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Articles by Eric Vessels

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Getting to Know Budget INKS at the FASTSIGNS Annual Convention

Published February 24, 2022

Budget INKS President James Schall talks all things color and inks with WhatTheyThink President Eric Vessels. James was an exhibitor at the recent FASTSIGNS Annual Convention and talks about the event and the new product they brought and launched at the show.

Subscription-Based Graphic Design?

Published February 23, 2022

easel.ly Founder and CEO Vernon Southward talks to Eric Vessels about his unique business model of providing graphic design services by subscription and how he is helping small print business thrive with professional design services they may otherwise not be able to afford.

EFI’s Ken Hanulec Welcomes the Return of In-Person Connect

Published January 20, 2022

EFI Connect returned to Las Vegas this week. Ken Hanulec, EFI’s VP of Worldwide Marketing, talks about this year’s event, the spin off of eProductivity into its own business, and the future of EFI.

The Best Postcards’ Andrew Ettinger on Direct Marketing

Published November 8, 2021

Eric Vessels talks to Andrew Ettinger of The Best Postcards, which helps clients develop effective branding and direct mail and marketing. Ettinger shares his personal “origin story,” the highs and the lows, before landing on his feet at The Best Postcards.

Industry Veteran Patrick Henry to Retire

Published June 10, 2021

Eric Vessels talks to industry analyst, writer, and former WhatTheyThink contributor Patrick Henry, who has recently announced his retirement. They look back at Pat’s career—he began as a stringer for the long-gone Long Island Press newspaper covering the police beat and in 1984 answered a classified ad for an editorial position at the then-weekly Printing News. Pat wrote for WhatTheyThink from 2002 to 2017. We wish Pat all the best!

Durst Launches New P5 Next-Generation Technology Platform

Published February 27, 2018

We travel to Lienz, Austria for the unveiling and launch of the new Durst P5 Platform. We speak with CEO Christoph Gamper, who gives us an overview of the new platform and how it came about. Tomio Kiyose, Product Manager for Large Format Flatbed, also shares some of the technical details—including a 70% productivity increase along with resolution and quality gains.

Prepress Opportunities for Digital Print for Packaging

Published June 20, 2017

Marketing Director Mike Medina of Phototype discusses some of the new directions that packaging prepress companies can take as digital production starts to take hold of the industry.

Highcon Showcases Full Portfolio of Digital Creasing/Cutting Machines at pre-drupa Event

Published March 17, 2016

WhatTheyThink attended a pre-drupa event for Highcon at their headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Yavne, Israel. We were able to get an early look at what will be on full display at the Dusseldorf trade fair. The takeaway is that in four short years Highcon has gone from a single machine to a full portfolio of digital finishing products.

Kodak's Brad Kruchten Talks Sonora Plates at Open House Event

Published September 11, 2015

WhatTheyThink's Eric Vessels sits down with Kodak Print Systems President Brad Kruchten at a recent open house event to discuss the importance of the Sonora process free plate business to Kodak's print systems group.

Blue Not Just Blue During March Madness

Published April 3, 2015

The New York Times ran an interesting article on college basketball that talks about the importance of color when it comes to school colors.

SGIA 2014 Breaks Records and Sets the Tone for the Future

Published October 29, 2014

SGIA President Michael Robertson talks to Eric Vessels on the last day of SGIA Expo 2014 and gives some perspective on yet another record breaking year.

The Future Has Been Disrupted...What Now?

Published September 26, 2014

Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano, authors of Disrupting the Future and Getting Business, are out with their latest release This Point Forward. I just finished reading it and wanted to let you know what I think and share some details on the WhatTheyThink teams activities at this years Graph Expo.

What It Means to be a Technology Company That Happens to Print

Published September 4, 2014

What does it mean to be a technology company that happens to print? Rick Bellamy, CEO of RPI, explains this concept and also what he's seeing in the market relative to personalization and how that impacts what customers demand.

The Need for Workflow Management in the Book Printing Segment

Published September 2, 2014

Jay Foster, President of Soft Solutions, talks to Eric Vessels about the the needs for workflow management software in the fast changing book printing industry.

Responding to Changes in the Book Printing Industry

Published August 25, 2014

Joe Upton, VP of Sales and Marketing at Edwards Brothers Malloy, talks to Eric Vessels about the merger that created their new company and the focus of their business and how they've responded to the changing nature of book printing.

