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100 Words or Less: How do you provide good customer service?

May 1, 2010 12:00 AM,

Customer service starts with our ideal customer profile: a customer that values the supplier relationship and appreciates excellent customer service. Lowest-of-three-bid customers aren't significant accounts for us. Our commitment is to provide superior products and service, and we gift wrap that effort with effective communication and caring service. It's a day-to-day effort. While we embrace technology,

Get your head in the print game

May 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

I have always been an eclectic reader. I would like to attribute this to a noble quest for knowledge or self-improvement. But the truth is, I'm usually reading when I'm supposed to be doing something else. As a student, I ignored the Dewey Decimal system, preferring instead to dillydally among the library shelves. Rather than researching the Truman Doctrine, one day I browsed through a book that explained

The differentiation response

May 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

Comedians in the days of vaudeville would ask, Do you really know if the light goes off when you close the refrigerator door? Three-quarters of a century later, there's a marketing version of that question and it isn't posed by comedians. It is, arguably, a life-and-death question. The answer can heavily influence the long-term success of a graphic arts organization. Here's the question: Do you, as

Root, root, root for the home team

May 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

Mandolin virtuoso and folk humorist Jethro Burns once explained, I moved to Chicago because I wanted to live someplace with professional baseball. I may leave for the same reason. I make my home among people who cheer wildly for their major league team and boo just as loudly for that other ballclub across town. Each side is fanatically loyal for no really good reason to its favorite team. That's OK.

Leveraging feedback in sale of print business

May 1, 2010 12:00 AM, Michael Casey

To sell your print business today for fair market value is a challenge. Many printers are going out of business, used hardware is easy to find, and the most important asset buyers want is the customer base. Most printers are doing what is called a or buying a business for the customer base to help fill unused capacity. The owner of a family-run printer in the Midwest recently decided to be proactive

Who should check a job?

May 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

Many issues arise in a printing firm that need to be addressed with standard procedures. I see questionable practices, at times, that need to be given some thought. Likewise, some procedures need to be implemented. Let's look at three of these. Proofreading and changing customer files | Many times we see printers proofreading a PDF file for mistakes in grammar and spelling. I surveyed 20 companies

The owl & the centipede

May 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Bob Rosen

A midsize printer closed the other day. But its story was especially poignant, because Alonzo Printing (Hayward, CA) had been recognized in the press for doing many of the right things, such as establishing a name as an environmentally responsible printer and repositioning the company as a marketing services provider. Alonzo's closing reminded me of the story of the owl and the centipede. One day,

Report shows U.S. book production flat in 2009

Apr 15, 2010 12:00 AM,

Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information, today released statistics on U.S. book publishing for 2009, compiled from its Books In Print database. Based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that traditional U.S. title output in 2009 was virtually unchanged. Output of new titles and editions dropped less than half a percent, from 289,729 in 2008 to a projected 288,355 in 2009

Great Lakes Integrated earns NAPL marketing honors

Apr 13, 2010 12:00 AM,

Great Lakes Integrated (GLI) (Cleveland, OH) has evolved into a valued marketing communications partner with corporations across the United States by helping those customers realize the full scope of their marketing potential

Xerox sponsors Executive Outlook conference for 10th year

Apr 7, 2010 12:00 AM,

The Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) (Reston, VA) has announced that for the 10th straight year, Xerox will serve as a sponsor of the Executive Outlook conference

IPEX 2010 hosts non-UK visitors on ‘International Days’

Apr 5, 2010 12:00 AM,

The Ipex 2010 organizers have confirmed the return of the country-specific International Days to help non-UK visitors to be more focused and time-efficient at the show

Sheetfed waste: Get everyone involved

Apr 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

Sheetfed waste has been a big issue lately. Let's look at overall plant waste and then sheetfed waste. There are good figures available on spoilage but not on waste for a plant. The usual approach, and not a bad one, is to look at waste in each area of the plant. The first step would be to define the waste and then measure it. Once we have those figures, we can form a team to attack each area and

Hold the phone for QR codes

Apr 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

When I think of Arkansas, I think of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Hot Springs and those fashion forward Razorback fans with their Hog Head hats. But hats off to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism for pushing the print envelope. Last fall, the tourism division introduced Quick Response (QR) codes into all of its social media marketing efforts. It's simple. You see an ad, you scan the code, and

Digital presses run the (color) gamut

Apr 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

A designer asked how color differences between two HP Indigo digital press models would impact the quality of a book he was planning. I questioned why he was restricting himself to Indigos. He replied that he had queried online about the best digital press, and several people had recommended the HP Indigo. Digital is different As digital printing moves out of the realm of exotic specialty and into

Print school accreditation

Apr 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Dr. Jerry Waite

Accreditation is a major issue in higher education today. School administrators, graphic communications professionals and the general public are all demanding quality when it comes to instructional programs. Unbiased external eyes provided by both graphic communications educators and industry leaders can provide these constituencies proof that their programs are excellent, or are in need of change.

Printer fights economy with creativity, smart investments

Apr 1, 2010 12:00 AM,

Michigan has been hit hard economically, and Grand Rapids a city of 200,000 residents has a lot of competing print providers. In January, I asked the owner of a regional commercial printer, How is the business going? I expected a gloomy answer but instead heard excitement. In 2009, the firm had a good year with slight growth as it invested for the future, and the owner felt confident going into 2010.

Tell 'em Bernie Madoff sent you

Apr 1, 2010 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

As this column is written, Bernard Madoff is sitting in a federal prison, unaware that his far-reaching Ponzi scheme made a major contribution to graphic arts companies and their salespeople. This mastermind did it all without advertising or promotion. His behavior was testimony to the power of referrals. While we don't suggest you follow Madoff's example to the letter, his provides some interesting

Japs-Olson awarded web, sheetfed G7 Master Printer designation

Mar 30, 2010 12:00 AM,

Minneapolis-based Japs-Olson Co. has received the G7 Master Printer Certificate of Excellence for 2010 for its sheetfed and web presses

Converge conference to cover next-generation print services

Mar 26, 2010 12:00 AM,

Printing Industries of America (Pittsburgh, PA) announces the 2010 Converge Conference will be dedicated to the "Next Generation of Print and Communication Services."