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Interviews with Industry Executives, Commentary & Analysis from WhatTheyThink Contributors and other video features.

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Lilly Pulitzer Increases Agility, Reduces Lead Time with Digital Technologies

Margaret Getty, Senior Associate, Woven Fabric and Trim, for Lilly Pulitzer, shares the company's founding story and talks about how it has evolved over the years, most particularly, how digital design and print technologies have helped the company carve significant cycle time out of its go-to-market process. Watch Video

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Frank’s Reading Rainbow

Frank reviews two books this week. The first is “A Place for Everything—The Curious History of Alphabetical Order” by Judith Flanders, which provides an interesting look at how the alphabet evolved. The second is the more technical “Printing-Process Control and Standardization” by RIT’s Robert Chung, whose students have become the "apostles of color" around the world. Every printer should have a copy. Watch Video

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Smithers’ Sean Smyth Talks About Digital Print for Packaging

Smithers print consultant Sean Smyth talks to David Zwang and recaps some of the highlights of Smithers' recent “Digital Print for Packaging” virtual event. Key takeaways included the relative resilience of the digital label and packaging communities, the emergence of cannabis packaging, and how ecommerce is changing the demand for and nature of packaging. Watch Video

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Warren Werbitt Goes Printer to Printer with John Cassidy

This week, Warren talks with John Cassidy, Co-Founder and President of Myrtle Beach, S.C.’s Duplicates INK, about how he started the company with a friend of his out of college, how the company managed through the current “craziness,” and the importance of being a partner for clients and not just a vendor. Watch Video

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EXCLUSIVE: EFI Chief Revenue Officer Frank Mallozzi Provides Details about New Nozomi C18000 PLUS

EFI launched its digital direct-to-corrugated press, the Nozomi C18000, at drupa 2016. Since that time, the company has placed a number of units, and at least two companies have purchased two units. Now, based on market experience and customer feedback, EFI has launched the second generation, the Nozomi C18000 PLUS, available as a field upgrade. Hear what Frank Mallozzi has to say. Watch Video

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Springs Creative Team Shares Latest Developments for Designers and Brands (Part 1)

In the first part of a two-part video interview, Kathryn Lawrie, Kathy Phillips and Cathy Valent share the latest developments at Springs Creative, including new acquisitions for its Baxter Mill archive, an increased focus on fabrics and designs for home decor, and its ability to help designers and brands find inspiration when traveling around the world to find new ideas has become difficult during the pandemic. (Look for part 2 of this interview next Monday, 11/02.) Watch Video

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Frank Plays with the Stones

Color printing began with Alois Senefelder, who developed the process we now know as lithography, printing using a variety of limestone. Before there was process color with offset lithography, there was chromolithography, color printing using litho stones which overlaid different colors. Frank provides a short history of chromolithography, Louis Prang, its most famous practitioner, and shows some beautiful samples of this colorful printing art produced from 1900 to 1910. After 1910, CMYK inks were formulated and offset began the path to color printing. Watch Video

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Warren Werbitt Goes Printer to Printer with Sölvi Sveinbjörnsson

In this week's Printer to Printer, Warren Werbitt talks to Sölvi Sveinbjörnsson, CEO of Reykjavik, Iceland’s Umslag. The company specializes in transactional and security printing—and in fact is the only company in Iceland doing that kind of work. Umslag was relatively lucky; other printers in Iceland had catered to the tourist industry, which was shut down due to the COVID crisis. Watch Video

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AATCC Update: What's New and What's Coming

AATCC Executive Vice President Diana Wyman shares the latest AATCC updates, including initiatives that will be considered at the association's November virtual committee meetings, the availability of a PPE monograph on efficacy of various types of masks, sustainability, and more. Watch Video

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Frank Turns the Rules

Frank shows some newspapers with large, black inter-column rule lines. This was called “turning the rules” and was used to indicate mourning when a president or some other prominent personality died. The practice continued until the Kennedy era. Watch Video

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Warren Werbitt Goes Printer to Printer with DSG | UW's Justin Pallis

