IF 2007 goes down as “The Year of RR Donnelley,” it will do so as a result of a 65-day span at the turn of the year, during which the conglomerate announced it would acquire three industry stalwarts: Perry Judd’s, Von Hoffmann and Banta Corp. But the past year has been about more than consolidation and leveraged buyouts. North American printers continue to grapple with the mounting menace that is offshore manufacturing, fluctuating paper prices amid a series of mill shutdowns, and the ever-evolving technological demands of their customers. And yet, despite these challenges, there are also a number of opportunities facing the market.
FOR THE second consecutive year, Visant Corp. nailed down the top spot in Book Business’ Top 30 Book Manufacturers list—produced by Printing Impressions’ sister publication and ranked by 2005 book manufacturing revenue—in what was certainly an up-and-down year for many book printers. The book manufacturing landscape continues to change, with paper prices on the rise while availability declines. Publishers are being more vigilant than ever in controlling their costs, while Asia’s impact on the market increases each year. In its annual look at the state of the industry, Book Business sought insights from executives at four of the companies on the list—four companies,