Project Peacock Provides Platform for Communication, Collaboration and Creativity Among All Constituents
The Project Peacock Print Fair is only a few weeks away, but excitement is ramping up. The first in a series of pop-up events set to take place throughout the year, the Project Peacock Print Fair is designed to be the go-to resource for printers' customers to explore applications for offset, digital, inkjet and wide-format printing; paper samples and printed promotions; examples of unique finishing; and paper-to-pixel marketing technology.
An impressive list of printing industry OEMs and paper providers — Agfa, Canon Solutions America, Domtar, Komori America, Konica Minolta and MGI, PaperSmiths, Ricoh, Reality Blu, Xeikon and Xerox — will be at the event to share capabilities and innovation with both print services providers (PSPs) and buyers and specifiers of print, including agencies, marketers and brands, and graphic designers.
In fact, when Printing Impressions reached out directly to some of these OEMs to better understand what was driving them to be a part of this inaugural event, it became clear that it's expected to be a source of inspiration and the perfect platform to showcase the true power of print.
The overwhelming theme revealed that while digital communication continues to get the spotlight, there's no question that print and paper remain a pillar of effective communication and innovation.
The goal of the Project Peacock Print Fair is to provide a platform for printers' customers to explore the myriad options available for them to utilize in their communications. Whether it's a unique substrate or a never-before-used embellishment technique, it gives OEMs and print services providers the opportunity to educate end customers on today's wide range of innovative printing, substrate, embellishment and finishing capabilities, while also taking the time to listen to them to truly understand what they're looking for and what they expect from a print partner.
A problem within the industry is the disconnect between OEMs and printers and their end customers, including agencies, brands and designers. Many of the OEMs we spoke to pointed to education about new printing developments and capabilities as being one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, but noted that communication is key. Project Peacock aims to bring together all parties in the value chain to create an environment where education, collaboration and creativity will thrive.
To find out why these leading suppliers are excited to be part of the Project Peacock Print Fair this March, read their full responses below. If you're a print customer or a print provider and you want to meet with these OEMs in person and discover everything that's possible with print, register now so you don't miss out! The event is set to take over the Angel Orensanz Foundation at 172 Norfolk St., in New York City on March 14 from 6-9 p.m. Printing ImpressionsPRINTING UnitedBRAND United, along with its sister brand Target Marketing, and are media partners of this event.
Printing Impressions: Why did you decide to attend the Project Peacock Print Fair?
Helene Blanchette, global VP Marketing, Graphic Communications, Xerox: Digital print technology has changed dramatically and designers are going to discover a world beyond the standard CMYK that will bring new embellishment possibilities to their creativity. Designers can now create image embellishments that jump off the page. Designers are now off the CMYK leash.
Donna Covannon, director, Marketing NA, Digital Solutions, Xeikon: The Project Peacock Print Fair offers the opportunity to meet with influencers of marketing. It's an opportunity to converse and share the new possibilities that digital print output offers.
Ashley Maydak, brand marketing manager, Customer & Brand Marketing, Domtar: Despite the multitude of options in today’s media mix, print and paper have strengths that are unmatched in comparison to other communication mediums. The strengths of print are still leveraged and valued by today’s most innovative brands, creative agencies and upcoming generations more than most print providers realize. Many creatives and marketers already know the value of print — it’s trusted and carries a sense of authority, people spend more time with print and remember what they read and people find the act of engaging with a printed piece enjoyable and fun. What they may not understand is the new technological advances in print and how these innovations can help them be seen as more strategic and valuable to their clients. Many are also not aware of everything that needs to be considered in the creation of the printed piece to bring creative visions to life and marketing strategies to full fruition. So, that’s really why Domtar Paper has chosen to be a part of Print Media Centr’s Project Peacock from day one — to be a resource to the brands, creatives and forthcoming professionals so they can fully leverage the value that print and paper have to offer.
Bob Mehta, president, PaperSmiths: We at PaperSmiths believe in bringing a value proposition to the design and printing industries. Project Peacock came as a platform to share our global experience and choice of paper stock for the design/print community in the NA market.
Jack Noonan, marketing manager, MGI: Deborah Corn’s Print Media Centr and Project Peacock Tour is the premier channel for the printing and packaging industries to engage with print buyers, brand owners, agencies and the design community. She’s the leading evangelist for dialogue and discussion with the people who control multi-million dollar campaign budgets. Project Peacock is an educational forum for everyone in the supply chain to come together and explore new ideas for creativity and craft to highlight the value of print in an omnichannel world.
Tonya Powers, senior manager, marketing, Production Print Solutions, Canon Solutions America: As one of the founding supporters of Project Peacock, Canon Solutions America continues to provide education on the value of print in the overall communication mix and provide inspiration on what is possible through the power of the printed page.
Heather Poulin, director, strategic planning & business development, Ricoh USA: As a partner to our customers, it’s important for us to help educate their customers on the types of applications that can be produced using today’s technology. Print is such an important part of today’s marketing campaigns and we want to be sure print is top of mind when these campaigns/deliverables are being created.
Aarona Tesch, marketing and communications manager, Komori America: As a manufacturer of printing solutions, this is a great, new way of showcasing our technology to both PSPs as well as print customers. It also gives us the ability to speak with the print buyers and gain a better perspective as to what is really important to them in meeting their business objectives.
Printing Impressions: What do you think the value is for a printer or service provider to attend?
