Printing Impressions June 2008 issue


50th: Fun with Advertisements — Sex, Stars and Cartoons Sell

AS ADVERTISEMENTS go, so goes our magazine. Or any magazine. While smug in our self-assuredness that the church of editorial content remains unfettered and separated from the state of advertising, the truth is we need each other. Without advertising, a publication would explode on the launch pad, never seeing the light of print. Without editorial, advertising would produce merely a shoppers’ news, a penny saver. Over the past 50 years, we’ve had our share of the rigid and mundane when it comes to ad presentation, but there are plenty of examples where advertisers have gone out of their way to trigger response mechanisms. Pretty

50th: Long Road to Automation — From High Touch to Hi Tech

FIFTY YEARS would constitute a long career, but it’s just a flash of time for an industry that traces its roots at least back to the introduction of the Gutenberg press, circa the early 1400s. While each generation probably thinks it has seen more changes than any other, this has been a dizzying half century for the printing process. Letterpress has given way to offset and now digital printing. Composition has gone from hot metal and manual paste-up through phototypesetting, color scanning, color electronic prepress systems and desktop publishing, then on to computer-to-plate and Web-to-print. Bindery equipment now boosts more computer power than Apollo

50th: Otto Boutin’s Night Watch — Speak and Squeak Softly

EDITOR’S NOTE: This fictional piece was written by the late Otto Boutin, a longtime Printing Impressions contributor who penned stories about the old “tramp” printers who traveled the country, moving from job to job in search of adventure and a better life. A poet in a printer’s apron, his monthly column was a popular mainstay in this publication for several years. MARVIN WAS one of the most kind-hearted men I’ve ever known. When he caught a butterfly, he always let it go, believing that life in any form was extremely precious. He was one of those lonely printers who wander across the country, living

50th: Unforgettable Moments — The Odd and Memorable

THE YEAR was 1958. A 14-year-old named Bobby Fischer wins the U.S. Chess Championship. Willie O’Ree is the first African-American to play in the National Hockey League. The U.S. Air Force loses a hydrogen bomb off the coast of Savannah, GA, and it’s never found. Poet Ezra Pound is ordered to be released from an insane asylum, and “that book by Nabokov” (“Lolita”) is published in the United States. And, in Philadelphia, a 34-year-old man named Irvin Borowsky published the first issue of Printing Impressions. The industry, this magazine—indeed, our nation and world—have undergone dramatic transformations over the last 50 years. Our publication, just

A True Appreciation For Roy Grossman —Cagle

IT WAS a sad morning in early May when a press release crossed my desk announcing that Roy Grossman, president and CEO of Sandy Alexander in Clifton, NJ, would be stepping down at the end of the month. Executives come and go—then sometimes reappear a few years down the line—so theoretically Grossman’s departure is no big deal. But this magazine and the printing community have lost a great friend—hopefully a temporary situation. The man is Journalism 101, pure gold. Roy Grossman doesn’t “tell it like it is” because he doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, but he’s never been afraid to “tell it

ACROSS the nation

Perfector Boosts Versatility and Quality CONYERS, GA—After recently installing a six-color, 41˝ KBA Rapida 105 one-over-five perfector with aqueous coating capability, 4D Printing reports that the press is “completely booked” and is running three shifts a day, five days a week. Doug Silsbee, 4D vice president, claims that the Rapida 105 is 25 percent faster in makeready than the printer’s other presses. It is also equipped with automatic plate loaders, auto washup and the KBA Densitronic S closed-loop scanning spectrodensitometer. “Thanks to the amazing automation, we’re putting more jobs through the KBA Rapida 105 than any of our other presses,” Silsbee says. “We

BINDERY matters

Folder-Gluer Proves to Be Twice as Nice DALLAS/FT. WORTH—Trade finisher Registermarks Letter Press Services recented added its second Bobst Fuego 110 A-2 CS folder-gluer in the past 18 months. The company runs order sizes from a few thousand to more than two million, which means some jobs can tie up a folder for two days. “Adding the second Fuego has allowed us to complete many of these large orders in a single shift,” explains Mark Requena, president. The new Fuego has been fitted with a multi-feeder inserter device for tipping in CDs, cards and booklets during the folding operation. “With this configuration, we

Craftline Printing — The Finishing Touches

THERE ARE two types of equipment dealers in the printing industry. One has products, the other has solutions. The former has something to sell, the latter wants to find out about your needs and address them. Needless to say, the latter almost always wins the day, the order and future business. Craftline Printing, a commercial printer and direct mailer based in Fort Wayne, IN, knows a little something about partnerships, both with companies that supply it with equipment and customers who rely on the printer to deliver their marketing messages. Craftline has three divisions: commercial, book and C-Point Marketing. The commercial branch produces

