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WhatTheyThink Staff

Recent Commentary & Analysis from WhatTheyThink Staff

Displaying 1-25 of 3996 articles

Around the Web: Hygienic Handshakes. Public Pix. Mobile Museum. Continuing Catalogs. Stop Signage. Face Filter Failure. Funny Fashion. Cuttable Condiment.

Published February 28, 2020

A possible alternative to the handshake. Both the Smithsonian and the Biodiversity Heritage Library have released thousands of images into the public domain. Libraries are ditching overdue fines. Take the Swedish Design Museum home with you. Believe it or not, printed catalogs and the mail order business may be in the process of restoration—if not Restoration. Inside the NY DOT inplant and Stop sign manufacturing. Rough weather for a meteorologist who left an AR filter on his broadcast. Stop-motion animation using pancakes. The best thing since sliced...mayonnaise? All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

 

Retail Sales—January 2020

Published February 28, 2020

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for January 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $529.8 billion, an increase of +0.3% (±0.4%) from the previous month, and +4.4% (±0.7%) above January 2019. Retail drives a lot of printing and packaging volume, so it’s important to keep an eye on that sector.

 

Book Printers—2017

Published February 21, 2020

The latest edition of County Business Patterns is out, which updates number of establishments and other data to 2017. In that year, there were 500 establishments in NAICS 323117 (Book Printing). The majority of these establishments (63%) had fewer than 10 employees.

 

Around the Web: Glowing Garments. Election Ensemble. Lasting Lore. Waning Watches. Blocking Bracelet. Pivot-Table Percussion. Victorian Vehemence. Fowl Footwear.

Published February 21, 2020

An LED light system to add high visibility to safety apparel. Forevernote will preserve your family memories—professional biographer included. The Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry. “Bracelet of silence” keeps Alexa from eavesdropping. Weird punctuation in film titles. Turn Microsoft Excel into a drum machine. A Victorian shop manager quits in protest over bar codes. KFC and Crocs team up for...huh? All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

 

Owner of FASTSIGNS Forest Hills. N.Y., Talks About his FASTSIGNS Conversion

Published February 20, 2020

Mohamed Kazi, Owner of FASTSIGNS Forest Hills, N.Y., talks about his recent FASTSIGNS conversion. After coming to the US from India, Kazi started in the sign industry in 1998 and launched his own business in 2007. He recently decided to convert his sign business to a FASTSIGNS as a way to take advantage of the franchise’s marketing and sales training resources to better complement his own technical and production capabilities.

 

Temple, Tex.’s Paper Graphics Reaps Rewards with FASTSIGNS Co-Brand Program

Published February 19, 2020

Dennis Smith is owner of both FASTSIGNS of Temple, Tex., and Paper Graphics, a commercial print business founded in 1972. Five or six years ago, as the commercial print business started growing stagnant, Smith researched FASTSIGNS’ Co-Brand program. He chose to become a FASTSIGNS franchise rather than add his own wide-format printing equipment in order to take advantage of the franchise’s training and its brand recognition.

 

December Shipments: Ending 2019 on a High Note

Published February 14, 2020

The value of printing shipments for December 2019 was down from November—as we expected it would be—but not down as much as been the case in recent years. At $6.95 billion, December shipments were down from November’s $7.03 billion, but far above the depths of 2017 and 2018.

 

Around the Web: Cool Clipart. Book Bot. Artistic Appetizers. Calligraphic Collection. Lotsa Letters. Grotesque Garfield. Jurassic Driver.

Published February 14, 2020

Royalty-free illustrations from old books. A Japanese artist hand-draws every meal he eats. A new book teaches hand-lettering. An Ohio man receives 55,000 copies of the same letter from his daughter’s Student Loan Company. A reimagining (and improvement) of Garfield. Printed greeting cards are still in fashion. Making 3D printing resin from old fryer oil. Why are people getting worse at The Price Is Right? All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

 

Screen Printing Establishments—2017

Published February 7, 2020

The latest edition of County Business Patterns is out, which updates number of establishments and other data to 2017. In that year, there were 5,186 establishments in NAICS 323113 (Commercial Screen Printing). The majority of these establishments (74%) had fewer than 10 employees.

 

Around the Web: Printing Parkinson’s. Shedding Sheep. Shark Suit. Bartending ’Bots. Scorigami! Publishing Palaces. Canine Cans. Hog Hearses. Daliwood. Mobile Men’s Room. Junk Jam.

Published February 7, 2020

A new typeface raises awareness of, and helps fund a cure for, Parkinson’s Disease. Pineapple wool aims to replace sheep. A shark-proof wetsuit. Dye-sub transfer for non-polyester fibers. Japan experiments with robot bartenders. Private equity tries to acquire .org domain registry. Scorigami tracks rare football scores. Former newspaper headquarters have become luxury apartments. A Florida brewery puts pictures of adoptable rescue dogs on beer cans—and one woman finds her lost dog. Motorcycle hearses for uneasy riders. Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney once collaborated on an animated short film. “Uber for lavatories.” Faking a traffic jam on Google Maps. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

 

For FASTSIGNS of Maumee & Toledo, OH, Business Is a Family Affair

Published February 5, 2020

Karrie Brock, Owner of FASTSIGNS of Maumee & Toledo, OH, talks with Kelley Holmes about her business, which was converted to a FASTSIGNS franchise 10 years ago. She opened a second location in Maumee four years ago. Her husband Randy joined the team just prior to the conversion, and handles the back-of-the-house production, installation, and fabrication management while Karrie the “front of the house” operations.

