Category Archives: Shared Articles

PUR…What is it and why should I care?

PUR…What Is It and Why Should I Care?

PUR StrengthSuperior binding strength and lay-flat documents

Polyurethane Reactive, commonly referred to as PUR, is a polyurethane-based adhesive that is attracting popular attention due to superior binding strength, flexibility and eco-friendly nature.

Growing Demand

There is a growing demand for digital color book binding, with much of the imaging being done on high gloss paper stock. Conventional EVA hot-melt glue has difficulty creating a strong bind on coated stocks and generaly has poor lay-flat qualities. However, PUR hot-melt glue can provide superior bind strength and lay-flat of offset and digitally-imaged sheets printed on a wide range of coated stocks.

PUR bound books also outperform their EVA counterparts in their ability to maintain integrity of the bind under extreme temperatures, from – 4° to 248° F for PUR versus 32° to 140° F for EVA. What does all this mean? For example, an EVA-bound snowmobile user manual might become brittle in winter, while pages might fall out of a car manual that’s been baking in a glovebox during the heat of summer.

Superior Binding Strength

PUR also provides superior binding strength versus EVA adhesives, and has page-pull and page flex ratings that can be 40 to 60% higher. Uncured PUR is thermoplastic in nature; it reacts with the moisture in the air and within the paper stock to create a strong cross-linking bind that is resistive to re-melting. PUR is applied in a much thinner layer, so usage per book is less than EVA. The thin application and flexible nature of cured PUR enables books to open more easily to the gutter and lay flatter, preventing the book or pages from turning or closing prematurely. PUR is less affected by the wide variety of inks, varnishes, oils and solvents that can migrate into the glue line and cause EVA adhesives to fail. Additionally, PUR will create a superior bind on certain substrates such as coated stocks, photographic papers, recycled stocks, crossgrained stocks, acetates, and digitally imaged stocks. Although most PUR adhesives are very versatile, it is always best to discuss your applications and binding system with your adhesive supplier to insure that you are using the right adhesive for the best results.

Environmentally Friendly

PUR scores points in terms of environmental friendliness too. PUR-bound books are fully recyclable, whereas EVA glue must be separated from the paper. Energy conservation is another plus, since PUR is applied at 248° F whereas many EVA hot-melts are applied at higher temperatures. If there is a drawback to PUR versus EVA, it is that the books generally require a longer cure time prior to three-knife trimming or\handling of the books for operations such as casing-in and packaging. EVA sets-up very quickly, so books can be trimmed and shipped almost immediately after binding. Many of today’s PUR products will set sufficiently for trimming in a matter of minutes, but full cure time will vary widely depending upon a number of factors such as: binding substrates, book thickness, available moisture in the air and paper stock, as well as the specific adhesive being used. However if you are looking for a stronger, more flexible bind on a wide range of substrates, PUR just might be the answer.

Article provided by Standard Horizon. Click here to download original article. 


MSL
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
1.800.343.4231
midstatelitho.net

Paper Cutter Safety – Smartphone meets guillotine blade

Paper Cutter Safety

Smartphone meets guillotine blade

This week an interesting photo popped up in the Commercial Printing subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/CommercialPrinting). In the photo you can clearly see that a smartphone met an unfortunate demise under a guillotine blade. This photo is an interesting case but also serves as a reminder of basic operator safety procedures for paper cutters. It also serves as a testament to the raw power behind a hydraulic guillotine. The poster goes on to explain that the guillotine didn’t miss a beat and the blade was undamaged; not even a nick in the cutting edge.

Back in the early days of printing, it was common for many shops to have a token production worker missing a finger or two. Not by negligence or carelessness, but due to the not-yet-adopted safety standards for equipment. If you spend enough time working with unprotected equipment with exposed mechanisms; it’s only a matter of time before an accident occurs. Mistakes happen and with heavy equipment the stakes are high.

Nowadays, equipment is far safer to operate. Safety organizations and equipment certifications have helped manufacturers to design safety into their machines. Modern paper cutters utilize light beams that will stop the blade if the beam is broken. Cutting yourself is the ultimate nightmare but there are other ways to get hurt. Paper cutters are very safe to operate but I still often see things that make me cringe.

One cardinal rule of paper cutters is to never leave anything on the cutter bed. Traditionally we are talking about rulers, coffee cups and that sort of thing. Any hard object being cut by the blade represents a major safety risk. Objects can snap and fly out from under the blade (even coins can become projectiles), injuring the operator.  This is why all jogging blocks are made of wood or plastic with no metal. Wood grain will give under the blade, being crushed in the process in a rather uneventful way. Plastic jogging blocks will flex and absorb some of the stress before ultimately snapping, causing great risk to the operator. Lately, it’s become very common for people to use their cell phones as calculators while operating the cutter. Most cutters have calculation built into the control panel but some vintages do not. Although understandable, it’s no excuse to neglect safety. Paper cutters are not designed to cut anything but stock and keeping everything off the cutting bed will reduce chances of injury.

