2012 PEAK Award Call for Entries Now Open
The call for entries for the 2012 PEAK Awards is now open. The Print Excellence and Knowledge (PEAK) Awards highlight unique and successful print applications. Hosted in partnership with the Print Education & Research Foundation (PERF), this competition honors the work of print professionals who have met their customers' printing needs by providing outstanding value-added products and services through creativity in design, production, fulfillment and other services while solving problems or improving business functions. Winners will be announced at the 2012 Print Solutions Conference & Expo.
Learn more about this program and submit your best work for consideration today.
Special Offer for PSDA's Job Board: Résumé Giveaway
PSDA members can take advantage of a special offer on PSDA's Job Board, which is managed by PrintWorkers.com.
Purchase any 60-day job posting this week and receive a complimentary résumé. PrintWorkers.com sends emails to employers on a daily basis about newly registered job seekers. Post a job this week for 60 days, and if you receive an email about a job seeker whose skill sets match those of your job posting, let us know, and we’ll send you the job seeker’s résumé at no charge. You can post a job for 60 days for $199.00 or, for $250.00, you can post a job for 60 days and view and search résumés for 60 days with up to 25 résumé views. Log in and get started. One résumé per purchase. For further details, email: email@example.com or call 877-989-0949.
Ennis Acquires Cenveo’s PrintXcel and Printegra Facilities
PSDA member Ennis Inc., a manufacturer of printed business products and apparel, has agreed to acquire certain assets of Cenveo's document business, including the manufacturing facilities branded under the names PrintXcel and Printegra, both of which are PSDA members. The operations will continue under their respective trade names. Ennis will continue to manufacture and market the pressure seal product line under the VersaSeal brand name. The acquisition will also expand the company's high color commercial print capabilities and business check product lines and will continued to be sold through the company's independent distributor network. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Ennis' earnings in the first full year of operations. Substantially all of PrintXcel's and Printegra's employees will be offered positions with Ennis' new operation, and customers can continue contacting all of the locations under the same methods. No changes to the day-to-day operations are expected to be made.
CFC Print Solutions Adds Second Digital Press
PSDA member CFC Print Solutions of Grand Prairie, Texas, a provider of business document printing, recently added its second digital press to its operation. The Kodak Digimaster EX 150 digital production system provides high-value, high-volume applications that allow for quick delivery and superb print quality. “The Kodak Digimaster EX 150 allows CFC to continue to bring additional value added products and services to the market. We will now increase our variable and digital quantity offerings while simultaneously driving turn times to unprecedented levels,” said Vinny DiNicola, the company's executive vice president and senior partner.
Graphic Dimensions Promotes 1, Hires 2
Graphic Dimensions, a PSDA member and trade manufacturer of business documents, recently announced management changes. Rodney Hall (pictured, left) was promoted to the position of general manager of the company's Georgia facility. Hall is responsible for all aspects of operations within the facility. He has more than 27 years of experience in the printing industry and has spent the past 13 years working as production manager for Graphic Dimensions.
Terry Jackson (pictured, center) joined the company as production manager of the Georgia facility. Jackson is a seasoned printing veteran holding various operations positions since he started in the industry in 1983. Jackson was the director of manufacturing support at Cenveo's Printegra brand and was responsible for supporting the operational needs of 13 document plants.
Alan Thompson (pictured, right) was hired as the general manager of Graphic Dimensions' Kentucky facility. Thompson has more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of the printing industry. For the past 21 years he worked as production manager at Cenveo's Printegra facility in Indianapolis. “Our recent management changes were made to further increase the quality of our products and customer satisfaction” said Jay Scammell, owner of Graphic Dimensions. “These industry veterans will help enhance the value proposition that we offer our distributors and demonstrate the investments we're making toward building our future.”
