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WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's go-to information source with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, WhatTheyThink Email Newsletters, and the WhatTheyThink magazine. Our mission is to inform, educate, and inspire the industry. We provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today's printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.

Displaying 1-99 of 4639 articles

Around the Web: Dye Discovery. Clay Creativity. Collapsing King. Autocorrect Adversaries. Tape Talk. Machine Muting. Retail Riffing. Bee Brew. Pool Potable.

Published June 14, 2024

Trying to recreate a long lost “recipe” for blue dye. Costco is now only selling books at Christmas. A Polish artist works with “3D-printed clay” to create unusual textures. A 3D-printed chess king that will collapse when checkmated. People whose names are routinely autocorrected have had enough. All about duct tape. Engineering students invent a leaf blower silencer. A new exhibition dedicated to MAD Magazine and we are so going. A heavy metal band turns UPC codes into guitar tabs for serious consumer product riffing. Microbiologists have brewed a beer using yeast obtained from the guts of killer bees, for some reason. Here’s a term we had never heard before: smoothie keg. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Other Paperboard Container Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2021

Published June 14, 2024

According to County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 276 establishments in NAICS 322219 (Other Paperboard Container Manufacturing). This category saw a net decrease in establishments of -21% since 2010. In macro news, inflation was virtually unchanged in May.

Tomer Ohavi Shares Sign and Display Graphics Portfolio Updates at EFI

Published June 12, 2024

At drupa 2024, WhatTheyThink's Eric Vessels spoke with Tomer Ohavi, Senior Director of Product Management, Display Graphics at EFI. Tomer explains the benefits of the new EFI VUTEk Q3h hybrid platform, available in 10 configurations with flatbed or roll-fed options. EFI used drupa to roll out enhancements to its entire line up of sign and display graphics portfolio.

Durst Product Strategy

Published June 12, 2024

Christian Harder, Vice President, Sales at Durst provides an update on Durst's product strategy. In the display graphics segment, the company is focused on adding automation to support streamlined production. In the labels segment, the company is developing hybrid solutions utilizing analog and inkjet production. The company is also developing software to support modern print production.

EFI Takes Nozomi to an Entirely New Level with the X5 Nozomi in Partnership with Packsize

Published June 10, 2024

At drupa, EFI launched the latest breakthrough version of the EFI Nozomi single-pass direct-to-corrugated printer. With more than 60 Nozomi units installed worldwide, this brand-new version takes the Nozomi platform to an entirely new level.

Product Showcase: Harris & Bruno ZRX Digital Embellishment System

Published June 10, 2024

Spencer Bruno, Product Manager at Harris & Bruno International provides a product tour of the new Harris & Bruno ZRX Digital Embellishment System. The ZRX pairs the Harris & Bruno Chamber-Anilox system with inkjet technology to create a system that supports flood coat, spot coat, and foil stamp embellishments.

Booth Tour: Dalim Software at drupa 2024

Published June 10, 2024

Tim D'Elia, Director of Product Strategy, Dalim Software shows the Dalim booth at drupa.

Product Showcase: durst KJet

Published June 10, 2024

Martin Leitner, Product Manager, Labels & Flexible Packaging, durst shows the new KJet hybrid concept label printer.

Product Showcase: Reka Klebetechnik

Published June 10, 2024

Katharina Armbruster, Sales Manager - European Adhesive Specialist, Reka Klebetechnik, demonstrates the strength of Reka Klebetechnik's glue for packaging applications.

Product Strategy: Miraclon at drupa 2024

Published June 10, 2024

Deana Conyard, Director of Product Marketing, Miraclon, takes us through the Miraclon booth at drupa 2024 and their flexo solutions.

Tales from the Database: Finishing Up

Published June 7, 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 various aspects of finishing, including mailing and embellishments. 

Driving Digital Transformation: Innovations and Challenges in the Printing Industry

Published June 7, 2024

Volker Leonhardt, Global Sales and Marketing and Andy Fetherman, President and CEO, Müller Martini North America, talk about their commitment to driving digital transformation and presenting their latest innovations. They share the positive response they've received for their Smart Factory solutions and discuss the challenges faced in the industry. Looking ahead, they see a future dominated by robotics, automation, and a strong emphasis on internal culture and customer relationships.

Heidelberg's Innovations in Packaging Automation

Published June 7, 2024

Christian Steinmassl, Executive Vice President Packaging Division, and Joerg Daehnhardt, SVP of Segment Management Packaging, Heidelberg talk about the significance of packaging and its various market segments. They discuss the role of automation, operator guidance and AI-driven systems in enhancing packaging performance. They also touch on Heidelberg's flexo web-fed press and the Boardmaster, both designed for high-volume folding carton applications. They also addresses the digitization of the pre-print process and the challenges of lengthy make-readies in converting equipment.

Around the Web: Sign Shack. Agar Art. Hideous Handset. Hitch Homage. Arachnid Arrival. Clever Cabinet. Kellogg’s Crocs.

Published June 7, 2024

A woman lived inside a store’s rooftop sign for nearly a year. Creating art with modified E. coli. A phone so horrible no one will mind losing it. A mosaic tribute to Alfred Hitchcock in the Leytonstone Tube station. A winery specializes in creative and humorous wine descriptions. “Giant venomous flying spiders with 4-inch legs heading to New York area.” An automated step-pedal kitchen cabinet. Oscar Mayer’s gummy bologna. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Booth Tour: Massivit at drupa 2024

Published June 7, 2024

Erez Zimerman, CEO and Avi Cohen, VP Sales & Marketing, Massivit take us on a tour of the Massivit booth at drupa 2024.

