Published January 30, 2017
Packaging is now a significant part of the EFI platform, and the subject got its fair share of attention at the 17th edition of the company’s annual customer-education event.
Published January 25, 2017
There’s very little in the way of graphic output that this omnifaceted imaging emporium can’t offer its customers—and now, with the addition of an HP Indigo 12000 digital press, probably nothing at all.
Published January 20, 2017
Color management works, and it has been available to designers and printers for more than 25 years. Why then do we still make mistakes in color reproduction? Shoshana Burgett of X-Rite Pantone notes that CM has to be understood as something more than calibrating a monitor. It is a set of steps, processes, and tools that must be in place across the entire production workflow, always with monitoring for continuous improvement. Designers who want color to be consistent in all the channels they are now responsible for can find the help they need in CM, Burgett says.
Published January 16, 2017
Marketing technology is exploding. Michael Chase of St. Joseph Communications says that there are now more than 3,500 providers of "MarTech" services. But, building efficient marketing platforms requires more than just cherry-picking technology solutions. Chase notes that all the MarTech in the world won't help if there is no content strategy in place to guide the effort. The first tasks are to define the kinds of content to be created and to identify the audiences to whom the content will be presented. Armed with this knowledge, says Chase, marketers can choose the right channels and work toward achievable outcomes.
Published January 10, 2017
It wasn’t the sole focus of the event, but packaging was well represented in INKredible’s salute to print’s place at the table in the omnichannel environment.
Published January 10, 2017
What is "omnichannel production" for packaging? Jean-Charles Morisseau explains that it's using packaging production data as a touchstone for accuracy throughout the entire distribution chain, including e-commerce web sites. Incorrect information and poor-quality photos and graphics hurt e-commerce sales, but Morisseau says they don't have to. All of the right content is available in packaging prepress files. It's a matter of making sure that the content is used everywhere the product is represented—an objective that Morisseau's company has a five-step plan for achieving.
Published January 9, 2017
Don't try to tell X-Rite's Shoshana Burgett that there's anything the matter with print. She'll set the record straight by pointing out that print has never been stronger as a medium for creating brand experiences. From business cards to grand format output, says Burgett, print has an enormous array of new applications that forge bonds between brands and the people the brands want to reach. And, it's not just ink on paper: the definition now includes printing on glass, ceramics, textiles, and other exotic substrates.
Published January 4, 2017
It's getting hard to think about marketing without also thinking about content: the practical, motivational, or just plain enjoyable information products that marketers increasingly rely upon to engage audiences with brands. Content marketing pro Michael Chase talks about where print fits into the engagement strategy. He says that in order to build successful "ecosystems based on content," it's necessary to operate like the protagonists of Moneyball—always with an eye on data analytics and the opportunities it reveals to make the most of the spend.
Published December 20, 2016
Research indicates that 75% of U.S. adults and 87% of Millennials want to get more product information from packages and labels. But, the amount of printable "real estate" on them is limited and jealously protected by designers and marketers. This is a clarion call to make labels and packages interactive with the help of technologies that connect consumers with the information they want, says Michael Grady of Sgsco. He notes some of the possibilities and talks about why interactivity is worth the investment cost.
Published December 15, 2016
Tod Szewczyk directs Leovative, the Leo Burnett agency's channel for keeping its clients informed about how brands are using emerging technologies to reach consumers. He points out that some of these solutions make good use of print as a bridge to the mobile experience and as a vehicle for calls to action. Szewczyk, a speaker at the IDEAlliance INKredible event, also mentions several technologies that he thinks Leovative's audience should keep an eye on in 2017.
Published December 13, 2016
A label shop serving customers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border found everything it was looking for, and more, in a highly capable inkjet web press from Epson.
Published December 12, 2016
Interactive print, as Ethan Goller describes it, is print that combines with other media to engage recipients in a variety of ways leading to a variety of outcomes. Goller, the president of Structural Graphics, notes that one way to make print interactive is to incorporate special effects such as sound, light, and video into the printed piece. The objective, he says, should be to create "a feedback loop of intelligence" that makes sales and marketing channels more efficient.