RR Donnelley Awarded New Multiyear Print Management Agreement by Chrysler
RR Donnelley was recently awarded a multimillion dollar, multiyear print management agreement by Chrysler Group LLC. This new agreement significantly expands the companies' relationship. Under the terms of the award, RR Donnelley will provide a comprehensive array of print management services, including onsite pre-media resources and sourcing support, commercial printing, direct mail, logistics, labels and forms. Chrysler will also draw upon RR Donnelley's proprietary CustomPoint(R) intelligent print management system, which facilitates a range of services, including variable digital printing and individualized communications.
“We are very proud to have earned the opportunity to serve Chrysler through this new multiyear relationship,” said John Paloian, RR Donnelley's COO. “As large organizations' integrated communications needs become more complex, the value that we provide as a single-source print management provider becomes even more pronounced. Our ability to act as a central point as printing is prepared, produced and distributed helps to optimize costs and to enable tighter control over messaging.”
PathQuest Group Welcomes New Vice President
Bill Reid recently joined PSDA member PathQuest Group as a vice president. Reid brings more than 22 years of print industry marketing and sales experience to PathQuest. Most recently, Bill was VP of marketing at Cenveo Custom Resale's Division, overseeing marketing responsibilities for Discount Labels, Lancer Label, Printegra, PrintXcel, Wisco Envelope and National Imprint Corporation. Reid will be available to provide full service marketing, merger and acquisition and business development services to distributors and trade manufactures. “Bill is a great addition to the PathQuest team,” said Casey Campbell, president of the PathQuest Group. “I have worked with Bill for many years in the past, and his talents will be an asset to our clients and our company.”
The Great Debate: Digital Versus Flexo
Labels & Labeling (01/10/12) Hunt, Barry
Many people in the labels sector believe digital printing has reached a major turning point and see the lower end of the flexo market as the prime target. The efficient handling of short runs may have enabled digital printing to grow quickly, but versioning is the real point of differentiation, considering brand owners and retailers want to reduce their label and packaging inventories and also want a choice of versions, shapes and sizes for individual orders. Moreover, with products that range from entry-level desktop devices to faster, industrial presses targeting flexo in certain markets, single-pass CMYK inkjet printing adds another dimension to the debate on how digital will impact conventional printing technologies. "Based on current developments, we can look forward to wider substrates and improved productivity, while LED curing with its lower energy is another important development," said Mark Alexander, Xaar's marketing director.
The short-run advantages of digital printing were on display at Labelexpo Europe 2011, but flexo press makers stressed increased productivity levels with lower startup waste during their demonstrations. Flexo press makers have automated the main press functions and simplified the overall operation, and Mark Andy and several others said the latest flexo presses can now handle the type of short-run jobs that were previously considered uneconomic. Press manufacturers are looking to respond to the challenge of the latest digital presses, and the result could lead to machines with wider webs and faster production speeds in a few years. Ultimately, no single technology will provide all the answers as individual converters attempt to define their objectives for meeting customer demands.
Keeping Print Relevant: Lessons Learned From a Bad Decision
My Print Resource (01/01/12) Ravi, Sudhir
Entrepreneur Sudhir Ravi recalled a key fund allocation decision for strategically growing a digital printing firm that favored equipment, only to learn later that it was a bad decision. The inaugural Federation of European Screen Printers conference gave Ravi a sense that consideration of point of purchase (POP) was important in view of a projected, steep near-term falloff in direct mail. "My temptation was a current model digital press that was marked down so low that I just had to get it," Ravi wrote. "My rationalization was that I had another one similar to it and that it would help create the necessary scale to compete effectively for larger campaigns. The empirical data was clear, the pundits were saying focus on additional services and my instinct was echoing those sentiments, but I fell victim to my own rationalization."
An investment in POP would require retraining both production employees and salespeople to sell another service, and these concerns were paramount in Ravi's mind. "In hindsight, I was forgetting one thing," he noted. "My roots were in instant printing, and I received training in a segment like no other in graphic arts, one which teaches us that customer requirements can be as esoteric as fax services one day and a direct marketing package, complete with pURLs, the next. We knew how to be agile." Ravi's company bought the used press instead of new POP gear, and the press underperformed and got sidelined. Ravi said that the key lesson he learned from this experience was that "I have to rely more on my 'quick printing' roots, which have taught me that customer needs will always change (rapidly) and that marketing services, as long as they are financially sustainable, should reflect what customers are willing to purchase."