In this week's installment of Warren Werbitt’s Printer to Printer video series, he talks to Justin Pallis of Lowell, Mass.’s DSG | UW. In January, DSG started the process of acquiring Universal Wilde, which would essentially double the company’s size. Then COVID hit—just as DSG | UW started building a new facility in the Boston area. Palis talks about how they managed a complex merger in the midst of the crisis. Watch Video

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Independent Digital Printer ISS Discusses Its Conversion to an AlphaGraphics Franchise

Jeff and Eric Schwarz chose to convert their independent digital printing company, ISS, to an AlphaGraphics franchise in the summer of 2019. In this interview, they share their reasons for making the change and what it has meant for their business. Watch Video

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All the News That’s Fit for Someone Else to Print

Frank uses a giant 1880s Hoe rotary flatbed press—the machine that revolutionized the printing industry—as a jumping-off point to talk about how newspapers are getting out of their own printing. As newspaper circulation has gone down, newspapers can’t afford their own production, so newspaper printing—and often of rival newspapers—is being consolidated in a single production facility. Watch Video

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Warren Werbitt Goes Printer to Printer with Kurt Ellinger

In this week's installment of Warren Werbitt’s Printer to Printer video series, he talks to Kurt Ellinger of Tactive, which had just recently undergone a rebrand (the company was formerly called Print Resources). The company was started in 2000 strictly as a print broker, but gradually added digital and wide-format printing equipment. Ellinger also talks about the company’s major MIS implementation, and why Tactive chose Avanti. Watch Video

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Softwear Automation Sewbots: The Future of Apparel Manufacturing?

The sewing process has often been described as the "last mile" of apparel manufacturing automation. In this interview, Palaniswamy "Raj" Rajan, Chairman & CEO, Softwear Automation, talks about how sewbots, and in particular the sewbots the company is manufacturing, have the ability to automatically manufacture T-shirts today in amazing quantities, with a few toward being able to expand this capability to other apparel types in the future. He also shares projections about when the technology will be more commercially available. Watch Video

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Frank's Training Video

Frank holds his version of the Holy Grail of newspapers, one of the rarest items you can find in the printing industry: an issue of “The Transcontinental.” This was a newspaper printed on one of the first passenger trains to go from Boston to San Francisco in 1870. It was typeset in the baggage car and was printed on a Gordon platen press installed on the train. Content for the 12 editions was essentially a travelog, as the train stopped in various cities during its cross-country journey. The issue Frank has was printed at the summit of the Sierra Nevadas. Watch Video

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Target Report Interview—The Target Report Annual Recap 2020

Mark Hahn of Graphic Arts Advisors looks back at M&A activity in 2020 by segment and identifies some long-term trends, which segments have experienced more or less deal activity, the rationale behind acquisition activity, and the impact that the COVID crisis had on this year’s M&A activity. Watch Video

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Warren Werbitt Goes Printer to Printer with Al Kennickell

In this week's installment of Warren Werbitt’s Printer to Printer video series, he talks to Kennickell Group’s Al Kennickel. Kennickell Group went into 2020 with the expectation that it would be the best year in more than a decade—“one for the record books.” Unfortunately, it did become one for the record books, but not in a good way. Kennickell talks about the actions the company took in the early days of the pandemic, and how they made it through the worst of the crisis. Watch Video

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Innovations in Textiles: Viscose Made from Recycled Cotton

Lux Research Analyst Anthony Schiavo reports on the work being done by Europe-based Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research and Swedish company re:newcell to create viscose filament yarns from recycled cotton, a process that can help reduce textile waste that ends up in landfills and improve the industry's sustainability. These yarns, he says, can be seamlessly inserted into existing fabric manufacturing processes in place of viscose fibers created using a less sustainable process. Watch Video

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Frank Gets Framed

Last week it was hardware, this week’s it’s software. A graphic designer donated some software to the Museum of Printing, and reviewing it was like a trip back in time. Extensis Suitcase? Adobe Type Manager? And then there was FrameMaker, the donated version of which dates back to circa 1995. Installed from 11 floppy disks (!) and coming with a two-inch-thick user manual and all kinds of other printed documentation, FrameMaker was the standard for the production of structured documents like manuals. FrameMaker was later acquired by Adobe and is still around. Watch Video