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Printing Profits: Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Despite COVID, printing industry profits have been pretty good, with annualized profits for Q1 2022 coming in at $4.55 billion, down from $4.79 billion in Q4 2021.

Frank Is on the Alert

Frank talks about clipping services and Google Alerts—two methods that are used to find information that appears in print or digital media. He shows the alerts that he receives to keep up with industry news.

Around the Web: Coupon Collapse. Creative Communication. Leaf Leather. Curse Collection. Graphene Grant. Training Tunes. Shoe Show. Burger Bugaboo. Ketchup Cooler.

Clipping printed coupons is on the decline. Core77 Visual Communications Design Award winners. Making leather from pineapple leaves. A cursed object trifecta: books, a phone number, and a Kleenex ad. A grant to develop graphene-based sustainable housing construction materials. Air New Zealand is adding beds to its economy class. The keys to an effective workout playlist. Designing Saucony’s Endorphin sneaker launch event. What the optimal number of times you should flip a hamburger? French’s introduced a mercifully short-lived ketchup pop. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Next Generation Textile Professionals Focus on Climate

In this story, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, five winners of the prestigious Central Saint Martins Maison/O Green Trail competition demonstrate how the next generation of textile professionals is working to address the climate emergency. Their submissions range from transformational garments to production methods that scale textile dyeing with bacteria and spatial design that supports reforestation.

The Different Dimensions of 3D Printing and Signage

“3D printing” is one of those terms that can mean different things to different people. In the signage industry, 3D printing is often referred to as “2+D”—using UV flatbeds to layer ink into three-dimensional textures—and braille lettering for ADA signage. And new units are facilitating the process.

Why Your Projects Fail (Everything is a Project)

Look at everything as a project and you will find that you need to define everything a lot better. Goals, roles, and constraints get confused with most project and that causes a lot of project failure.

Seven Steps to Creating an AR Holotwin

Is it possible to create effective AR scenes without a team of tech-savvy designers? Or spending tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars? Is AR finally ready to be used even by small and mid-sized shops to solve business problems for their customers? Here is a step-by-step look at what it took to create an AR holotwin and a QR code showing the final result. Readers can judge for themselves.

Two Steps Forward: Raspberry Creek Fabrics Patents a Unique Process for Digital Textile Printing

Utah-based Raspberry Creek Fabrics recently received a patent for unique web-to-print software for roll-to-roll fabric printing which automates the step-and-repeat process in a way that creates the smallest possible file, speeding the printing process. Senior editor Cary Sherburne talked to co-founder Justin Rammell about the process.

A moment of levity. View Today's Dilbert Dilbert Cartoon Strip

Industry Data
Printing Outlook 2021
Printing Outlook 2022 - The WhatTheyThink Overview of the Current State of the Printing Industry

The new Printing Outlook 2022 report provides detailed analysis of the latest WhatTheyThink Business Outlook Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2022.

More Info

Printing Profits: Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels
Printing Profits: Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Despite COVID, printing industry profits have been pretty good, with annualized profits for Q1 2022 coming in at $4.55 billion, down from $4.79 billion in Q4 2021. Full Analysis

Support Activities for Printing Annual Payroll—2010–2019
Support Activities for Printing Annual Payroll—2010–2019

According to County Business Patterns, in 2010, US establishments in NAICS 32312 had an annual payroll of $1.4 billion. Payrolls declined steadily over the course of the 2010s, closing out the decade at $1.0 billion in 2019. However adjusting for inflation, payrolls declined by -38% over the course of the decade. In macro news: AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) indicates that demand for design services remains strong, boding well for commercial real estate construction and thus signage projects. Full Analysis

April Shipments: Returning to Regular Seasonality
April Shipments: Returning to Regular Seasonality

April 2022 shipments came in at $6.67 billion, down from March’s $7.03 billion. The general trend in all but two of the last seven years has been for April shipments to decline from March’s. That’s not really good news but suggests we’re at least getting back to normal. Full Analysis

More Data Analysis

Recent Discussion

shelagh hammer on Industry Public Relations Pro Craig Kevghas Passes Away

I just realised that I started working with Craig around 30 years ago!! First at Scitex and then at many of the places where I was doing Marketing and relied on his expertise. (he would have teased me mercilessly about my British English spelling of … Full comment Reply

Keith Hevenor on Industry Public Relations Pro Craig Kevghas Passes Away

Craig was one of the first people I met in the industry after I began working with Frank Romano on TypeWorld, which then became Electronic Publishing. Craig was the PR manager for Scitex at the time, and as a rookie journalist, I remember wondering i… Full comment Reply

Gordon Pritchard on Frank Is on the Alert

I thought clipping services were for barbers. :-P Reply

Eric Vessels on Frank Is on the Alert

Everyone knows Frank just reads WhatTheyThink! ;) Reply

Heidi Tolliver-Walker on Seven Steps to Creating an AR Holotwin

It's ease surprised me. The pixelation isn't the fault of the platform. That's me with very, very limited knowledge of video formats and all that. (Writing about AR is one thing. Creating it myself is another!) Anyone with a real studio set-up and k… Full comment Reply


WhatTheyThink Magazine is the resource for the Commercial Printing, Visual and Graphic Arts Industries. Industry experts share their ideas and technical knowledge on ways to improve operations.

WhatTheyThink publishes 2 editions of the magazine: Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage. Subscription are free to qualified industry professionals or via paid subscription.

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