The Impact of the Multi-Generational Workforce

Published August 11, 2014

Jerry Scher talks to Eric Vessels about the multi-generational workforce and the impact it is making on business and how printers can ensure their recruiting process ensures they are attracting good talent.

HF Group Transforms from Library Binder to Digital Book Manufacturer

Published August 4, 2014

Jim Heckman, VP at HF Group, talks to Eric Vessels about going from being a library binder to fully embracing the digital revolution by getting into the printing side of the book business.

How Booksellers and Book Manufacturers Cooperate

Published August 1, 2014

Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, talks to Eric Vessels about the cooperation between BMI and his organization.

How Book Industry Changes is Affecting Suppliers

Published July 28, 2014

Dean Likas, RockTenn Director of Business Development, talks to Eric Vessels about the changes in the book printing industry and how it's impacted their business.

RPI Acquires DPI for Growth

Published July 14, 2014

Rick Bellamy, CEO of RPI, talks to Eric Vessels about their acquisition of DPI. He talks about the reason for the acquisition and how the integration has been going.

The Changing Landscape of the Bookseller

Published July 14, 2014

Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Associations, talks to Eric Vessels about the pressures on booksellers by digital content and the relative renaissance of their sector.

Kern Evolves into Inkjet Printing from Production Mailing

Published July 8, 2014

Ryan McManus, Marketing Director at Kern, talks to Eric Vessels about the company and how they've evolved from production mailing and finishing equipment to inkjet presses.

The Offset to Digital Transformation in Book Printing

Published July 7, 2014

Steve Fyfe, Owner of Magnum Digital Solutions, speaks with Eric Vessels about the offset to digital transformation in the book printing segment.

Catching up with Web2Print Vendor Amazing Print

Published July 3, 2014

Slava Apel, CEO of Amazing Print, talks to Eric Vessels about what is new at the company and how they are innovating to support their customer base.

The Ever-Changing Nature of Digital Book Publishing

Published June 16, 2014

Charles Marshall, VP of R&D at Lightning Source, talks about the digital one-off book publishing market and how things have changed and what the future holds.

Bridgeport National Bindery Transitions from Bindery to Digital Book Printer

Published May 20, 2014

Kent Larson, VP of Print on Demand at Bridgeport National Bindery, talks to Eric Vessels about transitioning from being just a bindery to becoming a digital printer doing on-demand book printing.

INX International: From Ink Manufacturer to Digital Press Market

Published February 6, 2014

Jim Lambert, VP & GM of Digital Management Division at INX International, speaks about how INX International went from an ink manufacturer transformed themselves from an ink manufacturer to digital press manufacturer.

How the Digital Transformation has Impacted Webcrafters' Book Manufacturing

Published December 12, 2013

Brad Koch, VP of Sales for Webcrafters, talks to Eric Vessels about how the digital transformation has impacted their book manufacturing business and how Kodak has contributed to those changes.

The Digital Transformation and the Importance of BMI

Published November 8, 2013

Steve Fyfe, Owner/Manager of Magnum Digital Solutions, talks about the genesis of Magnum and the importance of the Book Manufacturers Institute and their annual conference.

Janet McCarthy Grimm on BMI Associate Membership

Published November 5, 2013

Janet McCarthy Grimm, VP of Sales for Lindenmeyer, talks to Eric Vessels about being a BMI Associate Member and what the association is doing for her career.

Mike Collinge of BMI at Their Annual General Meeting and Conference

Published November 4, 2013

Mike Collinge, President of BMI (Book Manufacturing Institute), speaks with Eric Vessels at their annual member conference about the association and what happens at their annual general meeting and conference.

xpedx Goes Wide with Series of Summits

Published July 3, 2013

WhatTheyThink's Eric Vessels made a short trip from his home in Ohio down to the xpedx headquarters in Cincinnati for one of fourteen Wide Format Summits being put on by the company in 2013. This piece gives his impressions as well as thoughts from those who attended the event.

John Krehbiel of CJ Krehbiel Company on Exploring Wide Format

Published July 1, 2013

John Krehbiel, Systems Specialist at the CJ Krehbiel Company in Cincinnati, talks about branching out into wide format at the xpedx Wide Format Summit.

Rick Autzen of Springdot on Entering the Wide Format Space

Published June 28, 2013

Rick Autzen, COO of Springdot, talks to Eric Vessels about the customer driven decision to get in the wide format space at the xpedx Wide Format Summit in Cincinnati.