Frank Pennisi talks about EFI's Product Strategy

Published June 7, 2024

Cary Sherburne interviews EFI CEO Frank Pennisi about EFI’s digital inkjet printing equipment portfolio for packaging, textile and sign & display graphics.

Conway Machine at drupa

Published June 6, 2024

Johnny Margrave, Account Manager, Conway Machine, shares his experiences at Drupa discusses new gripper bar samples and expanding coverage for different machine models. Conway Machine specializes in aftermarket replacement gripper bars for flatbed die cutting machines.

Exploring Canon's Innovations: Hans Schmidbauer at drupa

Published June 5, 2024

Cary Sherburne chats with Hans Schmidbauer, European Marketing Director at Canon. They discuss Canon's participation at Drupa, unveil a new product and underscore the advantages of sheet-fed inkjet technology.

Promoting Diversity and Sustainability in the Industry: A Conversation with Danna Drion

Published June 3, 2024

Danna Drion, General Manager Mimaki Europe, talks about the importance of workplace diversity, sustainability and the role of women in the industry. She highlights the need for balance, inclusion and collaboration, as seen in their partnership with Tiny Miracles.

Digital Print Enhancement at drupa with Scodix

Published June 3, 2024

Cary Sherburne interviews Eli Grinberg, CEO, Scodix. They discuss Scodix's digital print enhancement and embellishment services, including their new platforms, the Ultra 6000 and Ultra 2500. The conversation also covers the value of adding embellishments like foil and how offset printers are adopting these digital solutions for a faster time to market.

Welcome to the Finishing & Embellishments Issue!

Published June 3, 2024

This week, we are publishing the content from our latest print edition, Issue Three: Finishing & Embellishments. Here’s a preview.

About the WhatTheyThink Print Edition Cover

Published June 3, 2024

How the special embellished print edition cover was created, thanks to Konica Minolta and Burlington, N.C.’s Elite Print Finishing. It’s a design that demonstrates new techniques using texture, color, and form to inspire and show “the art of what’s possible.”     

Around the Web: Apostrophe Annihilation. Staff Stamp. Essential Elements. Quill Queries. Speaking Cetacean. Odd Orcas. Webb Weather.

Published May 31, 2024

British towns are removing apostrophes from street signs as, it claims, they can cause trouble with geographical databases. To celebrate the baguette, the French Post Office has released a commemorative scratch-and-sniff postage stamp. Broadband plans now required to have “nutrition labels” that spell out what you’re getting and for how much. A cute stop-motion animation in which little felt spray cans appear to spray wool “paint.” How many Periodic Table elements are actually in the human body? Before alarm clocks, you could hire a “knocker upper.” Researchers used AI to decode sperm whale clicks. Are we in the midst of an orca uprising? Burger King celebrates its birthday with 70¢ specials. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

April Graphic Arts Employment A Mixed Bag

Published May 31, 2024

Overall printing employment in April 2024 was generally up—+0.5% from March—with production employment up +1.3% and non-production employment down +1.4%.

Insights from Kodak's Jim Continenza: Industry Trends and the Future of Print

Published May 31, 2024

Jim Continenza, Kodak's CEO, shares his insights on the print industry. Jim emphasizes the importance of customer needs, efficiency, and digital transition. He predicts a closer vendor-customer alignment and highlights the significance of planning and new technologies. Jim assures customers about the use of cloud-based software and discusses data protection and industry challenges.

Horizon's Smart Factory: Automation, Robotics, and Global Expansion

Published May 31, 2024

Yasuo Taketsugu, General Manager, Market Promotions, Horizon International, highlights Horizon's various finishing devices and the importance of automation, user-friendliness, and connectivity in their development process. He also talks about the role of robotics and connectivity in addressing rising labor costs. Horizon is planning to expand from Japan to Europe and North America, promoting the concept of a smart factory.

A Conversation with Robert Keane: Cimpress's Growth, Expansion and Challenges

Published May 30, 2024

David Zwang sits down with Robert Keane, CEO and founder of Cimpress, to discuss the company's growth performance and its expansion into new markets such as packaging. They also tackle the challenges of mass customization and the potential impact of acquiring Landa Press on Cimpress's operations.

Exploring the Future of Digital Printing: Landa and Gelato's Partnership

Published May 30, 2024

Cary Sherburne talks with Gil Oron from Landa and Henrik Müller-Hansen from Gelato. Together they highlight their companies' partnership and its growth potential, focusing on production on demand's impact on the print industry.

Exploring Hybrid Software's Innovations and the Future of the Print Industry

Published May 30, 2024

Mike Rottenborn, Group CEO, Hybrid Software, talks about the company's latest innovations and releases presented at drupa. He discusses the future of the print industry with a focus on print quality, flexibility and the rise of cloud-based solutions.

EFI Supports WhatTheyThink’s drupa Video Studio with Stunning Fabric Designs

Published May 29, 2024

WhatTheyThink partnered with EFI to use EFI Reggiani digitally printed textiles to accent the professional video studio WhatTheyThink operated onsite at drupa 2024.

WhatTheyThink and HP Join Forces to Make drupa daily 2024 Incomparable

Published May 28, 2024

The drupa daily for drupa 24 was produced in conjunction with HP Indigo, whose HP SmartStream Designer technology allowed every cover to have a unique image. This article looks inside the production of the daily.

Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems Collaborates with WhatTheyThink at drupa

Published May 28, 2024

This article looks at how Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems partnered with WhatTheyThink to produce the display stands for the drupa daily.

Joju Adekanbi Shares his Global Print Perspective

Published May 28, 2024

Joju Adekanbi, Publisher and CEO of WHERE to Print magazine—serving Ghana and Nigeria—talks to Cary Sherburne about the state of the printing industry in West Africa.

Canon EMEA's Jennifer Kolloczek Previews drupa 2024

Published May 28, 2024

Jennifer Kolloczek, Senior Director of Marketing for Digital Production Printing & Solutions at Canon EMEA, speaks to WhatTheyThink's Eric Vessels ahead of drupa 2024 and gives a thorough overview of their stand in Hall 8a. Jennifer also comments on the meaning of their "Power to Move" theme.

WhatTheyThink's Richard Romano on drupa Global Perspectives

Published May 28, 2024

WhatTheyThink Managing Editor and drupa daily Editor-in-Chief talks to Cary Sherburne about the Global Perspective series of articles in the drupa daily. Writers and analysts from across the globe share the state of the printing industry and the essential trends in their countries or regions.

Sabine Geldermann Welcomes the Printing World Back to drupa

Published May 28, 2024

Sabine Geldermann, Director, drupa, Portfolio Print Technologies, talks about drupa coming back to Messe Düsseldorf after eight long years.

Jane Waight and Her Journey to the cube

Published May 28, 2024

Jane Waight, drupa cube Manager, describes her creative marketing career and how it led her to Messe Düsseldorf. The drupa cube aims to offer an added dimension to the show, without detracting from exhibitors.

Frank Tueckmantel Previews drupa next age

Published May 28, 2024

The drupa next age (dna) special forum opens the doors to innovative ideas, pioneering technologies, and up-and-coming talents. Experience at drupa how young talents and start-ups are revolutionizing the print industry. Drupa next age organizer Frank Tueckmantel offers a preview.

Road to drupa: Esko's Joel Depernet and Jan De Roeck

Published May 27, 2024

Esko President Joel Depernet and Jan De Roeck, Director of Marketing, Strategy and Industry Relations, highlight what Esko will be featuring in its booth at drupa. Esko, X-Rite, Pantone & Enfocus will co-exhibit at drupa 2024 showcasing new integrated technology ecosystem for the packaging supply chain.

Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing—2010–2021

Published May 24, 2024

According to County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 578 establishments in NAICS 322212 (Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing). This category saw a net decrease of 18% since 2010. In macro news,inflation in April eased a bit.

Around the Web: Colour Compendium. Distributor Dilemma. Mail Man. Eel Edification. Softee Search. Atmosphere Antics. Gooey Gold.

Published May 24, 2024

Another tome for those building a color reference book library. Small Press Distribution abruptly closes, leaving small publishers in the lurch. Deloitte’s brand new Global 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey is out. Meet Reginald Bray, “The Human Letter.” A livestreaming portal connected New York City and Dublin—for a bit. Everything you ever wanted to know about eels. Find the nearest ice cream truck with the Mister Softee app. The James Webb Space telescope finds a distant exoplanet has an atmosphere, of sorts. Reese’s introduces an Olympic medal-shaped peanut butter cup. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

March Shipments: We Got Good News and Bad News

Published May 17, 2024

March 2024 shipments came in at $7.24 billion, up from February’s $7.04 billion—and yet the worst March the industry has had.

Around the Web: Aromatic Ads. Planted Plantagenet. Boat Brouhaha. Writing Removal. Print Preference. Gabbing Greenery. Organic Optics. Tank Trade. Waffle Wear.

Published May 17, 2024

The first scented billboard. Uncovering the remains of Richard III. Ordered to hide your boat from public view? Build a fence and paint a boat on it! Eliminating inaccessible graffiti using spray-painting drones. Costumed park rangers in Illinois act out the cicada emergence. Video of plants “talking” to each other. The winner of the annual Ugly Muppet Toy Pageant. The James Webb Space Telescope discovered complex organic chemicals surrounding two protostars. Red Lobster is closing locations and auctioning off their equipment. Eggo launches waffle-themed sneakers. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Around the Web: Type Tome. Thames Type. Plato’s Plot. Bubbler Button. Gold Graphene. Quantum Quandary. Cryptic Creature. Cicada Swarms. Sriracha Shortage.

Published May 10, 2024

A new book looks at the 20th-century rise of typography. A dedicated designer retrieved the presumed lost Doves Type. A new AI-related Internet term is the new “spam.” AI helps find Plato’s burial spot. The Verge pays tribute to the water fountain button. The Australian Olympic Team will be sporting graphene-enhanced apparel at the Paris Olympics. A new image captures atoms behaving like waves, the hitherto unseen basis of quantum mechanics. NASA researchers have created an animation that takes the viewer into the black hole. The decades-long search for the Mongolian death worm. Prepare for trillions of cicadas to emerge, if they haven’t already. A pepper shortage is causing Huy Fong to cancel shipments of sriracha until the fall. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Paperboard Container Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2021

Published May 10, 2024

According to County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 1,895 establishments in NAICS 32221 (Paperboard Container Manufacturing). This category saw a net decrease of 15% since 2010. In macro news, early Q2 GDP predictions are bullish.

March Graphic Arts Employment A Mixed Bag

Published May 3, 2024

Overall printing employment in March 2024 was generally up—+0.4% from February—with production employment down -0.2% and non-production employment up +1.5%.

