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Richard Romano

Please offer your feedback to Richard. He can be reached at richard@whattheythink.com.

Recent Commentary & Analysis from Richard Romano

Displaying 1-24 of 859 articles

Premium Content Technical Printing on the Desktop

Published July 10, 2018

Epson announced two new entry-level models in its SureColor T Series, designed for technical and AES (architecture, engineering, and construction) printing. These devices are targeted more to end users—architecture and design firms, SOHOs, etc.—than print service providers, which indicates the direction technical printing as market segment is going.

 

Premium Content Launched During the Great Recession, SpeedPro Marin Realized There Was “No Place to Go But Up”

Published July 2, 2018

When Steve Moran-Cassese decided to launch a print business in the midst of the Great Recession, he knew it could only grow—and he was right. A mix of the right equipment and picking up on hot new application trends early on has helped SpeedPro Marin thrive. And, somewhat ironically, the Bay Area’s booming economy has created its own challenges.

 

Too Cool to Part With: The Superfan Company Creates Special Print Projects for Superfans

Published June 27, 2018

Brittany Hodak co-founded The Superfan Company to make “cool collectible stuff for superfans”—coffee table books, deluxe packages for albums and DVDs, subscription magazines, fan boxes, metal commemorative tickets, limited edition tour books, and more, elaborate, print-centric items that help bring fans closer to a beloved musician or athlete. We spoke with Hodak about her own journey that started at a local radio station and led to The Superfan Company—and an appearance on Shark Tank.

 

Premium Content Annual IPMA Conference Looks at the Changing Face of the In-Plant

Published June 18, 2018

The 54th annual IPMA Conference provided a look at the current state of the in-plant printing department, with more than two dozen sessions and a vendor fair focusing on new opportunities such as interactive print and wide format, and overcoming top challenges such as outsourcing.

 

Premium Content Experiential Graphics Are a Growing Subset of Wide Format, But Can Require a Different Approach in Terms of Sales and Production

Published June 4, 2018

“Experiential graphics” are a form of interior décor that are becoming a fast-growing part of wide-format and signage. Pursuing that particular application requires a somewhat different strategy than traditional commercial printing—or even traditional wide-format printing.

 

Premium Content Textiles and Corrugated Take the Spotlight at FESPA Berlin

Published May 21, 2018

Textiles and corrugated were the two major themes of this year’s FESPA Global Print Expo. Here are some quick hits from the show.

 

FESPA Day 2: Whetting the Palate...

Published May 16, 2018

WhatTheyThink is live at FESPA Berlin 2018 on Day 2 of the show. Welcome to the concept of the microfactory.

 

FESPA 2018 Opens in Berlin

Published May 15, 2018

The FESPA Global Print Expo 2018 kicked off in Berlin this morning. Here is a quick teaser of some early show highlights.

 

Premium Content Wide Format: Now and Venn

Published May 14, 2018

What do we talk about when we talk about “wide format”? How is the term definitionally changing—and what does it even mean anymore? And more importantly, how does whatever we define as “wide format” play nice with other kinds of printing such as industrial, packaging, and commercial? And how can we navigate the “convergence” of these different print silos? Read on for more.

 

InPrint Reflections: Moving the (Digitally Printed) Goalposts

Published May 7, 2018

A major theme of last week’s InPrint Industrial Inkjet Conference in Chicago was the emerging distinction between two specific kinds of industrial printing: printing as part of a larger manufacturing process and what we have often called specialty printing. The conference explored the differences between them, where the growth areas are, and what the drivers of that growth are. Read on for some reflections on the conference.

 

Premium Content Moving Pictures: Carbon Wraps Brings Art Alive

Published April 24, 2018

For about 15 years, Carbon Wraps Orlando has specialized in highly creative vehicle graphics. They took car wrapping to the next level when they worked with local artist Kurt Meister and Avery Dennison to wrap one of his paintings on a vehicle live at the ISA Sign Expo last March. Read on for more about the company and this unique project.

 

Premium Content In Praise of Data: How PRIMIR Industry Research Can Improve Your Business

Published April 12, 2018

The Association for Print Technologies (APTech), through its PRIMIR Research Unit and Market Data programs, provides a wealth of woefully underutilized industry research that can be of great practical use to all the links in the print supply chain—not just suppliers and vendors but print service providers, as well. Read on to see how.

 

Premium Content A Wrap to Remember: Kennickell Group Turns Harbour Town Lighthouse Plaid

Published April 10, 2018

If you watch the RBC Heritage Golf Classic this week, pay attention to the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse. In a first-of-its-kind wrap project undertaken by Savannah, Ga.’s Kennickell Group, the 90-foot structure had its red stripes converted to plaid to commemorate the event’s 50th anniversary. Read on to find out more about the company’s dramatic growth in the wide-format market and how the unique project came about.

