WhatTheyThink

Articles by Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry, Executive Editor for WhatTheyThink.com is also the director of Liberty or Death Communications, a consultancy specializing in research, education, promotional, and editorial support services for the printing and publishing industries.

Patrick Henry is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us here.

Please offer your feedback to Patrick. He can be reached at patrick.henry@whattheythink.com.

Displaying 376-475 of 721 articles

Experts Probe for Answers in Panel Discussion on “The Future of Book Publishing” at NYPL

Published January 14, 2011

When did the market for printing’s most time-honored product—the book—become so difficult to read? A cross-section of publishing experts tried to sort out the issues in a panel discussion earlier this week at the New York Public Library, courtesy of Kodak.

Can We Deconstruct This Postal "Restructuring"?

Published January 10, 2011

Below is the text of a press release issued last week by the U.S. Postal Service. It is headed, "Postmaster General Restructures U.S. Postal Service/Layers Eliminated, Officer Ranks Reduced." As an ordinary user of USPS services, I have two questions about what I'm reading.

Pitney Bowes Unveils “Volly,” A Cloud-Based, Secure Digital Delivery Service

Published January 7, 2011

Imagine the cloud-based equivalent of a consumer’s physical mailbox—a virtual receptacle where the user can accumulate and manage bills, statements, coupons, catalogs, and almost anything else he or she is accustomed to receiving from business mailers, but in purely digital form. It soon will be a reality. Pitney Bowes calls it Volly.

Virtual Press Clips: Print Firms in the News

Published January 3, 2011

Reborn for the new year is Virtual Press Clips, our periodic roundup of news items about printing companies in the general media. The object is to show that print firms continue to be esteemed and respected as good business neighbors by their hometown newspapers and local other media outlets.

As You Like It: Spending on Branded Content Remains Robust, with Print Tapping Profitably In

Published December 27, 2010

The production of branded content—media created by businesses for marketing and customer relations—is a $47.2 billion industry in the U.S., and print still accounts for the largest share of the spend. Marketers believe in it, recipients trust it, and that spells sheer “contentment” all around.

Deck the Halls with... New Year’s Resolutions for the M&A-Minded

Published December 20, 2010

In the time-honored tradition of ending the present year with resolutions for improvement in the year to come, New Direction Partners offers guidance for print company owners who may find themselves on one side or the other of an M&A transaction in 2011.

Kodak Puts in A Good Word for Print Before, During and After the Advertising Age “Media Evolved” Conference

Published December 16, 2010

In the minds of media professionals whose the icon is the iPad, how much attention can print and other traditional channels expect to command? Speakers at this high-level event indicated that no matter what media are used, the quality of the content is what spells the difference between virality and oblivion for the brand message.

A Short Course in the Fundamentals of M&A

Published December 3, 2010

New Direction Partners has taken its M&A consulting on the road in a series of presentations. In these briefings, NDP offers an overview of the business climate for mergers and acquisitions, along with practical advice for owners pondering the next step in the life cycles of their companies.

The “Right Size” is the Same Size: Heidelberg Offers Another 40" Press in the Speedmaster CX 102

Published November 30, 2010

Believing that there’s room in the 40" market for an addition to its Speedmaster line, Heidelberg rolled out the Speedmaster CX 102 in a customer event at its U.S. headquarters earlier this month. This newly engineered machine is said to transfer the best features of Heidelberg’s XL-series presses to the 102 format, its most successful product category.

Enter the Dragon: A Chinese Press Manufacturer Probes the Market at Graph Expo 2010

Published November 23, 2010

By bringing just one offset press to Graph Expo 2010, it accounted for one-sixth of all offset presses at the show and one-third of the conventional (non-DI) printing machines on the floor of McCormick Place. That would be an unusual distinction for any exhibitor of press equipment, but it seems to have worked out well for Gronhi Graphics International, the U.S. arm of a Chinese vendor seeking a reputation and a toehold in the American market.

Conventional Print at the GASC Shows: What Was, Isn’t, and Will Be

Published November 12, 2010

The Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) events were due to reach an inflection point, and it seems clear that at Graph Expo 2010, they reached one from which there will be no turning back. The break in the connection between showing heavy printing equipment and selling it made Graph Expo 2010 a watershed event. No longer do press manufacturers makers need elaborate displays of machinery at the GASC shows in order to achieve the marketing impact they desire.