USPS Makes '2nd Ounce Free' to Boost First Class Mail Volumes
Post & Parcel (01/25/12)
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has implemented "Second Ounce Free" pricing for First Class Mail presort letters because of suggestions from major customers. The major users of presort First Class Mail letters — transactional mailers — can include more pages in a mailing without paying a higher rate. USPS intends to use the offering to demonstrate the value of physical mail for communications like bills and statements and fight the decline in First Class Mail volumes.
Gary Reblin, vice president for domestic prices at USPS, said the Second Ounce Free initiative gives companies greater flexibility to include additional promotional offers in their mailings. "Second Ounce Free provides business mailers with the option of using higher quality paper stock or larger envelopes to create greater impact," Reblin said. "This makes transactional mail a highly effective medium for target marketing." Commercial mailers do not need to register or meet additional minimum volumes to obtain a free second ounce. With modern variable data printing techniques, companies can personalize advertising or other information to the individual recipient of a mailpiece.
3-D Printing Brings Rapid Prototyping to the World of Art
Fast Company (01/24/12) Graham, Shawn
Researchers at Additive Workshop are employing 3-D scanning and printing to rapidly prototype works of art, which could greatly accelerate the creation and lower the cost of art as well as digitally preserve museum collections, among other things. "Our technology allows us to bring pieces of art into the world in an infinite number of ways, and that is why our business is exploding," said Additive Workshop CEO Mark Ghiglieri. "Everyone from museums to movie studios needs our help to create incredible works of art in a short amount of time."
Through 3-D scanning and printing, artists can now capture digital images of their works down to the finest detail, and current technology makes it possible to produce 8 million bits of information per square inch scanned. Once the object is scanned, a 3-D mold is generated and can be sent to a 3-D printer, where the object's size can be adjusted. Examples of Additive's achievements with 3-D scanning and printing include 10-foot-tall figures of basketball players designed to hang from the ceiling during the grand opening of Nike's anchor store in New York City's Times Square. The convergence of art and engineering is expected to continue as 3-D scanning and printing grows in sophistication.
PSDA Blog Head over to the PSDA Blog and give your two cents on the topic of 3-D printing. Is it the wave of the future or just a fad?
Payne Printed Message Tape and Labels Offer Ideal Solution for QR Codes
Packaging Europe (01/23/12)
Printed message tape and labels from Payne can help brand owners position themselves to leverage the expanding popularity of Quick Response (QR) codes. Adding the code using a printed tape or label allows it to be changed rapidly in line with revised interactive content. Only the tape or label design requires changing, and this can support cost savings on origination of a new pack and potentially avoid packaging waste. "QR codes not only allow consumers to access extra content, which adds value to brands; they encourage them to share that content, which can create an interactive community around a brand or product," said Simon Wildash, Payne's head of marketing. "In addition to encouraging greater brand loyalty, this boosts on-shelf presence and influences the decision making of buyers at the point of purchase, and we are seeing a lot of interest from customers in adding QR codes to their products." Utilizing printed tapes or labels also ensures the consumer has the code at his fingertips for entering promotions online or through SMS registration, supplying an important tool for brand engagement.
QR Codes on the Rise in Print Magazines
Read Write Web (01/26/12) Strom, David
QR codes dominated the field for action codes in print magazines by the end of 2011, according to a study by Nellymoser, the mobile UX designers and marketing analytics firm. Nellymoser reviewed every 2011 issue of the top 100 national magazine titles and found a total of 4,400 QR codes, MicrosoftTags, Spyderlynk SnapTags, BEE Tags, JagTags, Digimarc watermarks and other codes with an iPhone or Android device. The magazines averaged two tags per issue at the beginning of 2011 but averaged more than six tags per issue by the end of last year. More than half of the codes or tags were used to link to a particular video, often for mobile viewing, such as a product demo.
