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  • 07/26/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    A recent project on social funding site Kickstarter aims to update the venerable tradition of caricatures, silhouettes, and photo portraits as treasured souvenirs from a trip to the beach. Fred Kahl, a.k.a. the Great Fredini, wants to raise money for the Coney Island Scan-A-Rama 3D Portrait Studio and he has until August 8 to reach his fundraising goal of $15,000.

    Khal, a veteran sideshow performer who swallows swords and pounds nails into his noise in his spare time, holds a day job as the Creative Director of Interactivity and Gaming at New York Design Firm Funny Garbage, where he's developed numerous games and websites for clients like Cartoon Network, Sesame Workshop, HIT Entertainment, Warner Bros., PBS KIDS GO, Comedy Central, and more. Over the last two years, Kahl has focused a significant amount of his attention on 3D printing and scanning. And, if his fundraising efforts succeed, Kahl promises to give back to the 3D printing community by making the plans for his rig and workflow open source.

    Here's the description of the project straight from the Kickstarter page:

    "Coney Island Scan-A-Rama is an art project to scan and produce 3D printed portraits of the masses of people who visit America’s playground: Coney Island. Visitors to the portrait studio will come in to get a 3D portrait taken and then a full body 3D figurine of them will be included in a 2014 installation recreating a fully populated model of Coney Island, New York’s Luna Park as it stood 100 years ago!

    Unlike other 3D scanning services out there that add scans of a face to an existing body model, we have devised custom hardware and a workflow to create perfect full body 3D scans that can be ready for 3D printing in minutes. At the end of this campaign, our hardware will be made open source."

    To find out more, including the gifts you can receive for...

  • 07/01/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Even if you missed the 2013 Integrated Print Forum, you can still experience this unique event. We recorded over twelve hours of video, including every session that appeared on the main stage! These videos provide a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in engaging presentations about the latest technologies you should be adopting in your business. Additionally, you can download the actual presentation files created by our speakers.

    The 2013 Integrated Print Forum focused on providing professionals with everything there is to know about integrating print with other media to enhance their company’s product offerings and build new revenue streams. The entire conference program was dedicated to offering real strategies around new business options.

    To watch highlights of some of the sessions at the 2013 Integrated Print Forum, click here. To access the full-lenght videos, click here.

  • 06/12/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Previously, we had the opportunity to interview Paul Strack, President of CustomXM, about how his company has dealt with the rapid transformations in the printing industry. We were also fortunate enough to have Paul as a speaker at the 2013 Integrated Print Forum, where he shared real-world examples of how his company, a second-generation, 40-plus year old family-owned print operation in North Little Rock, Arkansas has made the transition to an integrated solutions provider. Paul's presentation touched on how CustomXM's use of new technology has directly led to significant new business. Paul spoke about how social media in general, and Twitter specifically, have helped "groom" a whole new audience that only knows of the CustomXM brand, a brand that is now seen as a marketing solutions provider.

    Here is a short clip of Paul’s engaging presentation from IPF:

    If you’d like to check out more highlight videos from IPF, visit the official YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/integratedprintforum.

  • 04/23/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Josh Boland

    In our continuing series of blog posts featuring recipients of monetary awards from the Print and Graphic Scholarship Foundation (PGSF), today we profile Josh Boland, a senior with a bright future who will soon be graduating from Clemson University.

    Josh spoke with us about his focus in the graphic arts industry, interesting projects he has completed at Clemson, and his thoughts on the future of the printing industry.

    1. What area of the graphic arts do you consider your primary focus (Design, Print production, Digital media, etc.)?

    I’ve always enjoyed design and being creative. Having a piece look good and communicate effectively can be challenging, but the challenge itself is sometimes what makes design so engaging and enjoyable for me. I also have discovered a personal passion for web design and development and I hope to apply some of my design skills in that arena in the future.

    Overall, I think I would lean more toward the digital media as an area of interest, but the Clemson Graphic Communications program has also given me a strong technical printing background. Maybe I’ll end up doing cross-media and working with both. 

    2. Have you started job searching? If so, what has been your experience thus far?

    Yes, as of right now I am a few weeks away from graduation and have been talking to a few different companies over the past...

