Tuesday, July 31, 2012

HP Licenses Inkjet Printer Technology to Handheld

HP recently announced that they have agreed to develop and sell printing products for the Swedish firm Handheld Group. The license is relevant to HP’s patented thermal ink technology, which the company will use to develop handheld printer for the logistics industry. The electrical, mechanical, and system design of the inkjet printer is what HP will patent to Handheld. 

Once developed, the printer can feature quick-drying, smudge-free magenta ink. According to Kathy Tobin, vice president and general manager, Specialty Printing Systems, “HP continues uncovering new applications where our inkjet technology can address specific industry challenges.  We’re excited to combine our resources with Handheld Group to create printing solutions that will simplify logistics and supply chain operations.”

Additional detail about Handheld Group is available at their website. Follow HP on Twitter @hpgraphicarts or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/hpgraphicarts.  

Print or Digital?

Modern technology has brought a lot of changes—and challenges—to the print industry. In fact, digital media is one of the greatest challenges of traditional media over the past decades. Whether it’s print or broadcast, every media platform is affected by these changes. The once popular media such as newspaper, DVDs, and hard copy albums are now only becoming a part of history. They have been rapidly replaced by e-books and streaming movies. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Linotype: The Film—Story of Old, Wacky Machinists

The linotype is a 19th century machine developed by Ottmar Mergenthaler. It’s a type casting machine that was popular in 1884 until it became obsolete in the 1970s. The invention of the linotype revolutionized printing in such a way that it was called by Thomas Edison as the “Eight Wonder of the World”. It is this machine that inspired the Linotype: The Film.

The film is a documentary about the linotype machine, but it doesn’t focus entirely on the equipment but rather on the stories of the people connected to the machine. It’s a brainchild of three young filmmakers Doug Wilson, Brandon Goodwin and Jess Heugel. Their goal for the film is not to reminiscence the historical machine, but rather to disclose stories behind machinists. Among the questions the film seeks to answer as mentioned in their official website are: What place does the Linotype have in the age of new technology? Should the machine be shoved into a museum and left to rust? Why should anyone care about typography or the technology of communication?  

Wilson, who acts as director and producer of the film, said to Miami News Times the movie is “not just a dry, boring history film. There isn't even a narrator. It's more about the crazy old people who worked with these crazy old machines."    

Production of the film started in August 2010 and the world premiere was held in New York last February 3, 2012 with subsequent screenings in the East and West Coast. For screening schedule, visit this site.

Social Enterprises Gaining Momentum

In a recession stricken community, social enterprises are growing more than SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises), that’s according to the State of Social Enterprise survey 2011. The report found out that the social enterprise sector is out-pacing and out-innovating SMEs in the recession. This is surely something the printing industry should look into.

A social enterprise, according to Social Enterprise UK, is “a business that trades for a social and/or environmental purpose. ..it will know what difference it is trying to make, who it aims to help, and how it plans to do it.”      

On the Fightback Britain Report which used the report from the State of the Social Enterprise survey 2011, it found out that 58% of social enterprises grew during the past year compared to the 28% growth of SMEs. Additionally, social enterprises are surpassing SMEs in business confidence in a growth rate of 57% to 41%, respectively; and 55% to 47% in innovation.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

3D Printing set to Create a New Revolution

In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, clone troopers (Republic) and battle droid armies (Separatists) were created in huge number to serve as defense force of the protagonist and antagonist in the movie. These cloned armies are easy to replicate in a science-fiction movie. The screenwriter or director can simply put a replicator in the set and make it look like it’s the source of the clones.

However, in real life, replicators don’t come as high-powered clone machines; they come as three-dimensional printers. In the past, 3D printing is expensive and time-consuming. But with advances in technology as reveled in a news feature entitled Science in three dimensions: The print revolution published online, is now affordable and quick.

3D printing not only has positive benefit on science and research but on advertising, manufacturing, the economy, and our lives in general. People now can print materials, data, and information right at home. But until engineers and inventors can create a cheap 3D printer, this printing technique still has to go through several refinement stages.    

