Graph Expo--Digital Paths Are Open
The path to digital printing has been blazed. Graph Expo and Converting Expo 2000, your trailhead outfitter, will let you glimpse the road ahead.
BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO
The digital directions of the printing industry are heading to the Windy City next month for what will undoubtedly be the most Internet-crazed, digital prepress happy, on-press imaging Graph Expo ever. On the product agenda for the exhibition will be a fleet of new digital telecommunications tools, color management software, digital workflows, digital prepress technologies and a variety of all-digital, full-color production printing presses. If the electricity goes out at Chicago’s McCormick Place complex, no one should be surprised (Tip in case of a blackout: To ensure survival in the exhibit halls, be sure to carry a flashlight, compass and potable water).
What will Graph Expo deliver to the collective printing community on Sept. 24th-27th? The answer to that question is laced with varying layers of marekt-ready products and broad trends; digital technologies; Internet endeavors and strategic alliances. For certain, PDF will play a starring role at the show—as will a new host of third-party plug-ins for PDF workflows, bringing it to greater levels of use.
Imagesetters and platesetters will share space in the spotlight and both will be in demand as prices for CTP devices come down and the dependence on conventional, film-based workflows remains an option due to high-speed, large-format imagesetters. On the digital printing front, anticipate new, mind-blowing variable data technologies and “direct-to” processes to steal the show, as innovators bring on-press imaging into the mainstream of commercial printing.
And the non-product-specific news will be of alliances between vendors to bring new and better solutions to the market, as well as talk of business models and strategies. Certain to be a topic of interest around the food stands this year is the increasing impact of print-related dotcom companies and the role that the Internet will play in the procurement and manufacture of printed products.