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#Think!Paper Edition 3, Vol. 9

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 


Nothing stands in the way of the prospering future of print. Assuming we know how it works! That’s the way to describe Rüdiger Maaß‘s credo. For about two decades, he has been tirelessly committed to contemporary, highly effective print media production with a penchant for digital printing and specialties in print. It is therefore fun to deal with him and his actions and to break new ground.


 

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?

Rüdiger Maaß: I think the right answer is a multi-layered list:

  • Multisensory and thus the possibility of deceleration to reach a best-in-class attention
  • Interaction to better bond with the brand
  • Experience through action
  • Immense credibility and navigation aid in the jungle of information aesthetics
  • etc. … the list can be extended as a never-ending story!

But in the end, it’s not just about the “beauty” of print, but about the effect. And this effectiveness becomes all the stronger, the more print is staged by an overall concept in line with digital communication. The task is – as always – to put the strengths of print in the right place.

 


 

Everything in the Mobile Age is so fast. Why is the adaption of digital printing technology innovations so slow?

Rüdiger Maaß: Is it really like that? I’m convinced that digital printing (in whatever form) is immensely fast and fully automated. From my experience, the associated ideas and concepts from the advertising industry are missing – and of course the access to the digital data of the “users”. And in the end it’s all about the courage !

And “fast” is always in the eye of the beholder. Customers who do not know would be surprised to learn that they can get an individual print product in less than 24 hours or even a same day delivery.

 


 

What are the key drivers for a powerful & successful print service biz today and what will it be in the future?

Rüdiger Maaß: The key to success is certainly the conceptual advice — who can not afford, can only assert itself as a ‘print-mate’ in the niche. With our unique ’Creatura’ initiative, we developed the Creatura meta-analysis for advice support how to use print media and special effects in the best way.

This meta-analysis is the bible of ’print staging / conception’. However, the resulting knowledge base is immensely important not only for the service providers, but also for the advertising and communication agencies and for the advertising companies. The key to success is rethinking the direction of impact rather than moving on with speeding up the production process. Because knowledge about the effect of print beats ’quick&dirty reach’.

 

The Creatura meta-analysis “The Power of Print” is a must have and must read publication. Available in german and english.


 

About

Rüdiger Maaß is Managing Director of Fachverband Medienproduktion e.V. f:mp — the Association Media Production e.V. — f: mp. From the beginning, he has dedicated himself to the topic of digital printing and has always started effective initiatives to open up new application possibilities for and with print. In the meantime, f: mp has numerous projects and cooperations that lead beyond narrow industry boundaries. High-light is the congress trade fair PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION, which will be realized together with Messe Düsseldorf and will provide important impulses at drupa 2020.


 

Im Original: Die deutsche Textversion

Der prosperierenden Zukunft von Print steht nichts im Wege. Vorausgesetzt, wir wissen wie es geht!  So könnte man das Credo von Rüdiger Maaß beschreiben. Unermüdlich setzt er sich seit rund zwei Jahrzehnten für eine zeitgemäße, hoch wirkungsvolle Printmedien-Produktion ein, mit einem Faible für Digitaldruck und Spezialitäten im Print. Es macht daher Spaß, sich mit ihm und seinem Tun auseinanderzusetzen und neue Wege zu beschreiten.

Frage 1

Ich denke, es ist eine vielschichtige Liste:

  • Multisensorik und damit die Möglichkeit der Entschleunigung mit höherer Aufmerksamkeit
  • Interaktion zur besseren Bindung mit der Marke
  • Erlebnis durch Aktion
  • Immense Glaubwürdigkeit und Navigationshilfe im Dschungel der Informationen
  • Ästhetik
  • usw. … die Liste lässt sich beliebig erweitern!

Aber am Ende geht es nicht nur um die „Schönheit“ von Print, sondern um die Wirkung. Und die Wirkungseffizienz wird umso stärker, je mehr Print durch ein Gesamtkonzept im Einklang mit der digitalen Kommunikation inszeniert wird. Aufgabe ist es also – wie schon immer – die Stärken von Print richtig in Szene zu setzen.

Frage 2

Ist das wirklich so? Ich bin überzeugt davon, dass gerade der Digitaldruck (in welcher Form auch immer) immens schnell und voll-automatisiert ist. Aus meiner Erfahrung fehlen die zugehörigen Ideen und Konzepte aus der werbungtreibenden Industrie – und natürlich der Zugriff auf die digitalen Daten der „User“. Und am Ende der Mut !

Und „schnell“ liegt ja immer im Auge des Betrachters. Kunden, die es nicht besser wissen, wären sicher überrascht, zu erfahren, dass sie in weniger als 24 Stunden ein individuelles Printprodukt bekommen können. Oder sogar eine Lieferung am selben Tag!

Frage 3

Der Schlüssel zum Erfolg ist sicher die konzeptionelle Beratung – wer die nicht leisten kann, wird sich als ‚Print-Erfüllungsgehilfe‘ nur in der Nische behaupten können. Mit unserer Creatura-Initiative haben wir zur Beratungsunterstützung – quasi wie Print und Veredelung eingesetzt werden muss – die Creatura-Metaanalyse https://www.creatura.de/metaanalyse entwickelt.

Das ist quasi die ‚Bibel der Print-Inszenierung/Konzeptionierung‘. Die dadurch entstehende Wissens-Basis ist jedoch nicht nur für die Dienstleister immens wichtig, sondern auch für die Werbe- und Kommunikationsagenturen und für die Werbungtreibenden Unternehmen. Der Schlüssel zum Erfolg besteht im Umdenken in Richtung Wirkung und nicht im Weitermachen mit Geschwindigkeitssteigerungen im Produktionsablauf. Denn Wissen um Wirkung von Print schlägt schnelle ‚Reichweite‘.