Strine Printing's David Kornbau on their Digital Transformation

Published April 23, 2013

David Kornbau, SVP or Strine Printing, talks to Eric Vessels about their business and how they've responded to the digital transformation of the industry.

Hybrid Software's Mike Rottenborn on trends in data usage, MIS, and web-to-print

Published March 15, 2013

Mike Rottenborn, President & CEO of Hybrid Software, talks to Eric Vessels about the trends he's seeing in the industry relative to data usage, MIS systems, and web-to-print.

Phil Yu of Gamut Media on Winning a Golden Image Award at SGIA

Published March 1, 2013

Phil Yu, Creative Director at Gamut Media, talks to Eric Vessels at SGIA about winning a Golden Image Award for a unique restaurant application.

Mike Rottenborn of Hybrid Software Shares a Web-to-Print Case Study

Published February 26, 2013

Mike Rottenborn, President and CEO of Hybrid Software talks to Eric Vessels about a web-to-print cases study involving a customer who sells folding cartons from a web site.

WhatTheyThink on the Road Again at GOA and Dscoop

Published February 20, 2013

The tireless WhatTheyThink crew is on the road again. This time in both Orlando and Nashville attending Graphics of the Americas as well as Dscoop. Yes, simultaneously! How do they do it?

KBA President Claus Bolza-Shunemann on the company transformation, packaging, and partnerships

Published February 5, 2013

KBA President Claus Bolza-Shunemann talks to Eric Vessels about their changing strategic direction responding to the changing nature of the industry as well as their offerings in the packaging segment and recent partnerships.

Digital Leaders Gathering in Las Vegas for AppForum 2013

Published January 25, 2013

Over the weekend, those blazing a virtual trail in the industry relative to digital printing and its applications will be blazing a different kind of trail on their way to Las Vegas to attend the 2013 PODi AppForum. WhatTheyThink will be there as a long time supporter of the event and here’s what to expect.

Van Son Inks John Bendowski on wide format inks

Published January 14, 2013

John Bendowski, Vice President of Van Son Ink, talks to Eric Vessels about bringing their wide format ink offerings to North America and what is driving demand in wide format among commercial printers.

FastSigns CEO Catherine Monson on Undercover Boss

Published November 16, 2012

FastSigns CEO Catherine Monson talks to Eric Vessels about being on the CBS show Undercover Boss, shares details of the experience as well as lessons learned that others can benefit from in their businesses.

FastSigns CEO Catherine Monson on Co-branding

Published November 9, 2012

CEO of FastSigns Catherine Monson talks with Eric Vessels about their recently announced co-branding program for existing printers wanting to get into the wide format space.

SGIA President & CEO Michael Robertson on the 2012 show

Published October 23, 2012

Michael Robertson, SGIA President & CEO speaks with Eric Vessels about SGIA 2012 and having a record year for show attendance. They also talk about industry trends in wide format.

Phil Yu of Gamut Media on Winning SGIA Golden Image Award

Published October 22, 2012

Phil Yu, Creative Director at Gamut Media, speaks with Eric Vessels at SGIA about winning a Golden Image Award for their unique work for a local restaurant.

FastSigns CEO Catherine Monson on SGIA Day 1

Published October 19, 2012

Catherine Monson, CEO of FastSigns speaks with Eric Vessels about SGIA 2012, what she hopes to have her team accomplish at the show, trends she's seeing, and promoting their Co-branding program announced at Grap Expo.

Cary Sherburne shares thoughts on the opening day of Graph Expo 2012

Published October 8, 2012

WhatTheyThink President Eric Vessels and Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talk about day one at Graph Expo 2012 and her early impressions of the show.

A Tour of Canon’s Suzhou facility

Published July 2, 2012

WhatTheyThink recently joined other editors and analysts on a media tour of Canon’s production facility in Suzhou, China.  The visit was part of a second leg of a trip that included a visit to the company’s Tokyo headquarters.  The plant tour in Suzhou was an opportunity to see the Canon production system up close.

CEO Fujio Mitarai and Canon Host US Media Tour

Published June 29, 2012

WhatTheyThink recently joined other editors and analysts on a media tour to Canon’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. There, we were given a unique opportunity to hear from Canon Chairman & CEO Fujio Mitarai on his “5 Year Plan” strategy that focuses on reforming production and a profitable position in the markets they serve.

What I Learned at the Océ Direct Mail Summit

Published April 27, 2012

We were invited as the guest of Océ to participate in their recent Direct Mail Summit in Boca Raton, Florida. The agenda was focused on understanding how to generate more direct mail business and included both Océ executives and industry experts.

