Register for Free GRAPH EXPO Pass; Attend NPTA Alliance Networking Reception
GRAPH EXPO 2012 — held Oct. 7-10 at McCormick Place in Chicago — is the largest graphic communications exhibition and conference in the United States. Top executives come to learn, network and make informed purchasing decisions every year at GRAPH EXPO.
This year, PSDA members can receive a free GRAPH EXPO pass by registering here, courtesy of the Graphic Arts Show Company.
As a PSDA member, you're invited to NPTA Alliance's networking reception, held Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 4-5:30 p.m., at GRAPH EXPO in Hall A of McCormick Place South, adjacent to the Education Main Street Pavilion. This is a great chance to interact with colleagues across the industry and continent. To receive your complimentary ticket to the reception, stop by the NPTA Booth 4650.
Planning to attend GRAPH EXPO? Email us and we'll keep you posted as we schedule a time for a quick PSDA member meetup.
While you're at GRAPH EXPO, make sure to check out these exhibiting PSDA member companies:
B&W – Booth 4716
Cook Receipt Book – Booth 4733
Formax – Booth 4608
PrinterPresence by Firespring – Booth 861
The DFS Group – Booth 4549
Xeikon America– Booth 2238
Sign Up for Upcoming Mobile Usage Webinar
Title: What Do Mobile Usage and a Freight Train with No Brakes Have in Common?
When: Tuesday, Sept. 25, noon CT
There's no stopping a freight train, and there's no stopping mobile usage. Mobile usage on all platforms is increasing by leaps and bounds, and mobile browsing is predicted to eclipse web browsing in 2013.
Join Tawnya Starr, PrinterPresence president, to learn how to check your site for mobile compatibility and to find out what information a consumer is seeking on a mobile site.
Don't let this train leave the station. Sign up for this important webinar and gain critical information that keeps you on the same track as your mobile users.
Print Solutions Magazine Wins Tabbie Award
Every year, Trade Association and Business Publications International (TABPI) holds the Tabbie Awards. This year, TABPI awarded PSDA's flagship monthly publication, Print Solutions magazine, with a bronze “Tabbie” in the Special Section category for the December 2011 issue's special section “Top Case Studies.” Of the section, Tabbie Award judges said: “Interesting, informative and useful articles grace this section.” Read the Tabbie Award winning section.
Badger Tag & Label Offers New Collar Tag
Tags have historically been attached to the neck of many different cylinders, including fire extinguishers, filled tanks and beer kegs. To date, the format was typically a rectangle, but PSDA member Badger Tag & Label is offering a new circular shape, appropriately named the “collar tag.” While tags traditionally feature a wire, string or elastic to allow attachment of the tag to the tank, the innovative circular shape of the collar tag means it can be quickly slipped over the neck without an additional attachment. With the option to add slits in any location on the collar tag, a customized fit is assured. Because the collar tag fits over the neck, it naturally lays flush with the tank instead of flapping off to the side where it could be damaged or ripped off. As with all tags Badger Tag & Label produces, the new collar tag can be printed on paper or synthetic stocks.
For more information or a free sample of the collar tag, call Badger Tag & Label at 800.331.4863, email email@example.com or visit www.badgertag.com.
E-Bisprint Wins Central Coast Business Excellence Award
PSDA member E-Bisprint recently received the Roger Pysden Excellence in Innovation Award at the Annual Central Coast Business Excellence Awards. In July, E-Bisprint won three awards at the Wyong Regional Chamber Awards, including “Business of the Year 2012.” Also this year, E-Bisprint's success was recognized by winning a Grand Award in the Forms Category of PSDA's 2012 PEAK Awards. Last year, the company won the Central Coast Business Excellence Award for “E-Business Excellence.” Paul Freeman, E-Bisprint's managing director, proudly accepted this year's Roger Pysden Excellence in Innovation Award on behalf of the entire company. By winning this award, the company automatically qualifies for the NSW Business Chamber Awards, held in November.
Graphic Dimensions Hires Jerry Brook as National Prepress Manager
Graphic Dimensions, a PSDA member and trade manufacturer of business documents, recently hired Jerry Brook as its national prepress manager. Brook brings with him more than 23 years of print industry and prepress experience. Prior to joining the team at Graphic Dimensions, Brook served both Cenveo and Printegra as digital asset coordinator and was responsible for ensuring e-commerce applications across the enterprise were compliant with prepress and production practices.
