Canon Solutions America hosted about 40 existing customers and prospects from around the country during its East Coast Inkjet Insider Summit held in Hartford, CT, last week. The highlight of the event was a tour of Data-Mail’s full-service direct mail printing and lettershop facility in nearby Newington, CT, and an optional visit to Data-Mail’s sister lettershop location in Windsor, CT.
Pictorial Offset has closed its doors in Carlstadt, NJ, after a 78-year-run. Operated by brothers and managing partners Don, Gary and Lester Samuels, the closure ended their printing industry family legacy and eliminated 113 job positions.
It appeared that Courier’s roughly 1,500 employees would all be issued Quad/Graphics’ signature dark-blue work shirts to wear—a team-building concept initiated by the late Harry V. Quadracci many years ago. But that’s not how the closing chapter would ultimately be written for North America’s second largest book manufacturer.
“Mr. B”, as he was reverently and affectionately called by many NAPCO employees, made an indelible impression on our Editor-in-chief Mark Michelson during the years he worked under Mr. Borowsky on Printing Impressions. This trade magazine served as the cornerstone of the successful publishing company Mr. Borowsky went on to build, known as North American Publishing Co.
Compiled annually for the past 31 years—and arguably the only list of its type for the commercial printing industry—our latest Printing Impressions 400 ranking of the top printers in the United States and Canada is featured in a special pullout insert bound in this issue. I’m always amazed how far the tentacles of the PI 400 reach—from print buyers and specifiers, to Wall Street analysts, M&A specialists and private equity investment firms, to industry suppliers analyzing their market shares.
Choosing 20 graphic arts industry professionals—all under the age of 40—who are rising industry stars is, admittedly, a subjective undertaking. Surely, some high achievers who might have qualified didn’t appear on our radar screen. Likewise, some people who were nominated elected to avoid the spotlight for personal reasons. These 20 up-and-comers weren’t just handed positions of authority. They typically worked their way up, toiling in several job capacities within their respective organizations, to earn their stripes.
I, like many others trying to fly to Chicago for this year’s GRAPH EXPO, had my Saturday morning flight cancelled due to an intentionally set fire at a nearby FAA radar facility. Most of the out-of-towners I spoke with were exhibitors, and some did note cases where their printer prospects and existing clients opted to skip GRAPH EXPO altogether after their flights were cancelled.
I realize that I’m dating myself, but the 2014 class of Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame honorees, pictured on our cover, marks the 30th year that we’ve been presenting this honor in conjunction with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Media Sciences. That amounts to 120 names—representing a virtual Who’s Who of industry leaders, past and present— inscribed on plaques hanging on a wall at RIT to help inspire future generations of graphic arts professionals.
QR codes were once wildly heralded as the best way to add interactivity to a printed piece. And, with QR (Quick Response) code readers accessible via users’ smart phones, conventional wisdom would dictate few impediments to consumers actually using them. But, an insightful blog, “QR Codes Are Dead,” posted by “Today on PIworld” enewsletter contributor Sabine Lenz, really struck a nerve with many readers about her contention that QR codes are becoming yesterday’s technology.
At the Heidelberger Druckmaschinen "Digital Sneak Peek" event held early last month in Heidelberg, Germany, CEO Dr. Gerold Linzbach told a room full of international journalists and industry analysts that the company is not your father's Heidelberg anymore. Although the manufacturer once held the belief that its customers sought homegrown, "industrial-strength" output solutions developed solely by Heidelberg, Linzbach admitted the need to change that inward mindset throughout his organization.
It's not surprising that this issue’s cover, which features Primary Color co-owners and brothers Dan, Mike and Ron Hirt with company CEO Vincent Randazzo, doesn’t follow the standard executive portrait format so often depicted on Printing Impressions’ covers. After all, the Costa Mesa, CA-based printer isn’t your typical printing industry establishment.
According to Jim Workman, assistant vice president at Printing Industries of America (PIA), there are several patent owners and law firms trying to flex their muscles seeking licenses and/or payouts, but the two most active litigators are CTP Innovations (represented by Nashville, TN-based Baker Donelson) and SkipPrint (represented by Maschoff Bernann in Park City, UT).
Intricately shaped, dimensional direct mailers. In-line cold foiling. Digital printing with special UV texture effects or glitter. Several print shops profiled in this issue have built unique business models to separate themselves from the pack.
The record 1,000 customers at the EFI Connect 2014 users conference in Las Vegas last month went home to their plants ready to incorporate knowledge gleaned from 180 educational sessions, keynote and panel discussions, partner exhibits and peer-to-peer networking opportunities.
With the tagline "Shape the Future. Strategy. Passion. Leadership," Konica Minolta hosted roughly 1,100 attendees representing 334 dealerships at its 2013 Konica Minolta Business Conference and Product Expo, which was held at the posh Venetian/Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas from Nov. 17-20. The 2013 event also happened to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the merger bewteen Konica and Minolta.
Wondering whether inkjet printing capabilities make sense for your business today, or perhaps further down the road? Then be sure to check out our production inkjet printing special report, which begins on page 30 in this issue. There, several of today’s leading digital printing thought leaders discuss the current state of the market and what a printer should consider before taking the plunge into the inkjet pool.
News of the definitive agreement on Oct. 24 whereby RR Donnelley (RRD) will acquire Consolidated Graphics (CGX) for more than $620 million rocked the commercial printing world. For CGX, the transaction provides an exit route for its 70-year-old chairman and CEO, Joe Davis. And, for RRD, Consolidated Graphics’ network of facilities in or near every major U.S. population center adds local sales and service touchpoints for Donnelley’s commercial printing group.
PRINT 13, held in Chicago last month, barely filled the South Hall of McCormick Place—unlike the mega-shows in the 1980s when it would fill the entire McCormick Place complex. But, as anyone who attended PRINT 13 could attest, this was surely “Not Your Father’s PRINT Show.”