Jan 26, 2016
You may have seen the television ad where a boy is throwing paper airplanes over a fence to communicate with his dad, who is away on active duty. Each paper airplane contains a note from the boy to his father. A kindly neighbor on the other side of the fence notices the airplanes, puts them in a box, and sends them to the father. Sometime later, the neighbor receives a box in the mail full of paper airplanes with notes from the dad to his son. The neighbor takes the airplanes and throws them one by one over the fence, where they are discovered by the boy. The story is heartwarming and it’s a Hallmark moment for sure, but this is not a greeting card commercial. What is this ad promoting? The answer might surprise you—it’s paper and packaging.
This is one of three television advertisements created by the Paper & Packaging Board as part of a campaign called “Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds.” This multi-million-dollar promotional campaign began in the middle of 2015 and includes not only television exposure, but also print and online ads. The target audience is Read more »
Sep 28, 2015
I’ve recorded eight short videos (each is between two and five minutes long) that highlight some interesting print samples from Graph Expo 2015:
I hope you enjoy these. I’ll be adding some more Read more »
Apr 11, 2014
nGage’s Inkjet Summit is in its second year and it has grown to around 90 end-user attendees and 39 sponsor companies. The concept is relatively simple: find prospective buyers of high-speed inkjet equipment, pay their way to a resort location, and sit them down in front of the sponsors for case study presentations and one-on-one meetings. This assures that the level of knowledge and experience of the average attendee is very impressive. They have done their research and have a good idea of what they need. Not all of the attendees, though, are first-time buyers. Those looking to purchase a second (or third, or fourth) device were also in attendance. They make up a significant portion of the audience and have hands-on familiarity with inkjet technology.
Similar to the first-time buyer/experienced user split, another split was particularly noticeable Read more »
Jan 31, 2014
International Paper (IP) and Unisource Worldwide (UWW) Holdings have announced a definitive agreement to merge their distribution businesses and form a newly created, publicly traded company that will be the largest paper distributor in North America.
This is a big deal. Two of the largest distributors of paper, board, and related supplies for the commercial printing and packaging industries are merging. It would be like Sysco and US Foods, UPS and Fedex, or Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks merging — OK, maybe not that big, but you get the idea.
The new xpedx/Unisource (unipedx? I hope not.) will have an unparalleled combination of product assortment, availability, logistics services, operational efficiencies, and, potentially, pricing power in the market. According to IP, the combined xpedx and Unisource business will have projected annual revenue in the range of $9 billion to $10 billion, and will have about 9,500 employees across more than 170 distribution centers in North America.
xpedx (blue) and Unisource (red) North American Locations
InfoTrends graphic from xpedx and Unisource data
Dec 10, 2013
Though inkjet has been a hot topic since 2008 (remember the ‘inkjet’ drupa?), it is hard to underestimate the continuing impact inkjet is having across all areas of the graphic arts. I think 2013 marks an interesting turning point. Inkjet is everywhere from document printing to labels & packaging to decorative to functional and 3D printing.
Gartner Hype Cycle
3D printing had to be one of the most talked about topics of 2013 and jetting technologies are the key behind many 3D printing implementations (though in this case they are jetting materials rather than inks). That being said, in my opinion 3D printing has reached what Gartner likes to call the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’ and others have described as ‘Irrational Exuberance.’ The way some people talk about 3D printing you’d think that before long you’ll be 3D printing your beer complete with the bottle (with a label on the outside and a cap on top).
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Sep 16, 2013
International Paper announced it will permanently close its massive Courtland, Alabama mill by the end of the first quarter of 2014. This is a huge decision for IP and speaks very loudly about the long-term demand for printing and communications paper. Printer and copier manufacturers, inkjet and toner vendors, office products and supplies resellers, and print service providers need to take notice.
International Paper Courtland Alabama Mill
Source: Decatur Daily
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Jul 12, 2013
As paper volumes drop because of electronic substitution, and paper mills cut capacity to sync with demand, paper will become a rare commodity. And rare commodities are worth a lot of money.
I would start hoarding paper now instead of gold and silver. Some day, we will have new denominations based on sheets, reams, cases, and of course, rolls of paper. It may not be uncommon to hear “Can I Read more »
Feb 11, 2013
At Hunkeler Innovationdays this week (February 11th to 15th in Lucerne, Switzerland), Kodak announced a new version of its Prosper high-speed inkjet printing system. The Prosper 5000XLi includes a new extended paper path, an improved transport/drying system, new more durable inks, and software improvements that better leverage existing camera/sensor feedback systems. Key to the features of the 5000XLi are items that improve quality for many applications, but particularly for high-coverage output on coated papers. For those types of applications, the optional Image Optimization Station (IOS) provides an in-line treatment (an aqueous coating) that allows users to use commodity papers instead of more expensive inkjet-treated offerings. The 5000XLi will replace the Prosper 5000XL. Upgrades will be available for current Prosper 5000 systems. The 5000XLi will be available immediately after Hunkeler Innovationdays.
Prosper 5000XLi at Mercury Print in Rochester, New York
I had a chance to see the Prosper 5000XLi running live at a user site in Rochester, New York. The site, Mercury Print (www.mercuryprint.com), has had its Prosper 5000 since July of 2011 and served as the beta site for the new 5000XL. It has also added the monochrome Prosper 1000, which was installed at the end of December.
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Aug 14, 2012
As a father of four children, I often get insights about the meaning of life and the future of the printing industry from seemingly innocuous experiences and items that cross my desk. (Sorry, I’m an analyst. I can’t help myself.) This week it was an update on International Paper’s Franklin Mill and a letter from the principal of my son’s middle school (don’t worry, he’s not in trouble) that I believe are prescient on the direction of much of the paper and printing industry.
Less Freesheet, More Fluff Pulp
Back in October 2009, during the depth of the economic recession, International Paper (IP) made the difficult decision to close its Franklin, VA mill that produced over 600,000 tons of uncoated freesheet paper used for printing and copying (nearly 20% of IP’s capacity)Â and 140,000 tons of coated paperboard used for book covers, greeting cards, direct mail advertising and other products (7% of IP’s capacity). The closure resulted in over 1,100 job terminations and was extremely painful for the community of Franklin (population 8,600) who’s history was inextricably linked to the Camp family and Union Camp paper mill.
Diane Mathews, Daily PressÂ / October 5, 2010
International Paper Franklin Mill
IP’s chief executive John Faraci recently commented to the Wall Street Journal that during the recession, copy paper demand in North America “stopped overnight”. “We had no choice,” he said. “We didn’t have any orders.”
I believe many CEOs in the printing, office equipment, and paper industries were having a similar experience at that time.
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Jun 12, 2012
The 2012 HOW Design Live, an event sponsored by HOW magazine held this year in Boston from June 21-25th, is an event that service providers should consider attending. It’s one of the largest gatherings of designers, freelancers, creative team managers, and other creative professionals in the country. The creative community, according to the 48th Annual Print Survey conducted by Graphic Design USA, remains central to the process of buying print and specifying paper. In addition, these professionals play a pivotal role in shaping cross media campaigns. As more and more service providers bring to market solutions that integrate print and online media channels, connecting with the design community should be a priority.
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