Around the Web: Color Caution. Kicky Keyboard. Dyed Dairy. Bread Beanie. Polaroid Poems. Domestic Droid. Mutant Mouse. New Nebula. Bison Bashing. Marvelous Moody.

Published May 3, 2024

The color “magenta” has been designated the “worst and deadliest” of the heat threat categories. RIP author Paul Auster. In an old movie musical, a couple dance on a giant typewriter. Just in time for Star Wars Day, dairy producer TruMoo has introduced Blue Milk. Just in time for Kentucky Derby Day, Panera has introduced the “Bread Hat.” A camera that uses AI to compose a poem based on a picture it has just taken. We’re still trying to get true 5G wireless, but over in Japan, 6G is on the way. A domestic robot capable of performing a variety of household tasks. Scientists in Portugal accidently created a six-legged mouse. The James Webb Space telescope zooms in on the Horsehead Nebula. “Man accused of kicking a bison at Yellowstone National Park,” for some reason. RIP Mike Pinder. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portal Establishments—2010–2021

Published April 26, 2024

According to County Business Patterns, in 2020 there were 8,947 establishments in NAICS 51913 (Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals). This category saw a net increase of 66% since 2010. In macro news, Q1 GDP is much lower than expected.

Around the Web: Color Culture. Bard Birthplace? Control Controversy. Planetary Puzzle. Jukebox Johnny. Aldi Aisle. Crustacean Crash.

Published April 26, 2024

A new book explores “the implications of color and its cultural impact.” Was Shakespeare really born in the “Shakespeare Birthplace” in Stratford-upon-Avon? If you’re ever in Philadelphia, be sure to visit the largest typewriter company in the world. Reading The Hobbit à la the BBC’s Shipping Forecast. Do you prefer touchscreens or tactile controls? A new wireless lamp design uses rechargeable bulbs. Could a ninth planet be hiding behind Neptune? A reconstruction of a three-hour Dr. Johnny Fever radio show from episodes of “WKRP in Cincinnati” is the best playlist we have ever heard. 20% of Aldi’s revenue comes from its “Aisle of Shame.” Red Lobster may file for bankruptcy. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

February Shipments: Well, At Least It’s Seasonal

Published April 19, 2024

February 2024 shipments came in at $6.01 billion, down from January’s $7.04 billion—and right between February 2021 and 2022.

Around the Web: Met Medics. Type Tenets. Bend’s Blockbuster. Insurance Inflation. Follicle Fashion. Humdrum Handset. Bee Bandits. Clever Cutlery. Collaborative Condiment.

Published April 19, 2024

Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s book conservation lab. A new book lays out the  Universal Principles of Typography. 11 signs from around the country that evoke “pure Americana.” Mattel releases a team-based version of Scrabble. Physical media’s last stand. Car insurance premiums have sure kicked into overdrive. Textiles made from human hair may not be as creepy as they sound. HMD and Heineken introduce the Boring Phone. Battling the West’s “bee rustlers” would make for an interesting John Wayne film. Horatio Nelson’s “Knork.” Heinz and Mattel team up to launch “Barbiecue sauce.” All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Assorted Publishing Establishments—2010–2021

Published April 12, 2024

According to County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 726 establishments in NAICS 511199 (All Other Publishing). This category saw a net decrease of 39% since 2010, although establishments spiked from 2020 to 2021. In macro news, estimates of Q1 GDP are running around +2%.

Around the Web: Publishing Posters. Pyrotechnic Packaging. Mock Media. AI Aide. Agile ANYmal. Tail Tech. New Nova. Silent Solo. Dairy-esque Dye.

Published April 12, 2024

A new book celebrates the short-lived “literary poster” craze. A new zine looks at the art of fireworks packaging design. One of the most game-changing technologies in the history of civilization was affordable artificial light. A social media platform that doesn’t actually exist. A new wearable AI device. A four-legged dog-like robot can do parkour moves, freakishly enough. Jet suit racing is now a thing. A prehensile stabilizing tail for floating astronauts. Another upcoming celestial event. The decline of the guitar solo. Apparently it’s a real thing: Velveeta Hair Dye. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

WhatTheyThink Magazine Issue 2—What's Up?

Published April 10, 2024

The WhatTheyThink team gets together to chat about the latest edition of the WhatTheyThink magazine: Issue 2 Display Graphics & Textiles. Julie, Richard, Amy, and Eric chat about the theme, content, and overall approach to the magazine.

Around the Web: Eclipse Eats. Wood Work. Modifier Methodology. Checkout Change. Wi-Fi Weirdness. Electronic Eyewear. Kangaroo Collisions. Bus Battle. Stick Status.

Published April 5, 2024

Eclipse-themed food and beverage items for Monday’s event. Cardiff, Wales’, Printed Festival 2024, this June. A new 3D printing ink based on wood waste. Did you know that there is a “royal order of adjectives”? Amazon is ending its “Just Walk Out” checkout—which wasn’t actually an automated system. What does the term “Wi-Fi” stand for? LCD lenses that can turn sunglasses into reading glasses. Volkswagen is working on an electronic device to avoid car-kangaroo collisions. New York City’s acrimonious “tour bus battle.” The James Webb Space Telescope takes a close look at galaxy I Zwicky 18. Instagram’s “Official Stick Reviews” rates actual sticks—and is more popular than you would think. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Welcome to the Display Graphics and Textiles Issue!

Published April 1, 2024

This week and next, we are publishing the content from our latest print edition, Issue Two: Display Graphics and Textiles. Here’s a preview.