Über Rüdiger Maaß

Rüdiger Maaß ist Geschäftsführer des Fachverband Medienproduktion e.V. f:mp. Von Anfang an hat er sich dem Thema Digitaldruck gewidmet und stets wirkungsvolle Initiativen begonnen, um für und mit Print neue Anwendungsmöglichkeiten zu erschließen. Inzwischen betreibt der f:mp zahlreiche Projekte und Kooperationen, die über enge Branchengrenzen hinausführen. High-light ist die Kongress-Messe PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION, die gemeinsam mit der Messe Düsseldorf realisiert wird und auf der drupa 2020 wichtige Impulse geben wird.

 


 

ThinkPaper Wortbild PRINT

Note

Read as well the summary of all #Think!Paper Conversations and get access to all of them.

 


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#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do
We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission
We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners
We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.

 


 

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#Think!Paper — Edition 3, Vol. 4

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 


Smart, clever, experienced, multicultural — François Martin is a print expert you need to be in contact with. I have known him for almost 15 years, we explored, presented, published and discussed a lot together, sometimes even controversially. The result was always an enrichment for us as well as for others. It is worthwhile to read his thoughts.


 

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?

François Martin: Print and on-line have their own usage and purpose. The raise of digital made some printed documents such as user manuals and newspaper almost obsolete and this is great – less waste in printing and transportation. At the same time, it is easier to learn using a printed book, it is easier to use a printed catalogue where you can make annotation.

The point is that each of us has his own way to access and retrieve information – some will prefer print (eg a travel guide), others will prefer an on-line information access. You want to disconnect from your screen and this is where paper is important.

The truth is that print declined a lot of the last 20 years and it will continue as you have other ways to be effective. At the same time not all pages will disappear – the one adding value and emotion will remain – and the reasons is simple, we do not want to be only connected.

Something interesting to note is that after years of emailing growth, printed direct mail is back in to the marketing mix. We are bombarded by mails and a cool/funny direct mail will capture well your attention effectively.

The beauty of print is that it can take any shape – it can be flat on a screen when needed, it can have textured effects on a postcard to remind us about something, it can be a nice photobook to read at leisure.

So, print has a role to play, no longer a leading role but a role around commodity, emotion & reaction and memory preservation.

 


 

Everything in the Mobile Age is so fast. Why is the adaption of digital printing technology innovations so slow?

François Martin: The adoption of digital for commercial print is not slow. It is slow for the one who assumed it would replace offset totally but the reality is that digital took off in an incredible manner being in almost any print shops and at the same time offset gained in automation.

The total European printed products production decreased by almost 24% between 2008 and 2017 and within the printed production, digital has grown a lot – especially for all what has to be printed on demand and or in short runs. 

Even for books digital made major in-roads. On-demand book printing is great and it saved a lot of trees and money. We do not read less but we read books we want, printed when we need them with far less obsolete inventories. We also have far less magazines returned from shops and we reduced the printed and transportation costs.

I see a continuous trend for digital printing to grow especially when the cost of inks will further decline.

Print is evolving according to the Darwin law. Digital is a new more agile animal which will overtime replace an older specie.

 


 

What are the key drivers for a powerful & successful print service biz today and what will it be in the future?

François Martin: The key driver to be a successful print service provider? – easy. Do not say you are a printer but position yourself as a marketing service provider. Print is a way to communicate something – otherwise, why to print? Help your clients discussing with them what they want to achieve and design with them what is the most relevant way. Use embellishment on print more – use personalization / customization – use cool substrates. Make communication emotional and attractive. Combine print with on-line, add Augmented Reality to print if you need. Offer web-to-print capabilities as this is what many want to have for the still to be printed commodity pages – eg a simple brochure still needed.

What will be commercial print in the future? Overall less print – this is truth we need to accept. More web-to-print solutions – easier and offering more choices. Equipment wise fully integrated and automated machines providing print, embellishment and finishing without much human intervention.

In short, print will remain but it will never be what it was.

Merci beaucoup. — Thanks for the great and inspiring conversation.


 

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Coffee Talk in Israel focussing drupa 2012: François Martin and Andreas Weber presenting market trends leading to the analog to digital transformation.

 


About

François Martin has been working in the printing and packaging industry since 2005 in various marketing roles. As Senior Consultant, he today continues to communicate innovations which will help converters and brand owners to create a more agile and more sustainable packaging production across the entire supply chain.

He strongly believes that digitalization, automation and connectivity are the main drivers to shape the future of packaging production. He is also convinced that the new consumer generation will force the entire industry to drastically reduce its environmental impact answering their needs for a customized experience addressing their values. 

Before becoming an industry consultant in 2018, François was the global head of marketing for the HP Graphics Solutions Business.


 

ThinkPpaer Key Visual Blog Post.001

 

#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

 

 

EDP Award 2019 — The Winners

Group picture of the winners of the EDP Awards 2019 (from left): Andrea Riccardi, Durst Group; Alexander Demmler, LacunaSolutions (slightly hidden); Alan Clarke, Xerox; Bernd Rückert, CGS; Oliver Lüdtke, Kornit; Dirk Devroye, Mutoh (also slightly concealed); Stefan Steinle, Kodak); Maarten Goethals, Fujifilm; Giuseppe Galluci, Elitron; Philip Van der Auwera, Agfa; Kevin Shimamoto, Memjet; Michael Smetana and Raquel Villacaña, both HP; Nicolas Venance, MGI; Carmen Eicher, swissQprint; Nico Olejniczak, ClaoudLab; Bert Benckhuysen and Tobias Sternbeck, Mimaki; Gillian Montanaro, Roland DG; Dirk Deroo, Data- line; Oliver Zünd, Zünd.

