Print Media Centr PRINT LONG AND PROSPER! Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:18:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ‘World’s First’ Self-Destructing Book Comes With A 24-Hour Countdown Timer Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:18:26 +0000 read more →]]> This coolness comes from Design Taxi:

Self_Destructing Book

US author James Patterson has released a book that would self-destruct at the end of a stipulated time frame.

Patterson told Mashable that “Publishing, in my opinion, needs to get out there competing with everything else in the world—movies, television, etc. etc.”, so he partnered with creative agency Mother to come up with this unique marketing stunt for his latest book, titledPrivate Vegas.

The first thousand readers will get the opportunity to download a free digital copy of the book, which will vanish after 24 hours. He is also selling one copy of the self-destructing book for US $294,038, which includes a private trip and a five-course meal with the author.

The book comes with a countdown clock at the top of the screen, which will start to ticking when the first page is swiped open. It is designed to create a thrilling reading experience, which readers can also keep track and “steal time” from other readers.

Watch the promotional video below to find out more.

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The 2015 CMYK Manifesto: Invest In The Future Of Print Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:20:34 +0000 read more →]]> manifesto

The Following Topics Are Over And Done With For 2015!

MSP/PSP… WTF! Enough already. No acronym is going to change the perception of what you do if you have presses in the building. Printing is NOT a dirty word! If you think it is by all means change your company name and help your competition – aka Printers – with their SEO in the process! And please spare us the press releases and “the MSP spin” because pssst… between us… I don’t think you even buy it.

Selling The STATS! Speaking of buying things, when is the last time you sold work, or created a customer using a STAT? How much money is the industry spending on research and materials to “convince” people print is relevant?!? It’s a big business. “Thanks for supporting us” – says everyone cashing checks while playing on our occupational fears and promoting themselves. I am not claiming ALL data is irrelevant, I am simply asking how much of it is truly valuable?

Buyers ONLY Buy On PRICE! You know what, some do. And you know what, some don’t. And the kicker, it’s Printers who have created the situation by competing on price with each other. In the absence of anything more VALUABLE on the table, most everyone chooses on price – whether it’s because you are doing your job and saving your company and clients money on their marketing materials, or deciding where to get your gas. If you think this is the reason you aren’t making sales – run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.

You! Yep, 2015 is no longer about you so get ready to go cold turkey. Look to the consumer world for marking strategy and you will see a shift underway from brand messaging being about the brands, to being about their customers. Brands will market by sharing customer stories and experiences with their products and services, and create cross-channel communities where people can come together with others “like them.” Now take that, and apply it to your messaging, marketing and content… everywhere!

Bait And Switchery! Whether it’s a completely unrelated post title, a click inducing social share, or an email with a RE: subject line – the expression “one and done” applies here. You may trick me to look, but consider the last paragraph if that is your goal because the story I am going to tell about YOU, you deserve.

Skipping Steps! After years of working in ad agency Traffic, my default setting is to get from A to B in the most effective and efficient way possible… but cheating isn’t an option. All those social followers/likes you bought are empty accounts adding no value to the community, or your business. Nothing more unsocial then that! #BeReal


The Mission For 2015: Invest In The Future of Print

Growing up in the Age of Asteroids (and Millipede! and Ms Pac Man! etc), I am a sucker for arcade games. A few weeks ago I saw Pitfall in the Apple Store and it’s my current addiction. The game is pretty simple and requires navigating obstacles that pop up in your path while the Indiana Jones-like character runs to escape a volcanic eruption. The further you move along, the faster he runs while you jump, slide, ride, duck, and whip anything in your path.

I found myself stuck navigating a quick series of obstacles. It was repetitive, so after many tries I knew the sequence but my thoughts of jump, duck, go left, jump, slide, slide, duck, weren’t translating to my fingers quick enough. By accident I found the solution… don’t focus on the obstacle right in front of me, look beyond it to the next one. Doing that allowed me to be prepared for what was coming and eliminated having to react to it. Keeping my eye on what was ahead, kept me alive.

That strategy needs to become your mission in 2015. It’s time to look ahead, get prepared, and control your destiny. Investment is key to the future of print, and the key to yours. Here are a few things to invest in starting this year:

Invest In Education! This topic is a repeat from my 2014 CMYK Manifesto, but without it we stand still and fester. Seek out events, educational opportunities and create a culture of learning within your company. The industry is moving too fast and knowledge is the ultimate power in the information age. Don’t get left behind.

Invest In Your Customers! The future of your business is tied to mobile devices. Get input from your customers, and develop an app that will help them stay connected to their work wherever they are, whenever they want.

Invest In Your Capabilities! Your next big move needs to include a serious purchase that will open new doors. Think of growing market/consumer needs for customization and personalization. Think of opportunities in labels, packaging, and wide-format. Think of inkjet and digital printing. Think of short-run bookmaking. Think of Scodix (sorry, I can’t help myself!) and equipment to add cool-factor and additional value to everything you print. Get educated and get that new machine on your floor as quickly as you can make it happen.

Invest In Partners! If you can’t do it, partner with someone who can. Because if you can’t do it, I will hire someone else who can. Customers like one-stop shopping. Why get left out?

