A Systems Czar: Grinch or Santa Claus?

Many employees will be out celebrating the holidays. Will you get in on the cheer, or be left to worry about a disorganized business?

The Finishing Universe Is Larger Than You Think

Don Piontek shares some of the diverse finishing applications and systems he’s come across in his career.

Recruiting Efforts DO Get Results

John Berthelsen shares stories that illustrate success and the positive results achieved by using tactics to recruit young people.

Other Staff Bloggers
Business Management

Many employees will be out celebrating the holidays. Will you get in on the cheer, or be left to worry about a disorganized business?

We live in the age of transparency. As such, it’s critical to earn your customers’ trust and keep it by improving CX.

There is now little dispute that social media is an essential sales channel. Here are five stats to prove it.


Don Piontek shares some of the diverse finishing applications and systems he’s come across in his career.

During a recent trade show, Don Piontek looked for the newest finishing technology and he found innovations in mechanical binding.

In the search for new finishing developments, Don Piontek received a LinkedIn press release alert on something called “Vpaper.”

Training and Education

John Berthelsen shares stories that illustrate success and the positive results achieved by using tactics to recruit young people.

This short video from PI blogger Ryan Sauers explains VARK and four primary learning styles.

PIA’s eLearning platform, the eLearning Center, contains courses that tie directly into our industry and are presented with context


The USPS has brought back promotions for 2019. Do you have a planned strategy to not only save money on postage, but really stand out?

Your direct mail list targeting is extremely important. The better you target the right people, the better your response rate will be.

The USPS Informed Delivery program continues to gain momentum. Here’s how it works.

Data Management

The FTC gave marketers an early Thanksgiving: recognition that “data” is indeed the fuel of the digital economy.

U.S. data policy-making efforts make certain assumptions about marketing. It’s as if there’s a sign coming, saying: “Data Is a Weapon.”

What really is big data? Understand the different types of data to help determine how they might be used together to provide the answer


Consider adding robots to your finishing operation to relieve operators from repetitive tasks and the strain associated with them.

Don Piontek explores photo book challenges printers face and how technology from Photobook Technology could be the solution.

Could Vogue use digital printing and embellishments to excite the next generation of readers? IDC’s Amy Machado explores that question.


Are you frustrated with your current software? Here are some tips for finding the right solution for your business.

There’s a solution for business owners who seek small manufacturing or service business management software.

Mark Lewiecki, senior product manager at Adobe, describes new printing technologies and how PDF fits into this changing landscape.

Interactive Print

Direct mail is a very effective marketing channel; however, when you add a mobile element such as AR to it, you can skyrocket results.

Technology has allowed us to increase direct mail ROI even more! By adding technology, you can draw attention to your mail piece.

On Thursday May 11, around 150 Konica Minolta production print users gathered in Vienna for a day of presentations at the inaugural meeting of PROKOM, the Konica Minolta user community. With the focus, at least at first, on users of cut-sheet light to mid-production color and black-and-white digital print, the opportunity for PROKOM is unlike many other user groups, which tend to focus on higher levels of production.

Digital Printing - Wide Format

The billboard might be the descendant of one the oldest forms of human advertising but it’s proving to the perfect partner for digital.

Each year, EFI hosts its customers, partners, media and analysts at its signature event, EFI Connect.

In a short period of time, Ricoh has built an impressive portfolio of high-speed rollfed inkjet presses and cut-sheet toner presses, software, plus a line of services that include color management and workflow analysis. Ricoh continues to invest in this market.

Consumables - Paper

At the beginning of 2019, buyers of publication grades will be paying about 25% more for paper than they did just 18 months earlier.

Did you know that paper absorbs moisture in the air, which can impact quality? Here’s a short guide on paper in relation to humidity.

Understanding your carbon footprint can decrease your consumption of energy and materials, reducing your carbon emissions.

Color/Quality Control

The perception of color is dependent on three distinct variables — the light source, the object and the receiver.

A Quality Management System is the most valuable tool in a business’ arsenal!

