WhatTheyThink

Video

Interviews with Industry Executives, Commentary & Analysis from WhatTheyThink Contributors and other video features.

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Looking to Hire or Be Hired? Here's Some Expert Advice!

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spent time speaking with PrintLink executive search and professional placement experts for the graphic communications industry. Arnie Kahn, President, and Dino Scalia, Senior Vice President, shared their thoughts on a wide range of subjects, including what's changed with recruitment, skills that employers should be looking for, what candidates should focus on when looking at opportunities, and much more. They also discuss why it's important to consider hiring even during this difficult period. Watch Video

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It’s All About the Benjamins

In the course of Frank’s travels across America, he has tried to seek out every statue of and monument to Benjamin Franklin. Take your mind off the pandemic for a while and watch his “home movie” of Franklin memorials. More than once, he had to ask someone “Where’s the Ben Franklin statue?” Watch Video

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Scott Schinlever Returns to EFI

In this video interview, Scott Schinlever, now COO for EFI's Global Inkjet Business, discusses his decision to return to EFI after 2.5 years with Gerber Technologies, what his organization looks like, what he learned at Gerber that will help him execute his new duties, and what the future looks like for EFI's inkjet business. Watch Video

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The Target Report Interview—Regional Print Consolidator Builds Diverse Offerings

Rod Bristol talks with Mark Hahn of Graphic Arts Advisors about Graphic Village's acquisition of DMS Ink, a transaction that is representative of the “regional roll-up” trend that has been developing in the industry for the past couple of years. Watch Video

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Frank and Fitzgerald

Frank discovered a book about the WWII publishing program for the military called “The Best Read Army in the World” which discusses how F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel “The Great Gatsby”—which upon its release got mixed reviews and sold poorly—became a beloved classic. Frank segues into a letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald to a cousin written during the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic. Somehow it’s all related. Watch Video

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Devastated by the Downturn, APPi Bounces Back with Antimicrobial Paper Coating

David Zwang talks with John Beadel, President of Associated Printing Production Inc. (APPi), founded in 1991 by Beadel and his brother. From day one, the company’s primary client bases were the cruise line, hospitality, and leisure industries—the ones that were the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Facing a “devastated business,” APPi worked with Biomaster on an antimicrobial coating for paper that provides life-time, 24/7 protection for printed materials. As the leisure industry starts to reopen, demand has skyrocketed. Watch Video

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Mary Schilling Shares Smiles, Not Cooties

Inkjet Insight co-founder and WhatTheyThink contributor Mary Schilling has put her digital printing skills to work, producing on-demand facemasks featuring either stock or custom images. All masks are digitally printed and hand-sewn. Curiously, her best-seller features the face of WhatTheyThink’s Adam Dewitz—and in this video, check out some of her “face models.” Watch Video

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Frank Gets Lost in the Good Book

Frank previews an upcoming Museum of Printing exhibit showcasing original leaves from famous Bibles, including every Bible printed in Colonial America. The King James became the best known English translation—even if a printer’s error changed one of the Commandments to read “Thou shalt commit adultery.” The first Bibles printed in America were not in English—they were in Algonquin. Watch Video

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Racami on Solving Variable Data PDF Problems

David Zwang talks to Matt Mahoney, Executive VP of Sales & Marketing for Racami, a developer of software and IT services for transactional printers and direct marketers. Mahoney talks about some of the issues Racami customers have with variable-data printing, especially problems stemming from VDP PDF file creation, and some of the solutions Racami offers.  Watch Video

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Just Frank’s Type

Frank discusses an old report he wrote in the 1980s called “The Evolving Markets for Type,” about changes in the typesetting industry. Typesetting used to involve dedicated typesetting companies setting metal type and delivering it to printers. Phototypesetting then allowed type buyers to do their own typesetting, and ultimately desktop publishing finished wiping out what had been an $8 billion typesetting marketplace. Technology changes everything. Watch Video

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Ashland Adds New Textures to Labels

Amy Gran, LA&C Radcure Tech Service & Product Development Chemist at Ashland, talks about Ashland’s energy-curing adhesives and coatings for the food packaging markets, some of the new product trends coming to market—such as tactile materials like soft-touch coatings, sand textures, and raises images—and the advantages of UV curing for these kinds of applications. Watch Video

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HP’s Gershon Alon Talks About Increasing Print Job Complexity

Gershon Alon, Head of HP PrintOS, HP Indigo, talks to David Zwang about how increased print jobs and the greater complexity of those jobs—largely due to variable data—have put great strains on digital front ends. Users thus need to create variable-data PDFs that won’t tie up RIPs and digital presses. HP’s partner Global Graphics recently released the “Full Speed Ahead” guide to variable-data print PDF creation.  Watch Video

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Frank’s Alphabet Soup

This episode wins the award for most acronyms used at one time. Frank traces the evolution of American printing associations from UTA to GATF to PIA, from NPEA to NPES to APT, from SPA to SGIA to PUA. WHEW! (That’s not an acronym.) Watch Video

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Warren Werbitt Says, “Leave Out the Lame Salespeople”

Print evangelist Warren Werbitt talks about underperforming salespeople—the ones you wish would do something but never do (i.e., who were “lame and useless” before the crisis). As you start up again and plan your sales strategy, do not include these underperformers in your planning meetings. Watch Video

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Global Graphics Goes Full Speed Ahead with New Guide to Making Variable-Data PDFs

Martin Bailey, CTO of Global Graphics Software, talks with David Zwang about “Full Speed Ahead,” a new guide that helps people make PDF files for variable-data printing more efficiently, especially as VDP is taking off in new markets and applications, such as labels and packaging. Watch Video

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Frank Catches Up On His Reading

Frank has lots of free time on his hands nowadays and is getting caught up on his reading. This week, he reviews two books. “Death of a Typographer” by Nick Gadd is a murder mystery with loads of typographic clues and gags. “Merg: The TRUE story of a WWII soldier's selfless act of valor and sacrifice that one town never forgot” by Peter Lion is the story of Ottmar Mergenthaler’s grandson George Mergenthaler, who joined the US Army during World War II, was sent to Luxembourg, and was ultimately killed by the Nazis. Watch Video

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The Target Report Interview—Alphabet Soup of Trade Association Mergers

Rod Bristol talks with Mark Hahn of Graphic Arts Advisors about consolidation among printing industry trade associations, culminating in the recent merger of PIA and SGIA, and with John E. Hyde of Graphic Arts Advisors about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the state of industry M&As. Watch Video

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Poll Position

Frank reviews a new book “This is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot” by Alicia Yin Cheng, timely because of the current talk about mail-in voting and support for the postal system. Frank uses examples from the book to show how printed ballots evolved as printing technology changed over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. Watch Video

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Marci Kinter on the Increased Importance of Sustainability in Packaging

Marci Kinter, Vice President, Government Affairs, SGIA (now Printing United Alliance) talks about the increased importance of sustainability and the circular economy to packaging producers, brand owners, and consumer products companies. Watch Video

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Kodak Adapts to the New Environment

David Zwang talks with Jim Continenza about where Kodak is today, where it's going in the future, and how some of the changes Kodak made in the past year have helped the company weather the current crisis. The company is also using the shutdown to devote its energy to R&D. Watch Video