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The New Convergence: Trends in the Maturing Online Print Market

Online printers have carved out a big share of the print business today and their revenue share is set to increase. This is partly driven by new companies starting up with an online business model, and partly by traditional printing companies moving into online print. European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks the post-pandemic status of online print.

Big “L” or Little “l”—Either Way, Companies Love Latex

Since 2008, latex printers have offered a highly flexible alternative to solvent printers, as they could print on a wide variety of materials, including textiles. In this feature, we look at some users of latex doing creative work for wallcoverings, display graohics, and...voting boxes?

August Shipments: Summer Ends on a High Note

August 2021 printing shipments came in at $6.87 billion, up from July’s $6.47 billion. Year to date, January-to-August shipments are $53.42 billion, not far off 2020’s January-to-August number of $53.68.

Frank Buys Textbooks

Frank talks about student preferences for printed textbooks and then segues into a mini history of textbooks for teaching printing. As the printing industry grew in size and technology adoption, its textbooks became bigger…and more expensive.

Around the Web: Polar Publication. Robotic Writing. Waymo Weirdness. Restaurant Robots. Perilous Punctuation. PURE Processes. Nightmare Nanas. Marvelous Mollusks. Canine Carrier.

A deluxe print edition of the story that inspired The Thing. A 14-foot long robotic pen. Waymo’s self-driving cars are flocking to a dead-end street in San Francisco—and no one knows why… A Paris restaurant replaces its chef with a robot. The Casa Grande (Ariz.) Neon Sign Park. The lack of an apostrophe in a Facebook rant gets an Australian man sued. Apps that delete words from stories leaving just the punctuation. Graphene-enhanced bed sheets. PrimaLoft improves its manufacturing technology for insulation used in garments. China’s “Grannies from Hell.” Hand-crocheted plush octopuses. “The Schnauzer Chariot of Kazakhstan.” All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly blasting Shatner into space miscellany.

Making Sense of Your Print Options

With so many available options, deciding which print solutions to incorporate into your business can be an overwhelming task. By identifying your business priorities and assessing which companies and technologies best align with these priorities, you can better determine which technologies and services are best for you and your customers.

“Creatives In Residence Live”—Meet the Graduates and Follow the Curriculum via Online Learning

As we have been discussing in this space, attracting new talent to the textiles and apparel industry is a key challenge. The industry is quite different than it was 40 years ago! Yet it still has a reputation from those days. UK firm CMYUK is making a contribution with its Creatives In Residence program. In addition to winners learning with hands-on experience at the firm, anyone can join the learning virtually. We need more programs like this! Meet the winners and learn more about the program.

Web-to-Print Product Spotlight: MyOrderDesk by Print Reach

Jennifer Matt takes an in-depth look at Print Reach’s MyOrderDesk, a product that has not only stood the test of time but has now become a foundation block in Print Reach’s automation strategy, with a feature set that clearly reflects a product that has evolved with the times and continues down that path.

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

Life in print isn’t easy, right? You deserve a laugh. That's why MindFire brings you Dilbert. And why we help Printers & Agencies of all sizes grow sales with 'OptiChannel'. Learn more now.

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

The new Printing Outlook 2021 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 2021.

More Info

August Shipments: Summer Ends on a High Note
August Shipments: Summer Ends on a High Note

August 2021 printing shipments came in at $6.87 billion, up from July’s $6.47 billion. Year to date, January-to-August shipments are $53.42 billion, not far off 2020’s January-to-August number of $53.68. Full Analysis

European Print Industry Snapshot: Austria
European Print Industry Snapshot: Austria

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take an updated look at the printing industry in Austria. Full Analysis

Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing Employment—2010–2019
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing Employment—2010–2019

According to County Business Patterns, in 2010, there were 30,048 employees in NAICS 322212 (Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing establishments). Employment in this category stayed fairly steady throughout the decade, then spiked in 2019 to 47,980 employees. In macro news, sales of light vehicle sales plummeted in September 2021, even as profits reached record highs. Full Analysis

More Data Analysis

Recent Discussion

Richard Wright on Frank Buys Textbooks

Harvey, I can attest the book from you and John is excellent. It's so good, it was 'borrowed' form a colleague and since past around. It's not gathering dust on a shelf. Reply

HARVEY LEVENSON on Frank Buys Textbooks

Excellent video, and I concur with Frank’s observation about student preference for printed textbooks to online or e-books. I’ve been following this preference for years; it’s been consistent. Students, recognize that of all media, print is the most … Full comment Reply

Elizabeth Gooding on Paper’s Role in the Growth Potential for Production Color Inkjet

There is a lot of good information covered at a high level in this article - but the devil is in the details. In addition to options for advanced ink and drying systems, there are also OEMs offering priming/precoating to improve compatibility. There… Full comment Reply

Richard Wright on Frank Buys Textbooks

Frank, Great topic. My personal fav is a treasured Frank Romano autographed Pocket Pal. You and I may agree on how we would value / price printed vs E-Books. The publishers, however, value the content, not the presentation medium. And here lies … Full comment Reply

Vincent Nicholes on Frank Buys Textbooks

When I was in High School (graduated 1972) The 3 year vocational printing course I took used the Navy printing manual. By the way this 3 year course lead to a great rewarding career in printing. 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.

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