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  • So. You Want to do Label and Package Printing

    So. You Want to do Label and Package Printing

    By Noel Ward

    You’ve been doing a nice mix of commercial printing and have a host of satisfied customers. A digital press or two have been taking up some real estate on your shop floor for a couple of years, helped expand your reach, and now you’re looking for more opportunities. You’re thinking labels and folding cartons seem like a fairly natural transition into packaging. After all, how hard can it be?

    Labels and folding cartons are often seen as the low hanging...
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  • Digital Textile Printing Likely to Fuel The Excitement at FESPA

    Digital Textile Printing Likely to Fuel The Excitement at FESPA

    by Sean O'Leary

    As New Years' tentative dawn turns into the glorious early morning of the year 2017, we note that the wide-format industry is already gearing up for FESPA 2017, the global print expo for the large format segment of the print world. Featuring about 700 exhibitors and a 23,000 sq. m. footprint, this mega show will take place at Messe Hamburg, Germany from May 8 – 12 2017. Reflecting the three ring circus beneath the big top tent of wide-format, the event will feature...
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  • Is This the End of Technology?

    Is This the End of Technology?

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Is it just me or does it seem to anyone else that print technology is slowing down?

    First, we seem to be in a time that’s nearly devoid of breakthroughs, those game-changing technological moments when the universe changes to uncover a totally different way of thinking and doing things. OK, inkjet is certainly in the process of reinventing the way some printing is done, but this is really more evolutionary than revolutionary. Inkjet has been...
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    Last edited by noelward; 01-18-2017, 08:11 AM.

  • Never Go to a Trade Show Again

    Never Go to a Trade Show Again

    By Noel Ward, Editor @ Large

    Sometime last year you may have gone to a trade show. What did you see? Did it matter? Did it push you over the edge to actually buy something? Or was it a semi-justifiable excuse to get out of the shop for a couple of days? It's OK if your answers are Not much; No; No; and Yes.

    No matter your answers, trade shows are not what they once were and are decreasing in importance. For example, the 2016 visitor tally at drupa came in around 260,000,...
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  • Skills MIS-Match: Three Signs Your MIS May Not Be For You

    Skills MIS-Match: Three Signs Your MIS May Not Be For You

    Skills MIS-Match: Three Signs Your MIS May Not Be For You
    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst, and Joe Lehn, PressWise

    Now more than ever print businesses have a need for their operation to be guided by some kind of central intelligence, usually called a Management Information System (MIS). The MIS is not by any means a new concept, but it is playing a greater role in today’s print businesses. The thing to remember is that not all MISes are created equal. Just as different employees...
    PressWise provides a single, SaaS-based print workflow system, with the comprehensive tools needed to streamline your operation and grow your business.
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  • Violet is the New Black: Epson SureColor P-Series for Printing & Packaging Proofing

    Violet is the New Black: Epson SureColor P-Series for Printing & Packaging Proofing

    Violet Is the New Black: Epson SureColor P-Series for Commercial Printing and Packaging Proofing

    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    One of the perennial challenges in any printing workflow is accurate proofing. Back in the day, when prepress workflows were still largely analog and film-based, proofing was not foolproof, so to speak, but color proofs generated from color-separated films gave a pretty accurate representation of what was going to come off press.
    ...
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  • Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Digital Press

    Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Digital Press

    Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Digital Press

    By Noel Ward, Editor @ Large

    There are a couple of legends about digital printing that continue to bring a lot of pain to some print providers. They hamper the expansion of digital print specifically and hurt the print industry in general. Ironically, parts of these legends were initiated and promulgated by some of the very people who built and sold digital presses.