Competition with an international dimension | On 15 May 2019, during Fespa 2019 in Munich the European Digital Press Association (EDP) celebrated the 28 winners of their 13th EDP Awards.


My Take

There are many awards going on around the globe. And these are extremely popular with technology suppliers. However, the focus should rather be on buyers and users of products. Those, who are interested in the best of the best, means actually useful, because valuable innovations. In other words, those that the market needs and can make good use of. In this respect, the independence and maximum qualification of the jury is crucial.

Hardly any other international award can access such a long history and expertise as the EDP Award. Because EDP stands for European Digital Press Association and is supported by the leading specialist journalists in Europe. It could not be better!This especially for me as a clear reference to the social media marketing and PR/communication departments, which lately too often think that trade press would not be so important or even old school.

Andreas Weber, Head of Value


 

On 15 May, the second day of Fespa 2019 in Munich, the EDP Association (European Digital Press Association) presented the coveted and renowned EDP Awards to 28 winners for the 13th time since its foundation in the presence of some 80 guests. The EDP Awards are Europe’s only technology contest in the industry and an open competition for all products announced and launched in the market over the last twelve months. 

The winners are selected by an expert commission (the EDP Technical Committee), which selects the submitted products according to criteria such as innovation, quality, performance and costs. Due to these strict criteria, there are no votings in the internet or any other public votes. It’s tech- nical criteria, not popularity. This is the only way the EDP can guarantee that the performance of manufacturers is honoured for the development of new technologies. Thus the logo of the EDP Awards stands for innovation and quality, offers orientation and gives a neutral recommendation for purchase decisions of the users. 

 


All Winners at a Glance

 


 

During the Awards Ceremony Klaus-Peter Nicolay, President of the EDP Association, pointed out that the EDP Awards have become the “most prestigious and valuable technical award for the digital print business in Europe” in the last years. 

An EDP Award undoubtedly enhances the award-winning product. “But we also know that the EDP Awards can only be presented because the industry is willing to submit their products to the competition and give us insight into their developments,” said Nicolay and made it clear: “We have the highest respect for the individual performance of each manufacturer. Every company that participates in the EDP Awards is a winner. Because it takes courage to face the competition and a jury — especially in times when even the slightest weakness is interpreted as failure”. 

 


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And it would be a misunderstanding to reduce the EDP Awards purely to Europe. Of course, the EDP Awards are an European competition, but one with an international character and globally active participants. The EDP Awards 2019 will once again feature a colourful mix of finalists and winners from Belgium, China, Germany, France, UK, Israel, Italy, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. 

This year 28 trophies were presented to the winners during the EDP Awards Ceremony in Munich. Products from the five main categories software/hardware, print (large and wide format printing as well as commercial printing), industrial solutions, finishing and consumables were awarded. 

 


 

EDP Report 2019

The participating products and results of this year’s EDP Awards are published in detail in the 68-page ‘EDP Report 2019’ together with the comments of the jury.

The printed version can be requested via nico(at)edp-award.com , the corresponding PDF can be downloaded from the EDP website. 

 

Source and Contact

Klaus-Peter Nicolay, President of the EDP Association

T +49 2671 3836
E nico(at)edp-award.com

 


 

Note

At the same time, the closing session of #XeroxForum 2019 in Portugal was a great success: around 400 participants from all over the world saw that what they were able to see in the marketplace exhibition on site received the highest accolade at the FESPA 2019 in Munich, Germany.

 


 

Gestern. Heute. Morgen. Der Print-Branche tut es gut, sich mit jungen Menschen auseinanderzusetzen. Denn die Generation Smartphone schätzt Print-Innovationen.

Kommentar von Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 

Mit der Premiere des Heidelberg Digital Print Forum 2019 ist auf Anhieb ein wirklicher Überraschung-Coup gelungen. Ambiente, Themen und Programmgestaltung im Wieslocher Print Media Center weichen vom Üblichen ab. Das Auditorium: grossartig, aufgeschlossen, neugierig, aber auch kritisch und wachsam. Mit anderen Worten: Ich habe mich extrem wohlgefühlt — wie die insgesamt über 170 anderen Teilnehmer und Co-Referenten auch.

Alles was ich heute erleben konnte, deckt sich mit meiner Analyse, die ich vorgetragen habe: Print als Medium und Druckereien als Kompetenzpartner profitieren dann, wenn der Nutzen in den Vordergrund gestellt wird. Das begeistert die, die als Kunde/Auftraggeber oder als Mediennutzer persönlich angesprochen, oder besser berührt werden wollen. Drucken kann nicht nur Inhalte vervielfältigen, sondern auf höchstem Niveau höchst individuell inszenieren.

 


 

Fotos: Andreas Weber


 

Ob auf dem Podium oder beim Marktplatz oder den informativen kurzen Fachvorträgen, es hat sich gezeigt, dass die Print-Welt im Wandel ist, aber durchaus zum Schrittmacher im Digitalzeitalter werden kann.

Meiner Auffassung nach: Druckereien brauchen sich nicht zu verstecken. Sie können mutig und pro-aktiv nach vorne gehen, um neue Geschäftsfelder zu erschließen bzw. Bestehendes zu reformieren.

Die moderne Digitaltechnik im Print steht an der Spitze der Medientechnologien. Und erfüllt die Anforderungen um zeitgemäß und zukunftssicher profitabel Geschäft zu machen.

Die Veranstaltung hat aus meiner Sicht nicht nur wichtige Fragestellungen geliefert, sondern auch konkrete, nützliche Ergebnisse, die für die Branche wichtig sind.


