May 2nd, 2013
Written by Gordon Kaye
Editor, Graphic Design Magazine USA Magazine
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a Google+ Hangout on the future of print design and the value of design in business. Xerox was the host and sponsor, appropriate because it has long been an advocate for print and Xerox products have done so much to advance the graphic arts industry. Google+ Hangouts are an interesting new option for meetings; I found the technology reasonably easy to adapt to, and it invites a relaxed and informal give and take. My sense is that the camera put about 10 years on me – maybe twenty. Just kidding. I can’t blame Google for the extra years, though I would if I could.
The heart of our hangout was an exploration of the myth that “print is dead.” Luckily, our magazine, Graphic Design USA, has been polling on this issue for half a century, and had just completed our 50th annual survey on just this topic. So I was loaded with rebuttal information. And, luckily, no one loves the feel and smell of a printed piece more than me.
The conclusion we reached during the Hangout is simple but profound: print is unique and powerful because you can touch and feel and hold it. Print creates a human connection missing from the ephemeral and desensitizing media world of digital communications. Designers value print for its classic strengths – tangibility, sensuality, permanence. The good and great designers know how and when to employ these traits to advance a message, a brand, an emotion, an idea, a cause, a sense of authenticity. That is the fundamental take-away; all the rest is but a footnote.
That said we collectively managed to mine several other nuggets about the strength and prospects of print. Among them:
- Print is practical. It is portable, convenient, accessible, easy to read, unplugged, it goes anywhere.
- Print is crucial to how designers make a living. 93 percent of designers work in print as part of their mix, and 75 percent of their time is spent on print-related work.
- Print is a team player. Print may no longer be the superstar, but it is an excellent complement and collaborator, a vital component in the marketing mix. From print to inbound telephony, or online to direct mail, print drives and motivates consumers.
- Print is getting smarter. New technologies to customize, personalize, sharpen, target, interact and integrate are wringing out the waste and infusing responsiveness.
- Print is novel. As the digital deluge, the online onslaught builds; print will be even more effective because it is fresh, rare, different, and welcome.
- Print is sustainable. I hate the canard that print is dirty and digital is clean. I ran out of time to harangue the Hangout audience on this point so let me do it now. Print and paper are becoming “greener” and more transparent up and down the supply chain; the online world should only be as honest about its energy use and other sustainability issues.
GDUSA has been conducting our Print Design survey for 50 years. So let me close with a question. What do you think designers will be saying about the role of print 5, 10 or even 50 years from now?
Interested in other topics similar to the practicality of print, its many benefits, and its future? Check out:
- Enduring #PowerofPrint: How Print Stays Relevant in a Digital World
- Promoting Value of Print: Communication that is Environmentally and Socially Responsible
- Optimism about the Future of Print Highlighted by Printers in Survey
- A trip to Dusseldorf paints a global picture for the future of print
Gordon Kaye is editor and publisher of Graphic Design USA magazine. He joined GDUSA in 1990 after a first career as communications lawyer for a private law firm and then for the NBC Television Network where assignments included NBC News and Saturday Night Live. He received a BA from Hamilton College, and a joint degree in law and public policy from Princeton University and Columbia Law School. Gordon lives in New York City with his wife Susan and has two daughters, Sasha and Charlotte.
April 22nd, 2013
Written by Bill Michael
eMarketing Manager, Xerox Corporation
We live in a digital world; always-on, always-connected, and growing more so by the day. Information disseminates almost instantaneously, yet our thirst for more suggests we are trapped in a desert. It’s come to the point where the hospitality sector has even dubbed a term, ‘Digital-Detox’, as a way to encourage guests to unplug and unwind. Yes, today’s digital world is having an impact on all industries; and the print, advertising, and design communities are not immune. Despite an abundance of digital mediums (email, social media, web, e-readers, mobile, etc.), print remains an effective, revenue-generating tool.