Presenting This Year’s Printing Industry Hall of Fame Inductees

This year’s Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame, a joined award given by Printing Impressions and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) School of Print Media, has been announced. The inductees include:

• Carl Gerhardt, chairman, Allegra Network. Together with his wife, they successfully operated Allegra Network for 20 years before selling it off in 2003. He served as President and COO of the company in 2004, CEO in 2007, and Chairman in 2010.
• Michael Graff, president and CEO, Sandy Alexander. He first worked with Americom Graphics (formerly Press of A. Colish) and then moved to Sandy Alexander and was appointed as the director of color and prepress operations. In 2008, he was appointed President and CEO of Sandy Alexander.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beautiful and Inspiring Brochure Design Ideas

Promotion and advertising are standard in the corporate world. And one of the most important tool businesses, organizations, and individuals can use to promote their company is the brochure.

Brochures are the small books or magazines often given as a freebie and left in offices and waiting rooms. They serve as informative materials that give readers an idea of what the company or organization is about. Beautiful, interesting, and unique brochures should be created if you are to catch people’s attention.

Looking for ideas for your next brochure design? Take a look at these samples:

Epson Unveils TM-C3400BK: A Desktop Inkjet Label Printer

Need to print durable and high quality labels, stickers, tickets, and tags but doesn’t want to use the traditional thermal label printers? There’s a good solution to your problem. Epson recently launched the TM-C3400BK. According to Epson’s website, the TM-C3400BK is a: “compact desktop inkjet label printer. With smudge-free, light-fast, and liquid-resistant ink, printouts will be durable and secure even in demanding outdoor conditions.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What the Future Holds for the Print Industry

The printing industry has been under heavy assault for quite some time now from the Internet and other modern platforms. This has forced the industry to adapt and change in order to survive. Although it’s difficult to say for certain what the future holds for the print industry, there are remarkable developments to watch out for.

In an article written by Sam Shea entitled Association Insights: The Future of Printing, he pinpointed three printing trends to watch out for: 3D printing, printed electronics, and augmented reality.

3D printing

3D printing is an additive technology (objects are built from scratch) in which a digital model is translated into a physical object through the use of a 3D printer. 3D printers can use different techniques and materials but they are all able to transform digital files into physical materials.   

QR Codes Unable to Connect with Consumers

QR (Quick Response) code is a two-dimensional barcode image that can be scanned by smartphones or QR reading devices and linked directly to a website, phone number, email, etc. It is designed to be decoded at high speed so a wealth of information can be shared to people in just one scan. It first became popular in Japan and is now gaining popularity in the Europe and other continents. If used well, QR codes can be effective in advertising, marketing, and customer service.

Print Still Ideal for Grocery Retailers

90% of grocery retailers say that they still use weekly circulars as the primary mode in promoting products to consumers, but they expect an increase in influence of social media and digital media in terms of promotion in the next 5 years. This is based on a study conducted by Stagnito Custom Media for Valassis, a leading media and marketing services company in the country. The survey gathered information from 60 grocery retail decision makers.

Media in Rank Order
Total (1=BEST)
Printed Weekly Circular via Newspaper
Printed Weekly Circular via Shared Mail
Direct Mail (Solo Mail)
Internet Display

Consumers Still Trust Traditional Media

While digital media has considerably grown in the recent years, consumers still trust traditional media over its digital counterpart. This is according to a study conducted by Triton Digital, a digital service provider for online and traditional radio.  24,041 U.S. respondents (14,248 female and 9,752 male) were surveyed. 45% of these respondents said that they trust television when it comes to news source, 20% said newspaper, and 18% said radio. 64% also said that they were encouraged to buy products after seeing them advertised on TV, radio, or newspaper. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Screen Holds Open Houses for Printers

Screen (USA) hosted a series of open houses last June 26 to 28, 2012 at Rolling Meadows, Ill. to give printing companies and stakeholders a chance to see and test the latest equipment in digital printing and imaging solutions.

The event was held in the Screen’s newly expanded Demonstration Center. Among the newest equipment showcased in the event were the latest in the Truepress digital inkjet printing system such as the Truepress JetSX inkjet sheetfed press and Truepress Jet W1632UV wide-format flatbed inkjet printer.

