One World Books Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Chris Jackson will have a one-on-one conversation with Publishers Weekly Senior News Editor Calvin Reid at the Book Industry Guild of New York’s September 13, 2016 gathering.
The discussion will provide an opportunity to learn first-hand about Jackson’s remarkable publishing career, his work with authors such as Ta Nehisi-Coates, Eddie Huang, and Jay Z, and Jackson’s strong interest in bringing diverse, multicultural voices to a worldwide audience.
Earlier this year, Jackson was named the vice president, publisher, and editor of Random House’s One World imprint. He will direct the relaunch of the multicultural imprint in the fall of 2017. One World’s legacy includes fiction and nonfiction titles, with a focus on African-American writers.
The event will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, at Penguin Random House, 1745 Broadway in Manhattan. The speaking session will begin at 6:15 pm; a professional networking event will start at 5:15 pm.
Admission for the September BIGNY event and networking reception is $40 for BIGNY members, $60 for nonmembers. There is a $5 fee for participants only attending the speaker portion of the event.
Random House, 1745 Broadway (between 55th & 56th Streets), 2nd Floor
Tuesday, September 13, 2016. Beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres at 5:15 p.m., program at 6:15 p.m.
$40 for BIGNY members / $60 for nonmembers.
$5 admission for the speaker portion of the event only.
All major credit cards are accepted online and at the door. Cash and checks are also accepted at the door. Student admission is free (lecture only) with valid student ID and reservation.
About Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of One World Books, a just relaunched imprint of Random House. Previously, Jackson was an Executive Editor at Spiegel & Grau from its founding in 2006. Prize-winning and bestselling authors he edited at Spiegel & Grau include Ta-Nehisi Coates, Bryan Stevenson, Jill Leovy, Matt Taibbi, Wes Moore, Victor LaValle, and Jay Z. Jackson is a native of New York, where he currently resides.
About Calvin Reid
Calvin Reid is a senior news editor at Publishers Weekly, co-editor of PW Comics World, PW’s online coverage of graphic novel and comics publishing, and cohost of More to Come, PW Comics World’s weekly podcast.
About the Book Industry Guild of New York (BIGNY) BIGNY is a New York-based organization that serves the publishing industry and community. Since its inception in 1926, the Guild has provided professional development opportunities by hosting social and educational events, seminars, industry trips, and more. The Guild produces the annual New York Book Show, which celebrates outstanding achievements in book design and manufacturing. BIGNY also proudly organizes charitable events to promote literacy in the New York City metropolitan area.
Printing Industries Alliance (PIA) says that its Post Drupa Report on August 18 was a resounding success. The event, held at the Club 101 in Manhattan, had an audience of more than 100 end users including printers, mailers, and other graphic arts service providers.
The drupa exhibitors represented in the panel presentations included Canon, GMG, HP, Highcon, Konica Minolta, Landa Digital Printing, Muller Martini, Scodix, Xeikon, and Xerox.
Marty Maloney, PIA’s executive vice president, commented, “Our Post Drupa Event had the same leading companies that hosted PIA’s VIP drupa tour in Düsseldorf. All of them were major attractions at drupa, and they represent the best of the best from the more than 1,800 drupa exhibitors”.
The Post Drupa Event featured five panels on the following topics:
• Who’s On First? Offset vs. Digital vs. Inkjet vs. Nanography
• The Rapid Rise and Importance of Labels and Packaging and Importance of Color Management
• Postpress Takes the Lead
• Wide Format Breaks Into the Big Time
• Observations First Hand from Drupa Attendees
The 25 panelists included vendors and printers as well as end users. The expert moderators were Denise Gustavson, Southcomm; Patrick Henry, WhatTheyThink; Steve Katz, Rodman Media; and Richard Romano, WhatTheyThink. (Romano’s subsequent article about the wide format panel, which he moderated, can be read here.)
Lunch continued the drupa theme with servings of bratwurst and Pilsner. During the break, Maloney set the record straight with a presentation titled “Print is the Largest Media of All, By Far.” The presentation offered data bearing out the claim that print dwarfs all other media including broadcast and the Internet and is larger than all other media combined. (PIA makes Maloney and his presentation available for company and association meetings.)
The all-day program interspersed presentations and panel discussions and concluded with a networking session.
PIA president Tim Freeman commented, “The Printing Industries Alliance wants to make sure that everyone in our industry has access to all the information they need to do business in the most efficient way. Events like this Post Drupa Report accomplish this and more by providing a meaningful dialog between all parties and a great opportunity to learn from one another.”
