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Making Web-to-Print Part of Your Culture (Premium Content)

Web-to-print is a strategic initiative that creates two service level paths through your organization; self-service and full-service. Your leadership is the key ingredient required for success.


Digital Package Printing As an Innovation Tool for Consumer Brands: an Interview with Mike Ferrari (Premium Content)

Digital printing is no longer a tangential technology for packaging—it’s a mainstream process for brands that want to stay fully engaged with consumers. An authority on brand management explains why.


A Closer Look at Digital Dye-Sublimation Printing

There are a number of different printing technologies used to print fabrics and textiles. One of the most common—and the one that is getting the most attention these days—is dye sublimation. What is dye sublimation printing, and what do you need to take advantage of the technology?


Marketing Attribution: Building the Case for Print (Premium Content)

Marketing attribution is the science of determining what channels are driving desired actions and assigning them appropriate credit. Print is an important channel in the marketing mix. This article highlights recent InfoTrends’ research that attributes the value of print in the mix.


Cold Front Moves In – February 2016 M&A Activity

February 2016 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries.


Is the Positive Run for Commercial Printing Coming to a Close?

The latest printing shipments were discussed in the “Mondays with Dr. Joe” of March 7. The chart offers more details. Revenues turned around on a current dollar basis with June 2014 shipments (blue line) and the positive comparisons to the prior year kept going until the most recent report, January 2016. In current dollars, January’s shipments were barely above those of 2015, keeping the positive comparison streak intact.


National Print Owners Association Successfully Enters Post-Startup Phase

Starting a trade association isn’t the same thing as establishing a trade association. Giving it a base for an extended life of service to its members requires long-range planning and determined execution. This is the story of NPOA.


Marketing Your Print Business (Premium Content)

As we move more business online, utilize digital communication channels, and look to diversify – our print business marketing becomes more critical to our overall business success.


The Printing Industry and Patent Trolls – An Update on the CTP and HQPI Patent Infringement Litigation Cases and their Negative Impact on Industry’s Companies

At a time when the printing industry is searching for new growth and development opportunities, it now faces new obstacles: patent trolls, the epitome of greed, thoughtlessness, and unethical behavior impacting the survival, growth, and development of printing and related companies.


Heidelberg Promises to Look “Smart” at drupa 2016 (Part I) (Premium Content)

As the event nears, Heidelberg wants to be seen in a different light: less dependent on equipment, more open to partnership, wholly focused on production efficiency.


Textile Printing 101

Digital textile printing is seemingly everywhere, and many sources tout it as a high growth area. New product announcements are also coming thick and fast. But what are the basics of digital textile printing? This week, we offer a basic primer on the topic.


Economic Data: It's Okay to be Less Worried (Premium Content)

The recovery indicators bounced back from a scary month. Printing shipments beat out a weak grounder to keep their winning streak alive, unless the statisticians call it an error. And how does that relate to employment? Dr. Joe explains that, negative interest rates, adds his constant tirade against buybacks, and tells us not to get caught up in that saw about half of people not paying taxes. What can we say? It's Dr. Joe. You know how he gets.


2016: It’s All in the Data! (Premium Content)

Communicating with the right audience at the right time is not about capturing more data, but about capturing data that can drive better business decisions. This article highlights recent research and also includes quotes from industry experts to illuminate the importance of high-quality data.


Another New Business for EFI

EFI is using both organic growth and acquisitions to get to CEO Guy Gecht’s much publicized goal of reaching $1 billion in revenue this year, and another acquisition was added to the mix this week. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talked to EFI about how the acquisition of Rialco LLC fits into the mix.


Dscoop Collaboration Station – The Tech Talks

At Dscoop this year, we will be presenting a series of Tech Talks in the Dscoop Collaboration Station on the show floor. We are all on a steep learning curve when it comes to technology. Join us to get a dose of technology education across a wide range of topics. Bring your technology leaders to Dscoop; their importance to your business is growing!


Inkjet drupa 2016 – Continuing the Story - Canon

In this article, David Zwang looks at Canon’s new and updated production inkjet offerings in preparation for drupa 2016, with an eye on educating the marketplace on what is out there and what we may expect to see.


Labels and Packaging: Entrepreneurial Springboard for Che International Group

To build a multi-capable network of companies, what better place to begin than the label and packaging business? Just ask Christopher Che.


