Technology & Solutions
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.
May 2nd, 2012
Written By Bill Michael
You know them: hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste. At drupa, each of your senses will be put to great use, as you will:
- Hear: The excitement of the 1000s of attendees in the print industry having conversations on a variety of topics.
- See: Technology and software that represents the future of our industry
- Touch: Printed samples with specialty media, innovative finishing, and special toner
- Smell: toner, ink and paper in the air as you walk by every vendors stand.
- Taste: German cuisine (maybe for the first time) and perhaps a few brands of German beer with some friends and colleagues.
At the Xerox stand (Hall 8b), your senses can best be used by seeing and touching the applications that we’ll be showcasing live in our stand, including many Best-of-the-Best winners. These winners include: IOS (Digital and Offset), Mediaware (Digital Packaging), MBA Group Limited (TransPromo), Telemail, S.L. (TransPromo), Easy Print (Photo Publishing), Printshop (Photo Publishing). Three additional winners include:
|DG3 Europe Limited
(Best Overall Solution, case study)
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the largest youth charity in the UK, wanted to enable their award winners to create and order personalized Achievement Packs online. They approached DG3 Europe Limited, who mapped out an end-to-end solution using FreeFlow Process Manager™ and the iGen4 with a Xerox FreeFlow™ Print Server – resulting in a 637% increase in usage of the achievement pack.
(Digital Packaging, case study)
Recognizing the growing area of digital packaging, De Budelse built FotoChoco.nl to enable orders of personalized boxes of chocolate. Using the iGen4 and FreeFlow Print Server, they were able to sell over 11,000 boxes of chocolate. (your sense of taste!)
(Direct Marketing, case study)
Using the Xerox Color 1000 Press, CopyCat used clear dry ink and personalized cross media to drive new business. The campaign generated a 10% response rate and helped bring in 20 new orders from new customers.
Please stop by Xerox Stand in Hall 8B to see and touch these great applications. We’ll find other ways to exercise your other senses!
February 8th, 2012
Once in a blue moon, a print application will cross my desk that catches my eye. The reasons differ: stunning design, elaborate finishing, personalization, or maybe its vivid color. However, a particular photo book titled, “Anthony’s Prayers,” caught my eye because of the simplicity of its design and more importantly because of story and the content within. I’ve always believed, “content is king.” This was proof.
The Author, Anthony Torrone, has an intriguing story. Anthony is developmentally disabled, the result of a flu-like sickness when he was a young boy. One day, he decided to write about all those things for which he was thankful. His writing is simple but so profound and the photo book pairs his writing with photos that have been taken of Anthony through his interesting life.
I could put my “print industry” hat on and comment on the quality of the finishing and how Color House Graphics did an outstanding job of creating a high quality application using the iGen4 but for me Anthony’s story and the writing he has developed is the bigger story. Color House Graphics and others were enablers for Anthony and his amazing story.
Content is king. Creating bodies of work that capture amazing stories is what makes the print industry so appealing. We are very privileged to not be just print operators, marketers and graphic designers but story tellers and dream makers that enable others to tell an even better story.
Have any other examples of great print applications that tell a story? I’m sure you have many…please share your stories.
April 14th, 2011
Written by Natalie Serrato, Technical & Social Marketing at Lytrod Software
Have you seen the new California Driver’s licenses? With fraud on the rise more than ever and the high demand for California ID’s in particular, the new licenses have more security features than they do person Identification information.
From ID’s to parking permits to event ticketing to certification credentials, it’s becoming clear that more and more documents need to be protected with multiple security features. Xerox has developed a unique, award-winning technology: FreeFlow VI Specialty Imaging. Lytrod Software’s DDC templates make use of this technology by marking digital documents with standard toners and without post processing.
Through this technology, you are able to embed variables into your security features, which add even more protection and personalization to your document. A major factor in the ease of duplication of security sensitive documents is the repetition of the security features on each document. By making each security feature unique to its particular document – it becomes that much harder to duplicate, especially in mass production.
Baseball season is here and for all those die hard sports fans, tickets to these events are a must! With every new season come scalpers with close-but-not-quite tickets ready to be sold to unknowing fans. Check out the image of the baseball ticket featuring specialty imaging effects to deter fraud:
- 2-layer Fluorescent Mark effect, which displays one layer of text in natural light and a second layer of “hidden” variable text that is only visible under fluorescent light.