Another third of the tags were used for entering sweepstakes or opting out of mailing lists. L'Oreal, Bose, Cuisinart, Revlon, Samsung, Delta faucets and Tag Heuer watches were the biggest users of tags, and most tags appeared in women's magazines. Nellymoser also noted that half of the magazine titles on the top 10 list for the fourth quarter were not on the Q3 top 10 list, and these included ESPN magazine, People, Self, Sports Illustrated and Time. Most codes had accompanying text that provided an SMS path, had instructions on how to get a scanning app or described the ultimate destination for the scanned code.
Glamour Magazine Uses QR Codes in Print Ads to Achieve 512,339 Scans For more on recent QR code statistics and information, visit the PSDA Blog and the post on Glamour magazine. Leave a comment with your thoughts.
Direct and Digital Outlook for 2012 Cautiously Optimistic
B2B Marketing (01/12) Hosford, Christopher
Industry experts are making positive predictions for direct and digital marketing health, with an increase in search and display expenditures, a rebound in direct mail and stronger hiring plans. "Last year, things actually were pretty good for five or six months, and then it got quiet during the summer because of a bad macro environment," said Bruce Biegel, managing director at marketing consultancy Winterberry Group. In a presentation to the Direct Marketing Club of New York, Biegel presented an analysis showing that direct mail experienced 2 percent growth in 2011, with the same amount expected this year, and that marketing spending on social, search and mobile will increase significantly in 2012.
The latest survey of hiring decision makers by direct marketing executive search company Bernhart Associates found that 52 percent of companies reportedly plan to add to staff this quarter, up from 40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. The percentage of companies planning layoffs is now 6 percent, compared with 8 percent in late 2011. Despite promising predictions, there is still reason for caution. Nineteen percent of Bernhart respondents still anticipate a hiring freeze in the first quarter, while challenges remain for the traditional media world of direct mail and print.
How Rochester Saved $2 Million With Managed Print Services
CIO Insight (01/17/12) Lawinski, Jennifer
Rochester, N.Y., has made the transition to managed print services and expects to save $2 million throughout the next five years. In an attempt to close Rochester's $50 million budget gap, city officials looked partly to technology to reduce costs and inventoried technology across all government departments, including printers. Rochester CIO David Mayor said the city had no idea it had accumulated 459 printers, which were purchased by individual departments prior to the establishment of the CIO's office in 2006. The assessment revealed that Rochester had 220 different printer models, each requiring its own consumables.
Xerox reached out to Rochester, assisting the city in creating a roadmap for overhauling its entire printing environment, and after shedding hundreds of machines and swapping devices, the city wound up with 168 printers, including 24 Xerox ColorQube 9200 Series multifunction printers. Rochester will achieve savings on equipment, consumables and maintenance and also believes the managed services will give the IT team more time to work on other projects. "When you're buying the onesies and twosies, you end up with lots of models and different types of printers," Mayor said. "You must, therefore, devise a strategy that really drives an overall governance process for the acquisition and deployment and maintenance of printers."
Digital Adds a Special Touch
Print Week (01/20/12) Roper, Jenny
Digital technology is growing rapidly, bringing such options as metallic prints and sophisticated security inks. Cost-effective versions of advanced applications are now available for shorter run and personalized jobs. The Xerox iGen4 can apply security watermarks that can be detected without UV or infrared light and can create fluorescent markings, security text and microtext. At the end of 2010, HP launched a white ink that can be used either for printing on colored substrates or for creating double-sided images on transparent substrates. The HP Indigo range also support a broader range of colors, with an IndiChrome system that uses an orange and violet toner that allows digital printers to match colors out of the gamut with CYMK.
The Kodak Nexpress features 3-D ink that can create tactile effects, such as reptile skin, or can apply a gloss coating and magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) inks for secure documents. Similarly, the Scodix UK digital embossing press applies a clear gloss finish to printed products that have been through either a digital or litho press; by building up the gloss, the system can create 3-D and embossed effects.