Brook (pictured right) will be responsible for prepress strategy for all Graphic Dimensions' facilities and the implementation of new technologies to ensure the best possible service levels for all of the company's distributors. “I am excited about the addition of Jerry to our team,” said Jay Scammell, president and CEO of Graphic Dimensions. “His industry experience and knowledge will be a great asset as we take the next steps into the future and lend to the great platform we continue to improve upon for our distributors.”
Team Concept Holds Successful Open House
PSDA member Team Concept Printing recently held an open house to showcase the company's facility and its expanded line of equipment. More than 400 people stopped by the open house/NFL kickoff party and, according to the company, “No one left hungry.” From the company's website: “Along with the great food, we were able to update our clients with all of the new and exciting changes at Team.” Some of those changes included the EFI system the company is implementing to make its ordering process more efficient.
PSDA had a booth at the event, promoting membership to attendees. If you could not make it to the open house, you can contact the company for a private tour of its facilities.
Look for more coverage, including photos, in the PSDA News section of the September 2012 issue of Print Solutions, coming soon.
Relyco Partners with TPS Marketing Group to Create Personalized 3-D Marketing Campaigns
PSDA member Relyco, a provider of value-added business printing and payment solutions, recently announced a partnership with TPS Marketing Group, a provider of solutions and services that automate and enhance multichannel sales and marketing initiatives. Specializing in variable data programming, printing and 3-D promotional campaigns, TPSMG will use Relyco's DigiPOP digital packaging solutions to create custom personalized marketing campaigns that are proven to deliver results above and beyond traditional direct marketing.
“TPSMG takes a very unique fully personalized approach to direct marketing, and it all starts with an impact deliverable that gets opened,” said Ted Hebert, vice president of marketing at Relyco. “Using our DigiPOP digital packaging solution templates, TPSMG can quickly create over a hundred different 3-D packaging and promotional items on demand using their digital presses. This enables TPSMG to keep the messaging fresh and personal for its clients.”
InnerWorkings Survey Finds Cautious Optimism in Print Community
PrintWeek (09/06/12) Ward, David
The commercial printing industry is generally positive, according to a survey of more than 3,300 printing manufacturers, conducted by global managed print services provider InnerWorkings. More than half of those surveyed believed that the economy would be stable in the near future, while 27 percent thought the economy was improving. Almost half of the respondents expected their sales to increase; only 3 percent expected to see sales decline. More than 80 percent of respondents said that they would maintain or expand current staffing levels. The survey intended to provide up-to-date insights for print manufacturers, software suppliers, integrators and other businesses connected to the U.S. print market.
Gannett Partnership Aimed at Reducing Print Costs
Lafayette Journal & Courier (IN) (09/10/12)
Gannett Co. Inc. reports that it will partner with InnerWorkings Inc. for five years to exclusively manage print procurement and management for non-newspaper print products such as direct mail, marketing collateral, inserts and select publications. "With InnerWorkings, we are streamlining our third-party printing across our business units," said Evan Ray, president of Gannett Publishing Services. "Through this partnership, we will further enhance cost savings for the company." The agreement is part of the ongoing Gannett Publishing Services initiative to consolidate and drive efficiencies within the production and distribution of its print products. InnerWorkings is a global marketing supply chain company based in Chicago.
Augmented Reality Is for Real for Print Service Providers
Quick Printing (09/12) Riell, Howard
Augmented reality (AR) offers a lucrative opportunity for print service providers to emphasize the value of print as an core component of any marketing campaign or corporate identity package. "It ... requires a technology to use it, so you're either using it with a computer or with a tablet, like an iPad, or with your smartphone," said NAPL consultant Howie Fenton. "I think augmented reality is a lot like some of these other niche value-added services that somebody could offer." AR can be used to facilitate an interactive element in print, namely a live, real-world environment whose components are enhanced by GPS data, graphics, video, audio or other computer-generated sensory input.
"You can do different things with augmented reality," Fenton said. "One of the most famous was when LEGO did a campaign with augmented reality and generated twice as much sales of their product. The consumer took the box and held it in front of this kiosk, and all of a sudden you could see the LEGO blocks sort of assemble themselves." Fenton said that while the applications of AR are currently limited, a packaging application similar to LEGO's is an exciting idea. "Comic book characters are big, too; you can make things fly around if you want," he said.