- Variable MicroText, a font so small that it can only be read under magnification.
Adding variables and Specialty Imaging to your design is easy, just a few clicks of the mouse, in Lytrod’s Proform Designer VDP software. See how easy it is by viewing the video below. Additional videos can be found at www.youtube.com/lytrodsoftware.
Aside from sporting events, what type of documents do you come across that you feel should be better protected with security features?
March 15th, 2011
Written by Bert Salter, Business Development Manager
Like most sales-driven companies, EU Services is constantly trying to arm its sales people with up-to-date and relevant information for prospective clients. Now, we all know that sales people can be complainers, particularly about not having the right material needed to send to prospects and customers. Meeting the wants and needs of 13 sales reps – and their personalities – can be quite challenging for any marketing department.
It came as quite a shock when the idea for an on-demand variable brochure solution was embraced by almost the entire sales team. The concept was driven to execution by Cindy Kilgore, Creative Development Manager at EU Services. Knowing all too well the difficulty of keeping up with the moving target of a demanding sales force, she was excited to develop a flexible mail format and ordering solution. It meant reps could finally feature various combinations of services with personalized, on-demand collateral without impacting her department or marketing. We were also enthusiastic to take an “eat your own dog food” approach to the innovative marketing we offer to our clients.
After interviewing the sales reps and gathering a rather long wish list of how a solution for rep-customized and personalized marketing pieces would work, she sprang into action. Working closely with both the Sales, Marketing and MIS departments, the brochure and ordering process took shape over a period of 4 months. The end result is a variable digitally printed 11 x 17 brochure that each sales person can send to contacts in the company CRM system. The brochure highlights EU Services’ direct mail capabilities and supporting services and solutions. Each piece features one main solution, which is selected by the sales rep, and up to 3 supporting ones. The brochure offers an area for a customized “sticky” note, sales rep information (with optional photo), and the ability to select a client testimonial related to the vertical market or solution targeted. The piece also contains personalized cover imagery highlighting the recipient’s name, which is what shows through the full picture window of a 9×12 envelope.
The Brochures can be ordered by the sales team for brochures printed – and mailed, if desired – within 24 hours. They can choose from multiple delivery options including PDF via email, delivery straight to the rep or directly to mail. After orders are placed, the brochures are created using the XMPie composition engine and are produced early each morning on our Xerox iGen3. The best part is that sales reps are actually using this collateral to market to customers every day. It’s a miracle! Future plans are to add to the site a multitude of letters and other resources to include in the mailings that are sent out.
EU Services will be joining both Xerox and XMPie at Direct Marketing Day at Your Desk, an online tradeshow that you can attend today from the comfort of your desk. To attend, simply click here and register.
Work that Rocks. The 2011 Xerox Best-of-the-Best Contest is Now Open – Celebrating the Leaders of the Digital Printing World!Submitted by Bill Michael
February 1st, 2011
Are you looking for new revenue-generating ideas for your business? Whether it be a targeted 1:1 marketing campaign that generates extraordinary response rates, an automated book production solution resulting in huge profits and massive growth forecast, or how about a transpromo statement that reduces costs while still boosting print volumes?
Our Premier Partners have shown through the years that you don’t need to look any further than the Xerox Best-of-the-Best Contest to see real examples of how companies all around the world are implementing these solutions, and helping to transform the digital print industry along the way!
Exclusively for members of the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network, the Best-of-the-Best Contest recognizes this collection of companies for the innovative work they continually produce that delights their customers and drives real business results.
And now, *drum roll please!* it is with great pleasure that we announce the opening of this year’s Xerox Best-of-the-Best Contest!
Premier Partners, submit your best digital work today in any of the following categories:
-Digital and Offset
We also have some exciting new additions to the program this year, including our Printers’ Choice Award – allowing you to vote amongst the work of your peers and have a say in who really is the best of the best!
In addition, the Digital Trailblazer Award will be given to the work best demonstrating true innovation through emerging technologies – such as Clear Dry Ink, Specialty Imaging including GlossMark® Text and MicroText Font, QR codes or Social Media integration!
But you’ll want to hurry; this year’s Best-of-the-Best Contest closes April 1, 2011! Enter Today!