Be careful out there, and keep your phone and other miscellaneous items off the bed!


Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

PostPress Magazine and MGI Demonstrate Variable Data Foiling (VDF)…

PostPress Magazine and MGI Demonstrate Variable Data Foiling (VDF) and Digital Embossing with Special Personalized GRAPH EXPO Issue

MGI JETvarnish 3D and iFOIL

MELBOURNE, FL, USA (September 9th, 2015) – PostPress Magazine, the journal of the two leading print finishing trade associations in America, the FSEA & BIA, has partnered with MGI Digital Technology, Mohawk Fine Papers, KDX America and API Foils, to produce a special “GRAPH EXPO 2015” version of their quarterly magazine with Personalized & Variable Data Foil (VDF) Embossed Cards adorning the cover.

Post Press Magazine is the official publication of the Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) and the Binding Industries Association (BIA), affiliate of the Printing Industries of America (PIA). As the voice of the country’s most experienced and advanced print finishing craftspeople, the magazine provides insight and education on business and technology trends for members seeking to add value to printed material.

Jeff Peterson, FSEA Executive Director, stated “We believe that the combination of new digital techniques and the traditional craft experience of our membership represents the future of the postpress industry. This personalized embossed foil project with MGI illustrates how digital enhancement can help make printed material more meaningful in an inter-connected, multi-channel world.”

Kevin Abergel, MGI Vice President of Sales & Marketing, “This is a classic example of the unique Variable Data Foiling (VDF) and digital embossing capabilities of our integrated JETvarnish 3D Spot UV Coater & iFOIL solution. Each card has a different person’s name. The textured graphical elements of the Post Press cover cards vary from 50 to 25 microns high. A full implementation of our system can produce special effects up 200 microns in height on a single pass for specialty embossing work.”

The project was done in partnership with MGI Business Partners Mohawk Fine Papers, KDX America (lamination film) and API Foils. The cards were cut by premier finisher and FSEA member, The Printer’s Edge. The magazine was printed by commercial printer and publishing specialist Allen Press.

Each card was printed on the MGI Meteor DP8700 Xl+ with variable data (VDP) and enhanced on the JETvarnish 3D & iFOIL with Variable Data Finishing (VDF) techniques. The MGI iFOIL was recently honored by the Printing Industries of America (PIA) with a 2015 InterTech Technology Award to match the one earned by the JETvarnish 3D in 2013.

Abergel added “As an associate member of the FSEA and PIA, we encourage all print finishers – and all printers looking to expand and grow their business with the addition of profitable new digital finishing services – to explore the benefits of membership in the FSEA & BIA organizations.”

MGI Media Contact
Kevin Abergel
Vice President of Marketing & Sales
MGI USA, Inc.
+1-321-751-6755

For more information, please visit www.postpressmag.com, www.mgiusa.com, www.fsea.com, www.printing.org/bia, www.mohawkconnects.com, www.kdxamerica.com, www.apigroup.com. www.allenpress.com, www.printersedgefl.com and www.graphexpo.com.


Midstate Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

Three Years Later, the John P. Pow Company Explains How the MGI JETvarnish 3D Changed Their Business Model

Three Years Later, the John P. Pow Company Explains How
the MGI JETvarnish 3D Changed Their Business Model.

3rd Generation Publishing Services Specialist Looks Back on MGI Digital Finishing Investment with New Customers and Business Growth.


MELBOURNE, FL (USA), September 8th, 2015 – Three years ago, the John P. Pow Company and MGI Digital Graphic Technology joined forces to help expand digital finishing options for the book publishing industry. Since then, JP Pow has been building and growing the range of its publishing and printing services portfolio with the MGI JETvarnish 3D Digital Finishing Solution. Together, John P. Pow Co. & MGI are helping publishers sell more books.

A Tradition of American Publishing & Printing Goes Digital
For over 70 years, the John P. Pow Co. has been providing expert lithography & print finishing services to some of the world’s finest publishers – with a nationally recognized specialty in both paperback book covers and hardback dust jackets. “Our original investment in the MGI JETvarnish 3D was designed to provide our clients with the highest quality standards and most flexible design options possible.” said Mr. Mark Finneran, JP Pow’s Vice President.