Published December 12, 2016
When we caught up with Warren Werbitt (Pazzazz) at IDEAlliance's INKredible event and asked him what he thought of the program, "wow," "superb," and "pretty amazing" were among his answers. He says that what he discovered about the synergies between print and other media will help Pazzazz send a more powerful marketing message to its customers. Werbitt's advice to print company owners who think they don't have time for intelligence-gathering opportunities like INKredible "If you sit at your desk and never go out, you can't learn, you can't grow, and you can't motivate."
Published December 6, 2016
Given all of the mandates and expectations placed on packaging today, there may be something socially significant to add to the list of traditional packaging functions.
Published December 2, 2016
Neoterix ST gives medical institutions and other germ-fighting environments the first completely non-toxic solution for blocking bacterial growth on high-touch surfaces.
Published November 29, 2016
To many, Australia may seem to be on the far side of the world, but the business issues confronting packaging and label producers there are much the same as they are anywhere else. A recent conference by a newly formed trade association addressed some of them.
Published November 22, 2016
KBA's intensive focus on the packaging market can be seen in the large portfolio of products it has developed for packaging applications of many different kinds. Eric Frank, director of marketing, talks about the new VariJet 106, a hybrid inkjet/conventional/finishing platform that will be built to order for specific market segments. He also reviews KBA's capabilities in flexography, diecutting, metal decorating, and VLF (very large format) offset.
Published November 8, 2016
Imagine a press so thoroughly automated that it almost seems to be a member of its own crew. This is what Heidelberg says it has made possible with the concept it calls “Push to Stop.”
Omnichannel Content Publishing and Marketing to Be Demystified at Idealliance’s “INKredible” Conference
Published November 4, 2016
Idealliance is billing INKredible as “a showcase for innovators in orchestrated content marketing and publishing”: a category that most definitely includes print service providers.
Published November 1, 2016
No vendor understands mail processing workflows better than Pitney Bowes. Here, PB's Grant Miller explains how the company has put what it knows into the AcceleJet printing and finishing system, a "white paper factory" solution for commercial printers and other print/mail environments. With AcceleJet, rollfed white paper goes in, and fully printed and finished mailing pieces come out. As this is happening, a cloud-based software solution called Clarity Suites gathers production data that can be used to make the workflow even more efficient.
Published October 25, 2016
The industry’s solutions for cultivating workforce talent aren’t perfect. But, given the graying of the industry and the thinning of its ranks in production occupations, it’s urgent to use them to their full extent.
Published October 23, 2016
"We believe in the printed word". So declares Claus Bolza-Schünemann, president of KBA, as he reviews the state of the industry as a whole and his company's position within it. He says that the success of drupa 2016—an event he traveled the world to promote as chairman of its executive committee—proves that there is no longer any excuse for "whining and crying about how bad the industry is." He also discusses how KBA regained its strength and forward momentum after several tough years of post-recession restructuring.
Published October 12, 2016
Although not a show about labels and packaging per se, Graph Expo proved to be a worthwhile place to go for information on innovative ways of producing them.
Published October 7, 2016
If you’re intrigued by the idea of a conference where the presentations are capped at 25 minutes and the proceedings are enlivened by 15-minute “inspiration bursts” in which speakers can deliver “hard-hitting rants,” pencil in December 6 at the Princeton Club in New York City. That will be the premiere of INKredible, a new event hosted by Idealliance for printing, publishing, and advertising professionals. Here, conference organizer Steven Schnoll explains what will make the program special.
Published October 3, 2016
Last week, Graph Expo 2016 made a successful change of scene from its traditional home in Chicago to a new venue in Orlando. It was apparent on day one that the show had traveled well and that its value to exhibitors and visitors was intact. Graph Expo returns to Chicago next year and is scheduled to be back in Orlando in 2019.