5 Takeaways from Wide-Format Printing Insight Days at PRINTING United

As part of the 14-day PRINTING United Digital Experience, industry analysts and business owners discussed growth opportunities for wide-format graphics producers in the post COVID-19 era.

Five themes dominated the outlook sessions, keynote presentations, and panel discussions during the Wide-Format Hardware and Consumables Insight Day (October 26) and the Wide-Format Workflow and Finishing Day (October 30).

Download a guide to each topic covered during the 14 days of the PRINTING United Digital Experience: » Virtual Publication Bin (printingunited.com)

Before COVID, graphics business owners expected 2020 to be a banner year.
In this keynote presentation, Tim Greene, research director of IDC, noted in Q4 2019, 86% of the companies surveyed said large-format graphics work was still growing and 83% said profit margins had grown over the past two years.

The Q4 2019 research also showed that 76% of large-format shops were considering new market opportunities and 83% had planned to invest in different types of printing and finishing equipment.

Business owners in the panel discussions said January and February of 2020 were fantastic months and the year was shaping up to be one of their best years ever.

The COVID-19 shutdowns in March and April 2020 disrupted major segments of the large-format business. Trade shows and events were cancelled and steep declines in travel and tourism devastated the demand for graphics in airports, theme parks, hotels, restaurants, and other venues.

According to NAPCO Research Principal Analyst Lisa Cross, 87.5% of the participants in the study of COVID-19 Business Indicators said their sales declined in March and April. The average sales decline was 52.3%.

In a panel discussion about the future of signs and graphics, two executives of wide-format graphics firms said the COVID-19 shutdown “was a jolt to the system” and “just seemed to happen overnight.” Business owners said they had to make changes quickly, save cash, and prepare to capitalize on the rebound.

The versatility of wide-format printing and finishing equipment enabled companies to pivot to fill immediate and evolving needs. Companies that served essential businesses such as healthcare facilities, grocery stores, and big-box retailers acted quickly to fill immediate needs for social-distancing graphics, safety posters, and window and curbside graphics to announce new pick-up areas and services.

Some trade-show exhibit companies designed and built pop-up shelters for COVID testing centers or temporary medical facilities.

One graphics display company owner said their company not only pivoted to personal protective equipment, but also to corrugated packaging: “That business increased exponentially”

Another wide-format display company executive said the laser fabric cutter the company purchased to make dye-sublimation fabric displays was put to work cutting fabric for face masks and other garments: “It helped us get through the periods when we didn’t have any other work.” The automated cutter freed the sewing employees from having to stop, measure, and manually cut fabric.

During the spring and summer of 2020, wide-format graphics producers started selling new types of signage. For example, when spring graduation ceremonies were canceled, savvy graphics producers created a demand for personalized yard signs and hanging banners to honor individual graduates.

The reopening of restaurants, healthcare waiting rooms, stadiums, and offices led to an expanded range of orders for all types of safety and social-distance signage, including plastic dividers in bars and restaurants, seat barriers, and photo cut-outs to represent fans in the stands.

Now, some acrylic booth dividers are being printed to enhance restaurant decor and social-distancing floor graphics are being updated with brand advertising or holidays messages.

By July and August, wide-format graphics producers were showing some first signs of recovery. Compared to the March/April time period, 38.6% of respondents to NAPCO’s COVID Business Indicators research said their sales activity rose in the July/August 2020 period, 35.5% had more work-on-hand, and 41.7% were doing more quotes.

Not all wide-format print businesses were equally impacted.
According to sign and graphics research conducted by Keypoint Intelligence, 57% of survey respondents said revenues declined by 21% or more during the first four months of 2020. Another 25% of responses reported sales declines of 20% or less. A fortunate 3.4% saw an increase in revenues of more than 10%.

In a panel discussion about capital investments in the shadow of COVID-19, the owner of a trade printing service, said April was a good month for them because they specialized in printing short runs of yard signs. Throughout the spring, they printed thousands of yard signs for dozens of customers who wanted to express appreciation for health care workers and recognize middle school and high-school graduates.

