February 1, 2001

BY MARK SMITH Mining the rich potential of variable-data printing has proven to be tougher going than early assays may have indicated. The biggest obstacles have been, and continue to be, inadequate customer data gathering on the part of potential users and/or limited understanding of how to capitalize on such information. Early on it became apparent that selling and executing variable-data work required direct interaction with marketing types. Trying to go through the normal channels—i.e., print buyers and even creatives, to an extent—wasn't effective. The right place to start is with the marketing goals of the organization, not the capabilities of the process.
March 1, 2000

The sea of e-commerce companies is expanding; Seybold Boston was wired, so to speak, to the Internet. printCafe, a new Internet endeavor, captured the most attention at the Boston show last month, but so did new digital workflows, color management tools and Adobe's latest—a bridge for PDF. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO Walking into Seybold Boston last month it seemed almost unbelievable that the words Internet and startup are still synonymous. Everywhere you looked, it was dotcom this, dotcom that—if you stood still too long, you were at serious risk of finding a dotcom appearing after your last name on your Seybold badge. Then

The Deregulation Of the Digital Press
February 1, 2000

The flood gates are open—digital presses for commercial printers are no longer one size fits all. There are enough devices to tempt the commercial printing community. From the zealous prepress provider to the comprehensive of one-stop printing operations: Specialization is the new mandate for the digital press in on-demand printing, variable or not. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO Quick. What is a prime directive of the best of the best commercial printers when it comes to exploring new digital technologies for print? Be receptive to embrace emerging digital printing technologies? Be proactive with contemporary and unique marketing initiatives to promote new digital

SSF--The Internet Seybold
October 1, 1999

When Seybold closed the doors to its 1999 San Francisco expo last month, three technology trends stood dominant: the Internet, PDF and the quest for the all-digital workflow. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO If one potent word could sum up the energy, enthusiasm and very direction of Seybold San Francisco, held for the final time this century at the Moscone Center last month, it could easily be: Internet. The Internet, the World Wide Web. Seybold San Francisco was a virtual debutante's ball for the global gateway that is the Internet. New companies emerged as major players for the commercial printing market—all gearing to harness the

On-Demand, Just in Time!
June 1, 1999

Adobe. Agfa. BARCO Graphics. EFI. Epson. IBM. Indigo. Heidelberg. PageFlex. Scitex. Splash. Varis. Xeikon. Xerox. The movers and shakers of on-demand got together recently in the Big Apple to promote everything from variable-data software to wide-format output to the latest initiatives in PDF functionality, servers and digital cameras. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO Between the digital prepress performances of Seybold Boston and Seybold San Francisco, the greats of the on-demand digital printing industry hit the Big Apple with the latest in digital color presses, variable data software, digital cameras—everything and anything designed to boost the short-run performance standards of the on-demand digital printing market.

Variable Data--Up Close and Personal
May 1, 1999

Developments in variable data are pushing on-demand print production to new levels of customization. What are the hot new technologies to see at the On-Demand Show? The answer, pun intended, varies. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO Talk about getting a little too up close and personal: Bitstream's PageFlex, Agfa's Personalizer-X and BARCO Graphics' VIPLine variable data software solutions, VariScript from Varis and Indigo's Yours Truly, Scitex's Darwin and Xeikon's PrintStreamer, EFI's FreeForm and Xerox's DigiPath—all are striking, almost surreal, examples of the power of variable data in printing. Talk about Big Brother. Imagine getting a customized postcard from a travel agency. A picture

Graph Expo--A Show of Shows
December 1, 1998

GRAPH EXPO 98 and CONVERTING EXPO 98 was a hot ticket—sales were robust, booth traffic was brisk, technology advancements fierce and cooperative announcements healthy. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO Question pondered: Could GRAPH EXPO 98 be a "Show of Shows," when the international spectacles that were IPEX 98 and PRINT 97 captured the printing industry's collective practically within the same 12-month span, with IPEX in September and PRINT 97 the previous September? Does $108 million answer that? That's the figure Heidelberg reported it registered during the show's four-day tour of Chicago's McCormick Place recently. Heidelberg's success was not singular. Scores of the show's more than

Digital Presses--Making the Grade
October 1, 1998

The teeming class of digital color presses seems to be on the verge of a graduation of sorts. Xeikon celebrated the shipment of its 1,000th digital color press earlier this year, a DCP/32D. Indigo reports well over 1,000 E-Print shipments globally. Xerox boasts more than 4,000 DocuColor 40 units installed worldwide. Heidelberg's Quickmaster DI continues to flood the market. All this is happening just as Agfa's variable printing Chromapress and the Scitex/KBA-Planeta Karat continue to push the technology forward. But that doesn't mean new classmates, like Screen's recently launched TruePress and the Quickmaster's big brother, the new Speedmaster 74 DI, aren't ready to

Plenty of News From Seybold SF
June 24, 1998

SAN FRANCISCO—Seybold San Francisco was just what the industry expected: A hearty serving of alphabet soup with discussions on PDF, XML and ICC proliferating the conference halls as well as the trade show floor. Seybold also delivered new launches of color management and digital asset manipulation software, digital file delivery alternatives and Internet design tools, and—what else?—an entertaining keynote from Apple's very own Steve Jobs, jeans and all. Technological wizardry from Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Bitstream, Creo, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Markzware, Microsoft, Quark (yes, Quark; just Quark, not Adobe's new parent), Pantone, Silicon Graphics, WAM!NET, Xerox, X-Rite and more cast the spotlight