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Adobe Takes Digital Publishing to New Levels (Premium Content)

Adobe is taking mobile app creation to a brand-new level with the launch of Adobe Digital Publishing Solution 2015. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Adobe’s Bridget Roman and Colin Fleming to learn more.


Risk: The Biggest Threat To Capturing Ownership Value

Much has been written about what business owners should do to improve the value of their business. So much so, that when it comes to developing a set of priorities to get ready for a sales or other transfer process, uncertainty and confusion reign supreme.


Paper Industry “Unfolds” Deep-Pocketed Image Campaign to Halt Slide in Demand

Paper suppliers have made an all-out commitment to putting a floor under the declining use of their products—including levying a volume-based fee on themselves to pay for the effort.


Sustainability Reality Check: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

What is the difference between a “green” business and a “sustainable” one? What are some unique approaches to the concept of sustainability that printing companies—large- and small-format—are taking? In the end, it’s not just about making the company sustainable, but rather the entire supply chain.


How Have Big Metro Area Printing Establishments Fared in the Recovery?

Dr Joe took a look at how the number of commercial printing establishments in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, DC, and San Francisco metropolitan areas has changed since 2010.


The Power of Personalization: Get Data and Get Going! (Premium Content)

Today’s marketers are seeking partners that can help them deliver the right message at the right time, while also delivering the most effective data strategies to ensure that offers are not dead on arrival. This article explores how print service providers can capitalize on this opportunity by building data expertise.


Year-to-Year Real Retail Sales Peaked in January, and Are Weaker Since

June retail sales adjusted for inflation fell -0.6% compared to May. Month-to-month changes are somewhat volatile, so it's better to look at the comparisons to the prior year. The chart shows that June retail sales were +1.2% compared to last year, the worst comparison since March 2014. There are signs that the economy is slowing again. In the first quarter, real retail sales were +2.6% compared to the prior year, but this second quarter is only +1.6%. The economy always has conflicting positive and negative data, but this downturn in a key sector of the economy is likely to raise some eyebrows among economists and policymakers.


The Fear of Launching Print Software

Launching any new print software technology can feel risky. With the rate of change in both our businesses and software technology, we have to create a culture that is comfortable with launching early and iterating through issues. It is impossible to predict every possible scenario; it is liberating to accept that finding issues post-launch is part of the plan.


Yes We “Can,” and Do, Says New Promo Campaign for Aluminum Containers

“Open Up to Cans” is what consumers are being urged to do by a can makers’ trade association. But, when it come to beverages, most already have.


Is Small Business Slowing Down Again?

The NFIB Small Business Index was released this week, “The weakness was substantial across the board, showing no signs of a growth spurt in the near future,” according to Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB Chief Economist. “Declines in spending plans accounted for 30 percent of the Index decline, and weaker expectations for real sales and business conditions another 20 percent. The deterioration in earnings trends accounted for about a quarter of the decline.”


Refining Packaging Cycle Time: The “Last Mile” Power of Digital

Packaging is one area of the printing industry where growth continues. But it is not without its challenges. Learn how leading packaging converters are leveraging digital technology to address time-to-market challenges and developing new revenue streams in this article sponsored by Highcon.


2015: The Current State of the Industrial Printing Community (Premium Content)

SGIA’s Dan Marx shares some of his organization’s most recent research on industrial printing. What technologies are companies in the industrial printing space using? What products and technologies have they been investing in? Where do they see the most (and least) growth opportunities? What is their business outlook?


Two Keys to Increasing Productivity: Software Automation and Hardware Utilization (Premium Content)

One of the keys to effectively running a world-class company is finding ways to constantly increase productivity. This article explores the importance of measuring operational performance and discusses various strategies for doing so.


Print Software as an Infrastructure Investment (Premium Content)

Print software is an infrastructure investment in our increasing online and digital economy. Adopting a strategic infrastructure approach to investing in and implementing print software will be a key differentiator for print businesses moving forward.


Interview with EFI's Udi Arieli on FedEx Office's Use of EFI Workflow and Productivity Technology

Yesterday, EFI and FedEx Office announced that FedEx Office is using EFI products for a more cost-effective and streamlined delivery of professional print services. I spoke to Udi Arieli, EFI’s Director, High End Market Business Development, EFI Productivity Software, to get the scoop for this WhatTheyThink exclusive.


Fortis Solutions Group Grows by Acquisition and by Technical Leaps and Bounds

An investment banker turned label printer is building a network with a widening geographic reach and a deepening capability in flexo and digital production.


Cloak and Dagger Inks Fight Counterfeiters – June 2015 M&A Activity

Analysis of June 2015 Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries


The Great, Outdoors: Attention to Detail Goes a Long Way Toward Creating Effective Outdoor Graphics

New applications for outdoor graphics are appearing all the time, and new printing technologies are revitalizing some older applications. Some considerations if you are looking at outdoor graphics, and a look at one South Florida shop that has carved out a niche in the great outdoors.


