Happy holidays

While on an average December day one might have several dozen conversations about various things, this year it seems the topics are split down the center between the doom and gloom of the recession and the holly-jolly of the holidays.

This leads me to believe that things are not as bad as they could be‚Ķand at the end of the day, eggnog and fruitcake will distract us. Now, I know some of you are screaming at my ignorance as you read this – especially if you are one of the newly unemployed post-Grafikom shut-down – but I have always said that you can never underestimate the power of positive thinking. Downturns in industries lead to brighter tomorrows. We twist and turn to make things better during hard times, thus making us great when times get better. Forced improvement can be very positive. Having said that, while we all know things are “interesting” to say the very least, I refuse to be grumpy during the holidays, so here I go with my unbearably happy jingle!

This past November at Ryerson, we celebrated Graphic Communications Management Awards Night – a pleasant evening enjoyed by students, their families and industry professionals who sponsor scholarships of merit and achievement. It is a wonderful event to watch as excited future printers take the stage to receive their awards and shake hands with their sponsors. Even better are the faces of proud parents, many of whom have grown up in the graphic arts business themselves. We congratulate you all.

Shortly after the awards night, we were off to Print World. My experience at Print World this year was fascinating. I think I anticipated a lot of the doom and gloom conversations. Instead, I was greeted by vendors who are enthusiastic about the future. It seemed like ideas were floating around freely. One gentleman said to me, “the time to complain has come and gone, now it’s time to get creative.” I think we all need to have a quick cry once in a while, but once we do, it’s time to move forward.

This month’s issue features a couple of new authors along with our veteran writers. The magazine’s own Brian Collins takes you through his experiences at Graph Expo, while Nicola Kidd and Nathan Witt discover the world of t-shirt printing. This month’s “My Customer Asked Me” question was on the topic of paper (or the lack thereof), answered by our newly-found paper expert, Magda Stolarczyk.

As always, we are thrilled to have Gail Nickel-Kailing share her ideas. She discusses the benefits of working with a trade printer. We know that when commercial printers offload work to their channel partners, the first ingredient must always be trust. Nickel-Kailing highlights some of the benefits of such partnerships to include extending your product offering, testing new processes and drawing on process expertise, and most importantly growth without the risk of investment in additional capacity.

Generally, as we enter a time of hardships those advantages are highly attractive. As we continue to move forward the way to success will be through this style of distributed innovation. At the heart of this model is an industry that comes together to work more efficiently and produce better results.

As you take time out this holiday season to unwind with family and friends, try not to think about work!
We hope you enjoy the issue.

Natalia Gilewicz