That Book of Business You’ve Acquired: Could It Be Missing Some Pages?

Published November 2, 2010

How do you know that business you just bought is going to keep earning what you’ve been promised? What questions should you be asking, what contingency plans should you be building, and what hang-ups should you be looking out for? The partners at New Direction Partners have some answers for us.

The Turning Point: Graph Expo as Watershed for Digital Production

Published October 19, 2010

As Graph Expo made abundantly clear, there’s no longer any segment of the industry that can’t be addressed by digital solutions that will work as least as well as conventional lithography, at least in shorter runs. The industry’s embrace of digital production is now complete, and all that’s left to debate is how long it will take the pockets of resistance to get on board or go away.

As Graph Expo Goes Digital, Where Exactly Is It Taking Us?

Published October 6, 2010

We’ll be happy to stand corrected if our count is wrong, but, after prowling the show floor of Graph Expo 2010 in search of lithographic printing equipment, we came up with only four fully assembled offset presses. Where did the heavy iron go? That’s not all that makes this year’s event seem a bit eerie when contrasted with the Graph Expo and Print shows of years past.

How Valuation Answers the Question, "What Is Your Printing Company Worth?"

Published September 28, 2010

What is your printing company worth? Emotionally speaking, everything. But, owners contemplating the sale of their companies have to answer this tough question in an objective and a financially realistic way. Here are three common approaches to business valuation.

HP Seeds the “Cloud” at IPG Innovation Summit

Published September 24, 2010

HP is convinced that locked inside smart phones, tablets, and other web-connected devices are billions of pages yearning to be printed. On September 20, HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) showcased its latest solutions for liberating personal and business printing at an “innovation summit” in New York City.

In first joint showing, Canon and Océ offer glimpse of their integrated capabilities

Published September 14, 2010

Canon Expo was the first opportunity since their recent merger for Canon and Océ to show their new team face. Patrick Henry was there to report back on just how well the two companies are working together and leveraging each other's strengths.

A Printing Office: Franchise Printer in New Jersey Takes Stand Against Hunger in Its Hometowns

Published September 3, 2010

The New Jersey towns of Summit and New Providence are among the most upscale in the state. Household incomes are high, home prices remain strong, and local amenities are first-class. Nevertheless, some residents of these affluent communities are going hungry—an inequity that the area’s AlphaGraphics franchise is working to eliminate.

Heidelberg Windmill No. 35345E: It Probably Was Your Grandfather’s Printing Press

Published August 27, 2010

The picture above was taken not in a printing museum but in the letterpress department of Taylor Corporation’s Tatex subsidiary in Waco, TX. Somewhere in the room is what’s believed to be the oldest Heidelberg press still in operation in the U.S.

A Printing Office: the Philadelphia “Blog Tax” That Never Was, but Is

Published August 26, 2010

“On the whole, I would rather be in Philadelphia.” It’s what W.C. Fields was rumored (falsely) to have chosen as the inscription on his gravestone. For present-day bloggers in the City of Brotherly Love who remember it, the line carries as much irony as any of the late comedian’s celebrated wisecracks. That’s because the city of Philadelphia wants them to pay what has been incorrectly labeled a “blogging tax”—a development reported by Philadelphia Citypaper last week.

A Printing Office Joins Print CEO

Published August 24, 2010

A Printing Office, WhatTheyThink’s blog for small to medium printers, is now serving this audience under the auspices of PrintCEO. Patrick Henry, managing editor of A Printing Office, will continue to post news and commentary for this segment at PrintCEO, which contains a complete archive of material previously published at A Printing Office.

Show Me the Money? Don’t Look at Us, Say the Banks

Published August 24, 2010

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. By now, the economy should have picked up, printers’ prospects should have improved, and the banks should have responded by letting some sunlight into their vaults when borrowers from the industry came calling. What happened? Although the nation’s general banking crisis may be over, says Tom Williams, partner, New Direction Partners, there’s been little improvement in the availability of credit for business and equipment financing.

Virtual Press Clips: Print Firms in the News

Published August 18, 2010



Sales of a children’s book, The Adventures of Snooky Under the Sea, raise money in the fight against sarcoma, a deadly form of cancer. But the title made news in a curious way when another “Snooki” tried to register her moniker as a trademark for printed matter and books.