“MGI’s technology helped launch us towards the digital future.” added Mr. Finneran. “We’ve expanded our trade service business and experienced successful growth in “touch-centric” book cover market categories in publishing like holiday, seasonal, children’s, home décor, cooking and technical works”.

“Now we have more finishing options for all kinds of book covers and other types of commercial printing projects as well. The JETvarnish 3D produces strong, finely detailed textures and a durable enhancement effect that customers love.”

MGI System In-House Leads to Improved Quality & Project Management
“Prior to working with MGI, we outsourced our Spot UV work. Now, by bringing the JETvarnish 3D in-house, we can manage our costs, ensure high quality, offer more customer options and manage our production schedules more effectively. For the last three years, the machine has been in continual production mode – at times going 2 shifts non-stop.”

Profitable Prototyping, Short Runs & POD Services
”Furthermore, the JETvarnish 3D’s ability to quickly prototype new designs and implement short runs has helped us increase our capacity for highly profitable customized projects such as limited editions, private printings and E-Commerce-driven Print-on-Demand (POD) services.”

Improved Competitive Position
“The addition of MGI Digital Finishing Services has helped us establish a better competitive position.”, Finneran continued, “The ability to quickly prototype and implement short runs gives us a sales advantage in our key target markets. The features & functions of the JETvarnish 3D give us something new to sell and show customers. The MGI digital enhancements are a brand new change in the industry and are a sexy & exciting advance towards the future of the print finishing business.”

Increased Quality Enhances Customer Experiences
Mark Finneran summarized JP Pow’s experience with MGI digital finishing technology by saying, “Our relationship with key clients has growth and strengthened with the high quality output, improved job scheduling, more flexible project management and greater customer satisfaction that comes from the MGI JETvarnish 3D Spot UV 2D coats & 3D texture effects.”

“We’re honored to help contribute to the creative skillcraft of such a respected firm as JP Pow. For three generations they have helped publishers produce great books that get noticed, purchased and read.” said Kevin Abergel, MGI Vice President of Marketing & Sales.

MGI’s JETvarnish 3D digital finishing product supports production printing applications to produce eye-catching, luxurious-feeling 3D foil & embossed textured effects. The JETvarnish 3D streamlines spot UV coating, embossed tactile coating and foiling through a fully digital process that requires no screens or dies and no minimum runs. MGI’s creative enhancement options help graphic artists & printers utilize their craft experience to offer dynamic new digital designs, features and formats.


About the JP Pow Company: Premier Printing & Publishing Specialist
In 1935, John Percy Pow started using a one-color letter press to produce advertising material for Boston businesses. The business grew when John Pow’s son Jack entered the business. In the late 50’s, Jack Pow teamed up with Tom Finneran Sr. and the two became partners. Soon afterwards, the firm moved to offset printing ranging from one to four color technology.

From then on, John P. Pow Co. steadily built a reputation for providing publishers with high-quality book components along with top-notch, personalized customer service. John Pow branched out and is now serving customers both locally and nationally. JP Pow is a strong reliable business with nearly 50 employees working day and night at their South Boston location. Even with this growth, John P. Pow continues to offer the type of personalized customer service a small firm does best. They remain a family-owned business, with the founders’ grandchildren now actively involved in operations.


MGI Media Contact:
Kevin Abergel
Vice President of Marketing & Sales
MGI USA, Inc.
+1 321 751-6755


Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd. Flint, MI 48507
Toll Free: 1-800-343-4231
www.midstatelitho.net

How Printing Technology is Changing School Districts

How Printing Technology is Changing School Districts

By Terry Cruikshank

By integrating new printer technology, schools are realizing greater efficiencies and cost savings both inside and outside the classroom. Creative projects are finding a new home in schools with the ability to print in clear and white, and banner printing capabilities. Some projects previously requiring outsourcing can now be completed in-house.

Present-day schools can do much more than just make copies. In today’s tech-driven world, new printer technology allows schools to create in-house “print shops” (or communication centers as they are often called) delivering outputs such as invitations, envelopes and banners. In addition, programs, labels, posters and more can be quickly and efficiently created for theater, sporting events and other school activities. Students and faculty are excited and intrigued by the color options and collaborative projects they can create together right in their building.

Not only are the advantages to new printing capabilities creative, they’re practical too. They eliminate wasted time and the need to outsource certain materials on a regular basis.