4Q-2015 GDP Revised Up from +0.7% to +1.0%, But Not as Good as It Seems

The second estimate of fourth quarter GDP was revised up from +0.7% to +1.0%, mainly from an increase in net inventories. This factor in the GDP calculation is volatile, so we track GDP with and without it to get a perspective of the underlying GDP rate from a long term perspective in a year-to-year comparison.


Beyond-the-Box Thinking at Canon Solutions America Anniversary Event

Canon Solutions America hosted its third anniversary event last week in Boca Raton, Fla., highlighting the state of the market, new product developments, and customer case studies. In this feature, we focus on the company’s wide-format offerings.


Pass the Word: Print Drives America

Printing is far bigger and much more influential than many people give it credit for. It’s time to correct the perception.


Broadband Hours and US Commercial Printing

In 2014, US per capita hours using broadband is just over 900 per year (2.5 per day), and that's the entire population. The number of total hours has doubled since 2007. The population has grown in that period, but the average number of hours online per week has gone from 15.3 to 21.5 in 2014, and households with broadband connections grew from 76% to 89%. The cumulative effect has had most of its effect on mainstream commercial printing, especially information materials used for promotion and product support and advertising-funded products like magazines and catalogs. Printing's use is becoming more tactical, focused on specialty uses of printed images with higher expectations for impact, especially in concert with other media.


Brand Owners Are Driving Digital Packaging in 2016 (Premium Content)

Packaging is defined as all the activities of designing and producing the container for a product. It involves the printable material that encases a consumer item and serves to contain, identify, describe, protect, display, promote, and otherwise make the product marketable and keep it clean. Apart from this, packaging is also is a double-digit growth market for digital print technology.


What Are Your Customers Hiring Web-to-Print Systems to Do? (Premium Content)

Your web-to-print initiatives should be focused on the “jobs-to-be-done” for your customers. What can the customer “hire” your web-to-print system to do for them? Web-to-print ROI comes from a 100% focus from your customer’s perspective.


TAGA in Memphis: Tech, BBQ and Music

Are you gearing up to attend the 2016 TAGA conference in Memphis? Senior Editor Cary Sherburne gives you lots of good reasons why you should plan to go … read more.


Meet SGIA President and CEO Ford Bowers—Part 2

On February 1, Ford Bowers took the reins as president and CEO of SGIA, succeeding Michael Robertson after nearly 33 years of service. In Part 2 of this two-part interview, we talk with Ford about the SGIA Expo, as well as the overall challenges facing the wide-format and specialty graphics printing industry.


Being Well-Adjusted is a Good Thing (Premium Content)

An inflated view of performance is good, if you’re well adjusted. Let’s be real: retail sales were better but not encouraging. Ad agency and graphic design employees may finally set a new record in 2016.


Company on Fire: Heidelberg Debuts a Branded Digital Printing Portfolio

To have a branding strategy for digital printing, there first has to be a cohesive family of digital printing products. Heidelberg says that it now has both.


Selling to the Enterprise Market (Premium Content)

All enterprises want their communications to look credible and professional as they spread the word about their businesses. This market presents tremendous opportunities for print service providers with the right go-to-market strategy. This article cites recent InfoTrends research to explore how service providers can meet the evolving needs of today’s enterprises across various vertical markets.


Services Can't Save the Economy if Manufacturing “Tanks”: It's All Connected

The economic turbulence of the last few weeks of a bad GDP report for Q4, the negative trends in manufacturing, commodities prices collapsing because of declining demand, have led to chat of recession.


E-Commerce Retail Sales Still Growing at Nearly 15% Per Year

E-commerce sales of all types, including industrial products, is still growing at a rate just under 15% per year.


Is the Customer Always Right?

Customers ask for a lot, they want us to service them but they also need us to apply our expertise to their challenges. The customer can and should be challenged based on your expertise.


Brain Science Deems Print a Brainy Choice for Marketers (Premium Content)

What instinct tells us about the effectiveness of print has now scientific backing that links it to measurable brain activity, as detailed in a study commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service.


Meet SGIA President and CEO Ford Bowers—Part 1

On February 1, Ford Bowers took the reins as president and CEO of SGIA, succeeding Michael Robertson after nearly 33 years of service. In Part 1 of this two-part interview, we talk with Ford Bowers about his history with Miller Zell, his plans for SGIA, the role of the trade association in today’s landscape.