Several panel-discussion participants noted that larger graphics companies with diverse capabilities were better positioned to pivot and survive the year of COVID-19. They predicted smaller mom-and-pop shops with limited equipment and marketing resources would continue to struggle.

One business owner admitted that pivoting to new products isn’t always easy. He likened it to asking an offensive lineman on a football team to suddenly play wide receiver.

Some owners continued to make capital investments, but admit the margin for errors is shrinking and timing is very important. Experienced print business owners know that marketing and advertising budgets are among the first to be cut during economic slowdowns. But they are also the first budgets to be ramped up during a rebound.

One participant commented that in the 2008-09 recession, “We were too slow to make painful cuts, and slow to add capacity to handle the rebound.” He hopes to avoid that situation this time..

“As an entrepreneur, I am always quietly optimistic,” said one owner. Even in the midst of economic downturns, “There is an opportunity in there somewhere.”

Owners are looking ahead to 2021. The large-format business owners who participated in the PRINTING United panel discussions are cautiously optimistic. But they realize that some markets and consumer behavior have changed forever.

While in-person trade-shows and events may re-start in 2021, the live shows are likely to attract fewer people. And, the role of retail stores may have been permanently changed by the surge in online shopping.

Andrew Paparozzi, chief economist, PRINTING United Alliance,. predicted that the real post-COVID recovery will start happening only when we have learned to live with COVID, and people feel comfortable traveling again.

He said participants in the “COVID-19 Print Business Indicators” studies were anticipating growth in online sales of print products and seeing new opportunities in anti-microbial graphics, complex display fabrication, interior decor, and specialty graphics.

IDC analyst Tim Greene agreed that new types of applications will fuel the recovery. For example, although branded hand-sanitizer stations don’t involve large amounts of printed graphics, businesses can make nice margins by fabricating the stands and selling them for use in offices, manufacturing facilities, schools, and other locations.

Printed graphics with QR or NFC codes could support redesigned “touchless” retail environments and printed backdrops might be useful for corporate sales and administrative personnel who continue to video conference from home. The many restaurants and other businesses now offer home-delivery services may want vehicle wraps or graphics.

Analyst Lisa Cross noted that one reason large-format graphics producers are resilient is because almost any surface today is a blank canvas for digital printing. Surfaces can be printed with either decorations to enhance the ambience or brand messaging

A graphic printing business owner affirmed that observation:“Our wide-format segment will continue to grow. People are putting large-format printing on more and more things in creative ways.”

Some owners believe that new customers they picked up during COVID-19 disruptions will continue to do business with them during the recovery.

Greene believes some companies will stabilize their businesses by continuing to expand the ancillary services they were planning in Q4 2019. Some of the most frequently mentioned services that large-format graphics providers planned to add include:

  • Design services (57.2%)
  • Installation (43.3%)
  • 3D printing services (40.2%)
  • Sign permitting (33.5%)
  • Pre-site consultations (27.3%)
  • Packaging or package prototyping (25.8%)
  • Digital signage/digital display assembly (25.3%)
  • Label printing (24.7%)
  • Digital signage/digital display content (24.7%)
  • Direct-to-garment T-shirt printing (24.2%)
  • Narrow format printing (20.1%)
  • Interior decor applications (20.1%)

“COVID-19 has accelerated the need for businesses to evolve,” said Greene. Wide-format graphics companies can evolve in many directions and produce many types of products to reposition their shops for recovery and growth.

He advised print-business owners to develop detailed and data-oriented plan and to continue to invest in production technologies that enable their shops to produce a wider variety of applications,

All of the wide-format graphics presentations and business-leader panel discussions on Day 1 and Day 5 of the PRINTING United Digital Experience can be viewed online at no charge until January 31, 2021. Visit: https://www.printingunited.com/ to register and access the video presentations.

Recommended Resources

PRINTING United Guide to Day 1: Wide Format Hardware and Consumables

PRINTING United: Guide to Day 5: Wide Format Finishing and Workflow

NAPCO Research: COVID-19 Print Business Indicators. Volume 1, No. 3

What Actions Are Groups Taking to Promote An Event Industry Rebound from COVID-19?