Check out the photo below to see some samples of projects that can be printed using a “print shop” with the OKI C911dn. The possibilities are endless!

c941-printer-samples

Terry Cruikshank
Senior Marketing Manager
Thursday, June 11, 2015

Article Provided by OKI Data Americas


Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

Kelvyn Press Goes Digital with MGI…

def8ce2c-364d-4e64-b87f-0f1a1c669705Kelvyn Press Goes Digital with MGI’s JETvarnish 3D, iFOIL & Meteor DP8700XL+

81 Year-Old Commercial Printing Leader Expands Services & Revenue Streams with MGI Digital Printing & Finishing Technology

MELBOURNE, FL USA (August 31st, 2015) – Kelvyn Press, Inc. in Broadview, IL, started in a garage across from Kelvyn Park in Chicago many decades ago. It grew and moved into The Donahue Building in ChiTown’s storied “Printer’s Row” neighborhood. In 1968, the Malacina family took over the business and has since expanded nationally by creating a separate firm, called Financial Graphic Service (FGS) with a dedicated focus on government, financial, banking, securities, health care, legal and regulatory projects.

Kelvyn Press & MGI 2015 Print Industry Awards

In 2015, the Printing Industries of America (PIA) recognized the quality of Kelvyn’s work with MGI digital technology with a coveted “Premier Print Award” (popularly known as a “Benny” after Benjamin Franklin, the founding father and leading printer of the American Republic). Additionally, the Binding Industries of America (BIA) awarded them a Product of Excellence (POE) Award. The PIA also recognized the MGI iFOIL product in 2015 with an internationally prestigious “InterTech Technology Award” to match the one earned by the JETvarnish 3D in 2013.

Kelvyn Press & MGI Partnership: Digital Helps the Business Grow

After 80 years in business, Kelvyn Press invested in MGI technology in 2014 to launch a new Digital Print Department with the Meteor DP8700XL+ press and the JETvarnish 3D & iFOIL integrated finishing suite. They also upgraded the JETvarnish 3D with the T2 option – a second row of inkjet heads that can double throughput speed and Spot UV elevations up to 200 microns. Since then, the machines have not stopped running and their business has grown with new work producing brochures, catalogs, invitations, envelopes, business cards, books and many more profitable new enhanced print applications.

Printing Industry Trend: The Move to Digital Technology

Tony Malacina, Kelyvn’s Director of Operations, stated “Digital has been getting bigger each year. The whole industry is going digital. It is an inevitable business transition of technology. The MGI JETvarnish & iFOIL finishing solutions have opened up a whole new doorway to new business opportunities.”

MGI Digital Printing & Finishing Business Impact

“The MGI digital technology sells itself. Customers fall in love with their samples. We prepare “Before & After” samples of client work to highlight the dramatic impact & enhancement of the JETvarnish 3D Spot UV Coater & iFOIL products.”

“Working with the prototyping options of the JETvarnish 3D & iFOIL allows customers to play with ideas and experiment with different choices. The MGI digital technology brings out their creative spirit and helps them appreciate the value of print.”

“With MGI, there are so many foil, color, texture and substrate options to choose from. Customers love being able to pick and choose which variations of 2D spot coats, 3D enhanced textures and embossed foil coloring they want. We find this helps build good customer relationships, leads to more referrals and ultimately generates more revenue for the firm.”

MGI VDP Personalization & POD Customization Value:

“Clients can change their print selections and enhancement options to adapt to changing business conditions or market cycles. For example, for each season, the output can have a different theme for Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter – or an English or Spanish Version personalized for each recipient.”

Print Samples as Sales Tools:

“We’ve also created a gallery of samples in our visitor area. Customers get inspired to use their imagination for new projects – which leads to new revenue. With MGI digital printing & finishing technology, all we need is a PDF file to print a new brochure or publish a new book.”


MGI Media Contact:
Kevin Abergel
Vice President of Marketing & Sales
MGI USA, Inc.
k.abergel@mgiusa.com
+1 321 751-6755


Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

Preventative Folder Maintenance

preventive-folder-maintenance_3

3 Reasons for Preventative Folder Maintenance + Incentive = Do It Now

Why perform preventative maintenance on a folding machine? Is this expense necessary and what are the benefits? The answers are quite simple.

  1. It is important to meet the deadlines promised to your customers. Having a piece of equipment break down in the middle of an important job can result in paying employees to work overtime or, even worse, you can’t deliver on time, losing that important clients’ future business forever. Doing regular preventative maintenance can eliminate or greatly reduce this possibility.
  2. A folder like any piece of equipment, is a major investment for your company that should be maximized and protected. With care, a BAUM folder should last for years if you take care of it. However, the failure to do such simple things as clean the pump filters, regular lubrication, checking for worn belts, etc. can greatly shorten the life of your machine and/or result in an unexpected breakdown at the worst possible time. A Preventative Maintenance schedule can help you protect this investment and minimize unscheduled down time.
  3. It is cheaper to maintain your folder on an ongoing basis. It’s expensive to have parts flown in overnight when a belt breaks or a bearing seizes up because you didn’t inspect it or lubricate it properly. By having a preventive maintenance program you are in control of when your folder is down for maintenance.

