Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
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.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

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

Blog Articles for

Archive for September, 2018

Custom Printing: A Concise 3D Printing Primer

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

I just read an article online that captures in three pages the gist of the new 3D commercial printing wave. Written by Tyler Lacoma, this article, entitled “What Is 3D Printing? Here’s Everything You Need to Know,” presented on Yahoo News, delivers just what its title promises. If you’re interested in the subject, it’s worth your time. It will get you started on your research.

What the Article Includes

Lacoma’s article first defines and explains 3D commercial printing, then breaks down the process into its component parts, then lists and defines five different approaches to 3D printing, and then ends the article with a description of some of the uses for this technology.

What Is 3D Printing?

3D printing has also been termed “additive manufacturing.” This term distinguishes the process from what I grew up with, “subtractive manufacturing.” The latter involves removing metal, for instance, from a block of the raw substance. In the case of producing metal pieces for assembly into an engine, subtractive manufacturing would involve milling or grinding: that is, removing everything that is not relevant to the engine component. Once all the components have been ground, carved, or milled, they can then be assembled.

In contrast, Lacoma’s article defines additive or 3D manufacturing as creating a component part by adding material until the component part is complete. “What Is 3D Printing? Here’s Everything You Need to Know” focuses on (essentially) a process not unlike inkjet printing for the creation, layer by layer, of the individual components of a machine (or any other project).

Before I explain this more fully, I do want to add my belief that injection molding would also be considered additive manufacturing, since you add material into a premade mold, then remove the mold to access the part you have created.

I’d also like to go further and note that as with subtractive manufacturing, you can in fact produce a complete item if it comprises a single part. For instance, using 3D custom printing, you can print a shoe buckle, a ring, or any other single component item. Or you can manufacture the myriad parts of a complex product.

What makes 3D printing so compelling is that it is, in most cases, digital. If, for example, you are making an object using injection molding (also an additive manufacturing process), you have to first make the mold. This costs money and takes time. In contrast, the 3D printers that are now sold in computer stores create products layer by layer from digital files. These files require no molds. Hence, you can alter the design at will. You can change every product you print. All you need is the digital data.

You might envision this more effectively through an offset commercial printing (and finishing) analogy. If you need to die cut a product, you would normally create a metal cutting die. This would cost money and take time. It also would stamp out the same design, product after product. But if you use a programmable laser (run on digital data) to selectively burn away the scrap in a die cut product, you will have no need for the metal die cutting rule (or the time and cost it involves). And you can also change the die cutting pattern for every printed product.

To get back to Lacoma’s article, here are the three components of digital additive manufacturing:

  1. The digital file. This file breaks down the 3D modeled image into very precise layers and drives the printer.
  2. The printer itself. Just as an inkjet printer has print heads that go back and forth depositing ink as the paper is fed through the machine, a 3D printer has print heads that produce the 3D product layer by layer as the printed 3D product is moved away from the print heads. And instead of using ink to make marks on paper, the 3D printer uses various substances that can be extruded through the print head nozzles in a measured fashion driven by the digital data files. Basically the 3D printer includes a box in which to produce the 3D item and the custom printing heads. In some kinds of 3D printing, the print head nozzles are replaced with (or accompanied by) lasers that can set or cure the printing material as it is produced in layers. Many of these 3D printers are complex, involving precise temperature controls. Some only print within a vacuum.
  3. The printing material. This may include plastic, nylon, resins, synthetic sandstone, ceramic materials, or even metals (steel, silver, gold). I have read other articles describing the printing of body parts and organs (using biological materials) and even food (using food products). Lacoma’s article also notes that hybrid raw materials can be used (plastics plus other substances, for instance) to include the qualities of all the component materials.

Technologies for 3D Printing

These are the methods for digitally printing 3D objects that Lacoma describes in “What Is 3D Printing? Here’s Everything You Need to Know”:

  1. Fusion Deposition Modeling (FDM): Nozzles melt and then extrude plastic filaments (that look like spools of plastic wire) layer by layer to create the 3D object. The molten filaments cool and solidify into the final printed object. This is akin to the 3D printers I have seen in computer stores.
  2. Stereolithography (SLA): A laser is fired at a liquid resin to instantly harden the material. The object being created is removed from the liquid layer by layer. This can produce more detailed objects than Fusion Deposition Modeling. (In addition, it is not a new process. It was invented in the 1980s.)
  3. Jetting Processes: Lacoma’s article notes the similarity of this process to Stereolithography. However, he also notes that instead of pulling the created object out of a vat of liquid raw material, the jetting process sprays liquid reactive polymer onto a base and then hardens it instantly with UV light (in a method analogous to inkjet printing with UV inks and then curing them instantly with UV light). This 3D printing process proceeds layer by layer. (Other versions of this process use powders and glue to build up the layers.) This technology can produce detailed results, so it is often used for industrial products.
  4. Selective Laser Sintering: This process uses polymides and thermoplastic elastomers, which are powders (not the plastic filaments used in the 3D printing methods noted above). A laser fuses these powders into layer upon layer of the 3D product being created. These products are very durable. This technology is good for both individual production of prototypes and mass production of industrial parts.
  5. Metal Printing: In this method, the 3D object is built on a platform, which is lowered as the object is built up layer by layer. Powerful lasers (selective laser melting) or electron beams (electron beam melting) melt the powdered metal with considerable precision within very controlled printing environments. (Lacoma compares this process to welding.)

What Products Can Be Made?

Lacoma’s article notes a handful of popular products that lend themselves to 3D manufacturing. Here is a selection:

  1. Shoes: Manufacturers include Feetz and 3D Shoes. What makes these products interesting is that the digital nature of the process allows for customization of each pair of shoes.
  2. Houses: Lacoma’s article references 3D printed houses that can be produced and painted within 24 hours.
  3. Healthcare products: These include everything from mass produced items like 3D printed cups to custom products like prostheses, which can be tailored to an individual’s unique bodily requirements. Skin grafts made from biological material are another product Lacoma’s article includes.
  4. Custom orders: Essentially this would be analogous to ordering a print book online (a web-to-print product produced only after you have ordered it). Now web-to-print products can include 3D printed items.
  5. Theatrical set design: 3D manufacturing is ideal for creating component props for a dramatic presentation. You can make anything from science fiction props to historical props.

Why This Matters

“What Is 3D Printing? Here’s Everything You Need to Know” explains why this is a game changer. Because you don’t need to buy expensive milling and grinding machinery or even make expensive injection molds, 3D digital printing is an inexpensive way to make things. You can produce prototypes, and then you can change them before committing to mass production. This is also often the quickest option, allowing a manufacturer to bring a product to market much faster than in the past.

Why This Matters to Print and Web Designers

The short answer is that this is the future, and it also involves the principles of design in the same way that sculpture involves the principles of design. In addition, for many applications, 3D commercial printing will push the creation of objects downstream, from centralized shops with expensive machinery to (perhaps even) the individual end-users (or at least to local shops).

This 3D manufacturing process can operate in much the same way as a commercial printing job can be sent over the Internet from a designer on the East Coast to a local print shop on the West Coast, then printed, then delivered locally—without using an expensive trans-continental delivery service.

Book Printing: More Thoughts on the Color Chip Book Snafu

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

I’ve written many blog postings about a small color chip print book for which I broker the custom printing. It is only a few inches long, 118 pages plus cover, laminated, drilled, and attached with a metal post and screw assembly. There are 22 master copies of which each requires only three to six copies for my client’s clients. My client is a fashionista. Her clients love these little books. So she reprints the job every few months.

When I last wrote about the print book, the inside pages of the color books (a tool used to suggest make-up and clothing colors that match one’s complexion) had not been laminated. (It was my fault, and I present this as a strong suggestion for all PIE Blog readers to check the list of specifications for all of their jobs one extra time, or more.) It’s so easy to think something is there when it’s not. The spec sheet is your primary contract with your commercial printing supplier. Approach it with respect.

That said, the printer reprinted the job and sent the books to my client. She then sent them on to her clients who had been waiting. Fortunately, the first press run (unlaminated) was color-accurate, so these books could be used to temporarily fill my client’s back-orders. This made for good public relations and probably even attracted some new customers.

When the reprinted and laminated (this time) books went out, my client got five complaints. The colors on one side of the color swatch book pages didn’t match the descriptions on the back side of the pages.

What to Do?

Needless to say, my client has been remarkably patient. Practically anyone else would have found another commercial printing supplier. Fortunately, my client trusts me, and both she and her business partner (separately) had had many problematic printings over the past several years (inside the United States and abroad). This may explain her patience.