Graphics companies have been hit hard by the cancellation of events, trade shows, and conferences in 2020. Here are just three steps that event-industry thought leaders and organizations are taking to encourage an event-industry rebound.

Promoting the Economic Impact of Events to Legislators

The Go Live Together coalition is working to ensure that when the COVID-19 health crisis is over, the voices and concerns of the live event industry will be addressed in local, state, and federal recovery funding. Coalition members come from exposition management companies, associations, convention and visitors’ bureaus, event venues, and exhibiting companies.

The coalition contends that events are a massive incubator for innoavtion and economic growth. Recovery funding will not only help the events industry, but the recovery of the economy as a whole.

Go Live Together members are using press releases and infographics to help local, state, and federal lawmakers understand the economic impact of the trade show and events industry. For example, here are some statistics published by Go Live Together.

The trade show and events industry:

  • contributes nearly $1 trillion annually to the U.S. economy
  • employs 3 million workers,
  • pays $130 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.

Source: Go Live Together Infographic: Business Events Industry Impacts from COVID 19

For more information, visit: https://www.golivetogether.com/

Planning a Three-Phase Comeback

In a post How and When Will the Events Industry Get Out of This?” event industry strategist Howard Givner compares the comeback from COVID-19 to the event-industry’s comeback from 9/11: “Those of us old enough to have been of working age during the aftermath of 9/11 will attest to the fact that nobody can point to a date or even a period of time when the events industry started to feel ‘fully recovered’ from its effects.”

Givner suggests that the event-industry recovery will occur in three phases:

1) Pure Virtual;
2) Local Events that meet state guidelines for gatherings; and
3) Full-Steam Ahead (with instant on-site testing).

“One good thing to come out of all this is we finally – FINALLY! – have the entire world’s attention on the importance of live events,” writes Givner. Now that live events have been removed from our lives, “Everyone is pining away to attend their next music festival, industry conference, strategy meeting or trade show, to experience all those great things that events offer.”

Gathering Opinions from Corporate Exhibit Managers

An article by Travis Stanton in the June/July 2020 issue of Exhibitor magazine provides insight into when face-to-face marketing might resume.

Read the article about the impact on the Pandemic on the Trade Show Industry on page 50
in the digital edition of the June/July 2020 issue of Exhibitor magazine.

In Exhibitor magazine surveys of corporate exhibit managers and trade-show suppliers:

  • 52 percent predicted the industry won’t return to normal until the second quarter of 2021
  • 13 percent said they don’t expect normalcy until 2022
  • 5 percent questioned whether trade shows will ever return to business as usual.

One director of event marketing quoted in Exhibitor article pointed out that even if event ROI is difficult to measure, businesses were able to see the overwhelming value lost by event cancellations in 2020.

The full white paper “EXHIBITOR Insight Report: COVID-19’s Impact on the Trade Show Industry is available at www.ExhibitorOnline.com/COVID19.

SGIA and PIA Merge to Form Printing United Alliance

Just as new types of printing and multimedia companies have been formed through mergers and acquisitions, long-time printing associations are joining forces to better serve the owners and employees of 21st century printing businesses.

The newest consolidation of associations was announced May 1, 2020 when the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and the Printing Industries of America (PIA) officially combined to create PRINTING United Alliance. The new alliance is the largest, most comprehensive member-based printing and graphic arts association in the United States.

Members of PRINTING United Alliance will have access to extensive education, training, workshops, events, and research as well as government and legislative representation and guidance on safety and environmental sustainability issues. Plus, PRINTING United Alliance members can tap into the resources of NAPCO Media, which SGIA acquired in August 2019.

SGIA CEO Ford Bowers was elevated to President and CEO of the PRINTING United Alliance. The President and CEO of Printing Industries of America Michael Makin is now the Executive Vice President of the unified organization

“PRINTING United Alliance is a reflection of the invaluable partnerships and industry convergence that has evolved over time,” said Bowers.