Lawsuit Hits Print Company Exec Pursuing U.S. Senate Seat in Wisconsin

Published August 10, 2010



Running a small print services company is tough. Running for high public office against a richer opponent is tougher. Now imagine trying to do both under pressure from a civil lawsuit by an unhappy business partner. That, according to press reports, is the can of worms confronting Dave Westlake, a co-owner of High IQ in Watertown, WI, and a Republican candidate in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate primary election next month.

JAQK Cellars: Wine from A “Press” in More Ways than One

Published August 6, 2010



Joel Templin, Craig MacLean, and Katie Jain, founding partners, JAQK Cellars; David Dees, national sales manager.
Last night, in a tasting at a wine boutique on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the creators of a new line of premium wines from the Napa Valley made their first bid for attention in the New York metro market. Those who dropped by to sample—including one lady with a live lobster in her tote bag—were intrigued not just by the complexities of the eight varietals on offer, but by the distinctive appearance of their gambling-themed bottles. Tumbling dice. Suits of cards. Points from a roulette wheel. An embedded poker chip. Tightly executed color images on offset-printed paper labels and screen-printed wraps. Meet JAQK Cellars, a brand that comes to market with an exceptional pedigree in graphic design and package printing.

Printing Industries Alliance Declares “Major Victory” for NYS Printers as State Budget Passes with Critical Tax Exemption Retained

Published August 5, 2010

New York State’s budget was 125 days late when it finally was passed on Tuesday, but it contained something that printers throughout the state considered well worth waiting for: their continued exemption from the sales and use tax on printed and mailed promotional materials. Printing Industries Alliance (PIA) said that preservation of the exemption is a major victory for printers in New York State. In a message to his members, Timothy Freeman, president of PIA, called the exemption “critical for our industry. It is a significant competitive advantage for New York State printers.”

Reaching Out to Workers, Levi’s Opens A Working Print Shop for Community Use in San Francisco

Published August 4, 2010



Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your fear of getting printer’s ink on your jeans. As a revolutionary slogan, it probably wouldn’t rouse the masses to the barricades, but Levi Strauss & Co. is hoping that the universal appeal of ink on paper will draw visitors to the craft print shop it has set up in San Francisco. A temporary installation, the shop is part of a marketing campaign through which the apparel maker aims to demonstrate solidarity with America’s working people.

OK, Whatever, but Was the “Ink” Low-VOC?

Published July 30, 2010


(detail from original art)
We’re only passing this along, folks. Headbäng, a music blog for heavy metal fans, reports that Watain, a black metal band from Sweden, recently commissioned the printing of a poster in human blood. The job was perpetrated—uh, we mean produced—by Metastazis, a photography and graphic design firm started in Paris and currently based in New York City.

Committed to Internal Growth, Sandy Alexander Adds Capacity and Capability

Published July 30, 2010

We hear it constantly: the industry won't return to normal until printers start investing in their businesses again. But at one printing company in New Jersey, they never got the memo about capital investment being on hold. Sandy Alexander of Clifton isn't waiting for economists to tell it that the time finally is right to add capacity and services. The company - with a staff of 230, one of the largest printing employers in the state - has already spent $7 million on new production machinery this year, and its quest to equip itself for growth isn't over yet.

The Ace Group Puts QR Codes To Work for Calvin Klein in Attention-Grabbing "Uncensored" Campaign in NYC

Published July 27, 2010



The fashion designer Calvin Klein is famous—or notorious—for advertising that pushes the limits of public taste with highly eroticized imagery. But, in terms of marketing effectiveness, the strategy has its limitations. Last year, the company raised eyebrows in the SoHo district of Manhattan with a five-story building poster depicting four young, semi-undressed models striking poses that struck some as orgiastic. The shock value was obvious, but, as with all media novelties, the shock eventually wore off. What to do for an encore in a jaded media market that Calvin Klein is largely responsible for jading in the first place?

Shorewood Packaging To Close Plant in Newport News

Published July 23, 2010

The Virginian-Pilot has reported that Shorewood Packaging intends to close its gravure printing operation in Newport News, VA, in October. The closure will shutter the plant and result in the loss of 35 jobs.

