COVID-19's Effect on the USPS and Direct Mail Marketing

The USPS, like many essential businesses, have been greatly impacted by this crisis, and so has direct mail marketing in general.

Effective Printing Industry Leaders Place a Premium on Creative Problem Solving

In these times of high anxiety and uncertainty, creative problem solving is especially useful for leaders in the printing industry.

#PrintHERStoryMonth Celebration Re-Cap: The Month that Seemed to Go on FOREVER

Girls Who Print celebrated Women’s History Month all month long. Here’s how.

Other Staff Bloggers

The USPS, like many essential businesses, have been greatly impacted by this crisis, and so has direct mail marketing in general.

Here is a resource for postal updates that includes direct links to the affected agencies’ or companies’ web pages.

For today’s “What Were They Thinking?” post, Melissa shares some COVID-19 emails I’ve received from brands and nonprofits.

Business Management

In these times of high anxiety and uncertainty, creative problem solving is especially useful for leaders in the printing industry.

Girls Who Print celebrated Women’s History Month all month long. Here’s how.

Printing companies that sell standard products to buyers that choose on price have customers. Do you have clients or customers?

Training and Education

Our task as SGIA Certified Digital Color Professionals is to consistently, predictably, and repeatably convey color to the end user.

Being PDAA Certified has been a growth factor of our company. After becoming certified, we quickly started getting new leads.

Printing companies suffer from a scarcity of skilled labor. However, there are some solutions and incentives.

Digital Printing - Wide Format

While some lament the digitization of print, what it has brought is here to stay, whether we like it or not.

The VersaUV LEC20300 from Roland DG enables high-quality CMYK printing of a vast variety of surfaces. With a 30-inch print width, it’s an excellent solution for commercial printers looking for entry into durable, rigid graphics. PRINTING United Booth 4616.

With the expansion of wide-format printing, companies like Kennickell Group are able to offer a variety of wide-format options.

Color/Quality Control

This blog explores some tips to “close the loop” on color, examines the benefits, and explains why this trend is on the rise.

Gina Ferrara digs deeper into her research with Madison Advisors on color migration and digital delivery.

The use of CMYK+ is poised for moderate page volume growth, based on several factors.


One area where Color Ink has excelled is offering customers digital print enhancement and embellishment options.

A growing opportunity for PSPs is offering digital printing that is embellished or enhanced with special effects.

We’re constantly on the lookout for what’s going to give us an edge in the market. Here are some suggestions.

Digital Printing - Production Inkjet

Let’s consider some of the most common scenarios that guide a printing company’s decision about a potential inkjet press acquisition.

The new system includes faster-to-market delivery coupled with system development that lowers the cost of production, even as the number of customer SKUs continue to grow. Further, the system includes design tools to minimize expensive trial-and-error. PRINTING United Booths 10564 and 9344.

The new equipment brand, VALEZUS, includes high-speed printers for the production printing market. The VALEZUS T2100 prints cut sheets at 320 pages per minute. The T2100 is the new brand’s first equipment rollout. PRINTING United Booth 10935.


Visibility is the root of some common, unsustainable problems. Ask yourself if you do these things in your production operation.

Employees that have easy access to the “Boss in a Box” can control their business from anywhere, and are equipped to manage themselves.

If the machines don’t need us, they’ve discovered that they need each other – and that they’re better together under Industry 4.0.

Data Management

What will be so different in this ever-changing world, and how can marketers better prepare ourselves for the new world?

Here are eight, or maybe nine, not quite so obvious magazine publishing predictions that will help you prepare for the year ahead.

Cybercrime poses a tremendous risk to businesses. However, there are actions you can take to secure your digital printing environment.

Consumables - Ink

Lack of information can cause designers to miss out on exploiting new technologies or create unnecessary expense.

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.

Consumables - General

The last couple of times we discussed how paper and then finishing can enhance your direct mail ROI, now let’s look at coatings.

The new, high-gloss printable laminate film from Nobelus offers scratch-resistance and can be used for gluing, foil stamping, UV coating and more. It is intended for direct mail, magazines, folding cartons and other applications. PRINTING United Booth 10141.

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.

Interactive Print

This holiday season marketers are leveraging augmented reality to drive both consumer engagement and purchases; some include print.

Marketers are targeting smartphone owners through mobile marketing techniques such as QR codes, blending print with digital.

Barbara Pellow shares a story of a PSP that used Clickable Paper to deliver an omni-channel experience to a professional sports team.

Consumables - Paper

Getting involved early enough in customers’ brochure planning process gives print providers an opportunity to serve as advisors.

Paper stock is a great tool to create direct mail that enhances your ROI, and come up with a strategy to get attention.

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

Digital Printing - Digital Offset

HP’s Indigo 12000 HD system is increasingly being used for applications such as professional and wedding photo prints. The system’s high-definition writing head doubles print resolution and outperforms the quality of most offset printing. PRINTING United Booth 6407.

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.

Offset Printing

Heidelberg’s Speedmaster XL 106-5 press is the machine of choice for a Canadian sheetfed printer: Its integrated LED drying technology gives companies additional product options, as well as a way to access higher-margin printing opportunities. PRINTING United Booth 10143.

Citing the need to increase capacity and gain a competitive advantage, the perfecting press from RMGT was the perfect choice for a growing business. This and other solutions from the company will be represented in Dallas. PRINTING United Booth 9551.

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.

Digital Printing - Toner

The imagePRESS C850 offers print speeds of up to 85 letter-size images per minute, duplex, long-sheet printing, and can handle heavier, coated or textured stock. The imagePRESS C850 also features in-line finishing options including creasing and trimming. PRINTING United Booth 7016.

Xerox recently unveiled the Iridesse. Now that the glitter has settled, there are a few questions to explore about its possibilities.

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.


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.”

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.