Color differentiation is often measured in terms of “Delta E.” But what exactly is Delta E?

Digital Printing - Production Inkjet

Kemal Carr, president of Madison Advisors, recaps the excitement of the sixth annual Inkjet Summit that took place in April.

We assisted one of our customers with a business evolution to inkjet. It’s a common journey because of the flexibility inkjet provides.

The Inkjet Summit kicked off last week in Florida and I was lucky enough to attend for the second time. What a difference a year makes!

Digital Printing - Toner

The grapevine has been ripe the past weeks, but now the news is finally out. Fujifilm has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the majority holding of Xerox Corporation and will merge Fuji Xerox with Xerox.

With Canon’s announcement of the Océ VarioPrint 6000 Titan, it’s a good time to revisit the cut-sheet monochrome digital market.

A financial analyst who specializes in the printing industry recently speculated that “the…

Consumables - General

We have seen lots of advances in adhesives for bookbinding over the years, with PUR (polyurethane reactive) adhesive being the last major game changer. But there is now a revived interest in protein-based adhesives.


Quick! Name two consumables that are indispensable to operation in the bindery. If you named adhesives as one, you'd be on the mark. But...if you included knives, (yes, they are a consumable), you would be quite savvy. Cutting and trimming are part of almost every finishing operation. And the quality of those cuts are essential to the quality of the finished product.

Adhesives are widely used in finishing, this includes perfect binding, folding, mailing, and folding carton applications. And coatings and various chemical solutions are used in the digital print process to both enhance image quality and make the paper more "finishing-friendly." Both chemistry and environmental control have a lot to do with systems performance.

Offset Printing

OK, I digress from my usual finishing tech. discussion this week. Although I’m on the digital finishing side, I spent enough time in the high-volume offset world to become quite familiar with publication, periodical and catalog production.

We were in Japan last month, and as luck would have it, we were there at the same time that Komori held an open house to showcase its newest digital print solutions. This international event took place at Komori’s facility in Tsukuba, Japan, and drew hundreds of attendees from all over the Asia Pacific region. It also provided the opportunity to showcase its Impremia IS29, a B2-format, sheetfed, UV inkjet printer.

In a sense, Berlin Industries was once the king of Chicago. Last week, the remaining assets were auctioned off. If you were there, you could have purchased a Heidelberg Sunday M3000 five-unit web press for a mere $47,000.

Digital Printing - Digital Offset

What follows is an interview with Rosemarie Breske Garvey, VP at Blooming Color in Lombard, Ill. Blooming Color is doing some pretty spectacular work beyond traditional four-color printing and I wanted to learn more.

Dscoop is part tradeshow and part education event, with an agenda that included A-List keynotes and mentalist Lior Suchard as emcee. The sessions were the expected array of customer success stories, successful selling solutions and product reviews, but there were also a variety of sessions covering finishing, packaging and 3D printing.

A young designer I spoke to the other day was very frank about the fact that she did not like digital printing because you could only print on white paper. Granted there are some print providers that prefer to print on white coated stock all day long (digital or offset, it does not matter to them). And these few give our whole industry a bad reputation.

Mergers and Acquisitions

It looked like a good fit. The seller, unfortunately, didn’t see it that way.

As a trade association president, I knew that one of my most important jobs was to offer our members a friendly, well informed, third-party perspective on strategic business issues. Today, our New Direction Partners clients want the same thing: not just information about the mechanics of M&As, but also a genuine understanding of the industry and the mindsets of the people who own those companies.

For many years, I had the privilege of serving in leadership positions with Printing Industries of New England (PINE), the largest printing trade association in the Northeast. Then as now, I was greatly impressed by the resiliency of our members and their ability to adapt to changing business circumstances.

Consumables - Ink

Slowing down and following a "Best Practices" method to paper trials and qualification will save you time and ink costs by focusing on ink and paper surface compatibility. As your cost for a better inkjet paper and print quality go up, your ink usage should go down. But only if there are best practices in place.

The fifth housing station in the upgraded Xerox 800i/1000i series can now also deliver metallic inks: gold and silver.