? I’m having the opportunity to watch it happen in real time.

Print Industry M&A and Print Software

The merger of software technology stacks and strategy is a key component to any two businesses coming together. It takes time, effort, and patience as technology is uniquely embedded in a business. Be strategic about what you address and when you address it. Not everything should change right away.

Transformation Affects Everyone—Time Is Not on Your Side!

The most important thing to realize is that as technologies and markets change, the speed at which a company addresses business transformation can position them as a leader or laggard going forward. Examples of this can be seen in these two formerly leading companies, both with roots in Rochester N.Y., grappling with their own transformations while their customers are hav ing to do the same.

Where Marketing and Sales Overlap—Evaluate Marketing Activities

In Part 2 of Pat McGrew’s two-part series on sales and marketing for print businesses, she looks at how to evaluate marketing activities so they more closely align with sales efforts.

Neenah Packaging Jumps on the CBD Bandwagon with New Hemp Fiber Folding Board

Neenah Packaging recently introduced a new line of hemp fiber folding board to address unique packaging needs in the exploding CBD market. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke to Neenah’s Brand Manager, Michelle Turner, to learn more.

No Fall for Printing Shipments

Heading into Fall 2019, the value of printing shipments for September 2019 was $7.14 billion—up from August’s $7.10 billion. It’s not a huge rise, but given that for the last few years September shipments declined from August’s, we’ll take it.

Around the Web: Talking Twistronics. Smartphone Subscriptions. Magenta Monopoly. Sadistic Stacks. Elusive Ebooks. Sumerian Stew. Banishing Blind Spots. No Mo’ Mona. Dean of the Dead.

Researchers turn graphene into a superconductor. Are subscriptions next for the iPhone? Deutsche Telekom claims to own the color magenta. An old sewing machine repair shop accidentally became a New York museum. Queens’ new library is all but inaccessible if you’re not an elite athlete. Culinary archaeologists recreate ancient recipes. A 14-year-old inventor solves the problem of cars’ blind spots. “Take down the Mona Lisa!” James Dean to star in a new movie, for some reason. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Market for Label Printing Catches Fire—October 2019 M&A Activity

ProMach, Fort Dearborn, Inovar, and PPC Packaging light up M&A activity, Transcontinental acquires, H.I.G. Capital goes outdoor in a big way, and more…

The Future of Digital Textile Printing Is Bright: Read the Stats

As ink and machine prices tumble, with print speeds and quality increasing at an astonishing rate, there’s a huge opportunity for the digital print community to take advantage of new business opportunities, according to textiles guru and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan. Read the stats!

Innovations from PRINT 19 Acknowledge Consumers’ Changing Preferences

The ways in which we communicate have changed with each new discovery or innovation, and the need to share information has only increased throughout history. Citing recent research from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends and news from PRINT 19, this article explores the ongoing shifts in customer communications.

3D Printing: Taking It to the People

A 3D print shop displaying at a local art fair? Why not? Isn’t that where many of its customers are?  

Waiting for Software to Change to Fit Your Business

Software feels malleable. New features come out. Trade shows are packed full of vendors showing the bright new thing that might lure you into the sales process. Complex software (Print MIS) does not change fast (because it shouldn’t), and the sooner you realize that changing your business is a better strategy, the faster you’ll get to the ROI and business differentiation that a Print MIS can deliver.

Five Alive: 5G Technology Will Transform Sign & Display

What is 5G and what is its impact on sign and display graphics likely to be? Richard Romano spoke with Dexter Johnson, author of a recent ISA white paper called “5G in Signage Technology” about the technology and the advantages of 5G and its potential applications in sign and display.

Where Marketing and Sales Overlap

In Part 1 of Pat McGrew’s two-part series on sales and marketing for print businesses, she looks at the difference between sales professionals and marketing professionals and where the two processes overlap.

SPESA Executive Conference Looks at the State of the Sewn Products Industry

Last week, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne had the pleasure of attending the Executive Conference sponsored by the Sewn Products Equipment and Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) in New Orleans. This was the first major event planned by the new staff, led by Michael McDonald, President, and by all accounts, it was a huge success.

Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing—2010–2016

In 2010, there were 825 establishments in NAICS 32222 (Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing). By 2016, that number had declined for a net loss of -12% to 730.

Around the Web: Terrifying Typeface. Edgy Analytics. Green Garments. Techy Teens. Expensive Eagles. Grotty Gifts. Candy Crushes.

Hellvetica unleashed. The edge will transform sporting events—and perhaps everything else. Apps for recycling used clothing. A study of mobile technology use by today’s tweens and tweens. Where eagles dare, roaming charges follow. Gift recipients may like poorly wrapped presents better. A hierarchy of candy. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Accessibility in an Increasingly UI-Focused World

Like many other businesses, manufacturers of office printers and multifunctional peripherals (MFPs) are focused on improving the usability of their products. This article explores the efforts that printer and MFP manufacturers are making to improve the accessibility of their devices, including features that help workers with visual, hearing, mobility, and other physical limitations.

Training vs. Learning with Print Software

The number one thing we hear when we engage with a printer who is having trouble with their print software (Print MIS, Web-to-Print, or Pre-Press automation) is “we didn’t get trained.” Ironically, more training is rarely the solution to this common complaint.

Survey Looks at Adoption of Augmented Reality

Will augmented reality finally gain widespread adoption in print and digital marketing communications? When will it move beyond enterprise applications, gaming, and social media? To find out, ARtillry Intelligence worked with Thrive to survey 2000+ U.S. adults.

