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Articles by Richard Romano

Richard Romano is Managing Editor of WhatTheyThink.  He curates the Wide Format section on WhatTheyThink.com. He has been writing about the graphic communications industry for more than 25 years. He is the author or coauthor of more than half a dozen books on printing technology and business. His most recent book is “Beyond Paper: An Interactive Guide to Wide-Format and Specialty Printing.

Displaying 1-100 of 1227 articles

Tales from the Database: These Are Not the Applications You’re Looking For

Published April 5, 2024

Drawing on six years’ worth of Print Business Outlook surveys, our “Tales from the Database” series looks at historical data to see if we can spot any particular hardware, software, or business trends. This issue, we turn our attention to specialty printing—or any printing beyond traditional offset or digital commercial work.

Executive Q&A: swissQprint’s Erik Norman and Michael Voight

Published April 2, 2024

We spoke with swissQprint America President Erik Norman and Application Specialist Michael Voight about the company’s display graphics product portfolio, top and emerging applications, customer expansion into adjacent applications and what automation means for swissQprint and its customers.

Don’t Call It “Wide Format”: The State of Display Graphics

Published April 1, 2024

The term “wide format” or “wide-format printing” is very much a jargon-esque term that doesn’t mean a lot outside industry trade publications or print businesses’ service rosters, and we have made the conscious decision to wean ourselves off the term “wide format” in favor of the more understandable “display graphics.” So, regardless of what we call it, what is the state of it?

Printing Outlook 2024: Whither AI?

Published March 6, 2024

WhatTheyThink’s annual Printing Outlook report is now available. One of the many topics we cover in this year’s report is so-called “artificial intelligence.” To what extent is it on printers’ radars?

The Display Graphics Evolution: Epson

Published February 29, 2024

This is the first in a series of articles that looks at the evolution of equipment manufacturers and their portfolios in the display graphics space. First up: Epson.

Tales from the Database: Looking at the Cloud from Both Sides

Published February 9, 2024

Drawing on eight years’ worth of Print Business Outlook surveys, our “Tales from the Database” series looks at historical data to see if we can glean any particular hardware, software, or business trends. This issue, we turn our attention to software—specifically, migration to the cloud.

Executive Q&A: Baldwin Technology’s Patrick Keller

Published February 6, 2024

We spoke with Patrick Keller, Division President, Baldwin Technology Co., about the history of the company, its broad set of solutions for a vast array of industries, including many aspects of print, and how being part of the new BW Converting Group benefits the company and its customers.

Survey Says! Signage and Display Graphics in 2024

Published January 18, 2024

It’s that time again, time to sift through the data from our annual Business Outlook Survey for the forthcoming Printing Outlook report. As has become an annual tradition, we break out some display graphics-specific data to see what trends we can quantitatively gauge.

Tales from the Database: Prints Charming

Published December 15, 2023

Drawing on six years’ worth of Print Business Outlook surveys, our “Tales from the Database” series looks at historical data to see if we can spot any particular hardware, software or business trends. In this installment, we turn our attention to printing technologies.

Here Come the Robots: There Are a Multitude of Robotic Solutions for our Staffing Shortage

Published December 14, 2023

“Automation” typically refers to some kind of software that automatically processes files for production, generates estimates on-the-fly, or otherwise adds efficiencies to the production process. But automation can also refer to hardware—and we’re starting to see robots and robotics move into print production.

Executive Q&A: Canon USA’s Robert Barbera

Published December 11, 2023

We sat down with Robert Barbera, Director of Production Solutions Marketing in Canon USA’s Business Information Communications Group Division, and talked about Canon’s commitment to production print—in all its forms.

Product Spotlight: Monadnock’s Sustainable Wide-Format Papers

Published November 30, 2023

In this video sponsored by Monadnock Paper Mills, Senior Sales Representative Vince Queau talks to Richard Romano about the company’s new line of sustainable wide-format substrates.

