BITS AND PIECES
Frankly, I'd like to hear a lot less talk about diversification at industry functions. Adding mailing and fulfillment, variable data digital printing and ancillary services are all extremely wise choices, since the movement is toward becoming single-source options for customers. But what are we, as an industry, doing to deepen our traditional print offerings?
If the best we can muster is to say "diversify into other offerings," then we're selling ourselves short. The very notion puts print on its heels, backpeddling and losing even more ground to other media. There are other print avenues to be explored, like very large-format (VLF) printing.
The answers are there if we put our heads together, which leads to another pet peeve: the need for more printer-centric events, rather than equipment runway fashion shows. Yes, we need the manufacturers and their gear (this magazine's survival depends on its advertising), but we need to workshop the shortcomings in our industry and channel energies into solving these issues. I'm not seeing enough gatherings of the printer, by the printer and for the printer.
We need to grow commercial printing. Otherwise, Mr. Jobs may be telling you to toss that offset press out the door, as well.