DIGITAL digest

Kodak Users Get the Real Deal LAS VEGAS—More than 300 members of the Graphic Users Association (GUA) of Kodak Solutions recently gathered at the Wynn Las Vegas for the North American group’s annual meeting. “This year’s conference was our biggest and best yet,” said current GUA President Tom Clifford, who is also a prepress technology specialist with RR Donnelley. Having “unfiltered access to executives and product specialists from Kodak” is a key benefit of attending the event, Clifford noted. “Most important, the team from Kodak. . .genuinely listens to our feedback and takes it into consideration when developing new products and features.” He also

Drupa 08, From Ink Jet to Green

Most have dubbed drupa 2008 the “ink-jet drupa,” and while many would agree that most new product releases and announcements have focused on ink jet applications, there are others. The pace of product introductions has slowed at drupa, and at other shows—but not because there is less innovation in our industry—because modern marketing won’t permit releases of new technology every four years, or even annually for that matter. Conversely, markets today require access to new products and innovations much quicker than in the past, so the days of “waiting” for drupa, PRINT, IPEX or IGAS are over. When a product is ready for market

Event Foretells Offset—and Beyond

SCHAUMBURG, IL—Building on the decision last year by the PIA/GATF and Web Offset Association (WOA) to merge an annual event geared toward sheetfed offset printers into their venerable WOA conference and rename it Offset and Beyond, the program covered even more topics beyond lithography this year. These included new features for the more than 600 attendees, including a Saturday jump-start series, a “green printers” showcase and a student outreach program. In addition, new all-day targeted sessions were hosted by Tom Quinn, director of fulfillment services at the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association, and by Julie Shaffer, director of the Digital Printing Council, on the

Flower City Printing — Going Above and Beyond

MOST PRINTING industry folks would agree that one of the biggest problems that the industry faces today is getting the younger generation interested in the trade, and shedding the “ink under the fingernails” perception. Rochester, NY-based Flower City Printing (FCP), one of the largest, privately held, large-format sheetfed offset printers in the United States, has gone out of its way time and again to seek solutions to the challenge, offering plant tours, workshops and even partnering with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to generate interest. Flower City Printing has reached out to many high school and college students to show them how

GREEN scene

Omaha Print Celebrates 150 Years With 150 Trees OMAHA, NE—To celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary, Omaha Print employees recently planted 150 trees here at Fontenelle Forest. As the Conservation Stewardship Sponsor for Fontenelle Nature Association (FNA), Omaha Print plans to continue to add trees to Fontenelle Forest yearly. Together, Omaha Print and FNA aim to preserve the biodiversity and ecological integrity of Nebraska lands for current and future generations. CEO Steve Hayes explains that the gift of trees is being made in honor of all the company’s employees, retirees and customers. “We have been fortunate to receive the support of the community for

Grossman Leaves Sandy Alexander

CLIFTON, NJ—Roy Grossman, a Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame inductee and a staunch advocate for some of the most daunting challenges confronting printers, has resigned his position as president and CEO of Clifton, NJ-based Sandy Alexander. Grossman stepped down on May 31. Michael Graff has been promoted to president of the company. Also leaving the company was Chip Stine, executive vice president of sales. Stine has worked alongside Grossman dating back to their days at Grossman family owned Laurel Printing, before the company joined forces with Sandy Alexander. “It’s not about Sandy Alexander at all. This is the greatest company in the

Illinois Printers — A Printer’s Paradise

THE CITY of Chicago gets a bad rap and, as a result, the state of Illinois gets tagged as a troublemaker. And it all started, depending upon which legend you believe, with Kate O’Leary’s cow. It’s a sad city that blames a cow on its misfortunes, but that’s Chi-town’s issue. Fact of the matter is, on October 9, 1871, a fire tore through the Windy City that may have been started by Daisy, Gwendolyn, Bessy, Ryno or whatever the bovine’s moniker. The cow booted a lantern and, a few hundred alarms later, Chicago was engulfed—so badly, in fact, that they named it the Great

Illinois Printers — Competition’s Fierce

SO, YOU think you know Illinois like the back of your hand? Frankly, why would anyone have extensive knowledge about the backs of their hands? Are we really so bereft of meaningful activity that we would stare at our hands for prolonged periods, studying their contours? OK, stay focused. First, some things you may not know about Illinois. It’s more than da Bears, da Bulls and da Cubs (sorry Ozzie, no one cares about da White Sox). Not only was it Abe Lincoln’s and Ulysses S. Grant’s mailing address, it’s also where Barack Obama sleeps when not on the campaign trail. Among the

IMCs: Don’t Be Intimidated —Sherburne

IN APRIL, I attended the Kodak Graphic Users Association (KGUA) as a member of the press. This group is probably one of the longest running user associations in our industry, previously having been associated with Creo and Scitex before all of the acquisitions. This was the first time the group invited the press, and I was pleased to be there with four other colleagues from North America. With 314 members in attendance, it was the largest gathering the group has seen—at least in the past several years, even with the economy in turmoil, Drupa around the corner and the IPA Technical Conference competing for