 

Premium Content InPrint Industrial Inkjet Conference to Highlight the Intersection of Industrial and Commercial Printing

Published April 9, 2018

Inkjet technologies have been blurring, or completely eliminating, the lines between commercial and industrial printing. But understanding new print applications and new print markets involves more than technology. We talk with Frazer Chesterman, Director of FM Brooks, which is bringing the InPrint Industrial Print Conference to Chicago next month, about the dwindling distinction between industrial and commercial printing and the opportunities that are emerging.

 

Premium Content Post-Reed, Communities Reevaluate their Sign Codes

Published April 3, 2018

The landmark 2015 Supreme Court case Reed v. Town of Gilbert turned a sign code issue into a First Amendment battle. Three years later, its effects are still being felt throughout the signage industry—for good or ill. Read on for some of the latest developments in signage regulations.

 

Premium Content The Traditional Meets the Technological at Sign Expo 2018

Published March 26, 2018

The International Sign Association (ISA) Sign Expo 2018 was held in Orlando, Fla., last week. Channel letters, magnetic signage, neon lighting, LED displays, digital displays, 3D printing, and wide-format and display graphics in all their various incarnations were being showcased. Read on for some highlights from the show.

 

Latest WhatTheyThink Webinar Looked at the Current Economic Climate and Print Business Conditions

Published March 16, 2018

Last Wednesday, Dr. Joe Webb presented his quarterly economic conditions webinar, which included a look at the overall macroeconomic environment as well as current printing industry business conditions. Read on for a brief summary of what Dr. Webb discussed.

 

Premium Content For SpeedPro Imaging Apex, Networking Is One of the Keys to Success

Published March 12, 2018

Less than two years ago, Mark Simmons left the retail world and launched a SpeedPro Imaging franchise in Apex, N.C. A knack for networking, a talented in-house designer, and a vibrant local business environment have helped drive Simmons’ success.

 

Premium Content The Shapes of Things to Come: Direct-to-Object Printing Bridges the Gap Between Industrial and Commercial

Published March 6, 2018

New systems are emerging that can print directly onto three-dimensional objects, especially cups, glasses, and bottles, to serve what is emerging as a lucrative promotional drinkware market. In this feature, Richard Romano looks at direct-to-object offerings from Xerox, Inkcups, and Engineered Printing Solutions.

 

Premium Content Kodak Aims to “Take Print Further” at Customer Event

Published March 2, 2018

At a “Taking Print Further” customer and media event this week in Rochester, N.Y., Kodak offered some forward-looking trend presentations, new product announcements for both cutting-edge and legacy systems, and customer panels. Read about Kodak’s commitment to the print industry.

 

Expand Beyond Signage at the Upcoming ISA Sign Expo

Published February 20, 2018

ISA Sign Expo 2018 heads to Orlando next month, with four days of educational sessions and a packed exhibition floor. Richard Romano spoke with Brandon Hensley, ISA’s Chief Operating Officer, and Iain Mackenzie, ISA’s VP of Meetings & Events, about new show features and some returning favorites.

 

Premium Content The [Office] Space Age: Signs By Tomorrow Transforms the American Diabetes Association’s New Headquarters

Published February 12, 2018

Environmental or experiential graphics are a growing trend in signage, with sign shops using the latest display graphics technologies and substrates to transform office spaces. As a result, sign and display graphics providers are working more closely with interior designers and architecture firms. Case in point: Signs By Tomorrow’s interior graphics for the American Diabetes Association’s new headquarters.

 

Premium Content The State of Labels and Packaging

Published February 6, 2018

We have a new report out, the Printing Forecast 2018, based in large part on the results of our Fall 2017 Print Business Outlook survey. There is quite a lot in the 172-page report, but here are some highlights specific to label and packaging printing. Thus far, commercial plants don't see tremendous opportunities in digital label or packaging—but that may be changing.

 

Sixth Annual NPOA Print Business Owners Conference Will Offer Inspiration and Hands-On Training

Published February 5, 2018

The NPOA Annual Print Owners Conference sails to the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale on February 22 to 24. The three-day event includes a dozen sessions that cover the waterfront of business, technology, and marketing issues important to small and md-size print business owners.

 

Highlights of the WhatTheyThink Printing Forecast 2018

Published February 5, 2018

WhatTheyThink’s Forecast 2018 report, by Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano provides detailed analysis of the most recent Print Business Outlook Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2018.

 

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