Printing Industries of America Blog

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  • 09/23/2013 by Ms Megan Flynn

    The following is a guest blog from Daniel G. Wilson. In addition to being author of The New PrintScape: A Crash Course in Graphic Communications, he is a professor in the Department of Technology and coordinator of the Graphic Communications degree program at Illinois State University. 

    There is a growing trend toward an environment of accountability in higher education today. 

    Current U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan is proposing that federal dollars be linked to college program “quality.” Early in 2006, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings issued “A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education.” A major conclusion of the report is that there is a lack of accountability and transparency in colleges and universities. As a result, there is a major movement toward systems of continuous improvement, and a...

  • 09/19/2013 by Ms Megan Flynn

    We all want to see our companies grow. Even if we’re not the CEO, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander as they say! A company with a strong foundation of leadership and employee dedication benefits everyone within the organization. It allows for expansion into new markets, technologies, networks, and overall success.

    The 2014 Binding Industries Association (BIA) Annual Conference* is all about building strong bonds. Over the years this event has built a dedicated following of trade binderies, graphic finishers, information packaging companies, and custom loose-leaf manufacturers seeking the information they need to build their business. Attendees learn leadership skills through a variety of applications for a holistic understanding on the best ways to lead a successful company.

    Topics include:

    • Leading your organization to success
    • Connecting with innovators, peers, and suppliers in your industry
    • Using the latest technologies...
  • 09/17/2013 by Ms Megan Flynn

    You’re looking for more ways to optimize your workflow to stay competitive and turn a profit. As technology expands, however, so do your choices in printing methods.

    When deciding on a printing method, offset printing and digital printing offer plenty of their own advantages and disadvantages. Offset printing success depends largely on the optimized speed and efficiency of both your machinery and operators to achieve ISO 12647-2 and G7® qualifications. While digital allows for shorter variable runs, it does not always reproduce the high image quality associated with offset. So how do you choose a method?

    To help kick start your decision, here is a quick look at the advantages in offset vs. digital printing:


    • High image quality
    • Lower cost-per-unit as quantities increase
    • Wider range of substrates and finishes
    • ...
  • 09/16/2013 by Ms Megan Flynn

    In this four-part series, we’ll take a look at how each indicator from the Monthly Conditions Dashboard is affecting your business based on the survey results from the past 15 months. Charts are also provided to show the trends in an easy-to-read format, so you can benchmark your current market conditions with hundreds of other printers.

    In July, we shared some market insights based on data pulled from the Monthly Industry Conditions Dashboard. This market monitoring report from our Economic and Market Research department can be used to determine where the industry is trending in the short term, which can help you better forecast demand for the coming quarters.

    In Industry Trends Report: Part 1—Monthly Sales we learned about the wide swings and modestly rising sales printers are experiencing. Positive sales for 2013 are predicted in...

  • 09/03/2013 by Ms Megan Flynn

    Not only is it a smart idea to make sure every employee is informed of chemical hazards in the workplace, it’s also the law! Many of us in the printing industry work with chemicals and materials on a daily basis, and under the Hazard Communication Standard, OSHA requires printing companies to identify hazardous chemicals and provide training to ensure that employees are working with these chemicals in a safe manner.

    OSHA has made significant revisions to the Hazard Communication Standard, including replacing the Material Safety Data Sheet with the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). In response, we are making available to all members “need to know” information to stay in compliance with the new requirements and free tools to implement a Hazard Communication program to meet them.

    If you’re familiar...

  • 08/23/2013 by Ms Megan Flynn

    An Interview with Keith Whistler, Technology and Research Analyst

    The expert consultants for our Center for Technology and Research have one main feature in common: qualifying experience and the drive to help companies find solutions. More than a dozen full-time and external consultants are available to support members in all facets of printing operations. The goal is to help firms improve their operational performance and competitive position.

    So just how do these business-saving experts and consultants help your company? We talked to one of our consultants, Keith Whisler, who lends his expertise in offset and digital printing, color management, and operational issues. With two decades in commercial printing, it’s safe to say he has a vast amount of experience and knowledge. But it is his holistic perspective from a customer’s point of view that really sets...

  • 08/21/2013 by Ms Megan Flynn

    Are you or your staff prepared to meet growing customer demands when new standards and technologies are evolving faster than you can say, “training”? Begin the fall 2013 season by going back to school. We have a lineup of highly rated, hands-on training courses to give your company an upper hand on the competition.

    Fall 3013 Training Workshops
    September 26–27
    G7® Offset Press Operator Training Program 
    October 1–2   
    Safety Matters: OSHA Compliance for Printers
    October 8–9 G7® Digital Press Operator Training Program
  • 08/15/2013 by Mr Joseph B. Marin

    Digital printing presents some unique challenges when it comes to design, but with some basic design conderations, you can create jobs destined for digital printing that look great and fly through production! Learn about the software tools and best practices for dealing with color, transparency, PDF creation, variable data and more at my hands-on Mac lab at PRINT13® in Chicago, IL titled Digital Print Design: 20 Top Tips 'n Tricks. Here's a sneak-peek:

    1. Always color correct images in the RGB color space

    When images are converted from RGB to CMYK, you lose color information—a lot of it. As a result, you (and Photoshop) have fewer colors to work with, or average, when attempting to make color changes to an image. Also, when images are converted from RGB to CMYK, you’re creating the black separation and reducing the amount of CMY in the...

  • 08/15/2013 by Ms Megan Flynn

    When you hear “Who you gonna call?” we tend to think of those ghost-busting heroes from the 1980s. But Printing Industries of America has real experts who printers call on when they need challenging problems solved and are continually working to drive the industry forward with technical innovations. 

    The full-time researchers and scientists working on-site at the Center for Technology and Research have helped hundreds of industry members by offering technical advice, lab testing, consulting services, training, and more.

    In our 2013 Member Satisfaction Survey, more than three-fourths of members said these technical services are an important membership benefit. At the Center for Technology and Research, we focus on all aspects of the printing process, including paper and ink testing, color management, digital printing, and management information systems. Find out about the services we offer in “What Can the Center for...

  • 08/13/2013 by Ms Megan Flynn

    This is a guest blog post from Michael Walters, Executive Director, Distributor Services at Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). For more information about the National Buying Power Programs available to members through Printing Industries of America affiliates, visit

    Every client who buys from you already uses imprinted items—logo pens, t-shirts, bags, etc. Selling promotional products is a natural progression for a lot of printers—you already have your clients’ logos, there aren’t any start-up costs, there’s a high ROI, and it’s easy to get started! The Printing Industries of America National Buying Power Program with ASI, for members through Printing Industries of America affiliates, is a great way for you to break into this $19.4 billion industry and immediately begin increasing revenue.