Fenton also said AR interactivity includes consumers reaching inside an image, while interactive game designer Burton Posey commented that AR is "sort of back on its heels right now because no one has been able to find a use for it apart from a gimmick mechanic. It's a lot of work to ask someone to turn on their computer, open a site and then use their webcam and the business card you gave them just to experience that. It needs to move beyond the markers, and it has in some of the more expensive solutions."
Stressing that the AR audience experience should be seamless and effortless, Posey urged mobile and markerless implementations. "If you can creatively find a need or a pain point that a customer has and fulfill it with something like augmented reality, QR Codes or URLs, then I think it can be something else to help you build your business with," Fenton said. "It could help differentiate you. It could help increase your profitability. It could help you to stay alive."
Printing Company Balances Its Entire Operation
Packaging Europe (09/13/12)
The printing company Potts Print has recently carbon balanced its entire operation to bring it into alignment with mandates established by the British government's Climate Change Act. Facts and statistics about energy usage across Potts were sent to the Edinburgh Center for Carbon Management, which estimated the company's carbon footprint. This was subsequently offset, in association with the World Land Trust, via preservation of endangered tropical rainforests equivalent to the size of 12 football pitches.
"The benefits of initiatives like Carbon Balancing, using FSC/PEFC certified materials and managing waste are obvious to us," said Potts operations director Tony Mullarkey. "It's the right thing to do, and it creates a revenue stream for the business. By being transparent about how these features can help a client or end user — both for [corporate social responsibility], turnover and the government's carbon reduction targets. We allow customers to gain a clear picture of the benefits and make up their own minds about their value."
Potts employs a waste management system that produces just under 1 percent of the company's turnover as revenue, while Potts' status as "the first carbon balanced printing company in the north of England" makes it uniquely appealing among clients and their end users. In addition, increasing numbers of Potts' customers are opting to carbon balance their print and packaging.
"Potts is the main supplier of printed material for Pandora [Jewelry] UK, including all marketing literature, brochures, leaflets and in-store visuals," said Pandora executive Isabella Mann. "They also store and distribute over 400 lines of point of sale to all of the Pandora retail outlets in the country. The fact that both the production and delivery of these items is now completely Carbon Balanced is of significant benefit to Pandora's carbon reduction targets and overall sustainability commitment."
Web Marketing: Step Up to Online Printing with Confidence
Quick Printing (09/12) Starr, Tawnya
In the rapidly changing online printing space, most printers are either considering the online print market or have already entered the market and seen mixed results, or refused to allow online ordering. When deciding whether or not to offer online printing, businesses should set realistic expectations and consider the different categories for online printing. One category involves a client completing an order form, attaching a file and sending the assignment. This does not involve payment, but the order is manually entered into the MIS system, the graphic designer creates the artwork and the client receives a proof for approval.
The second category involves a storefront with a username and password, with which clients log in to view a catalog of static items they order regularly. The third category is a public storefront, providing a catalog of templates from which customers select layout, fonts and images and then submit them to the printer for output. The third category can be time consuming to set up, and many printers believe that it devalues the other services a printing company provides. However, while most clients who order printing are not trained to effectively order most printed projects, many people are becoming comfortable with simpler orders, such as business cards and letterhead pieces.
If such items can be profitably produced, printers should consider making them available for online ordering. When launching online printing, a business should consider three strategies. First, they should identify five products for which they can set up a landing page, search engine optimization and a marketing message, such as on the business' home page. Second, the companies should identify five vertical markets to target, with a landing page unique to each market. Third, they should use an online catalog. Printers need not offer steep discounts just for transactions done online, but making it easier for clients will more likely prompt them to do business with those printers.
Mobile Usage Webinar
Join Tawnya Starr in a webinar titled "What Do Mobile Usage and a Freight Train with No Brakes Have in Common?" to learn how to check your site for mobile compatibility and to find out what information a consumer is seeking on a mobile site.
Sign up for this important webinar
and gain critical information that keeps you on the same track as your mobile users.
Need for Large-Format Sheetfed Digital Printing Grows
ProPrint (09/03/12) Romano, Frank
DRUPA 2012 featured nine B2 sheetfed digital printers, compared to the two at DRUPA 2008. Production digital printing is at its best when it implements full process automation, electronic collation, variable data and inline finishing, but there is also a market for large-format static short runs printed on a multiplicity of substrates. B2-format offset presses already provide high quality at very competitive cost on a wide range of substrates with in-line coating and perfecting units.
