Blogs

When Direct Mail Gets Digital, Brands Unite

Smart brands today are using digital print to bring many of their online marketing techniques into their customers’ homes.

Should You 'Drink on the Job?'

The “three martini lunch” was a staple for Don Draper, but is it anymore? Find out in this week’s blog from Bill Farquharson.

You Better Be Right!

In this week’s blog, Philip Beyer ensures that there is one strategy that will turn a business into a positive, forward-moving entity.

Other Staff Bloggers
Business Management

Smart brands today are using digital print to bring many of their online marketing techniques into their customers’ homes.

The “three martini lunch” was a staple for Don Draper, but is it anymore? Find out in this week’s blog from Bill Farquharson.

In this week’s blog, Philip Beyer ensures that there is one strategy that will turn a business into a positive, forward-moving entity.

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.

Data Management

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

What the magazine industry needs to focus on is using data analysis to help advertisers deliver highly targeted, high-impact print ads.

Big data is an awesome tool, but the brand review process should not be automated. Here are three tips.

Training and Education

Kemal Carr of Madison Advisors recaps the invitation-only Ricoh INTERACT 2018 conference, which featured educational sessions.

Here are some tips for attracting and retaining your next hire.

As the use of digital forms of media grows, one area of students’ academic development still relies heavily on printed materials.

Finishing

Don Piontek highlights eight differences to help make the decision between purchasing equipment from a dealer or a manufacturer.

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

Improvements in inkjet is causing a shift in attitude on the in-line vs. off-line finishing debate.

Mailing/Fulfillment

Why do I love self-mailers? They are really versatile and allow you plenty of room for creativity to grab attention quickly. You can

Direct mail is expensive, so you need to make sure you get it right. Learn the seven key elements to creating the best direct mail.

If you’re in control of marketing and you’ve ignored the direct mail channel – you may be making a mistake.

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.

On March 20, the Book Industry Guild of New York (BIGNY) got straight talk on the state of printing technologies from three printers.

Binding

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

Here’s a short list of solutions to ensure a smooth PUR perfect binding process.

A few weeks ago, I reported on Muller Martini assuming much of Kolbus' perfect binding and hard-cover systems portfolio. So, I thought I would provide an update. Both firms are giants in the postpress field, with many, many years of history of providing continuous bindery innovation. When you think about it, this was inevitable.

Interactive Print

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.

Advertising media, interactive displays, product labeling and packaging, security—all are perfect playgrounds for NFC technology. Yes, some of the marketing applications are similar to QR codes, but without the ugly square that has been driving design-minded folks crazy for years.

Software

Most successful small manufacturing companies use MIS software. Unfortunately, there’s a failure to launch about 80% of the features.

EFI recently released a significant rewrite and enhancement to the Direct Smile platform and has named it MarketDirect Cross Media.

When you properly plan a personalized variable data workflow, you will have integrated software, press, and finishing in a workflow where there is accountability and verification at every step in the process. Which is surely what you will need for success.

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…

Digital Printing - Wide Format

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.

What a dazzling showcase the 2017 SGIA Expo was.

During the One Canon press/analyst event (March 7-9) in Boca Raton, Fla., Canon unveiled worldwide the Colorado 1640 and Mal Baboyian, Senior VP of Canon U.S.A.’s Business Imaging Solutions Group for Océ Product Marketing and Support, thinks it is Océ’s most important wide-format graphic arts product introduction in 25 years.

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.

Consumables - General

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.

Digital printing has thrown a curve at both coating and film systems manufacturers due to the surface properties of many toner printed pieces. These make it difficult for many films and coatings to properly adhere to the substrate.