February Graphic Arts Employment Remains Generally Flat

Published March 29, 2024

Overall printing employment in February 2024 was little changed from January, with production employment down -1.0%, while non-production employment was down -0.6%, with net employment down -0.1%.

Around the Web: Packaging Preferences. Cover Conundrum. Impressive Impressionists. Dial Dilemma. Timepiece Trouble. Rockin’ Roads. Drone Danger. Tarantula Tempura. Sun Snacks.

Published March 29, 2024

Pentawards’ annual packaging Trends Report is out. When a company appears on the cover of a popular magazine, what signals does it give the market? More than two dozen new works have been added to the OED, 23 of them from Japanese cooking and art. Really? If you’re in France this summer, celebrate the 150th anniversary of Impressionism. Bad UI design on an ice cream thermostat. New options for non-wrist-based watches. Time Out lists the “30 Coolest Streets in the World.” “AI drone that could hunt and kill people built in just hours by scientist ‘for a game.’” Different ants have different flavor profiles, we are horrified to tell you. Appropriately, SunChips has an eclipse tie-in product. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Greeting Card Publishing Establishments—2010–2021

Published March 22, 2024

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 113 establishments in NAICS  511191 (Greeting Card Publishers). Although this represents a net increase of 10% since 2010, it has been a category that has ebbed and flowed over the course of the decade, although we’re not talking about a tremendous number of establishments. In macro news, inflation increased in February.

Around the Web: Chip Challenge. State Sobriquets. Eclipse Excitement. Stopping Spillage. Ryan Reunion. Security Sales. Cake Kicks.

Published March 22, 2024

Three students at UW-Stout developed a prototype of a new kind of packaging for Pringles potato chips. A traveling exhibit in Italy highlights experimental book design and production. The literal meanings of US states and cities. We were saddened to learn of the passing this week of Hugo-winning SF writer Vernor Vinge, “father of the singularity.” How to geek out over the upcoming solar eclipse. How to carry coffee without spilling. Using the old “drinking bird” toy to create clean, renewable energy. Adding a fourth light to traffic signals control autonomous vehicles. Meetups solely for people named Ryan. A store where items that have been confiscated by TSA are being sold. Keds and Magnolia Bakery team up. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

January Shipments: Back to Normal?

Published March 15, 2024

January 2024 shipments came in at $7.04 billion, up from December’s $6.94 billion—and right between January 2021 and 2022.

Around the Web: Comic Creation. City Signage. New Knitting. Light Logic. Pork Parasite. Montana Monsters. Coors’ Calendar.

Published March 15, 2024

A new book explores how comics were made. A video tour of Manhattan signs. A new way of producing clothing requires only one size. “Agatha Christie: surfer dude.” Point Nemo: the place on Earth that is the farthest from dry land. Why it no long matters if you leave lights on when you leave a room. Yikes: a guy developed a parasitic infection in his brain after eating undercooked bacon. “Montana man pleads guilty to creating massive franken-sheep with cloned animal parts.” Coors Light’s 21-day “advent-inspired” calendar for March Madness. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly Kate-Middleton-Photoshop-scandal-free miscellany.

“Other” Publishing Establishments—2010–2021

Published March 8, 2024

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 839 establishments in NAICS 51119 (Other Publishers). This represents a net decrease of 18% since 2010, but a 26% increase in the past year. In macro news, Q4 GDP was revised down slightly.

Around the Web: Font Films. Inked Intelligence. Decimal Discovery. Clever Clutch. Dog Data. Fruity Footwear. Thwarted Thief. Awful Offices. Fish Finder.

Published March 8, 2024

“This Year’s Best Picture Oscar Nominees as Typefaces.” Trial biking world champion Dougie Lampkin pays a high-octane visit to the shop printing his autobiography. A modified typewriter that uses ChatGPT to answer queries that are manually typed in. A graphene-based handbag with a fingerprint opening system. Yes, there is now Strava for dogs. For National Cereal Day, Post teamed up with Nike and LeBron James to develop Fruity Pebbles-themed sneakers. A would-be car thief’s failed attempt to steal a self-driving taxi. Has it been 25 years since the “Office Space” was released? What plastic surgery procedure is the most popular in your state? Busch Light teams (or teems) with Plenty of Fish to help fish lovers find a date.  All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

December Shipments: Ending the Year on a Low Note

Published March 1, 2024

December 2023 shipments came in at $6.98 billion, down from November’s $7.24 billion—and, alas, the lowest of the year.

Around the Web: Zine Zone. Typewriter Tune. Neat Notes. Warm Walls. Apocalypse Averted? Apocalypse Aroma. Virtual Velvet. Hole Heading. Packing Prawns? Sub Storage.

Published March 1, 2024

A Brooklyn Museum exhibition looks at the history of “zines.” Ukrainian type foundry produces faces that reflect Ukraine’s Soviet history as well as the current war. Judas! The Boston Typewriter Orchestra has gone electric. Turn any paper into a sticky note. Graphene-enhanced infrared wallpaper for efficient home heating. Learn all about piphilology in time for pi day. Will AI wipe out humanity? A perfume based on all the smells indicated in the Book of Revelation. Laurie Anderson uses AI to “communicate” with late husband Lou Reed. New app always points to supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, very helpful for navigation. Le Sac Swoosh is a not very useful  designer handbag shaped like Nike’s iconic branding. Subway has developed a tote bag for storing footlongs. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Is It Time to Unify Your Print Room?