Efficient and Money Saving Tune-Up Kits for Folders

Baumfolder has tune-up kits available for its Table Top and most Floor Model Folders. These tune-up kits contain the commonly needed parts that should be changed for preventative maintenance. The kits can save you a considerable amount of money compared to buying the individual parts.

Article Provided by Baumfolder Corporation. Click here to view our Baumfolder products.


Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

What’s in Store for Print in 2015?

The-Road-To-The-Future-Of-PrintWhat’s in Store for Print in 2015?
By Deborah Corn | January 12, 2015

Greetings Earthlings, Prink Geeks and Citizens of the Printerverse! It’s a new year and while I am sure you have been planning for it, it’s always nice to hear some print prognostications from a wide range of industry pros. You can use this info to validate your direction or adjust it, seek out events to help you understand these topical subjects better, and even find help to implement them into your business. Personally I am using this post as a guide to creating conversations with you, bringing these topics to life through our weekly #PrintChat, and partnering up with experts to provide free educational opportunities.

While I would never refer to myself as an industry expert, this is my site and one of the perks of ownership is that I can add my thoughts here – so I am going to! My 2015 CMYK Manifesto is coming out in January’s News From The Printerverse, so make sure you are subscribed!

After mine, the comments below are posted in the order I received them. Happy New Year and Print Long and Prosper in 2015!

Deborah Corn – Intergalactic Ambassador To The Printerverse, Print Media Centr / @PrintMediaCentr

Print and Paper are going to be directly in the line of fire as far as “the environment” even more in 2015. Consumers find going “paperless” a quick and easy way to feel environmentally responsible, and brands will need to show they care by providing even more paperless engagement and options in their marketing and packaging. It is up to us to help customers print smarter so resources aren’t wasted, and help educate customers and consumers that using paper and printing responsibly won’t leave the earth barren of trees and depleted of oxygen. Supporting Two Sides (select the country that applies to you) is a fantastic way to make sure we set the record straight, and help end corporate greenwashing. Visit the site and consider joining as a member for as little as $250 for the year. “Click. Share. Bust Some Myths” as often as you can through your channels… we are all in this together!

Cary Sherburne – Senior Editor and Director of Services, WhatTheyThink.com@csherburne 

2015 will be another year of both consolidation and transformation for the printing and publishing industries. As the global consumer base increasingly turns to mobile communications for securing and communicating information and entertainment, there will be an increasing array of opportunities for both print service providers and publishers to find innovative ways to monetize new, mobile-oriented services.

Despite the many years of consolidation these industries have undergone, 2015 is already shaping up to be a busy year in terms of events, both for customers and analysts/journalists. This is a sign that despite, or perhaps because of, the many disruptive forces we have been dealing with, the supplier community sees opportunity and is investing in these events to keep the momentum going.

All in all, 2015 should be an exciting year – and a vibrant run-up to drupa 2016, where we can hope to see even more innovation surface.

David Murphy – WW Marketing Director, HP Inkjet Web Press division / @DavidJMurphy

Remember when the market shifted from dumb phones to smart phones? CRTs to LCDs? Dial-up to broadband? DVDs to flash drives? In 2015, we will start to see the beginnings of a seismic shift in print from offset to inkjet. Quality, media versatility, and application expansion will give more print providers, brands, agencies, and publishers the ‘aha’ moment, inspiring them to shift more work to high-quality production inkjet for improved impact and ROI.

Mr. D. Eadward Tree – Chief Arborist at Dead Tree Edition / @DeadTreeEdition

Postal rates next will be more unpredictable than they have been in a long time. This article explains it pretty well: http://deadtreeedition.blogspot.com/2014/09/postal-rates-in-2015-could-rise-or-fall.html. With the updated information in this article, we could have a rate increase in April and then a larger rate decrease in the summer when the “temporary” surcharge goes away. But you know how things go with the government: “Temporary” taxes have a way of becoming permanent ones — in this case either from a court order or because Congress decides that mailers should pay for its bad decisions.

And another: Sales of printed books will do well next year, perhaps increasing. But traditional offset book printers will suffer, as more book printing shifts to digital presses, especially for print on demand.

Nigel Cliffe – Driving improved business-to-business return from Social Media at Value Exchange Ltd / @nigelcliffe

Personalisation, across all channels, will be of increasing importance in 2015.