 

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Erfolgreiches Team (v.l.n.r.): Matthias Langner, Laura Sturm, Andreas Weber, Laura Breitner, Manuela Gomez, Daniel Szkutnik, Marc Schmitz. Foto: Heidelberg.

Ein Plädoyer für Print aus anderer Perspektive: Andreas Weber beginnt mit seinen Lieblingsbüchern, u.a Designing for Print und Vienna Stories. Foto: Juliette Pickl, Business Development Manager at Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper

 

Aus meiner Sicht als Referent ist folgendes wichtig:

Customization rückt in den Fokus! — Und hilft, den Akzidenzdruck zu reformieren.

Social Media kann ein Eldorado für Print sein! V.a. Facebook, Instagram im B2C und LinkedIn im B2B beflügeln neue Geschäftsmodelle.

Der Nutzen rückt in den Vordergrund. Digitaltechnik im Print ermöglicht das.

Das Marktpotential ist erheblich größer als man denkt und bietet Chancen für profitables Wachstum!


 

Eine von zahlreichen Innovation: Spektakuläre Neon-Bilder im Toner-Digitaldruckdruck

Video: Andreas Weber


Impressionen vom Forum und Statements der Organisatoren und Referenten

 

Video: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG/HDU


Alle Charts zum Vortrag von Andreas Weber via SlideShare.net

 

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Peter Sommer, Member of the Elanders Board, and Andreas Weber, Head of Value, met in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, to discuss their ideas. Their meeting resulted in the #Think!Paper initiative.

 

#Think!Paper — Edition 1, Volume 1. | German Version

 

“We are launching an initiative that highlights the importance of print not only in but also for the digital era. What counts is not what we do or how we do it, but rather why print delivers sustainable success. The focus needs to be on the unique benefits that professional print production delivers. And that applies whether you’re looking at the past, present or future!” – Peter Sommer and Andreas Weber

A special kind of summit on print and transformation: Peter Sommer, Member of the Elanders Board, and Andreas Weber, Head of Value, met in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, Germany. This European city is a major hub for the most dynamic solutions portfolio for print and demonstrates with high volumes and strong profits just how big a contribution print (based on digital printing) can make in the digital age. 

“I find it astounding and completely incomprehensible how poorly print is portrayed – especially by the print media industry itself. Why is that?” asks Sommer. The meeting picked out core issues that led to the establishment of the Think!Paper initiative. These points also represent the key thrust of the Think!Paper activities, offering a constructive and critical basis for further discussion.

Taking stock

The print media industry is underselling itself and taking far too little interest in what is going on elsewhere. It likes to keep to itself. There is usually little more than speculation about the challenges set by the digital age. Many positive aspects go unnoticed, and there is a failure to grasp the opportunities that change could bring.

Core arguments

Status quo: The industry has built its own funeral pyre and is fervently stoking the fire beneath it. However, the prospects for print shops in the digital age are far better than the image the industry is presenting, both within and beyond its own ranks.

The mistake being made is that print shops and print buyers are following false prophets.

Clarification: Print is a perfected medium with a pedigree, potential and the capacity for profitable new business. 

Consider the facts:

  • Print represents an exceptionally valuable form of communication – made by people, for people!
  • Improved functionality is exponentially increasing the benefits that print offers in the digital age.  
  • Print isn’t just about duplicating data – it can package text, images and special effects in a very special, highly personal format that moves people profoundly. 
  • As a communication medium, print has the most lasting effect and can therefore be used to great advantage. 
  • As part of the marketing mix, print is constantly raising the bar and creating new potential for customer relationships in the most effective ways possible.
  • And, when it comes to transformation – if anything has to change, then it is how print is handled as a premium product.

Paradigm: Print was, is and will remain an indispensable catalyst for cultural, social and economic developments. That is something ‘digital leaders’ such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have long since recognized. Indeed, these giants of the digital age are highly adept at using print to their benefit. 

Plea: Print will continue to be a winner in the digital era, if it can strike the right balance between what is useful on a technical level and people’s real needs. The facts are on the table. Now is the time to communicate them clearly and comprehensibly! Let’s put the beauty and diversity of print in the right light!

Aims and measures

We are kicking off creative conversations that cut to the chase with a clear focus. This is how we want to present a vivid and forward-looking picture that highlights effective solutions for using print in all types of communication where it can harness its full potential and strengths. 

We are kindling enthusiasm for innovative and exceptional communication solutions that use print.

We are reinforcing business development with print by identifying and integrating areas of the market that have so far been under-utilized but can rapidly and effectively benefit from innovation solutions using print. 

We are organizing round tables, VIP events and social media-based interactive communication using print.

We are providing clear and concise concept papers as part of the new Think!Paper activities. These include elements such as dossiers, reports with analyses, and guidelines for top decision-makers in business.

We are launching a global ideas competition. 

We are setting up and managing the international “Think!Team”, an interdisciplinary panel of experts.

 


 

Note

A number of hand-picked partners have already been found for Think!Paper, including first and foremost Mondi Group, GT Trendhouse 42 and DRUCKMARKT. More news to follow shortly.


Contact

If you are interested in the Think!Paper initiative or want to get involved, please get in touch:

Twitter @PrintDigitalAge

Andreas Weber (coordination) via LinkedIn

Hashtag: #PDA #printforthedigitalage #creativity #printinnovation #transformation

 


 

#Think!Paper the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook. 

We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse and sustainable conversations.

We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

ThinkPpaer Key Visual Blog Post.001

ThinkPaper BlogPost Fraser Church.001

Print ad out of a campaign by ‘internet.org by Facebook’, designed by Sid Lee, U.S.A.