Published February 29, 2024

As PSPs diversify their businesses, they are managing a range of job types across different digital printing technologies from multiple vendors. In this article, sponsored by Fiery, John Henze from Fiery discusses how PSPs can embrace diversification and create a unified print room by leveraging RIP software.  

Directory and Mailing List Publishing Establishments—2010–2021

Published February 23, 2024

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 548 establishments in NAICS 51114 (Directory and Mailing List Publishers). This represents a decrease of 67% since 2010. In macro news, retail sales dipped slightly in January.

Around the Web: Type Trends. Treacle Transformation. Tag Tampering. Petabit Packing. Suitcase Squishing. Meat Monitoring. Runaway Roomba. Door Dilemmas.

Published February 23, 2024

The latest Monotype Type Trends Report is now available. A company that has not changed its brand in 140 years…is changing its brand. A new antitampering tag can “reveal with near-perfect accuracy whether an item is real or fake.” Fitting one petabit of data on a DVD-sized optical disc. Using a 150-ton hydraulic press to compress a week’s worth of clothes into a carry-on suitcase. A chess set with pieces made of candles. New graphene-based sensors accurately test meat freshness. A household’s Roomba runs away from home. Friday meal options for Lent. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

January Graphic Arts Employment Generally Flat

Published February 16, 2024

Overall printing employment in January 2024 was unchanged from December, with production employment up 0.7%, while non-production employment was down -1.3%.

Around the Web: Type Tech. Guessing Game. Photo Filing. Dimensional Details. Bird Blower. Carrot Concerts. Rotation Reasoning. Escalator Exhibit. Breakfast Buddy.

Published February 16, 2024

Monotype’s new AI-powered font pairing tool. In the game TimeGuessr, determine where and when an old news photograph was taken. And how were old news photos transmitted back in the day? Some examples of 3D printing in action. AI-driven eyeglasses. Retired payphone plays bird calls. An Ohio funeral home will preserve the tattoos of the deceased. When in Austria, be sure to catch the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra. What would happen if the Earth suddenly stopped rotating? When in Vilnius, Lithuania, be sure to check out the Escalator Slide. The inventor of Pop-Tarts has passed away. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Around the Web: Paper Paean. Dinero Dearth. Color Can. Dental Disaster? Road Recharging. Hovering Hose. Habitat Havoc. Beneficial Beavers. Pickle Paramour. Bowl Bonanza.

Published February 9, 2024

Author and paper maker Beth Kephart has written a love letter to paper. Are we seeing the end of cash? A “Graffiti Color Mixer” includes multiple colors in the same spray can. Were a fleet of electronic toothbrushes involved in a massive DDoS attack? Installing EV chargers in the roads themselves. A phone charger that only charges when your eyes are closed. Three words: flying fire hose. In Kenya, through a complex series of relationships, an invasive ant species is impacting lion hunting skills. The time beavers parachuted into Idaho. This Valentine’s Day, say it with pickles. DoorDash contest is giving away everything advertised during this Sunday’s Super Bowl. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Welcome to the Software Issue

Published February 5, 2024

This week, we are publishing the content from 2024's Issue 1, the Software Issue, with an emphasis on “the cloud” and so-called AI. In this article, a preview of the week’s content.

Book Publishing Establishments—2010–2021

Published February 2, 2024

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 2,386 establishments in NAICS 51113 (Book Publishing). Although this represents a decrease of 20% since 2010, establishments ticked up by 29 establishments in 2021. In macro news, Q4 GDP grew 3.3%.

Around the Web: ’Hog History. Snowy Sobriquets. Acrobat Antics. Reading Realm. Cursive Comeback. Additive Aluminum. Desk Defacing. Funding Fest. Galaxies Galore. Pasta Pleasure.

Published February 2, 2024

Where did Groundhog Day come from? Taylor Drift conquers Minnesota. Is the maximum size of a PDF really “smaller than Germany”? Wales’ “Kingdom of Books.” Is E Ink finally ready for prime time? Cursive handwriting is starting to be taught again, for some reason. 3D printing using liquid metal. Casual vandalism is OK if you’re a Romantic poet. A round-up of some of the “good, bad, and weird stuff that was crowdfunded in 2023.” The James Webb Space Telescope captures 19 amazingly detailed spiral galaxies. “Eating pasta is scientifically proven to make you feel better.” All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

November Shipments: Tis the Season…

Published January 26, 2024

November 2023 shipments came in at $7.24 billion, down from the year’s high of $7.76 billion a month earlier.

Around the Web: Type Testing. Dramatic Displays. Migration Message. Balloon Ballyhoo. Glass Gloss. Sustainable Sabots. Snow Snacking. Fjord Facts. Piscine Prank. Unlikely Unguent.

Published January 26, 2024

A Monotype study aims to answer “questions about the cultural differences in perceiving meaning and emotion in type.” Chinese signmakers use infinity mirrors to create cool LED signage. A road sign in Canada wishes monarch butterflies a safe migration. “The golden age of ballooning” led to the first aerial maps. AR-based windows for tour buses. Auto-focusing eyeglasses! The graphene-based “Everything Proof Pants & Shirt.” 3D-printed compostable shoes. Torn from the headlines: is it safe to eat snow? Burning question: why does Norway have so many fjords? Puckish teenager tapes fish to ATMs, for some reason. Hidden Valley and Burt’s Bees collaborate on ranch-flavored lip balm, much to the bees’ dismay. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Periodical Publishing Establishments—2010–2021

Published January 19, 2024

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 4,315 establishments in NAICS 51112 (Periodical Publishing). This represents a decrease of 40% since 2010. In macro news, December retail sales were up from November.

