Over the decades I’ve developed a love affair with print samples. It started back in high school when I worked in a print shop that had been in business since the 1700s. We ran a web press in house, though the newspapers were done over at Princeton Packet. Promotional printing and inserts were done in-house and that meant there were paper samples in piles and print samples everywhere. It was interesting to see how different paper felt and how it absorbed the ink. It was also interesting to see how important design was to the final communication product.
Fast forward some decades and I’m back in print sample land. For the last 15 years I’ve been working around big inkjet presses and production toner presses and the people who buy them. I’ve sat at the intersection of companies buying presses and the vendors who sell the presses, often helping build product plans to help the buyers find success with their acquisitions. Along the way, I began collecting the best print samples to share. It started with a few innovative print solutions in Australia, which I carried to Europe and the US. Then, in Europe, there were more innovations I hadn’t seen anywhere else. I tucked those in my bag and carried them on my global journeys. In South America, there were more ideas, and then more in Japan and Singapore. New Zealand printers showed me more creative direct mail and multi-channel innovations.
From Finland to Fiji, Belgium to Brazil, printers and their customers showed me amazing print that told stories, so I decided to share. I created PrintSampleTV to show my collection! My goal was to create short videos to give printers ideas for new products to offer. The team at Inkish saw what I was doing and asked if I wanted to join their platform, which I did. Now more than 70 videos later, we have a collection that covers books, direct mail, boxes, labels, and signs. We’re not done yet, though we’ve had a bit of a stall due to travel restrictions. When we can start up again there are dozens of new samples, from IFUs to transpromo bills, from digitally printed corrugated displays to posters and books.
The fun part of PrintSampleTV is that the samples are evergreen. I still look at samples that I picked up more than a decade ago and marvel at how relevant they are today. The thing about an innovative piece of print is that it generally stays relevant for years and years. In coming blogs, I’ll spotlight some of the samples and provide links to the videos. If you want to get a head start, the whole playlist is here.
If you have the coolest print sample among the work you have commissioned or produced, let me know. I am always looking! Reach out to me! @PatMcGrew on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or firstname.lastname@example.org all land with me and I’ll be delighted to tell your story!
Pat McGrew helps companies perform better. As Managing Director for McGrewGroup, Inc., she promotes Best Practices for your Business leveraging her work as an executive, marketer, analyst, industry evangelist, and consultant to enable business growth. An experienced professional speaker and author of 8 business books, Pat is also the editor of A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge, a regular industry content contributor, host of #PrintSampleTV, and co-host of #ThePrintReport Podcast with Deborah Corn. Pat won the 2014 #GirlsWhoPrint Girlie Award and the 2016 Xplor Brian Platte Lifetime Achievement Award. She is certified as a Lifetime Master Electronic Document Professional by Xplor, and as a Color Management Professional (CMP), CMP Digital, and BrandQ Professional by IDEAlliance. Find Pat on Twitter as @PatMcGrew and on LinkedIn.