Screen Printing - June/July 2016 - (Page 4)
E D I TO R I A L I N S I G H T S
SMALL TALK; BIG INDUSTRY
veryone reading this, raise your hands.
Now, those of you who have never had some variation of the following
scenario happen to you, can lower them: You're at a cocktail party.
You exchange pleasantries with a new acquaintance and, after explaining
what you do for a living, you notice their expression changes. They look
surprised; they look away; perhaps they just stare back vacantly as though
they think they may have misheard you. Or, depending on how many cocktails they've enjoyed, they tell you matter-of-factly that a career change may
be in order because print is a dying industry.
OK. How many hands are still up in the air? Just about all of them,
It has happened to most of us. It has happened to me, and I'm not a
printer myself. I recall being at a publishing conference around 1998 and
seeing Bill Gates do exactly the same sort of double-take after an attendee
confidently predicted that most of the people in the room would still be
earning their livings from print in 20 years. Gates, clearly, disagreed.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about such encounters is that
from the layperson's perspective, the notion that print is passé is pretty
much irrefutable. At least until 3D printing captured the public's attention
and scored a plug in a State of the Union address a few years ago, the only
associations most people had with print suggested decay. Many of the quick
printing businesses that used to dot every commercial district aren't there
any longer. Much of the printed material that was ubiquitous just 10 years
ago - bank statements, catalogs, newspapers, direct mail promotions, bills,
business forms - has all but vanished.
But this is the print that was. This is not the print that is, or that will be.
I've just returned from Germany and drupa, the international print
exhibition held on such a mind-bogglingly grand scale that attempting to
describe it is pointless. Instead, I'll share a few facts. The exhibition - with 19
tradeshow halls measuring over 2.5 million square feet - was sold out. More
than a quarter of a million people from 188 countries attended. Veterans of
multiple drupas (like me - it was my sixth) agreed that no recent exhibition
showcased such revolutionary printing technology. A dying industry cannot
possibly mount such an exhibition. Print is alive, and perhaps as big as it ever
And what about the print that will be? Based on what I saw in Germany, it's going to be extraordinary. It will be highly automated. It will blend
analog and digital technologies, customized for specific application needs.
It will encompass smart packaging, additive manufacturing, printed electronics, and highly personalized goods across the entire range of consumer and
industrial products. It will be just as omnipresent in our lives as it was before
anyone dreamed of interconnected electronic devices and paperless societies, in ways that most consumers can't even imagine. And it will look
more than a little familiar to those of us who have given the "think about
all of the printed things in your car" speech to those
who question the ongoing relevance of what we do
for a living.
Senior Vice President of Content
Kelly N. Kofron
Andy Anderson, Jeff Arbogast, Albert
Basse III, Reynold Bookman, Bob
Chambers, Don Curtis, Dean DeMarco,
Michael Emrich, Craig Furst, David
Gintzler, Ryan Moor, Bob Roberts,
Jon Weber, Andy Wood
Editorial Advisory Board
Senior Vice President/Group Publisher
Business Development Managers
Lou Arneberg - East and Midwest US,
Jim Karwowski - West and South US,
Western Canada, Europe, Asia
Karen Jones - NC, SC, GA, Classifieds
Audience Development Manager
Director of Online Media
Screen Printing Subscription Services
P.O. Box 1060, Skokie, IL 60076
F: 847-763-9030 E: SPTG@halldata.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - June/July 2016
Screen Printing - June/July 2016
Industrial Printer Expands with Inkjet
Production: Tortoise or Hare?
What’s Next for Single-Pass Inkjets?
DTG: Life in the Fast Lane
Print, Flash, and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Screen Printing - June/July 2016