Around the Web: Folio Fest. Cat Crates. Device Dilemma. Winter Wear. Hovering Haven. Breed Brief. Lavish Lego. Chicken Chatting. Winning Wings.

Published January 19, 2024

The Folger Library will be publicly exhibiting its collection of Shakespeare First Folios. A new, high-concept typeface based on meteorology. Why do cats love cardboard boxes (and should converters be targeting them)? Trying to figure out what the highly touted Rabbit R1 is actually used for. A wealthy Frenchwoman stipulated in her will that her money go to providing clothes for snowmen. A prototype for a floating umbrella that can follow you around and we want one. how did the dog breeds get their names? An artist whose chosen medium is black Lego. How to detect a chicken’s emotions, should you ever want to. Tito’s Vodka’s new “Spokescart.” Popeyes is offering free wings if a “winged” team—or the Bills—win the Super Bowl. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

October Shipments: Peak Performance

Published January 12, 2024

October 2023 printing shipments came in at $7.84 billion, up from September’s $7.37 billion.

Around the Web: Clever Collage. Cover Creation. Letter Lovers. Punctuation People. Tech Table. New Nostalgia. Air App. Phantom Fight. Dog Drivers. Gum Gone.

Published January 12, 2024

A Sgt. Pepper-esque tribute to the celebrities who passed away in 2023. Behind some book cover redesigns from hardcover to paperback. A Minneapolis store where you can buy vintage, discarded channel letters. A fun 1824 primer on punctuation. A coffee table that is also a touchscreen display. “What was life like before the Internet?” A start-up is developing an app that lets a smartphone evaluate air quality. Graphene-based batteries now for pre-sale! The economics of time travel. Protesting Pontianak, Indonesia’s proposed “ghost statue.” Oscar Mayer is hiring Wienermobile drivers. Fruit Stripe gum has been discontinued. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Around the Web: Tradition Travel. Myrrh Mystery. Window Wonders. Baffling Blizzard. Desk Documents. Wood Wonder. Pseudo Sports. Dead Dialogue. Drinking Doritos.

Published December 15, 2023

Exploring some of the odder Christmas traditions around the world. What exactly are frankincense and myrrh, anyway? Intricate and beautiful window graphics created with “snow spray.” The etymology of the word “blizzard.” The case of the missing ISS tomato has been solved! Medieval ergonomic scriptorium desks. Advances in transparent wood, stronger than plastics and tougher than glass. Graphene-based corrugated board. Sports Illustrated “writers” were AI-generated personas. Using AI to talk to the dead. Doritos-flavored booze. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Welcome to the Production Print Issue

Published December 11, 2023

This week, we are publishing the content from Issue 6, the Production Print Issue. In this article, a preview of the week’s content.

Newspaper Publishing Establishments—2010–2021

Published December 8, 2023

According to the latest, recently released edition of County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 6,260 establishments in NAICS 51111 (Newspaper Publishing). This represents a decrease of 20% since 2010. In macro news, what is going on with GDP?

Around the Web: Dictionary Delusions. Peachy Pantone. General Journalism. Gotham Graphics. Card Creativity. Petrol Pilgrimages. Pseudo Simmons/Stanley. Potato Poser.

Published December 8, 2023

The major dictionaries have announced their “words of the year”—believe it or not. Pantone announces its Color of the Year. A new book tells the long-lost story of the American military’s World War II troop newspapers. A new poster series celebrates NYC’s design community. St. Pancras train station’s Christmas tree display is a tower of hand-painted books. A new card game uses creativity to help generate good ideas. The USPS is releasing a series of Dungeons & Dragons stamps. A selection of “America’s grandest gas stations.” KISS plan to stay on tour forever…as digital avatars. Why are french fries called chips, and chips called crisps, in the UK? All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly hallucinatory miscellany.

An Inside Look at Fiery Command WorkStation 7

Published December 4, 2023

Last month, Fiery® unveiled Fiery Command WorkStation® 7, a centralized job management solution that helps unify the digital print room. In this Q&A, sponsored by Fiery, we sat down with the Fiery product team to discuss what’s new in Command WorkStation and how printers can use it to gain operational efficiencies and elevate color performance to meet customer expectations.

September Shipments: Heading into the Fall

Published December 1, 2023

September 2023 printing shipments came in at $7.42 billion, down from August’s $7.47 billion.

Around the Web: Perishing PopSci. New Nylon. Dictionary Dump. Newspaper Noel. Punctuation Pedantry. Dead Dye. Decapod Doom. Mascot Mastication.

Published December 1, 2023

The venerable Popular Science will no longer be available as a magazine, p- or e-. But Nylon magazine will. An artist who specializes in turning the detritus generated by “fast fashion” into art. A dictionary hoarder spawned a museum. The 100th anniversary of the publication of “A Visit from St. Nick” in a Troy, N.Y. newspaper.  Meet the Apostrophe Protection Society, perhaps against your will. Trying to recreate the lost Tyrian purple. A space-saving alternative to a nightstand. A space-saving coat hanger. This year’s Pop-Tart Bowl will feature an edible mascot. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Publishing Establishments—2010–2021

Published November 17, 2023

According to the latest, recently released edition of County Business Patterns, in 2020 there were 30,939 establishments in NAICS 511 (Publishing Industries [except Internet]). This represents an increase of 10% since 2010 and increase of 13% since 2016. In macro news, October inflation was unchanged from September.

