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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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Archive for November, 2011

Book Printing: Reduce the Cost by Changing Trim Size, Paper Weight, Color Placement, and Binding

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

A print brokering client of mine recently provided specifications for a small-format book printing run. One option for this 64-page directory included 16 pages of color and the balance in black ink only. The other option assumed process color throughout. I found a custom printing supplier in Texas with a large-format press that could handle 32-page signatures, yielding a price much lower that those provided by local printing companies. However, the total cost still didn’t meet the budget. The job exceeded budget targets whether printed with only 16 pages of color or process color throughout, whether saddle stitched or perfect bound. (more…)

Commercial Printing: Books and Magazines in the Future

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

I’ve been reading a lot recently about the future of print.

In a Book, It’s All About the Story

In an article by The Sun Daily, the author quotes The Ottawa Citizen: “All the arguments against e-books are about external incidentals—the feel of a book, the crinkle of the pages and so on. None of these things has anything to do with what makes a book worth reading—that it’s a well-written, thoughtful and compelling story.” (more…)

Large-Format Printing: Standees Encompass Most Printing Technologies

Monday, November 28th, 2011

I may have mentioned this before. In addition to brokering printing, I install signage in movie theaters. This includes “standees,” the large, cardboard advertising environments and statues promoting upcoming movies. (more…)

Digital On Demand Book Printing: How Many Copies? How many Pages?

Monday, November 21st, 2011

A print brokering client of mine publishes literary works of poetry and fiction. She came to me last week with a book printing job to estimate: 100 copies of a 315-page perfect-bound text, black-ink-only with a four-color cover. These are “reader copies” of the book, and are also called “galley proofs.” Reviewers will make suggestions that the author will then incorporate into the finished book printing run. (more…)

Book Printing: Fit the Job Specs to the Printer’s Equipment

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

If you buy a number of different kinds of printing from a number of different printing companies, you may be surprised that a vendor providing a low estimate on one job may actually submit a high bid on another. I was quite surprised recently with the large pricing spread in three book printing estimates. (more…)

Magazine Printing: It’s Always Wise to Have a Back-up Plan

Monday, November 14th, 2011

About seven years ago, when I was a custom printing consultant, I received a crisis call on deadline night. I learned that a tornado had ripped off the roof of the business printing vendor that had already started producing a 64-page weekly issue of the Monday magazine. The printer couldn’t complete the job. It was Friday night at about 8:00 p.m. (more…)

Book Printing: Offset vs. On-Demand Digital; Local vs. China

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

I have two custom printing clients who are bucking the trends. They are self publishing books, but they want me to hook them up with offset printing companies. They have chosen not to self-publish with online, on-demand printing companies. They do not want to send their custom printing jobs to vendors in China. They want actual ink on paper, printed locally. (more…)

Custom Printing: Print Flyers vs. Online Flyers

Monday, November 7th, 2011

I read an article today suggesting that on-line flyers would replace print flyers, not immediately, but in the next five to ten years. (more…)

Custom Printing: Adding Marketing Cards to a Magazine or Catalog

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

When you read a magazine or catalog, you’re thinking about content: the message it imparts, the articles, photos, and perhaps even the ads. When the publisher of the magazine looks at an issue, he or she must think about ways to pay for producing the magazine. This funding may include ads other companies have paid to insert in the magazine, but it may also include marketing items for the magazine itself. Subscription offers fall into this category, and there are several ways to add these promotional cards to a print catalog or a magazine. (more…)


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