Invest In Your Communications! Go and ask ten 20-somethings how THEY would prefer to communicate with a business they did business with, and don’t be surprised if email doesn’t make the list. Get your social media groundwork underway. Enter new channels and amp up your presence with valuable contributions to the community. It takes TIME to do it right!

Invest In The Industry! As I stated in this post: Innovation, Personalization And The Cloud + More Predictions For Print In 2015 – Print and Paper are already in the line of “environmental” fire, and will be even more in 2015. Help Two Sides (select the country that applies to you) on their mission to end “go green, go paperless” greenwashing by joining as a member for as little as $250 for the year. “Click. Share. Bust Some Myths” as often as you can through your channels… we are all in this together!

Invest In A NEW Print Story! Print is the most effective information transfer device known to this world. With remarkable industry advancements, ability to incorporate a myriad of marketing technologies and the super adaptable nature of delivery, print IS new media. Leave the traditional talk for AM radio and PBS.

I think 2015 is going to be an amazing year. I’m going to continue with my mission to explore new events… to seek out cool print and share your stories… to boldly blog where no one has blogged before… and hang out with all of you in The Printerverse at GRAPH EXPO!

Print Long and Prosper!


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Creating Value And Opportunity For Graphic Design in 2015 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:17:58 +0000 read more →]]> graphicdesign2015
By Roberto Blake

It’s 2015, and the landscape of graphic design has changed dramatically from how it was even a decade ago. This is not only a matter of new technology, but also a matter of a shift in the direction of advertising and marketing itself. There’s now an emphasis on customer engagement and storytelling in a way that we have not previously seen. There is a greater demand for graphic designers then ever before, but there are also things that have come along that may have devalued the industry, while in some ways expanding opportunity.

Graphic designers today are not only competing locally, they are competing globally, a very daunting prospect for some. Globalization, outsourcing, and crowd sourcing have marginalized many graphic designers and made them fearful of how viable their place in the industry really is.

The market has also become saturated due to the accessibility of graphic design software as well as more affordable computers. There was a point where the exclusivity and lack of access created a sense of job security for graphic designers. But now with solutions like Creative Cloud and even Open Source software that is competitive, more designers can enter the field without cost being a barrier.design_education

Formal design education is also not as highly valued as it once was with the increase in demand driving a results-based evaluation of designers without regard for their educational background. An industry once populated by elites has now found its way to “common ground”.

With this in mind, in order to remain competitive graphic designers have to be able to offer a range of skills and services. Specialists are no longer prized, and the era of large art departments is long gone. Teams and budgets are getting smaller, demanding more versatility and adaptability. While one doesn’t have to be a jack-of-all-trades, one has to be able to offer range or an employer will find someone who can.

The good news is that the industry has more opportunity for a greater number of people than ever before. With the surge in entrepreneurship and the understanding that remote workers can be a boon for their employers rather than a liability, the field has opened dramatically. Social media has also changed the way the graphic designers can gain recognition and reach out to prospective clients or employers.

Freelance graphic designers are also seeing their value recognized in a way it hasn’t been up until now. While agencies and design boutiques are finding their margins shrinking in some areas, business savvy freelancers are finding an increase in demand for their services both from individual clients and from companies that don’t want an on staff designer but still take their branding seriously.

If you’re a graphic designer reading this we’d like to know your thoughts on what the year 2015 holds for the graphic design industry. What do you see happening in the world of graphic design going forward and what has changed for you personally as a designer ? Let us know in the comments section below!

Roberto BlakeRoberto_Blake_PrintMediaCentr  is a Graphic Designer who runs his own one man Design Studio, focusing on Brand Development and Advertising. Roberto has experience in design for print, web and multimedia and has worked on out of home campaigns including billboards featured in Times Square. He is a monthly contributor to Print Media Centr’s News From The Printerverse, and a frequent participant in #PrintChat on Twitter. He is also a contributor for publications such as Print Magazine and How Design and has had work featured in Advanced Photoshop Magazine. Roberto is extremely active in social media, producing multiple YouTube videos each week to assist designers and other creative professionals through advice and tutorials.

Connect with Roberto: / @robertoblake / email:

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Want To Fall In Love With Your Job Again? Act Like A Rookie. Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:16:23 +0000 read more →]]> loveyourjob

By Kelly Mallozzi

Are any of you out there old enough to remember the awesome song You Don’t Bring Me Flowers with Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond? Check out the 70’s fashions and fabulousness here:

Sound familiar? Is that how you’re feeling about your job, at least a little? If you’re trying to find that loving feeling for printing, try to put yourself in the way back machine to when you were just getting started. Here are some things that rookies do that just might help you fall in love all over again.

1. Immerse yourself – when you were a rookie, you showed up early, you stayed late, and you yapped around the heels of the pressman until he begged you to give him a break. Kick it old school and pay a visit to your pressroom and ask a few questions – who knows? There might be something going on back there that you need to know. If nothing else, you might get a good new dirty joke out of it.


2. Hammer the Phones – you need to pretend like it’s Glengarry Glen Ross and you just got your hands on the new leads. Call everyone. Call people you haven’t talked to in ten years. Call your neighbor and ask him out for coffee. It’s time to cultivate a garden of referrals and breathe some new life into some old clients, prospects or former customers. And take every meeting. Break your expense account at Starbucks.