CalPoly Crowdfunding Project Looks to Send Graphic Communication Students to drupa

Published November 15, 2023

CalPoly Graphic Communication (GrC) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to send some deserving GrC students to Düsseldorf to attend drupa 2024. Find out more about it and how you can help invest in the future of our industry.

Wide Format 2023: Looking Back to Look Forward

Published November 2, 2023

As the end of the year draws near, it’s time to look back and take stock of 2023 in the world of wide-format printing, display graphics, and signage—with an eye to what 2024 may bring.

Sights for Sore Feet: Display Graphics and Textile & Apparel at PRINTING United

Published October 25, 2023

In this article, we round up some of the major press announcements made at last week’s PRINTING United Expo show, as well as some of the other wide-format technologies on display.

Tales from the Database: A Complete Package?

Published October 6, 2023

Drawing on six years’ worth of Print Business Outlook surveys, our “Tales from the Database” series looks at historical data to see if we can spot any particular hardware, software or business trends. In this installment, we turn our attention to labels and packaging.

New HP Latex Printer Line Targets Small and Mid-Size Print Businesses

Published September 21, 2023

This week, HP launched the “entry-level” Latex 630 series, aimed squarely at small and midsize print service providers. We take a look at some of the new features and capabilities.

October 6 Is ISA’s Sign Manufacturing Day, Offering Sign Businesses a Great Employee Recruitment Opportunity

Published September 7, 2023

On October 6, sign companies will have an excellent opportunity to potentially attract new and young talent to their businesses. Every year, on the International Sign Association’s (ISA) Sign Manufacturing Day (SMD), participating sign shops host open houses, facility tours, and hands-on demonstrations for students to show them the opportunities that exist in the sign business—or even that the sign business exists.

Signarama Leads By Example

Published August 31, 2023

Signarama President A.J. Titus talks about how the franchise network fared in 2022, where they see growth in 2023 and beyond, and how their leadership approach is "lead by example."

Poster Project Brings Art and Poetry to Downtown Syracuse

Published August 24, 2023

The Syracuse Poster Project is a civic arts initiative that launched in 2001, which merges poetry, art, and display graphics to help revitalize downtown Syracuse, N.Y. Richard Romano looks at the program’s inspiration and origin, and how it has evolved over the years.

Tales from the Database: Take Me to Your Leader!

Published August 11, 2023

Drawing on six years’ worth of Print Business Outlook surveys, our “Tales from the Database” series looks at historical data to see if we can spot any particular hardware, software or business trends. This issue, we turn our attention to leadership.

ICYMI: Number One: Allen Printing Company Tops the List of Small Commercial Printers

Published August 10, 2023

Allen Printing Company has been a regular fixture of our “Top 10” for at least the past five years, and this year finally moved into the number-one spot. Richard Romano talks with COO Paul Heffington.

2023 Top 100 Small Commercial Printers

Published August 10, 2023

Each year, WhatTheyThink invites small commercial print business owners to participate in our “Top 100 Shops Survey.” In this article, Richard Romano looks at the results of the Top 100 survey—and announces this year’s winner: Nashville’s Allen Printing Company.

How Does It Feel? The Missed Opportunity of Embellishments

Published August 2, 2023

Some highlights from the recent Taktiful/WhatTheyThink “2023 Specialty Digital Ink and Toner Embellishment Study” shows how digital press users can get the most out of their specialty ink and toner options, and points toward how printers can take advantage of the broader universe of “embellishments.”

Off the Wall Cases: ISA Webinar Highlights New Issues in Sign Regulation

Published July 27, 2023

Last month, the International Sign Association hosted a webinar presented by the Sign Research Foundation that looked at the current legal lay of the land pertaining to sign codes. Some of the cases looked at were old favorites (Reed v. Town of Gilbert, et al.), but some new recent cases have raised entirely new issues—specifically concerning murals, and whether they are considered art or signage.