Mass marketing used to be tolerated – just one of those things you had to bear. Now it damages brands. Period. We receive so many messages in our day that those untargeted messages have moved from being acceptable to unnecessary, to damn right annoying.

Engagement is the buzzword for 2015 – genuine one-to-one communication. 2015 will be the year in which marketers will change their efforts to converting opportunities one by one – not by throwing enough at the wall and hoping it sticks. With the exception of a very few, developing business is not about numbers, but about seeking genuine engagement with a few.

Meeting hundreds of people as I do in my world of LinkedIn training for business to business solutions I ask a simple question. “How many new clients would it take to make you very successful next year?” One a week? One a month? The numbers are rarely beyond two figures. Why then do we mass market our effort to so many people hoping a moment of magic will occur? For that’s what it would take for a random connection to do business with you. No – you are far more likely to do business with someone with whom you have created a genuine relationship through Know, Like, Trust.

So there we have it – the year in which the pendulum swings towards the arc of personalization! Oh, and picking up the ‘phone will come back into fashion

Pat McGrew M-EDP, CMP – Evangelist, (Print, Inkjet, Production Mail) at Hewlett-Packard / @PatMcGrew

2015 is the year before drupa so a lot of things will slow down to get ready for big announcements there. But, that doesn’t mean nothing cool will happen. New solutions with higher resolution across a variety of platforms, printers adopting new media to print on, and great new finishing solutions will come to the floor to change the market perception of what printing using digital technologies really means. The first big WOWs should start in January and keep on coming!

Catherine Doggett – National Marketing and Sustainability Manager, K.W.Doggett Fine Paper / @kwdoggett

More value add. Paper and print as the message/the experience rather than just a medium to deliver printed words on. Less transactional work and more wow factor on shorter runs. More trade printing. More digital.

Nathan Doggett, National Sales Manager, K.W.Doggett Fine Paper / @kwdoggett

Print has really expanded now into many new areas – so lots more paper diversification to continue next year.  Clients want more choice and are always chasing new stocks and machine technology is dictating this. New machines/ new paper sizes/new substrates.  Lastly, tactile stocks have been making a comeback for a few years and I think this will continue. People want their print to stand out. Smaller print runs with a powerful/interesting feel and look. Think Buffalo/SKIN/Matter/Knight Vellum – touch/feel/excite/spec/boom town!!

future_of_cloud

Joanne Gore – Director of Marketing, Avanti / @avantisystems

I predict that 2015 will see a turning point in the Print industry, as we begin to integrate both online and offline marketing strategies for both end-users as well as ourselves. As I recently wrote in “News from the Printerverse”, we are an industry with a rich history in craftsmanship and (very) old-school technology. And although we have struggled over the years, we have the opportunity to marry some of these old-school techniques with new school ideas. We’re going to start seeing more and more cross-over, with the incorporation of QR codes and AR (Augmented Reality), resulting in the best of both physical and virtual worlds.

I also believe that now, more than ever, the future is wrapped in the Cloud. The focus will continue to be customer-centric, with printers requiring instantaneous access to all aspects of a job as it moves through the shop, while eliminating breaks in the workflow. Investing in cloud-based software, which also works as a solution to their Print MIS concerns, is the way to go to ensure the biggest “bang for their buck”.  Companies who have not moved forward and/or invested in this technology will quickly lag.

Trish Witkowski – Chief Folding Fanatic, Foldfactory.com / @foldingfanatic

With all of the privacy issues and technology breaches we’re seeing in the digital space – and the ease and frequency in which they seem to be happening, I think we’re going to see a rediscovery of mail. Privacy is one of its greatest benefits, so my prediction is that there will be renewed interest in mail as a private and targeted marketing and communications medium.

Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing, Agfa Graphics, North America / @agfagraphics 

When we look forward to 2015, there are a number of trends that point to continued solid growth opportunities in the UV Sign & Display market. Overall, customers are focusing on productivity, efficient end-to-end integration and ROI.

Print service providers (PSPs) will continue to buy more productive equipment and see the value of automation (automated board feeders/ABF, etc). Workflow is gaining importance. PSPs are becoming fully integrated with workflow solutions that improve file delivery, offer consistent color management and link them to their upstream clients via web-to-print. Successful PSPs know the ultimate goal is to increase customer satisfaction, gain efficiencies and save time.

Customers are looking to expand their application scope and broaden their market reach into the world of industrial inkjet. Digital inkjet manufacturing is becoming feasible on existing inkjet printing platforms. Examples include printing doors, cabinet fronts, touch sensors or personalized sporting equipment.

