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EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TO CHECK OUT

Oct 1, 2012 12:00 AM


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VIVA LAS PERSONALIZED REWARD CARDS

Robin Enterprises uses nine Heidelbergs and an array of digital printers to produce jobs ranging from custom published books to personalized informa­tion kits. But the Westerville, OH printer’s new fully integrated card attaching line incorporates some components typically found in a bindery operation. It has a card attacher, two MCS Inkjet systems, an MCS industrial camera and tracking system, and a Kluge plow folder with in-line scoring. Add-Jet, a turnkey inkjet system, did the integration.

MEET THE PIECES

The final application is a self-mailer with reward card. When the card is pre­sented at the store register, the back of the card is scanned for the barcode. Once the cards come out of the feeder, an MCS Perfect Match system cap­tures an image of the card. From the decoded information on the back of the card, an MCS Array inkjet prints a custom message on the carrier. The card is affixed to the corresponding carrier, and the carrier card is scored, glued, and folded. Then the second MCS Inkjet sprays the corresponding address on the outside panel after the plow folder.

IT’S IN THE CARDS

The card’s dollar value is tied to the recipient’s buying history. Both sides of the reward carrier are printed with variable information such as, “Congratulations, (firstname), you earned 4,000 reward points. Attached is a card for (value).” When the card is presented at the store register, the barcode on the reverse side is scanned, enabling the client to measure the campaign’s success.

THE SCOOP: Robin Enterprises’ employees refer to the new line as the “Expandable Loyalty card Variable Inkjet System” or ELVIS. Thank you, thank you very much!

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE FONT POLICE

The Business Software Alliance is the watchdog for companies like Microsoft, Adobe and others. Remember, fonts are software and therefore subject to licensing. Users don’t own the fonts—they have only paid for the right to use them. Agfa-Monotype’s Fontwise can do an audit of your fonts and help you manage them.

THE SCOOP: Says Consultware’s Don Goldman, “The whole font question is confusing since a font generally cannot be copyrighted. So there is little protection of the typeface, but the name is protected by trademark laws. And then there are design protections that are so complicated that only a couple hundred fonts have gone that route. But ignore the licensing rules at your own peril!”

WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE SALES OR PROFITS?

We’ve got good news and bad news from NAPL’s 2012 State of the Industry Report. On the positive side, sales are stabilizing (at least temporarily). On the negative side, rising costs are killing us. “Health care ranks first, by far, followed by paper, wages/salaries, and energy,” says Chief Economist Andy Paparozzi. “The problem is costs are rising in markets that are still very resistant to price increases, creating a classic profit squeeze.”

FREE TO BE PSD IN THE INTERNET AGE

The Photoshop Etiquette Manifesto for Web Designers is a col­lection of ways to improve the clarity of a PSD when transferred. “Get your PSDs in shape,” urges creator Dan Rose. “Take pride in your craft. Teach others how to run a tight ship. Set the bar higher. Shake up your workplace. Know your tools. Be a Layer Mayor!”

THE SCOOP: Sounds like a plan! 

AUGMENTED REALITY COMES TO CHICAGO
ChicagoMediaandRadio.com reports that WGN-TV has launched a new app. The “WGNTV AR” app uses Autonomy’s Aurasma technol­ogy, allowing printed material to seemingly come to life in 3D or video form. Those who have the app can scan WGN-TV advertisements in the Chicago Tribune or RedEye and see these ads turn to video via the app’s augmented reality platform. The WGNTV AR app is available in the Google Play store as well as on iTunes store for Apple phones. Autonomy Corp. became a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard in October 2011.

THE SCOOP: Superstation WGN is the home of the Chicago Cubs, but unfortunately it is too late to bring that team to life... Popular Science’s June issue is reportedly the first magazine to use Aurasma AR in its editorial pages.