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Q2 Profits Unchanged from Q1—But Still Bad

Given the lag time in the release of quarterly profits, we have to time travel back to Q2, much as it pains us to do so, where we see that annualized profits for Q2 2020 stayed steady at -$4 billion.

Frank’s Reading Rainbow

Frank reviews two books this week. The first is “A Place for Everything—The Curious History of Alphabetical Order” by Judith Flanders, which provides an interesting look at how the alphabet evolved. The second is the more technical “Printing-Process Control and Standardization” by RIT’s Robert Chung, whose students have become the "apostles of color" around the world. Every printer should have a copy.

Around the Web: Frightening Figurines. Kooky Costumes. Mouse Mastication. Table Talk. Tracing Textiles. Poll Posters. Lunging Leopards.

Precious Moments figurines repainted for Halloween. A photo gallery of some of weirdest and/or ill-advised Halloween costumes ever. New eco-conscious automotive wiring is eaten by rats. A new app and connected tablecloth tells you what’s on your table, for some reason. A new book traces the history of textiles. RIT opens a digital exhibition of suffrage posters. Classic jazz album cover designs. Some questions about Burger King’s reusable packaging. Never pay for a “full contact experience” with a leopard. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s spooktacular miscellany.

Industry News

More News

Is Your Management Software Ready for Industry Convergence?

As print service providers (PSPs) onboard more applications supporting a diversified set of customers and industries, it becomes more of a challenge to manage the unique requirements of those industry segments with a single business management tool. PSPs looking to expand into new markets and applications must ensure that their business management system is up to par. This article explores how these systems must adapt to support the requirements of the future.

Rising Stars: Bolton School of Arts Graduates Scoop Industry Awards for Surface Design

UK-based Bolton School of Arts, School of Textiles and Surface Design, has worked closely with its graduates to help them find new ways to overcome the pandemic hurdles. In this article by textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, several of its award-winning graduates are featured.

The Death of Paper-Based Processes

Your business processes need to move off of paper and into software. This was important before COVID-19, and like everything else, COVID-19 has simply accelerated this trend. Paper is no longer a viable business process medium.

COVID-19 Spurs Proofing Innovation at Continental Web Press—and Wins New Business

When clients are used to traveling for press checks of color-sensitive documents, then a global pandemic severely hampers business travel, how do you continue to meet the needs of those clients? You create a brand-new proofing solution. At least, that’s what you do if you’re Continental Web Press.

A Wrinkle in the Plan: Is Cut-and-Sew a Barrier to Reshoring in the Textiles Industry?

Fashion and apparel brands are trying to reshore textile production, but the finishing part of the process is proving challenging: cut-and-sew. Automation has its limitations, and skilled sewists are hard to come by domestically. Cary Sherburne looks into some of the solutions to these challenges.

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
Q2 Profits Unchanged from Q1—But Still Bad
Q2 Profits Unchanged from Q1—But Still Bad

Given the lag time in the release of quarterly profits, we have to time travel back to Q2, much as it pains us to do so, where we see that annualized profits for Q2 2020 stayed steady at -$4 billion. Full Analysis

Paperboard Container Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2018
Paperboard Container Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2018

In 2010, there were 2,205 establishments in NAICS 32221 (Paperboard Container Manufacturing). By 2018, that number had declined -11% to 1,961. In macro news, the American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score was up in September. This is a leading indicator for the economy in general, but also for the signage market in particular. Full Analysis

European Print Industry Snapshot: Belgium
European Print Industry Snapshot: Belgium

According to the Eurostat production index, the printing industry in Belgium did fairly well in 2019 and even during the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, despite the country being hit hard by the virus. Although production volumes in 2019 were down compared to 2015, Belgium did better than the European Union average in the production index for printing and recorded media. Full Analysis

More Data Analysis

Recent Discussion

Mike Cloghessy on The Death of Paper-Based Processes

Howard Owen said....Failure to change is futile, and every print service provider knows that! If you are trying to advocate for paperless workflow it would be better NOT to use the line "failure to change is futile". This has been used by every M… Full comment Reply

Jim Rosenthal on The Death of Paper-Based Processes

This is an old April Fools goof, but I'm really thinking this is how we go: https://whattheythink.com/video/73081-how-save-money-ditching-mis-automation-process-optimization/ Reply

Robert Godwin on The Death of Paper-Based Processes

I use Post-It tabs in my office. On my monitor, on my laptop. I have 7 staplers, 4 staple removers, and three boxes of paper clips. I use the paper clips to get the card out of my phone. They are in the bottom drawer, under stuff. I confess to hav… Full comment Reply

Jim Hamilton on Frank’s Reading Rainbow

Frank, sad to report that Sue Grafton died in 2017 and never made it to Z. Reply

Martin Bailey on Digital Packaging Migration: “Déjà Vu All Over Again”?

Hi Dave. Thanks for this; I can only agree. Interestingly it’s all true from the technical side as well. Yes, every new sector has its own unique features, but the core of what you need to do around pre-press: rendering, color management, calibration… 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.

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