To This Print Company Employee, “Iron” Means “Horseshoes”

Published July 21, 2010

When he isn’t pitching horseshoes with deadlier accuracy than probably anyone else in the world, Alan Francis works for a printing company. Francis is the subject of a front-page profile in the print edition of today’s New York Times.

Is Your Vocabulary Commodious Enough To “Save the Words”?

Published July 20, 2010

A friend who dropped a chunk of my writing into IWriteLike tells me that the answer is H.G. Wells (1866-1946). The good news is that I correspond stylistically with an author of the 20th century—I wasn’t sure that I was this far along on the timeline of the English language. The fantastic news is that the answer wasn’t Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), poet, playwright, novelist, and inspirer of the famous Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Preparing to acquire: the basics of due diligence (Part 2)

Published July 20, 2010

In Part 1 of this primer on evaluating acquisition targets, Paul Reilly and Peter Schaefer of New Direction Partners reviewed the questions a prospective buyer should ask about the things that make the seller's company productive: its plant, its equipment, and the state of its relations with employees. Their discussion continues with advice for assessing the outcomes of that productivity: the quality of the financial results; the condition of the customer base; and the nature of the relationships that the seller has with its suppliers.

Virtual Press Clips: Print Firms in the News

Published July 19, 2010

“This man is an author. He writes stories. He has just finished a story. He thinks many people will like to read it. So, he must have the story made into a book. “Let’s see how the book is made.”

NYS Printers Get Good News on Sales & Use Tax

Published July 13, 2010

Printers in New York State are a step closer to seeing their legislature preserve a sales tax exemption that would have been extremely costly for them to lose. Tim Freeman, president of Printing Industries Alliance, reported the progress to his members yesterday:

June Swoon for Small-Biz Confidence

Published July 12, 2010

A much-quoted survey of small business owners said that the economic confidence felt by this segment leveled off in June to halt a two-month rise. The dip, although not large, reflected increased unease about the near-term outlook for smaller firms.

No Post-Holiday Reopening for Boston’s Municipal Print Plant

Published July 7, 2010

Eleven employees of Boston’s municipal printing department headed into the Fourth of July weekend with the glum knowledge that they would not be returning to work this week. Their jobs were taken away by the city’s decision to close the 113-year-old plant and give the work to private-sector printers.

Robert C. Tapella, Public Printer, Reviews His Term in Conversation with Don Carli at NYU

Published July 6, 2010

The title of the dialogue was “Keeping America Informed 3.0: How Electronic Media, Digital Printing, and Sustainability Imperatives Will Change the Way the World Communicates.” Its main purpose, though, could be summed up in fewer words: to recap the tenure of Robert C. Tapella as the 25th Public Printer of the United States.

Federal Agencies Issue Caution on Use of E-Readers in the Classroom

Published June 30, 2010

In our rush to embrace iPads, Kindles, and other revolutionary electronic book readers, it’s easy to forget that these devices can seem anything but revolutionary to those who can’t see well enough to discern what’s on their screens. But, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education haven’t forgotten the exclusions that e-readers can cause when they are used as learning tools in classrooms where sight-impaired students are striving to keep up.

Graphic Communications Scholarship Fund Lends A Hand to 25 Deserving Students

Published June 28, 2010



Twenty-five college and college-bound students from the New York City metro area will find the high cost of higher education a bit easier to bear thanks to the cash grants they received on June 24 from the Graphic Communications Scholarship Award and Career Advancement Foundation (GCSF).

Sappi and The Print Council Explain How “Print Delivers” in NYC

Published June 26, 2010

On June 24th, The Print Council brought the sixth edition of its “Print Delivers” series to New York City in a “lunch and learn” program hosted by Sappi Fine Papers North America. The session, presented to more than 200 people at the Art Directors Club in midtown Manhattan, reiterated the Council’s message about the place of print in the marketing mix and its unique abilities to influence consumer behavior.

Preparing to acquire: the basics of due diligence

Published June 25, 2010

If you’re acquiring a company, you better do your due diligence. But what does that involve? Patrick Henry spoke to two M&A experts to get the lowdown on how to ask the right questions. This is the first of a two part series; this one deals with inspecting the facilities and determining what kind of team you’re inheriting.