“PIA is thrilled to join forces with SGIA, combining resources to serve every segment of the printing industry,” said Makin. “Pooling the extensive talent of both organizations, along with the media expertise of NAPCO Media, is a game-changer.”

Printing United Alliance logo

PRINTING United Alliance brings together two forward-thinking associations that have long histories of adapting to ongoing changes in printing technologies and markets.

SGIA History

Founded as a screen-printing association in 1948, SGIA was among the first to recognize how the evolution of short-run, on-demand printing technologies might affect the graphic, textile, apparel, and product decoration markets traditionally served by screen printing firms. First, they changed their name from the Screen Printing Association to Screen Printing & Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA).

After consolidating the Digital Printing and Imaging Association and the Screen Printing Technical Foundation, the SGIA became the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association and broadened its membership to include early adopters of wide-format digital printing equipment.

Today, SGIA membership includes professionals from multiple types of printing businesses, including industrial, graphic, garment, textile, printed electronics, packaging, and commercial.

In 2019, SGIA acquired NAPCO Media, a business-to-business publishing company serving the printing, packaging, publishing, marketing, retail, non-profit, and promotional products markets. NAPCO builds community between its clients and audiences through integrated media programs, research, video services, events, marketing services, and e-learning.

SGIA worked with NAPCO Media in 2018 and 2019 to produce the first PRINTING United expo, Oct. 23-25 in Dallas, TX. PRINTING United was an immediate hit, attracting more 680 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees from all segments of the printing business.

Since the acquisition, SGIA has operated NAPCO Media as an independent media arm. NAPCO publishes Printing Impressions, Wide-Format Impressions, In-Plant Impressions, and Packaging Impressions. as well as Promo Marketing, and Total Retail.

PIA Background

Founded in 1897, the Printing Industries of America and its local affiliated associations deliver services and products that enhance the knowledge, growth, and profitability of members through advocacy, research, education, and networking.

In 1999, PIA consolidated resources with the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), the premier research, technical, and education association in the commercial printing industry.

PRINTING United Alliance Board of Directors

The new PRINTING United Alliance board of directors reflects combined leadership from the previous SGIA and PIA boards of directors, and compromises the following industry executives:

  • Chairman of the Board: Scott Crosby, Transcontinental Holland & Crosby;
  • First Vice Chair: Paul Cousineau,Dow Jones and Company, Inc.;
  • Second Vice Chair: Christopher Bernat, Vapor Apparel/Source Substrates LLC;
  • Third Vice Chair: Michael Marcian, Corporate Communications Group;
  • Treasurer: Dean DeMarco, IDL Worldwide;
  • Secretary: Brooke Hamilton, NPI;
  • Immediate Past Chair: Thomas Cooper III, WestRock;
  • Chair of Chairmen’s Advisory Council: Edward Cook, Jr., ECI Screen Print Inc.;
  • Associate Vice Chair: Scott Schinlever, Gerber Technology;
  • Ex Officio: Ford Bowers, President and CEO, PRINTING United Alliance.

Directors at-large include:

  • Brian Adam, Olympus Group;
  • Nick Buettner, American Cut and Sew;
  • Roger Chamberlain, The Cincinnati Insurance Company;
  • Kristen Danson, MitoGraphics Inc.;
  • Chris Feryn, Premier Press;
  • Kevin Gazdag, KG Graphics Décor;
  • Bryan Hall, Graphic Visual Solutions;
  • Lane Hickey-Wiggins, Douglass Screen Printers Inc. dba DPRINT;
  • Brian Hite, Image Options;
  • Michael Magerl, Trabon Group;
  • Brent Moncrief, FUJIFILM;
  • Joseph Olivo, Perfect Communications;
  • Edward Pidcock, Chillybears;
  • Heather Poulin, Ricoh USA;
  • Timothy Saur, Durst Imaging Technology US LLC;
  • Elaine Scrima, GSP Companies;
  • Michael Wagner, Butler Technologies Inc.;
  • and Joseph Lyman, President, Great Lakes Graphics Association, serving as Affiliate manager.

