Sustainability: The Great Reset—What Can We Do?

The planet earth and its natural resources have not grown in over 4 billion years, yet the population has increased from 800 million in 1700 to almost 8 billion in 2020, all competing for their share and putting great stress on the environment and the population. It is obvious that this rate of growth can’t be sustained without some proactive behavioral changes.

Partnering! Canva Brings the Creative to Office Depot Customers

Thanks to a new collaboration between the global design platform Canva and the robust workplace solutions team at Office Depot, small businesses can quickly and easily develop creative content for different kinds of print and non-print applications—everything from reports and posters to menus and yard signs, even social media marketing campaigns.

Buyers are On The Move and On Track—July 2020 M&A Activity

CJK Acquires Quad Book Plant, Mittera Executes on Strategy (Again), and more…

Printing Plants and Robots After the Coronavirus

This article addresses how to protect the labor force in printing plants from being infected by viruses and get a better and more profitable company structure by implementing Industry 4.0.

EU Graphene Flagship Initiative Explores Innovative Graphene Uses

We’ve been following some of the research on graphene for some time now. Developments and innovations are continuing, especially in the European Union. Here we review the EU Graphene Flagship Initiative and some of the developments related to the textiles and apparel industry, including how graphene can affect advances in wearables.

May Printing Shipments—Now It’s Serious

Printing shipments for May 2020 came in at $6.42 billion, down from $6.51 in April and way down from $7.21 billion back in January. This may be as dire as shipments get, but we don’t expect to break $7 billion again for a long while.

Around the Web: Missing Mondays. Silly Signage. Adapting Architecture. Foxy Fetishist. Cirrus Sneakers. Crazy Convertible. Pixellated Pack. Circular Sketching.

There will no longer be a Monday print edition of a newspaper anywhere in Wyoming. Amusing social distancing signage from Down Under.  How will the COVID pandemic affect architecture? Germany’s shoe-stealing fox. 3D-printed sneakers based on clouds. The Boatswagon boat-car hybrid is up for auction. 8Bit Playing Cards simulate 1980s-era computer graphics. A new, limited edition Etch a Sketch lets you draw circles. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly virtual miscellany.

Developing a Marketing Strategy: Positioning for Success During COVID-19 and Beyond

Due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are now thinking very differently about their bottom lines, profit projections, and revenues than they were just a few months ago. Keypoint Intelligence’s research has confirmed that most print service providers (PSPs) have seen a drop-off in sales and/or an uptick in cancelled orders due to current market conditions. This article explores smart marketing techniques during COVID-19 and beyond.

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

Dilbert is brought to you by the hiring pros at PrintLink. PrintLink is the industry leader in Executive Search & Professional Placement.

Industry Data
May Printing Shipments—Now It’s Serious

Printing shipments for May 2020 came in at $6.42 billion, down from $6.51 in April and way down from $7.21 billion back in January. This may be as dire as shipments get, but we don’t expect to break $7 billion again for a long while. Full Analysis

Graphic Design Services—2010–2018

In 2010, there were 15,390 establishments in NAICS 54143 (Graphic Design Services). After something of a contraction due to the Great Recession, graphic design establishments started to grow again, peaking at 15,776 establishments in 2018. In addition, we estimate there were an additional 119,037 freelance graphic design establishments in 2018. In macro news: GDP falls off the cliff. Full Analysis

Graphic Arts Employment—June 2020

As the song goes, “getting better all the time (can’t get any worse)”: in June 2020, overall printing employment is up +1.1% from May, although down -15.5% from June 2019. So a lot of the April damage is continuing to reverse itself. Full Analysis

Printing Outlook 2020 - The WhatTheyThink Overview of the Current State of the Printing Industry

The Printing Outlook 2020 report provides detailed analysis of the latest WhatTheyThink Printing Industry Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2020 and beyond.

Updated April 28, 2020 to include a COVID-19 Survey that we conducted Late March/Early April 2020.

Purchase Report

Recent Discussion

Bill McCafferty on Sad News: RIP Chuck Gehman

This is difficult news to comprehend. The last time I saw Chuck was at one of the DScoop conferences a few years ago and he never looked better. He had discovered Cross-fit and made some positive lifestyle changes that transformed him from how he was… Full comment Reply

Robert Godwin on Sad News: RIP Chuck Gehman

Sad to see him go. Since working together at the earliest days at Printable he proved to be a significant influence on how things should look, feel and work. His stories of DAX and EFI were as revealing as they were entertaining. And yes, Starbucks … Full comment Reply

Robert Lindgren on Frank’s Summer of 68

In March, 1968 I joined the staff of Printing Industry of Illinois Association in Chicago and so I remember Print 68 as well--it was incredible, having already spent six years in the industry. It's hard to imagine now that hot metal, letterpresses an… Full comment Reply

Deanna Gentile on Sad News: RIP Chuck Gehman

Hard to believe ... I first met Chuck in the 70's when he was in Boston and we met at the R&E Council ... then he was in San Diego and then Pittsburgh (where I am) and then Minnesota.. always way ahead of the curve in technology .. the last time we … Full comment Reply

David Lewis on Sad News: RIP Chuck Gehman

A true leader and visionary! You will be greatly missed by all of us who had the pleasure of knowing you over the many years of your career. 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.