How Hazardous Is the Printing Industry?

Published June 21, 2010

The post about OSHA fines hanging over a Pennsylvania printer drew some sharp comments about safety practices in the printing industry. One question was especially provocative: is the recession-battered printing industry skimping on safety by paying less attention than it once did to protecting life and limb on the job? The data we do have indicate that while it’s still quite possible to get hurt or even killed in a printing plant, print firms offer workers a safer environment than private-sector industry as a whole. What’s more, the numbers on safety in printing and related services have been improving steadily for years.

OSHA Cites Pennsylvania Printer for Violations—and Readers Think It Stinks

Published June 17, 2010

On Tuesday, the Wayne Independent of Honesdale, PA, reported that a local printer was facing fines of $107,100 for alleged violations of OSHA safety rules. Readers are having none of it. Online comments are alike in finding more fault with OSHA than with the printer. Readers also bemoan the loss of U.S. business to China in the same breath as they lambast excessive regulation in this country.

IAPHC 2010 International Gallery: Entered Yet?

Published June 16, 2010



Going for an award in IAPHC's International Gallery of Excellence remains one of the simplest and most cost-effective promotional efforts a printing company can make. Now in its 36th year, the competition is easy to enter, open to everybody, and guaranteed to boost the pride of all who capture one of its Gold, Silver, or Bronze trophies.

Virtual Press Clips: Print Firms in the News

Published June 14, 2010

You may have heard about The Green Box: a pizza carton with a lid that turns into serving plates and a tray that folds up to make a container for storing leftover slices in the fridge. Another clever idea in the same eco-friendly vein is the Globe Guard Reusable Box from Salazar Packaging.

NYU Presents 2010 Prism Award to David J. Shea, Bowne & Co.; John Tenwinkel, Outstanding Graduate, Also Is Honored

Published June 10, 2010

The Prism Awards, New York University’s annual salute to leadership in graphic communications, were presented today to David J. Shea, chairman and CEO, Bowne & Co., and John Tenwinkel, a 2008 graduate of the M.A. program in Graphic Communications Management and Technology at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). The award luncheon, a fundraising event on behalf of the M.A. program, took place at Gotham Hall in Manhattan with about 400 people attending.

Local Paper Prints Story That Gets Print Right

Published June 8, 2010

Unless they burn to the ground, mangle a worker in a press, or employ someone who gets busted for embezzlement, printing companies don’t attract much attention in the mainstream media. It’s rare that hometown newspapers portray them simply for what they are—local businesses striving to protect jobs and profits from all of the forces that seem to be conspiring against jobs and profits in the printing industry these days. A praiseworthy exception is this profile of Missouri printer Kelly Press in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Follow-up: McCormick Place Reform Bill Becomes Law

Published June 7, 2010

Everything in life is a work in progress, including the reformation of labor practices at expo centers. Legislation overhauling work rules at McCormick Place is sweeping, but don’t expect implementation all at once.

Bernanke Asks Lenders to Provide More $$ for Small-Business Borrowers; BOA Delivers on Pledge to Do So

Published June 4, 2010

Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve System, isn’t happy with the present pace of lending to America’s small businesses. He said so yesterday in remarks at a meeting on small business issues at the Chicago Fed’s branch in Detroit.

Cunningham, Jackson Accept “Gold Key” Awards

Published June 1, 2010



Michael R. Cunningham and Florence Jackson have joined the long list of those recognized for exceptional service to education with one of the industry’s most prestigious honors. At a ceremony in New York City last week, Cunningham and Jackson became the 112th and 113th recipients of the Gamma Gold Key award, a tribute bestowed annually to industry notables since 1956.

McCormick Place Reform Bill Becomes Law

Published May 28, 2010

Reform at McCormick Place is now mandated by law. Yesterday, Illinois legislators overrode an amendatory veto by Governor Pat Quinn to pass a bill that will bring major changes to the management of the exposition center—changes that the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) and other trade show producers had demanded in return for keeping their events in Chicago.

For Memorial Day, Thoughts of Print in Times of War

Published May 28, 2010



Press coverage of the Civil War in periodicals such as Harper’s Weekly was extensive and is well remembered today. Less widely known is the printing that came straight from the battlefield out of small-format, print-on-demand equipment that’s recognizable as the ancestry of modern solutions for short-run production.