In the mid-segment and high-end market, businesses will continue to expand by offering printing capability with finishing, tooling, mounting and multi-media utilizing various inkjet technologies to remain relevant and grow.

Chloe Mahendra-Fuji, Print Diva / @ChloePrintDiva

2015 will be the breakout year for conversion of a lot of print that doesn’t need to happen on high end offset presses to great, equivalent digital presses. It’s a new generation of print buyers and print specifiers, and they are finally getting on board the digital train. From packaging to posters,  direct mail marketing to in store signage, digital gives you the flexibility, color reliability, and innovative substrate alternatives. I can’t wait!

Ron Pergande – Director of Digital Media, GPA Specialty Substrates / @RedCoolerRon 

I think disruptive print communications will continue to grow in popularity and evolve in the coming year. Innovations such as 3D printing and augmented reality are taking print to another level, challenging the boundaries of traditional print while adding value to it. These innovations are also making it possible to engage audiences in more dynamic ways and across a variety of media to make messages more memorable.

Greg Kestler – Director of Technical Products for Pressure Sensitive Paper & Printable Films, GPA Specialty Substrates / @AskGPA

Point-of-sale and point-of-purchase graphics have been strong in the recent past, and I anticipate that this will not change in 2015. These tried and true applications will continue to thrive, and I also believe packaging will continue in popularity.

Stephanie Gaddin – CEO, Dolphinworxs@dolphinworxs

2014 saw the explosion of web-2-print , vendors seemed to pop up almost monthly, with everything from simple shopfront ordering systems, branded for print, all the way up to massively complicated and highly integrated web stores where clients could design, approve, order and pay for their print.

What I am most excited about for 2015 though is the evolution of the Print MIS as a tool for smaller businesses, and what the fierce competition means for the printing industry as a whole. Lots of software vendors means there is a good strong market for software products in printing ; what a good indicator of an industry that is not dying!

Many people have taken steps to move online (or into the cloud if you want to use the latest buzzwords), either by shifting their hardware infrastructure offsite into managed servers, or simply by using tools such as managed email accounts, online CRM packages, or online accounting. Once we make that mental shift, it becomes easier to grasp the value of an integrated MIS that is not only offsite, but managed and hosted for you.

Many people keep predicting massive growth in the “cloud”, I believe we may have finally reached a mass acceptance and I predict a tipping point in 2015. I think that by December 2015 more printing companies will have moved “into the cloud” than not.

Smaller companies will choose managed solutions including online software, larger companies will want more finely grained technical control and will choose offsite managed servers that are accessed remotely, but still “in the cloud” none the less.

I also predict a much bigger International Print Day celebration, we will trend in Australia, and possibly even the planet this year. Viva #IPD15!

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Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

We’ve Seen the Future of Direct Mail, and It’s Awesome

We’ve Seen the Future of Direct Mail, and It’s Awesome

By Christine Alexander | January 8th, 2015

crystal-ballIf I had a crystal ball and could look into both the past and future of direct mail, I can guarantee I’d see two completely different scenes. Direct mail from five years ago is drastically different than direct mail today.

Just ask print guru Jim Hamilton, a 27-year direct mail industry veteran. As a group director at InfoTrends, Hamilton oversees production consulting services, including digital printing, wide format, packaging & labels, production workflow and variable data tools, document outsourcing, market research, and forecasting for product and market analysis reports.

In a recent conversation, Hamilton shared his thoughts on the direct mail industry – both where it is today and where he thinks it’s headed.

What’s the hottest thing happening in direct mail right now?

According to Hamilton, marketing automation is the hottest trend right now. Giving people what they want when they want it is crucial in the grand scheme of the marketing mix.

Perhaps most importantly, you have to be able to do this across multiple channels. You want to connect with your consumers online, with social media for example, but you also need mobile and email marketing.

With tools like quick response (QR), augmented reality (AR), near field communication and personalized URLs (PURLs), marketers can use print pieces to engage with consumers online. PURLs also help in the automation process. Campaigns can be set up to trigger emails to customers based on activity and inactivity, and connect with social media networks to reach consumers. At the same time, PURLs track the campaign numbers, which you can use to help figure out your marketing return on investment.

How can you be personal—without being creepy?

Digital printing has changed the landscape of what’s possible with direct mail. With variable imaging and messaging, marketers can create more relevant communications. But how do you avoid coming off as creepy?

First and foremost, Hamilton recommends leveraging more than just a person’s name. There are so many elements that you can consider when making collateral more relevant to the recipient. He suggests diving into specific locations, even a specific neighborhood, or looking at buying patterns and playing off what interests your recipients.

