Shootdigital Creative Team Joins HudsonYards Studios

HudsonYards Studios announced that it is expanding its capacity in computer generated imagery (CGI) and creative retouching services by integrating Shootdigital’s creative team and bringing along their established brand for the accelerated transition. “We are very excited about adding the Shootdigital team to our company,” said Diane Romano, president and CEO of HudsonYards Studios. “They are a multi-talented and creative group that bring in fresh ideas and additional expertise to our organization.”

New York City-based Shootdigital, well respected in the photography industry for high-end digital imaging talent, has been relocated to HudsonYards Studios’ 80 Broad Street facility in the heart of New York City’s financial district. As part of the transition, the group has been renamed “Shootdigital @ HudsonYards Studios.”

Shootdigital’s extensive imaging experience with fashion and beauty clients such as L’Oréal, Estée Lauder and NARS Cosmetics expands HudsonYards Studios’ impressive client list that includes iconic brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Hearst Magazines, West Elm and Wenner Media.

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Take Part in Business Survey by WhatTheyThink; Earn Free Copy of New Book by Webb and Romano

Readers of this blog are encouraged to take part in WhatTheyThink’s online survey of printing and communications executives about their business outlook and the industry’s print and service offerings.

The survey, which will take only a few minutes to complete, poses questions that we think you will find relevant to the future direction of your business. Your participation is confidential. WhatTheyThink will not release your name or your answers to anyone; they will be combined with those of all of the other respondents in survey totals. This is strictly a research project and will not be used to create sales leads for advertisers or dealers.

To thank you for your assistance, WhatTheyThink will send you an executive summary of this project. You also will be able to download This Point Forward, the new book by Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano, upon completing the questions.

WhatTheyThink is the foremost source of news, opinion, and analysis for the graphic communications industry. The full link to the survey is

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Students Join the Party at 2015 Franklin Luminaire Event

100515.franklin_luminaireThis happy group consists of trustees, students, and supporters of the Graphic Communications Scholarship Foundation (GCSF) enjoying the festivities at the 2015 Franklin Luminaire Awards event at Chelsea Piers 0n October 1. The generosity of sponsors enables students to attend the gala affair free of charge so that they can network with potential employers. Money raised at the event helps GCSF to provide much-needed financial support for New York City metro area students pursuing careers in graphic communications. For a complete description of the evening and its honorees, please see our report at WhatTheyThink.

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“Digital Printing Think Tank” Event Shaping Up as a Must-Attend on Oct. 28

Printing Industries Alliance has announced the addition of Kodak, Vits International, and Kolbus as sponsors for its “Digital Printing Think Tank” event on Wednesday, October 28 at Club 101 in Manhattan (101 Park Avenue at 40th Street). They join Xerox, HP, Ricoh, Konica Minolta, RedTie, Muller Martini, and International Paper as sponsors of the all-day program on digital opportunities for printing firms.

The opening panel will feature a group of large and small printing firms that cut across the digital printing market. Mark Michelson, editor of Printing Impressions, will moderate the discussion about the path the companies took to the present and their plans for the years ahead. Panelists will include Cheryl Kahanec (EarthColor), Glen Boehmer (Sentinel Printing), Ron Sizemore (Influence Graphics) and Tim Boucher (B Squared).

The luncheon speaker will be Jeff Hayzlett, former Kodak CMO, primetime radio and TV host, and business author. His theme will be “Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless,” which is also the title of his latest book. The first 100 registrants will receive a copy of it.

A panel of marketing executives from leading digital print technology vendors will discuss how they guide press owners in marketing digital printing and growing the market. Moderated by digital printing expert Marco Boer (IT Strategies), the panel will include Dave Wigfield (Xerox), Marc Johnson (HP), Gavin Jordan Smith (Konica Minolta), Shawn Lawson (International Paper), Andy Featherman (Muller Martini), and Vahaaj Khan (Kodak).

The all-day event (see the complete agenda here) will also be a networking opportunity enabling participants to compare notes and speak with sponsoring vendors. The cost of an individual registration is $149 and includes lunch and refreshments. To register, contact Kim Tuzzo at (716) 691-3211 or by e-mail at

Vendor sponsorships are still available and will include two vendor staff tickets and three tickets for customers or prospects. The vendor sponsorship is $650 for those who are already annual PIA Platinum sponsors and $950 for others. A low-cost conversion to Platinum Sponsorship status will be available. Sponsors will receive recognition through event PR, literature, and signage.