It isn’t easy to attract an audience of 100 people to an event of any kind during business hours, but such was the drawing power of PIA’s Post Drupa Event on August 18. Hats off to the association not only for pulling in a crowd of that size, but also for enlisting the support of the impressive lineup of vendors who helped to make the day possible.
Relatively few metro area printers ever have the means or the opportunity to attend drupa, so the deep interest in the program’s subject matter was no surprise. But, as this writer was reminded in moderating the panel on first-hand observations by drupa attendees, there is always something new to think about in the aftermath of the world’s biggest printing trade show.
My astute and insightful panelists—Tim Freeman (PIA), Cheryl Kahanec (EarthColor), Tom Mackessy (LSC Communications), Michael Pallone (PubWorkX), and Simon Schaffer (Case Paper)—covered a lot of ground in their accounts of what they saw and learned at the show. Toward the end, one of them made a remark that struck a common chord with everyone.
It was their shared observation that the mood and the morale of the industry seemed to be so much more upbeat at the international event than they are here at home. The panelists agreed that they’d felt a spirit of optimism about printing that doesn’t prevail—or at least isn’t easy to detect—among printers and other members of the industry in the U.S.
It’s a little hard to understand why. Although the industry struggled and contracted during the years of the Great Recession, it emerged from the downturn stronger in some ways than it had been when it entered. U.S. print service providers are still among the most technologically progressive printing businesses in the world. And, as Maloney’s presentation (summarized here) made plain, America’s graphic communications firms continue to create tremendous value for the national economy through print media—a fact that rarely gets the attention it deserves.
PIA’s Post Drupa Event helped to dial up the pride while giving its attendees a show overview that literally was the next best thing to being there.
If you weren’t able to attend drupa 2016, you weren’t alone. Of the 260,000 visitors who converged upon Messe Düsseldorf from May 31 to June 10, only a relative handful came from the U.S. The high cost of travel and the difficulty of breaking away from busy production schedules ruled out attending for many American printers who would otherwise have liked to go.
If you’re based in the New York City metro area, however, there’s a next best thing to having been there: the Post drupa Report that Printing Industries Alliance will host on Thursday, August 18, 2016, at Club 101 (101 Park Avenue at 40th Street) in Manhattan.
From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., some of the leading exhibitors from drupa 2016 will re-create the excitement of the event with panels and presentations before an audience of end users including printers, mailers, and other graphic arts service providers.
Printing Industries Alliance believes that end user decision makers need up-to-date information to navigate the graphic arts marketplace. Because most U.S. printers did not go to Germany, they must rely on after-the-fact information that can be daunting, confusing, and sometimes even contradictory. The Post drupa Report on August 18 is designed to give end users the information they need, firsthand and with clarity and balance. This will be delivered by expert panels on subjects such as:
• Who’s On First? Offset vs. Digital vs. Inkjet vs. Nanography
• The Rapid Rise and Importance of Labels and Packaging
• The Growing Importance of Color Management
• Postpress Rules
• Wide Format Breaks into the Big Time
• Firsthand Observations from drupa Attendees
The all-day program will intersperse presentations and panels and will feature a lunch with a speaker to be announced. Also included are a vendor / end user networking session and an open bar at 5 p.m.
The cost is $99 for PIA members and $139 for non-members. Each additional member from the same company will cost $79 for members and $109 for non-members. To register for the event, contact Kim Tuzzo at 716-691-3211 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Register online here or download, complete, and return the registration form.
Printing Industries Alliance President Tim Freeman commented, “The Printing Industries Alliance wants to make sure that everyone in our industry has access to all the information they need to do business in the most efficient way. Events like this Post drupa Report do this and more. They provide a meaningful dialog between all parties and a great opportunity to learn from one another.”
Select vendor sponsorships are still available. For information on sponsoring the event, contact Marty Maloney at 203-912-0804 or email@example.com. Vendor sponsors receive a 12-minute presentation slot, a seat on a panel, and a 5′ table to display literature at the end-of-day networking session.
Bright smiles for bright futures at GCSF’s 14th annual scholarship awards ceremony on June 23.
What does an educational fundraising organization do for an encore? The answer is easy: raise more money for education. Considerably more difficult is achieving a 50% year-over-year increase in scholarship funds distributed. But this year, that is precisely the philanthropic coup that the Graphic Communications Scholarship Foundation (GCSF) has managed to bring off.