A blog post by Lisa Rawa, Marketing Manager for Printing Industries of America, spoke to the value of print as an integral component of a successful campaign. She stated that when combined with online, digital technologies – you have all the makings for an effective communication tool. In fact, recent studies showed 76% of small businesses stated their ideal marketing mix was a combination of print and digital advertising. It also found 67% of online searches are driven by offline messages, with 39% ending with a purchase. Research found by Printing Industries of America showed websites supported by a printed catalog yielded 164% greater revenue than those that are not.
The influential role print plays in impacting purchase decisions should not go unnoticed. The graphic design, print, and creative communities may find great interest in a March 2013 study conducted by VTT, gauging consumer response to advertising in various mediums. The effectiveness of print was clear, as consumers scored advertising in print media as the most trusted medium; higher than television and Internet advertising. Nearly 7 of 10 consumers said advertising in print was the most important and influential in supporting purchase making decisions.
So how does print find its place among all these digital devices and technologies that allow users to always stay connected…and what must print provide in order to stay relevant and effective? Susan Weiss, Manager of Worldwide Customer Business Development, discussed this in an interview with Hdemo Network, citing the unique applications enabled through digital printing. With personalization, augmented reality, PURLs, and QR codes – to name a few – print has the ability to cut through the clutter, engage with the recipient, and act as a bridge to the online world. This is critical for marketers and brand owners communicating their products and services.
By making this connection, print and creative communities can tap into multiple communication channels and deliver substantial value to end-users, as well as boost their own bottom line. InfoTrends found firms offering cross-media marketing services were able to boost their digital printing volumes by 14% on average. Alphagraphics of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, used a cross-media campaign of their own to promote an open house event and tout their services and offerings. The campaign incorporated a cross-channel mix including print, e-mail, QR Codes, and PURLs – generating more than eight new orders from current customers for new projects.
Want to learn more about the enduring power of print? Check out the replay of our Google+ Hangout, which discussed the future of design and print, blending print and digital approaches, innovations that are making print smarter and greener, and why good design is critical to business success.
Interested in topics similar to the enduring power of print? Check out:
- Promoting Value of Print: Communication that is Environmentally and Socially Responsible
- Fan of Travel Guides? You Aren’t Alone.
- Craving Offline Experiences: In Today’s Digital World, Do You Turn to the Physical and Tactile?
Xerox was joined by Gordon Kaye, editor and publisher of Graphic Design USA Magazine (GDUSA), Ilana Greenberg, creative director for GDUSA, and Carlos Perez, creative director for Anderson Direct Marketing, during the Google+ Hangout.
April 16th, 2013
Written by Lisa Rawa
Vice President, Marketing, Printing Industries of America
The printing industry is constantly facing challenges regarding its place in messaging, its environmental impact, and its future. As recently as January of this year, Google launched a campaign to “Go Paperless in 2013,” and who can forget Toshiba’s ill-fated “National No Print Day,” announced in the summer of 2012? Both campaigns encouraged switching from paper to electronic communications as a means of protecting the environment. These are only two of the most recent cases. With industry giants making false claims about print, it became clear we needed to fight back.
Printing Industries of America created the Value of Print campaign in March 2012 as a response to false claims about print’s negative impact on the environment and the loss of its effectiveness. This campaign has served as a resource for the industry to spread the message about the power of print and is available in a printed Flip-Book, PDF version, and a mobile app. Our President and CEO, Michael Makin, even referenced facts and statistics from the Flip-Book in his open letter to Google in response to their “Go Paperless in 2013” campaign.
What started as direct mail pieces—including a brochure, poster, and a PR tool kit—grew into a bigger campaign, crossing several platforms. The campaign is now promoted on Printing Industries of America’s social media channels—you may have even seen our #FlipbookFactFriday tweets, which include quick statistics from the Flip-Book. The purpose of social media is to discover and share content you wouldn’t find though normal means. This campaign has reached audiences that we wouldn’t have been able to reach with just a social media campaign, or just a direct mail campaign. By integrating the various outlets available, we have been able to maximize our reach.