“In this time of consolidation, printer members and the supplier community at large are looking for a unified solution to the challenges they face in this era of rapid change,” said Scott Crosby, Chairman of the Board of PRINTING United Alliance. “The new Association will become the place to find answers for everything related to printing. It is a great honor and privilege for me to serve the industry as we look forward to a new beginning.”

PRINTING United 2020

Meet leaders of PRINTING United Alliance and see the results of their merger by attending the PRINTING United 2020 show October 23-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

You can also expect to see the widest array of printing technologies at any U.S. expo, including printing, and finishing equipment, supplies, and prepress and workflow software for commercial, functional, textile, apparel, wide-format, and package printing.

Whether you are seeking printing equipment for an in-plant printing shop or full-service integrated printing and marketing company, you will find plenty of options and ideas at PRINTING United. For more information about the Expo, visit https://www.printingunited.com/

Additional Information Sources

What they Think: Alphabet Soup of Trade Association Mergers by Mark Hahn

Printing Impressions VIDEO: Ford Bowers and Michael Makin Discuss Merger of SGIA and PIA

Fab Lab Uses Digital Printers, Cutters, and Engravers to Spark Interest in STEM Education

One way to get more students interested in studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics is to give them access to software and tools they can use to design, create, or customize their own products. That’s the concept behind Fab Labs, which are being opened in libraries and community centers nationwide.

For example, the Blue Ridge/University of Arizona 4-H Fab Lab is an “open source, open door” digital fabrication facility. It gives students in grades K-12 and community members access to the digital design tools, electrical platforms, 3D printers, wide-format printer/cutters, laser engravers, and training they need to make their own graphics, stickers, 3D objects, and product prototypes.

State-of-the-art equipment for 3D printing, laser engraving, milling, graphics printing, contour cutting, and product customization was donated by companies such as Ultimaker, Epilog, and Roland DGA. 

The Roland equipment includes a VersaUV LEF-12 UV flatbed printer, VersaCAMM SP-300i wide-format printer/cutter, CAMM-1 GS-24 desktop cutter, and MDX-40A milling machine.

Recently, the Fab Lab hosted students from the White Mountain Apache Tribe as well as leaders from 4-H chapters in Pima, Coconino, Apache, Maricopa, and Navajo counties.

“By giving young people the opportunity to make everything from digitally printed banners to 3D milled prototypes, we’re helping to create the next generation of STEM professionals,” said Kevin Woolridge, co-director of the Blue Ridge/UA 4-H FAB LAB. The simple operation and impressive capabilities of the devices in our lab make it possible to interest and engage users of all ages.”

Members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe 4-H Junior Leadership Academy display the bumper stickers and banner they created. (Photo: Roland DGA)

The visiting students from the White Mountain Apache Tribe STEM Program used the Roland printer and software to create banners that the Canyon Day Robotics team used at the IVEX IQ Junior High World Championships in Kentucky.  The students made supplies they needed for three different STEM projects on the lab’s 3D devices.

“The students used our Roland VersaUV LEF-12 UV flatbed printer to produce VEX Robots name tags that incorporated their very own graphic designs,” noted Co-Director Steve Gouker, who represented the University of Arizona’s 4-H program in the Fab Lab. “Seeing the light in the kids’ eyes when they got to hold their finished projects was amazing. It was like they were opening presents on Christmas Day.”

According to Bruce Goode, Director of the White Mountain Apache Tribe STEM Program, the students enjoyed their first visit to the Blue Ridge/UA 4-H FAB LAB tremendously. “It was a valuable learning experience for everyone involved,” said Goode. “We intend to continue exposing our Native American students to STEM projects and new technologies by bringing additional groups to the lab.”

Leaders of the Pima County 4-H Chapter in Tucson visited the Fab Lab to explore how to use the lab to provide members with access to 21st century learning opportunities. While the chapter’s 800 members focus primarily on agriculture-based learning projects, the organization is seeking to bridge traditional 4-H projects with modern STEM education.