The money—all $160,500 of it—is now in the deserving hands of 41 New York City metro area students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at 16 schools offering programs in graphic design, production, and publishing. More than half of the record number are repeat recipients, and the group as a whole nearly overflowed the stage at the Hearst Tower Atrium during the 14th annual GCSF award ceremony on June 23.
The sum of the 2016 awards easily outstrips last year’s record-setting amount and is a far cry from the $5,000 worth of stipends that GCSF presented for the first time in 2002. Since then, a total of more than $686,000 has been disbursed to 149 recipients.
The grants come from an inventory of separately endowed scholarships that GCSF, a 501(c)(3) organization, coordinates and helps to raise money for. Students, who earn the awards by submitting portfolios, letters of recommendation, and supporting essays, may continue to apply for and receive them until they graduate.
Over the years, the GCSF scholarship program has become a focal point for educational giving by graphics industry trade groups in the metro area. The most munificent of givers in 2016 has been the Advertising Production Club of New York (APCNY), which raised about $100,000 of the total presented on June 23. Other stalwart organizational supporters include IDEAlliance, Printing Industries Alliance, and The Navigators.
Voluntarism in its purest form remains the cornerstone of everything that GCSF does. Its officers, who are uncompensated, work without professional staff or dedicated office space. This means that the program has virtually no overhead expenses—all of the money collected passes through to the students as stipends.
It has been done this way from the first time GCSF’s founding members sat down in a borrowed conference room to discuss how to revive a small number of print industry scholarship funds that were not being actively managed. Many more scholarship endowments have come under GCSF’s custodianship since then, but the group’s insistence on channeling 100% of their proceeds to students has not changed.
GCSF sustains the financial assistance it provides by drawing upon a dependable network of individual donors and corporate sponsors (see table below). The generosity of this network was evident at the group’s “Spring Fling” event on June 15, a fundraising-focused social gathering hosted by Ogilvy & Mather on the rooftop of its building overlooking the U.S.S. Intrepid on the lower Hudson River. GCSF vice president Diane Romano emcees the group’s “Spring Fling” fundraiser on Ogilvy & Mather’s rooftop.
Nearly 200 printing, publishing, and media professionals attended, and 35 high-profile corporate supporters pitched in. The result: a net of $30,000 to help swell the bounty distributed at the awards ceremony on June 23.
Fundraising isn’t GCSF’s only outreach on behalf of graphics education. It also operates a mentoring program that pairs metro area students with seasoned members of the industry for 12 months of enhanced, hands-on learning experiences in real-world business settings. In this way, students gain both the practical knowledge and the personal confidence they will need for success in their chosen fields. GCSF also arranges internships and solicits contributions of training aids and educational materials for use in graphic studies programs.
Mentees and mentors, from left: Jack Kott, Valerie Buonaiuto, David Luke, Lea Orsini, Allyson Gonzalez, Emilia Dabrowska, Roxana Santana, Nick Patrissi, Jessie Ann Murphy, and Jerry Mandelbaum.
Everything culminates in the annual scholarship awards ceremony, held for the last nine years at the Hearst Tower Atrium. Student testimonials and the bestowal of a special educational honor highlight the value of GCSF’s work, the difference it makes in the lives of the students on whose behalf it is done, and the solidarity of the industry that stands behind it.
First-time recipient Sergio Georghiou, a freshman at SUNY Purchase and the creator of the winning portfolio in a citywide graphics competition, spoke with unrestrained emotion about his family’s faith in his talent through difficult times. “This award is for them,” he said.
Valerie Buonaiuto (Adelphi) talked about the personal growth she experienced by taking part in the mentoring program and completing a GCSF-arranged internship. Natalie Alcide, on her sixth GCSF scholarship grant as she nears graduation from New York City College of Technology, said simply, “I wouldn’t be the woman I am today” without the help she received from GCSF members who encouraged her along the way.
Since 2008, GCSF has saluted industry members with exceptional records of providing this kind of help as its “Champions of Education.” The 2016 honoree is James (Jimmy) Levin, an award-winning commercial photographer who went on to become a leading specialist in media recruitment and staffing. Today he operates Job Search Therapy, a consultancy for job and internship seekers. Levin sits on GCSF’s scholarship selection committee and is a board member and the education committee chairman of APCNY.
