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Four Key Trends Driving Flexible Packaging

The advantages of flexible films—economy, versatility, convenience, and bio-adaptability—will make flexible packaging one of the most opportune growth markets in packaging over the next several years.


Software’s Impact on the Future of Print

Print is a manufacturing process built on technology. As new technological developments emerge, the print industry grows in capability, productivity, and value. In the last twenty years, a boom in global innovation has coincided with new business models and brought print into the fold in a lot of newfound industries. Allan Brow, Kodak's Vice President Software Solutions Division shares his thought on the future of print in this article sponsored by Kodak.


The State of the Economy and Print (Premium Content)

Dr. Joe wonders why there isn't a little spring to the industry's step with 14 months of better sales levels. It could just be that printers a feeling a sense of relief as they wonder what's next. And then there's the economy. Second quarter GDP look great, but was really less filling. He scratches the economic surface and finds some skepticism inside. If he didn't, he wouldn't be Dr. Joe.


The Customer Experience (CX) Factor: It’s Time to Get in the Game! (Premium Content)

By improving the customer experience, businesses can drive value, reduce cost, and build a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Customers are seeking partners that deliver solutions beyond simple variable data, pURLs, and customized landing pages. The article explores how businesses can gain a competitive advantage by delivering an improved customer experience.


Wide-Format’s Expanded Presence at Graph Expo 2015

If it jets ink, it’s a hot technology, and while production inkjet got the bulk of the buzz at last week’s Graph Expo, wide-format and specialty printing continue to play a much larger role.


Wrapping Up Packaging at Graph Expo 2015

Those who came to the show in search of answers for packaging production should have had no trouble locating them in the vendor stands and specialty areas where packaging solutions were being featured.


Inkjet On Fire at Graph Expo 2015

Production inkjet held center stage at Graph Expo 2015, proving that has gone mainstream. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne looks at some of the announcements and the North American debuts for this game-changing technology.


Canada's Commercial Printing Shipments

Canada's commercial printing industry had a small rebound more than three years ago, before that of the US, and has been on a somewhat steady course since. In US dollars, however, Canada's gains market have been erased recently with the stronger dollar.


The Unclear Future of Transactional Printing and Mailing (Premium Content)

Although things are changing, traditional mailing and printing methods are still an important part of the ecosystem. Early predictions about the rapid adoption of electronic invoices and online payments have proven to be exaggerated. This article references recent InfoTrends research to explore how transactional printing and mailing is changing over time.


Five Steps to Wide Format Growth (Premium Content)

InfoTrends enumerates the keys to success in wide-format printing, from developing a strategy, to choosing equipment, to picking partnerships, to effectively training the sales staff.


Encouraging Compliance and Use of Your Print MIS System

One of the unexpected challenges of a Print MIS system can be lack of adoption, along with the lingering dependency of third party tools. These two factors take away from the data integrity of the system itself. Ease of use is the sure-fire way to build compliance, and will also remove the reliance on external tools.


How Graphic Measures International Cultivates Packaging’s “Best of the Best in the World”

Not every packaging printer has what it takes to pass muster with this performance-certifying organization. But, those that clear GMI’s high bar can claim elite status among packaging service suppliers.


Canon Comes to Town with Everything—Literally—It Makes and Does in Imaging

“Everything under one roof” took on a new and dazzling meaning as Canon made good on the promise at Canon Expo, its 100,000-square-foot technology showcase in New York City


Advertising Agency Revenues Up +40% Since Bottom of Recession (Premium Content)

Dr. Joe summarizes what he would say at Graph Expo 15 breakfast. Content creation is proving to be a big money maker for the ad agency business. Publishers are still having monetization problems which makes that whole “content is king” still questionable. Maybe it's because the real king is the marketplace of millions of content consumers.


Komori and Screen: Better Together

Today at the very first Graph Expo press conference, Komori and Screen shared some big news: Komori and Screen have entered into a strategic selling agreement that effectively joins the two companies’ sales organizations.. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne was on the scene to bring WhatTheyThink members additional insight on the news.


Newspaper Publishers Enter the Eye of the Storm - August 2015 M&A Activity

August 2015 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries


Mobile First: Mobile Technology Is Changing Consumer Behaviors (Premium Content)

Mobile facilitates new thinking because its capabilities and tools enable marketers to transform why, when, where, and how audience members engage with their brands. This article explores how mobile technology is changing consumer behaviors and creating new opportunities for highly interactive engagement.


Profits Per Employee Increase

The nearly $15,000 profit per employee of 2000 may not be in the cards for the US commercial printing business any time soon, but it looks like this measure is headed to its second best performance since the end of the recession. Using the latest data for the second quarter of 2015, and adding the previous three quarters to create a full year, profits per employee seem to be headed to $7,700, a thousand dollars more than the level of 2014.


