NPES rebrands as Association for Print Technologies (APT)

Reflecting its bold new mission to drive printing industry growth, NPES (The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies) has announced a name change to the Association for Print Technologies (APT). The new identity is both a recognition of the Association’s signature annual event – PRINT – which it’s produced since 1968, but it also marks “a defining moment in the Association’s 85-year history. The new name signifies progress toward the completion of its Strategic Business Plan for the industry, which was launched in January 2017,” it added.

Thayer Long.
Thayer Long.

“This rebrand of the organization signals a significant turning point, not just for our Association but for the entire printing and imaging industry,” said Thayer Long, President, Association for Print Technologies (APT). “The convergence in our industry is essentially in the rear view mirror. Now, as our new name more clearly expresses, our broader scope and direction are focused on greater alignment among the commercial printing and imaging value chains. This ‘next phase’ must happen in order for all stakeholders to benefit,” Long emphasized.

On the heels of the Association rebrand, and slated for the weeks ahead, are preview announcements on a compelling new and expanded line-up of programs and services. These include the launch of the Association’s new website,, in the Spring of 2018. Future association offerings and programs will span the areas of Research & Market Data, Industry Advocacy & Standards, Events, and Communications. Of special note, a new staff department, “Community & Industry Development,” has been established to advance programming designed to support businesses throughout the industry value chain – including initiatives that will address Workforce Development and Training.

Mark Hischar.
Mark Hischar.

Spearheading the new Community & Industry Development Department are industry veterans Ken Garner (as Vice President of Business Development and Industry Relations – formerly of Idealliance and NAPL), along with Julie Shaffer (as Associate Vice President of Program and Community Development – formerly of Idealliance and PIA). “To drive the industry forward for decades to come, our Board made the decision to evolve and re-position the organization. Our new identity, as the Association for Print Technologies, reflects the way forward,” added Mark Hischar, APT Chairman and President & CEO of KBA-North America.

As part of the organization’s re-positioning, a new strategy is also being launched for its signature annual industry event. In 2017, PRINT was the largest North American tradeshow by the number of visitors. Now, 100% non-profit, vendor-owned, and exclusively produced by the Association for Print Technologies, the association has designated its PRINT brand as the name for the industry’s premier annual event. PRINT 18 has been ‘right-sized’ to a three-day event, and will take place in Chicago, Illinois, Sunday, September 30 to Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at McCormick Place South. In 2018, APT’s PRINT event will expand its focus to include exceptional business growth opportunities. Specifically, the new strategy will address:

  • New learning and education formats and topics to better align with the value chain
  • Emphasis on technology, both printing and other “adjacent” technologies, which are having a greater influence in today’s marketing world.
  • Outreach to attract new segments within the printing value chain (including marketers and influencers)
  • The ‘collision’ of printing and digital channels with new solutions to meet demands of omnichannel marketing.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.