Designers Coming Home to Print, May Find the Address has Changed
Monday, June 17, 2002
June 17, 2002 -- Graphic designers are increasingly turning back to print collateral as a growth avenue after years devoted to designing for the World Wide Web, but the market has changed, competition is more demanding, and the designers who thrive will be those who maximize the latest technological advances available in print communications. A key resource for designers wanting to catch up with these developments is GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO 2002, October 6-9 at the McCormick Place Complex in Chicago. North America’s most complete exposition of printing, publishing, converting and digital technologies, GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO has a special value to graphic design professionals. "The bursting of the dot-com bubble in the last two years isn’t the only reason designers are looking back to print. Even those organizations with thriving Web and e-commerce operations don’t need as much new web design as they did before," noted Regis J. Delmontagne, president of the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC), manager of GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO. "Designers are looking once again at print collateral work as a sales opportunity," Delmontagne said. "But you may or may not be able to go home again." Major trends in the printing and publishing industry, such as those discussed below, are changing the designer’s working environment - and will be on display at GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO: Control is moving to the desktop. Many functions traditionally considered "prepress" are no longer being performed in service bureaus or printing plants. "New digital technologies are reshaping both the demand and markets for print and the manner in which print is manufactured," said Professor Frank Romano, Chairman of the School of Printing Management and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology. A big part of this change is a new approach to print workflows. For example, job proofing no longer requires waiting for the printer’s representative to bring a hardcopy proof, marking it up and waiting for revisions to be made. Today the printer can send the client a proof through the Internet and it can be output on a digital color inkjet printer in quality high enough for most art-checking and layout approval functions. Cross-media is coming to the forefront. "The key today is that you cannot use a single medium; you have to use multiple media. You must know how to use print, the Web, billboards and television, and then integrate the whole thing," said William Lamparter, president of PrintCom Consulting. Lamparter will chair a special full-day forecasting conference called EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK the day before GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO opens. "A catalog publisher, for example, has to know the best way to design in a reference to the web site. It’s not simple." The printing and publishing industry has tackled these very issues of file portability and cross-media compatibility in recent years, resulting in a host of new products that support and simplify all-digital workflows throughout the communications process. A broad sampling of these products will be on display at GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO. New latitude for creativity. Digital workflows, variable data printing, on-demand printing and cross-media publishing - all of these new tools have one effect in common; they greatly broaden the palette of options available to the designer. By arming himself with up-to-date knowledge, the designer can use these new capabilities as a competitive differentiator. John Kaptriotakis, founder of Lysis International, a highly respected consulting firm which will present a seminar titled "What Print Buyers Really Want" at GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO, cautions the industry: "Don’t rely on your vendors to be the visionaries." All of the products and information you need to know about as a creative influence can be found at GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO. Be sure to attend this comprehensive tradeshow for the latest tools and techniques available to help you be a fully informed creative resource to your clients and colleagues. You’ll see the newest digital prepress, printing, finishing and converting equipment, and all the unique capabilities they offer designers and business communicators to maximize the impact of printed communications. Complete information about GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO can be found at www.graphexpo.com.