The industry knows its value. When you marry the power of print with the efficiency of electronics, you can create an extremely effective marketing mix that is also environmentally friendly. Coming this spring, the campaign will even cross over to television. Printing Industries of America will be featured in a video to be aired on In Focus, a television series on PBS. The video promotes the industry’s sustainability and print’s effectiveness and features segments from Tim Burton, President, Burton & Mayer, and Chairman of the Board, Printing Industries of America; Michael Makin, President and CEO, Printing Industries of America; and Lisa Rawa, Vice President, Marketing, Printing Industries of America.
Now, more than ever, it is vital to communicate that printed products are environmentally and socially responsible, and are an effective part of the marketing mix. Stay tuned for more developments from the Value of Print Campaign by visiting printing.org/valueofprint and be sure to download the mobile app for the latest facts and statistics to support our industry and spread the true message about print to your customers.
Do you find yourself battling conceived notions that print is dying or that electronic media is more environmentally friendly than print? How do you see the future of print, web and mobile working in unison?
Interested in learning more about the print industry, its environmental impact, and its future? You may want to check out:
January 22nd, 2013
Written by Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant
Right before the holidays we were working with a pharmaceutical printer to help them identify and reduce their waste. In this unique niche, waste can be more significant than for general commercial printers because label material and finishing mistakes can be very costly. But truth be told, focusing on paper waste is not a secret or new.
During my tenure with GATF, it was one of the many ways we helped companies reduce their turnaround times and costs associated with waste. That’s why I was so surprised when I stumbled upon an article in PrintWeek called “Trying to measure the immeasurable: substrate management.”
The article is spot on in its introduction when it talks about the cost of paper, how much waste can contribute to the cost of the job and the importance of understanding waste in the estimating process. But then it takes a strange turn and starts talking about a secret conspiracy in the printing and publishing industry that refuses to acknowledge waste in production.
In my experience, leading companies know their cost of manufacturing to the penny. That means they’ve measured the typical waste associated with “printing startups” as well as waste associated with particular presses and finishing options. This is known as anticipated waste, which is different from unanticipated waste. Anticipated waste is factored into the estimate and companies compare actual waste versus anticipated waste as a way to refine the accuracy of estimates.
Paper and other substrate waste is not a secret or mystery. In our audits of production, we often outline strategies to:
- measure waste by bar-coding and weighing the substrates as they enter and exit inventory,
- compare actual versus estimated waste to refine their estimating process, and
- use barcodes to monitor inventory levels and automate reordering and track substrate usage per job, per press, and per operator.
What’s your position on measuring waste? Do you believe in the secret paper waste conspiracy? Or are you a believer in measurement-based performance and measuring your waste?
Howard Fenton is a consultant and business advisor at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers and in-plants on benchmarking performance against industry leaders, increasing productivity through workflow management, adding and integrating new digital services, and adding value through customer research.
December 9th, 2010
Welcome! Come on in and make yourself at home! Feel free to take your shoes off or leave them on – whatever makes you comfortable. And please help yourself to a slice of birthday cake on the table!
Some people have extravagant celebrations, others prefer to turn their birthday into a week-long festivity…but here at the Digital Printing Hot Spot, we have decided to celebrate our one-year birthday all month long! (…although the cake may not last)
So what does our one-year birthday really represent, and what’s up with the silly cake, you may ask? I am very excited to say that with this birthday we are celebrating our commitment to you, our customers, as this marks a full year of delivering you tips and helpful information to get the most out of your production print equipment. Our goal is to help you meet your business objectives and succeed, while making your day-to-day operations run as smooth as possible.
Through the sharing of success stories, industry trends, best practices, technology, workflow efficiencies, and much more – we truly hope that when you visit this site, you are able to walk away (or close out of your browser) with a helpful piece of information previously unbeknownst to you. We know that you face business challenges that keep you up at night. Our objective is to equip you with all the necessary information to help you best handle these challenges.