3. Remember that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Have an idea? Act on it. Want to try a new marketing promotion? Sell it to your boss. Act as if no one will ever say no to you and that is no such thing as a bad idea or a stupid question.

Because you have nothing to lose. And everything to gain. Welcome to the printing industry, rookie. We’re glad you’re here.

KellyMallozzi_PrintMediaCentrKelly Mallozzi will contribute to the PMC as often as her life and four small children will allow, which will be at least once a year.  As a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, Kelly advocates for graphic arts companies to start a revolution and fight to keep print relevant.  She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.

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7 Ideas for Freshening Up Your Email Newsletter in 2015 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:15:16 +0000 read more →]]> freshen-up-in-2015_printmediacentr

“Printers! Use Your Newsletters to Showcase the Best in Functionality and Design”

Publications tend to choose a format and stick with it. They lock in their grids, headers, colors, type choices and design elements, and then they hunker down.

“Sameness” signals to readers that a publication is professional, solid and trustworthy.

Daily newspapers, for example, hang onto outdated layouts because their brand is so tied to their look. If they are sold from crowded newsstands, publications rely on their distinct look to help them be recognized in a nano-second.

How about email newsletters?

Do they need to retain a certain look so the recipient will recognize the brand or trust the sender?

No, not based on what I’ve seen in client campaigns.

From my experience, your “From” address and subject line will get your email opened. After that, there needs to be a few recognizable elements that carry through from month to month.

It’s not necessary to have the same template with the same sections until the end of time.

Printers and publishers should showcase the best in design and functionality with their newsletters. Be a design leader and influence customers with your own fresh inspiration, whether in print or digital!

How often should you redesign?

I try to introduce major design changes for my clients every 6 months.

Six months! How can that be?

Readers get tired of looking at your newsletters. They can’t keep track of which of your emails they’ve read and which they haven’t. So, unless they are enamored of your raw content and the influence of your authors, they will abandon your emails after about 10 opens unless something different happens.


I call it “newsletter fatigue.”

Here are 7 ways to freshen the look of your email newsletter while maintaining enough continuity and branding so your readers won’t be confused:

  1. Build a flat template that looks good on phones and tablets. Use Litmus ( or a similar service to test how responsive designs will look on various devices.
  2. Choose a new, eye-popping accent color for buttons, offers, and design elements.
  3. Entice readers with compelling summaries if you’re going to link to full articles.
  4. Make sure you’re using current social buttons.
  5. Remove distracting backgrounds.
  6. Can the canned art and shoot your own natural looking photos that are right-sized for fast loading.
  7. Simplify everything!

Finally, be sure you’re tracking your opens, click throughs and conversions so you can start seeing the difference a fresh look will make!

sandy_hubbard_printmediacentr Sandy Hubbard consults with printers and publishers who are in extreme growth mode. She favors email newsletters as a highly effective tool in integrated marketing programs. You can find Sandy each Wednesday at 4 pm ET on Twitter, assisting Deborah Corn with Print Media Centr’s popular #PrintChat.  

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Welcome To The 2015 World Of Print! Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:13:47 +0000 read more →]]> Print2015_printmediacentr

By Chloe Mahendra-Fuji, Print Diva

Hi! I’m Chloe, and love to watch how people communicate in print. There are so many things you can do with print that it’s sometimes hard to realize that there are still new ideas being realized with technology that involves putting marks on paper. Much of my work involves digital printing, so you might think it’s boring. But, recently I have seen some things that are just amazing communication pieces that I want to share.

Do you ever do newsletters or magazines? Many of my clients create them as information pieces, loyalty communications or for their big events. I’ve seen all types, from those produced on the office photocopier to the slick productions that rival Vogue. Recently, in different parts of the world, I’ve seen an interesting set of alternatives! What about using a digitally printed newspaper for your next event?


Newspaper, you ask? On ugly newsprint? Actually, no! I’ve seen some examples in Europe at shows that are really interesting. They are sometimes on whiter newsprint, sometimes on better quality paper, but the format is usually tabloid size. The content is sometimes written in a true “news style” and at other times it takes a breezier approach. There is usually an agency involved for copywriting, but the best examples are the ones that use some data and create a relevant communication organ that goes beyond what you can do with static, offset printing.

The pieces I have seen are using a variety of digital printing technologies. Some use toner-based printing technologies, but more often they are using high-speed inkjet machines. The cost is appropriate, the technology works well with newsprint, and it turns out that people like newspapers! Even though daily newspapers around the world are under pressure, the format of a newspaper is portable, easy to read and provides options for adding advertising, adding educational and promotional content, and even including QR Codes or Augmented Reality links to expand the communication opportunities.


Magazines, short run and customized, are an equally attractive option that is popping up in many different places around the world. From the Sundance Film Festival catalog to targeted association magazines, a lot of companies are catching on to the idea. The idea of corporate magazines or store magazines is not new; what is new and innovative is the idea of using a magazine format combined with segmentation and targeting to create a better experience for the ones who use it.  I was out online and found a great reference from the agency called Head Office.

Take a look at this video to see a cool way to use a magazine – I think you’ll get some ideas! Who knew that high-speed inkjet could change brand communication?