 

#Think!Paper — Edition 1, Volume 2

”I believe Think!Paper’s stance of recognising the role of print in a digital age will help address this  issue and fill an incredible void in knowledge in an ever-shifting communication environment.”

 

By Fraser Church

 

I applaud the initiative of Think!Paper. This addresses a number of issues that have become prevalent in recent years particularly in the communication industry. 

Today’s marketers have been brought up on digital and social media as being the default form of customer communication, with the much-heralded cry of “digital first” becoming increasingly common. However, the question is whether they are listening to their customers, or whether they are getting carried away on the digital wave whilst at the same time being influenced by perceived efficiencies based more on cost than actual return on investment.

Brands are increasingly focussing on Customer Experience and optimising the customer journey; however, to do that properly, marketers need to recognise that a decision to make a purchase is as much emotional as rational these days. Brand trust, values and relationships are increasingly important in a world where there is a narrowing in product differentiation. As part of building that relationship, it is important for brands to understand which media to use when and for which messaging. 

Print is perhaps the most trusted medium.

Remember the phrase “I would like to see that in writing”. So, when something needs consideration, or has to be seen as authoritative, print can be a great medium. Print Is also the only channel that can impact on one of our most important senses of touch. Indeed, in my later years at Paragon I spend considerable time persuading clients of the value of increasing the production values of their printed output, and thus cost, to help subliminally re-enforce brand values. 

You could for example question whether a Tiffany shopping bag is perhaps an accessory as much as a means of getting goods home. At the same time, you have to be careful not to over play your hand; for example, charities would never use a coated stock, as this would seem to go against their environmental and cost saving credentials (even though recycled paper can cost more!).

But this does not mean everything should be printed.

Email is a great means to deliver offers, newsletters and access to the depth of content that the online environment can provide. Mobile, whilst being often seen as an invasive medium, is perhaps the best way to remind people of a medical or retail appointments, or increasingly keep them up-to-date in real time about their purchase deliveries; and with the advent of 5G networks they will increasingly deliver richer experiences. Apps are a great way for people to manage their life, for example online banking or travel. Whilst social media lets us reach audiences at pace, in an informal and engaging manner.

The issue is that whilst a digital revolution is undoubtedly taking place, interested parties have been perhaps a bit blinkered. The Print Industry has tended to take great pleasure at criticizing digital media whenever it can. On the other hand, the digital communication industry has just ignored print as irrelevant. It is not either or. It is not one or the other. The true power is recognising how brands can use all of the media to their best advantage, optimising customer journeys and building long-term relationships. I believe Think!Paper’s stance of recognising the role of print in a digital age will help address this issue and fill an incredible void in knowledge in an ever-shifting communication environment.

Finally, what about Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation is often misunderstood. It is not about making sure that all communication is sent via email or mobile; it is about using technology to make it more efficient for businesses to both operate and deliver more engaging experiences for the customer. It is an innovation enabler, allowing new business, operational and communication models. 

However, this does not preclude print, and it should always be considered as a channel to be used to undertake specific roles. For example, whilst comparison websites may help you find the best mortgage, and banks want you to complete applications online, the issuing of printed legal document, welcome pack and annual statements can provide reassurance and feeling of security for customers. 

Also, we should remember that not all consumers are digital natives and a considerable proportion of the population have grown up enjoying and trusting print as a media.

So, whilst Digital Transformation will be responsible for creating a number of digital only brands such as Uber, the majority of companies partaking in digital transformation will still find there is a role, and a productive one at that, for print in their business model.

 

 


About Fraser Church

Fraser_Church

Fraser Church is an independent communication consultant and also General Manager of CPX Group — a co-operative of nine of the world’s largest and most innovative print and digital communication companies.

Fraser, who has a degree in Economics, started his career in consumer marketing working for a number of the UK’s leading brands. He then transferred his allegiances to the agency world as a director of RMP a data driven one-to-one communication agency specialising in customer loyalty in the retail sector.

He cut his teeth in the new digital world by setting up a dot.com company in 1999, providing consumers with an online resource for ordering catalogues and brochures. Fraser subsequently moved on to create some of the world’s earliest and most successful variable digital print applications for DSI who eventually became part of the Paragon Group.

Fraser was most recently Head of Creative Development at Paragon, particularly enjoying spending time with clients evangelising about how print plays an important part in customer journeys in an ever-increasing digital world.

He currently became a member of our #Think!Team to support the #Think!Paper initiative and to enrich knowledge sharing.

Contact via LinkedIn


 

 

ThinkPpaer Key Visual Blog Post.001

#Think!Paper the key facts at a glance

What we do
We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission
We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook. 
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners
We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.

 


German Version

The status quo

Print in context with digital transformation

Much is mixed up or misrepresented in the discussions regarding “digital transformation” in the context of print. Success factors and new potentials are hardly achievable. At least, it certainly does not have to be mentioned that print production is a 100 percent data-driven and thus digital process, with constantly new and unique applications. But, where is the beef?

Challenge: Solutions available — and who knows?

Communication about a product is as important as the product or service itself.

What if there are highly complex technical solutions that could enable customers or customers’ customers to better manage and profit from the process of digital innovation and the necessary transformation?

Learn from communication errors

When it comes to understanding, informing, convincing, finding acceptance or even influencing opinions — be it employees, customers, potential customers, shareholders or even the media for the public — all of us obviously did not everything right but probably too much wrong.

Current sales figures and stock market prices on a low/declining level speak for itself.

01-ThinkPaper Handout

The solution: #Think!Paper

Based on an exchange of views, knowledge and experience, we have developed an innovative approach to business communication, which itself is the best example of innovation and transformation.