“A New Lease On Strife”

Published May 26, 2010

“I sold a used punching machine to a customer of mine, or did I? We agreed on a price of $45,000 for a used Lhermite EX-380 with a few dies, some modifications, and installation. My customer sent off his first and last payment to the leasing company. The leasing company sent me forms to fill out, which I dutifully did. My customer’s lease was turned down, not because he didn’t have the credit but because it was a used machine."

Cutting-Edge Cutter Comes to City Tech

Published May 24, 2010



City Tech ADGA faculty members Roy Nelson (left) and Steve Caputo (dark suit) with students Vanessa Kwan, Juan Moreno, Taka Nishimura, Darren Fuller, Ruben Borges, and Diana Sanchez at their new POLAR 115 X cutter. Though it’s often taken for granted, paper cutting is a crucial step in the successful production of nearly every printed job. To teach this essential skill, schools with graphics programs need up-to-date cutting equipment—such as the POLAR 115 X cutter that New York City College of Technology (City Tech) recently purchased from Heidelberg.

Is Your Firm Fit for Acquisition? Here’s How To Make Certain It Is

Published May 21, 2010

When selling out is the best exit strategy for your print company, there’s careful planning that needs to happen from the moment you make your decision. Patrick is joined by Tom Williams and Jim Russell of New Direction Partners, to review the long range preparation that will put you in the best position to make the sale.

Student Publishers, Writers Are Honored by TAGA

Published May 18, 2010



Congratulations to the young publishing team at Toronto’s Ryerson University for winning the Helmut Kipphan Student Publication Cup in a competition sponsored by the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA). This yearly honor salutes the best student-produced journal on research and technology for the graphic arts.

Possible Snag Arises in Enactment of McCormick Place Reform Bill

Published May 17, 2010

News media in Chicago are reporting that all is not smooth sailing for the enactment of legislation that would overhaul rules for exhibitors at McCormick Place. The Chicago Tribune, ABC News, and CBS News now say that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will not necessarily sign the bill, at least not in its present form.

“We Really Want To Make Things in Chicago Work”: An Interview with GASC’s Ralph Nappi

Published May 14, 2010

The best news that the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) has heard in a long time is that cost-saving reforms finally are coming to McCormick Place, the Chicago home of the Graph Expo and Print events. And while these much-needed changes can't guarantee a successful show by themselves, they should go a long way toward easing exhibitors' concerns about the high costs and logistical headaches of taking part in what continue to be the industry's leading trade expositions.

Five Print Firms Thriving in the Inner City Make Top-100 Growth List

Published May 13, 2010

Five printing firms are among the 100 fastest-growing inner-city companies in the U.S. as recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). They include, above, Hotcards, led by founder and CEO Columbus Woodruff (center); and, below, Panther Graphics, owned by Tony Jackson, CEO.

Bill Mandating Changes at McCormick Place Should Mean Cost Reductions for Exhibitors at Graph Expo 2010

Published May 10, 2010

Legislation overhauling the management, work rules, and cost structures at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center promises a new deal for Graph Expo 2010 and other trade shows whose owners lobbied for changes there.

Virtual Press Clips: Print Firms in the News

Published May 10, 2010

For printers, the most iconic exemplar of ink on paper is the $100 bill, the piece of folding money that bears the portrait of their patron saint. The scientist in Benjamin Franklin surely would have appreciated all of the technology that’s been embedded in the latest version of the C-note, unveiled by the U.S. Treasury Department last month.

Intuit’s New “Small Business Employment Index” Sees Encouraging Rises in Hiring, Hours, and Pay

Published May 6, 2010

Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, sold more than $3 billion worth of financial management and accounting software, do-it-yourself web sites, and other products and services to small firms in its 2009 fiscal year. That broad customer base is a natural source of data about trends at the small-business end of the economic spectrum—an opportunity that Intuit has seized with the launch of its Small Business Employment Index.

