Printing Impressions’ 50th Anniversary — Ages-old Concerns

An interesting piece, “Price Conference Results Jolt Printers, Rate Estimating Erratic,” describes a study in which 26 Philadelphia printers were asked to submit price estimates on a job, and estimates varied by 1,500 percent. According to another article, “Specialized Markets Grow 30 Percent Higher Sales” in one year due to niche products, in this case, printing records for instrumentation and automation.

Still another article, “Prosperity to Reach New High Peak,” claims that 1959 is likely to be “the best year in printing history” due to an improved financial/business picture and positive economic report.

Innovation is the focus of a light-hearted feature on “Bike Beauties,” who caused quite a stir in Buffalo, NY, when printer Harry Hoffman & Sons hired two young, attractive women to pick up and drop off customer proofs on three-wheeled motorcycles.

• Rising Prices, Operating Costs

Headline: “Rising Costs Force Sale of Two Large Dailies.” Story: Cincinnati Post buys Cincinnati Times Star (after six years of losses, including $1 million in 1957). In a later issue of PI, the names, phone numbers/addresses and past experience of the laid off Times Star workers are given nearly full-page coverage to assist them in finding jobs.

“Publishers Challenge Higher Costs” reads another headline. The story continues by quoting the publisher: “Spiraling inflation and wage rates have far outstripped what little increases we have been able to achieve in productivity.”

“For Sale: Printing Plants.” PI runs classified ads to help printers sell their shops. An industry-wide push for cost control methods and the use of accountants is the focus of another article.

• Tech Trends

“Obsolescence Is Important Factor in Depreciation of Equipment” rings a familiar-sounding storyline.

Major editorial coverage outlines the New York Litho Show and its keynote presentations on production and equipment, wherein a wide range of problems involving presses, paper, cameras and ink are discussed. Another headline reads “Do Printers Understand Communications?” The article continues by detailing the consequences of not understanding modern trends in communication; for example, competition with other media such as TV and radio.

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