While the well-known form of the static ’White Paper’ points out problems in the existing and designs possible solutions, the newly developed format of the #Think!Paper offers a dynamic form of expert communication via conversation based on perpetuum mobile-effects:

We use our profound knowledge to gain insights in an ongoing dialogue, to question things wisely, and to clarify in dialogue with others. Transformation can only succeed if we align communication with human-to-human relationships.

How does it work?

Think!Paper appears as a novel, cross-media, interactive publication designed as a sequel and compatible with the essence of transformation: research, analysis, assessment, insights and recommendations are always in flux.

Updates will be done by the publishers / authors in the team with selected-qualified partners as contributors.

In addition to a strong social media presence, the centerpiece is the ValueBlog, with excerpts appearing in the DRUCKMARKT (PDF magazines and print editions). As a special edition of the DRUCKMARKT collections, the Think!Paper is available to partners and subscribers for individual use.

Selected partners are actively involved and part of the conversation: Technology manufacturers and users who demonstrably contribute to the transformation of and with print for the digital age.

Together we reduce complexity and create clarity — promised!

The most important topics at a glance:

  • What is actually meant by “digital transformation”?
  • What role does print play?
  • Which benefits are available?
  • Where do we stand (Best Practice)?
  • Where do we have to go (Strategy & Outlook)?

Start: August 2018 — Destination: #drupa2020


 

 


Andreas_Nico

The publisher and author team: Andreas Weber, Head of Value, and Klaus-Peter Nicolay, publisher DRUCKMARKT.

 


Further information and contact

We would be happy to talk to you specifically about how you / your company can contribute and participate.

Andreas Weber as coordinator can be reached via:

Mail: zeitenwende007(at)gmail.com

Or via LinkedIn.

 


Read as well #Think!Paper — Edition 1, Volume 1: Print for the Digital Age

#Think!Paper #PDA Sommer Weber.001

 


 

ValueCheck Marina.001

Photos: http://designingforprint.com

 

By Marina Poropat Joyce, Designer, Print Activist and Author of Designing for Print

This is an article I wrote for Printing Impressions a while ago and rather than rewriting it, I think it is still apropos in its entirety. If you are a designer or a printer, you can use this to reach out to your customer/vendor and start a dialog that will improve your work and your project.


Note: Listen to the latest #printerverse podcast as well, listening to Deborah Corn’s conversation with Marina Poropat Joyce!


10 Things Printers can Teach Designers

Designers are visual people and the best way to teach a visual person is to show them. Graphic designers are also curious people who generally like to see how things work. We all walk around with our cameras all day, lauding their efficiency for email, Slack, twitter and more. But it is the instant transmission of images and videos that make showing easy-as-pie.

Here are 10 ways you can use your smartphone to reach out to your designer clients, add value to your company website and make life easier for yourself. (Sales managers, appoint one person to collect this kind of knowledge and disseminate to the whole sales team.)

1. Coated vs. Uncoated. Sit down with a designer and have two paper swatch books in front of you and explain coated paper versus uncoated paper. You will have saved yourself countless hours of “it looks like postcard paper” descriptions, and the like.

2. Bleeds. Take a video of your guillotine cutter in action, preferably a job with a bleed. Zoom in on the crop marks, text it to your designer client. (Put it on your website too!)

3. Grain. Look in your sample room for something with a nice black solid. Pull two samples. Fold one sample with the grain. Fold the other sample against the grain. Put them side-by-side folds-up and photograph with your phone. Open the image and crop to relevant image area and mark as a favorite in your phone for quick retrieval.

4. Waste=Cost. Show your client an illustration of paper waste for various page sizes. Here are some examples you can use: (Put it on your website too!)

 

5. Quantity matters. Walk into your pressroom and film a sheet-fed press at the delivery end while it is running for 30 seconds. Confirm run speed with pressman. Text video to the client explaining that’s how long it takes for (insert quantity here) brochures/posters, etc. to run through the press and why they should opt for digital printing on this short run. (At 15,000 iph 30 seconds is 125 sheets, 8-up that’s 1000 pieces!)

6. Printing is green. Calculate how many pounds of trim, corrugated and electronics you recycle each year (if your trim is picked up and weighed by a recycler they have this info). Next time your vendor picks up a container run out to the parking lot and take a pic. Put the photo on your website with an infographic of the tonnage you recycle annually. Explain that the trim and corrugated goes into future recycled paper products.

7. Ink can change color. Show your client this photo. Explain that the ink formulas with a high percentage of opaque white (basically all pastels) will shift within a year (swatch on left was two years old, on right 6 months, when photographed). Share that pastel colors are great for a short-lived item like an invitation not so great for an identity system.

 

 

8. Paper makes a difference. Next time you’ve got an attractive job with photos that’s going to run on white paper, order some extra sheets of ivory, canary and grey uncoated paper. Add those colored sheets to the job and photograph the same detail area of all four colors. Make a montage (easy with the Layout app for iPhone). Send this montage to a client who is wondering about running a job on colored stock and put it on your website too.

9. How to read a swatch book. Oh boy, if I had a penny for every time a customer found the “perfect paper” in a swatch book and placed an order specifying that sheet only to find out there wasn’t enough, or it wasn’t stocking or that the chosen color had been discontinued… This is a great topic to discuss at a quick lunch with a new customer. Text her an image showing how to look up the date of a swatch book. Then bring her some lunch and a few swatch books and show her how to “read” it.

10. Art takes time. Text your idea of a rudimentary schedule to your client as a pdf graphic they can print out and pin to their idea wall. Next time they are working with a client to develop a timeline they won’t guess and it saves them and you a call/email.

