A Giant Leap
As we get ready to go to press for this issue, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo mission and the achievement of putting the first man on the moon. On July 20, 1969, 600 million people watched with anxious excitement as Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. took their first steps on the moon’s surface. It was a milestone in the history of human achievement that took nearly 400,000 people to make it possible.
Although what we do in the sign and graphics industry is nowhere close to rocket science, the complexity of the projects and applications created are still pretty remarkable. Day in and day out — and after more than 20 years in the industry — I am still amazed by the projects and applications sign and graphics providers produce on a daily basis. I’m impressed by the creativity, the attention to detail, and the ingenuity they exhibit as they look to bring their client’s ideas and concepts to life.
They’re not afraid to take on something new, integrate new materials, and explore new technology to create something that will make people stop and pay attention.
This issue is focused on “Innovation,” and within its pages you’ll see how print providers are continuing to innovate, create new methods and ideas, grow their businesses, and challenge themselves to do their jobs better each and every day.
In our story on innovation, starting on page 16, we explore four ways technology is changing the way consumers and brands interact with one another and the world at large. That doesn’t make print any less relevant, it just requires a shift in thinking when it comes to how it integrates with the rest of a campaign.
Have you ever thought of Brooklyn, N.Y. as a hub of innovation? If not, the article on page 18 by Vince Cahill will certainly change your mind. Municipalities and private institutions are creating innovation hubs in abandoned and underutilized manufacturing and warehousing buildings, navy yards, and other landmark locations. With a mix of enterprises from a variety of industries and business sectors, including graphic communications, they foster a sense of community and cross-pollination of skills and expertise that drives growth and innovation.
On page 30, Toni McQuilken dives into omnichannel marketing — something that traditionally has been the purview of the direct mail/transpromo side of the business. The omnichannel approach to branding, however, is spreading to encompass every printed component, which means wide-format printers can no longer afford to ignore the concept.
Has UV inkjet technology peaked, or is there another summit for it to conquer? Greg Sharpless — with the help of UV inkjet experts — examines where UV has been and how OEMs are continuing to innovate in the article starting on page 34.
Have you ever wondered if functional printing was really something a sign and graphics shop could be interested in? Starting on page 38, Eileen Fritsch helps to demystify functional printing, and highlights areas that are adjacent to some of the services print providers are already offering.
I think this industry is ripe with innovation, and PRINTING United in Dallas (October 23-25) is the place to see it all. Check out our two-article series about the Expo (starting on page 22) detailing why the show is going to be an important piece of the print industry landscape for years to come.å
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging, and Publishing Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics andWide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.