I’m still trolling the world looking for cool stuff for my clients. I know there is more out there because I am a Print Diva! I’ll share more next month!

ChloeChloe Mahendra-Fuji practices the fine arts of design critique, content creation and editing, and communication consulting. She has decades of experience working in online content delivery, print delivery, and content development. Chloe is also a gossip maven. Send your rumors and back channel notes to She says, “Have you guessed? CMF is my AKA! You’re safe with me!” 

Connect with Chloe on Twitter: @ChloePrintDiva

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New “Print” Year’s Resolutions We Should All Consider Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:12:31 +0000 read more →]]> resoultions_printmediacentr

By Jonathan McGrew, EDP

This is the time of year when we all make our resolutions, right? Go back to the gym. Eat healthier. Procrastinate less. But what about your print resolutions this year?

At this juncture it would be easy to jump to the green initiatives. Print double-sided, print less or perhaps use FSC certified papers. From a business perspective, this not only saves money, it also lessens an organizations carbon footprint. However, I was thinking of something a little more personal.

For example, thank you cards. Did you know that there are services like Send Thank You Card, Postable and SmileBox that will let you design, print and then mail your cards? Sure there is a small fee, but when was the last time you received a thank you card from someone in real live actually PRINT!

I remember the last in print card I received. On return from our honeymoon this past July, family friends sent us a bouquet of flowers with a note welcoming us back home. And, one of our fellow print industry professionals was notorious for leaving thank you cards after her trips into the office.

The point is, this New Year, make your resolution to find the cool, the wild, the weird and wonderful print and share it with the world. Share a little more and make it personal the way something tangible can only do. Make a resolution to send thank you cards, have customer calendars printed or like my Husband Brandon did for my father, a customer printed photograph—on canvas.

From a business aspect, maybe you are looking take a closer look at your operations—automate, optimize or adding new capability. Like your personal print resolutions, make your business ones just as touching and tangible. This year think about adding accessibility to your documents. I remember at PRINT 13 seeing an example of dimensional printing where they were able to add braille to direct mail pieces so they would relate to all. Or imagine being able to connect print to the digital world.


Connecting print to the digital world is not a new topic and the possibilities with software technology are endless. Consider augmented reality. I will never forget the Jingle greeting card I bought that when you put it in front of your webcam with a specific app, the little dog would come to life and run around the face of the card. If you have a more B2B application, consider using augmented reality to illustrate how to do something or perhaps display something too large to bring along in your pocket.

One of the examples I love is how HP has postcards that they can put their iPad over and show their T-series Inkjet presses in 3D. Now that is cool and true connection from print to digital. And if that doesn’t get your imagination fired up, I am not sure what will. The bottom line is that print and the art of printing are still integrated in our lives—and in some ways it is the only medium that create such a rich and tangible experience.

So what will your print resolution be?

Drop us a comment here with your print resolution for 2015 or join the conversation in the Print Production Professionals LinkedIn Group.

Jonathan McGrewjonathan-mcgrew-print-media-centr spent his formative years being exposed to Xplor and the Enterprise Output Management & Customer Communications Management (CCM) industries (read high-volume transactional printing). Today, Jonathan is Marketing Communications Manager at Crawford Technologies and responsible for Worldwide marketing. His experience spans data management, branding, print (hardware, software & design), graphic design and marketing communications with specialization in Business to Business (B2B). Jonathan completed his MS in Marketing from the University of Colorado at Denver in December 2013 and was awarded his EDP certification at the Xplor Conference 2013.

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1/1 Interview With Dave Leskusky, NAPCO Media President And Visionary Agent Of Change Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:32:42 +0000 read more →]]> The-Evolution-of-Reading-by-GoneReading

When I saw the news that North American Publishing Company had changed its name to NAPCO Media early January, I have to admit I was skeptical. The whole PSP/MSP thing has really soured me on name changes that have proven to be no more than name changes in most cases, with little or no substance behind them. I got out my shovel and started digging deeper into the situation and found that the name change was just the tip of the iceberg as far as what was going on in Philadelphia… and it is really COOL!

First off – it takes CAJONES for a publishing company that publishes largely for the print industry to move away from using the word publishing. It may be just a word to those outside the industry, but there is a storied history behind it that has major significance to most of us in it. The new name sends a clear signal that the times, they are a’ changin’, and NAPCO is evolving to meet those changes head on, and lead others along the way. That is inspirational, and I think we are really lucky to be able to watch them from the launch of their new direction… which isn’t so much new as it is broader as far as opportunities to reach and communicate with their audience – also known as us!

I sent a few questions over to Dave Leskusky, President at NAPCO Media, and he was kind enough to send over his responses in between the planes, trains and automobiles of his work travels. I hope this interview provides a bit more insight into NAPCO’s new offerings, and those who can, take advantage of them – especially PIX! I am going to start lobbying for a channel now!!!

Dave Leskusky_Print Media CentrDC: Let’s start off easy… why the change from NAPCO Publishing to NAPCO Media, and how long did it take to get everyone to get on board with your new direction?

