Posts tagged: Frank Romano

Frank Romano and the Phototypesetting Era

Jim Hamilton
 Jan 2, 2015

Frank Romano is at it again. His latest, History of the Phototypesetting Era, follows the publication last summer of his History of the Linotype Company. Both books have been aptly described as time capsules. Particularly notable throughout all his writings are Romano’s attention to detail, his desire to document events, and, in the case of this latest book, an “I was there” perspective.

Romano’s History of the Phototypesetting Era is remarkable as much for its Read more »

Frank Romano’s Love Letter to Linotype

Jim Hamilton
 Jul 17, 2014

Professor Frank Romano’s new book, “History of the Linotype Company,”is like a love letter with references and footnotes. Beautifully printed and illustrated, it smells great too. It also weighs about as much as a fully-loaded agate type magazine from a Model 9 Linotype machine. With more than 460 pages, this book does not constitute light reading. If the names James Clephane, Whitelaw Reid, and Linn Boyd Benton mean anything to you, then this will be your goldmine. If they don’t, then this book provides the opportunity to drink in a rich mixture of historical documents and Romano’s astute observations. Romano is clearly obsessed with this topic, and for that we should all be thankful. Who else as a young man would have had the forethought to collect old type catalogs and preserve an unpublished company history?

In the Preface, Romano describes the book’s intent Read more »

When the CEO Visits a Customer Event

Jim Hamilton
 Jun 12, 2014

I’ve spoken at two recent graphic arts events where something unusual happened. Chief Executive Officers of billion-plus dollar companies were in attendance speaking to customers and prospects. This is not only unusual, it’s also very symbolic, and it underscores the importance of a kind of event that is happening more and more frequently: invitation-only customer/prospect events held at a company-owned or partner facility. Customers and prospects are flown in, wined & dined, shown the latest product updates, and given a strategy update by senior executives. And in case you were wondering, the marketing dollars spent at these events are very likely those that were saved by not participating at IPEX or other graphic arts trade shows.

At left, Xerox's Ursula Burns cuts the ribbon while Jeff Jacobson and Paul Morgavi look on; at right, Kodak's new CEO Jeff Clarke (in tie) with ImageMark's Walter Payne

  • Xerox’s Inkjet Summit “The first of the events I spoke at was a Xerox Inkjet Summit at the Impika headquarters in Aubagne, France (near Marseille). Read more »

Frankly Speaking: The Drupa Drupa

Frank Romano
 Jan 18, 2012

Predicting the predominant theme of Drupa is like predicting presidential prospects. It is fraught with peril.

We know that the last Drupa in 2008 was truly an inkjet-oriented Drupa. Few of you can tell me what was new in offset litho but all can remember that HP became one of the largest exhibitors with a new high-speed, high-quality, roll-fed inkjet press that broke all the rules–inkjet, high speed, high quality, and roll fed were not terms that commonly collided in the same sentence.

The every-4 year (it was once 5 years) international show schedule was designed to provide enough time for large leaps in technology.  That is why Drupa, Ipex, and PRINT shows have a personality. There is always something truly new.

As the 2012 edition of Drupa rapidy approaches we pundits delight in prognosticating. It is either that or actually working for a living. My original prediction was that Drupa 2012 would be “inkjet on steroids.” The steroid lobby has taken offence so I am re-thinking all inking.

Let us set the stage. Once HP set the bar for a new breed of inkjet printer/press in 2008, Read more »

The Greatest Job on the Planet

Jim Hamilton
 Aug 31, 2011

David Pankow, curator of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Cary Graphic Arts collection, is retiring today after more than thirty years of service. I’m sure the decision to retire was a hard one. You see, I think he has the greatest job on the planet. Read more »

Frankly Speaking: How does a magazine say goodbye after 128 years?

Frank Romano
 Aug 22, 2011

In 1967 the printing industry and its suppliers supported over 30 advertising-based magazines:

The nationals: Inland Printer/American Printer, Graphic Arts Monthly, Printing Impressions, Printing Production, Printing Magazine, and Modern Lithography.