For sponsorships contact Marty Maloney at (203) 912-0804 or by e-mail at or

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Printing Industries Alliance
“Town Hall” Meeting on Long Island Addresses Risks and Opportunities in New Technologies

Glen Boehmer (Sentinel Printing), left, and Tim Freeman (Printing Industries Alliance) lead the town hall meeting that took place on September 24 in Melville, NY.

Talking about new printing technologies is easy. Bringing a new solution into a printing business is another matter. There’s the cost of acquisition, the operating expense, the learning curve, and above all, the nagging question of whether the shop actually can make money with the equipment once it’s on the floor. It can be baffling, and sometimes the wish to go in a new direction doesn’t survive the uncertainty.

Printing Industries Alliance understands conflicts like these, and on September 24, it tried to assist its members on Long Island with a “town hall”-style meeting on the challenges of making the right investment decisions in emerging technologies for graphic production. The session was facilitated by Glen Boehmer, president of Sentinel Printing (Hempstead, NY), whose general advice was to keep an open mind about new technologies even when they do not appear to be a good fit.

“Every process has its reason for being alive,” Boehmer said, noting that a technology that does not work for a shop today may become the thing that helps to support it tomorrow.

With that, he led the group in a free-ranging discussion of their options in digital printing, software, workflow, and 3D printing. He asked the attendees first to gauge their own awareness of these technologies, and then to analyze what might be holding printers back from seeking more information about them.

The result was a lively back-and-forth that Boehmer kept going with pointed questions, flip-chart team exercises, and personal anecdotes that other shop owners in the group could readily relate to. Some highlights from the evening:

• Most agreed that the biggest barrier to implementation is “fear”: of confronting change, of adding cost, of becoming trapped in a commodity business. A practical consideration is space: will the shop have enough room to accommodate the new piece of equipment?

• Management information systems (MIS), especially those tied to customer-facing web-to-print (W2P) portals, streamline production and eliminate job touch points that cost printers money. Boehmer pointed out that for a fully automated producer such as Vistaprint, “the only touch point is the shipping.” But, MIS by itself isn’t a cure-all. It isn’t possible, Boehmer said, to automate or optimize “broken” processes in a shop with software.

• Wide-format printing is seen as an opportunity because the cost of entry is relatively low and the business is driven not by quality, but by the vast range of substrates the devices can image. Boehmer said that although the market is “close to flooded” with wide-format providers, “virtually nobody on Long Island” offers dye sublimation: a thermal wide-format process for printing rich color on textiles and fabrics.

• Andy Featherman of Muller Martini reminded the group that success with digital printing is as much about the finishing as it is about putting toner or ink on the sheets. He said that a finishing system operating in a “barcode-enabled touchless workflow” can guarantee accuracy by accounting for every barcoded sheet in the run.

• There is a reason why 3D printing, projected to be a $15 billion market by 2019, has attracted the attention of 4Over and other mainstream print providers, according to Boehmer. He said that the technology is “the same business we’re in” because it starts with a digital file and ends with a physical representation of an image.

• He asked the group to imagine taking digital files of portrait photography and turning them into “family dioramas” of three-dimensional keepsakes—a type of mass-market product that providers of 3D printing services offer now. With 3D printing, Boehmer said, commercial shops can add a profit-generating business-to-consumer (B2C) dimension to the business-to-business (B2B) economic model that most of them are locked into.

One way to offer an unfamiliar technology to customers without directly investing in it is to outsource the work to a partner equipped to provide the service, Boehmer said. He concluded by reviewing a checklist of questions to ask before committing to anything new. Among them:

• Will this technology make my business more sellable? Who would buy the business?

• Do I have people in my business who understand and can help me implement?

• What are the marketing and sales channels needed to bring in business? Where will the business come from?

• How quickly can you achieve an ROI from this investment? What profit levels can you achieve?

• Can you see yourself in that business?

• If you don’t add these capabilities, how will it affect your business?

“If I have more to sell, that takes the fear away,” Boehmer said. That’s what justifies the investment and the risk—but enthusiasm for the new technology has to be there as well.

“If you’re not juiced about it, I don’t think you should go there,” he said.

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Call for Panelists: UV LED 2015

Are you planning to attend the UV LED 2015 conference in Troy, NY, October 28-29? WhatTheyThink, the event’s media partner, is looking for attendees who would like to take part in a panel discussion of the state of UV LED technology and its applications.

Printers with UV production experience are welcome, as are specifiers and buyers of UV printing. You don’t need experience with LED (light emitting diode) curing—just a wish to learn more about it and a willingness to talk about where UV LED printing might fit into your future plans.