Goldman Sachs Pursues A $500 Million Plan to Aid 10,000 Small Businesses

Published April 28, 2010

The harsh glare of negative publicity apparently isn’t going to keep Goldman Sachs from going through with a $500 million plan to aid America’s small businesses. Announced last November, Goldman’s “10,000 Small Business Initiative” will invest $200 million in education and $300 million in developmental funding for qualifying firms. On Monday, according to a reporter for Aol Small Business, an unnamed Goldman executive confirmed that the plan was still in progress and that first steps were under way. The New York Daily News reported last week that La Guardia Community College in Long Island City would be the first community college to spearhead the educational portion of the program.

"Print is Eternal" (a satire by J.A. Konrath)

Published April 26, 2010

Moderator: Welcome to Obsolete Anonymous! I've gathered you all here to welcome our latest member, the Print Industry. Print Industry: Hello, everyone. But there's been a mistake. I don't belong here. (chuckles all around) Print Industry: I'm serious. I'm not obsolete. I'm relevant. Print books have been around for hundreds of years. They're never going to be replaced.

Virtual Press Clips—Print Firms in the News

Published April 19, 2010

Tactile gratification—the high-touch experience of turning covers and pages—is said to be one of print’s most enduring appeals. But, the pleasure isn’t universally shared. “For those with chemical intolerances and other illnesses that result in serious health symptoms when exposed to printing inks and papers, it can be difficult to read books, magazines, personal mail...

HP Showcases Indigo Presses at “VIP” Event in Israel

Published April 18, 2010

In the press assembly area of the HP Indigo plant in Kiryat Gat, Israel. HP partially raised the curtain on its presence at Ipex with the “Commercial VIP event” that it hosted last week at the headquarters of its Indigo digital press division in Rehovot, Israel. An international group of customers, print industry journalists, and analysts attended, taking part in briefings, Indigo manufacturing plant tours, and visits to Israeli end-user sites.

For Sellers, Six Scenarios—and a Word about Timing

Published April 14, 2010

Like a weak hand at the card table, a weak offering in the M&A market won’t be improved by the length of time it’s in play. Unlike a poker hand, it can’t be bluffed because the “cards”—the fundamentals of the business—are always in plain sight of the buyer and its due diligence.

Coalition of NYS Businesses, Assns, and Labor Unite to Oppose Sales Tax Increase on Promotional Print

Published April 8, 2010

New York’s marketing and printing industries have joined together with letter carriers and business advocates to oppose a recently released Assembly budget proposal that would impose a new sales tax (on average 8% statewide) on promotional and marketing materials sent by New York businesses to both out-of-state and in-state customers.

GAA Opposes Pa. Governor’s Wish to Eliminate Sales Tax Exemption for Direct Mail Advertising

Published April 6, 2010

Like their counterparts in New York, printers in Pennsylvania will have to start collecting sales tax on direct mail advertising if their current exemption from the levy is eliminated from the state’s next budget. The Graphic Arts Association (GAA) is alerting its members to the potential loss of the exemption, which would apply the state’s 6% sales tax (7% in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) to the printing of direct mail, catalogs, and other mailed matter containing advertising.

Virtual Press Clips: Print Firms in the News

Published April 5, 2010

Two Waltham, MA, printers speak of their struggles with rising health care costs in a video promoting the reelection of Governor Deval Patrick. Seen in this clip are Mayda Chaprazian, president of Arvest Press, and Shishir Mehta, who owns Fastsigns.

GASC Speaks Against High Costs of McCormick Place

Published April 2, 2010

The Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) joined four other trade show organizers in blasting labor costs and union work rules at Chicago’s McCormick Place exhibition center, according to a story in today’s Chicago Sun-Times. "We've gone from complaints about labor costs to anger and demand for change," Chris Price, vice president of GASC, is quoted as saying.

Here’s Your Frosh Beanie—and an iPad to Go with It

Published April 1, 2010

It may appear to be an April Fool post, but it isn’t: starting in the fall, a college will give free Apple laptops and iPads to its freshmen. Here’s how Seton Hill University of Greensburg, PA, is pitching the idea to its student body:

Empire State Printers Risk Loss of Sales and Use Tax Exemption on Promotional Materials

Published March 30, 2010

Printing Industries Alliance says that printers in New York State don’t have much time to raise their voices against a budget proposal that could cost the state’s printing industry thousands of jobs. That grim prospect is raised by a legislative attempt to repeal an exemption from the state’s sales and use tax on printed and mailed promotional materials.