Cross-Media? Multi-Channel? Omni-Channel?

UK-based Blackdog Digital is a terrific example of a company that has morphed from being a commercial printer to a digital printer to a variable data printer to a full-service provider of cross-media campaigns. Blackdog’s Phil Copperwheat shares his thoughts on the company’s transformation and what other companies need to do to get in the cross-media game.


Inflation-adjusted US Commercial Printing Shipments Better than 2014

Commercial printing shipments have been much higher than they are in today's market, but the bounce off the lows of 2014 this year have been notable. The comparisons toward the end of 2015 will be harder to top since the industry started to show this bounceback at the end of 2014. The transformation of commercial printing businesses has been an arduous one, with volume declines of many mainstream products, but a rise in specialty applications. Those new applications are often based in digital printing, such as wide format specialties. There's also a new generation of print business managers who are not burdened by the myopia of history, where print was paramount. These executives and owners have grown up with computers and gadgets and have a better sense of print's new role in media communications


Two Sides North America Defends Paper and Print on Many Fronts

Corporate promulgators of spurious “green” claims that disrespect printing, be warned: a riposte and a recantation may be in your future.


OneTouchPoint: Delivering on the Promise of Customer Intimacy (Premium Content)

Without leaving their homes or offices, individuals can assess and evaluate an array of products and services. The most successful firms understand that the lifetime value of a customer is more important than the value of the initial transaction. This article explores how Kohler Co. partnered with OneTouch Point to stand out from the competition and maximize the value of long-term customer relationships.


Technical Staffing for Printers – Top 3 Characteristics

Staffing your technology is as important as staffing your presses. The top characteristics for good technical resources: understand the limits of your knowledge, resist making assumptions, and see opportunities rather than roadblocks.


Not with A Pop, but A Whimper

What would Bubble Wrap be without poppability? Alas, we are about to find out.


Getting to Know HP’s Eric Wiesner

As our readers may know, Aurelio Maruggi led the InkJet High-speed Production Solutions (IHPS) division at HP since its inception and has recently moved to a new role within HP. He spent a lot of time with customers and really understood the business and their needs. His successor, Eric Wiesner, has a very different background, but one that is equally valuable to HP and customers alike. I had the chance to speak with him recently about his background and his thoughts about the future.


Business Success Is All in the Family at Prystup Packaging Products

This privately owned folding carton company follows a straight line from its family values to its strategies for business growth.


The Next Wave of Digital Publishing: Employee Engagement

We’ve been writing about the adoption of digital publishing tools for publishing and sales enablement. The next wave for this discipline is a natural: employee engagement. We spoke with Douglas Fajardo, CEO of Mirum Miami, an agency working with Sony Latin America, about the impact Sony’s employee engagement app is having on its employee on-boarding process.


Selling Print to an Informed and Predominately Online Buyer

As the online world continues to expand, your prospects and customers can become more educated buyers. Your response to this is to invest in your online presence so that first impressions count.


Conferees Roll Up Sleeves for Close Look at Growth of Sleeve Labeling Market

Sleeves are coming on strong as labeling options as numerous technological advances make them more attractive to work with. A recent event in Florida covered some of the most important ones.


EPS Doublet Brings Amazing Innovation to Experiential Marketing with Production Inkjet

Colorado-based EPS Doublet creates amazing event experiences for its many marquis customers and is an expert in experiential marketing. See how the company leverages large- and small-format digital printing to bring innovative solutions to its customers in this article sponsored by HP Graphics Solutions Business.


The Big Wide Word: Marketing Tips for Wide-Format Shops

OK, so you’ve invested in wide-format printing capabilities, the equipment is up and running, the staff is trained, and you’re ready to RIP. How do you get work to run on that equipment?


What’s Your Digital Quotient? (Premium Content)

According to McKinsey & Company, following the leader can be dangerous to your future profitability. This article explores four steps for optimizing performance in today’s digital world, and also discusses the importance of developing a digital quotient.


Interest Rates Have Rising Since the End of 2011

We all know how the markets seem to panic when the Fed hints that rates will be rising soon, but they already have. That is, the markets have been pushing up the inflation-adjusted 10-year US Treasury since September 2011 by 420 basis points (4.2 percentage points). The rate is now the highest since June 2010, at 2.33%. This measure can be volatile because of the inflation adjustment. We used the year-to-year inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index for that reason. There are Fed governors who believe that they have great latitude to be patient with a rise in inflation since their target of +2% annual inflation has not been met. This means that they believe they have a cushion of “banked” uncreated inflation that they can use up before they move aggressively. Whatever the case, a 25 basis point rise in short term rates is not much, as they might actually be catching up to the marketplace that has already moved and the Fed is already lagging well behind it. They miss an important point. The CPI does not measure inflation in a practical way. If wages are stagnant (though a little better lately), a “mild” 2% rise can be a burden. Median household income is still 4% lower than its peak just after the recession started. A 2% rise in inflation plus the 4% lower income is a 6% difference. That's something that's rarely mentioned in the business press.