My client was actually at an advantage for the following reasons:

  1. She had requested a preliminary press run (at cost) to make sure the colors were all as she expected. (After all, prior book printers had produced color swatch books with color shifts.) All of the colors were ganged up, so there were only a handful of full-size HP Indigo press sheets containing all 300+ hues (that showed up in various locations within the 22 master books).
  2. She had requested and carefully reviewed all virtual proofs the printer had provided for this particular press run. You might consider these PDFs to be akin to position proofs, like bluelines. We knew the colors were right. The goal of the PDF proofs was to ensure complete copy and colors placed in the right location with the correct margins. The time my client spent making sure these were accurate will have been well spent, since she will have proof of the misprinting (correct colors on the front, incorrect copy on the back).
  3. She informed all clients of the potential problem via an email newsletter, but she fortunately only heard back from five clients (apparently the other print books were ok). This was after several weeks, so she is reasonably certain that the extent of the problem is five books out of 126. (What had started as a much larger problem eventually filtered down into a five-book problem.)
  4. My client had in her possession at least one copy of all master print books (all 22 titles) except for two. She checked these and found no problems. Moreover, the problem books her clients had flagged were copies of the two master books my client did not have samples of (she had sent them out to paying clients).

Next Steps

I can’t emphasize strongly enough the importance of quickly articulating and then quantifying a problem with a commercial printing run. In this case my client can say she needs five good books in exchange for five bad books she is returning. Granted, if this were offset lithography, this would be a crisis for the printer. Firing up an offset press to produce five 118-page-plus-cover books would be pretty much the same as firing up the press to reprint 100 or 200 books. The entire cost—a sizable one—would go into makeready. But for digital printing (remember, in most cases my client only had needed three or four copies of each of the 22 master books), this would not be a crisis for the book printer.

(As a point of information, if this had been an offset printing run, the printer would have been responsible only for the cost of the misprinted books, not for replacing them.)

I personally believe that the ideal sale involves both the client’s and the printer’s benefiting from the transaction. My client needs to reprint the job again, since she already has a substantial number of new pre-orders for the book. At the same time, the printer that messed up the fronts and backs of five books has been dead-on accurate in the color (all 300+ colors). Given the problems with past printers, this is a highly significant fact in their favor.

Therefore, my suggestion to my client at this point is the following:

  1. Have the current printer produce the new run of books. Give them enough lead time to do all the hand work (laminating, in particular) to ensure that quality standards are high. Avoiding this printer’s needing to rush will benefit my client as well as the printer.
  2. Send back the five books retrieved from my client’s clients along with the PDF proof showing that the final product was different from the proofs my client had approved (i.e., there’s no room for interpretation of the error or the responsibility).
  3. Ask that the printer add five new books to replace the five bad books (doing this during the new run will minimize effort and reduce the chance of error for the printer, which will also benefit my client).
  4. Send specs, target pricing, and sample books to two more printers (also trusted vendors) and ask for estimates. This way, if anything goes wrong with relations with the current printer (including its going out of business, as our prior printer did), there will be a “Plan B.”
  5. Take the time to thoroughly vet these two new book printers. This will include getting samples printed from the color swatch book files themselves (not just attractive book samples from the printers).
  6. By uncoupling the search for a back-up printer from the actual reprinting of the next set of my client’s books, we will ensure good decisions. After all, we don’t ever have to move the job, or we can move the print job at some point in the future. We just don’t need to shift printers immediately–in a panic–just to ensure that my client’s clients get their color swatch books on time.

What Is Not the Printer’s Fault?

On an entirely different note, another client of mine created the back cover, spine, and front cover art file for a perfect-bound textbook based on the text paper thickness (pages per inch), as noted on the book printer’s cover template. She positioned the text for the spine slightly off center (vertically, that is, between the front and back cover). She herself missed this on the proof, and yet she had somehow expected the printer to still catch and correct the error before printing the job.

Some printers would have caught this and fixed it just to make the client happy. This printer did not miss it on purpose. Obviously it was just a slight misalignment (not obvious when the flat cover sheets came off the press). It was a shame that it happened, but it was not the printer’s fault.

Fortunately, my client came back to this printer the following year (actually for a reprint of the art files he already had archived, which was a benefit). For this reprint, the printer did adjust the art file so the type on the spine was positioned correctly. My client was happy with the printer again.

