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FESPA 2018 Features “Print. Make. Wear.” Trend with Special Exhibit (Premium Content)

Are you going to FESPA 2018 in Berlin? If so, there’s a special treat in store that you will not want to miss. In this article, show organizer Duncan MacOwan explains FESPA’s Print. Make. Wear. exhibit that showcases how digital technologies are transforming textiles and apparel while also demonstrating the ongoing value that analog production processes still add to the mix. Read more.


Press Onward!—March 2018 M&A Activity

German and American rivals agree to merge, Contiweb spun off, Sun and Siegwerk acquire specialty inks, Autajon strengthens US presence, and more.


InPrint Industrial Inkjet Conference to Highlight the Intersection of Industrial and Commercial Printing (Premium Content)

Inkjet technologies have been blurring, or completely eliminating, the lines between commercial and industrial printing. But understanding new print applications and new print markets involves more than technology. We talk with Frazer Chesterman, Director of FM Brooks, which is bringing the InPrint Industrial Print Conference to Chicago next month, about the dwindling distinction between industrial and commercial printing and the opportunities that are emerging.


Q4-2017 GDP Revisions Stronger than Earlier Reports

Q4-2017 GDP estimates were raised to +2.9% from the original estimate of +2.5%. (But beware inventories.) At the same time, shenanigans resulting from the latest tax bill are blurring statistics visibility, especially where corporate profits are concerned.


The Value of Platforms: A Revolution is Coming! (Premium Content)

All printers are seeking ways to embrace a business and production infrastructure that enables them to add new tools as needed and depreciate tools that no longer serve a need. This article provides a brief overview of the platforms that facilitate these skills as well as a specific example of the Chili Publisher platform.


Productivity and the Total Profitability of the Print Production Process (Part 1 of 2) (Premium Content)

Henrik Christiansen of Graphic Robotics writes about the real meaning of productivity and efficiency in the print production process. This two-part article will address the quantitative side of automation in print.


Two Reasons This QR Code Should Work—and One That Makes It Fail

We love to hate QR Codes, right? But it’s not the codes themselves that are working against near unanimous consumer adoption. It’s the often rookie mistakes made by marketing departments. Are you letting your customers fail at QR Codes unnecessarily?


The First Few Weeks Using New Print Software (Premium Content)

When new software is implemented in your native environment – that’s when the real learning happens. Everything prior to that point was theoretical. Take this time to learn how this software uniquely meets the needs of your business.


Post-Reed, Communities Reevaluate their Sign Codes (Premium Content)

The landmark 2015 Supreme Court case Reed v. Town of Gilbert turned a sign code issue into a First Amendment battle. Three years later, its effects are still being felt throughout the signage industry—for good or ill. Read on for some of the latest developments in signage regulations.


Go, NextPage! Congrats on a Great Self-Promo Campaign Demonstrating the Value of Combining Social Media, Video, with Direct Mail

If MSPs want to convince their clients of the value of multichannel marketing, they must be willing to use it to promote their own businesses. That’s why I was excited to see NextPage launching a really fun campaign combining direct mail, email, video, and social media, along with a targeted digital ad buy.


Spoonflower: Demonstrating the Potential of Digital Textile Printing (Premium Content)

Durham, N.C.’s Spoonflower allows users in its community of more than 3.5 million individuals to design and digitally print their own custom fabrics for curtains, quilts, clothes, bags, furniture, dolls, pillows, framed artwork, costumes, banners, and much, much more. Read on to see how Spoonflower is continuing to transform the digital textile printing market.


Dr. Joe: It’s Time to Stop Cooperating with Postal Reform

Forget postal reform; Dr. Joe Webb calls for privatization of the postal system.


TAGA 2018 and the Future of Graphic Arts Research

Frank Romano reports from the 70th TAGA Annual Technical Conference, held March 18–21 in Baltimore, Md.


Faces of Finishing: BindTech/Finish Line Bindery Owner John Helline On the Trade Bindery As an Investment Target (Premium Content)

In the latest installment of this interview series, Trish Witkowski talks with bindery owner and investor John Helline on the pitfalls and the strategic opportunities involved in the trade bindery business.


The Customer Experience Potential of Critical Communications (Premium Content)

Today’s empowered consumers are conditioned to expect instant access to information, goods, and services. These expectations are forcing businesses to reconsider their marketing strategies. This article cites recent research from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends highlighting the importance of a positive customer experience in driving revenue growth and improving customer satisfaction.


HYBRID PACKZalyzer Brings Packaging Tools to HP PrintOS

At DScoop 2018 this week, HYBRID Software announced PACKZalyzer, HP PrintOS-compatible software that “will allow order entry or customer service personnel to receive files from clients and get them ready for production before they enter the prepress department.” David Zwang comments on this announcement.


The Changing Role of Print Sales Representatives (Premium Content)

Your sales team must do more than sell. They must be good learners (that means less talking, more listening, and more curiosity about how they can help their customers). Your customer’s time is valuable. When they give you their time they are voting on your value.


