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Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Welcome to PIE’s New Printing Blog

Printing is alive and well, and it always will be. Just look in your mailbox. Where there once were only a few options, like offset, gravure, and letterpress, now there is an abundance of choice: offset, digital, large format printing. The list goes on.

Hello. My name is Steven Waxman. For the past decade, I have been writing the Quick Tips column for the PIE website each month, providing information on trends in digital and offset printing, and offering advice on how you can buy these services more efficiently and economically. Knowledge is power, and my goal has been to empower you as print buyers. To expand upon this a bit, PIE will be initiating a new blog to educate print buyers and to discuss current trends and technologies in the printing field.

It’s ironic that we’re discussing printing on a website, isn’t it? The Internet is adding dimension and richness to printed communications. It’s supporting ink-on-paper by making it easier to find sources for quality business printing. It also provides opportunities for two-way communication about topics of interest.

At an ever increasing rate, the challenge for printing companies is to help their clients choose the best medium for communication for a particular audience at a particular time and place, to achieve a specified goal. And this often depends on blending various ink-on-paper and toner-on-paper technologies.

Maybe a company wants to merge its client list with a Photoshop image to provide a digitally printed, personalized calendar, prominently noting each client’s name written in the sand on the beach in the photo.

Possibly a company wants to print a digital or offset brochure or postcard (brochure printing) (postcard printing) that can be paired with a personal web page (PURL).

Perhaps a company is looking for on-demand book printing services to selectively bind short-run versions of text books (each with different content) (book printers) (on-demand book printers) (short-run book printers).

Or they may even need large format printing (large-format printing) for a huge poster: an image to wrap around the side of a building or a vehicle.

It’s a view of the future (and the present). And it includes printers and printing.

This marriage of digital and offset printing with Internet technology is known by many names, including “convergence” and “integrated marketing.” Increasingly, printing companies seek to partner with clients to help them craft their communications strategy. Printers are working to provide superior service and quality business printing in order to help raise their clients’ market share and boost their return on investment.

The key word here is “partner.” Printing companies and print buyers are coming together for mutual gain.

This is the future of printing, involving new technology and a focus on partnerships. In this spirit, the Printing Industry Exchange will initiate a new printing blog. Think of it more as a forum. The goal is not to duplicate the the Quick Tips newsletter but to complement it. The newsletter will continue to provide information on how to be a prudent print buyer by understanding and leveraging current technologies. In contrast, the PIE Blog will provide an opportunity for print buyers and printing companies within the PIE community to exchange thoughts and information, pose questions, and vent frustrations, in addition to learning about new printing technologies and techniques.

I will facilitate the discussion, and I will ask all of you to share your thoughts and experiences so that we can all benefit.

Sample PIE Blog #1

Let’s start with an example of how we envision the PIE Blog. First, here are a few provocative questions to get you thinking:

How can offset printers bolster their competitive edge and increase market share? What printing services do print buyers need their vendors to add (such as mailing services, fulfillment, digital storefront and print-on-demand services, or large format printing for producing signage and point-of-purchase displays)? What other services can printers offer to print buyers to shift their focus from price alone to the additional benefits of their printer’s knowledge, experience, service ethic, and commitment to quality?

Now it’s your turn. Let me know what you think. I will share it with our readers, and, hopefully, your comments will provoke further thought and discussion.

18 Responses to “Welcome to PIE’s New Printing Blog”

  1. I love the “Pantone” tags for your navigation links – what a great idea! Whoever came up with it deserves a big thumbs-up.

    As for how offset printers can bolster their competitive edge, I would like to see more printshops with in-house or freelance editors and proofreaders on tap. I realize that might create an extra expense, but it also could save clients from letting projects go into print with embarrassing typos. It isn’t the printshop’s responsibility to catch and fix errors, although I know that sometimes does happen.

    (And yes, this is somewhat of a self-serving idea, since I’m a freelance editor and proofreader, as well as writer, and would love to be the go-to person for such projects.)

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your kind words. The CEO of the website reads these blogs, too, and I’m sure he will be happy with your support.

      I would agree. Even if the responsibility for catching typos does not lie with the printer, I think that any additional services a printer can offer increases his/her value. As a printing broker as well as writer, I look for vendors who show a commitment “above and beyond” their peers. It raises my level of confidence in their work and makes me want to bring them more jobs.

    • admin says:

      Within the last few years I have seen printers add the following equipment/skills/capabilities to their arsenal in order to remain competitive:

      * fulfillment services: tracking, inventory, pick-and-pack
      * mailshop services and on-site US Postal Service representatives to prepare mail for entry into the mailstream
      * digital printing services (anything from a small digital press to a large, high-end HP Indigo press)
      * large-format, roll-fed or flatbed inkjet capabilities for signage, building wraps, vehicle fleet wraps–even printing directly on huge flat panels like doors
      * design services (including not only design, per se, but also marketing strategy)
      * cross-media services, such as marrying print projects with PURLs and other Internet channels
      * digital storefront and print-on-demand services (avoiding the need to keep books stored in inventory by printing only what is needed at the moment)
      * variable data printing (providing a slightly different version for each recipient)

      In all of these cases, the core competency of the printer was still putting ink-on-paper. The printer just offered these ancillary services to “add value” to their work.

      Whether a printer offers editing or proofreading capabilities–or digital variable data printing–the goal is the same: to give the client peace of mind, one less thing to worry about.

      If a printer can take all the various components of a job off a client’s plate, coordinate everything, make suggestions that will improve the overall effect (writing, design, production, distribution) of a job, and ensure a quality product and accurate and timely delivery–the client will come back.

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  3. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I’m hoping you write again very soon!

    • admin says:

      I’m glad you like it and very pleased that you’ll be subscribing. I’ll definitely keep the articles coming.

  4. I’m pleased that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    • admin says:

      I’m glad you found the post helpful. Please keep checking out the blog, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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  8. admin says:

    Thank you.

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