James (Jimmy) Levin accepts the 2016 Champion of Education Award from GCSF president Jerry Mandelbaum and past president David Luke.
Accepting the Champion of Education award, he urged students to develop their potential “with passion and purpose”: always challenging themselves, but always focusing their energies on pursuits they enjoy and believe in.
Levin also reminded them that “attitude and effort” are two things in life that professionals can always control, even when other forces seem to be slipping from their grasp.
Many of the people who attended GCSF’s Spring Fling and scholarship award ceremony will also be on hand for another gala event that celebrates professionalism in graphic communications: the 2016 Franklin Luminaire Awards, to be co-hosted by Printing Industries Alliance and IDEAlliance on October 19 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. PIAlliance and IDEAlliance’s DEER Foundation donate most of the net proceeds from Franklin Luminaire to GCSF.
GCSF’s next gathering will be its fundraising “Holiday Bash” on December 8 at a location to be announced.
Gamma Chapter of Gamma Epsilon Tau, the national graphic arts honor society, will present Gamma Gold Key Awards to Tim Dalton, Meghan Milkowski, and Diane Romano at its 2016 Gold Key Awards ceremony in New York City on June 1. The awards honor those who serve as role models through their exceptional records of service to the graphic communications industry.
Tim Dalton is a consultant and an educator who has worked in, visited, or audited more than 700 print shops during the course of his career. He also has a long track record of support for print industry trade associations. Dalton, who began as a press feeder, was an early proponent of bringing the benefits of information technology to graphic communications. This led him to become a specialist in computerizing printing operations in ways that helped printers eliminate bottlenecks and waste.
As an instructor, Dalton taught estimating and quality management at industry schools in Boston and New York for 25 years. He wrote a book on waste reduction that was published by the National Association of Printers and Lithographers (NAPL, now part of Epicomm), and he developed custom software for organizations such as Time4Media, BMG Music Group, and National Publishing Company. Dalton also audits chain-of-custody certification as administered by the principal forestry management organizations.
Dalton’s industry affiliations include Printing Industries of America, the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen, and the Education Foundation of the Graphic Arts, which he serves as treasurer. He also is an advisor to the Women’s Press Collective in Brooklyn and to the Advisory Committee for Technical Education in the Graphic Arts for the New York City public school system.
Meghan Milkowski currently is president of The Hill, an online news source for policy and political coverage. Her 25 years of publishing experience started at Life magazine, where she marked up pasteboards for prepress. Moving to Time magazine, she progressed from advertising production and plant operations to leadership roles in imaging, production, and business management.
Prior to joining The Hill, Milkowski served as vice president of production and circulation at Prometheus Global Media, the owner of Adweek, Billboard, Clio, Film Journal International, and The Hollywood Reporter. Initially hired to managed print contracts, paper purchasing, and distribution of the publications, she also undertook project management for information technology initiatives including the launch of an iPad publishing solution.
In 2015, Milkowski was the recipient of a Luminaire Award from IDEAlliance and Printing Industries Alliance. The award recognizes media production leaders for their positive influence, creative excellence, and personal dedication to the graphic communications industry.
Diane Romano is one of the most prominent figures in graphic communications in the New York City metropolitan area. She currently is president and CEO of HudsonYards Studios LLC, a provider of integrated publishing and media solutions. She previously was group managing director of Schawk, Inc.; president of the media and entertainment group of AGT/Seven; and president of Applied Graphics Technologies (AGT).
Romano got her start in the industry as a draftsman in 1967. Two years later, she joined PPI in the art department and rose through the ranks to become its president. In 1988, PPI merged with The Kordet Group to form AGT (later AGT/Seven). Romano became president of AGT in 1995 and was instrumental in a subsequent series of deals that led to her present leadership position at HudsonYards.
She has been renowned throughout her career as a champion of industry causes, particularly in education. Romano is a longtime officer of and fundraiser for the Graphic Communications Scholarship Award and Career Advancement Foundation (GCSF), a volunteer group that has presented more than $500,000 in scholarship grants to metro area students. Her long list of industry tributes includes the Luminaire Award, the Naomi Berber Award, induction into the Printing Impressions Printing Industry Hall of Fame, the Florence B. and Leo H. Joachim Award, the Advertising Production Club’s Advertising Production Person of the Year Award, and induction into Printing Industries of America’s Ben Franklin Honor Society.