ICYMI: Wrapper’s Delight: High School Senior Wins Bus Wrap Design Contest

Published June 29, 2023

For the last three years, Laketran in Lake County, Ohio, has held a student Design-a-Bus Wrap contest, sponsored by Avery Dennison. This year’s winner was Mentor High School senior Kaitlin Barninger. Richard Romano looks at how this year’s winning design came about.

Technology Outlook: Wide Format and Signage

Published June 1, 2023

Last week, as part of WhatTheyThink’s fourth annual Technology Outlook Week, our five-day series of webinars that look at the latest trends and technologies in a broad cross-section of the industry, Richard Romano and Cary Sherburne tag-teamed a look at wide-format and signage and textiles and apparel. This article recaps the wide-format portion of the webinar

Print Services Helps CHRISTUS Health Fulfill Its Mission

Published May 18, 2023

CHRISTUS Health Print Services, the in-plant printing department for the CHRISTUS Health network of ministries and hospitals, took a tentative step into producing wayfinding signage—and has since proven itself essential to fulfilling CHRISTUS Health’s mission of serving its community.

HP’s Wide-Format Strategy Goes Beyond the Printer

Published May 4, 2023

WhatTheyThink managing editor Richard Romano talks to Daniel Martinez, General Manager, HP Large Format, about HP’s current wide-format strategy, market trends, and some recent product and new initiative announcements—in particular, a unique device for the architecture and construction industry.

Tales from the Database: Beyond Commercial

Published April 14, 2023

The latest installment in our “Tales from the Database” series looks at historical opportunities and investments related to adding not only things like wide-format printing and textile printing capabilities, but also packaging as well as other types of specialty printing.

ISA Sign Expo 2023 Opens in Las Vegas

Published April 13, 2023

International Sign Association (ISA) President and CEO Lori Anderson opens the ISA Sign Expo 2023 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Just Stick It: Materials for Applied Graphics Allow Solutions Anywhere

Published April 12, 2023

If you have been out in the world at all, you know that the number of surfaces to which graphics can be applied is only limited by the number of surfaces there are—which is to say that display graphics can be applied just about anywhere: walls, windows, doors, streets and sidewalks, 3D objects, vehicles—name it. Despite the overwhelming variety of graphics applications, some general trends are emerging, and some older trends are becoming more important.

FASTSIGNS Eugene, Ore., Goes the Distance in This Year’s FASTSIGNS Project of the Year

Published April 11, 2023

The winner of this year’s FASTSIGNS/Wide Format & Signage Project of the Year is FASTSIGNS Eugene (Ore.), whose work for the World Track and Field Championships went the distance in the eyes of the judges.

Executive Q&A: Canon’s Rich Reamer

Published April 10, 2023

The Senior Marketing Director of Canon USA’s Business Information Communications Group (BICG) talks to WhatTheyThink about the evolution of wide-format printing and the breadth of Canon’s offerings for display graphics providers.

Canon Launches the New Colorado M-Series: Now with White!

Published March 31, 2023

Today, Canon is introducing the next-generation Colorado wide-format printer: the M-series. The “M” stands for modular, and among its many other features is that it now supports white ink. Managing editor Richard Romano attended a recent Canon event introducing and demonstrating the new printer line.

Product Spotlight: Ultraflex EcoVantage Films

Published March 28, 2023

Ultraflex’s EcoVantage line of comprises 100% PVC-free and phthalate-free films for outdoor advertising, POS, wall coverings, and retail displays that are frontlit, backlit, blockout, mesh, indoor, outdoor, and wallcoverings.

ISA International Sign Expo Returns to Mandalay Bay with Upcoming Las Vegas Show

Published March 27, 2023

For the first time since before the pandemic, the ISA International Sign Expo is heading to its West Coast home at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, April 12–14. The Sign Expo is ever-evolving, and this year’s event will boast some new features, as well as some recurring favorites.

Quantum Leaps into Landa

Published March 22, 2023

Last week, Morton Grove, Ill.’s Quantum Group and the executive team from Landa Digital held an open house to demonstrate the recently installed Landa Nanographic S10P—and how Quantum Group is starting to shift work from their fleet of digital and offset presses to the S10P.

Three Trends in Experiential Design for 2023

Published February 28, 2023

Design firm SOSO recently identified three major trends in “experiential design” for 2023. Experiential design is where signage and décor meet, and experiential graphics have been a hot application area for signage and display graphics producers. What are these top trends to keep an eye out for?

Tales from the Database: Software

Published February 10, 2023

In our January/February 2023 print edition, we are launching a new series called “Tales from the Database,” drawing on six years’ worth of Print Business Outlook surveys. In every survey, we ask a broad cross-section of print businesses about business conditions, business challenges, new business opportunities, and planned investments. January/February is the software issue, so we rounded up a few software-related challenges, opportunities, and investments to see what the historical data can tell us.

Making the Connection: Software Connects the Dots for a Display Graphics Provider

Published February 7, 2023

What do we talk about when we talk about “software” in the context of display graphics production? When it comes to print production, and especially “workflow automation,” what we’re usually talking about is “RIP and print” software—and getting this software to talk to all the other software in the shop.

Printing Outlook 2023—Back In Black

Published February 2, 2023

Digging into the results of our Fall 2022 Business Outlook Survey for the our annual Printing Outlook 2023 report, they showed an industry that is indeed “back in the black.” However, new challenges other than the pandemic plagued print businesses in 2022, and while many of them are easing as we head into 2023, new challenges are on the horizon.

Back In Black: Wide Format 2023—Six Things to Pay Attention to

Published January 19, 2023

Here we are in 2023, and one theme in our Fall 2022 Business Outlook Survey was that, for those print businesses that languished during COVID and its immediate aftermath, 2022 was the year they got back in the black. Still, 2022 was a challenging year in many ways. Not as challenging as 2020, thankfully, but still not an easy year to navigate, and there is no doubt that 2023 will present its own challenges—and opportunities. Here are some things to keep an eye on.

Survey Says! Signage and Display Graphics in 2023

Published January 5, 2023

It’s that time again, time to sift through the data from our annual Business Outlook Survey for the forthcoming Printing Outlook report. As has become an annual tradition, we break out some wide-format specific data to see what trends we can quantitatively gauge.

Kevin Duffy on Vycom’s Display Graphics Recycling Program

Published January 3, 2023

Kevin Duffy, VP of Sales and Marketing at Vycom, provides an update on Vycom’s Recycling Program, through which Vycom collects waste material from the sign and display graphics production process and incorporates it into the company’s decking materials.

The Graying of Wide Format: Where We Stand in 2022/2023

Published December 12, 2022

A look back at the state of wide-format and signage in 2022—and a look ahead to 2023.

Monadnock’s Julie Brannen on Sustainability

Published December 6, 2022

Julie Brannen from Monadnock Paper Mill talks about Monadnock’s long history of sustainability, as well as some of the company’s latest initiatives and new products.

Appropriateness, Sustainability, and Availability: The Three Big Concerns in Choosing Signage Materials

Published November 28, 2022

Whether you are producing printed signage using the inkjet printing technologies we most commonly write about in WhatTheyThink, or constructing signage from traditional building materials, choosing the right material for the right job is perhaps the number-one consideration for any project. At the same time, there are two (at least) factors affecting the choice of materials for signage: availability and sustainability.

It’s All About the Experience: This Year’s Digital Signage Experience Awards Finalists Transform Public Spaces

Published November 17, 2022

Tomorrow, the winners of the Digital Signage Experience Awards—or “DIZZIES”—will be announced, honoring the cutting edge in electronic signs and immersive multimedia experiences. Our friends at SNA Displays had their LED display technologies used by four nominees in the running. We take a look at these digital signage installations.

Epson’s Tim Check on the New SureColor F6470H Dye-Sub Printer

Published November 10, 2022

Epson’s Tim Check talks about the new Pinnacle Award-winning SureColor F6470H dye-sublimation printer, the company’s first six-color 44-inch dye-sub. It offers options for fluorescent inks, orange and violet to expand the color gamut, and light cyan and light magenta for photographers and fine artists.

FESPA Update with Neil Felton

Published November 1, 2022

CEO Neil Felton talks about FESPA and what the federation offers the graphic arts community, and highlights some upcoming events, including FESPA Global Print Expo, to be held to Münich in May 2023.

Vanguard’s Award-Winning Wide-Format Printers in Display at PRINTING United

Published October 27, 2022

Vanguard Digital Printing Systems’ Jim Peterson talks about the wide-format printing equipment the company was demonstrating at last week’s PRINTING United expo, including five Pinnacle Award-winning flatbed and rollfed units.

DALIM Software at PRINTING United

Published October 25, 2022

DALIM Software’s Aristide Zouheir-Kuhnle talks about DALIM’s software solutions on display at last week’s PRINTING United Expo.

A Life in Signage: FASTSIGNS Spring Hill Owner Comes Full Circle

Published October 20, 2022

Ross Cartwright collected signs as a kid, so it was only natural he would end up in the sign business. From local independent Cincinnati sign shop designer to FASTSIGNS corporate trainer, he has now come full circle with his acquisition of FASTSIGNS of Spring Hill, Fla.  

PRINTING United 2022 Opens in Las Vegas!

Published October 20, 2022

PRINTING United Alliance CEO Ford Bowers talks about the first in-person PRINTING United Expo since 2019 and some of the major themes and trends on display at the show.

Cannabis and Signage Regulations: Another “Wild West”

Published October 17, 2022

With cannabis retail locations now popping up in several states, we’re starting to see more and more signage advertising these locations and their products. And just as it is in packaging, regulations pertaining to cannabis signage are still in a “Wild West” stage and, as you can imagine, vary from state to state.

Heritage Printing Sees Success in Signage

Published October 11, 2022

Joe Gass, President and CEO of Heritage Printing, shares his industry journey. The family business started 46 years ago when Joe was 13, and after a stint in the US Navy, he took over the business in 1988. It has grown consistently, and Gass recently launched Heritage Signs & Displays to handle wide-format printing and signage and has launched BlueFire Visual to transform interior spaces.

Interest in Wide-Format Automation Isn’t Always Where You Think It Is

Published October 6, 2022

Last month, WhatTheyThink’s Richard Romano and IDC’s Tim Greene presented a wide-format outlook webinar, and a big topic was automation—but not necessarily where you would think. Here are some highlights of that discussion.

PRINTING United Preview: North American Debuts for Many Wide-Format Products

Published October 4, 2022

PRINTING United is slated for on October 19 to 21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. As you may recall from past events, the emphasis of PRINTING United is on the “united” part, as it has been designed to be the venue where all the disparate “silos” of the industry—commercial, wide format, packaging and labels, textiles, industrial—come together under one very large roof. The following round-up is a sampling of the wide-format introductions you’ll find on the show floor.

SCREEN’s Mark Schlimme on SCREEN’s New User Group

Published October 4, 2022

Mark Schlimme from SCREEN Americas talks about the launch of SCREEN’s new user group, and discusses the advantages for SCREEN customers as well as upcoming events.

Keypoint Intelligence’s Greg Cholmondeley on Renewed Industry Optimism

Published October 3, 2022

Keypoint Intelligence’s Greg Cholmondeley gives us an update on the latest industry trends—including a renewed sense of optimism as we head through 2022 and into 2023.

Jeff Zellmer On New Additions to Kodak’s Digital Printing Portfolio

Published September 29, 2022

Kodak’s Jeff Zellmer talks about some of Kodak’s recent product introductions, including two new Prosper high-speed inkjet presses—the Prosper Ultra 520 and the 1,345-ft./min. Prosper 7000—as well as the Ascend Digital Press, a toner-based machine that also adds embellishments.

Bindtech’s Amazing Binding and Finishing Work

Published September 27, 2022

Bindtech is a postpress service provider that offers a wide range of binding and finishing services for both hardcover and softcover books. Bindtech’s Chad Dillon shows “Simply Bourbon,” a coffee table book that features an elaborate three-piece cover incorporating debossing, foil stamping, and a real piece of laser-etched wood. Bindtech was showing even more exotic binding examples at last August’s Americas Print Show.

Best Practices for Alzheimer’s-Friendly Signage

Published September 22, 2022

September is World Alzheimer’s Month—and September 21 was World Alzheimer’s Day—where people and organizations around the globe raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia. As part of this awareness, UK-based print and branding company Solopress circulated some best practices for designing and producing Alzheimer’s-friendly signage and display graphics.

David Mauro on the Need for Effective Cybersecurity

Published September 21, 2022

David Mauro from All Covered, a provider of cybersecurity services, shares some scary cybersecurity breaches and explains why it’s important for companies to have effective safeguards in place.

Galo Fraga On Fraga Graphic Solutions’ Unique Hiring and Employee Development Strategy

Published September 14, 2022

Galo Fraga, CEO of Fraga Graphic Solutions, talks about his company and the proactive approach he takes to hiring, cross-training, and promoting employees from within, as well as the value of the recent Americas Print Show.

What Do We Talk About When We Talk about Interactive Signage?

Published September 12, 2022

“Interactive signage” is changing from simply providing information to creating immersive experiences. At the same time, the actual mechanism by which a user interacts with a display is changing from simple physical interaction to electronic interaction.

All Arise! Americas Print Show Hints at the Future of Events

Published September 7, 2022

The inaugural Americas Print Show was held August 17–19, in Columbus, Ohio, and while it had some hiccups, the general consensus, from exhibitors and attendees, was that it was a worthwhile event. What does this tell us about the future of industry events?

Bill Farquharson Talks About the Americas Print Show

Published August 31, 2022

Bill Farquharson, Head of Community for The Sales Vault, talks about the positive conversations he had with attendees at the Americas Print Show, held two weeks ago in Columbus, Ohio.

Ricoh’s Brian Balow on the Inaugural Americas Print Show

Published August 29, 2022

Brian Balow, VP, Integrated Production Solutions, Ricoh, talks about the inaugural Americas Print Show, held August 17 to 19 in Columbus, Ohio, and Ricoh’s involvement in the event.

ISA’s Upcoming Sign Manufacturing Day Offers Sign Businesses Employee Recruitment Opportunities

Published August 25, 2022

On October 7, sign companies will have an excellent opportunity to potentially attract new and young talent to their businesses. Every year, on the International Sign Association’s (ISA) Sign Manufacturing Day, participating sign shops host open houses, facility tours, and hands-on demonstrations for students to show them the opportunities that exist in the sign business.

Americas Print Show Kicks Off in Columbus, Ohio!

Published August 18, 2022

WhatTheyThink's Richard Romano speaks with Americas Print Show President Jim Cunningham on the opening day of the show in Columbus Ohio Hear Jim talk about how the show came about, what's happening in Columbus, and plans for the future.

Looking Down: A Floor Graphics Application Gallery

Published August 17, 2022

In this photo gallery, we highlight some recent floor graphics projects that display graphics providers have produced. These application galleries are intended to serve as “food for thought” in developing creative applications for clients.

Direct-to-Plane Printing?

Published August 11, 2022

The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has developed a prototype robotic inkjet printing system that can print directly onto three-dimensional surfaces—specifically, airplanes. Richard Romano spoke to SwRI Senior Research Engineer Branson Brockschmidt about the project. 

Bucket List: Signarama Downtown Louisville (Ky.) Wins Best in Show at Signarama Sign Awards

Published August 8, 2022

Sign franchise Signarama’s Best in Show award this year went to Signarama Downtown Louisville (Ky.) for a project that involved designing, constructing, and wrapping a giant KFC bucket for Louisville-born rapper Jack Harlow.

Digital Signage in the Print World

Published August 8, 2022

Richard Romano talks to Fred Collins of Mood Media about the benefits of digital signage for print and sign business customers, as well as the revenue opportunities for print and sign providers.

Amado Lara on New Additions to Roland's Wide-Format Printer Portfolio

Published August 4, 2022

Richard Romano talks to Amado Lara, Director of Sales for Roland DGA Corporation, about some of the company's recent wide-format product releases, and how the company has been helping customers stay productive amidst the recent supply chain disruptions.

SGP Summit: Sustainability Is a Whole New Ball Game

Published July 28, 2022

Last week, the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) hosted a day-long Sustainability Summit at Boston’s historic Fenway Park, with sessions ran the gamut from a list of easy steps for printers to reduce their environmental impact, to a detailed exploration of carbon footprint calculation, to case studies, to roundtable discussions, and ample time for networking. Richard Romano reports from this historic ballpark.

Tales from the Top Shops Database: How Have Print Applications Changed Over the Past Decade?

Published July 12, 2022

We recently wrapped up our Top 100 Commercial Printers for 2022 and, since we have been conducting this survey for more than 15 years, mining the database of past results can provide some valuable info about how the industry has changed—and how it might continue to change. In the inaugural installment of this series, we look at how print applications have changed over the past decade.

The Different Dimensions of 3D Printing and Signage

Published June 30, 2022

“3D printing” is one of those terms that can mean different things to different people. In the signage industry, 3D printing is often referred to as “2+D”—using UV flatbeds to layer ink into three-dimensional textures—and braille lettering for ADA signage. And new units are facilitating the process.

Sustainability and Wide-Format: It’s Not Just Materials

Published June 16, 2022

For many years, the sustainability discussion in wide-format printing has centered on ink technologies but, like elsewhere in the printing industry, other, more pressing issues have come to the fore, typically centered around overall product use and end of life concerns. Richard Romano takes a closer look.

David Lopez on Epson’s Extensive Portfolio

Published June 15, 2022

Epson’s David Lopez talks about some recent Epson product announcements that were on display at the ISA Sign Expo, including the company’s first UV flatbed, a resin-ink printer for soft signage and other textile applications, and a variety of other wide-format printers.

The Top 100 Small Commercial Printers

Published June 13, 2022

For the second straight year, Strategic Factory is the WhatTheyThink | Printing News Top Small Commercial Printer. Read on for the complete Top 100, as well as a profile of the winning companies.

Pane Points: A Window Graphics Photo Gallery

Published June 9, 2022

In this photo gallery, we highlight some recent window graphics projects that display graphics providers have produced. These application galleries are intended to serve as “food for thought” in developing creative applications for clients.

Good Help Is Getting Harder to Find—and Keep, Part 2: ISA Wages & Benefits Report for the Sign Industry

Published June 2, 2022

Last month, the International Sign Association (ISA) hosted a webinar that summarized the results of their 2021 Wage & Benefits Report for the Sign, Graphics and Visual Communications Industry. We take a look at some of the top-line results.

Buffalo Canvas Produces Outdoor Display to Raise Awareness of PTSD

Published May 26, 2022

An installation at Buffalo, N.Y.’s Central Library features a series of photographs taken by Armed Services veterans. With a special focus on spreading awareness of the struggles veterans face with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), The Odyssey Project includes photographs from 42 veterans, printed and installed by Buffalo Canvas, a display graphics and signage provider.

Annual Sign Franchise Review 2022

Published May 19, 2022

Like the print franchise networks, the sign franchises struggled, like many businesses, in 2020. They have bounced back almost to 2019 levels and are seeing good growth going into 2022. Managing editor Richard Romano provides our annual sign franchise review.

Kevin Duffy on Vycom’s Recycling Program for Display Graphics

Published May 19, 2022

Kevin Duffy, VP of Sales and Marketing for Vycom, talks about the Vycom Recycling Program, designed to take back and recycle printed and unprinted PVC and acrylic sheets, and PE materials, as well as scraps and drops from finishing and fabricating. The recovered plastic is then recycled back into Vycom’s residential and commercial products. Vycom had set up collection bins throughout the show floor at the recent ISA Sign Expo for the recycling of materials used during show demonstrations.

FESPA Global Print Expo 2022 Comes to Berlin: A Conversation with Michael Ryan

Published May 12, 2022

The FESPA Global Print Expo 2022 will take place from May 31 to June 3, 2022, at the Messe Berlin in Germany. The event is Europe’s leading exhibition for screen, wide-format, and textile printing. WhatTheyThink spoke with Michael Ryan, Head of Global Development & FESPA GPE, FESPA, to preview the show and some prevailing trends and applications attendees can expect to see in Berlin.

ISA Sign Expo 2022: Welcome Back, My Friends…

Published May 10, 2022

After a three-year pandemic-induced hiatus, the ISA Sign Expo returned live in Atlanta last week—much to everyone’s delight. WhatTheyThink was at the event, which seemed less like a trade show and more like a family reunion.

FASTSIGNS/Wide Format & Signage Project of the Year: FASTSIGNS York (Pa.) Scores a Touchdown with Shippensburg University’s Football Facility

Published May 2, 2022

The winner of this year’s FASTSIGNS/Wide Format & Signage Project of the Year is FASTSIGNS York (Pa.), whose major rebranding of the Shippensburg University football team’s training facility caught the judges’ eyes.

ISA Rocks! Sign Expo Returns in Person with Next Week’s Atlanta Show

Published April 28, 2022

It’s been a long three years since the International Sign Expo was last held in person. 2021’s virtual event was a success, but there’s nothing like in-person networking, demos, educational sessions, and parties. Here’s a preview of next week’s show.

Up with Higher Education: Finding Signage Opportunities in Academic Applications

Published April 27, 2022

The higher-education market can be a lucrative one for sign and graphics providers, and there is no shortage of display graphics needs. Some are obvious, others less so, but finding them can provide many new opportunities. Here are some ideas.

Six Questions for eProductivity Software

Published April 25, 2022

eProductivity Software (ePS) may be a new name, but their software solutions for packaging and print have been driving the industry for more than 30 years. This article reintroduces ePS to the market.

A Post-Pandemic Focus on Sustainability: A Conversation with Marci Kinter

Published April 21, 2022

Post-pandemic, the industry has been seeing a renewed interest in sustainability issues. In part 1 of two-part interview, I talk with Marci Kinter, Vice President of Government & Regulatory Affairs at PRINTING United Alliance and Secretary & Vice Chair Technical for the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), about the current state of sustainability, the new criteria for SGP certification, and how SGP certification can attract not just print buyers, but print employees, as well.  

Image360 Plymouth Brings Art and Experience to Health Care Facilities

Published March 24, 2022

Image360 Plymouth unique niche—art-based experiential graphics for health care facilities—has opened the door to some unique projects, and the center is always looking to push the boundaries. 

The State of Print in Academic Libraries

Published March 22, 2022

A new Library Journal report on the state of academic libraries finds that COVID accelerated the downsizing of print collections as budgets were reallocated to expanding electronic resources.

Image360 Fairfax Takes Pride in Its Work

Published February 24, 2022

Image360 Fairfax (Va.) designed, printed, and installed Pride-themed graphics for Fairfax’s Mosaic District, a high-end mixed-use community—images that were deemed highly “Instagrammable,” an increasingly important consideration when designing display graphics.

Printing Outlook 2022: Back to the Future or Groundhog Day?

Published February 21, 2022

Digging into the results of our Fall 2021 Business Outlook Survey for the our annual Printing Outlook 2022report, they showed an industry that has largely recovered from 2020, but faces some new challenges and some older challenges now writ large. We’re not exactly back to normal, but we’re closer than we thought possible in a long time. This article previews the just-released Printing Outlook 2022 report.

Arms of Love: New Automation Options for Wide Format

Published February 14, 2022

It took some time, but automation is gradually creeping into wide-format printing, especially on the flatbed side. A templated approach to projects, software, and even robotics are bringing new efficiencies to wide-format workflows.

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