    First is the idea that short runs are the main reason...
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  • MIS for the Masses: Printlogic Targets Small Print Businesses

    MIS for the Masses: Printlogic Targets Small Print Businesses

    MIS for the Masses: Printlogic Targets Small Print Businesses

    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    One major trend in print enterprise management software today is the emergence of MIS/CRM and workflow management systems that are as powerful as those used by the largest printing establishments but are tailored to, and are easy to use by, small and mid-size printers–that is, those in the three- to 20-employee range. The goal is to give smaller players all the benefits of...
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  • Canon Doubles Down on One

    Canon Doubles Down on One

    Canon Doubles Down on One

    By Noel Ward, Editor @ Large

    Long Island was humid. Hot. And flying in from the Maritimes took some time. But for a Canon event the effort is always worthwhile. Here’s a short take.

    Two or three times a year Canon updates journalists and analysts on how the company is moving forward, the new products being rolled out and how it is positioning itself in a changing marketplace. And so it was in early August when about 30 of us showed...
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  • An Introduction to the Marketing Supply Chain

    An Introduction to the Marketing Supply Chain

    An Introduction to the Marketing Supply Chain

    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    Most people reading this are likely familiar with the concept of the “supply chain,” the businesses that provide the resources that printers need to get jobs produced: paper suppliers, equipment dealers, consumables distributors, and so on. Naturally, printers are part of their customers’ supply chains. In fact, every business in each link in a supply chain has its own links that make...
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  • Print That Hits the Spot
    MyWildIrishProse
    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    “It just caught my eye as something different.”

    Such was the feeling of Greg Wallace, owner of Waltham, Mass.’s HPGprint, when he was given a demonstration of Duplo’s new DDC-810 Spot UV Coater at last year’s Graph Expo. “It looked like it was a different kind of machine and could add value.”

    “Added value” is the biggest driver of unique finishing options today, from digital embellishments like foil stamping...
    06-22-2017, 07:53 AM
  • What the Scribes & successful printers learned about automating
    MyWildIrishProse
    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    Students of printing history likely know the name Johannes Trithemius. He was a German abbot in the 1490s, about 40 years after the invention of the printing press. By Trithemius’ heyday, the printing revolution was in full swing, automating the process of reproducing documents and replacing the earlier method that involved hand-copying by scribes, monks cloistered and copying documents in scriptoria. After the printing press, demand for scribes...
    05-31-2017, 05:31 PM
  • What! You’re not Using Web2Print?
    noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Raise your hand if you remember jobs coming in on CDs or DVDs. Thanks!

    Now raise your hand if you remember jobs coming in on Zip Drives? A few more. Very good!

    How about on SyQuest drives? Excellent! (How does if feel to be that old?)

    Finally, how many of you had jobs come in as mechanicals, so you had to take a Photostat of every page and make plates so you could run it on your press? (How does it feel to be ancient?)...
    05-19-2017, 08:09 AM
  • New Affordable, Short-Run Finishing Systems:
    MyWildIrishProse
    A Competitive Edge for Commercial Printers?

    by Sean O'Leary
    Chief Technology Officer, PrintPlanet


    One of the hidden problems with the digital revolution is that it opens up new business opportunities for everyone – not just you. For example, you may have thought that a high volume inkjet press investment was a strategic move that would put you one step ahead of the competition, but in reality it turned out you’re just keeping up with the pack. For small-to-medium...
    05-11-2017, 09:45 AM
  • No Jackets Required
    noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Taking the jackets off your offset presses is the first advantage of adding LED-UV dryers to your press. After that, things get even better, putting an end to conventional drying methods while eliminating environmental concerns associated with old-school UV curing.

    Back in the day—and much of that day is still here—drying inks after printing required hot air or heat lamps. Forward-thinking printers who opted for UV inks had to add mercury-arc...
    04-11-2017, 01:25 PM
  • You Won’t Survive by Printing Alone
    noelward
    By Noel Ward

    In the mid-90s I was going into print shops, setting up internal networks, training prepress people on using QuarkXPress and dragging many shop owners kicking and screaming into the tenuous new world of digital file prep and digital printing. Some embraced the new technology while others were skeptical or resistant. Suffice it to say that those who survived were not the skeptics or resisters. A couple years later I was an active advocate for digital printing, editing a...
    04-10-2017, 08:15 AM
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