Watching the Wheels Go Round and Round—Or Not

The new UnSquaring the Wheel project from Chris Bondy, Wayne Peterson, and Dr. Joe Webb is a new methodology for transforming print businesses. And it is ideally suited for those looking to add wide-format printing.


New PANTONE EXTENDED GAMUT Coated Guide Offers ECG Standardization for the First Time Ever

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne presents details and insight relative to Pantone’s announcement today about its new Extended Color Gamut Coated guide – what is it and what does it mean for printing and packaging for designers and print providers.


Improvement in Industry Shipments, Profits Improvement Elusive

The 4-quarter moving total of inflation-adjusted US commercial printing shipments have been increasing, but unfortunately profits have not. Q2-2015 four-quarter shipments are up +2.3%, but profits are unfortunately down for the last four quarters -10.8%.


“The September of Canon”

This month, Canon will make a triple play for industry attention with events that illuminate how far it has come as a source of production solutions.


Ricoh Partners with Forbes Magazine at Marketing Rockstars Event

Nearly 2,000 marketers attended, up from about 1,350 last year, to hear 50 speakers from companies including Google, Starbucks, Adidas, Twitter and more. Ricoh was one of 100 exhibitors with a very busy booth that featured lots of information and examples of cross-media marketing solutions, featuring direct mail.


SEC’s Rule 30e-3 Said to Threaten Print Revenues and Employment

The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to modernize the way the investment industry reports on what it does. The plan could include freeing these companies from having to print and mail certain shareholder documents.


Stepping Up to the Data Challenge… What’s Your Role? (Part 2) (Premium Content)

Data offers businesses new opportunities to better understand their customers through a limitless number of sources, including purchasing behaviors, interactions, demographics, and history. Last week’s article discussed the challenges that marketers face in today’s data-driven world, and this one explores the strategies that Innovairre is pursuing to help clients effectively use data.


Latest Printing Shipments Reflect Rebound

July's inflation-adjusted US commercial printing shipments continued to outshine prior year shipment levels. This was the best July since 2008 on a current dollar basis and since 2010 on an inflation-adjusted basis. On average, monthly industry shipments have been about $200 million higher than the year before. They are also tracking closer to GDP growth rates, a feat the industry has not done for almost two decades.


Is Your Print Business Sales Focused or Production Focused?

A sales focus is external. A production focus is internal. A sales focused print business leader is constantly asking the question, “How does this activity/investment improve my customer’s experience or business?” A sales focused print leader escorts the external rate of change into the business at a rate that often makes their employees uncomfortable.


Recovery Indicators Mixed with Slight Downward Bias; Sluggish Economy Remains

Four of the six recovery indicators fell last month, but the non-manufacturing new orders indicator remained very strong. World markets had a rocky month, and the NASDAQ fell -7% since the last indicators.


US Commercial Printing Shipments Up for 14 Consecutive Months

US commercial printing shipments were nearly $7.04 billion in July, a $392 million increase (+4.9%) on a current dollar basis compared to 2014. This was the strongest July since 2008.


Packaging Production Will Have a High Profile at Graph Expo-CPP

Packaging professionals who haven’t yet decided whether to invest in a trip to the show still have time to give the idea the serious consideration it deserves.


Wide-Format: A Growing Presence at Graph Expo

As wide-format and specialty graphics play a larger role in the industry, they are also playing a larger role at general commercial printing shows like Graph Expo. Here is a preview of some things to look for at this year’s show.


Tsunami Coming: Prepare Now

You remember the effect the Internet had on your business from 1995 through today? It’s nothing compared to what’s coming your way now. That’s the basis of a new book that is a must-read for anyone who owns or manages a business. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Scott Stawski about Inflection Point: How the convergence of cloud, mobility, apps and data will shape the future of business.


Stepping Up to the Data Challenge… What’s Your Role? (Premium Content)

Corporations are increasingly relying on data to learn about customers, invest in new products and services, adjust sales and marketing activities, and assess new market opportunities. This article discusses the challenges that marketers face in today’s data-driven world.


Q2 GDP Revised Up, Bigger Rebound from Q1... But What's Ahead?

The first report of Q2-2015 real GDP was +2.3%, and now it's been raised to +3.7%, well ahead of forecaster expectations. On a longer-term year-to-year basis, the growth rate is +2.5%, still almost a full percentage point below post-WW2 average.