Members of the Apache County 4H Chapter display the summer-camp banners they printed on the Roland VersaCAMM SP-300i wide-format printer/cutter at the Blue Ridge/University of Arizona 4H Fab Lab. (Photo: Roland DGA)

Vincent McGurk, a 4-H alumnus, Pima County 4-H Americorps member, and one of the individuals that toured the facility, used the lab’s Roland wide-format inkjet to print out several new banners. A 4-H member who aspires to become a graphic designer, designed the banners. “This was the best day at work ever!” said McGurk. “I can see how we can get kids excited about using this kind of cutting-edge technology.”

By utilizing open-source technologies, the Pima County 4-H Chapter plans to create new projects for young people interested in the STEM field, and will use the lab’s real-world production capabilities.

“Awareness of our lab and the great learning opportunities we offer is growing rapidly,” said Woolridge. “There’s already significant interest in establishing a “mini” Fab Lab in Tucson to complement our main Blue Ridge/UA 4-H facility in Pinetop-Lakeside.”

The Fab Lab concept was started by MIT’s Fab Foundation. A Fab Lab is a place where students, parents and community members can interact, learn and create in an atmosphere of 21st century learning, skills and tools.

Trend Report Shows Changing Role of Print in a Digital World

A trend report “Hello, Print in a Digital World 2018” illustrates more than 70 creative ways brands are combining the tactile, sensory nature of print with the real-time technological powers of digital. Thanks to augmented reality technologies or specialty inks, printed billboards, posters, magazine ads, and packages are serving as platforms to more engaging and immersive digital experiences.

The report was written by Michael Chase, Chief Marketing Officer at St. Joseph’s Communications, a full-service, smart-content factory that helps brands navigate the world of omni-channel communications.

Chase introduced the Print in a Digital World report in a presentation at PRINT 17 last fall. He points out that “We are in an information revolution powered by the intersection of two of the most commanding knowledge transfer mechanisms of our time — the Gutenberg Press and the Internet.”

Instead of relying solely on digital content to generate likes, retweets, and clicks, many marketers are finding innovative ways to integrate printed materials into their campaigns.

For example, below some case studies featured in the report:

McDonald’s Canada turned ordinary drink trays into the McDonald’s Boombox.

Travelers on Emirates airlines could scan their amenity kits to unlock augmented reality content such as games and travel tips.

French retailer Castorama created interactive wallpaper that allows children and parents to enjoy storytime together.

An SS+K ad agency holiday greeting card included a custom-designed Google Cardboard mailer that connected recipients to an 360-degree virtual reality bobsled ride.

Google and Vogue collaborated to bring voice-activated content from the print magazine to Google’s Home device. By prompting Google Home to “Talk to Vogue” users can access behind the scenes audio content from selected celebrity interviews.

IKEA “Cook This Paper” campaign used food-safe ink on parchment cooking paper to produce illustrated, interactive recipe posters. At-home chefs added the designated ingredients, rolled them up the parchment paper, and popped the creation into the oven.

Samsonite printed a specially designed sheet that customers convert into a handle-like, paper “Weight Tag.” When customer wrapped the tag around the handle of their luggage and picked it up, they could determine if their packed luggage exceeded the 50-lb. restriction set by most airlines. Special perforations on the tag snapped off when the weight exceeded 50 lbs.

ASICS used thermochromic ink to publish a print ad that folded out to create a mat that readers could step on to see the shape of their foot. A chart on the ad talked about what types of shoes were best for specific foot shapes.

Crust Pizza used capacitative touch technology from Novalia to create vinyl outdoor advertising posters that could play music. The posters encouraged passers-by to remix music on a pizza-shaped DJ deck.

About St. Joseph Communications

St. Joseph’s Communications in Toronto began as a printing company. Today, printing is just a portion of what they do. In addition to printing catalogs, custom publications, and packaging, they assist brands with omnichannel marketing, including digital production, digital signage, augmented reality, social media, custom videography and photography.

 

Photography Pros Urged to Help Consumers Print More Photos

To highlight the importance of saving images in a non-digital form, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has partnered with industry leaders to launch the PRINT Movement. It’s a public awareness campaign to help people see the importance of purchasing or creating printed photographs.