Virtual Press Clips: Print Firms in the News

Published March 29, 2010

“Lorem ipsum,” the Latin-like dummy text used by printers and typesetters since the 1500s, looks random. It’s anything but. The Lipsum site, operated by James Wilson in the UK, gives the history of lorem ipsum, discusses its use, and offers a “Lipsum generator” for those who want chunks of the text in what Wilson says is its proper format and style.

Printers Confront Passage of Health Care Reform

Published March 23, 2010

It’s over. As Printing Industries of America (PIA) duly notified its members today, on Sunday, March 21st, the U.S. House of Representatives passed both S. 3590, the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (health care reform legislation passed by the U.S. Senate on December 24th, 2009), and H.R. 4870, the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the House's "fix" of several provisions in the Senate-passed bill). Passage was a disappointment for PIA, which had urged its members to oppose the Obama administration’s plan for health care reform.

Heidelberg and PIAG Boost SkillsUSA Competitions in Graphic Communications, Advertising Design

Published March 22, 2010

Plaudits to Heidelberg for remaining a staunch supporter of SkillsUSA. This photo shows all of the Georgia students who took part in the the recent SkillsUSA graphic communications and advertising design competitions co-sponsored by Heidelberg and the Printing and Imaging Association of Georgia (PIAG) at Heidelberg’s U.S. headquarters in Kennesaw, GA.

Must-Read for Owners of Small Firms: PrintCEO Interview with Alonzo Printing's Jim Duffy

Published March 20, 2010

"Some of us get caught up in this and some of us skate through it. I do know that a lot of printers are on the edge. They’re hanging on with their fingernails and running out of cash." If you haven't already read Gail Nickel-Kailing's PrintCEO interview with Jim Duffy, leave this page immediately and go to the story now.

American Express Offers Resource for Small Firms in Search of Government Contracting Opportunities

Published March 19, 2010

Last November, American Express OPEN® launched what could be a valuable resource for small firms seeking government contracts: Victory in ProcurementSM(VIP) for Small Business. The core of VIP is an online information exchange designed to guide business owners through the intricacies of the government contracting process. The program also will help owners connect with procurement officials, form relationships with other aspiring contractors, and get coaching and mentoring assistance.

M&A Activity to Remain on the Upswing as the Industry Regroups

Published March 17, 2010

Despite the industry's shrinkage, printing companies continue to be born “under the radar screen” as firms win new leases on life by merging with other firms. New Direction Partners foresees an increase in M&A activity as the industry regroups around the strengths of its healthiest and most survivable firms.

Brace for Storm in Paper Availability, Says Merchant

Published March 15, 2010

A devil’s brew of natural disasters and man-made economic exigencies is spreading “havoc” and “turmoil” throughout the paper supply chain, according to one paper merchant. At its blog, Millcraft Papers (Cleveland, OH) advises printers not to panic, but it also urges them to plan for the likelihood of tightened access to paper for the remainder of the year.

Punch Graphix Hosts Trade-Media Open House

Published March 9, 2010

Seeking a higher profile for Xeikon digital presses and its other print market technologies, Punch Graphix today opened the doors of its international headquarters in Liel, Belgium, to a contingent of more than 70 print industry journalists from around the world. Seeking a higher profile for Xeikon digital presses and its other print market technologies, Punch Graphix today opened the doors of its international headquarters in Liel, Belgium, to a contingent of more than 70 print industry journalists from around the world.

Briefings in Brussels Give Technical Preview of IPEX 2010

Published March 8, 2010

Four exhibitors at IPEX—Atlantic Zeiser, EskoArtwork/Enfocus, Kodak, and Punch Graphics—are giving previews of their show plans at a combined media briefing taking place today and tomorrow at a conference center near Brussels, Belgium. Among those presenting today are Atlantic Zeiser and EskoArtwork/Enfocus.

Printing Trade Show Postponement Is Said to Provoke “Kiwi Outrage”

Published March 4, 2010

The U.S. isn’t the only country where some soul-searching—and some hand-wringing—is being done about the future of graphic arts trade shows. Print21online, an online journal for the printing industry in Australia and New Zealand, reports “Kiwi outrage” over the postponement of Printech, New Zealand’s quadrennial printing trade show, from 2010 to 2012 “due to a lack of support from both sponsors and the industry.”