ALEXANDRIA, VA (October 6, 2002) – To help printers stimulate the market for digital printing and build new business, the Digital Printing Council (DPC) of the Printing Industries of America, Inc. (PIA) is releasing a customer education program entitled Designing4Digital. This multimedia outreach toolkit helps printers educate their customers about the benefits and techniques of digital printing and thus grow business.
“Marketers, print buyers, and graphic designers are all aware that targeted communication significantly generates more response than generic direct mail. In recent years the printing industry has successfully accommodated their customer demands for shorter, more targeted pressruns. With the advent of the digital presses in the early ’90s and more recent software development, the printing industry is now equipped to offer one-to-one personalized marketing,” explained Frank Romano at a Graph Expo ’02 media conference launching Designing4Digital.
The DPC partnered with Romano, who is the Roger K. Fawcett Distinguished Professor of Graphic Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, to develop the program’s content. Romano continued, “However, printers are not reporting the expected business growth in this area despite being equipped to handle the jobs. Using Designing4Digital, printers can help customers understand the concepts and terminology of digital printing, and correctly create files that produce imaginative printed products.”
The Designing4Digital package consists of an interactive CD-ROM, a reference CD-ROM, and a book. To create the CD-ROMs, Romano enlisted the help of several of his students, lending interest and even humor to the program.
The interactive CD-ROM consists of ten lesson modules that effectively teach the necessary information about designing for digital printing. Information is provided on databases, design issues, design approaches, linking data to design, digital workflows, and more. Examples of variable-data printed projects are also provided, along with a digital dictionary, glossary, and “check-up” evaluations at the end of each module. Each lesson takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
The reference CD-ROM and book contain additional supporting materials related to digital printing. Included on this second CD is a ready-to-use PowerPoint presentation that can be used by printers to host seminars for their customers. Print-ready files of personalized posters that can be used to promote these seminars and a file for creating four-color personalized covers for the Designing4Digital book are also included.
“Personalized printing is a value-added service that can help differentiate a printer from the competition. Furthermore it can be a higher priced service since it elicits more response and therefore has a high value,” says Romano. “By providing these educational seminars, printers can further standout above their competition and develop new markets for variable-data printing. The seminars should also increase customer loyalty and improve customer retention.”
Romano also commented on how the program is vendor neutral so printers can easily tailor information to highlight their company’s capability and workflow. Four of the leading industry vendors—Electronic for Imaging (EFI), Heidelberg, Hewlett-Packard, and Xerox—contributed and reviewed content, as well as helped fund the project. This industry collaboration helps make Designing4Digital useable for any operation.
The second CD also contains additional, relevant material such as industry videos, websites, and sample materials. A link is provided to a special part of the DPC website through which users can access the free Designing4Digital newsletters and other DPC publications.
The DPC is working with PIA affiliate offices and other organizations to bring Designing4Digital orientation programs locally to printers throughout the country. These half-day training seminars will demonstrate how to use the program most effectively and prepare printers to deliver the program to their customers. Printers are encouraged to contact the DPC or their local PIA affiliate to see if a program is scheduled to take place near them.
For more about the Designing4Digital or the DPC contact Joanne Vinyard, director of the Digital Printing Council, by phoning 703/519-8170 or emailing [email protected]