Going with Your “Gut?”

Metrics and data are crucial; but, combining them with instinct and accumulated wisdom is often the best means to effective decisions.

Direct Mail: QR Code or Not?

QR codes can add value to direct mail, but only if used effectively. Here are some best practices for utilizing this tool.

Can You Hit a Curve?

Do you see problems or possibilities? How you handle unexpected challenges reveals your true value to clients and employers.

From The Experts

The ‘Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’ was signed into law on Nov. 15. Here’s what print and packaging manufacturers should note.

The Alliance calls on Congressional leaders to end Build Back Better Act talks, and to focus on more immediate economic challenges.

As this plan crumbles, the path to recovery will require a quick pivot to other key policies and successful crisis management.

Other Staff Bloggers
Business Management

Metrics and data are crucial; but, combining them with instinct and accumulated wisdom is often the best means to effective decisions.

Do you see problems or possibilities? How you handle unexpected challenges reveals your true value to clients and employers.

In challenging times, businesses with engaged and supportive employees tend to thrive, while others struggle.


QR codes can add value to direct mail, but only if used effectively. Here are some best practices for utilizing this tool.

Help customers get better direct mail results with good messaging. Here are five tips to help vet what they say and how they say it.

Direct mail is considered to be the most trustworthy of all marketing channels, so it’s important to create copy that is honest.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI-driven tools have the potential to revolutionize how your sales team works.

Training and Education

The National Postal Forum was packed with content. Here are the top five takeaways I left Indianapolis thinking about.

Skills training is often seen as a cost, but it’s actually an investment that boosts competitiveness and fosters employee retention.

DS Graphics/Universal Wilde partnered with Worcester Technical High School to get students involved in producing its annual calendar.


If one trend is dominating marketing, it’s personalization. Let’s take a look at strategies you can employ to create marketing magic.

Workflow automation, driven by Industry 4.0, is crucial for print manufacturing to enhance efficiency and navigate challenges.

Cloud computing has transitioned from a distant concept to a pivotal aspect of business operations. Here’s what to know.

Digital Printing - Wide Format

With the anticipated surge in political advertising for 2024, understanding best practices for political advertising is crucial.

There are several wide-format trends that represent opportunities for PSPs to truly thrive in the year ahead.

Expanding into wide-format is exciting, but requires creating a smart manufacturing layout to produce the printed items profitably.

Consumables - Paper

Last year, I wrote an article about making the first Bible out of stone paper. Now, we really are. Here are my thoughts so far.

Research suggests a switch to electronic learning materials from paper materials may be detrimental to students’ ability to learn. 

If you’re looking to achieve brand protection, security, and more, Viridian holographic Eco-Paperboard may be the solution for you. 

Interactive Print

By adding mobile, you can spice up print, create a “wow” factor, and make it even easier to respond. Here are five ways to get started.

Here are five terms that may impact your organization and your clients’ print applications.

A recent article highlighted Harvey Levenson’s clickable paper book. Now, he describes how the interactive printed textbook came about.


Complete with a hashtag and over 2.7 million views, Truly Engaging has harnessed TikTok for its incredible marketing potential.

Mark Nixon, the EVP of global sales and marketing at Scodix, chats about the trends he sees impacting the space in the coming months.

This week’s strategy is a simple way to add a 3D effect using a layered die cut. It won’t get in the way of machine production, either.

Digital Printing - Digital Offset

The Anstadt Co. looked to new folding carton printing opportunities in digital packaging print technology for growth.

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.

Color/Quality Control

With an ICC profile, we can convert the artwork with this definition to force it to match the standard with a non-standard ink set.

With management systems, printers should be equipped with the proper hardware and software to ensure consistency of output.

Trying to achieve a shared visual appearance between products printed on different media with different printers can be challenging.

Data Management

The data that is generated and collected within your MIS system can speak volumes about the performance of your business.

The Committee on House Administration held a hearing to discuss data privacy risks and reform needed in the public and private sectors.

As businesses and retailers adjust to new routines and marketing gears up, here are three reasons to consider programmatic printing.

Digital Printing - Production Inkjet

While digital is a choice among printing processes, it continues to provide change, new opportunity, and compelling advantages.

Printing and packaging industries benefit from influx of digital printing platforms across commercial, in-plant, packaging segments.

According to the research, roughly 6,000 printers are considering an investment in B2 inkjet printing over the next two years.

Consumables - Ink

The printing industry is shifting toward inkjet printing. As such, more companies should evaluate the benefits of insourcing.

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.

Digital Printing - Toner

The centerpiece was the virtual debut of a new, dry-toner digital press: the SX30000, a B2-format, continuous-feed device from Xeikon.

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.

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.

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.


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.