Ahh, another year is coming to a close. I love this time of year. Not only do I truly cherish the additional time with family, but I also love looking back on the year that practically just flashed before my eyes.
This year was strange, to say the least. I’ve done everything from selling print, to designing catalogs and websites, to establishing my own business helping members of the graphic arts engage their audiences with content creation and community building. I think it’s justifiable to say this year has been crazy.
In the midst of it all though, 2015 has shined the brightest light on just how alive this industry is. Here are three that stood out the most to me.
Inkjet is a Leading Light for the Industry
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Jim Hamilton of InfoTrends on the status of inkjet in our industry. From evolving the inks and papers, to the next wave of inkjet featuring sheet-cut solutions – my conversation with Hamilton only sparked a flame of curiosity on the possibilities inkjet offers.
I’ll admit, I’m most excited about the potential for highly targeted direct mail pieces that can be produced at quantities you’d never dream of pushing through a mid-range digital press. Think about it – personalized magazines or educational workbooks, or how about coupons relevant to products you purchase. Yay – data with function!!!
Enhancements that Shine
As 2015 was just kicking off, I was working hard selling print and ecstatic to be living closer to all my clients. Planning was well underway for one of the biggest projects of my sales career, and I was stoked that the client was all about using the dimensional UV I had showed them for the cover of the brochure.
Truth be told, this was not a solution we could provide in-house. I was completely transparent from the get go, and I was just thrilled to be helping them add a true touch of luxury to their already glamorous piece. I actually had no idea how the dimensional effect was applied though.
That is until about six months later when my mind was blown after learning more about Scodix and how a completely digital process is used to apply the “dimensional UV” effect. If you’re a variable data nut like me, you can imagine the hours spent just daydreaming about ways to leverage the technology for relevance.
I mean, Scodix is incredible to touch and feel. I can only imagine how personalized dimension (and now foil!) can enhance response rates of printed campaigns.
Relevance is Golden
It’s true – I’ve been a fan of relevant communications since the day I first realized their power. I’ve developed them from concept and design, to implementation and analysis. I’ve watched in awe of their influence on conversion rates and their ability to form emotional connections with audiences.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in the digital sphere this year, it’s that they’re realizing the value of personalization right along side us. Targeted ads follow you literally everywhere online these days, and emails are designed bring relevance to your computer and smartphone screens. Now is the time to show your customers the powerful way print can create relevant communications.
What Shining Stars Did I Miss?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what the brightest stars were this year for the print industry. Do you agree with the ones I noted, or is there something you think I missed? Don’t be shy! Share your thoughts in the comments below!
May Your Holidays Shine Bright
I want to take a quick moment to wish you all a very joyous holiday season and a new year that shines brighter than ever before. Cheers to 2016!
Christine Alexander is self-confessed ink-sniffer and an independent marketing consultant for companies within the graphic arts industry. Her specialties include graphic design, content marketing, community building, event planning and strategy development across a wide array of media. With nearly a decade of experience in commercial printing, Christine has held roles in prepress management, marketing direction, print sales, and operations management.