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Profits: Back to the Tale of Two Cities

We’ve long been calling it “a tale of two cities”—large printers and small/mid-size printers and the profitability gap between them. The pandemic interrupted this ongoing narrative temporarily, but back in Q3 2020, we started to return to normal, at least in terms of industry profits trends, which continued into Q4.

Around the Web: Graphene Gear. Sweater Spectrum. Mad Memories. Mysterious Muons. Flipboard Fans. Vexing Vehicles. Hobby History. Restaurant Replicas. Poultry Pummeling. Ketchup Crisis.

Graphene-enhanced shoes and concrete—it’s a bad time to be a mob informant. Ralph Lauren aims to make cotton less water-intensive. A chart of every color cardigan worn by Mister Rogers. Soap products whose packaging is itself soap. A wall-mounted E Ink display for newspapers. A video history of Mad Magazine. A Fermilab particle experiment may completely upend our understanding of the universe. Install old-time train station flipboard signage in your home. The electric vehicle charging situation is a nightmare. A Brooklyn steakhouse partners with Madame Tussaud’s to help enforce social distancing. Can you cook a chicken by slapping it? The latest national crisis: a ketchup shortage. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s cinnamon shrimp tail-flavored miscellany.

How Smart Finishing Can Enhance Value

To select the finishing method that best communicates the value of the content, you must first understand how the final product will be used and its audience. Print salespeople have the opportunity to expand the finishing conversation beyond product, technique, and price. Document finishing is a bit like the real estate market—"curb appeal,” first impressions, and attention to detail can communicate insurmountable value.

Letterpress, Greeting Cards & Feminism—March 2021 M&A Activity

Paper Source files for bankruptcy, packaging segment is white hot, and more…

Five Sustainable Fibers and Innovations That Will Define the Future of Fashion’s Printed Textiles

COVID-19 has accelerated the sustainability agenda, and implementing these various initiatives across highly complex supply chains will take a great deal of dexterity and commitment—but there can be no going back. Read what textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan has to say about the emergence of more sustainable fibers for textiles.

It’s the Technology Laggards That Cost You the Most

Laggards are people in your company who have stopped learning and actually insist on doing their job in the same way they have been doing it, and for one reason: it’s the way they’ve been doing it. Investing in your laggards to drive software utilization is a good investment.

What Is “More Sophisticated” Personalization, Anyway?

Who’s Mailing What! recently released its report “18 Direct Mail Trends for 2021,” with predictions from leading industry experts about what they are seeing on the horizon for this year. First on WMW!’s list is “more sophisticated personalization.” But what, exactly, does “more sophisticated” mean?

Printing 2021 Quick Look: 2020 Profits

According to data from our recently published Printing Outlook 2021 special report, print businesses reported a -9.1% decline in profits from 2019 to 2020.

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.

Printing Outlook 2021
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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.

Purchase Report

Industry Data
Profits: Back to the Tale of Two Cities
Profits: Back to the Tale of Two Cities

We’ve long been calling it “a tale of two cities”—large printers and small/mid-size printers and the profitability gap between them. The pandemic interrupted this ongoing narrative temporarily, but back in Q3 2020, we started to return to normal, at least in terms of industry profits trends, which continued into Q4. Full Analysis

Printing 2021 Quick Look: 2020 Profits
Printing 2021 Quick Look: 2020 Profits

According to data from our recently published Printing Outlook 2021 special report, print businesses reported a -9.1% decline in profits from 2019 to 2020. Full Analysis

European Print Industry Snapshot: France
European Print Industry Snapshot: France

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 a look at the printing industry in France. Full Analysis

More Data Analysis

Recent Discussion

Robert Godwin on It’s the Technology Laggards That Cost You the Most

"willing and unable or able yet unwilling, they will certainly move on peacefully in their own time." I have become a fan of 'Hire slow, fire fast'. Hire Slow- helps get the right type of person for the company culture. Fire Fast- Can't wait ar… Full comment Reply

Joe Lindfeldt on It’s the Technology Laggards That Cost You the Most

I've found that there is a broader issue, without needing to single out the laggards. That is a culture of learning and adaptability. Building a culture of learning and adaptability is subtle and takes time, but I've found that this tends to help eve… Full comment Reply

Dov Isaacs on Frank Texts

I contend that many of the current “challenges” are not operator training or even prepress training, but rather, training of content creators. The problems start way up-stream with content creators who know very little if anything about color managem… Full comment Reply

Jon Budington on Frank Texts

Our recent experience with new inkjet technology is that the operators need less skill than traditional press operators, and the prepress departments need much more training. IT is what we need to attract today. Reply

Bryan Gordon on Frank Texts

Frank: You showed me some of my old text books from Ferris State. I wondered where they got off too, so you have them in the museum. You ask a really good question. Where are the new people in our industry going to come from? Who can afford to s… Full comment Reply

Magazine

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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