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Cory Sawatzki Talks About CGX's Venture Into Photo Books

Published on November 4, 2011

Consolidated Graphics Director of Operations, Cory Sawatzki discusses their recent venture into the niche photo book market and comments on the shift in the industry as a whole.

I’m Cory Sawatzki.  I’m with Consolidated Graphics out of Houston, Texas.  I am the Director of Operations Technology.  One of the things that CGX has been big on over the last few years and one of the areas we’ve really grown is in the Photo Books base.  It’s something that started off as kind of a niche that we felt we could accomplish and with that we really started focusing on it.  Over the years that’s grown tremendously and it’s been, it’s been a great place for us to be.  We’re very comfortable in that space.  It’s a little, it’s a little more difficult in some ways because of the quality expectations and really keeping up with the newest way to accomplish certain color gamuts and doing different bindery.  I mean when you’re dealing with one-off books sometimes the binding styles can be intriguing.

But I think, you know, today the Photo Book market is just one signature niche that really only represents a piece of how printing is kind of changing and the direction it’s going.  So when you look at like niche markets you kind of have to pick and choose and you have to figure out what really can we do, what can we accomplish that’s different than what other people are doing.  The digital market today offers itself to doing a lot of things that couldn’t be done before.  So how do you leverage those technologies and how do you use those to your advantage?  A lot of people see it as oh man, it’s changing; I don’t know if I can keep up with it; I don’t know that I like it because it’s different.  

You have to embrace the fact that it’s changing and by doing that you can find areas where you can really excel doing things that have never been done before.  It’s actually to me a very exciting time to be in the business.  I enjoy the size of my company.  You know, I get to see a lot of different technologies and leverage a lot of different technologies; and with that I’m able to really see the scope of what’s possible.  So, you know, we’re constantly looking for new ways to leverage different things out in the market today; different digital presses especially.  

We’re invested heavily in—we have a T-300 large web inkjet press in Denver, Colorado.  We’re moving forward with a Kodak Prosper Press in AGS Maryland.  So that that space of the digital web two-sided, four-color publication kind of area is another area where we think we’re going to be able to really hit the ground running and make a difference there.  So we’ll just keep looking for different ways to really put pressure on the vendors to come up with something else different and keep print relevant.  You know, it’s a constant, constant search to see how we’re going to do; what we’re going to do next.

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