A View Up and Down Print’s Value Chain with HP and O’Neil Data Systems

Published March 12, 2012

We had a unique opportunity recently to get a look at the entire printing industry’s value chain by attending two separate events at O’Neil Data Systems new plant in Plano, Texas.  First was HP’s First Look event, which previewed for their customers technology they will be officially in the next few weeks.  Second was O’Neil Data Systems’ grand opening of their Plano facility, which gave us an opportunity to meet their customers as well.

Who is your pick for CEO of the Year?

Published May 11, 2011

Think Open House! Dayton's Think Patented holds "Visual Innovations Days 2010"

Published November 24, 2010

Dayton Ohio's Think Patented held an "Visual Innovations Days 2010" open house event and I made the short trip from home to see what was happening. Invited down by long time friend of WhatTheyThink Niels Winther, Think Patented Chairman & Managing Partner, I got a first hand view of what today's successful printer is doing to engage and inspire their customers with innovations and consultative solutions.

OPM Arvato leverages Kodak for digital book production

Published November 15, 2010

WhatTheyThink visits a Kodak open house at OPM in Scranton Pennsylvania to see their Prosper 1000 and 5000XL in action and hear from both Kodak and OPM executives on this new installation which is producing digitally printed books.

Catching Lightning in a Bottle...Twice?

Published October 25, 2010

Long time readers of Print CEO will remember seeing Pazazz Printing CEO Warren Werbitt in the hysterical video "Printing's Alive". We wrote about this nearly 3 years ago now (time flies!) and were obviously big fans of the video and the message. The video currently has over 200,000 views and is still talked about. You could probably consider it a YouTube viral hit within the industry. If you haven't seen it yet, you probably know someone who has and will recommend you watching. Warren and Pazazz are back at it with Printing's Alive 2...but can they catch the same lightning in another bottle?

WhatTheyThink celebrates 10 years!

Published July 12, 2010

WhatTheyThink started 10 years ago this year and we've been reflecting on it and sharing this fact with people in the industry. Most doubted it could be that long, but you know what they say about "overnight successes". They take years! We recently told some of our members that we were celebrating 10 years this year and got their reaction.

Graphic Arts Monthly among titles to be closed by RBI

Published April 16, 2010

In a press release today, Reed Business Information announced the intent to complete the divestment process started in July 2009 by by shuttering 23 remaining titles. Included in the list is the printing industry’s Graphic Arts Monthly and Graphic Arts Blue Book.

USPS delivers for you...but not on weekends?

Published March 3, 2010

The US Postal Service announced several cost cutting initiatives brought on by what they called "unprecedented volume declines" and a projected $238 billion shortfall over the next decade. One item that has people buzzing is a hint at the discontinuation of Saturday delivery. The only question I have is what took them so long?

Is Prinergy Dead? Kodak Says No

Published November 6, 2009

Can Design Save the Newspaper?

Published October 22, 2009

UPS entering web-to-print space

Published September 14, 2009

Revisiting April Fools Day Hilarity

Published April 12, 2009

A New Digital Era in the White House

Published March 9, 2009

A Visit to 4Over in Glendale, California

Published February 18, 2009

President Obama Greets Print Industry Leaders at White House

Published January 30, 2009

Kodak’s Antonio Perez and Xerox’s Anne Mulcahy were among a delegation of 13 tech industry CEOs who visited the White House Wednesday to discuss President Obama’s economic rescue plan. It was the first corporate sit down by the new President.

Will the Printed Blog Save the Newspaper Industry?

Published January 21, 2009

Will printed blogs be able to save the floundering newspaper industry? What impact will this have on printers who print newspapers and will there be enough good content to fill twice daily publications?

Hayzlett Hijacks WTT Video Studio

Published July 1, 2008

Apple Ad on Time's site

Published May 8, 2008

DSCOOPing in San Diego

Published March 1, 2008

Yahoo to Reject Microsoft Bid

Published February 9, 2008

Microsoft Offers $45 Billion to Buy Yahoo

Published February 1, 2008

Warren Werbitt is a Print Fanatic!

Published January 15, 2008

We Are The Press?

Published September 28, 2007

Lulu.com and Bowker Partner

Published June 3, 2007

POC Green Girls

Published May 29, 2007

Dvorak on Murdoch and New Media

Published May 15, 2007

April Fools: A WhatTheyThink Tradition

Published April 2, 2007