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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 March, 2014

Book Printing: Seeking Quality, Service, and Price

Monday, March 31st, 2014

It is a truism that in custom printing you can have any two of the following: “Quality, Service, and/or Price.” In the recent past, however, to be competitive in a tight commercial printing market, the motto has become more like “Free, Perfect, and Now” (which also happens to be the title of a book by Robert Rodin). (more…)

Custom Printing: A Print Media Renaissance

Monday, March 24th, 2014

I have been overjoyed recently to have read several articles on the return to favor of print materials.

The first of these appeared in a magazine called E-Content (Digital Content, Media, and Publishing Strategies). This March 2014 article, as noted on the cover of this print magazine, is entitled “Is Print Making a Comeback?” Written by Lin Grensing-Pophal, this article answers the question with a resounding “Yes.” (more…)

Large Format Printing: Battling Showrooming and Surprising Passersby

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The online experience has its place. I surf the Internet daily, learning things and buying things. But I don’t believe it is the only venue for learning and commerce.

Beyond the blogs I’ve written about the value of custom printing for promotional pieces and publications, I’d like to address the value of print in marketing in-store commerce: still a viable option to online buying. (more…)

Large Format Printing: Versioned Standees and “A/B Tests”

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

I never thought it would happen, but it did. I just saw a “versioned” movie standee. Actually, I only figured this out by chance tonight, as my fiancee and I installed a second copy of the Rio 2 standee at a second movie theater. I went to look for two animal “lugs” (a panther and what looked like an anteater, Charlie). I couldn’t find them, and I assumed the distributor had inadvertently left them out of the box (which has happened in the past). (more…)

Large Format Printing: Options for Backwall Exhibits

Monday, March 17th, 2014

I can’t help but think of movie “standees” when I see a “backwall” display at a tradeshow. These large format print products are most often composed of a stretch fabric that has been printed using dye sublimation technology and then stretched over a collapsible aluminum frame. (more…)

Custom Printing: Fabric Printing for Small Design Shops

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

In an earlier blog I mentioned that among other things my fiancee and I install displays for a major cosmetics conglomerate. What that has done for my print brokering work is open my eyes to the plethora of signage options (print and digital) as well as the variety of packaging and product design options that are out there. It also has been an education in itself in cross-media marketing, given the selection of wall and floor displays, large format print banners, walls of digital signage, and screen printed cosmetic bottles. (more…)

Custom Printing: 11 Suggestions for a Press Inspection

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

It has been years since I’ve been on a commercial printing press inspection. Between the computerized consoles that constantly monitor conditions within the press and adjust for any ink density variance or problems with register, to the on-screen proofs that allow multiple people at a client’s office to check proofs online, it is rarely necessary to check a job on press. (more…)

Book Printing: Students Still Prefer Print Textbooks

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

As a commercial printing broker, and a student of offset and digital printing, I was pleased to read “Students Prefer Print,” (The Hays Daily News, 2/17/14) and “Students Prefer Print for Serious Academic Reading” (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wired Campus, 7/17/13, by Sara Grossman). I had heard a lot of “buzz” over the past several years about how colleges were going to replace printed textbooks with digital textbooks on e-readers, and I was surprised to read that this wasn’t happening as planned. (more…)

Brochure Printing: Case Study on Paper Options

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Commercial printing reps can provide a veritable fountain of knowledge and information. However, when you start asking the same questions of different vendors, you’ll soon see that different printers offer different skill sets and often approach jobs very differently. (more…)

Custom Printing: 3 Options for Booklet Cover Paper

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about a print brokering client who wanted 1,000 sets of book covers to GBC bind or plastic coil bind herself. The covers are for a convention handbook. They are diecut, and my client’s logo will be embossed into the printing stock. Interestingly enough, there will be no offset printing involved, unlike most of my other jobs. (more…)


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