PRINT 13 Preview: Casting a Wider ‘PRINT’ Net

GRAPH EXPO 2012 Show.

Frank Defino Sr. is the founder and CEO of Tukaiz in Franklin Park, IL.

William (Bill) Fitzgerald is partner and CEO of Universal Wilde in Westwood, MA.

Robert Lothenbach is the founder and president of Imagine! Print Solutions in Minneapolis.

David Pilcher is the owner and president of Freeport Press in Freeport, OH.

This year’s PRINT 13 trade show extravaganza emphasizes the trend toward the Great Diversification Movement being felt in the industry. Like a dynamic college football team, today’s printer is expected to use a spread offense that provides a multitude of looks that can help your team outperform the opposition.

To take it a bit further, time of possession is critical. You don’t want to turn jobs over to the opposition because a certain piece of equipment or capability is not in your playbook.

The quadrennial PRINT show comes at a most interesting time. The printing industry is enduring some violent changes from a technology standpoint. With the decade-long trend toward shorter runs continuing; digital printing, especially inkjet, stepping up its game; and electronic alternatives continuing to harvest market share, diversification is on the lips of many shop owners as they prepare their trek to Chicago for the Fall Classic, which takes place Sept. 8-12 at McCormick Place.

This show continues to take a page from today’s printers by offering a program that is high on diversity and light on heavy iron. Gone are the days where an exhibit next to an offset press manufacturer’s booth meant bringing a bottle of aspirin; the loud clatter of the 40˝ sheetfed beasts will not be piercing the air.

Nor will you be in danger of getting lost in a vendor’s booth. Also gone is the time when a booth was the size of a junior college campus. In fact, the show is confined to a smaller footprint these days, notes Ralph Nappi, president of the Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC), which runs PRINT and its sister exhibition, Graph Expo.

“The days of taking huge booths, just to appear big, are long gone,” he says. “That’s not just in the United States. At China Print, it was obvious that booths of noteworthy size were not to be found.”

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