NCR, VendorNet Integrate In-Store Pick Up With POS Software
Convenience Store Decisions (01/12)
NCR and VendorNet are teaming up to offer retailers a seamless, out-of-the-box fulfillment solution that supports the entire "buy online, pick up in store" process. The strategic agreement for the fulfillment offering will result in the integration of NCR's Advanced Store point-of-sale (POS) software with VendorNet's cross-channel StoreNet In-Store Pickup fulfillment technology. The solution will link store product inventory to e-commerce platforms, enabling in-store pickup by consumers.
NCR and VendorNet will offer a tool that allows retailers to gain visibility into available merchandise, make merchandise or item pick lists for store associates, ship to the consumer's preferred store location, send email alerts to notify consumers that their item is ready for pickup and make bin location look-up for store associates to locate online orders as well as faster checkout at the POS. Moreover, retailers will be able to offer complementary promotions at the point-of-sale or provide other deals through cross-selling, facilitated through NCR Advanced Store. "Retailers need to be more innovative than ever before to stimulate sales and preserve margin in the face of crushing competition," said Rick Chavie, NCR's vice president of retail marketing. "By offering consumers more options that enable them to shop based on their preferences and presence in a retailer's channels, retailers can ultimately deliver better service and enhance the shopping experience for their customers."
Paper: The Digital Difference
My Print Resource (01/23/12) Hall, Bob
More and more digital papers have been developed as a result of higher demand driven by the migration of printed communications from offset output to digital production. "Our paper sales for color digital print applications, such as production inkjet, are growing exponentially as we continue to build strong business relationships around technical problem solving in the pressroom," said Finch Paper's Tony McDowell. "We plan to continue to realign our sales and technical resources as customers shift from lithography to digital print output." Paper volumes used for offset are expected to continue their shrinkage as digital output replaces analog offset, and digital will subsequently emerge as the sole potential growth area for paper.
Although toner is by far the leading digital output technology in the commercial printing sector, inkjet technology will grow as an output solution, especially in areas such as transpromo, direct mail and book production, thanks to upgrades. The diversity of both coated and uncoated inkjet-compatible papers is increasing as inkjet devices become more common. The three fundamental considerations for paper in any printing environment are runnability, printability and usability, and toner-based output devices place additional demands on paper on account of toner transfer and fusing. A key factor to weigh in digital printing paper use is moisture level, as both excessive wetness and dryness can lead to paper jams.
Full-color digital printing requires more rigorous paper quality control to prevent jams, and core traits are surface properties, surface strength, dimensional stability, grain direction, smoothness and charging characteristics. Paper opacity also is important, as heavier toner coverage can lead to images showing through on two-sided digital print jobs. "The same characteristics that make a great offset paper apply to digital paper: formation, smoothness, brightness and opacity," said Mohawk Fine Papers' Chris Harrold. "All four of these qualities play a role in superior print results and shouldn't be overlooked. In addition, digital papers are made to specific calipers, contain less moisture and are precision-cut to digital sheet sizes/rolls. Digital papers may also have a product-specific surface treatment for toner and inkjet applications."
2012 Forecast: Mobile Marketing
Adotas (01/01/12) Hasen, Jeff
According to Jeff Hasen, CMO of Hipcricket, 2011 was a banner year for the mobile and advertising industries. He said the biggest lesson learned was that campaigns must tie directly to return on investment, as expectations to show return on investment (ROI) have increased. A big factor in achieving desired ROI is reach. Despite what some may think, Apple does not have a lock on market share, and mobile marketers must think beyond iOS to reach consumers on all types of devices and networks.
The industry in 2012 can expect more pressure to produce results from mobile campaigns, according to Hasen, which means it is critical to think beyond a one-time transaction. There will be more long-term engagement opportunities and learn to think "beyond the click"; and there will be even more device types in the hands of consumers, making it important to provide positive user experiences. Successful mobile campaigns have prominent calls to action and provide multiple ways to engage. Hasen also said that the industry and consumers can expect more social interaction via mobile device at the point of sale, making customer service vital. Additionally, more new vendors are expected to enter the marketplace.
Abstract News © Copyright 2012 INFORMATION, INC.