  • 04/03/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Nick Gawreluk

    In our continuing series of blog posts featuring recipients of monetary awards from the Print and Graphic Scholarship Foundation (PGSF), today we profile Nick Gawreluk, an enterprising student at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

    Nick, who has already done extensive internship work with Heidelberg, spoke with us about his focus in the graphic arts industry, interesting projects he has completed at RIT, and his thoughts on the future of the printing industry.

    1. What area of the graphic arts do you consider your primary focus (Design, Print production, Digital media, etc.)?

    My primary focus is within the printing industry. Through past internships with Heidelberg in Brazil and Germany, I have really gained a passion for business development and product management. A second focus is within the digital media sphere as a “media architect.” The name of the game here is being able to strategize where content should go and in what channels to effectively reach the right audience.

    2. Have you started job searching? If so, what has been your experience thus far?

    My job search has just recently started as of last week. I have been very proactive and contacted employers all around the word located in over 5 continents. I am continuously looking for job opportunities and maintaining a positive attitude that the right...

  • 03/27/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Jason Falls

    Jason Falls is a leading digital strategist, author, speaker, and thinker in the digital and social media marketing industry. He leads digital strategy for CafePress, a publicly-traded internet retailer consistently ranked as one of the top online shopping destinations. He also continues to serve as founder and chief instigator at SocialMediaExplorer.com, an industry-leading blog and digital marketing agency.

     Jason will be speaking at the Integrated Print Forum in May, and he recently talked with us about social media, marketing, and what attendees can expect from his session.

    What’s the best way for a business with an e-commerce outlet to use social platforms to drive traffic to the site?

    Draw your audience in with interesting, engaging posts including stories, photos, and questions that encompass your particular worldview. Then occasionally give them a benefit (a deal) for being connected there.

    The real answer, though, will vary by industry, audience, competitive marketplace, and more. What works for CafePress won’t work for some of you. What works for you won’t work for a business similar to yours and so on. You have to test and iterate within your environment to see what works best for your business.

    Specifically, I’ve seen e-commerce businesses do quite well with sharing imagery of products that links back to the product page. But that’s boring and very brand-...

  • 03/19/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Gregory DeGross

    Today we continue our series of blog posts profiling students pursuing graphic arts careers who have received monetary awards from the Print and Graphic Scholarship Foundation (PGSF).

    Our second interviewee, Gregory DeGross, is currently a senior at Western Michigan University. Greg spoke with us about job search strategies, student participation in professional conferences, and his thoughts on the future of the printing industry.

    What area of the graphic arts do you consider your primary focus (design, print production, digital media, etc.)?

    My primary focus is in print production and digital media, including RFID technology, color management, and quality assurance.

    Have you started job searching? If so, what has been your experience thus far?

    I had two internships at Nosco, Inc., a pharmaceutical printed packaging company in Gurnee, IL. These internships lasted 4 months each, and I have  accepted their job offer as a Senior Quality Assurance Specialist. From my experience, industry meetings and conventions are definitely a good place to start your job search. The networking that goes on is tremendous—building contacts for the near and distant future. I’ve had contacts through LinkedIn, which is also a good resource for new grads.

    What were...

  • 03/12/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Brittany Bolenbaugh 

    It's no secret that printers are always on the lookout for enterprising young professionals who can help their companies stay ahead of the curve in a constantly evolving industry. That's why, over the next several weeks, we’ll be profiling some talented students who are about to enter the workforce.

    All of the students we're profiling have received monetary awards from the Print and Graphic Scholarship Foundation (PGSF), a not-for-profit, private, industry-directed organization that dispenses undergraduate college scholarships and graduate fellowship assistance to talented men and women interested in graphic communication careers. Housed under the same roof as Printing Industries of America, PGSF has coordinated the printing industry's largest scholarship program since its inception in 1956.

    Our first interviewee, Brittany Bolenbaugh, is currently a senior at Ball State University. Brittany was kind enough to share with us a little bit about her university experience, her goals for a graphic arts career, and her thoughts on the future of the industry.

    1. What area of the graphic arts do you consider your primary focus (design, print production, digital media, etc.)?

    I would say that my primary focus in the graphic arts would be the design as I have a great passion and love...