Blanchette: Print embellishment is a lucrative and expanding market. Both creatives and printers can greatly differentiate and expand their businesses with “wow” print designs and products that until now were cost-prohibitive, time-consuming and required multiple steps and multiple presses. Now it can all be done in a single pass, on one press.
Covannon: The value is in seeing the various applications that can be produced from digital printing technology. Seeing what is unique; what can expand the printers offerings to their customers and potential customers.
Maydak: As a long-term print buyer, I can say from firsthand experience that many print providers could use a crash-course in selling value and revolving their pitch around the benefit to the customer. I cannot tell you how many times a print provider has made an appointment with me only to rattle off things that matter to them — the benefits of the press they just bought, why they bought it, etc. Attending events like Print Media Centr’s Project Peacock Print Fair gives print providers an opportunity to engage with their target market in a fun environment, listen and learn. It’s a wonderful chance to discover what truly matters to your target market so you can sell the value and potential of what you offer versus positioning yourself as a vendor that accepts orders.
Mehta: Events like Project Peacock, which is very unique with its standing as a platform for design/printing community, offer service providers an option in the mix for design/print community. Our special grade offers possibilities with both conventional and digital presses and possibilities to offer capabilities together as partners.
Dawn Nye, product marketing manager, Konica Minolta: Project Peacock is a unique opportunity for printers, packaging converters and label producers to learn about the key issues and latest trends that impact brand management programs at some of the largest and most influential print-buying firms in the world. The chance to meet and listen to marketing executives at brands – as well as their creative agency art directors and graphic designers – will help PSPs improve and strengthen their customer relationships with new ideas for future campaigns and projects.
Powers: The value for PSPs is to learn and stay informed on digital printing trends as they relate to producing creative communication pieces. PSPs can also gain insight on what print options are available to boost their clients’ message, amplify their brands and be a better resource for their clients. Ultimately, Project Peacock is about helping to make PSPs more competitive given today’s technologies.
Poulin: This forum will allow printers and service providers to see a variety of applications and spark some ideas around new applications they can produce to help grow their business, as well as see how some technologies can enhance what they are currently producing today.
Tesch: [They can] gain access to prospective customers in a way that allows them to show their capabilities and talk with manufacturers about technology that can help differentiate them to win business from the creatives/marketers/buyers.
Printing Impressions: What do you think the value is for a print customer to attend?
Blanchette: Print technology has leapfrogged the four-color world of most print design. At Project Peacock, print customers will get a chance to see and experience the incredible and game-changing possibilities that this new technology can offer. Creatives can now choose from gold or silver, CMYK, iridescent colors, white ink and clear varnish — all in one design and process. For print customers, instead of wishing there was more time and budget to add the embellishments to make an image pop, there is an almost unlimited world of metallic and iridescent palettes to choose from, along with digital print enhancements that are affordable, and with the same turnaround time as a CMYK project.
Covannon: To expand their knowledge and thinking — to spark imagination. There are very cool applications being produced on digital equipment that go beyond conventional thinking. For example, digitally printed, food-safe paper cups and paper food containers; food-safe folding cartons that deliver a personalized image or message; or wall coverings and large signage that go beyond traditional sizes. All of these applications can be produced on the same press.
Erik Holdo, VP of graphic communications and industrial print, Konica Minolta: The ultimate value of Deborah Corn’s Project Peacock Tour for Print Buyers is to help inspire brands, agencies and designers with information, education and application examples from the latest innovations in print technology. We’re trying to encourage new creative concepts about the power of print to develop customer relationships and revenue streams. The communication impact of ink and paper via physical touch points, such as direct mail, packaging, signage and retail merchandising displays, is a strategic asset that all corporate marketing, sales and product management teams can take advantage of to promote their brands and messaging. Project Peacock will help them understand the opportunities and values of print in an omnichannel world.
Maydak: Attention creatives, marketers and print buyers — you already know that print and paper can deliver your message in a memorable and meaningful fashion and are a valuable component to your omnichannel strategy. What you may not be aware of is ALL the options and advances in print and paper that can help you more effectively target specific personas, elevate awareness and deliver loyalty to the audiences your brand needs to reach. The options you see and technologies you’ll discover at Print Media Centr’s Project Peacock Print Fair may very well provide the breakthrough you need to elevate your status and reputation in the eyes of your company and clients.
Mehta: Project Peacock offers a platform where printers and service providers are able to present the capabilities of their respective products, services and possibilities, which designers and buyers can utilize, while working on or designing the next project.
Powers: The value for a print customer or brand owner is to stay well-versed in all things possible with production print technologies (press, paper, finishing, augmented reality, etc). In today’s world, digital communication channels are saturated and the printed piece has the power to really stand out – especially with personalization, targeted messaging and specialty finishes. Print buyers and brand owners will gain inspiration on how they can incorporate these advancements into their communication mix and help ensure that their brand stands out.
Poulin: Today’s designers and print buyers need to be aware of the technology out there, both for what it offers in expanding the types of applications they can design, as well as the knowledge to seek out printers that can produce their jobs to the standard to which they were designed. It’s also the perfect venue to reinforce the value of print when developing today’s omnichannel campaigns. Print is what stands out among the digital messaging that bombards everyone on a daily basis — and evokes emotions and responses not found in today’s digital communications.
Tesch: Buyers and marketers are able to meet and talk with service providers and manufacturers to discuss ways technology can better capture the creative vision, and have conversations that speak specifically to each segment’s business challenges.
Some responses may have been edited for style or clarity.