DL: Simply put, our new name better represents our evolving portfolio of services. We still publish a lot of engaging print and digital content but we are also in the marketing consulting business. We are creating services to better help our advertisers utilize our (or their) content along with our audience to generate an ROI. The term ‘publishing’ was a bit restrictive and no longer defines who we are as a company. It was important to us that we not forget our roots and maintain the NAPCO brand, so NAPCO Media was born. It didn’t take very long to get buy in once we clearly laid out the direction we were moving. Everyone jumped on board quickly and there’s been a renewed energy around the office as a result.

DC: Do you think this move sends a positive or negative message to the Print Industry? Have you had any backlash?

Printers have been changing their name for years as their product offerings have evolved and we are doing the same thing. I only see this as a positive for NAPCO Media and the printing industry.. As our service offerings have increased, we’ve actually seen an increase in traditional print media in some markets so I think that’s pretty positive. In no way are we forgetting about the importance of print in an integrated marketing campaign, we just want to make sure everyone knows that we offer a lot more than print publishing services.

retro-dude_chapterthree.comDC: Your press release about the name change includes this line: NAPCO Media retains the best of our past and combines it with the vision of our future… What is your vision of the future?

I think the biggest winners moving forward will be the best listeners. I’m a strong believer that our customers, readers and team members will determine what our next products will be. We are doing a better good job of actively listening to our customer’s needs, spotting consistent trends and bringing those products to market. A great example of that is NAPCO Video Services. We had been outsourcing our clients video needs when we realized it was much more profitable to bring this in-house. After all, video is just another content channel and when you package that with distribution in our e-newsletters, web sites and even print offers via augmented reality, you add great value to your customers. Our future offerings will be decided by where our customer’s needs take us.

DC: What new offerings are available to readers and advertisers from NAPCO Media vs NAPCO Publishing?

DL: We’re developing new offerings all the time.. As an entrepreneurial family owned business, we have the luxury of flexibility and can launch new products and services quickly. In the past two years alone we’ve created a Video Services Group, launched an Events Group and increasing our Marketing Services offerings. Our goal is to become a strategic partner with our advertisers, understand their goals and objectives and create integrated campaigns that achieve these goals. We are part traditional publisher and part advertising agency. There’s really nothing in a marketing budget that we can’t help facilitate.

DC: Does social media factor into your new direction, and how?

DL: Social is a much bigger part of our individual branded sites. Our content creators are pushing out content via market specific sites like Printing Impressions or Target Marketing all the time. We are still finding our voice for the NAPCO Media brand but this will be more of a focus moving forward.   I see us using NAPCO Media social sites for recruitment and though leadership. This is the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge we face. If we can become a destination for the best and brightest that have the ability to see what others don’t, we will be successful. Assembling the best team is the most difficult part of leadership and the most critical. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great summed it up best: “A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.” I believe social media can be a vehicle to help us achieve this.


DC: I have to say I LOVE your new site and logo. Who helped you create those – they deserve a shout-out!

DL: Thanks! I appreciate the kind words. I’m proud to say that this was designed and built in-house. Dave Tomko was our lead designer for the site and he knocked it out of the park. Ambrose Crenshaw, our Director of Digital took Dave’s vision and made it happen from there. I have to be honest, at first I wasn’t a huge fan of the concept, but as things began to take shape, I loved the direction they took. They really did a great job. The logo was also designed by Dave with input from the design team and management team.

As an aside, we were under some tight deadlines so we were forced to launch the desktop version before the site was responsive. The mobile experience will be much better in a few weeks when this is addressed. Ideally we would’ve launched with a digital optimized format but time was not on our side. You’ll also see more video incorporated under the main pages of the site to give you a better feel of the NAPCO Media culture and environment.

DC: Lastly… can you give us a little info about anything coming to NAPCO Media that hasn’t been announced yet? I love exclusives!!!

1.8-Million-WordsSince you asked….all of our individual brand sites, starting with Printing Impressions, will be re-launched in 2015 with the most innovative IAB ad units and a huge focus on video. Check out in early March to see what Mark Subers has developed as a video content play for the printing industry. The concept’s name is the Printing Impressions Xchange (codename: PIX). As video continues to play an ever-increasing role in our day-to-day lives, we wanted to create an educational experience that was thought-provoking and engaging for our audience. This will not be the “talking heads” experience that heretofore has been the norm. We will be producing two live video events a month with printers and other industry experts with the goal of driving the conversation forward on multiple topics for the benefit of all. These will be hosted by Mark Michelson, EIC, Printing Impressions.

In addition to the live events that will be archived on in the “PIX” platform, the platform will include other video channels such as “This Week with Julie G” – a weekly series to summarize all of the top stories of a given week. Erik Cagle, Senior Editor, will present an Op/Ed series named “Cagle’s Corner” which will cover the major trends and their impact to the industry. New Direction Partners, a marketing partner of Printing Impressions, will provide M&A content as well as a monthly update for the major transactions. All of this and much more will be included into PIX. Stay tuned as additional content sources and channels are added to the lineup. I’m very excited to see the buzz that PIXchange will create in our industry.