  • 03/11/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Joy Gendusa
    Founder and CEO PostcardMania

    Joy Gendusa is the Founder and CEO of PostcardMania. After more than twelve years of leading one of the most innovative and successful postcard marketing companies in the industry, Joy has obtained a level of marketing expertise that is sought after for counsel and speaking engagements all over the country. We are delighted that Joy will joining us as a speaker in May for the Integrated Print Forum and we recently had the opportunity to speak with her about her business, direct mail, and the value of integrated marketing strategies. Along with speaking engagements, Joy also regularly shares her knowledge and expertise on her blog Maniac Marketing.

    How has your personal experience as an entrepreneur shaped your approach to business and your relationship with your clients? I feel like entrepreneurs are "my people"(if you know what I mean)! I know what it’s like to have to make a payroll despite a lousy month and what it feels like to have lay off good people that just aren't cutting it at their job (heartache). We entrepreneurs have a certain camaraderie that can only be experienced. With that said—being that my customer base consists mainly of entrepreneurs—I feel like I really understand what they need and what their pain is. It takes my personal care factor for them to a level I don't see often enough...

  • 02/28/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    We recently had the opportunity to speak with Paul Strack, President of CustomXM, about how his company has dealt with the rapid transformations in the printing industry. CustomXM, formerly Custom Printing Company, is a family-owned operation in North Little Rock, Arkansas that has successfully transitioned from a traditional offset printing company to a provider of integrated printing and marketing services. Paul will be one of the speakers at the 2013 Integrated Print Forum in May, where he’ll share the story of his company’s successful transition.

    When and why did the company change its name? Do you still consider yourself a "printer" today?

    The name change occurred in 2007/2008. Our company had been evolving over the years and we wanted to highlight more of our new capabilities. Based on where we thought the industry and our work was going, we felt that we needed to communicate our ability to provide cross-media marketing. Print is still the main engine driving our company and it makes up probably 30-40% of our revenue. However, we are seeing significant growth in other areas like fulfillment and marketing services.

    How did your existing customers react to the name change? Did the new name help in attracting new customers?

    It’s funny because existing customers were somewhat confused when they received their invoices and the company name and logo had changed. In hindsight, perhaps we could have provided more advance communication about the change. But in a way the change was a door opening opportunity, because it gave us a chance to explain to existing customers that we could do more than they thought.

    I think new customers started to become aware of our marketing services when we got involved in social media. Whether it was Twitter or ...

  • 02/26/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    We recently posed the following question to the members of our LinkedIn group (Digital Printing Council): How do you distinguish between “convenience printing” or office digital copying equipment and “production” digital presses. In our post, we asked if anyone made this distinction solely on the basis of speed or pages per minute (PPM). We received a couple of in-depth responses that explained why simple PPM is not an effective means of distinguishing production equipment from office equipment.

    John Conley, Vice President Commercial Print and Publishing, Xerox Corporation

    The nomenclature of "production" versus "office is not driven by speed. It is driven by durability. Equipment that goes into a production environment needs to have the ability be up and running for the time frame the associated printer has designated as his working production period. This could be one, two, or three shifts. A production piece of equipment must be able to run billable work at rated speed over a sustained period of time with predictable outcomes and for the economic life of the equipment. A 100 PPM machine that is not built to produce 2.5 million+ pages a month of billable output over the 5 or more years of expected product life would not be a production device.

    Said another way, office equipment is used on demand. It is not scheduled and has an expected usage of the average office work day, which is usually 8 to 10 hours and not potentially three 8 hour shifts as you could have in a production plant.

    Karen Kimerer, Business Development Consultant, Xerox Corporation

    I agree with John, PPM is not a qualifier. The question isn’t how many pages it can print over a minute, hour, or shift; it’s how many pages it can print over the course of a month—pages that may be unique job to job and that require make-ready and finishing....

  • 02/14/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Marketers are always looking for ways to get more from their print budgets. Historically, printers have responded through the use of customized print, and more recently, quick response (QR) codes. One of the latest innovations in print is augmented reality, which allows for the creation of unique 3-D experiences that add another dimension to print.

