Sign of the Times
Sheryl Crow penned a song about it. Think back to 2002 when VH1 played music videos for at least a few hours of the day and terrestrial radio had yet to take a backseat to satellite. It was impossible to escape the infectious—like it or not—groove of “A Change will do you Good.” From a lyrical standpoint, Crow got us to focus on change—regardless of whether it was subconscious or active.
Most recently, we’ve seen the act of change manifest itself in the U.S. economy. And as a result of the last eight years, President-Elect Barack Obama ran a successful campaign with a message advocating change.
In the world of printed products, is change always the best solution? It is easy to jump on the technology bandwagon, and it does have its benefits, but why necessarily tamper with something that works just fine? Multipart forms have been on the decline for several years. While they haven’t become obsolete, it is arguable that they’re a potential candidate for the endangered forms list. Print Professional recently spoke with three suppliers who still see some life for these products, posing the question: is laser really better?
Multipart forms continue to comprise a large portion of business—75 percent—for Pittsburg, Kansas-based Ace Forms. Lindeye Webb, sales coordinator, has noticed a trend of small businesses using these products due to simplicity and flexibility. And most important, multipart forms are reliable sources for maintaining a verifiable audit trail. Webb receives a variety of requests for these types of forms, but observed a growth in custom forms of two to five plies in particular.
“[It’s a] mixed bag. We are doing more high-ply applications. [For example, we produce] insurance, credit applications, employment and other business applications and agreements with 12 ply to 30 ply booklets often containing three- to five-part carbonless sets or forms within the booklet. A form within a form,” she said. “There has been a definite decline in six- to 12-part one-write forms. Many of those applications have shrunk to fewer plies. Our main growth has been in custom forms of two to five plies that become part of manifold books that we produce.”