Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us

Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     SGIA EXPO     Production Inkjet     Installations and Placements Tracker

Frank: Book Publishers Turn the Page

Published on February 23, 2018

Frank opines about offset vs. digital printing for books and variable art for packaging. Book publishers are changing their warehousing and distribution strategies as a result.

         Email Icon Email    Reprint Icon Embed/Reprint



By Frank Cost on Feb 23, 2018

What I want is a digital book that smells like freshly printed offset. For those of us who judge a book first by its fragrance. Maybe a scratch-and-sniff strip inside the front cover could work. Perhaps a small niche market. But a man can dream.


By Werner Rebsamen on Feb 23, 2018

Frank - great video. In regards for printing and binding books, you spoke from my heart. Remember, we were the only ones in the late 1970's early 80's who predicted those short-runs? I was quoted in Publishers Weekly in September 1981 on that topic, long before the first DocuTech came onto the market. Interesting times. We can be so proud to have lived and experienced such exiting developments. These are such exiting times.


By Pete Masterson on Feb 23, 2018

I was the tariff publishing officer for Southern Pacific in the mid 1980s. Using proprietary software, we created a "printing on demand" system for our tariff publications (10,000 pages of material spread among about 100 different books). We used CP/M computers, networked to a UNIX mini -- that then transferred the files to the IBM mainframe to be printed on the IBM 3800 laser printers (300 pages per minute). The system was quite effective and was used until sometime in the mid 1990s when newer technology was adopted.

Meanwhile, I left the railroad owned a "ma and pop" print shop, then managed a book-oriented typesetting service, supervised contractor staff in the publications branch at a NASA facility, and finally became a free lance book designer. I've used a mix of offset and digital (and copier) technology at each stop along the way. By the mid 00s hardly any of my self-publishing clients used offset printing ... only those (few) with significant press runs (or very long books where the economics for digital didn't work) or full color books. Almost all my clients were using digital printing and that only became more popular once Lightning Source and CreateSpace arrived on scene.

Per Frank Cost ... I have to admit, I really liked the odor of fresh printing... but the transition to "soy based ink" ended that... (at one point I had 2000 books in my living room that smelled like used cooking oil). Digital printed books don't have much odor and I guess that's ok -- it's better than smelling like soybean oil.


Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free



Recent Videos


Video preview: Global Graphics On the New PDF 2.0

Global Graphics On the New PDF 2.0

Published: October 22, 2018

Martin Bailey, CTO of Global Graphics, talks with Dave Zwang about the exciting new PDF 2.0 and what it means for the printing industry.


Video preview: The Present and Future of SGIA

The Present and Future of SGIA

Published: October 22, 2018

Ford Bowers, President and CEO of SGIA, talks about this year's final SGIA Expo—as well as the future of the association and the expo, as both change with the industry.


Video preview: Who's Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing?

Who's Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing?

Published: October 19, 2018

Frank reviews “Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing...and How” by noted sales consultants Bill Farquharson and Kelly Mallozzi. They do a great job presenting useful information on markets and methods for selling digital/inkjet printing, and how selling digital differs from traditional print sales.


Video preview: HP’s Alon Bar-Shany on Trends in Labels and Flexible Packaging

HP’s Alon Bar-Shany on Trends in Labels and Flexible Packaging

Published: October 18, 2018

Dave Zwang talks to Alon Bar-Shany, General Manager for HP Indigo, HP Inc., about the growth he has been seeing in both the label and flexible packaging markets, as well as how the industry can learn from past commercial printing experience to avoid pitfalls in the future.


Video preview: UV-LED Curing Helps Bring Jobs Back to Offset

UV-LED Curing Helps Bring Jobs Back to Offset

Published: October 18, 2018

Chris Manley, President of Graphco, which represents RMGT in the U.S., talks about how the advantages of UV-LED curing are driving customers to "unplug" their digital presses and move more jobs to offset to increase profitability.


Video preview: CloudLab's Tailor-Made Web-to-Print Solutions

CloudLab's Tailor-Made Web-to-Print Solutions

Published: October 17, 2018

Marc Horriar, CEO and Founder, talks about CloudLab, one of the largest web-to-print vendors in Europe, and whose U.S. branch opened in 2017. CloudLab has more than 200 customers in 25 countries. Some of the largest online print businesses in the world use CloudLab, which focuses on solutions tailored to each business rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.


View More Videos


Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2018 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved