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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 101-200 of 1211 articles

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.

Apocalypse Soon? Sign Code Case Now Before the Supreme Court Could Forever Alter Sign Regulations—and the Sign Industry’s Business Model

Published February 3, 2022

In December, the International Sign Association (ISA) held a webinar that rounded up some of the recent sign code-related court cases. The one currently pending before the Supreme Court—City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Texas—could have cataclysmic implications for the sign industry. The webinar offered some potential outcome scenarios and what the decision would mean for sign producers.

Good Help Is Getting Harder to Find—and Keep: Print Industries Affiliates’ Latest Wage & Benefits Survey

Published January 31, 2022

Last month, Print Industries Affiliates hosted a webinar that presented the results of their annual printing industry Wages & Benefits Survey. This article provides some of the top-level findings, some of the short- and long-term implications of today’s employment situation, and strategies for coping with these new challenges.

Survey Says! Wide-Format in 2022

Published January 20, 2022

Every year round about this time, as we are going through the data from our annual Business Outlook Survey for the forthcoming Printing Outlook report, Richard Romano breaks out some wide-format-specific data to see what trends we can quantitatively gauge—and, specifically, what new application areas look the most promising.

Let’s Try This Again: Wide Format 2022—Seven Things to Pay Attention to

Published January 6, 2022

Almost against all odds, here we are in 2022, and it’s hard not to get the sense that this is our third attempt at starting 2020, building on the successes of 2019 before things went south. As we head into the new year, here are some of the topics Wide Format section editor Richard Romano has been following as they relate to wide-format printing—and, specifically, the market for wide-format printing.

Wide Format and Signage: Demand- and Technology-Side Drivers for 2022

Published November 17, 2021

As we head into 2022, we look back at some demographic trends that could prove favorable for wide-format and signage providers, as well as offer some technology trends to keep an eye out for.  

Moving Pictures: Automotive Wrap Applications Can Involve More than Cars

Published November 15, 2021

A photo gallery of recent vehicle wrap projects for private, commercial, and even aquatic vehicles.

Driven to Distraction: Display Graphics and Signage in the Automotive Industry

Published October 26, 2021

When we think of display graphics in the automotive industry, the first thing that springs to mind is vehicle graphics. But display graphics are taking on new roles as a subset of experiential or environmental graphics for auto dealer showrooms. As the auto sales experience is changing post-COVID (as are so many things), and more auto sales move online to sites like Carvana, display graphics are also in a state of flux.

Big “L” or Little “l”—Either Way, Companies Love Latex

Published October 18, 2021

Since 2008, latex printers have offered a highly flexible alternative to solvent printers, as they could print on a wide variety of materials, including textiles. In this feature, we look at some users of latex doing creative work for wallcoverings, display graohics, and...voting boxes?

FUJIFILM ’s Greg Balch on FUJIFILM Integrated Inkjet Solutions

Published September 30, 2021

In this video, sponsored by FUJIFILM, Greg Balch, GM & VP of FUJIFILM Integrated Inkjet Solutions, talks about the recently launched FUJIFILM Integrated Inkjet Solutions, designed to help customers develop bespoke printing solutions.

Sign Code Crackdown: Post-Pandemic Life Returns Enforcement of Signage Regulations

Published September 13, 2021

Two recent court cases—one in Tennessee and one in Texas—have created new wrinkles in exterior sign code regulations. Meanwhile, communities are trying to apply EMC regulations to internally illuminated signs, and authorities are returning to stricter enforcement of regulations on temporary signage that had been relaxed during the pandemic.

New Campaign Uses Signage to Promote Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety

Published August 17, 2021

Bikeatoga, a non-profit organization that promotes bicycling and bicycle safety in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has launched a lawn signage campaign to help prevent vehicle-bicycle accidents.

Missing the Signs—Post-Pandemic Signage Largely MIA as Everyone Returns to Normal

Published August 3, 2021

Navigating the post-pandemic world in the early days of the reopening could be confusing, as there was little signage that indicated a particular location’s policies regarding mask-wearing, etc. Still, some demand for post-pandemic signage remains, although the major opportunities for sign and display graphics producers were mostly fleeting.

Beyond Braille: The ABCs of ADA Signage

Published August 2, 2021

Wayfinding and other kinds of interior graphics are good opportunities for signage and display graphics providers. However, it is essential to have an understanding of the requirements for signage to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)—and how some of those requirements have changed post-COVID.

Strategic Factory's Keith Miller on Strategies for Success

Published July 15, 2021

Richard Romano talks to Keith Miller, President of Strategic Factory, this year's top small commercial printer, in this excerpt from our recent "Top 100 Small Commercial Printers" LunchLearn Webinar.

Stick it There: A Consumables Applications Photo Gallery

Published July 13, 2021

Variable-temperature graphics installation. Vaccine site graphics. Outside art exhibits. Home décor. Superbowl graphics from the Before Times. In this photo gallery, we highlight some recent projects that users have produced using a variety of consumables types, from labels, to vinyls, to fabrics.

Sharp/NEC and Avery Dennison Team Up for New Digital Window Graphics

Published June 29, 2021

ActiveScene is a projection system from Sharp/NEC combined with an “active” window film from Avery Dennison that can turn any window into dynamic digital signage.

Top 100 Small Commercial Printshops for 2021

Published June 22, 2021

Each year, WhatTheyThink | Printing News invites small commercial print business owners to participate in our Top 100 Shops Survey. In this article, we look at the results of this year’s survey, and profile this year’s winners—including #1 Top Shop, Strategic Factory.

Vycom Expands its PVC and Acrylic Recycling Program

Published June 15, 2021

Vycom (and its parent, The AZEK Company) launched its Recycling Take Back Program in 2019, accepting hard-to-recycle materials like PVC and other materials used for signage and display graphics and reusing them in decking products, diverting millions of pounds of plastic from landfills. The company has expanded the number of recycling plants, has been adding customers, and is renewing its outreach efforts.

And the Awards Go To…For this Year’s FASTSIGNS Project of the Year Award Winners, It’s All about Relationships

Published June 9, 2021

FASTSIGNS of Louisville (Ky.) took top honors at this year’s FASTSIGNS/Wide Format & Signage Project of the Year Awards. Second place was claimed by FASTSIGNS of Martinsburg (W.V.), and third by FASTSIGNS of Puerto Rico. Let’s take a close look at this year’s winners.

Blowin’ in the Wind: Banner Finishing Is About More than Aesthetics

Published May 25, 2021

Even moderate winds can be destructive to outdoor graphics if they have been insufficiently reinforced. And while taping, sewing, or welding banner edges may not be the sexiest finishing techniques in the world, they are important considerations when producing outdoor graphics that are designed look good as well as last.

This Dubs for You: A Flatbed Applications Photo Gallery

Published May 11, 2021

Cornhole boards, barn wood, hand sanitizer stations, 3D effects, and acrylic on glass. In this photo gallery, we highlight some recent projects that users have produced using flatbed UV printing equipment.

Sign Franchise Review 2021

Published April 28, 2021

In WhatTheyThink/Printing News’ Annual Sign Franchise Review, we take a look at how the major sign franchises fared in the past year, how they managed the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they plan to make up lost ground in 2021.

ISA Sign Expo Virtual Aimed to Foster Real-Time Online Networking

Published April 12, 2021

Last week, ISA staged its Sign Expo 2021 Virtual, which succeded in replicating, perhaps as best as possible, the feel of being at a live event and networking with colleagues. Here is a quick rundown of the first day.

Make it Move: New Challenges for Dynamic Digital Signage

Published April 5, 2021

The challenges of the last year may have slowed some progress in the expansion of dynamic digital signage (DDS), but it has, at the same time, opened up some new opportunities for DDS technologies—especially as they become less expensive and higher quality.

ISA Quarterly Economic Report Looks at the Top 10 Economic Trends for 2021 and Their Impact on the Sign Industry

Published March 16, 2021

A recent ISA webinar looked at how the sign and display markets fared in Q4 2020, and offered up some forecasts for 2021, which IHS Markit analysts see as a “transitional year” from COVID to post-COVID while 2022 will see the rebirth of the economy, employment, and the industry. 

Vax Populi: Now that COVID Vaccinations Are Underway, What Does That Mean for Display Graphics?

Published March 11, 2021

Signage has almost always been one of the most essential means of communicating important messages, which was why wide-format and sign shops early on in the pandemic were considered “essential services.” Health and safety messaging was the killer app for display graphics in 2020, and that is going to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Here’s what to look for.

Executive Q&A: John Mills, CEO of Xaar

Published February 23, 2021

John Mills, CEO of Xaar, talks about the company’s rebranding strategy, the new ImagineX printhead platform, and the “new Xaar.”

Printing Outlook 2021: Profitability, Planned Investments, Hiring

Published February 17, 2021

WhatTheyThink’s Fall 2020 Business Outlook Survey asked print business executives and owners about their 2020 business conditions, business challenges, biggest perceived opportunities, and investment plans, as well as opinions of virtual events and their 2020 hiring plans. The results of this survey are included in WhatTheyThink’s Printing Outlook 2021 special report. Here are some of the top-level findings from that report.

Main Routs: Options for Adding Traditional Signmaking Capabilities

Published February 16, 2021

An introduction to one of the essential tools for traditional signmaking: the CNC router.

Pre- and Post-COVID Trends Drive Changes in Wide-Format Print Software

Published February 11, 2021

The COVID pandemic has accelerated some older—and created other new—trends an demands for automation and other wide-format printing software.

HP Introduces New Latex and PageWide XL Portfolios

Published February 4, 2021

HP updates its Latex roll-to-roll portfolio with four new units that bring white ink printing, new inks and printheads, and a renewed commitment to sustainability. Additionally, HP has launched a new Latex Print and Cut line and refreshed its PageWide XL units for the technical printing markets.

A Night at the Opera with Vancouver’s Still Creek Press

Published January 19, 2021

Founded more than 30 years ago as a business forms printer, Vancouver’s Still Creek Press has adapted and evolved over the years, adding wide-format printing capabilities and other products and services. A recent project saw the company come to the rescue when the University of British Columbia Opera decided to stage a virtual production.

Wide-Format ’21: Reasons to Be Over-Optimistic

Published January 4, 2021

As we enter 2021, we have reasons to be optimistic, maybe even over-optimistic. So let’s put the old year behind us (to the extent that we can), jump feet-first into the new one, and resolve never to use terms like “the new normal” or “pivot” ever again. Instead, let’s look at some of the substantial new opportunities for wide-format graphics and signage. What can we be over-optimistic about?

K, Then: What’s In Store for Retail

Published December 17, 2020

“Retail” embodies vastly different kinds of businesses, all of which have fared differently during the pandemic. As a result, rather than V-shaped, perhaps we should think of it as a K-shaped recovery. But what does that mean for retail graphics?

How It Started and How It’s Going: The Wide-Format Year in Review

Published December 15, 2020

A recap of the top wide-format and signage trends and new products that hit the market in 2020.

ISA Quarterly Economic Report Finds Improvement in Q3, but Recovery Is Still a Long Ways Off

Published December 14, 2020

According to the Q3 2020 ISA Quarterly Economic Report, it’s going to be a long, hard slog to full recovery, and not just domestically. 2021 will be an improvement, but don’t expect the “new normal” (whatever that is) until 2022.

Epson Launches Its First UV Flatbed Printer Series

Published December 1, 2020

Epson fills out its wide-format portfolio with the SureColor V7000 Series, the company’s first UV flatbed. The debut unit is the 4 x 8-foot, 10-color SureColor V7000.

A Matter of Degrees: Temperature Detection Systems and Signage

Published November 10, 2020

As we enter “the new normal,” temperature detection systems and signage may become important elements of compliance and liability for businesses. This article looks at Altoros, a veteran professional IT services and software provider that has entered the temperature signage market.

Moving Messages: Vehicle Graphics Are an Effective Advertising Platform

Published November 9, 2020

A lot of shops have been doing vehicle graphics for many years, but even more have mot net explored the opportunities to be had. And as with virtually everything else, the COVID pandemic has the potential to alter the market for vehicle graphics.

Fan Club: Ricoh Helps Brings Virtual Spectators to UT Game Day

Published November 3, 2020

In the face of prohibitions on live fan attendance at sporting events, both college and pro sports teams are filling empty stadiums with printed spectators. Read how Ricoh helped two sports programs take advantage of wide-format printing to connect with fans while also helping raise money for health initiatives.

The Show Must Go On(line): The PRINTING United Digital Experience Kicks Off with Wide Format

Published October 27, 2020

Yesterday, the PRINTING United Digital Experience kicked off with a day’s worth of sessions and product demos surrounding the world of Graphics and Wide Format: Hardware & Consumables. Richard Romano “attended” Day 1 and reports on the four sessions.

Epson Launches New SureColor R-Series Printers for Signage; Resin-Based Inks Take on Latex

Published October 26, 2020

Epson is expanding its footprint in the signage market with the new SureColor R-Series—two 64-inch roll-to-roll printers that utilize a resin-based ink technology that is intended as an alternative to latex.

Carpe Signum: Signs Come Home

Published October 13, 2020

The COVID pandemic has wrought many changes in the printing industry in general and the sign industry in particular, but one interesting development has been an increase in residential signage. The market for this kind of signage may not disappear once the pandemic does (if the pandemic ever does)—and it can prove to be a lucrative opportunity worth seizing.

A Changing Environment: Environmental Graphics Evolve with the Pandemic

Published October 5, 2020

Once describing the intersection of signage and décor, the application area of environmental graphics now, in the age COVID, has come to embody new kinds of signage and display graphics—and are even moving into the home.

ISA Quarterly Economic Report Forecasts Long Road to Recovery

Published September 28, 2020

According to the Q2 2020 ISA Quarterly Economic Report, the COVID crisis accelerated some trends both for print and digital signage that had started to emerge pre-crisis. The sign industry isn’t expected to recover to 2018 or 2019 levels until 2022.  

What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Industrial Printing?

Published September 16, 2020

The definition of “industrial printing” has been changing, especially with the advent of inkjet printing, which is opening up all new “industrial” applications. This article looks at the state of industrial printing today, and the various applications that comprise it. 

Velox Brings Mass-Production to Digital Direct-to-Shape Printing

Published September 8, 2020

Velox specializes in industrial-scale direct-to-shape digital printing—or, as the company calls it, “decorating”—predominantly on tubes, aerosols, and other cylindrical items. We take a look at the capabilities of Velox’s technology.

Canon Solutions America Launches Fifth-Generation Arizona Series UV Flatbed Printer

Published September 2, 2020

Yesterday, Canon Solutions America announced the new Arizona 2300 Series wide-format flatbed printer. The new series is built on a novel approach to media handling that eliminates zones, masking, and taping, helping speed job changeover and reduce operator intervention.

All Projects Great and Small: Phil Fox Takes Signs By Tomorrow Fort Worth to New Heights of Signage

Published September 1, 2020

Offering a diverse array of applications, from banners and feather flags, to vehicle wraps, to ADA signage, to channel letters 30 stories above the ground, Signs By Tomorrow Fort Worth has grown dramatically since Phil Fox bought the franchise in early 2018. An emphasis on marketing and versatility have been the keys to growth—even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Xanté’s InfoMark Finds Religion...Or Vice Versa

Published August 25, 2020

Last year, Xanté had launched InfoMark, a way of linking supplementary and complementary digital and multimedia assets to print media by means of a four- or five- digit code. Since it was launched, InfoMark has evolved, and extenuating circumstances have led to its growing adoption in some markets that Xanté had not originally considered. We caught up with Xanté president Robert Ross.

Benson Integrated Marketing Solutions Creates W2P Store for COVID Signage and Safety Materials

Published August 4, 2020

Benson Integrated Marketing Solutions offers a wide variety of small- and wide-format printing, signage, apparel, and promotional materials to the multi-family home real estate market. Early adopters of web-to-print, Benson provides individual B2B sites for customers through which they can order customized materials, and has recently launched a B2C site for COVID-related products.

Wide-Format, Signage, and Apparel Technology Update

Published July 27, 2020

This feature rounds up some of the highlights of our Technology Outlook article and webinar series specific to wide-format, signage, and textiles and apparel, offering up some product releases and trends from the first half of 2020.

Mimaki in 3D

Published July 21, 2020

Mimaki's recently introduced 3D printer models are giving commercial printers an entry into 3D printing—and are finding applications in some unique market niches.

The Factory NYC Takes Experiential Graphics to the Next Dimension

Published July 14, 2020

Brooklyn-based fabrication shop The Factory NYC is taking experiential graphics and retail displays to the next level with its new Massivit 3D printer, helping make big brands even bigger.

SpeedPro Launches InfoLnkX for Contactless Restaurant Menus—and More

Published July 7, 2020

In development even before COVID-19 hit, InfoLnkX by SpeedPro is an NFC-based chip that can be programmed to deliver digital, contactless menus to patrons’ phones right from restaurant signage or table decals. But the uses for InfoLnkX go far beyond restaurant applications.

2020 Top 100 Small Commercial Printers

Published June 24, 2020

Each year, Printing News invites small commercial print business owners to participate in our Top 100 Shops Survey. This article presents the results of that survey, this year’s Top 100 small commercial printers, and profiles of the Top 6.

TempDefend—Dynamic Digital Signage with Thermal Detection Enables “Protection as a Service”

Published June 22, 2020

Last week, 22Miles—a developer of digital signage and wayfinding systems—launched TempDefend, a highly customizable “protection as a service” solution that integrates dynamic digital signage with thermal cameras to scan visitors to a business or other establishment, generating an alert if the visitor’s temperature exceeds 99.5°.

Ashland Adds New Textures to Labels

Published June 10, 2020

Amy Gran, LA&C Radcure Tech Service & Product Development Chemist at Ashland, talks about Ashland’s energy-curing adhesives and coatings for the food packaging markets, some of the new product trends coming to market—such as tactile materials like soft-touch coatings, sand textures, and raises images—and the advantages of UV curing for these kinds of applications.

Fine Dining: How Print Businesses Can Help Restaurants Reopen

Published June 9, 2020

As businesses start to reopen, they will have post-COVID print needs beyond safety and distancing signage. To follow up last week’s look at the current signage environment, Richard Romano identifies some of the unique print needs reopening restaurants are likely to have to complement their signage.

The Coming Signs of Summer: The Need for Post-COVID Signage

Published June 2, 2020

Sign shops were essential businesses when the crisis first hit and they will continue to be essential businesses as the country starts to reopen. Post-COVID signage will be important in both the short term and the long term, and there is no reason why it can’t be creatively designed, professionally printed, and seamlessly integrated into a business’s pre-existing signage and branding. Let’s have a look at what some local businesses have been doing signage-wise.

A Tale of Two Shows: drupa and ISA 2020 Event Plans Disrupted Over COVID-19

Published June 1, 2020

Two of the most anticipated industry events—Messe Dusseldorf’s drupa 2020 and ISA’s Sign Expo 2020—were postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. We spoke with the organizers of these events about their rationale for the new dates, the expected impact on the events themselves, and the impact of the pandemic on the printing industry.

Cutting Remarks: Finishing Systems Offer New Tools, Greater Productivity, and More Application Options

Published May 28, 2020

A rundown of some of the new tools and features that have come to cutting tables for wide-format finishing. Laser finishing systems also offer unique options for cutting and etching.

Marci Kinter on the Increased Importance of Sustainability in Packaging

Published May 20, 2020

Marci Kinter, Vice President, Government Affairs, SGIA (now Printing United Alliance) talks about the increased importance of sustainability and the circular economy to packaging producers, brand owners, and consumer products companies.

Come Sail Away: PhotoSails Takes Billboard Advertising Out to Sea

Published May 19, 2020

The thought of hopping on a sailboat and heading out to sea is an appealing one at the moment and thanks to a company called PhotoSails, sailing enthusiasts who buy their own boats can defray the cost of their investment.

EFI’s Josh Samuel on UV Inks for Packaging

Published May 11, 2020

Josh Samuel, Director of Ink Development for EFI, talks about ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) curable inks and their advantages for use in packaging printing, especially corrugated.

FASTSIGNS of Saratoga Springs Flies High with New Maggie McFly’s Location

Published May 7, 2020

FASTSIGNS of Saratoga Springs won the Grand Prize at the Wide Format & Signage/FASTSIGNS Awards, held during the annual FASTSIGNS International Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., back in January. The six-year-old franchise won for interior and exterior signage for Maggie McFly’s ninth location at Albany’s Crossgates Mall.

2019 Annual Sign Franchise Review

Published April 28, 2020

Our annual review of the sign franchises finds that employee challenges and competition from commercial print businesses top the list of challenges, while expanding the range of applications tops the list of opportunities. In all, these four organizations generated $926 million in revenues in 2019.

Rockin’ the Boat: Applied Graphics Bring Dazzle to the High Seas

Published April 21, 2020

Have you ever tried installing high-end graphics on the hull of a boat while floating on a raft? Meet LuxWrap, a British company that has carved out a decidedly unique niche: high-end yacht graphics. They recently gold-foil-wrapped a yacht for hair extension brand Bellami—a project that was beset with all kinds of challenges.

Signs Get Smart: Dynamic Digital Signage Moves in Unusual Directions

Published April 7, 2020

The buzz around dynamic digital signage (DDS) may have died down, but DDS has continued to evolve and move in unique directions—even to the user’s own mobile phone.

Wide Format and Signage: Essential Services in the Time of Crisis

Published April 2, 2020

How are wide-format and signage providers coping with the COVID-19 crisis? Some are playing important roles in providing safety signage, while others still serve businesses that are classified as “essential.” In the first of a series of “check in” articles, we look at how the crisis has impacted the wide-format and signage market.

Executive Q&A: Brand Print Americas

Published March 31, 2020

Last year, the Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech) teamed up with the Tarsus Group, the organizers of Labelexpo, to launch a new show called Brand Print Americas. The inaugural event will be co-located with Labelexpo Americas, September 15–17 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, in Rosemont, Ill. We spoke with Andy Thomas-Emans, Strategic Director of Tarsus Labels, Packaging and Brand Print Group, about the new show and how it complements Labelexpo.

Covering All Bases: Applied Graphics Keep Evolving

Published March 24, 2020

As the options for applied graphics proliferate, it can be a challenge for print service providers to keep up, and yet it has never been more important to understand how a material will perform both on press and on its intended surface. As a result, consumables manufactures are playing a greater consultative role.

High-Energy Discussions at RadTech UV + EB Conference

Published March 17, 2020

Last week we attended RadTech’s 2020 UV+EB Technology Conference in Orlando. Richard Romano reports on some of the new trends in energy-cured inks for packaging, 3D printing, and how UV technology is helping combat the coronavirus.

RadTech UV+EB Technology Expo & Conference Takes Place in Orlando

Published March 12, 2020

Eileen Weber, President of RadTech, talks about this year’s RadTech UV+EB Technology Expo & Conference 2020, which took place this week in Orlando, Fla. She also discusses some of RadTech’s upcoming events and initiatives.

Upcoming Sign Expo Offers Hands-On Educational Opportunities

Published March 10, 2020

As of this morning, the ISA Sign Expo 2020 is still a go. This year, the show heads to Orlando April 1–4, with four days of educational sessions and its continuously expanding exhibition floor. We spoke with Brandon Hensley, ISA’s Chief Operating Officer, and Iain Mackenzie, ISA’s VP of Meetings & Events, for a preview of this year’s show.

New Owner Greg Ellison Gets Up to Speed at SpeedPro Denver

Published March 5, 2020

Last November, Greg Ellison took over as the new owner of the well-established SpeedPro Denver. Coming from outside the printing industry, he found the learning curve has been steep but enjoyable.

Printing Outlook 2020—Happy Days Are Here Again?

Published March 2, 2020

WhatTheyThink’s annual printing industry outlook report, including the results of our Fall 2019 Business Outlook survey, is now available in our Report Store. This article offers some of the top-level results from that survey.

Cracking the QR Code: Xanté Goes Beyond Print with InfoMark

Published February 25, 2020

Xanté has launched an alternative to the QR code called InfoMark that lets writers and other content creators “attach” multimedia elements to print via a unique four-digit code. We gave InfoMark a spin to see how it worked.

Ghent Workgroup Launches New Specification for Sign and Display

Published February 18, 2020

Wide-format printing often involves a phenomenon called “apparent resolution,” which can be quite different than a print’s actual resolution. An image designed to be viewed up close, like a photograph in a magazine or direct mail piece, will have a different apparent resolution—and thus resolution requirement—than one designed to be viewed from a long ways away. Taking apparent resolution into account was the raison d’êtreof a new specification for sign and display graphics just released by the Ghent Workgroup.

The Print Distributor Market Changes with the Times

Published February 17, 2020

Technology and a changing print product mix drive changes in the distributor–client relationship. We spoke with Matt Bruno and Nathan Goldberg of the PSDA to get a bead on how the non-asset-based print sales market has evolved.

For Phoenix’s Custom Graphix, It’s a Banner Day

Published January 28, 2020

Since its founding in 2002, Phoenix, Ariz.’s Custom Graphix Signworks has cornered the market on that most commoditized of wide-format applications: banners. We spoke with Mladen Mike Mirkovic, founder and principal of Custom Graphix.

Direct Objects: Thinking—and Printing—Outside the Box

Published January 21, 2020

One of the most exciting growth areas in print today is direct-to-object (DtO) printing, but challenges of ink adhesion, transport, and feeding abound. I spoke with Peter Baldwin, Director of Marketing for East Dorset, Vt.’s Engineered Printing Solutions (EPS), about some of the issues—and opportunities—involved in direct-to-object printing.

Good Chemistry: Wide-Format Inks Continue to Evolve—Part 1 of 2

Published January 14, 2020

Whether it be for production inkjet, packaging, wide format, or industrial printing, inks are evolving at a rapid pace to enable the fast-growing range of print applications. This article will offer a look at some of the recent developments specific to wide-format inks—and even more specific to solvent/eco-solvent and UV inks.

SGP Adds a New Certification and Community Events for 2020

Published January 8, 2020

The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) is complementing its Printer certification with a Supplier certification, and in 2020 will be ramping up its outreach and education efforts with regional “lunch and learn” forums. We caught up with SGP’s Marci Kinter to talk about what’s new with SGP as we enter a new decade.

Executive Q&A: Massivit 3D’s Erez Zimerman

Published December 16, 2019

Lod, Israel’s Massivit 3D was founded in 2013, and in the past six years has made a substantial impact with its 3D printing technology. Erez Zimerman joined Massivit 3D four years ago as VP of Global Sales, and was appointed CEO in May 2019. We caught up with Zimerman at the recent PRINTING United show in Dallas.

