Remember the R.E.M. song Shiny Happy People? If you do I bet you are singing it in your head now, and if you don’t, here you go…

See the happy people? Think of them next time you are creating a printed piece, or about to estimate one for customers. They like shiny, tactile things that make them do a happy dance, and by the looks of the print submitted for the 2016 Gold Ink Awards, the show floor at SGIA Expo, and so many other events I’ve attended … so do many of you.


Shiny = Happy because it helps print stand out. Shiny = Happy because it helps your customers, and theirs, stand out. Shiny = Happy because those capabilities can help your business stand out. Shiny = Happy because awards come in shiny packages, too.

trendspotting-cereal Print Media Centr

And speaking of packaging, Shiny = Happy shelf space. Taken a look down the cereal aisle lately? That is where I look for trends, and I see shiny, happy boxes with cool 3D effects and varnish techniques – lots of varnish techniques! The cereal makers know what makes kids want to interact with the box, whether it’s a cartoon character or a fun, tactile design that screams TOUCH ME and take me home.

Shiny = Happy ink! In July I spent 4 days at Printing Impressions to judge the Gold Ink Awards. I wanted to see everything this year, and luckily they let me. What trend did I spot? You guessed it… shiny, happy print! There were many executions with varnish techniques, and a surging use of white ink that stood out as a shiny beacon to the eye. Most notably, black paper with shiny, happy metallic ink was the hands-down trend winner across all print segments

trendspotting-white-ink_hp _Print Media Centr

And speaking of paper… Shiny = Happy substrates. A little creativity with your print foundation can only lead to great things. There are ways to use the paper as a color, as an effect, even as the star of the show. Add in some die-cuts and/or cool folds and let the accolades roll in.

I am a shiny, happy person when it comes to shiny, happy print. Happy print makes the world a better place – and I mean that, literally. I used to think… “It’s print – we’re not saving lives” but that isn’t exactly accurate. For example, work we did for small islands in the Caribbean drove tourism. Tourism creates jobs. Jobs provide income. Income provides food, shelter, clothing, and in some cases access to medicine. So yes, that brochure could have potentially saved lives. Shiny, happy lives.

trendspotting-silver Print Media Centr

Based on what I see at events, my conversations with press manufacturers, shiny happy companies like my friends at SCODIX (oh, you know I had to!) and Eagle Systems (The Foil Experts) I am expecting the Shiny = Happy trend to last. If you are going to any of the upcoming trade shows, make sure you find the shiny, happy suppliers and get in on learning how to make shiny, happy print … and shiny, happy customers.

If you’re going to GRAPH EXPO, these Printerverse Panels in booth 701 may be of interest:
Cleansing Your Palette: The Fresh Taste Of Color
Succeeding With Substrates: The New Roll Of Paper
Vini, Vidi, Varnish: Conquering The Art Of Finishing
The Promise of Packaging: Thinking Outside The Box

See the schedule here for these and all of our panels and events, and if you cant make it to Orlando we broadcast all of our programming via Livestream!


DeborahCorn-PrintMediaCentrDeborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at PrintMediaCentr, a Print Buyerologist™, Integrated Marketer, Industry Speaker and Blogger, Cultivator of the Print Production Professionals Group, the #1 Print Group on LinkedIn, and host of the weekly industry #PrintChat on Twitter. She has more than 25 years experience working in advertising and marketing, and works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them to achieve success with their cross media and social media marketing.

Connect with Deborah: Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / Instagram / YouTube / Pinterest / Print Production Professionals Group 

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