IP Explosion Kills Contract Worker

REDWOOD, MS—An explosion rocked International Paper’s Vicksburg, MS, containerboard plant on May 3, killing a contract employee and injuring 17. Four of the injured—also contract workers—remained in critical condition at a burn center in Augusta, GA. A boiler explosion killed 28-year-old Marcus Broome, who died on the scene of chest injuries. Five others were transported to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, according to the Vicksburg (MS) Post. At press time, one victim had been released while the other four remained in critical condition. The contract workers had been performing maintenance. More than 300 International Paper employees were at the mill at

Kay Printing — The Miracle Makers

KAY PRINTING, of Clifton, NJ, advertises itself as the printer you go to “When you need a printing miracle” and, for more than 30 years, it has consistently delivered results for clients that may seem almost, well, miraculous. It isn’t due to miracles, of course; it’s the result of focus and hard work. “We’ll surprise a customer once in a while—surprise in a good way,” says Rich Kirschenbaum, founder and president. “But we aren’t really magicians. We’re a company that’s dead serious about giving clients what they need, when they need it and how they need it.” Kay Printing’s ability to do that is

LETTERS to the editor

Skilled Labor Strikes Chord Dear Editor, As a member and officer of the Education Summit, I would like to be able to share the articles that appeared in Printing Impressions’ March and April issues: “Skilled Labor: Help Wanted” and “Cure for Workforce Woes.” Both articles cut across so many of the problems that exist in the graphic communications/printing industry that relates to its skilled workforce shortage—the very issues that I deal with every day. They provided different perspectives from industry leaders. Eileen D. Cassidy Director, GAERF Dear Editor, Thank you for taking the initiative on the issues of labor, education recruitment and related

Neographics Event Goes ‘Green’

PHILADELPHIA—Green has quickly become the earth-friendly color of choice for buyers of printing and, hence, their print suppliers. Subsequently, the emphasis on environmental sustainability provided a timely “Greener Than We Think” theme for the 37th annual Neographics Power of Print awards exhibition, ceremony and dinner held here May 1. Hosted by the Graphic Arts Association (GAA), 400 attendees crowded the Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker Building to pay tribute to all of the Franklin Award, Best of Category and Power of Print winners, as well as the 2008 individual honorees. Chosen from nearly 400 entries, Pomco Graphic Arts, Philadelphia, took home the 2008

New Trend: Pre-Approval —Morgan

IN LATE April, Print Buyers conducted one of our popular Quick Poll surveys to see if more print buyers are pre-qualifying printers before they are able to work with them. Seventy-one major print buyers answered the following question: “Do your print suppliers have to be on an approved supplier list in order to work with your organization?” • Fifty-four percent of print buyers said, “Yes.” • Forty-six percent of print buyers said, “No.” This is in stark contrast to how printers responded to a similar question. Here are the results of a Quick Poll directed toward our print supplier

Next Generation Printing — Namesake Says It All

PAUL ROTHSTEIN was selling thermal copy paper (remember that stuff?) out of the back of a borrowed car in 1973. In a former life, he had been a business machine salesman, but suddenly realized that the “real” market was in consumable sales. Looking past the obvious (his traveling salesman selling-out-of-the-back-of-a-car routine), Rothstein saw that there was a growing demand for quality, customer-oriented, fast-turnaround printing. Shortly thereafter, Canton, MA-based Copytech was born. In those days, Copytech had a single one-color press and a desktop folder. If the press operator (one of three employees) called in sick, Rothstein had to run the press. Fortunately for him,

Pennsylvania Joins the ‘Do-Not-Mail’ Bandwagon

Add Pennsylvania to the list of states hit by “Do-Not-Mail” legislation. A bill to “prohibit unsolicited mail” was introduced in early May in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. HB 2551 was introduced by Rep. Nicholas Micozzie (R-Delaware County) along with 44 co-sponsors. The bill text was not available at press time, as the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was in recess. Pennsylvania is the 12th state this year to see such legislation introduced; in no state has a bill actually advanced to a floor vote. PIA/GATF and its local Graphic Arts Association (GAA) affiliate, which serves the Delaware Valley region, will continue to monitor


Magic 8-Ball Says ‘Ask Again’ THE POLICE officer who has a car stolen. The fireman with dead batteries in a smoke detector. The magazine editor who sends an e-mail out with typos in it. There’s a special kind of embarrassment that comes with screwing up at something related to one’s own profession. Yet, one of the regrettable truths of the printing—aka graphic arts, marketing services, communications—industry is that many member companies have a poor track record when it comes to sending out self-promotion campaigns to their own customers and prospects. Adoption of digital printing has been a game changer because of the need to