 

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I know that some will think that answering questions and fielding problems bring value to a client, and they do. But do they bring value to a business owner? If staff is reacting/interacting at the 100-foot level, how are they going to interact at the 30,000 foot level with intention? Focus on the little things with intention and planning and then the 30,000-foot questions aren’t as scary. What are your clients’ plans for next year? Are you discussing budgets internally? Are they planning on launching any new products or services within the next six months? These conversations are really easy when “what do I need a bleed for” is taken care of.

 


About The Author

Marina Poropat Joyce is a passionate paper geek who has been marketing, graphic designing, publishing and printing her whole life. She fell in love with design and printing early on, and founded one of the first design-to-print companies in Los Angeles. 

Her company INTAGLIO was ranked as one of the 50 fastest growing print companies in the country, a winner of Inc. Magazine’s Inner City 100 and one of Los Angeles’ top 100 women-owned companies.

She wrote Designing for Print to explain printing in graphic designer-speak after working with many frustrated designers who wanted to know more. Marina served on the board of the Printing Industries Association of Southern California (PIASC) as a board member and Chairman. Another joy she’s found other than seeing a design come to life in print was driving with her husband from London to Mongolia through 16 countries in a 9,600-mile rally.


Fan Resources

Twitter/Facebook Posts
For Twitter, you can include @designingprint and/or hashtag #DesigningForPrint

Social Media Accounts/Pages
Facebook Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/DesigningForPrint/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MarinaPoropatJoyce/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/designingprint


About the Book Designing for Print

“As a design, print production professional and College level instructor on print and print for designers, your book is a much-needed tool that transports legacy print into the new world of print, which I call mutant print!”    —Thaddeus B. Kubis, Print Advocate, Designer, Professor

 


 

ValueCheck Inkjet Printing.001

Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value 

 

Prolog

Mein nun auch im ValueBlog publizierter Beitrag zu Inkjet-Printing war redaktioneller Teil einer erfolgreichen Premiere in der Schweiz! Zur 25-Jahrfeier bietet Herausgeber Martin Spaar mit seinem Team die erste, komplett individualisiert im Inkjet-Druck hergestellte Ausgabe. 

 


 

Wir stehen also an der Schwelle zu einem neuen Zeitalter der gedruckten Kommunikation. Denn was Individualisierung bringt und bewirken kann, erleben wir täglich im Web und speziell in den sozialen Netzwerken. Diese digitale Raffinesse verbunden mit der physischen Schlagkraft des Gedruckten hat ein riesiges Potenzial. —Martin Spaar 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-05-08 um 10.02.47

Zur Online-Ausgabe des gedruckten Magazins gehts per Klick!


 

Es vergeht kaum ein Tag, an dem nicht von Herstellerseite den Druckereien versprochen wird: Inkjet-Printing ist das Maß aller Dinge und eröffnet neue Märkte und Profite. Stimmt das? Ja und Nein. 

Ja, weil das Inkjet-Verfahren nicht mehr nur auf das Bedrucken von Papier oder Karton abzielt und damit über Nutzungsmöglichkeiten im klassischen Druck hinausführt. Sogar das Bedrucken dreidimensionaler Gegenstände ist möglich, wie z. B. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen und Xerox mit neuen Systemen wirkungsvoll beweisen.

Nein, weil damit einher geht, dass es schlicht nicht stimmt zu behaupten, man könne mit Inkjet-Printing den Offsetdruck ablösen oder aus dem Stand heraus ganz neue Anwendungsbereiche für die Druckbranche erschließen.

Genau hinschauen und abwägen, ist zwingend notwendig, um einen Tanz ums Goldene Kalb zu vermeiden. Hier eine Auswahl meiner aktuellen Beobachtungen: 

  1. Inkjet-Printing für den professionellen, hochproduktiven Druck ist relativ neu. Erfolgreiche Anwender in der Druckbranche lassen sich bis dato mit wenigen Fingern abzählen. Bei allen war der Schlüssel zum Erfolg nicht der Fokus auf die Drucktechnik, sondern auf die Pre-Media-Prozesse sowie das Finishing/die Verarbeitung inklusive Logistik/Distribution. Bestes Beispiel: Peter Sommer und Elanders Germany in Waiblingen. (Siehe Lesetipp unten)
  2. Hohe Inkjet-Druck-Volumen, auf die sich Hersteller gerne berufen, laufen seit langem im Transaktionsdruck, da man hier IT-Kompetenz mit Automation der Verarbeitung und Distribution nahtlos gestalten kann. (Übrigens der Grund, warum ein Big-Player wie Pitney Bowes in das Vermarkten von Digitaldrucktechnik eingestiegen ist).
  3. Es werden von den Herstellern mit Inkjet-Printing fokussiert neue Kundengruppen ausserhalb der Druckbranche und des Transaktionsdruck angesprochen. Canon Europa ist der Vorreiter, in dem es im Zuge der Reorganisation nach der drupa 2016 einen neuen Geschäftsbereich gegründet hat: Die Canon Graphic & Communications Group führt u. a. die Kreativwirtschaft sowie zahllose Branchen wie Architekten, Handwerker etc. mit neuen Systemen ans Inkjet-Drucken heran.
  4. Seit der drupa 2016 zeigt sich, dass die Inkjet-Revolution bei den Herstellern ihre Kinder frisst. HP genügt sich selbst (und optimiert statt innoviert). Landa kommt nicht von der Stelle. Bobst hat eine Kehrtwende vollzogen und mit Gründung der Mouvent AG die Neukonzeption für Inkjet-Printing durch eine clevere Cluster-Technik und anderes mehr vollzogen. Und Heidelberg hat im Team mit Fujifilm durch Primefire eine neue bahnbrechende Plattform für Hochqualitäts-Inkjet-Printing entwickelt, die im anspruchsvollen Verpackungsmarkt für Aufsehen und Anerkennung sorgt. 
  5. Traditionsunternehmen wie die Durst Group haben sich neu aufgestellt: Mit der P5-Philosophie wird alles darauf ausgerichtet und optimiert, was die Leistung und Verfügbarkeit der Drucksysteme maximiert sowie eine beispiellose Flexibilität in der Medien- und Auftragsabwicklung zulässt. Übrigens waren die Durst-Innovationen ein Highlight auf dem Online Print Symposium 2018 in München. 
  6. Es haben sich ganz neue Anbieter still und leise in Stellung gebracht, die mit neuen Systemarchitekturen individuell konfigurierbare, modulare Inkjet-Printing-Produkutionsanlagen ermöglichen, wie zum Beispiel die Firma Cadis Engineering aus Hamburg zeigt. Cadis kann z. B. HTML-Daten drucken und verzichtet aufs Rippen.
  7. Der eigentliche Gewinner bei Inkjet-Printing ist derzeit ein Hidden Champ: Der Bücherdruck. Xerox Europe zeigte dies eindrucksvoll Ende März im Team mit Book on Demand GmbH in Hamburg beim #Books2018 Event. Eine riesige, automatisierte Druckfabrik erzeugt in Echtzeit bis zu 25.000 Book-for-One-Produkte pro Tag. Wachstumstreiber sind die Impika-Inkjet-Drucksysteme von Xerox mit ausgeklügelter Hunkeler- und Müller-Martini-Technik zur Verarbeitung. Der Clou: Eine neue Impika-Tinte, die ungestrichene Papiere problemlos und bestens bedrucken kann.
  8. Last but not least: Wenn von massiver Substitution gesprochen werden kann, dann ersetzen Inkjet-Printing-System (Bogen wie Rolle) am ehesten bestehende Toner-Digitaldrucksysteme.