Printers 5 Top Challenges with Print Software

Software is mission critical to your business, like other infrastructure investments it takes time and effort to make the best decisions, plan to get the most ROI, and continue to build differentiation in the marketplace. Optimizing your print software investments comes with challenges which every printer faces in order to compete in an increasingly online, digital world.


“Cluster” of Companies Aims to Stimulate Papermaking Industry in the Bay State

There’s strength in numbers—and in “clusters” of businesses like the ones that have come together to reinvigorate paper manufacturing in Massachusetts.


CxF3 and Color Management – exciting things to come

In this article, David Zwang looks at the evolution of Color Management in light of the recent approval of CxF3 as a standard by the ISO, what exciting new things it can bring to the process of Color Management in design and production, and what the future holds.


EskoWorld 2015: Dreams for Tomorrow

The community of U.S. Esko users descended upon the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona earlier this week to sharpen their skills, answer questions, get product roadmaps, and network with Esko executives and engineers as well as a diverse group of their peers.


Ad Agency Revenues Still on the Rise, Up 40% Since Start of Recovery

Since the start of the recovery all the way back in mid-2009, advertising agency revenues have increased by +$32 billion, +40% since that time. There are many economic indicators that have never recovered (such as full time jobs) but ad agency revenues have blown through the pre-recession high of $91 billion and is now running at the rate of $112 billion annually. The agencies have had this performance because they are immersed in the media upheaval, riding and stoking the changes in communications formats on behalf of their clients. Wages have followed this shift in media, and has been documented by us before. The average public relations pay is about $10,000 more than the averaged of all agency wages. Book publishing industry revenues have stabilized, and trends of newspaper and periodical publishing revenues are still down, but at a lesser rate.


Signs and Wonders: Digital Begins to Transform Indoor and Outdoor Displays

Smart screens that look back at their onlookers are only the beginning of the changes that digital technology will bring to signage and display markets that used to belong to—but now must be shared by—conventional print.


Web-to-Print Differences: In-Plants vs. Commercial Printers (Premium Content)

InfoTrends’ research has uncovered some key differences in web-to-print adoption among commercial printers versus corporate in-plants. This article leverages recent research to explore some of the differences in how these two groups use web-to-print technology.


Online Print Marketing: Optimizing for Two Audiences (Premium Content)

Inbound marketing is the strategy of choice for online marketing, content is the main ingredient to any successful inbound marketing strategy. Your content has to be optimized for two audiences; your target customers and the search engines.


Man of Letters: Hermann Zapf and the Art of Packaging Typography

Typography for packaging design will never be the same after Hermann Zapf—and always will be.


Sew What? The New Skill Sets for Wide-Format (Premium Content)

Printing is easy; it’s all the other stuff that can pose challenges. Producing wide-format output can require a different approach to traditional processes, from selling, to finishing, to transporting. What do you need to know before you take the plunge?


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

De-evolution for eBooks Platform? – May 2015 M&A Activity, includes commercial printing, packaging, newspapers, and equipment.


Anti-Counterfeiting Technologies Tell Packaging Knock-Offs To Knock It Off

In a perfect world, food and beverage producers wouldn't have to spend billions to protect themselves against bogus packaging. But, at least they have effective ways to spend the money.


The Dscoop Community Tradition Continues: Dscoop Open in Dublin, Ireland

At the Dscoop Open event (June 3-5 at the Convention Center in Dublin, Ireland), solutions partners shared their perspectives on how to make a “hole in one” with digital printing. This article provides a brief overview of the event’s highlights.


Latest Employment Data in Printing and Content Creation Markets

In spite of recent strength in US commercial printing industry shipments, employment is still on a downward path. The industry seems to becoming more efficient, somewhat from better management, and somewhat from consolidation as weak establishments are aborbed or exit the market. Compared to April, however, the Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that employment increased by about 600, which is common compared for May in recent years. The April public relations employment was very strong compared to the prior year and is up +8.8%. When PR employment is excluded from ad agency employment, the number of employees in agencies is still up +2.1%. The employment data have always reflected the changes in the media market as well as the strength in the economy. Though the economy is slow, advertising agencies have reinvented themselves and are very active in social media and digital media production.


Revised Commerce Department Data Sends Forecasts in Opposite Directions: Will US Printing in 2020 be $90 Billion or $27 Billion? (Premium Content)

Data for the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 were revised to a slight rise in shipments when the original data showed a steady and significant decline. That period of mild increase was followed by a period of decline that was smaller in magnitude than originally reported.


Accu-Label Enters the Digital Market at a Pace That Wastes No Time

A rapid changeover from conventional to digital production was both the cause and the result of the installation of digital printing equipment at Accu-Label Inc.


Magic Bus

If you happen to have been in Singapore recently—and who of us hasn’t?—you may have caught sight of a new wide-format backlit film that can be used for vehicle graphics. Called eLumiNEX, it has been given a shakedown cruise on a bus.


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