Gordon Pritchard has put together a great compilation called “Printing and the Movies” at his excellent blog, Quality in Print. The movies seldom make much reference to printing, but Gordo, a cinephile as well as a regular contributor at the PrintPlanet forums, captures some the craft’s most notable moments on the silver screen in this enjoyable post. One I’d add: The Counterfeiters, about a WWII Nazi plot to undermine the Bank of England with the biggest currency-forging operation in history. Only legitimate governments can print money, and these days, there’s concern in some minds that ours is gearing up to print far too much of it. Printers, on the other hand, have to earn theirs, and this week’s news roundup highlights the perseverance and ingenuity with which they’re earning it. • Many small printers supplement their revenue by selling promotional products and specialty items in addition to standard print. In Longmont, CO, two franchise businesses that specialize in these items are learning to adjust to changing spending patterns brought about by the recession. The Longmont Times-Call got the story from EmbroidMe, a screen printer and embroiderer, and Instant Imprints, offering the same services plus wide-format output. "People are just not wanting to commit to high-value purchases right now," says Mark Rosneck, co-owner of EmbroidMe. “A lot of businesses are keeping tight rein on their dollars,” agrees Forrest Fleming, principal of Instant Imprints. And Donna Coffey, owner of Longmont’s Impressions Marketing, a home-based promotional products business, is quoted as saying that what people want to buy are items they can use five years from now—magnetic refrigerator clips, water bottles, and stainless steel mugs, to name a few examples. • In Memphis, TN, Mike Baber also has noted the effects—good and bad alike—that the recession is having on his customers’ spending patterns. A story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports his observation that small- to medium-sized companies are responding to the downturn by boosting the marketing of new products, while larger corporations are slashing their marketing budgets altogether. Although he expects the performance of Baber Inc. to be off this year, that won’t curtail his efforts to improve the targeting and the response of the direct mail that the 75-year old family business produces for about 350 customers in and around Memphis. “There's no more printing 50,000 postcards with a middle-aged couple on a bicycle when we know that you’re in your 30s and like motorcycles,” Baber is quoted as saying. Adding PURLs (personalized URLs) to postcards boosts the response rate from 1.5% to as high as 12%, he told the Commercial Appeal. • A story that originally appeared in The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, PA, saluted the staying power of two printers who were among 45 business owners attending the June meeting of The Family Business Forum at King’s College. According to the article, Wayne Oplinger, owner of CPS Direct in Nanticoke, has seen five of his top 100 customers go out of business in the past 18 months. His staff has contracted as well. But, the company has been able to make up some of the loss by picking up new customers that had been served by other printers that are now defunct. Bill Corcoran, owner of Corcoran Printing in Wilkes-Barre, credited an agile operating style, low overhead, and his hometown’s relative closeness to New York City (about 100 miles) as reasons for the third-generation firm’s ability to hang in despite tough times. • Even in the depths of a recession, Dame Fortune can smile on hard-working smaller printers who know that luck is the place where preparation meets opportunity. The Wichita Eagle reports that the good lady positively beamed at Quik Print when the Wichita city council voted to outsource the city’s print shop and mailroom services to the 46-year-old business for the next 18 months. A cost analysis convinced the council members that Quik Print co-owners Susie and Johnny Tarrant could save the city $150,000 annually compared with the municipal in-plant. According to story, the Tarrants think they can save even more by choosing the most economical digital or offset option for each job they will handle from the city’s 24 departments. Online ordering and facility management will be among the services provided as Quik Print ramps up its staff from 12 workers to 16. • For the last 500 years, letterpress has managed to outlast recessions, wars, and every other kind of calamity that history can hurl at printers. Handset metal printing is alive and well in Flora, IN, where Larry Kappes carries on the tradition at Indiana Letterpress LLC, a trade shop profiled in a story by the Lafayette – West Lafayette Journal & Courier. Kappes, who has been printing this way since the early 1970s, provides diecutting, foil stamping, embossing, numbering, and imprinting services for about 30 printing companies. He sets type by hand from California job cases and runs most of the work on hand-fed letterpresses that are about 80 years old. “These presses are made to last forever as long as you maintain them properly,” he’s quoted as saying. If your company has made news locally, please tell us where to find it, and we’ll post it here for all to read.