PI's 45th ANNIVERSARY -- From Art To Science
In commenting on the event, W.P. Jaspert identified a trend of manufacturers touting the "Total Concept" in manufacturing and supply for the graphic arts industry with in-line production on web offset presses. He was struck by the "sheer number and range of offset presses on display," while there were few letterpress machines to be seen.
In his "Cold Type Production" column, Dorsey Biggs marveled at the razzle-dazzle on display at PRINT 68. "It's a dizzying thing to contemplate. . . $20,000 for the Photon 713-5 Textmaster. A prototype of the Compugraphic 7200 keyboard-operated display unit was shown. . . It sets type from 14 to 72 point and sells for $4,950."
In what may come as a surprise to many, the 10th anniversary issue also carried a story on the use of facsimile equipment by Billboard Publications to speed communications between its offices in New York City and the printing plant in Cincinnati, some 800 miles away. The system was said to be used to send proofs, dummies and drawings in minutes.
Other interesting developments reported on during the year included:
* British printers took a step toward adoption of the metric system; and
* microwave energy was undergoing testing as a method for drying inks.
Having since become a recurring theme in the industry, Charles Alessandrini, director of cost and financial services at NAPL, in the 20th anniversary edition wrote an article with a headline that asked, "Where Are the Profits of the Good Old Days?" Alessandrini noted that while investments in technology had seemed to greatly increase the sales contribution per factory employee per year (which rose from $12,000 in 1950 to $52,000 in 1977), inflation was really behind the dollar growth.
One of the biggest technology stories of the year was the introduction of "digitized text" in phototypesetting. Varityper created a stir with its "floppy disk" (quotes original to the story) link between one of its phototypesetting systems and an advanced word processing system. The ability to capture keystrokes in the process of text creation on a word processor was considered a major development in page composition.