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I had an email from a print rep the other day, saying he was coming to town and hoped to meet with me to show off some new samples.

He was shocked when I replied and told him I was no longer buying printing, but was now a copywriter for the web.

We emailed back and forth about some of the changes in the printing industry. He mentioned that the large, highly regarded company where he works had sold off a couple of its large presses and reduced capacity. I told him about my tour last year of an all-digital plant that didn’t have a prepress department, but did have an HP Indigo web press, one of the first installed on the west coast.

Read more of my perspectives on the future of printing →

Another Printing Disasters—and How to Avoid Them story…

Imagine my excitement

A design and strategy firm’s e-newsletter caught my attention this week. It featured an annual report the firm had produced for a client in both print and interactive form.

In describing the project, the strategist’s number one point was, “Print is not dead.” It went on to tout how print’s tangibility effectively supports brand communication.

Print is Still Integral

I am excited to see a design firm pitching the stance I’ve been promoting for over a year: Print is (still!) an important, integral aspect to any brand’s strategy.*

Granted, print design was not where the new business was to be found over the past two recessionary years, and hungry creative firms had to be responsive to what prospective clients were willing to buy.

But I’m happy to see this evidence that the pendulum is swinging back toward design and brand strategy professionals regarding print as a critical brand communication vehicle.

Hot tip

If your design firm has dropped print design from your sales pitch, I suggest that you add it back in—before the other guys beat you to it.

* See my blog articles, Brand Learning Styles and the Place of Printand “…People crave color and texture, the tangible and the real.”

© 2010 Nani Paape

Another Printing Disasters—and How to Avoid Them story…

I’ve been observing changes in the the traditional logo design process.

Logos are now being developed for web use first—both as static marks and ones that incorporate motion graphics. Secondarily the logo designs are extended to the print medium and two-dimensional uses.

By reversing the more traditional design process order, this new paradigm presents greater complexity and challenges, including accurate translaton of RGB color to Spot or CMYK inks.

Read more about brand color challenges →

Another Printing Disasters—and How to Avoid Them story...

The Disappearing Task Force Model

The college I attended liked to create ad hoc committees they called Disappearing Task Forces, or DTFs for short. DTFs came together to complete set tasks, then disbanded. In effect, they disappeared.

I always liked that model: Get together, get it done, go away. Come to think of it, that’s how I work as a by-project print production manager. My solo designer clients and those with small studios tell me they value my fast, thorough work and technical advice. They like skipping all that running around and being freed up to focus on their billable design projects.

Read how this looks in practice →

In part three of my interview with Mary Ellen Johnson, McCallum Print Group sales rep, she offers tips on using variable data effectively and sums up the advantages of digital printing.


NP:  How are your customers using variable data most effectively?

Read the final segment of my interview with Mary Ellen… →

In part two of my interview with Mary Ellen Johnson, McCallum Print Group sales rep, she explains the nuts and bolts of digital printing equipment, ink, paper, and prepress, and reveals secrets to successful digital print jobs.

Please note that there are other digital presses in the marketplace, but some information here applies specifically to HP Indigo presses, since that’s the brand of digital equipment Mary Ellen works with.

Read the interview with Mary Ellen… →

I will freely admit that I was not among the first to jump on the digital printing bandwagon. My early digital print projects suffered banding, pooling, uneven color, chipped edges, jaggy type knockouts, and a certain “toner-esque” shine to the color that really didn’t wow me. “Give me offset printing any day,” I gnashed!

But digital technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the past five years, persuading even skeptics like me that quality products can indeed be printed on digital presses. In fact, digital printing is central to the future of the printing industry.

Knowing that others probably had many of the same questions about digital printing that I did, I recently asked my friend Mary Ellen Johnson all about digital printing.

Mary Ellen is a sales rep who has sold traditional offset printing for 20+ years. When she accepted a position at Seattle’s McCallum Print Group a few years ago, she took the crash course in digital printing. Now she takes advantage of McCallum’s traditional offset and HP Indigo digital technologies to deliver the best-fitting print solutions for her customers.

In this three-part interview, Mary Ellen shares with me her knowledge about what digital printing does best.

Read the interview with Mary Ellen… →

To whet your appetite for my upcoming articles on digital printing, take a look at Hewlett-Packard’s take-off on Apple’s Hello I’m a Mac, Hello, I’m a PC ads… A fun way to think about variable data!

Now that many paper merchants have eliminated Spec Rep jobs, it seems to me that there’s an information vacuum.

How do graphic designers, production managers, and printers get the paper information they need? How do you get inspired? Stay current?

One entrepreneur who has stepped in to fill these needs is Sabine Lenz, founder of I’ve been curious about PaperSpecs, so I recently asked Sabine to tell me more about her company’s services.

Read the interview with Sabine… →

canstockphoto0131059One of the most mysterious parts of pricing print jobs is the pre-press cost of preparing the images for the project, whether that work is done by a printer or by a color house.

This article explains how to talk about how you want your image work to be approached, how image prep and proof costs are calculated, and how to avoid unexpected alteration charges.

Learn more about pricing color image work… →

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© 2009-2015 Nani Paape & Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material in any form without express and written permission from Nani Paape is strictly prohibited. Are you aggregating my copyrighted content onto your website? If so, it's polite to at least ASK instead of just waltzing off with it. WITH my permission, SHORT excerpts and links may be used, provided that full, clear credit is given to Nani Paape and, with appropriate and specific direction and link(s) to the original content.