The Continued Evolution of Wide Format at PRINTING United

What was new at PRINTING United on the wide-format front? In this feature, Richard Romano runs down a handful of announcements and other items that caught his interest.

Mile High Labs Seeks New Heights in Manufacturing Quality, Productivity for CBD Products

As we continue to look into the cannabis-related market, including how cannabis-related products are being used in apparel—more specifically, activewear—and the special packaging requirements the market has, we took time out to speak to Christopher Lackner of Mile High Labs in Colorado to gain an understanding of how the hemp plant is processed to deliver CBD-based materials for the market.

The View from the Other Side: Print Buyers’ Revenues

Publishing and advertising are among the biggest print-buying markets. Last month, the Census Bureau released its Quarterly Services Survey, which reported revenues for these markets. Publishers’ revenues continue their long decline, while the up-and-down of advertising revenues indicate the extent to which the nature of advertising is changing.

Around the Web: Graphene Has its Own Conference. Grin and Bear It. Write About Happiness. Where Have All the English Majors Gone? The Internet in 2030. Epic Flight. IKEA Tarot Cards.

The 14th Graphene Conference meets in Silicon Valley. Bear Naked and Sustainable Pouches. Using digitized books to gauge happiness. English majors are down 25%. What will the Internet look like in 10 years? What does 19 hours on a plane do to the human body? All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

New Business Models for the Eco-Conscious Consumer

Textiles guru and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares her thoughts about fashion on subscription—a new business model for the eco-conscious consumer. Today’s new shopping generation of digital nomads is quite comfortable ordering fashion online, and they idea of renting fashion holds a lot of appeal. Learn more.

How Are You Selling Web-to-Print?

Years ago, most businesses only had one shop and/or one channel in a single town. Now, they will typically have a web presence and hundreds or even thousands of shops in different locations as they work to increase sales productivity. This article discusses how to successfully sell W2P solutions to marketers in today’s changing environment.

A New Age of Trade Shows Dawns in Dallas

The inaugural PRINTING United kicked off on Wednesday, heralding a new era for industry trade events.

Promotional Products May Offer More Luxury Than You Think

When you think of promotional products, what comes to mind? Branded hats and pens? Tote bags? Many printers may not see these items going with their clients’ high-end image, so they may not give these complementary offerings a fair shot. But promotional items can also include high-end luxury items used for C-level executives, influencers, and corporate events. Some, like this company’s products, even offer the trendy element of sustainability.

Solving Software Challenges With Tin Foil

You have a bias for what solutions work; that bias is based on what has worked for you in the past. If you’re a print business owner, buying new stuff feels like a solid way to solve challenges of hiring new employees. Solving print software challenges requires expertise in print software.

Executive Q&A: Gavin Jordan-Smith

Gavin Jordan-Smith has had a very interesting journey on his way to his current position as Senior Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Printing Business, Ricoh Americas.

Smithers Identifies Major Shifts in Security Print Sectors

Smithers shares its latest research on the security printing industry, forecasting the market to reach $29.8 billion in 2019 and rise to a total value of around $37.7 billion in 2024, as well as some of the trends and changes in such printed materials as banknotes, personal identification, brand protection packaging, and tax stamps.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story—The Wrap Up

Pat McGrew wraps up her 12-part series on selling in today’s print environment with some tips for how to tap into the do-it-yourself market, specifically, the variety of businesses that cater to DIYers who are happy to rebuild their lawnmower, re-roof a shed, or add features to kitchen.

Hippo Packaging Capitalizes on CBD Craze

In case you haven’t been following it, the market for products containing CBD—or cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant—is growing rapidly. It’s really only taken off in the U.S. since the approval of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD extracted from industrial hemp with less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. Hippo Packaging in San Diego is focused on meeting the unique packaging needs for this emerging market segment.

Aligning the Supply Chain: Understanding the TC1617x (IT8.7/5) Characterization Target

Idealliance’s Tim Baechle introduces the new TC1617x (IT8.7/5) printer characterization target, explains how it differs from its predecessors, details its benefits, and describes how printers can use the new target to improve the characterization accuracy of a printing system.

Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing Establishments—2016

In 2016, there were 730 establishments in NAICS 32222 (Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing). Nearly four out of 10 (39%) have 50 or more employees, and 59% have 20 or more employees.

Around the Web: Nano Novels. Ultra Ubik. Definitive Dracula. Arcade Arcana. Feline Festivity. Spotify Style. Tooth Tech.

Read classic books on the NYPL’s Instagram. Deluxe edition of a classic Philip K. Dick novel. A compendium of classic arcade typography. An immersive edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. An Advent calendar for cats. Custom T-shirts based on Spotify data. The current science of CBD. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Hiring and Compensating Sales Personnel: Strategies for Success

The hiring process is more important today than it has ever been in the past. Establishing a successful organization involves developing a great sales team and retaining those employees. Print Service Providers can set their businesses up for success by hiring the right sales personnel and fostering employee loyalty with a more sophisticated compensation model.

Looking for Leaders: Planning for Talent Development

You probably have a sales plan, a profit plan, and a capital and cash management plan. But what about a talent development plan? Do you know how to grow your human assets, improve the culture, and develop both current and future leaders? In this article, Wayne Lynn explores the need to develop your company’s next leaders.

What Are the Ethics Behind Direct Mail Trickery?

If you want to grab immediate attention with direct mail, make the mailer look like something other than a traditional letter. Mailers often use envelopes designed to look like USPS Priority Mail, Air Mail, or UPS or FedEx packages. But do some efforts cross the line?