Bespoke Processes and Manufacturing: It Can Be Done, but Where to Begin? (Premium Content)

In this series, David Zwang will look at how the new requirements of print and packaging manufacturing, and how the demands and opportunities of Industry 4.0, are being facilitated by new bespoke production and workflow methods. He will look at the requirements, technologies, methods, and educational processes necessary to bring it all together. In this article, he looks at some of the issues that can and should drive a decision.


In the Mail: March 2018 - What You Need to Know About Postal Issues (Premium Content)

An industry coalition of more than 50 mailing stakeholders expresses opposition to the ratemaking plan proposed by the Postal Regulatory Commission; the USPS rolls out an electronic payment system, reduces truck mileage, continues to lose money. Read on for this month’s postal system update.


The Traditional Meets the Technological at Sign Expo 2018 (Premium Content)

The International Sign Association (ISA) Sign Expo 2018 was held in Orlando, Fla., last week. Channel letters, magnetic signage, neon lighting, LED displays, digital displays, 3D printing, and wide-format and display graphics in all their various incarnations were being showcased. Read on for some highlights from the show.


Show and Tell

As the current industry trade show landscape changes, Frank Romano looks back at how the trade show landscape has always been changing.


Developing Sales Talent Requires Coaching! (Premium Content)

When it comes to managing—and more importantly coaching and developing sales talent—the skills that are required are different than the ones that make a good salesperson. This article highlights research from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends to explore how high-growth sales organizations develop the best talent.


HP Announces New Product Family Featuring Latex Rigid Technology (Premium Content)

At an ISA preview event last night, HP presented a new technology for Latex printing on rigid substrates up to two inches thick. Although pricing and availability are not yet available, the company showed sample prints and plans to demonstrate the machine in operation at FESPA in Berlin in May. Learn more.


Epson Dedicated to Speeding Adoption of Digital Textile Printing (Premium Content)

Epson’s 2018 Digital Couture Project leading up to New York’s Fashion Week caught my attention, and I reached out to the Mark Radogna, Strategic Marketing for Epson America, to learn more about how Epson is approaching the digital textiles market and where the company sees it going in the future.


Print Software Bootcamp at Dscoop 2018  

Your business toolset is changing; software is becoming one of the most important tools for managing, growing, and innovating your business. At Dscoop next week, we are conducting a Print Software Bootcamp to help Dscoop Members learn more about the Print Software toolset.


Are You Distinguishing Between Macro and Micro Conversions?

Are you helping your clients track both micro and macro conversions? If not, you’re losing opportunities to understand not just what works and what doesn’t, but why.


Retail, Transportation, and Manufacturing Central to Hot Future of Thermal Print Supply (Premium Content)

New Smithers Pira Research forecasts strong growth for thermal printing, identifying retail, transport, and manufacturing as the top three applications for thermal printing equipment and supplies. Read on for an overview of the thermal printing market from 2018 to 2023.


Conflicts, Inconsistencies, and Misrepresentations: Situation is Normal (Premium Content)

Trade tariff talk has confused the markets, but so have the recent economic data. Employment data look great, retail sales look bad, consumer confidence surges in the lowest third of households by income. Explain that, Dr. Joe! He does, and offers insight into the selection of Larry Kudlow as the President’s economic advisor. There may be no free lunches, but Dr. Joe has some free podcasts and a webinar. Get them now before someone proposes a tariff on electrons.


Breakthrough Material Makes Heat Transfer News (Premium Content)

As a garment decorator or textile printer, have you ever bemoaned the fact that you have to pretreat natural fiber fabrics in order to use heat-transfer sublimation for a brilliant, durable image on natural fiber textiles? Moan no more! The Mosaica Group is introducing a breakthrough product from a European mill that makes heat transfer news. Read more.


Latest WhatTheyThink Webinar Looked at the Current Economic Climate and Print Business Conditions

Last Wednesday, Dr. Joe Webb presented his quarterly economic conditions webinar, which included a look at the overall macroeconomic environment as well as current printing industry business conditions. Read on for a brief summary of what Dr. Webb discussed.


Update on HP's Digital Packaging Strategy (Premium Content)

HP’s Media day focused on packaging this year, which is a very hot topic. This article explores how the PageWide Industrial C500 cut-sheet corrugated inkjet printer expands the number of options for corrugated packages and the people who design them for brands.


Mimaki Focused on Accelerating the Digital Transformation in Textiles (Premium Content)

It’s been 20 years since Mimaki began its digital textile printing journey, one of the first, if not the first, to do so. We spoke with Ronald Van Den Broek, General Manager of Sales for Mimaki Europe, to gain insight into how the company addresses the growing digital textile market today and it is vision of the future.


Web-to-Print Is for Your Customers (Premium Content)

The most precious thing you spend every day is your customer’s time. Treat it with the respect it deserves or it could be the reason you are replaced.