It is estimated that professional photographers take approximately 4,160 digital photos a month just for business. And thanks to the enhanced capabilities of cellphone cameras, industry experts predict amateur photographers will take another 3,650 photos per year per person. That means a global population of photographers taking 14 trillion pictures annually.

But there has been a worldwide change in how these photos are preserved. The PPA discovered that a staggering 53 percent of consumers have not printed a photo in more than 12 months, 70 percent do not have photos albums, and 42 percent no longer print photos at all. This is a problem for both amateur and professional photographers.

Technology is changing so fast that many photos taken five or six years ago are stored on devices that are no longer supported. A whole generation of people is likely to look back decades from now and wonder where photos of their childhood, holiday get-togethers, relatives and friends have gone.

“Unless we change our ways, I think time will prove that we have gambled away our family histories – trusting too much in our ability to protect our memories on our phones, tablets and other devices,” said David Trust, PPA’s CEO.

Nashville photographer Krista Lee Newbill of Krista Lee Photography made a business decision to stop selling digital files and only sell prints. This bold move not only helped Newbill rediscover the art of print, it boosted her bottom line. Her customer base increased, her per-session sales average rose, and she started seeing increased foot traffic in her storefront. Clients liked her artisanal images.

PRINT the Movement Brochures“It’s so easy to get busy and not have time for prints,” says Newbill. But she believes professional photographers can play a role in helping more people preserve and display their memories. Professional photographers who want to join the movement can download promotional materials and resources from the PRINT movement website.

Photography conference speakers are underscoring the message that professional photographers should help remind people why prints matter.

For example, photographer Sue Bryce said that instead of simply giving clients disks full of digital images, “We need to return to our roots as professional photographers. We need to print our work, and value this legacy we are capturing.”

“With so much photography never touching paper of canvas today, there has never been a better time to perfect the art of printing and specialize as a print artist,” said photographer Tim Walden.

In addition to PPA, the PRINT movement is being support American Color Imaging (ACI), Bay Photo, BWC Printmakers, Canon, Canson Infinity, ChromaLuxe, Collages, Finao, Fundy Designer, GW Moulding, H+H Colorlab, Hahnemühle, Kodak Alaris, Marathon, Meridian Professional Imaging, Miller’s, Simply Color Lab, Tyndell Photographic Packaging, and White House Custom Colour.

‘Print Is Big’ Website Confirms that Print is Not Dead

PrintisBigLogIf your potential clients want proof that print is not dead or dying, encourage them to visit the Print is Big website. The graphics software company Aleyant created this print statistics website to demonstrate the importance of print in the world’s economic ecosystem.

The Print is Big site includes facts and statistics about the printing business in the U.S. and worldwide. For example, the $898 billion global print industry is far bigger than the global video game industry ($102 billion), online music industry ($15 billion), and online advertising industry ($133 billion).

“We wanted to provide industry professionals with a ready resource to debunk the ‘Print is Dead’ myth,” explains Aleyant President Greg Salzman. “Print is a vibrant industry that provides necessary services to just about every industry. In North America alone, 8.5 trillion letter-size simplex pages are printed annually, which speaks to how important print still is in today’s marketplace.”

“Print is entering a new era of specialized communication that leverages modern data and analytics technologies and the experiences of a new generation of print business owners who came into the industry at the start of the Internet age,” said Dr. Joe Webb, Director of WhatTheyThink’s Economics and Research Center. “Many communications decision-makers have little personal experience in the strategic and tactical use of print, and it’s up to our industry to demonstrate how multichannel communications can be more effective when incorporating offline media like print.”

About Aleyant

Founded in 2005, Aleyant provides robust software services to the graphic communications. Its flagship web-to-print software, Pressero, is a highly customizable retail and business-to-business storefront interface. Pressero has launched many of Aleyant’s clients into the expanding world of Internet-based print sales.

Aleyant eDocBuilder is a Web-based design and variable data publishing (VDP) system, Aleyant PrintJobManager™ is a mobile, cloud-based approach to MIS that includes a fast means of generating market-driven pricing, job management, inventory tracking, real-time job tracking and estimating.