HP Brings the Dinosaurs to Life at ROM

Adults and kids alike now have the chance to experience the world of dinosaurs in the newest exhibit of the Royal Ontario Museum's UltimateDinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana Exhibition. The exhibit will be made possible withthe help of life-size graphics created by HPLatex Technology. 65 million years have passed since the dinos ruled the world, but ROM will bring them back to life through the latest applications.  

26th Annual Prism Award Goes To Steve Forbes

When it comes to setting records, the 26th annual Prism Awards Luncheon did not disappoint when it held its recognition program last June 21, 2012. The award is a high-profile program done to support student scholarships at the New York University's Master of Arts in Graphic Communications Management and Technology program.

This year’s Prism award was given to Steve Forbes, the chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media LLC. Alongside Mr. Forbes, Michael Mulligan, President and CEO of ABGPrint, was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award and Eunic Ortiz, the senior account executive at Fleishman-Hillard, was recognized for the Student Achievement Award.   

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CPP Expo 2013 & PRINT 13: Same Time, Same Place

For the first time ever, the Converting and Package Printing (CPP) Expo and Print 13 (the largest and most innovative global exhibition of digital, offset and hybrid technologies) will be held together at the same time and place on 2013. This is according to the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC), the producer of Print 13 conference. The effort is done in response to the needs of the “growing package printing and converting industry”.    

Both attendees of CPP and Print 13 will be able to co-mingle and have full access to all exhibits of both events. They will also have the chance to participate on educational programming, networking opportunities, and explore the latest technologies and new applications.    

As these two number one conferences join together in one big event, attendees will gain the ultimate value and benefit of each event and gain the latest in technology and printing.

The CPP Expo 2013 and Print 13 will be help on September 8-12, 2013 to Chicago’s McCormick Place.    

The Rise of E-Books

With the rise of Americans having their own tablet computers or e-book devices, the percentage of printed book readers have somewhat declined. In a research conducted by Pew Research, 21% of Americans said they have read an e-book and have somewhat increased their reading habits with the availability of electronic contents. E-book readers said that they have read 24 books on average in the past 12 months while non e-book readers read only 15 books on average. Those that have e-book compatible devices read an average of 24 books compared to the 16 books of those who don’t have the device.

The respondents cited different reasons for reading e-contents. 80% said they do it for pleasure, 78% said to keep up with current events, and 56% said for work or school. Different devices were used with 42% using the computer, 41% using e-book reader devices such as Kindles, 29% using cell phones, and 23% using tablet computer.

Tearing Down Misconceptions on Printing

In the battle between print and electronic media, print is getting the smaller percentage of support from people mostly because of environmental concerns. In a survey conducted by PrintWeek, 65.2% of the respondents chose electronic media (SMS, email, etc.) as the greener option to printing. Despite great effort to explain print’s impact on the environment, people still think print is less green than e-media.

But organizations such as Friends of Paper and Print (FOPAP) are doing their best to bring new awareness to print buyers and marketers. This awareness is apparent on the 40.6% recognize print as effective as the Internet when it comes to marketing communication and the 91.2% see print and electronic communication as complementary technologies.

The greater news is most of the respondents, or a whopping 52.9%, said that print is still the most cost-effective form of advertisement and only 4.3% said that social media brings the most return on investment. With a more intensive campaign, time will come that print will no longer be the wallflower. It will rise from the ranks and work harmoniously with electronic media towards effective marketing communications.            

Share your VOC and HAP Emission Data

With the increasing concern on climate change and global impact of hazardous pollutants to the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made efforts to reduce toxic air pollutants emitted through printing. It urged the Printing Industries of America to assist them in updating their national annual hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emission factor. HAP emission often occurs from the use of chemicals in printing that is classified as toxic pollutants. The data obtained will be significant in the HAP factor that will help estimate HAP emissions. Likewise, it is critical in stressing that the printing industry is not a huge contributor to air pollutants.    

Printing companies are urged to share their volatile organic compound (VOC) and HAP emission data from their facility. You simply have to fill up this spreadsheet and send it to Caitlin Seiler at cseiler@printing.org. The data gathered will be kept confidential and will not be shared with other printing companies. This urges printing companies to be proactive and help in realizing the goal of EPA.