Interested? Contact Patrick Henry, WhatTheyThink’s editor for labels and packaging, at, or call him at (917) 647-0590. For more infomation about UV LED 2015, visit

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Early Sponsors for PIA’s “Digital Printing Think Tank” Include Xerox, HP, Muller Martini, Konica Minolta, International Paper, and RedTie

Printing Industries Alliance, the trade organization for the graphic communications industry in New York State, northern New Jersey, and northwestern Pennsylvania, has named the first six sponsors for its “Digital Printing Think Tank” program. The all-day event will take place on Wednesday, October 28th at Club 101, 101 Park Avenue at 40th Street in Manhattan.

The early sponsors are Xerox, HP, Muller Martini, International Paper, Konica Minolta, and RedTie. Several new sponsors will be named shortly. The number of sponsors for the event is limited to 20.

The interactive event will detail the trends and patterns in digital printing from high-quality, short-run sheetfed to production web inkjet. All applications will be explored, including high-end and production commercial printing; wide format; labels and packaging; and publications.

The opening panel will feature a group of large and small printers that cut across the digital printing market. Moderator Mark Michelson, editor of Printing Impressions, will lead them in a discussion about their paths to the present and to the years ahead. It is predicted that digital printing, which launched in 1993 and currently represents more than 20% of all printing, will account for 50% of all printing by 2030. Interactivity from the audience will be encouraged, and a Q&A session will follow.

Other panels will consist of leading marketing executives from digital printing vendors as well as consultants. They will discuss how they provide guidance in marketing digital printing and assistance in growing the market. High-profile keynote speakers (to be announced) will round out the day. The combination of expert presentations and actual printer experiences will give attendees the information they need to navigate the fast-evolving and rapidly growing digital printing market.

“Digital Printing Think Tank” will also offer a late-afternoon networking opportunity in which participants can compare notes and speak with sponsoring vendors.

An individual registration is $149 and includes lunch and refreshments. Vendor sponsorships will include two vendor staff tickets and three tickets for customers or prospects. The vendor sponsorship is $650 for those who are already annual PIA Platinum sponsors; $950 for PIA Associate Members; and $1,250 for nonmembers A low-cost conversion to Platinum Sponsorship status will be available. Sponsors will receive recognition through event PR, literature distribution, and signage.

For sponsorships, contact Marty Maloney, PIA executive vice president, at (203) 912-0804, or by email at or

To register for the event, contact Kim Tuzzo at (716) 691-3211 or by email at

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New Paper Cutter Helps to Ramp Up Productivity at Adams Direct & Media Services

073115.adams_direct_&_media_servicesCesar Zuluga works on the new 31.5″ Prism paper cutter at Adams Direct & Media Services

Business has blossomed for Adams Direct & Media Services (East Hanover, NJ), and their direct mail side is attracting larger clients. That growth has triggered various equipment upgrades, including the purchase of a 30″ Prism® paper cutter from Colter & Peterson (Paterson, NJ) in 2012 and recently, a 31.5″ Prism from the same source.

“They handle all our paper work such as brochures, letters and postcards,” says Jesse James, president of Adams Direct. “We are a 100% digital operation with nine presses and no sheet size larger than 14″x 26″. Depending on the size of the run, we typically process anywhere from 500 to 100,000 pieces of mail.” The Prisms, he says, are working 10 hours a day now, “but in a couple of months they’ll be needed for two shifts, six days a week.”

James notes that his Prism cutters are already getting a workout every week, and he’s been impressed with the many benefits they have to offer.

“So far they have met all our expectations,” he says. “The Prisms are very reliable, easy to operate, and our operators like them. They change out the blades on a regular basis, and it doesn’t take long to do.” Both are outfitted with the Microcut® computer control system.

The Prism cutters also have wokflow automation features that increase productivity. Connected to the plant’s JDF network, the cutters can store up to 100 preset cuts. “This is a big thing for us,” says James. “Our first cutter could store only 10 presets. Where you notice the difference is in multiple jobs with multiple cuts. It saves us a tremendous amount of time.”

Nearly everything that Adams Direct produces is customized variable data printing, 95% of which is mailed. The shop also uses an on-site postal office to optimize postage savings for its clients.

James, who began working at Adams Direct in 1986, has guided the company for the last 20 years. Owned by Lillian and Allan Adams, it serves insurance, healthcare and pharmaceutical clients in the Pennsylvania-New York-New Jersey area, with some national accounts as well. Adams Direct also offers cross media marketing and fulfillment and kitting services.

