Short-run products with pop make up a large percentage of the current demand. Things keep getting brighter for commercial printing. A little more than 10 years since the first high-speed digital color presses were launched, commercial printing has managed to cross over a major hump. No longer is digital color an immature technology viable only in controlled market niches; it is now a robust, economical process qualified for the production of many different products. As a result, everyone is ordering commercial printing products—from mom-and-pop pizza shops looking for a new menu to major universities looking to distribute a high-quality course catalog. These days, "short-run"
Short runs get to market faster than ever, thanks to efficient workflows and knowledgeable distributors. Which came first—the customer demand for quick turnaround times or the equipment technology that makes it possible? While the question is debatable, the upshot is clear. Short runs of process color work are a dominant trend in commercial printing. From a few days to as few as 24 hours after proof approval, orders for brochures, postcards, marketing collateral, rack cards, books and booklets in quantities of between 250 and 20,000 pieces are being printed, packed and shipped. Columbus, Kansas-based Midwest Color Graphics advertises typical production schedules of
After closing enrollment to all new distributors in 2003 while it converted to all digital production, Pyramid Checks & Printing, Portland, Maine, is now accepting new distributors. "Acquiring the Imaggia II and Foliotronic illustrates our interest in providing high quality products and a flexible distributor service, while maintaining the best-of-industry pricing model that we developed five years ago," Vice President of Business Development Clare Greenlaw, Jr. said in a recent press release. "Pyramid has placed itself in a position to continue to be the lowest for-trade-only printer when it comes to banking related printing." In its effort to fully convert to all digital production, Pyramid
How to find a comfort level in the growing commercial printing industry. Commercial print products are so diverse in scope these days that it is tough to pinpoint a precise method for marketing them properly. "Commercial printing is such a broad category that it is difficult to describe a sales formula that works for everyone," said Lindsay Gray, vice president of AccuLink (formerly AccuCopy/Quicktabs), Greenville, N.C. "You might as well ask General Mills to state the best way to market food." Gray advised distributors in this industry to "divide and conquer" commercial print products. "They need to identify the products and services they can
Newtown, Pennsauken, N.J., has acquired two six-color 40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster CD102 presses to meet the growing demand for commercial printing. Each press features an aqueous coating unit and a patented Air Transfer system that provide sharper printed images, solid ink coverage on heavier stocks, greater efficiency and faster turnaround. These two state-of-the-art presses are the newest additions to Newtown's fleet of forms equipment—a six-color Heidelberg Speedmaster CD102 press with an aqueous coating unit and a 40˝ two-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 102Z with a perfector unit. For more information on tihs equipment, contact either Randy Fry in Buffalo, N.Y. at (800) 828-7364 or Eric Killinger in Fredericksburg, Va.
At the Graphic Expo in Chicago last month, The Print Council—a business development alliance dedicated to promoting the greater use of print media—publicly announced its formation. The council's goal is to develop, maintain and increase the printed goods market through education, awareness, market development, advocacy and research. The Print Council also named its founding members, who represent some of the most recognizable names in the printing industry, including Agfa-Gevaert Group; Electronics for Imaging; Franchise Services, Inc.; Heidelberg; IBM; International Paper; Mail-Well; MAN Roland; Pitney Bowes; PressTek; Quad Graphics; Roll Systems; Sandy Alexander; Scitex Digital Printing; The Sheridan Group; Sun Chemical; Williamson Printing Corporation and
Fresh but forgotten by some, this technology has got big answers for even bigger dilemmas. David Howard's client had a problem. A marketing director for a local bank wanted brochures printed for all 20 of the financial institution's branches, but she needed the brochures to be personalized for each branch. In addition, she only wanted a few thousand brochures printed at a time because she did not want to be tied to one marketing message for an entire year. Fortunately, Howard, who happens to be the marketing manager for Victor Printing, Sharon, Pa., had an ace up his sleeve—the Indigo Ultrasream 2000. Like
Distributors find that there's more than one way to sell commercial printing. While distributors agree that commercial printing is an excellent market, no two have exactly the same philosophy on how to best serve clients. However, rather than being a source of discord, this difference of opinion enables distributors to successfully conduct business in their respective niches. For example, the following four distributors attribute 25 percent to 60 percent of their sales to commercial printing and each have distinct methods of servicing clients. By the fiscal year's end all four companies grossed between $10 million and $70 million in sales last year, proving there's
Nestled in a pristine valley cut by the Boise River is Eagle, Idaho. In this idyllic setting is the new home to Camille Beckman, a wholesale merchant of fragrant beauty products. The beautiful Tudor-style facility is largely a result of years of careful and deliberate planning by Susan Roghani, owner of Camille Beckman. But it's not her new building that won a platinum award—it's her new catalog. Needless to say, Roghani didn't want just any catalog. She wanted it to be pleasing to the eye with every facet serving a dual purpose. The fact is, Roghani has used the same product information
It's in-with-the-new as manufacturers accommodate increasing requests for non-traditional products. The pleasing aesthetics belie the confounding aggravations behind producing and selling commercial printing. But the customer is always right and industry professionals love a challenge, a symbiosis enabling the dominance of commercial printing among industry trends. Manufacturers are discovering that it's simply not enough to sell on quality, which is pretty much a given at this level of production. And instead of satisfying application requirements—as is the case with traditional products—the ability to accommodate customers' business practices is determining success for commercial printers. Improved target marketing, cost containment issues and demands for quick turnaround