PI's 45th ANNIVERSARY -- From Art To Science
In other news:
* Growth of non-impact printing—including electrostatic, ink-jet and thermal—was among the critical trends cited for the year.
* Stung by the energy crunch, web offset printers sought new ways to monitor and control web temperatures.
* While the GAO (General Accounting Office) issued a "grim" outlook for USPS Parcel Post service, the nine-digit ZIP code system was introduced as a way to cut mailing costs.
The pace of innovation in the 1980s makes it hard to do the decade justice by taking a snapshot of just one year. The introduction of the first Macintosh computer in 1984 proved to be a pivotal link in a chain of developments that "revolutionized" the graphic arts.
The very language of the industry was transformed with the introduction of terms such as desktop publishing (DTP), WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), PostScript imagesetting, RIP, bleeding edge technology, good enough color, high-fidelity color, stochastic/frequency-modulated screening and sneaker net. How many people in the industry today have even seen a Syquest disk?
An article published in 1988 noted that graphic arts machinery manufacturing was moving out of the United States. The web press marketplace, in particular, was undergoing a transformation as the segment struggled. And yet, MAN Roland reported it was now targeting the U.S. web press market and seeking to open its first North American facility. At the same time, the article noted that in the past year AM International had sold its web press business to Heidelberg, Rockwell had acquired Hantscho and APV Holdings took over Baker Perkins.
Reflecting developments in technology and marketing, Printing Impressions carried a "Large Printer" demographic section. Publishers led the way in adoption of demographic binding capabilities (now called customization), but it was the catalogers and direct mailers that pushed the envelop with use of ink-jet messaging (variable data printing). Following a flurry of testing and experimentation, these forerunners of today's marketing technologies ultimately ran up against the same barriers. Ink-jet printing of addresses proved to be the most widely adopted application, but chiefly because of the costs savings.