Packaging is a main focus of B2-format digital, as going to the format opens up folding carton printing opportunities. B2 supports a much wider range of carton sizes, but is limited for multi-up impositions of larger designs. One limitation could be the requirement of brand colors for some packaging, although the Landa nanographic printers and HP Indigo can support such colors. For production digital print services to move into packaging, the platforms need more automation. The new digital products are best suited to do existing types of jobs in a more effective manner.
"Future of Print on Display at drupa 2012" Read Print Solutions contributor Ivars Sarkans' article "Future of Print on Display at drupa 2012" from the July issue of the magazine. Also check out part two of the story in the August issue.
Flatbed Printing: An Opportunity Not to Be Missed
Wide-Format Imaging (09/12) Steele, Jeffrey
Flatbed printing technology is becoming predominant in the point of purchase and retail signage segment of the wide-format market, and Hewlett-Packard's Ken Van Horn attributed flatbed printing's expanding influence and popularity to its flexibility. "[PSPs] can do something as broad-based as a national campaign, and on the other hand do something like producing a local tchotchke or award," he said. "It is versatility that allows them to do that. It gives them the ability to print on fiber, wood and plastic."
Oce North America's Randy Paar also credited flatbed printing's efficiency as a factor underlying its growth. By removing the arduous processes of mounting and lamination, "you're eliminating a number of steps, but you're also eliminating waste," he said. "When you look at a conventional process of mounting onto a board, the print can be ruined in that process. You're not only wasting the board it's mounted upon, but the print itself when you have to go back and print again. [With flatbed] you're printing directly on to the board, [so] you're eliminating that risk and the waste associated with it."
The viability of flatbed printing has received a boost throughout the past two years through the maturation of ultraviolet (UV) inks to the point where they can print on a broad spectrum of substrates without changing the ink set. In addition, printers have grown faster, cost per copy of the ink has significantly declined thanks to improved coverage and the equipment's reliability allows more copies to be printed with greater consistency than was possible even four years ago. Moreover, the ability to print white is facilitated by UV inks used with flatbed printing, allowing PSPs to sell a wider range of products and grow their efficiency.
Jim Cain with Polytype America said the dominance of flatbed printing stems from the desire to print oversized materials that are rigid. "Customers are now requesting more rigid material, more durable material and the use of UV inks that allow for greater outdoor durability," he said. "There's also better productivity, more versatility, reduced labor costs and increased automation." Cain expects the speed and size of flatbed printing will continue to expand. "It's all about how many boards per hour the sign shop or graphics shop can produce," he said. "It's all about productivity."
How to Make Your Display Graphics a Smash Hit
Wide-Format Imaging (09/12) Mortimer, Pat
More print service providers (PSPs) are entering the trade show and exhibit market to reach more potential clients and increase profits. New printer technologies, inks, substrates and processes have made this expansion possible. Experts offer a variety of advice on how a PSP could increase business and profit in the trade show market. Digital signage, for example, can provide a competitive edge to PSPs in the exhibit market. Digital signage offerings allow video and still images to be displayed on slim screens or through projections, and allow clients to customize content and imagery for specific events and regions. Textile and dye sublimation printers also add to PSP capabilities.
With increasing competition, PSPs often have to be more aggressive or focused. Greg Schopmeyer, vice president at Outdoor America Images, said that his company is now offering more services rather than clients having to go to multiple vendors. "We've brought on more and more on hardware," said Schopmeyer. "We're not just doing the graphic. We can go in and sell the hardware for your entire booth all the way down to the crates that you'll need and carry bags." A PSP that wants to enter trade-show and exhibit markets should examine every available market, beginning with local convention centers or hotels. New and upgraded substrates also are providing new offerings and opportunities for PSPs. Fabric is one common substrate, which has grown significantly in its use as an exhibit product.
Industry trends can be expected to affect the exhibit and trade-show signage market, such as UV inkjet printers, 3-D printers and concerns about sustainability. "More green materials are going to be a big bonus going forward," Schopmeyer said. "I think that's what's going to happen with the technology as more and more people are demanding more green materials. The manufacturing process will come down. … As we ask more and more for it, the prices are going to start to drop on that."