 

Graphic Arts Employment—December 2019

Published January 31, 2020

In December 2019, overall printing employment dropped -0.2% from November, and on a year-over-year basis, it is down -2.4%. Production employment was down -0.5% from November to December (and -4.4% Y/Y) while non-production employment was down -0.1% from November to December—but actually up +1.7% Y/Y.

 

Around the Web: Sustainable Straws. Mobile Meetings. Floating Fashion. Classic Critique. Latest Lenses. Fractious Footwear. Cleaver Calming,

Published January 31, 2020

The growing market for paper straws. A slow elevator designed for fast meetings. A paperboy helps save a restaurant from fire. A balloon-based fashion collection. A new book collects old airline maps. Another new book collects photographs of famous economists. Which classic novels are the most-loved—and most-hated? Contact lens-based displays. Are new running shoes “technological doping”? Merit badges for—oy—“adulting.” Three words: “meat cleaver massage.” All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

 

Putting a Professional Face on a Sign Business

Published January 29, 2020

Mathew Feil, Owner of FASTSIGNS Lawton, OK, talks about having converted his five-year-old sign company to a FASTSIGNS franchise and how a more professional face on his business has made it easier to to sell jobs. He also cites the technical, sales, and marketing resources that are available from FASTSIGNS corporate, as well as events such as the FASTSIGNS Conference.

 

Helping FASTSIGNS Move Into New Geographic Areas

Published January 28, 2020

Greg Carafello, NYC Area Development–FASTSIGNS, talks to Kelley Holmes about his role as a certified franchise executive, and how he helps companies like FASTSIGNS move into new geographies and attract franchise candidates. He also talks about the advantages of converting a print business to a FASTSIGNS franchise.

 

Commercial Printing Establishments—2017

Published January 24, 2020

The latest edition of County Business Patterns is out, which updates the number of establishments and other data. In 2017, there were 25,256 establishments in NAICS 323 (Printing and Related Support Activities). The majority of these establishments (71%) have fewer than 10 employees.

 

Around the Web: Lavatory Literature. Modulated Mummy. Ubiquitous Unicorns. Streaming Salvos. Tiny Type. Cranium Confusion. Forensic Flipping. Pigeon Parade.

Published January 24, 2020

“Facility” is a new print magazine all about bathrooms. Giving voice to a 3,000-year-old mummy. Op-eds from the future. The opening salvos in the streaming wars. Stores are compensating for poor packaging design choices. Dante’s Inferno for language pedants. The battle over a cryonically frozen head. A home renovation show that remodels crime scenes. A concerto for orchestra and typewriter. The Nevada Avian Milliner is back. Also: Robopigeon! Hide the statues! All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

 

Paper Handling Solutions Identifies Customer Needs

Published January 21, 2020

Kris Oosterling of Paper Handling Solutions talks to Kelley Holmes about the evolution of the company, from what had been a traditional finishing equipment dealer to a more consultative solutions provider, helping customers navigate changes in the printing landscape.

 

Get It Now Print Streamlines Its Workflow

Published January 20, 2020

From 20 jobs per day to 100, Get It Now Print has increased production and their customer base with the help of EFI’s Fiery Workflow solution. Simple, efficient, and agile, Fiery automation can help your print business get more work out the door.

 

November Printing Shipments: Off for the Holidays

Published January 17, 2020

The value of printing shipments for November 2019 was $7.03 billion—a pretty big drop from October’s $7.65 billion, but we kind of expected it, as November and December see business slow down for the holidays.

 

Around the Web: Fabricating Food. Smart Sweats. Clever Kicks. Receipt Wrap. Slaking Slack. Erroneous Ebooks. Mellotron Music Musing.

Published January 17, 2020

3D-printed candy. Rechargeable workout clothes. Smart sneakers can improve your running form. A knitted scarf based on a CVS receipt. Living concrete. A new, more accurate typewriter font, for some reason. How Slack has ruined work. Library ebook provider Overdrive acquired by private equity firm. Why was there no ebook revolution in the 2010s? “The” most powerful word in the English language. A journey inside the Mellotron, one of the weirdest musical instruments. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

 

Establishment Births/Deaths: Industry Attrition Continues to Slow

Published January 10, 2020

From 2015 to 2016, there had been an increase of 1,586 establishments, but a decrease of -1,881 establishments, for a net loss of -295 establishments. That’s a smaller percentage change than previous years, which reflects somewhat of a deceleration in industry consolidation.

 

Around the Web: Fur Fracas. Delivery Droid. Seen at CES. Audi’s Interior. Enhanced E Ink. Scrappy Scrabble. Bloody Billboard. Bivalve Boogie. Crazy Cats.

Published January 10, 2020

NYC’s proposed ban on fur (for fashion) causes a kerfuffle. A wearable plant vest that is...er, self-watering. A bipedal delivery robot is now for sale. Japan recycles cardboard to use as beds for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics competitors. A roundup of “highlights” from this week’s Consumer Electronics Show. “Charmin looks to disrupt the toilet experience with new technologies.” An inflatable pub for grown-up parties. At last: a color E Ink display. A deep dive into the history of the board game Scrabble—and the small Vermont town that used to manufacture all the letter tiles. A brilliant billboard advertising the new “Dracula” series. Two words: “disco clam.” Pro tip: don’t see the new “Cats” while tripping on LSD. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

 

ColorKarma: Making it Easier for Designers and Producers to Communicate

Published January 7, 2020

Shoshana Burgett discusses why she founded ColorKarma: to help improve communications between designers and producers, who often speak different "languages." She also aims to make it easier for designers to connect with producers across a wide range of physical product types.

 

The Next Chapter in the Printing Profits “Tale of Two Cities”

Published December 20, 2019

Industry profits data for the third quarter of 2019 were down from $3.05 billion in Q2 to $2.65 billion. Large printers continue to be the trouble spot.

 

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