Transcontinental VP Weighs in on State of the Printing Industry
Bruce Jensen, Transcontinental Printing’s vice president of U.S. and Quebec sales for the catalog and magazine group, discussed the state of today’s magazine printing industry with Publishing Executive Inbox.
Editor’s Note: The April issue of Publishing Executive (http://www.PubExec.com) features this year’s list of the top 25 magazine printers in the U.S. and Canada, as well as interviews with several executives from top printers from the list.
Inbox: Can you identify some of the changes or trends you’ve seen in the magazine printing market over the past year?
Bruce Jensen: In terms of production, we see more customers demanding a full digital-production environment that flows from their creative end through proofing at press-side without hard-copy proofs. The early adopters of Virtual Edge Press Side Proofing have seen a substantial increase in speed to market and the flexibility to make last-minute changes—all with improved color quality. In addition, virtual workspaces offer publishers greater collaboration, in real-time, with contributors and designers anywhere in the world. Putting a magazine together today doesn’t require your team to be in a central location to work as a team. This technology is cost-effective and user-friendly, but more importantly, it works.
Inbox: Is it fair to say we’re still in a print-buyer’s market? If so, what forces are contributing to this?
Jensen: There is still an abundance of capacity in the market for general print production. What is changing are the needs of the more sophisticated publications that require more support and services. Those customers tend to have a smaller selection of print providers as the cost of technology and support limits the smaller and mid-size printers in their scope and depth of offerings/services. One of the new products we are offering to magazine publishers that want to stand out is MetalFX printing technology. This required investment and training at Transcontinental, but our customers see a substantial benefit with the design and creative flexibility and, most importantly, the “cover wow factor” that sells more copies.