Packaging: what’s new?

When it comes to what’s new and what’s profitable in the packaging industry, it can be described in one word: sustainability. In its raw form, sustainability refers to “the capacity to endure” and at the current rate of societal change, having the ability to adapt and endure through transformation is more relevant now then ever before.

Wide-format inkjet printer review 2012

Leading forecaster IT Strategies projects that the worldwide retail value of wide format inkjet output, in the 2010-2015 period, will increase at a CAGR of eight percent, from $36 billion to $51 billion, with POP signage accounting for about 40 percent of all wide format volume.

At drupa – right now

Manroland sheetfed is presenting a host of head-turning innovations reflecting the tradition of excellence associated with its brand. “Visitors to our stand will clearly observe the power of manroland sheetfed solutions to help their companies face the many challenges of today’s printing industry with the most innovative and productive sheetfed offset solutions in the industry,” said Alfred Rothlaender, President of manroland sheetfed.

Mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is a hot topic in 2012 and it is likely to stay a hot topic for several years to come. If you own a smartphone you have likely experienced mobile marketing to some degree, whether it meant scanning a QR code that linked to more information, downloading an app branded by a specific company or you may have simply accessed a company’s website via the mobile browser on your smartphone.

DIA Celebrating 25 years

The Printing business was very different in 1987 – Gutenberg would be astonished at the changes in the industry over the past 25 years. Market sectors were at their zenith. Typesetting companies such as Cooper & Beatty, MonoLino, and Typesettra and pre-press companies like Batten Graphics, Bomac Batten and H&S Reliance (to name a few) were stand-alone markets. Then there were printing companies: Arthurs Jones, Clarke Litho, MIL, and MM&T come to mind.

The art of book binding

The fundamentals of bookbinding have changed quite dramatically over the course of hundreds and even thousands of years that craftsmen have been binding books, although the essence has remained the same. Bookbinding is the act of assembling text pages into a book block (whether in folded signatures or loose-leaf) and then attaching the book block to a cover for stability, protection and to communicate important information.

Print, digital, and digital print

I recently finished reading Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. I highly recommend the book to anyone who has an interest in innovation, creativity or technology. While the book is full of amazing facts and ideas, there is one idea that stuck with me as being highly relevant to our industry: Lehrer explained that innovation tends to happen at the “edges” of a discipline. This means that it is not Gutenberg the printer who invented movable type, but rather the wine connoisseur in him that saw the opportunity for a new way to use a wine press. I cannot think of an industry that is more suited than printing to interact on the “edges” of other disciplines. We are one medium of many in the advertising space, and increasingly each piece has to be better understood by the rest. The question then becomes which of the media will be most innovative by borrowing ideas from others? 

View from the publisher – May 2012

The old cliché “the show must go on” has never been more evident than this year. We’ve got drupa, the world’s largest printing show, running May 3 – 16 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Graph Expo, October 7 – 10 at McCormick Place South in Chicago, the SGIA Specialty Printing & Imaging Technology Show in Las Vegas, October 18 – 20, the Print World show on short-run technology November 17 – 19 at Exhibition Place in Toronto, and of course our own event, Printing Survivor II in Toronto, Thursday, September 20. Better mark them on your calendar. I also think we’ll need the summer to re-charge our batteries after drupa.

Helping you help your customers

This month we continue with stories of printers and graphic arts professionals helping their customers help themselves.

Trade organizations are important to our industry, yet many of their fine efforts often go unheralded. Here is just one example of an industry association helping ALL its members help themselves, and indeed the entire printing industry, by creating a helpful case-study video based on one member’s step-by-step success in sustainability.