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Innovation, Personalization And The Cloud + More Predictions For Print In 2015 Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:21:23 +0000 read more →]]> The Road To The Future Of Print

Greetings Earthlings, Prink Geeks and Citizens of the Printerverse! It’s a new year and while I am sure you have been planning for it, it’s always nice to hear some print prognostications from a wide range of industry pros. You can use this info to validate your direction or adjust it, seek out events to help you understand these topical subjects better, and even find help to implement them into your business. Personally I am using this post as a guide to creating conversations with you, bringing these topics to life through our weekly #PrintChat, and partnering up with experts to provide free educational opportunities.

While I would never refer to myself as an industry expert, this is my site and one of the perks of ownership is that I can add my thoughts here – so I am going to! My 2015 CMYK Manifesto is coming out in January’s News From The Printerverse, so make sure you are subscribed!

After mine, the comments below are posted in the order I received them. Happy New Year and Print Long and Prosper in 2015!

Deborah Corn – Intergalactic Ambassador To The Printerverse, Print Media Centr / @PrintMediaCentr

Print and Paper are going to be directly in the line of fire as far as “the environment” even more in 2015. Consumers find going “paperless” a quick and easy way to feel environmentally responsible, and brands will need to show they care by providing even more paperless engagement and options in their marketing and packaging. It is up to us to help customers print smarter so resources aren’t wasted, and help educate customers and consumers that using paper and printing responsibly won’t leave the earth barren of trees and depleted of oxygen. Supporting Two Sides (select the country that applies to you) is a fantastic way to make sure we set the record straight, and help end corporate greenwashing. Visit the site and consider joining as a member for as little as $250 for the year. “Click. Share. Bust Some Myths” as often as you can through your channels… we are all in this together!

Cary Sherburne – Senior Editor and Director of Services, 

2015 will be another year of both consolidation and transformation for the printing and publishing industries. As the global consumer base increasingly turns to mobile communications for securing and communicating information and entertainment, there will be an increasing array of opportunities for both print service providers and publishers to find innovative ways to monetize new, mobile-oriented services.

Despite the many years of consolidation these industries have undergone, 2015 is already shaping up to be a busy year in terms of events, both for customers and analysts/journalists. This is a sign that despite, or perhaps because of, the many disruptive forces we have been dealing with, the supplier community sees opportunity and is investing in these events to keep the momentum going.

All in all, 2015 should be an exciting year – and a vibrant run-up to drupa 2016, where we can hope to see even more innovation surface.

David Murphy – WW Marketing Director, HP Inkjet Web Press division / @DavidJMurphy

Remember when the market shifted from dumb phones to smart phones? CRTs to LCDs? Dial-up to broadband? DVDs to flash drives? In 2015, we will start to see the beginnings of a seismic shift in print from offset to inkjet. Quality, media versatility, and application expansion will give more print providers, brands, agencies, and publishers the ‘aha’ moment, inspiring them to shift more work to high-quality production inkjet for improved impact and ROI.

Mr. D. Eadward Tree – Chief Arborist at Dead Tree Edition / @DeadTreeEdition

Postal rates next will be more unpredictable than they have been in a long time. This article explains it pretty well: With the updated information in this article, we could have a rate increase in April and then a larger rate decrease in the summer when the “temporary” surcharge goes away. But you know how things go with the government: “Temporary” taxes have a way of becoming permanent ones — in this case either from a court order or because Congress decides that mailers should pay for its bad decisions.

And another: Sales of printed books will do well next year, perhaps increasing. But traditional offset book printers will suffer, as more book printing shifts to digital presses, especially for print on demand.

Nigel Cliffe – Driving improved business-to-business return from Social Media at Value Exchange Ltd / @nigelcliffe

Personalisation, across all channels, will be of increasing importance in 2015.

Mass marketing used to be tolerated – just one of those things you had to bear. Now it damages brands. Period. We receive so many messages in our day that those untargeted messages have moved from being acceptable to unnecessary, to damn right annoying.

Engagement is the buzzword for 2015 – genuine one-to-one communication. 2015 will be the year in which marketers will change their efforts to converting opportunities one by one – not by throwing enough at the wall and hoping it sticks. With the exception of a very few, developing business is not about numbers, but about seeking genuine engagement with a few.

Meeting hundreds of people as I do in my world of LinkedIn training for business to business solutions I ask a simple question. “How many new clients would it take to make you very successful next year?” One a week? One a month? The numbers are rarely beyond two figures. Why then do we mass market our effort to so many people hoping a moment of magic will occur? For that’s what it would take for a random connection to do business with you. No – you are far more likely to do business with someone with whom you have created a genuine relationship through Know, Like, Trust.

So there we have it – the year in which the pendulum swings towards the arc of personalization! Oh, and picking up the ‘phone will come back into fashion :)

Pat McGrew M-EDP, CMP – Evangelist, (Print, Inkjet, Production Mail) at Hewlett-Packard / @PatMcGrew

2015 is the year before drupa so a lot of things will slow down to get ready for big announcements there. But, that doesn’t mean nothing cool will happen. New solutions with higher resolution across a variety of platforms, printers adopting new media to print on, and great new finishing solutions will come to the floor to change the market perception of what printing using digital technologies really means. The first big WOWs should start in January and keep on coming!

Catherine Doggett – National Marketing and Sustainability Manager, K.W.Doggett Fine Paper / @kwdoggett

More value add. Paper and print as the message/the experience rather than just a medium to deliver printed words on. Less transactional work and more wow factor on shorter runs. More trade printing. More digital.

