PRINT 13 Making Digital Impressions –Michelson

LONG gone are the days when a PRINT show filled the North and South halls of McCormick Place in Chicago. Next month’s rendition of this once-every-four-years event will fit easily into the South Hall. And, for the first time in PRINT/Graph Expo history, there will also be a co-located show called CPP Expo, which is geared toward converters and package printers. PRINT 13 will have a bit more of an international flare than its sister Graph Expo exhibitions, too—with a contingent of Chinese and other foreign exhibitors on the show floor.

Don’t expect the mega-booths of several years’ past, either. High-profile vendors like Heidelberg, Kodak and Agfa, which typically have reserved larger spaces, opted to not exhibit this year. And the 500-plus exhibitors that will be at PRINT 13 will also fall lock step with what’s become a worldwide trend in the graphic arts industry toward displays encompassing less total square footage.

Another trend will be the overall show emphasis geared toward digital, not traditional offset, printing. Lithographic press manufacturers at PRINT 13 will emphasize their digital offerings, the short-run and quick-makeready capabilities that make their presses competitive with digital output devices, as well as models suited for package printing. Digital printing specialists, like Canon U.S.A., Xerox, HP, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, EFI and MGI, among others, will emphasize high-speed inkjet offerings, the emerging B2 format cut-sheet presses, as well as their wide-and grand-format printers. The use of UV inkjet for coating, dimensional and other unique applications will also attract strong visitor attention.

Finishing and bindery exhibits for traditional print will promote more versatile and automated systems. Finishing equipment geared toward the digital printing market will emphasize special techniques, creative direct mail formats and diverse substrate compatibility, including systems that can perform multiple finishing processes in a single pass.

The show floor aisles will also see an ebb and flow of attendee traffic. The event organizers have been wise to continue promoting the co-location of related industry events to draw a higher turnout at PRINT 13, as evidenced by this year’s record 64 co-located industry events.

PRINT, like the industry in general, will not be what it was in its heyday, but it still serves as the largest gathering of people and equipment in the Americas—making it well worth your time and money to attend.

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