Top Tips: How to Advertise for Free
ProPrint (09/03/12) Severs, Jon; Roper, Jenny
Printing firms can market themselves without incurring significant expenses by utilizing several channels, one of which is social media. A personal rather than corporate approach on Twitter can be more effective, while establishing an identity can be achieved by linking to interesting print-related news stories or outstanding pieces of design, chatting to fellow printers or clients and giving people insight into your day job and daily activities. Tweeting should be done frequently, at least four or five times daily.
Facebook has the advantage of easy page setup, and the promotion can be brought to the forefront. The idea is to cultivate a sense of exclusivity for users, so firms should offer Facebook-only deals, special previews of current work and exclusive insights and deals. Posting lots of pictures is a good idea, as these will be shared with other users. Comments on work and the page should be encouraged, since these will end up in users' newsfeeds and encourage more people to register a "like" for your page. Users should not be contacted too often; sending group messages to all your fans is an abuse of power. The Facebook page also needs regular updating to stay relevant.
Another channel ripe for leveraging is networking, and printers can exercise this practice by attending local events such as school fairs and art markets. Opportunities also are abundant at local business forums, which help nurture a network of potential clients who, in turn, will recommend your business to others. Trade shows are another valuable networking resource, and printers are advised to talk to as many people as possible, attend as many events as they can, furnish as many questions with answers when chatting, engage in debate and discussion and stress the uniqueness of their business.
The local press outlets represent another opportunity for free advertising and can be used to cultivate recognition of your firm by business owners and local residents. Printers can interest local outlets in their offers and services by sending a press release. Printers should read the local newspaper and frame the release to match the style of the publication. They also should post details on the release so that they are the journalist's point of contact.
Staying Power of Mail: 8 Reasons Mail Succeeds in a Digital Age
Deliver (08/12) Vol. 8, No. 4, P. 20 Nahajewski, Allan
Direct mail remains vital even in the midst of a digital revolution, and reasons for its continued relevance include its tangibility, its greater sophistication and its utility as a targeting tool for marketers, according to a recent ExactTarget study. "In a world of hyper-fragmentation of communication channels, where you can get a phone call, text, email, post on Facebook, message on Twitter, message on apps, there's something about mail and how it cuts through the digital clutter that remains attractive to consumers," said ExactTarget's Jeffrey Rohrs. He also said direct mail is important for cross-channel communication, as it "can work hand-in-glove with email and social media."
Content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi cautioned marketers against becoming too "infatuated" with other communications channels, as direct mail cannot be matched in terms of getting the job done. "For certain goals like getting immediate attention, direct mail is perfect," he said. "There's so much less competition in the print channel these days, the opportunity to get noticed is probably as great as it's been in decades." Pulizzi also said direct mail offers great opportunity to build customer loyalty.
DirectMail.com owner Robert Salta emphasized: "It's all about results. Direct mail works." He said that most people often ignore email entreaties, but will open to read direct mail. "The fundamentals of direct mail haven't changed, partly because their efficacy has been proven time after time," Salta said. "What has changed is the advent of data and digital print technology, and both have benefited direct mail immeasurably."
InterTrend's Jon Yokogawa cited the growing sophistication of mail messaging, pointing out that "nowadays, direct mail is not just for the remnant budgets of smaller clients. Many industries see this form of marketing as a proven medium, having better and actual measurements [ROI] than traditional TV, print, outdoor advertising or radio." D exposito & partners' Louis Maldonado said the digital age has broadened direct mail's scope, introducing tools such as Quick Response codes, augmented reality and SnapTags to mail marketing.
QR Codes, Mobile Payments Especially Popular for Food Businesses
Mashable (09/11/12) Freeman, Kate
Restaurants and food trucks are increasingly embracing mobile payments, and their newest option involves the QR Code. The gourmet sandwich shop Split Bread is is the latest eatery to offer this mobile payment option at San Francisco's Metreon. Patrons can place an order from their table without ever speaking to a real person because each tabletop has a metal stripe with a QR Code printed on it. Customers can use their smartphones to scan the QR Code, pull up the digital menu, place the order and then pick up their food at the counter when their order is ready.
About 30 percent of Split Bread's customers order and pay through the QR Codes on the tables, and the restaurant hopes to push that figure up to 100 percent. Split Bread turned to QR Codes because it was seeking a payment option that was seamless for customers, device agnostic and would not force customers to download an app, said David Silverglide, one of the founders of the food establishment. The Melt, a gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich shop, began accepting QR Code payments about a month after opening in September in San Francisco. Consumers said the QR Code payment option is convenient but also expressed concerns about security.
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