Wide-Format 2019: Where Are We Now?

Published December 10, 2019

As 2019 winds down, we take a look at the current state of wide-format printing. Where have we come, where are we now, and where are we going?

CapStone’s AutoViri Automates Mailing

Published December 5, 2019

Troy Power, cofounder of CapStone Technologies, talks about the company’s Red Hot Technology Award-winning AutoViri robotic solutions for automating mailing workflows. AutoViri helps connect the physical workflow to the digital workflow—and can save customers money on mailing costs by being plugged into the latest USPS regulations.

Ricoh’s 5th Color Lab Focuses on Design

Published December 2, 2019

Ricoh’s Heather Poulin highlights Ricoh presence at PRINTING United, focusing on the customer experience. In addition to its continuous-feed inkjet and wide-format hardware offerings, Ricoh was featuring its 5th Color Lab, showing customers how to design for new printing technologies, how to manage color, and how to use ColorLogic to print metallics.

Know the Signs: A Non-Print Signage Primer

Published November 25, 2019

Print businesses have been expanding into signage by leaps and bounds—but print signage is only the tip of the iceberg. “Signs” comprise a lot of different manufacturing products and materials.

The RMX Network: United They Grow

Published November 21, 2019

The RMX Network is an alliance of more than 100 independent North American wide-format print service providers. It’s not a franchise, but rather an affiliation of like-minded companies that band together to support each other and help solve problems. We spoke with President Rick Bosworth to learn more about their unique business model.

Ricoh’s Wide-Format Journey

Published November 21, 2019

Dan Johansen of Ricoh talks about the company's wide-format journey from a manufacturer of inkjet printheads to a manufacturer of entire wide-format printing systems, including two new UV flatbeds—the Ricoh Pro TF6250 and the larger Pro T7210—and the Pro L5160 latex printer. Ricoh also was demonstrating a printing system for imaging directly onto the side of a truck or plane.

The Moving Canvas: Wrapping “Kings” Turn Vehicle Graphics Into Art

Published November 19, 2019

Last Fall, Avery Dennison held its Wrap Like a King (WLAK) competition, which honored some of the best and most creative vehicle graphics projects. We spoke with one of the judges and some of the regional winners to get some insight into the vehicle graphics design process.

Fujifilm’s Onset X3: An Emphasis on Automation

Published November 14, 2019

Fujifilm’s Becky McConnell talks about the latest developments with the Onset X3 wide-format UV flatbed printer, as well as a new inkset from Fujifilm that was specifically formulated for greater adhesion to difficult plastic and synthetic substrates.

Epson’s 20 Years of Wide-Format Printing

Published November 13, 2019

Epson launched its first wide-format printer in October 1999, and Epson’s Reed Hecht talks about the latest generation—the SureColor P7570 and P9570, featuring a redesigned print engine for photographers, fine artists, graphic designers, and proofers—as well as how the requirements for art and photography have changed over the past two decades.

Dr. Abhay Sharma Talks About His New Expanded Gamut Printing Study

Published November 7, 2019

Ryerson University’s Dr. Abhay Sharma shares some top-level findings from a new expanded gamut printing study he authored, based on a series of extensive tests using commercial color management systems to process and print test forms containing PANTONE spot colors.

Five Alive: 5G Technology Will Transform Sign & Display

Published November 5, 2019

What is 5G and what is its impact on sign and display graphics likely to be? Richard Romano spoke with Dexter Johnson, author of a recent ISA white paper called “5G in Signage Technology” about the technology and the advantages of 5G and its potential applications in sign and display.

The Continued Evolution of Wide Format at PRINTING United

Published October 29, 2019

What was new at PRINTING United on the wide-format front? In this feature, Richard Romano runs down a handful of announcements and other items that caught his interest.

A New Age of Trade Shows Dawns in Dallas

Published October 24, 2019

The inaugural PRINTING United kicked off on Wednesday, heralding a new era for industry trade events.

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