Mercury Print: Positioned for Growth (Premium Content)

Mercury Print Productions of Rochester NY reports continued growth, increased use of digital print technologies, and a new facility that consolidates 3 previous ones. CEO John Place talks about current business and future strategies in this company spotlight.


Inkjet drupa 2016 – Continuing the Story

In this article, David begins the process of looking at the changes in production inkjet since drupa 2012, with an eye on educating the marketplace on what is out there and what we may expect to see.


What Price Privacy? The Pew Research Center Tries to Find Out

Does “privacy” have meaning any more? People are sometimes willing to trade personal information for rewards—even when they know they are going to regret it. There are implications for print in the conflict.


Small and Medium-Sized Businesses: A Marketing Services Opportunity! (Premium Content)

Just like large enterprises, SMBs want to look credible and professional as they spread the word about their businesses. This market presents tremendous opportunities for print service providers with the right go-to-market strategy. This article cites recent InfoTrends research to explore how service providers can aggregate volume with a focus on specific horizontal and vertical SMB markets.


Printing Was 1 of 8 Major Manufacturing Industries with Positive Growth in 2015

Part of print's good 2015 was how well it did compared to other industries. Of 21 major manufacturing industries, nine had positive years in current dollars, with commercial printing as sixth highest. Precipitous decreases in commodities prices caused manufacturing in metals and energy to have such a bad year that the entire manufacturing sector declined -4.3%. For the year, current dollar GDP growth was +2.9%. For the first time in twenty years, commercial printing growth exceeded GDP.


Print MIS Product Spotlight: EFI’s Pace

This product spotlight focuses on three areas that we see as the most powerful and differentiating features of Pace; PaceStation, Pace Customization Modules, and Pace Item Templates. The unifying concept with all three of these features is that they allow a printer to “configure” Pace to work for their unique business requirements.


Packaging Finds Its Proper Place on the Agenda at EFI Connect 2016

The user conference was too wide-ranging to have a single keynote, but it was a good place to catch up with what EFI is doing to streamline packaging workflows.


An Owner’s Strategy For A Receding Economy

The impact of a negative economic outlook on M&A activity will be to turn the current sellers’ market into a buyers’ market and result in decreased valuations. The situation will cause most owners who might have been considering a sale transaction in the near future to pause and re-examine their strategies.


POP! Retail Display Proves Attractive – January 2016 M&A Activity

January 2016 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries


Printing Shipments Have a Good Year Despite Mixed Signals from the Economy (Premium Content)

The unemployment improved to a level not seen since the recession began, but it doesn't feel that good. Have the statisticians been running their thermometers under running water until it gets to the number they want? Printing shipments beat GDP for the year for the first time since 1995. Where are the cheers? And then there's a beef with image campaigns. Yeah, it's Dr. Joe time again.


The Road to Wideformat Commoditization

Commoditization has come creeping into wide-format and specialty graphics, but does it mean the end of profitability?


Commercial Printing Prices Less Than December 2007; Paper and Ink Higher

Since December 2007, the CPI is up by +12.6%. How have the PPI for commercial printing, ink, and paper changed? Commercial printing prices are lower, -0.8%. This means that a commercial printing business has to increase its productivity and profitability to reward its owners and employees to make up for the loss of purchasing power they have in their paychecks.


No Packaging Necessary—No Question?

There are those who envision a future free or nearly free of packaging. Although it might seem unachievable, some tentative steps in that direction have been taken.


Catalogs: The Power to Drive Sales (Premium Content)

Major retailers like Lands’ End and J.C. Penney are bringing back their printed catalogs because they recognize the critical role that these catalogs play in driving business. This article cites recent InfoTrends research to highlight how catalogs remain an important marketing tool for reaching today’s consumers.


Recovery Indicators Show Economic Slowdown Underway

The monthly recovery indicators were uneven again. The NASDAQ fell almost -7% in the last month, and ISM non-manufacturing new orders and imports also declined.


Build Collaboration into Your Meetings to Innovate

Business meetings can be horribly ineffective, yet with a set of small hacks you can unleash the productivity and innovation your company desperately needs. Here’s the good news, all you need is some Post-It Notes and a phone.


IDEAlliance and Epicomm Join Forces for the Benefit of the Industry

Yesterday, IDEAlliance and Epicomm announced a proposed merger that, pending member approval, will combine the two organizations under the 50-year-old brand IDEAlliance. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with IDEAlliance’s David Steinhardt and Epicomm’s Ken Garner to get the inside story.


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