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MAN Roland Survey: Creatives Want To Know More About Printing Process

Press release from the issuing company

Westmont, Illinois - Printers who want to connect with customers from the creative side of the business should consider providing them with more information about the printing process, according to a recent survey conducted by MAN Roland. Over 87 percent of the creatives pooled declared that they need to be more knowledgeable about the printing process. Responding to a separate question, 91 percent said they would be willing to attend a free seminar to acquire more graphic arts expertise. “Clearly, a lack of communication exists between printers and creatives,” said Yves Rogivue, CEO of MAN Roland Inc., in announcing the survey results. “Our study shows that the gap today seems to be wider than ever. That is alarming because advancements like the digital workflow and Computer Integrated Manufacturing require closer cooperation between the creators of printed products and the experts who reproduce them.” To rectify the situation, MAN Roland is developing a Printing for Creatives Seminar that will be offered to the North American creative community this summer. “Our plan is to address some of the more common challenges designers and art directors face when going to print,” noted Christian Cerfontaine, Director of Marketing at MAN Roland Inc. “As part of the program, we’re also going to be publishing printing tips in the publications creatives read.” The survey, which polled over 500 designers, art directors and other creatives who buy printing on a regular basis, asked respondents about specific topics in which they might be interested. “Controlling color more precisely” led the list with a 4.6 (out of 5) rating. That top topic was closely followed by “What to look for on a press check” and “Ink and coating options,” each of which received a 4.5 score. “These responses indicate that the creative community is very concerned about quality and how to obtain it more consistently from a printer,” Cerfontaine remarked. The full list of proposed topics and their ratings: Topic / Score Controlling color more precisely / 4.6 What to look for on a press check / 4.5 Ink and coating options / 4.5 Proofing in the digital age / 4.4 Preparing files for press / 4.3 Printing for less with perfecting / 4.2 Benefits of computer to plate / 4.1 Extending the range of stocks and substrates / 4.1 Prepress. Press. Postpress. How does it all connect? / 4.1 How to spot the perfect dot / 4.0 Being creative in the bindery / 3.9 Selecting the right press for the job / 3.6 Respondents to the survey were also given an opportunity to recommend topics of their own. Many of the write-ins elaborated on topics suggested by the survey. Other answers ranged from “troubleshooting” to “how to evaluate printers.” “The results show that creatives are very interested in a wide range of issues regarding their printwork,” said Rogivue. “Our seminars will go a long way toward addressing them. But our data indicates that there is an opportunity for printers as well. The facilities that take the time to educate their creative clients will be the ones who win more work.” The survey also reinforced the notion that print continues to be a popular medium. One questions asked: What percentage of your creative work results in a printed piece? The average response was almost 77 percent, an indication of why creative print buyers are eager to learn more about the printing process. Why do creatives choose print? Write-in responses included these remarks: “Quality of end product, visually and physically.” “The tangibility of it. It's living and breathing.” “Its portability, its permanence, its feel.” “The diversity. Ability to do so many things with inks, varnishes, other various techniques.” “A product that meets your expectations” “Lasting impression, multiple audience, perceived credibility.” Some respondents also voiced their pet peeves about printing . . . “Color management & calibration.” “The technical aspects of printing.” “The mysteries of how it will replicate on different substrates.” “Not knowing what prepress does to the files or how the presses work.” “Variables. What I don't know about the printing process, frustration of final piece not being what you want and not knowing what to ask to make it better.” “The variations from one printer to another.” “It's hard to get the right color.” “Our seminars will address all of those issues, with the objective of making print even more popular as a creative medium,” Rogivue noted. The Printing for Creatives Seminar will be presented in locations throughout North America as part MAN Roland’s Learning Leadership program. The event is being developed in cooperation with Graphic Design:USA, a leading trade publication for creatives. Dates and locations will be announced as soon as they become available.