In our one-year of existence, we have shared many exciting success stories of customers much like yourself, discussed many fascinating issues within the industry, and shed light to various best practices and helpful tips.
In case you’ve missed some, here’s just a small sampling of a few of the many stories that have been shared:
• Digital packaging opportunities
• How to design for digital
• Tips for printing on textured stocks
• How to design for Clear Dry Ink with the Xerox Color 800/1000 Press
• Running lightweight paper on your Continuous Feed device
• An award-winning 100% variable magazine
• Book printing: It’s easy being green
• Achieving new levels of productivity with automation
• Front-to-Back registration suggestions
• The story of a digital printer banking €150,000 a month with digital book venture
I would really like to take an opportunity to thank you, our readers; because if it wasn’t for you consistently visiting this blog and providing us with great feedback, we wouldn’t be able to share this very special birthday celebration with you right now!
If you are interested in keeping up-to-date with our latest stories, please subscribe to this blog and/or follow us on Twitter (@XeroxProduction)!
And what would a birthday celebration be without gifts?! We have an assortment of giveaways that we’d love to share with you, including: Print Providers Guide to Social Media written by Peter Muir, ProfitAccelerator Data-Driven Print Book, a Customizable Calendar Kit, ProfitAccelerator Individualized Media Essentials Book, and a Best-of-the-Best case study/success story book. Quantities are limited and will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To receive one of these fantastic resources, please comment and let us know what information you find helpful from this blog and what topics you’d be interested in hearing about as we begin the exciting journey towards our second-birthday!
Thank you for stopping by and celebrating with us!
November 9th, 2010
Sustainability is a topic that people tend to have a wide spectrum of opinions about. Some think it is a fad while others give priority to products that have environmental advantages.
We asked our customers and people on the street to share their thoughts about printing, if they think books are going away, if they read their “junk mail” and how quickly they think corporate brochures become obsolete.
So, what do you think?
October 15th, 2010
We’ve already talked about the environmental advantages of transactional-promotional documents and digital packaging, so now it’s time to shine some light on yet another application: Books and Manuals.
In the trade book segment alone today, about 2.3 billion trade books are sold each year in the U.S., accounting for about 500 billion offset pages. That is beginning to change, however. In my previous post about how monochrome continuous feed printers are supporting a shift in the books industry, I mentioned the number of digitally printed book pages in the United States will grow from about 80 billion in 2008 to more than 140 billion in 2015, including about 20 billion new color pages.
Digital printing offers the potential to eliminate the traditional book publishing supply chain’s wasteful practices of returning and destroying unsold books. In-store book manufacturing solutions also eliminate transportation energy expenditures from the supply chain, potentially optimizing environmental sustainability in book manufacturing. Xerox is a member of the Book Industry Environmental Council, which is trying to green book publishing. Here’s a closer look at the specific environmental advantages of digital book manufacturing:
On-demand production—Printing to fulfill orders eliminates tremendous amounts of costly waste. Rather than making educated guesses about how many books to print, POD enables books to be printed after they’re ordered. Roughly 30 to 40% percent of books produced in traditional processes are destroyed or returned. Thus, energy and cost associated with returning books can also be eliminated.
Distribute-then-print—Minimize cost and environmental impact for physical distribution. Today, small-footprint book production systems like the Espresso Book Machine can be found in stores and libraries, expanding the number of available titles in a location, and eliminating all waste and distribution from the supply chain, resulting in significant cost savings and revenue opportunities. Other distribute-and-print solutions include having production systems in warehouses and networks of regional printers, for producing books nearest the point of need.
Electronic job ordering and submission; paperless workflow and soft proofing—These processes reduce paper usage, and associated costs, while boosting efficiency.
Green paper choices—Offer recycled paper or paper with chain-of-custody certification designating it has been produced in a supply chain that promotes responsible forestry practices from harvesting to packaging. Some customers are willing to pay extra to include a chain-of-custody logo on their printed books.