Nathan Doggett, National Sales Manager, K.W.Doggett Fine Paper / @kwdoggett

Print has really expanded now into many new areas – so lots more paper diversification to continue next year.  Clients want more choice and are always chasing new stocks and machine technology is dictating this. New machines/ new paper sizes/new substrates.  Lastly, tactile stocks have been making a comeback for a few years and I think this will continue. People want their print to stand out. Smaller print runs with a powerful/interesting feel and look. Think Buffalo/SKIN/Matter/Knight Vellum – touch/feel/excite/spec/boom town!!


Joanne Gore – Director of Marketing, Avanti / @avantisystems

I predict that 2015 will see a turning point in the Print industry, as we begin to integrate both online and offline marketing strategies for both end-users as well as ourselves. As I recently wrote in “News from the Printerverse”, we are an industry with a rich history in craftsmanship and (very) old-school technology. And although we have struggled over the years, we have the opportunity to marry some of these old-school techniques with new school ideas. We’re going to start seeing more and more cross-over, with the incorporation of QR codes and AR (Augmented Reality), resulting in the best of both physical and virtual worlds.

I also believe that now, more than ever, the future is wrapped in the Cloud. The focus will continue to be customer-centric, with printers requiring instantaneous access to all aspects of a job as it moves through the shop, while eliminating breaks in the workflow. Investing in cloud-based software, which also works as a solution to their Print MIS concerns, is the way to go to ensure the biggest “bang for their buck”.  Companies who have not moved forward and/or invested in this technology will quickly lag.

Trish Witkowski – Chief Folding Fanatic, / @foldingfanatic

With all of the privacy issues and technology breaches we’re seeing in the digital space – and the ease and frequency in which they seem to be happening, I think we’re going to see a rediscovery of mail. Privacy is one of its greatest benefits, so my prediction is that there will be renewed interest in mail as a private and targeted marketing and communications medium.

Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing, Agfa Graphics, North America / @agfagraphics 

When we look forward to 2015, there are a number of trends that point to continued solid growth opportunities in the UV Sign & Display market. Overall, customers are focusing on productivity, efficient end-to-end integration and ROI.

Print service providers (PSPs) will continue to buy more productive equipment and see the value of automation (automated board feeders/ABF, etc). Workflow is gaining importance. PSPs are becoming fully integrated with workflow solutions that improve file delivery, offer consistent color management and link them to their upstream clients via web-to-print. Successful PSPs know the ultimate goal is to increase customer satisfaction, gain efficiencies and save time.

Customers are looking to expand their application scope and broaden their market reach into the world of industrial inkjet. Digital inkjet manufacturing is becoming feasible on existing inkjet printing platforms. Examples include printing doors, cabinet fronts, touch sensors or personalized sporting equipment.

In the mid-segment and high-end market, businesses will continue to expand by offering printing capability with finishing, tooling, mounting and multi-media utilizing various inkjet technologies to remain relevant and grow.

Chloe Mahendra-Fuji, Print Diva / @ChloePrintDiva

2015 will be the breakout year for conversion of a lot of print that doesn’t need to happen on high end offset presses to great, equivalent digital presses. It’s a new generation of print buyers and print specifiers, and they are finally getting on board the digital train. From packaging to posters,  direct mail marketing to in store signage, digital gives you the flexibility, color reliability, and innovative substrate alternatives. I can’t wait!

Ron Pergande – Director of Digital Media, GPA Specialty Substrates / @RedCoolerRon 

I think disruptive print communications will continue to grow in popularity and evolve in the coming year. Innovations such as 3D printing and augmented reality are taking print to another level, challenging the boundaries of traditional print while adding value to it. These innovations are also making it possible to engage audiences in more dynamic ways and across a variety of media to make messages more memorable.

Greg Kestler – Director of Technical Products for Pressure Sensitive Paper & Printable Films, GPA Specialty Substrates / @AskGPA

Point-of-sale and point-of-purchase graphics have been strong in the recent past, and I anticipate that this will not change in 2015. These tried and true applications will continue to thrive, and I also believe packaging will continue in popularity.

Stephanie Gaddin – CEO, Dolphinworxs@dolphinworxs

2014 saw the explosion of web-2-print , vendors seemed to pop up almost monthly, with everything from simple shopfront ordering systems, branded for print, all the way up to massively complicated and highly integrated web stores where clients could design, approve, order and pay for their print.

What I am most excited about for 2015 though is the evolution of the Print MIS as a tool for smaller businesses, and what the fierce competition means for the printing industry as a whole. Lots of software vendors means there is a good strong market for software products in printing ; what a good indicator of an industry that is not dying!

Many people have taken steps to move online (or into the cloud if you want to use the latest buzzwords), either by shifting their hardware infrastructure offsite into managed servers, or simply by using tools such as managed email accounts, online CRM packages, or online accounting. Once we make that mental shift, it becomes easier to grasp the value of an integrated MIS that is not only offsite, but managed and hosted for you.

Many people keep predicting massive growth in the “cloud”, I believe we may have finally reached a mass acceptance and I predict a tipping point in 2015. I think that by December 2015 more printing companies will have moved ” into the cloud” than not.