Gamma Epsilon Tau is a national, coeducational, collegiate printing fraternity in which students of printing and publishing can meet and interact in a professional and social atmosphere. It has eight chapters at colleges and universities that offer degree programs in graphic communications.
Gamma Chapter of Gamma Epsilon Tau is located at the Department of Communication Design (COMD) of New York City College of Technology, part of the City University of New York. Gold Key honorees in recent years have included Mark Darlow, Mike Connors, Frank Romano, Bob Sacks, Annette Wolf Bensen, Michael Cunningham, Florence Jackson, Timothy Freeman, and Kathy Sandler.
The 2016 Gold Key Awards dinner will be held on Wednesday, June 1, at Club 101, 101 Park Avenue, New York City. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Prof. Frank Adae at (718) 260-5833 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s the best way to raise $10,000 in a few hours for a worthy cause? Throw a party. But the cause needs to be the Graphic Communications Scholarship Foundation (GCSF), and the party needs to have been the well-attended affair that the foundation hosted at the Manhattan headquarters of the Art Directors Club on December 10.
The money collected from admissions and sponsorships, 100% of which goes to fund scholarships, was on top of the $100,000+ in grants that GCSF presented to 31 students at its annual award ceremony earlier this year. The foundation, an all-volunteer 501(c)3 corporation, has been doing this kind of good work on behalf students of graphic communications in the metro area for 13 years.
Along the way, its mission created a focal point for educational giving by other graphics industry groups and clubs throughout the area. Their donations help to fund the various scholarships that GCSF administers and presents, and their members show their support personally by turning out in force for the GCSF “spring fling” and “holiday bash” events that have become highlights of the industry’s social calendar.
GCSF’s principal partners are IDEAlliance, the Advertising Production Club of New York (APC-NYC), the Art Directors Club, The Navigators, and Printing Industries Alliance (PIA). On December 10, nearly 200 of their members gathered in space donated by the Art Directors Club for a celebration of the year’s accomplishments. Also on hand were those who helped GCSF make the bash possible: individual sponsors and representatives of companies that furnished sponsorship contributions and raffle prizes (see lists below).
But, the evening’s real celebrities were the 12 students who came as GCSF’s special guests. They are among the 131 students to whom GCSF has made $526,000 in scholarship grants since its founding in 2002. Like their predecessors, they are graduates of graphic studies programs at metro area high schools who are pursuing academic degrees at leading colleges and universities where the discipline is taught. They earned their stipends by submitting academic records and creative portfolios for evaluation by GCSF.
Natalie Alcide, a recipient of multiple GCSF scholarship grants, with David Luke, a past president of the foundation
One of them was Natalie Alcide, who delivered a short keynote thanking GCSF and its supporters. Now a junior at New York City College of Technology (City Tech), she is in her fifth year of receiving scholarship grants from the foundation. If she enters a graduate-level graphic studies program, she can go on receiving them for a total of eight years.
Alcide’s career ambition is to win an art director’s spot at an advertising agency. She said that as helpful toward that goal as the scholarship funding has been the experience of learning from industry professionals through internship and mentoring opportunities provided by GCSF.
Watch this blog for further news of GCSF activities, including its 2016 scholarship awards ceremony when the details of the event are announced. In the meantime, please consider spreading holiday cheer and helping graphics education by purchasing holiday cards and posters created by student recipients of GCSF scholarships.
GCSF officers, trustees, and scholarship recipients, back row, from left: John Aaron, David Luke, Jerry Mandelbaum, Diane Romano, Natalie Alcide (recipient), David Garcia, Mark Darlow. Front row: Jack Kott, Ellen Hurwitch, Richard Krasner, Jessie Ann Murphy (trustee and recipient), Nick Patrissi, Valerie Buonaiuto (recipient).
The GCSF holiday bash sponsors included Blanchard Systems; Buy-Rite Robbinsville; Candid Litho/ Candid Worldwide; Canon; DALIM Software; Thomas Saggiomo, dg3; Hearst Magazines; HudsonYards; Konica Minolta Business Solutions; LB Graph-X & Printing; Mark Darlow, Graphic Art Supply; Robert S. Rosenbaum; RR Donnelley; Unimac Graphics; Valerie Merone, Victoria’s Secret; and Xerox.
The raffle gift donors were Canon; Pantone; Adobe; DALIM, Bricco Ristorante Italiano, Christine Aaron, Showtime, RedTie, LB Graph-X, and Highroad Press.
This 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.
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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.