The regionals: New England Printer, Southern Printer, Pacific Printer, Southern Printer, Printing Views (midwest), Printing News (New York), and Florida Printer

The inplants: Inplant Printer, Inplant Reproductions, The Office

Publishing: Editor & Publisher, Publishers Auxiliary (weeklies), American Press, Publisher’s Weekly, and Book Industry

The internationals: Canadian Printer, British Printer, El Arte Tipografico, Artes Graficas

The art magazines: Art Direction, Graphic Design USA, CA magazine

Other: Graphic Arts Product News, The Typographical Journal

Later on there were Quick Printer, MicroPublishing News, TypeWorld/Electronic Publishing, PRE-, and Publish.

Here is a collage of some of them that I made in 1967. Yes, I am a hoarder. Read more »

Frankly Speaking: A Snapshot of the Printing Industry

Frank Romano
 Jun 22, 2011

Printing Impressions magazine publishes an annual list of printing companies. Even though some companies who should be there are not, it is good representative list of 400 printers that range from over $10 Billion to $4 million.

How many and what percentage are based in the midwest?  Read more »

Frank Romano’s History of Printing

Jim Hamilton
 May 26, 2010

Frank Romano often volunteers to host Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) alumni events at his beautiful home in the South End of Boston. At a recent one I asked Frank if I could have my picture taken with one of the many interesting historical objects that he has collected in a lifetime in the printing industry. Frank thought a little bit and then chose a drawing by Frederic W. Goudy, the famous typeface designer. (The image below comes courtesy of Frank Cost, interim dean of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at RIT, who took photos that night and after the event put together a lovely photo book commemorating the event.)

Frank Romano and Jim Hamilton with a Goudy drawing

Frank Romano and Jim Hamilton with a Goudy drawing

Frank is holding an original drawing for Goudy’s last typeface, Goudy 30. Those of you who have seen the book “The Hand of a Master may recall seeing a similar drawing in the background of one of the illustrations that Kimberly-Clark commissioned on printing history landmarks (see below). Frank says that the Goudy drawing is one of the oldest things in his house (besides himself). The truly oldest things are two leaves from the Nuremburg Chronicle of 1493, which was the first publication to mention the work of Johannes Gutenberg.

Frederic Goudy illustration from The Hand of a Master

Frederic Goudy illustration from The Hand of a Master

Frank’s home is like a museum of printing history, but not everyone knows that he is also very actively involved in (and is president, in fact) of an actual Museum of Printing, one that resides in North Andover, Massachusetts. For more information, see If you go there on a Saturday when he is in town you may find that he’s the one giving tours. See Matt Swain’s blog on his recent visit there.

My Pilgrimage to the Museum of Printing

Matt Swain
 May 17, 2010

A few weeks ago, I took advantage of a rainy Saturday morning and visited the Museum of Printing. At one point over the last year, I had promised Frank Romano that I would make the pilgrimage. After driving through the sleepy town of North Andover, MA, I arrived at a colonial brick building with a bell tower and a sign out front that indicated I had arrived. I noticed the weather vane on top of the bell tower had what looked like a cat on it — I was expecting Gutenberg.

I was a few minutes early, and surprised to find five cars in the parking lot already. As I walked through the door, it was only fitting to see Frank’s beaming face. “Hi Matt, you are just in time to join the tour that I am giving for Hesser College!” I had unwittingly walked in on Frank in one of his favorite personas — Professor Romano.

Read more »

What If People Actually Showed Up? A Report from ON DEMAND 2009

Jim Hamilton
 Apr 3, 2009

ON DEMAND 2009 opened among concerns about the economy and how that would impact the turnout. Some predicted truly anemic attendance. Though no attendance figures are available yet to verify this, my observation is that attendance on the ON DEMAND show floor and at the conference was quite good. In speaking with many exhibitors over the past three days, the general reaction is that booth traffic was better than they had expected and that the show was providing good leads. Some of this can be attributed to this year’s move to Philadelphia from Boston, which makes it easier for attendees from Washington and New York to attend. Read more »

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