    Printing Industries of America’s Joe Marin has updated a popular Digital Printing Council white paper on augmented reality.  This white paper, which is free to all Printing Industries of America members, provides an overview of augmented reality technologies and highlights their relevance to print. New information includes an updated tutorial and additional resources. Members can download the new white paper here.

    Additionally, Marin has created a series of video tutorials to accompany his white paper. The first three videos of a planned six-part series are currently up on the Digital Printing Council website. The topics explained include how to download and install augmented reality software applications, how to use some basic tools to create and navigate around a 3-D object, and how to trace a 2-D object and turn it into a 3-D object for augmented reality software. Members can view the new videos here.

  • 02/06/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    The official word came out today that the USPS is planning to move to a five-day delivery schedule beginning in August, eliminating carrier routes on Saturdays.

    This does not mean that the USPS will be completely dormant on Saturdays. Package delivery will continue, P.O. boxes will be filled, and Post Offices that are currently open on Saturdays will remain open. The package delivery element of the plan is noteworthy, because this part of the agency’s business has increased 14% since 2010. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe stated that the elimination of Saturday carrier routes should save around $2 billion annually.

    There is some question on the authority of the USPS to make the move to five-day delivery. Congress previously has nixed the idea in appropriations bills; however, the temporary spending measure under which the federal government is currently operating may allow for the USPS to make the switch without Congressional authority.

  • 01/15/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    Julie Shaffer, Printing Industries of America’s Vice President of Digital Strategies is giving the opening keynote presentation, "Printing's Role in a Multi-Media World," at the 22nd Annual Ink Jet Printing Conference being held by the Information Management Institute (IMI) at the Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort & Suites in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 30-February 1, 2013. IMI's annual Ink Jet Printing Conference is the only U.S. ink jet printing industry event devoted entirely to ink jet printing technologies, markets, and applications.

    Given the printing industry's current interest in ink jet printing and the ongoing rapid expansion of ink jet technology into new and exciting applications, IMI has offered all Printing Industries of America members a $300 discount on their 22nd Annual Ink Jet Printing Conference registration fee (making it $795) as well as a $200 discount on the registration fee (making it $495) for the other programs earlier in the week: Ink Jet Deposition Course (Jan 28-29), Ink Jet Printhead & Selection Course (Jan 28-29), 3D Printing Symposium (Jan 28-29) and AWA Inkjet & Digital Label/Packaging Print Seminar (Jan 29-30).

    For additional details about the conference, view the IMI website at www.imiconf.com. If you are a Printing Industries of America member and would like to take advantage of IMI’s special offer, contact Sam Shea at sshea@printing.org for more information.

  • 01/11/2013 by Mr Samuel G. Shea

    The 2012 Third Quarter Print Market Update has just been published by the Printing Industries of America Economic and Market Research Team. With that, we’d like to share some of the numbers relating to digital processes contained in the report.

    As is typical of our membership demographics and the overall industry, a majority of the respondents to the market survey listed sheetfed as their primary process.  However, 120 of the 182 respondents offered toner-based digital printing, while 34 of the respondents offered inkjet printing. These processes accounted for 16% and 4% of respondents’ total print sales respectively. In addition, more than 50 of the respondents engaged in wide- and super-wide-format inkjet printing.

    The latest Print Market Update also tracks the percentage change in total print sales through the last eight quarters. Beginning in Q4 2011 and going through Q3 2012, the respondents to our survey noted year-to-date increases in total toner-based sales of 8.5%, 5.2%, 8.0%, and 5.3%. Likewise, year-to-date increases in inkjet sales of 10.9%, 11.1%, 3.8%, and 2.4% were reported.

    All Printing Industries of America members can download the Quarterly Print Market Updates (along with many other resources) for free here.

    Our Economics and Market Research Team emails the results of these market surveys to all participants eight weeks after the end of each quarter and posts the results online two weeks later for all members to view. This data is also used to write Flash Reports and economic forecasts.

    The survey is emailed to the main contact at each member company three weeks after the end of each quarter. To be added to this email list please contact Ed Gleeson at egleeson@printing.org or 412-259-1756.