Time is a hard thing for any shop to replace. It’s another reason why James chose Colter & Peterson, North America’s largest independent paper cutter distributor.

“Our business is very time sensitive and we can’t afford to be down in any department.” he says. It’s a tough industry and very competitive, so being late on a deadline because of equipment downtime is not an option. The fact that Colter &  Peterson is only 30 minutes from us was a huge factor. From a service point of view, they are very responsive and have always had our best interests in mind.”

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Economic Recovery Failed to Save Dozens of Medium-Sized Print Firms in the NYC-Metro Area

The New York City metro area lost medium-sized printing firms at a sharper rate than four other major metropolitan areas during the economic recovery, according to data compiled by print industry economist Dr. Joe Webb.

His numbers, published today by WhatTheyThink, span the period from 2010 (about one year into the recovery) through 2013 (the most recent year for which data are available) and are drawn from the Census Department’s County Business Patterns database. They indicate that the NYC metro area lost 75 medium-sized firms (10 to 49 employees) in the period as this sector declined from 513 to 438 establishments (-14.6%). This was a steeper drop among medium sized firms than occurred in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles (-8.1%), Chicago (-13.0%), Washington, D.C. (-4.8%), and San Francisco (-12.1%).

The NYC-metro firms didn’t necessarily vanish without a trace. “Many of these would have shifted into the small employee range, while others would have closed or consolidated,” Webb writes. An upside of consolidation may be the fact that large firms (50 or more employees) declined by only -5.7% in the NYC-metro area, the smallest such loss among the five cities examined.

The NYC-metro area saw an overall drop of -10.1% in establishments of all sizes, higher than the -7.7% loss for the rest of the county (i.e., exclusive of the five cities, which represent about one quarter of all U.S. printing establishments).

Partly responsible for the decline is the reality that the key business advantage for metro area printers, proximity to metro-based customers, is not as potent as it once was. “There was a time when being geographically close to customers was critical,” notes Webb, “(but) since the advent of digital proofing and various surrogates, and e-commerce, geography is less of an issue than it used to be.” But, he still rates personal interaction as important to sales and customer retention: “It may no longer be a 10, but it’s probably an 8.5.”

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Museum of Printing to Expand to a New Home; New Building Also Will House Romano Graphics Arts Library

071715.museum_of_printingThe Museum of Printing, formerly based in North Andover, MA, has announced that it has secured a new site and will soon begin moving its contents there. After 13 years at its current location the museum is moving to Haverhill, MA, along Route 495, north of Boston in the Merrimack Valley.

The new building better suits the museum’s evolving mission of education, preservation, and exhibition of graphics arts materials and equipment. The new facility is also on a single floor and is fully handicapped accessible, with dedicated areas for workshops and lectures. The Museum will also expand its role of hosting educational events

“The relocated facility will house a world-class printing and graphic arts library and museum,” said Frank Romano, president. “There will be more dedicated space for exhibits, events, and workshops, plus stores for letterpress and related equipment. It will also offer more interactive exhibits.”

Two Libraries in One

A unique feature of the museum will be that it will house two libraries. One, for general reference, includes typographic books, type specimen books, and specialty publications. The second will be the Romano Graphics Arts Library for scholars and researchers. This collection consists of over 5,000 books, many rare, plus extensive graphic arts ephemera. Part of the Museum’s collections includes the original type drawings used to create US Linotype fonts.

“The Museum of Printing has existed for 37 years with no endowment. A passionate group of members and volunteers has made this possible,” said Kim Packard, founder and executive director. “Expanded exhibit space will make the Museum/Library the largest printing and graphics arts museum in the world and the only one with a collection of phototypesetting machines and documentation.”

The museum will remain open at its current location in North Andover throughout the summer and fall of 2015. The new facility will open in the early summer of 2016. Currently on exhibit is the Lance Hidy retrospective, the Anna Hogan wood cuts, and a collection of Mark Fowler prints. A major fundraising program will be inaugurated to upgrade the new facility and tailor it to the Museum’s needs.

About the Museum

The Museum of Printing preserves the past of printing for future generations to understand the impact of printing on today’s world. Showcasing a large collection of letterpress tools and presses, the museum is also the proud home to the only collection of historic phototypesetting systems in the world. The 25,000-sq.-ft. museum is also home to one of the largest collections of print-related books, ephemera, and typeface art.

The museum contains two 90′ galleries, a large lobby, a library, and access to the library’s four floors of archival stacks, making it an ideal educational field-trip destination for local school systems. For more information, visit

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