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.

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.”

Edison Litho & Printing Corp.
Acquires Compass Display Group

Edison Litho & Printing Corp. (North Bergen, NJ) has announced its acquisition of Compass Display Group (Kennesaw, GA), an award-winning company that delivers both temporary and permanent point-of-sale materials and displays. A leader in the point-of-sale display industry, Compass will become a new business unit of Edison Litho and will operate under the name Edison Compass Display Group. The Edison Compass transition will be led by Edison COO Joseph Ostreicher along with the existing Compass management team.

“The move to acquire Compass allows Edison Litho to offer our clients permanent displays and environmental graphics in addition to the vast printing options previously offered,” said Edison CEO George Gross. Ostreicher noted, “We are committed to embracing the new age and to servicing all of our clients’ needs and do whatever it takes to keep our customers happy.”

Edison Compass’s Georgia location provides a strategic complement to Edison’s existing location in North Bergen. With the Jersey plant working at near capacity, the acquisition of the Georgia plant will enable Edison to service its Southwestern client base in a more cost-effective way. With this increased capacity, Edison Compass will offer their services and seek new opportunities in the Southern markets.

A provider of large-format and high volume printing for many of the world’s biggest brands and retailers for over 55 years, Edison Litho has served North America’s largest companies in a wide range of industries including retail, product manufacturing, entertainment, and packaging.

Launched in 1998, Compass Display Group has been a source of temporary and permanent point-of-sale programs for the past 15 years. Among its honors are awards from the Path to Purchase Institute and Global Shop (POPAI). Compass also has been named by Creative magazine as one of the top 50 POP companies in the U.S.

Mark R. Hahn Forms
 Graphic Arts Advisors, LLC

022815.mark-hahn-forms-gaaMark R. Hahn has announced the formation of Graphic Arts Advisors, LLC, headquartered in Mountain Lakes, NJ with an additional office in Dallas, TX.

Graphic Arts Advisors, LLC is a boutique strategic financial advisory and consulting firm focused exclusively on the printing, packaging and related industries. The firm provides financial advisory services to clients with both mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and capital transactional needs of up to $100 million and consulting services related to valuations, corporate restructuring and turnarounds, and strategic shareholder advisory services.

In establishing GAA, Hahn noted, “Now more than ever and especially in the dynamic and ever changing marketplace in which companies in the graphic arts and related industries now operate, they need a trusted financial advisory firm working with them and on their behalf that is exclusively focused on their industry in order to build or monetize shareholder value.”

Prior to founding GAA, Hahn served as Senior Vice President of NAPL’s Business Advisory Group with primary responsibility for the group’s M&A practice. Before joining NAPL, he held several senior management positions at a diversified graphic services company, most recently as CFO/COO and Corporate Development Officer. Hahn previously served as a Managing Director of Brownstein Corporation, a nationally recognized financial advisory firm.

He is regularly quoted and published in several printing industry trade and management journals; and through his monthly blog, The Target Report, Hahn provides the printing, packaging and related industries with a high level overview of industry trends and a central source of information where owners, investors, lenders and other professionals can view information about the latest mergers, acquisitions and restructuring in the printing industry, broadly defined.

Graphic Arts Advisors, LLC is a boutique strategic financial advisory and consulting firm focused exclusively on the printing, packaging and related industries serving clients with revenues of between $5 and $100 million and transactional needs of up to $100 million. Additional information can be found on the company’s website.

Sandy Alexander Expands into High-End Retouching and CGI with the Introduction of SALT Studios

Sandy Alexander (Clifton, NJ) has announced its expansion into high-end retouching and CGI (computer generated imagery) with the acquisition of a state-of-the-art firm and the addition of several senior executives from digital and production services. The high-end creative boutique will be rebranded as SALT Studios and will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Sandy Alexander.

Located in midtown Manhattan, SALT Studios offers creative retouching, a full-service CGI studio, in-house services for digital photography, a full prepress department for ad releases, and a full suite of asset management and online ordering tools.

“Expansion into the high-end retouching and CGI is a natural progression for Sandy Alexander’s long-term strategic vision of offering our clients the broadest array of value added services in the graphics communications industry,” said Mike Graff, president and CEO of Sandy Alexander. “From digital workflow solutions to the final printed piece, Sandy Alexander has the flexibility and horsepower to provide the most impactful and efficient output for any marketing campaign regardless of substrate, size, or quantity.”

Several senior executives have also joined the company to lead SALT Studios. They include Dan Anselmi, the former owner-manager of Imagecraft, a high-end retouching firm. “He has brought his outstanding team of retouchers and digital artists to Sandy Alexander,” Graff said. “Their extensive experience in high-end retouching, image management, and the CGI marketplace provides Sandy Alexander with the highest quality, fastest, and most advanced technology in the image-based cosmetic, fashion, and jewelry industries.”