Bespoke Processes and Manufacturing: Unique Screening Software Solution that Drives Quality in Labels and Packaging (Premium Content)

In this new series David Zwang will look at how the new requirements of print and packaging manufacturing, and how the demands and opportunities of Industry 4.0, are being facilitated by new bespoke production and workflow methods. He will look at the requirements, technologies, methods and the educational processes necessary to bring it all together. In this installment of the series, he takes an initial look at an interesting new software development that significantly improves the quality of inkjet imaging.


Epsilon: Personalization and the Power of Me

Epsilon’s study “The Power of Me” is a terrific data dump for those looking for insights to help their customers justify moving to—or increasing their use of—personalization. Here are some key takeaways.


OnPoint Manufacturing Making Apparel Microfactory a Reality (Premium Content)

OnPoint Manufacturing offers an innovative approach to an on-demand manufacturing model for textiles and apparel. Leveraging digital technologies to streamline supply chains, remove waste and speed time to market is the hallmark of the analog-to-digital transformation of any industry. OnPoint combines a number of interesting technologies to enable this in textiles and apparel for its own manufacturing, and a vision of the future for the industry.


For SpeedPro Imaging Apex, Networking Is One of the Keys to Success (Premium Content)

Less than two years ago, Mark Simmons left the retail world and launched a SpeedPro Imaging franchise in Apex, N.C. A knack for networking, a talented in-house designer, and a vibrant local business environment have helped drive Simmons’ success.


US Commercial Printing Capital Expenditures

The capital expenditures of commercial printers fell in 2016, but the investment in less expensive used equipment may have been a major factor.


Turning a Big Ship – Quad/Graphics Acquires Ivie - February 2018 M&A Activity

Quad/Graphics transforms with acquisition of Ivie, Graphic Village buys competitor Multi-Craft, Taylor builds on display platform, Platinum Equity acquires WS Packaging; and more.


Dangerous Potential: The True Power of A Strategic Approach to Paper Cutting and Handling

A shop’s cutting department is often thought of—when it’s thought of at all—as an “invisible workhorse”: highly productive—until it’s not. In this feature, Trish Witkowski takes a 360-degree look at cutting equipment, from retrofitting newer features onto older cutters, to the latest automated, and even robot-assisted, cutting systems.


Emerging Technology Assessment: Personalized Video Outlook (Premium Content)

Personalized video is a popularizing tool with potential for modern customer communications strategies. The technology provides inherently engaging one-to-one audio-visual experiences, but that doesn’t mean that it’s effective independently and by default.


Garment Decorators Gather for Inaugural ThreadX

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne reports from the inaugural ThreadX, powered by SGIA, a unique conference held last week to serve the needs of garment decorators.


If You Act Like a Printer, You’ll Be Treated Like One (Premium Content)

The definition of a successful printer is changing with the times. The updated definition is forcing printers to solve more than a manufacturing challenge. For printers who refuse to move out of their comfort zone; price will be the primary subject of conversation in every sale.


The Shapes of Things to Come: Direct-to-Object Printing Bridges the Gap Between Industrial and Commercial (Premium Content)

New systems are emerging that can print directly onto three-dimensional objects, especially cups, glasses, and bottles, to serve what is emerging as a lucrative promotional drinkware market. In this feature, Richard Romano looks at direct-to-object offerings from Xerox, Inkcups, and Engineered Printing Solutions.


Bridging the Gap Between Screen and Digital Printing for Textiles (Premium Content)

As the analog-to-digital transformation in textile printing starts taking off, hybrid solutions are emerging that fill the gap between screen and digital printing. In this article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne discusses this gap issue, includes insight from a California-based screen printer, and highlights an interesting hybrid solution in the form of M&R’s Digital Squeegee. Read more.


Interest in Print Retargeting Growing?

Is interest growing in retargeting with print? Here are some reasons the answer is yes.


Canada’s Commercial Printing Shipments 1992-2017 (Premium Content)

Canada’s printing industry has been holding steady compared to the US, despite being subject to the same competition from digital media


Kodak Aims to “Take Print Further” at Customer Event (Premium Content)

At a “Taking Print Further” customer and media event this week in Rochester, N.Y., Kodak offered some forward-looking trend presentations, new product announcements for both cutting-edge and legacy systems, and customer panels. Read about Kodak’s commitment to the print industry.


Faces of Finishing: Industry Legend Werner Rebsamen On the Hidden Costs of Poor Material Handling

Trish kicks off a new interview series to introduce perspectives of knowledgeable people in the print-finishing category. The series begins with the legendary Werner Rebsamen, who steps out of retirement to share his opinion on the greatest advancements in bookbinding, and where he feels the trade still has a long way to go.


What is Smart Print Manufacturing? (Premium Content)

The industry remains focused on reducing costs through automation. The next decade will be about making print manufacturing smarter as we transition to the next industrial revolution. This article discusses why it is important for all print service providers to prepare, plan, and take steps to implement their own version of Smart Print Manufacturing.


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