Fazit: Beim Inkjet-Printing wird und muss sich noch viel tun. Wir stehen erst am Anfang. Und müssen neu Denken lernen, um nicht in die Innovationsfalle zu tappen: Indem wir fälschlicherweise davon ausgehen, Inkjet-Printing sei primär dazu da, das was wir ohnehin im Druck tun können, zu verbessern.

Es geht daher weniger ums ‚schneller, besser, billiger‘, es geht vielmehr ums ‚neu, zeitgemäß und anders‘, um die komplexen Kommunikations-Herausforderungen des Digitalzeitalters zu meistern. — Think different!

 


Zum Autor

Andreas Weber ist Gründer und CEO von Value Communication AG. Als Analyst & Berater für Erfolg mit Print im Digitalzeitalter ist er zugleich auch globaler Netzwerker und Publizist. Sein Blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspiriert Nutzer/Leser aus über 130 Ländern.


 

Lesetipp: Peter Sommer im ValueCheck

Peter Sommer, Digitaldruck- und Inkjet-Pionier, Elanders Group: „Das Elanders-Konzept ist nicht auf eine bestimmte Drucktechnik fixiert. Die zentrale Frage ist immer, was mit einem Produkt erreicht werden soll und wie es zum Empfänger kommt. Die Integration in die Supply-Chain beginnt bei der Beratung der Kunden und hört bei der maßgeschneiderten Logistik auf.“

ValueCheck Peter Sommer Elanders ENG.001

 


 

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#Sonntagsgedanken von Andreas Weber, Head of Value, nach der Ankündigung der Übernahme von Xerox Corp. durch Fujifilm Holding

Umbruch bei den Print-Technologie-Herstellern: Ikonen der Digitaldrucktechnik am Scheideweg!

Fallstrick: Alleiniger Fokus auf Hardware-Technologie-Innovation per Digitaldruck führt in die Sackgasse, da man am „Box-Selling“ kleben bleibt und Print als Medium nicht in allen Facetten unterstützen kann. — Folge: Ganzheitlicher Ansatz ist gefragt, dem tiefgreifendes Verständnis für das interaktive Management eines Druckerei-Betriebes braucht. Abgestimmt auf individuelle Bedürfnisse.

Lösungsmodule:

  1. Vernetzung mit den Kunden (in Echtzeit)
  2. Plattform-getriebene Agilität
  3. Listen & Learn-Programmatik kultivieren

Offene Frage: Wer von den Herstellern kann das am Besten leisten?

 


 

#Sonntagsgedanken by Andreas Weber, Head of Value — Considerations after announcing the acquisition of XeroxCorp. by Fujifilm Holding

Digital printing technology icons at the crossroads.

Stumbling block: The current focus on hardware technology innovation via digital printing leads to a dead end, because one sticks to the “box-selling” and can not support print as a medium in all facets. — Consequence: Holistic approach is needed that is driven by a profound understanding of the interactive management of a printing company bizz, tailored to individual needs.

ValueSolution modules:

  • Networking with customers (in real time)
  • Platform-driven agility
  • Cultivating Listen & Learn programmatic

Open question: Who among the manufacturers can do it best?

 


Zum Autor | About

Andreas Weber ist Gründer und Vorstandsvorsitzender der Value Communication AG.  Seine Aktivitäten fokussieren sich auf ‚Transformation for the Digital Age’ via Vorträgen, Management Briefings, Workshops, Analysen & Reports, Strategic Advice.
//
Andreas Weber, Founder and CEO of Value Communication AG, dedicates his activities  to the ‘Transformation for the Digital Age’ via presentations, management briefings, coachings, workshops, analysis&reports, strategic advice. 
Twitter: @zeitenwende007 (personal) | @ValueCommAG (company)

 


 

 

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