Around the Web: Lost Labours? Rhoticity Review. Pin Predictions. Flag Flap. Turbine Tech. Piscine Potable. Crunch Canceling.

Published November 17, 2023

Holy crap, is there a lost Shakespeare play out there? A linguistics conference is solely dedicated to the R sound. Is the AI pin the future of technology? Don’t count E Ink technology out just yet. Automakers have started using recycled materials for car interiors. Minnesota is crowd-sourcing its new state flag design, unfortunately. A new turbine deign could revolutionize wind power. An AI-powered robotic beehive that can help beekeepers save honeybee colonies. A New Hampshire distillery has come out with a trout-flavored brandy. AI-powered crunch-cancelling software that eliminates the distracting crunching sound of chips. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

October Graphic Arts Employment Up Slightly

Published November 10, 2023

Overall printing employment in October 2023 was up 0.8% from September. Production employment was up 0.7% while non-production employment was up 1.1%.

Around the Web: Friendly Fonts. Logo Loathing. Symbol Source. Snail Style. Rat Radar. Cover Character. Aldi Advent.

Published November 10, 2023

Celebrating World Kindness Day through typography. Print magazine is not a fan of IP’s new logo. The origin of the ampersand. Here is a fashion design trend we never saw coming: snails. Furniture design based on shipping containers. NYC’s Transit app now features a rat detector. A classic album cover star is identified after 52 years. Wilco’s unique approach to merch: its own typeface. Aldi has an advent calendar for all tastes. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Pre- and Postpress Establishments—2010–2021

Published November 3, 2023

According to the latest, recently released edition of County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 1,059 establishments in NAICS 32312 (Support Activities for Printing). This represents a decrease of 49% since 2010. In macro news, Q3 GDP was up 4.9%. 

Around the Web:  Book Bulk. Massive Manuscript. Spot Speak. Tree Talk. Restaurant Robots. Flatware Fashion. Pizza Peppers.

Published November 3, 2023

Heavy books are proliferating—but they may be health hazards. The world’s largest Medieval manuscript features a full-page picture of the Devil. Japan's mundane costume festival. Boston Dynamics’ robot dog now talks using ChatGPT. Understanding how trees communicate. The blackest known black paint. On-demand toaster printing. JR’s Appliance Museum features more than 10,000 rare electrical appliances. White Castle and Chipotle are adding food-prep robots. A jacket made of spoons. The James Webb Space Telescope cracks open the Crab Nebula. Tabasco and Banza have collaborated on a pizza that gets hotter the more you eat it.  All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Around the Web: Canva Curriculum. Refrigerator Rhyme. Dancing Dinner. Bottle Brace. Picaresque Planning. Coat Comfort. Jupiter Jet. Grocery Ghosts. Candy Canard. Cold Calendar.

Published October 27, 2023

Monotype and Canva collaborate on typography courses for schools. An online fridge magnet poetry simulator provides hours of entertainment. A “computational food project” turns meals into interactive performance art, terrifyingly. A frying pan manufacturer is sued for claiming its cookware was forged at a temperature exceeding that of the sun. A water bottle has a magnetic cap that turns it into an iPhone holder or tripod. An online adventure makes inventory management fun. A graphene-based heated jacket hits the market. The James Webb Space Telescope finds a high-speed jet stream on Jupiter. The persistent myth of poisoned Halloween candy. Stouffer’s releases an advent calendar filled with frozen food. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

August Shipments: …And We’re Up Again

Published October 27, 2023

August 2023 printing shipments came in at $7.44 billion, up from July’s $7.04 billion.

Book Printing Establishments—2010–2021

Published October 20, 2023

According to the latest, recently released edition of County Business Patterns, in 2021 there were 370 establishments in NAICS 323117 (Commercial Book Printing). This represents a decrease of 31% since 2010—but a decrease of -2.4% from 2020. In macro news, AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) indicates that demand for design services decelerated in September, boding ill for commercial real estate construction and thus signage projects.

Around the Web: Dead Directories. Packaging Plaudits. Board Biography. Legal Lullabies. Time Travail. Coin Conundrum. Bathroom Boo. Poultry Pro.

Published October 20, 2023

An exhibition of imaginary languages. The last vestiges of the phone book are on their way out. Packaging designed specifically to be easy to open. A history of the Ouija board. A site that reads the terms of service for Instagram or TikTok as if they were lullabies. A clock design that is linear—like time itself. Netflix is opening physical locations. Graphene-enhanced condoms. New research finds that the outcome of a coin toss is not exactly 50-50. Japanese ghosts prefer haunting bathrooms. An art exhibition based on James Webb Space Telescope images. grocery chain B&M is looking for a chicken nugget connoisseur. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Around the Web: Finnegan’s Finale. Taboo Tomes. Reading Remedy. Tack Tech. Poultry Performance. Fish Fable. Webb Wonders. Candy Cartography.

Published October 13, 2023

A book club finally finishes Finnegans Wake—28 years after it started. A history of book banning. Graphene-infused packaging that reduces plastic consumption. DEC may be gone, but its legacy lingers. A new font aims to make reading easier for dyslexics. An AR-powered football helmet with a screen that allows deaf players to see play calls in ASL. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?…The Shadow knows!” Music for chickens. What’s the most popular Halloween candy in your state? All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Q2 Industry Profits: The Latest From the Two Cities

Published October 13, 2023

Quarter-over-quarter profit margin data can be fairly noisy but we’re on a general upward trend since the trough of the pandemic.

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