View from the Top
It's been a difficult and challenging past few years for all Americans. The print industry, one of the most influential and lucrative U.S. business segments, faced some of its most troubling times.
In the mid-'90s, we found the industry reeling from erratically fluctuating paper pricing, and uncertainty about how consolidation would carve the landscape.
Then the Internet hovered like a dark cloud, leaving even the most die-hard print fans wondering if their medium would be widely available in the new millennium.
The fallout of the dot-com world helped some print segments to thrive, while in others—magazines and newspapers, in particular—publishers struggled to find replacement sources of ad revenue to justify their existence.
Then came Sept. 11th, a continued volatile economy and, another war and growing unemployment figures.
The print industry is in a state of flux, with trends like convergence and an uncertain economy necessitating all print producers to do more with less.
Not a day goes by that we don't learn of another publication ceasing operations, another prepress shop closing its doors, another printer being bought by a larger, more powerful entity.
It's a scary time to be in print, but all the more reason why we ensure that our commitment to continuing education and technological progress remains steadfast.
Last October, I had the pleasure to reunite with the NAPCO family to work on this year's PrintMedia Conference & Expo, comprising three concurrent events: BookTech, celebrating its seventh year; MagazineTech and the inaugural In-Plant Graphics conference.
Working under the guidance of our advisory boards, we've created an ambitious program offering seven concurrent seminar tracks in key disciplines: book and magazine manufacturing, in-plant graphics production and printing, PDF workflow, workflow and management technologies, and color & quality control best practices.