Hamilton suggests not saying, “We saw you bought product X; here are products Y & Z that complement your recent purchase nicely.” Instead, get creative and use what you know about them. If they’ve been purchasing the same can of tomatoes on a consistent basis, why not send them a recipe featuring their preferred brand and offer up a coupon?

When it comes to the creepiness factor, Hamilton made an excellent point that the Internet has greatly impacted what will creep consumers out. Think about it – today you can go to virtually any site and ads will pop up in the sidebar that advertise the exact product you just Googled. That’s normal, not creepy.

Digital printing has also made it possible to print variable messaging on outer envelopes that can capture a recipient’s attention and drive them to find out what’s inside. Pitney Bowes client, Wilen Direct, did just that with Pitney Bowes Print+ Messenger™ Color Inkjet System, and their customers are reaping the benefits. You can read their success story here.

Where is the industry going?

Perhaps my favorite part of our conversation was hearing what Hamilton had to say about the future.

We currently hear a lot about digital inkjet Web technologies and how they’re impacting the digital sphere of printing, from highly variable books where literally every single page is unique, to variable couponing paired with variable perforation.

The next step, according to Hamilton, is towards cut-sheet inkjet solutions. The option of printing on separate sheets can help boost productivity rates, plus it’s cost-effective for direct mailers that don’t quite have the volume to consider digital inkjet Web solutions.

The Future is Exciting

Anyone who’s been in the direct mail industry for the last five to 10 years understands how quickly the digitization of the world is affecting the print component of direct marketing. The future will be no different.

Whether you’re looking for interaction, or simply want to get more creative with variability at larger volumes, the future may just be what you’re waiting for.


Article Provided by Brilliant Communications


Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net

4 Reasons Why Print Newspapers are Still Relevant

newspaper-edited
4 Reasons Why Print Newspapers are Still Relevant
Article Provided by: ChoosePrint.org

With so many “doom and gloom” stories about the future of print
newspapers, we thought we’d take a look at some of the reasons why print
newspapers are still relevant for both readers and advertisers. Here is some
food for thought:

Print ads spur action – A recent study conducted by Frank N. Magid
Associates for the Newspaper Association of America found that 40% of U.S.
adults have taken an action online as a result of reading or seeing an ad in a
print newspaper in the past 30 days. In addition, 78% of adults have taken
some action in the past 30 days as a result of an ad in a circular that was
included in the newspaper package.1

Print readers recall more than online readers – Another study, conducted
by a researcher at the University of Houston, found that people who read
printed news publications remember more news than people who read news
online. A number of possible explanations for this are offered. For example,
because story placement in online news outlets is constantly changing,
readers are less likely to realize which stories are the most important ones
of the day. In addition, knowing that anything they find online can be easily
retrieved, readers of online news stories may simply pay less attention as
they read.2

Print is more trustworthy – When Nielsen asked people whether they
thought different media are “trustworthy,” printed national newspapers
outranked all other options, with 58% of respondents appreciating
newspapers’ trustworthiness.3 Perhaps this is because, as a recent editorial
in the Orange County Register pointed out, “Print outlets are uniquely
able to take a longer view than other media. They can vet the facts
more thoroughly, attempt to fit them into a broader context, and – most
importantly – take the time to actually engage in a little reflection.”4

Print is preferred by many – Given all of these facts, perhaps it should come
as no surprise that a 2014 Scarborough newspaper readership survey found
that 55% of U.S. newspaper readers choose to consume their local paper
in print only.5 Not coincidentally, when the Dallas Morning News surveyed
2,000 of their print subscribers to see if they would be willing to switch to
an all-digital platform, very few said yes. Even if the digital product was
priced at just one-tenth of the print subscription, only 5% of respondents
said they’d be interested. Why weren’t readers interested in switching? As
Jim Moroney, the newspaper’s Publisher & CEO explained, “Butter is not a
substitute for a car. They’re different things.”6

These are just a few of the reasons to Choose Print!


1 Frank N. Magid Associates, How America Shops and Spends 2014
2 Arthur D. Santana, Randall M. Livingstone, and Yoon Y. Choo, Print Readers Recall More Than Do Online Readers. Newspaper Research Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2 – Spring 2013.
3 Nielsen, 2013 National Cross-Media Engagement Study
4 Orange County Register, Editorial: Why Print Still Matters, September 24, 2014.
5 Scarborough newspaper readership survey conducted on behalf of the Newspaper Association of America, 2014.
6 Erik Wemple, Dallas Morning News publisher: Print and digital are like butter and a car, The Washington Post, October 17, 2014


Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
www.midstatelitho.net