Five Signs You Are a Print Junkie – 2023 Edition

cmyk ink in cans are you a print junkie print media centr

Do you see print everywhere? Do you count down the days until the new printing press or finishing equipment arrives at your print shop? Do you know what Pantone color the sky is? Do you make vacation plans around printing industry events or incorporate them? Do you look at digital marketing and come up with 10 ways print marketing could support the campaign? Do you think about print in the shower?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you might be a Print Junkie!

Unlike other addictions that may require interventions and medical care, standing up and declaring yourself a Print Junkie can be liberating and rewarding with your print customers.

Here are 5 signs you may be one, and how to turn your passion into profits.

5. You have no less than three rulers at your disposal. Bonus print junkie points if any of them measure picas, are made by Schaedler, or are from your first job.

Measure twice, cut once. Now apply that to customer communications. Are the right people getting the right message at the right time? If not, get out the ruler and segment your customer lists, again. Many print customers have changed companies since 2020, and have new roles and new responsibilities, some with access to new budgets. Revisit.

4. You examine everything printed to decipher the types of presses, processes and inks used. Bonus print junkie points if you randomly share this information with strangers in the grocery store.

Curiosity is contagious and can be fun. Consider sending your customers a sample kit of your capabilities across printed materials and have a contest where the winner has identified the most on each piece, correctly. Make the prize something fun for customers and rewarding for you. Perhaps you can invite them for a VIP tour of your print shop and give them personal printed items from photos or files they send over before their visit. Avoid the “gift card” and anything else that could be an issue for some corporate and agency buyers. Ask them if you aren’t sure what crosses the line – they know! Adjust as needed.

Women's Print HERstory Month logo Girls Who Print

3. You are a print sniffer! And when you do it, you close your eyes and savor the sniff! Bonus print junkie points if you do this in public, bonus points if anyone asks what you are doing, and you don’t even realize you are doing it.

Print LOVE can also be contagious! Send customers cool things you see and share how they could be applied to help achieve print marketing and communication goals. You can also send aspirational examples. I had a ‘draw of print dreams’ in every agency I worked at just waiting for the right client or creative brief to come along and manifest them into reality. You want to be the first print shop I call when discussions start. Buyers may still need to triple bid the project, but if all is equal, they will usually reward the printspirational source – I know I did.

2. You use your fingers as a paper stock weight gauge. Bonus print junkie points if you can also detect the specific finish on coated paper.

Supply chain issues have certainly made more customers more flexible when it comes to “their paper” and getting comparable options to honor brand standards. Invest some time to share paper possibilities with your customers this year. Invite paper merchants and mill reps to your print shop and have a paper sample party with customers and prospects. Produce blogs and video content with the paper people and use it to inspire projects and creativity. Repurpose for your social media and you have a marketing campaign guaranteed to generate ROI on many levels. Extra Bonus Points: Share ProjectPeacock.TV episodes from Domtar and Neenah!

And the #1 sign that you are a Print Junkie…


It’s been rough for many print junkies looking to score big over these past 3 years. They kept it moving, did whatever they could to keep the presses churning and made it work to make it here. Congrats to all of you! But the work is not done.

To keep print coolness and topical information flowing with print customers you must do your part and attend industry webinars, demos, events, and user groups. Participate in industry studies, join many organizations and contribute to the greater good.

To understand how print is being used, misused, or not used by other industries I implore you to attend events outside of print – but related. Meeting and event planners have events, digital marketers have events, and associations of all kinds have events. Those are the lowest-hanging fruit examples.

I attended and presented at Digital Book World in NYC in January with my “Making it with Print” podcast series co-hosts David Drucker and Noel Tocci. The digital publishers of e-books, audiobooks and podcasts didn’t realize they were missing print in their sales and marketing plans, or how to extend the life of their offerings with collectible and/or exclusive printed products. They do now.

Listen to our Digital Book World recap podcast

While there are many industry events and gatherings before May 28, 2024, put drupa on your radar and do everything you can to get to Dusseldorf May 28-June 7 for the official reboot of the world’s largest printing event and gathering of international colleagues, experts, equipment, technology and start-up’s that will help define the future of print and print business.

Print obsession is one habit you do not want to break. A shout-out to all the Print Junkies orbiting in the Printerverse!



See Deborah’s featured post: 2023 CMYK Manifesto: Disrupt, Disclose, Do Better


See all posts by Deborah


Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist, international industry speaker and blogger, and the cultivator of Print Production Professionals, the #1 print group on LinkedIn. She provides printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through education, events, Podcasts From The Printerverse, ProjectPeacock.TV, and an array of community-lifting initiatives including Girls Who Print, Elevate Print, #PrintChat, #PrintLife and International Print Day.

Deborah also helps companies create more meaningful and profitable customer relationships by utilizing more than 25 years of experience as an agency, brand, and corporate print buyer who has assessed, hired and worked with a plethora of printers and service providers.

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2 Responses

  1. Ok, I have 4 rulers hanging in my cube and a tape measure in my car.
    I am a decipher-r of print
    The smeller is the teller – is it toner or is it ink?
    Yes, My fingers are calipers!
    I am a certified print junkie, geek, printovert!

  2. I’m definitely a print junkie! Glad to know I’m not the only one. Loved your article Deborah!