Smaller companies will choose managed solutions including online software, larger companies will want more finely grained technical control and will choose offsite managed servers that are accessed remotely, but still “in the cloud” none the less.

I also predict a much bigger International Print Day celebration, we will trend in Australia, and possibly even the planet this year. Viva #IPD15!


Now that we’ve heard from some of the Print Pro’s out there…

Where do you think Print is heading in 2015? Any of these predictions resonate with you?

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1/1 Interview With Roberto Blake: Pixel Pusher, Visual Problem Solver, YouTube Marketer Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:05:27 +0000 read more →]]> I am kicking off the 2015 with two new Print Media Centr contributors and it is my honor to introduce the first, Roberto Blake, and welcome him to the community! Like most people, Roberto found me through social media. He started sharing his awesome design videos with me, and after I watched a few (along with his 17,000 subscribers!!) I knew I needed to swoop him up. Roberto is creative, yet firmly grounded in the reality of the purpose of design and it’s role in marketing. His video design tutorials are informative and insightful, and even though he has just started attending our weekly #PrintChat, there is no doubt he has much to contribute to the print community.

I’m really psyched Roberto was willing to share some of his brain with us… and I encourage you all to follow him on social and subscribe to his You Tube Channel. His video about resume design alone is worth the trip! Here is a little background and some helpful advice from Roberto. Stay tuned to PMC for more!

DC: Who is Roberto Blake and what does he do?

Roberto_Blake_PrintMediaCentrRB: Honestly? I’m this complete nerd who spends a lot of time with his face in front of a screen pushing pixels and making pretty pictures, or his nose buried in a fantasy novel. The other 10 hours of my day I’m working with some truly wonderful people to produce design work and helping other designers by giving them some insight to the industry or providing tutorials. Building relationships is something that is very important to me and I feel that we are privileged to live in a more connected world than has ever existed.

DC: How do you define Design?

RB: I’ve never been fond of the text book definitions or the wikipedia entry. I define design or at least “graphic design” as visual problem solving and communication. It’s not commercial art, I really despise that term. Art is something I love because it is free to be interpreted and there is no right or wrong. Design is different, its about communication, intent and a call to action. When I work with clients I spend a good portion of time getting them beyond thinking about what they like, and what can accomplish their goals and communicate the value of what their brand can deliver to people.

Roberto_Blake_PSD Magazine

DC: How do you see the relationship between design and print?

RB: If design is about communicating your intentions and value, then print is the experience of it. The one true failing of digital in many cases is the experience of it. The touch, and even the scent of a print and the feeling over ownership that comes from holding something in your hands is something that human beings have gotten used to, and I don’t think that is going away anytime soon.

DC: What do you think are the biggest branding mistakes out there, and how can they be avoided?

RB: The truth is many brands don’t know who they are and even worse who their customers are. They know who they’d like to be, and they also project that on to the customer base. Once you know who you are and the value you provide, you will understand who is most in need of that and how to engage them. You have to give value and demonstrate value. Most brands today just want to ask for the sale without truly qualifying the benefit to a customer.

DC: How effective has video marketing and social media been for your business? What are 3 tips for success?

RB: Video Marketing and Social media have taken my business to the next level, and will be the reason it scales in the future. Video provides people with the experience of you and offers you unlimited reach. It has the potential to draw an unlimited amount of people to you, indefinitely. Social Media allows you to engage with your professional peers as well as people you are in a position to benefit, in real time by being part of a conversation.

My 3 tips would be this: find a problem to solve and deliver the best solution for that problem while being entertaining and informative, get creative with it. Be consistent in creating value for your audience/community, and deliver what you say you will for them. Finally, understand the context of your relationship with the audience. Truly understand who is coming to you and why they are coming to you, this will help you serve their needs better.

When asked why businesses exist, 9 of 10 people will tell you they exist to make money. That is a problem in communication, because they didn’t listen to the question to understand the context. The desire to make money is not why a business exist. It cannot continue to exist just because it desires money and operates from that premise. Businesses exist only so long as they can create value for their customers by delivering, superior products, and a superior experience.

I’m sure Blockbuster wanted to make money, Netflix delivered a better experience of users watching movies, now the entire movie rental industry doesn’t exist. Understand the problem you are solving. Solve it better than anyone else, or make the experience of it the best it can be. If you don’t you’re just asking for a kid in a garage to take your customers.

DC: With the world going virtual, what is the future of design? Where are the opportunities?

RB: We now live in a “Content Driven Economy”, so the opportunities are literally endless for design. That’s not me being naive or optimistic, it’s a fact and it’s why business is growing each month. Apps are becoming easier to build than ever, but not everyone is an artist or designer, but they know that presentation moves products, so they need icons, splash screens, banners to market it, a website and so on.

Publishing is easier than ever and there are far less middlemen between a writer and an audience, but books are judged by their cover. A Content Driven Economy is probably the best thing to happen to the design industry because there will be more demand and more people generating content that need designers of all skill levels and backgrounds.

There is probably more opportunity for designers now, than there has been in the last 20 years. I think that people have to understand that it’s just different than even 10 years ago in terms of how to succeed, learn and grow in the industry.

Connect with Roberto: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / You


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