Longer term rate +2.5%. The effects of inventory increases is still a major factor in the growth, but there were other positives in the report implying that Q2 was broadly better than originally thought. There are concerns among professional forecasters that the inventory buildup will result in slower growth as those stockpiles are reduced. Considering that two thirds of the third quarter is almost complete, we know that international trade is being disrupted by currency and solvency issues in China and other countries. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta GDPNow estimates that third quarter GDP will be at +1.4%. Please also note a recent chart where we showed important key indicators that have yet to surpass their recession levels from Q4-2007.


Top 5 Web-to-Print Sales Demonstration Tips

A web-to-print demo is your chance to demonstrate how your print software technology solves the relevant challenges of a specific customer. The key words are “relevant challenges” and “specific customer”. Do your homework so your demonstration addresses what the customer actually cares about.


Is It a Package, or Is It a Warning Sign?

It’s impossible to take controversy out of certain kinds of products—or the packages they come in. More consumer-goods packaging is starting to feel the heat.


Canon on Color A Conversation with Canon Solutions America (Premium Content)

In an increasingly complex and demanding printing environment, color management is critical. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Canon Solutions America executives to learn more about how Canon is approaching this issue.


Walter G. Anderson Thrives on Change in An Increasingly Complex Food Packaging Market (Premium Content)

As consumers demand more variety, food packaging production gets harder to stay ahead of—but not if the producer is as well equipped and as versatile as this market leader.


Dr. Joe: News Corp CEO Whining or Leading, Global Economic Mess is Becoming a Quagmire (Premium Content)

The News Corp CEO says that social media companies are responsible for the 'unnatural act' of redistributing content. The company that overpaid for MySpace, failed in social media, repeats the fears of copiers and VCRs from decades ago. We found out that Amazon is a great company and a horrible employer in a story perfect for cross media. Central banks play the devaluation game and say that they were manipulated into doing it. Sure, blame Kazakhstan. How can making something float cause it to sink? Dr. Joe explains it all.


Production Inkjet Printing: Disruption or Opportunity? (Premium Content)

Are inkjet presses a disruptive technology? This article will discuss the definition of a “disruptive technology,” determine if the data surrounding inkjet presses fulfills the criteria, and explore the ongoing impact of production inkjet printing.


Study Sees Underlying Strength in the U.S. Market for Flexography

Technical advancements and process improvements in flexography should keep it secure in its key applications. even in the face of competition from digital.


Per Capita Commercial Printing Shipments Stabilize; Forecast Models Project Levels to Continue

The per capita value of US commercial printing shipments has stabilized at nearly $270, and the recent change in the direction of shipments in the last year or so has changed the forecasts. Forecast models place heavy weight on recent history, and that fact has changed the forecast for 2020 to remain at current levels. It was not long ago that the models forecast 2020 consumption at near zero, an unlikely outcome, but one worth pondering. Will shipments stay at these levels? That's unlikely, too, as media formats and loyalties are still changing.


Global Flexible Packaging Market Set for Rapid Growth

Advancements in flexible materials have made them mainstay substrates for food and beverage packaging all around the world. A new report foresees solid growth for the sector in most regions from now through 2020.


The Top Print Software Question: When Will This Be Done?

Print software is eating your budget because software is becoming the tool of choice for industry leaders to create differentiation in the marketplace.


Taking Paper to the Next Level

Creative businesses are leveraging new digital finishing technologies to drive new business, new designs, and entry into entirely new markets for printing and packaging companies. Brands are also turning to paper structures to get their message out and enhance their displays. Learn how digital finishing techniques are revolutionizing the world of paper creations in this article sponsored by Highcon.


Pivotal Moments: A History Lesson

Dan Marx, VP–Markets & Technologies at the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association looks back at pivotal moment in the history of the SGIA Expo.


Inkjet – State Of The Art Or Sci-Fi Fantasy Print? (Premium Content)

Parents know this refrain well – “Are we there yet?” – just as they know the answer – “In a little while.” I spend my working life with printing technology and have heard this for many years. In the case of inkjet, this is a recurring theme. And while we are not there yet, we are getting much closer.


Key Indicators that Have Not Improved Since the Recession and Recovery

There are numerous data series that explain that the economy has never recovered from the recession. These are not obscure data series, but mainstream ones. Gross Domestic Product should be the standard for determining the status of an economy (thick blue line). Movements in GDP should be confirmed by other measures. This week's chart uses the start of the recession, December 2007, as the base, which is 100.


The Pathway to Profitability: How Value-added Services can Contribute to Business Growth (Premium Content)

To remain competitive in today’s transitional market, printers are embracing the importance of adding value. This article leverages InfoTrends’ research to explore how value-added services can contribute to business growth.


Q: When Is a Package Not a Package? A: When Inspiration Strikes

For many people, an empty package is an artist’s kit full of creative opportunity. Brand owners may not fully appreciate how they benefit when their packaging is repurposed for fun or practicality by end-using consumers.


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