The Take-Away

In your own work, always request a proof: every single time, even if it’s just a PDF (virtual) screen proof. Personally, I’d advise you to rule it out in pencil (to show the trim size) to make sure nothing is off center or too close to the trim (this is mostly for a PDF proof or an untrimmed cover proof). Or at least check the folds for accuracy (on a hard-copy proof). Also check the type position and completeness (make sure nothing is missing or out of place).

Your proof (and the accompanying sign-off sheet that shows the paper on which the job will be printed, how many copies will be printed, etc.) is an incredibly important document. Consider it to be a contract (like your spec sheet). It is the point in the process at which responsibility for the accuracy of the job passes from the printer to you. If something is wrong in the final job but correct on the proof, your printer has to make you whole. But if you missed something, it’s no longer the printer’s responsibility.

Commercial Printing: Personalized Package Printing

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

I just read an article by Tom Egan, vice president, industry services, at the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, entitled “Package Printing Gets Personal.” It was published online at on 7/30/18.

What makes this article intriguing to me is Egan’s ability to articulate the immense power of personalization. Basically, even when you buy a bottle of water (which is one of the examples he cites in the article), you’re making a statement about who you are: your essence, your individuality and values. And when the brand, as reflected through the packaging of the water, engages your emotions and makes you want to buy one kind of water over another again and again, it is clear that the marketing information on the product has created a tidal pull on you, both intellectually and emotionally.

When you think about this, it’s pretty amazing. And according to Egan’s article, the ability to personalize packaging design dramatically enhances the “pull” of the brand. Furthermore, it is the increasing ease of personalization, as well as its economy, plus the increasing quality of digital commercial printing, that are creating the perfect storm for package printing today.

Breaking It Down

Here are some of the words and phrases Egan uses in “Package Printing Gets Personal” to characterize the emotional pull of good packaging design:

  1. “Beverage manufacturers are looking to captivate customers with packaging that offers some form of personal resonance.” (“Package Printing Gets Personal”)
  2. “Whether referencing a lifestyle choice, a fond memory, or an important goal, a beverage label that can connect with consumers on a deeper level has the power to stick.” (“Package Printing Gets Personal”)
  3. “Today’s consumers will likely not reach for a drink when they simply feel thirsty, but instead when they feel understood.” (“Package Printing Gets Personal”)

Particularly the last quote has an almost transcendent feel. It’s not about the product; it’s about the experience and the values the product resonates with in the mind of the consumer. Using typefaces, the principles of graphic design, copywriting skill, and custom printing acumen and technology, marketing departments wield immense power to influence their customers.

Beverage Packaging Examples

Egan goes on to describe a number of bottling promotions and their beverage packaging.

  1. For instance. he describes a promotion in which Johnnie Walker, the whiskey company, created Jane Walker whiskey, a limited edition from which a portion of the proceeds went to organizations that empower women. So those who bought this whiskey could be affiliated with a brand that values strong, successful women and that shows this commitment through financial donations. This commercial printing initiative attracted “the female demographic typically not considered a whiskey-drinking group” (“Package Printing Gets Personal”).
  2. Another example Egan describes involves Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack whiskey, aimed at a demographic that “associates fine whiskey with a premium sipping experience.” (“Package Printing Gets Personal”) To distinguish this premium product from value brands, the manufacturer employs tactile labels and tinted glass to give the bottled product a more sophisticated look.
  3. A third example in Egan’s article involves promoting smaller cans and bottles of beverages, since there is a current drive toward portion control. So, in essence, bottling companies can command a higher price for smaller amounts of their product while making their customers feel good about their decision to drink less (less sugar, less alcohol, or just “less”).

Benefits of New Commercial Printing Technologies

Egan references the “Share a Coke” campaign in which Coca-Cola cans were personalized with customer names. This “strengthened customer loyalty and created buzz around the brand” (“Package Printing Gets Personal”). And it was only because digital custom printing can infinitely vary its printed output that such a powerful and persuasive campaign could be done, particularly for a reasonable cost. In addition, since high quality commercial printing is such an integral part of premium packaging, the fact that digital printing is now achieving such high quality makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of digital labeling. After all, if a customer is asked to pay a premium for a personalized product, the printing has to be stellar.

Sustainability is another draw of this new technology. Digital printing creates less waste and uses less energy. For environmentally conscious customers, this reflects well on the beverage makers and bottlers. Vegetable-based and aqueous inks provide excellent quality printing while releasing few if any VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere.

The same holds true for UV inks. These are cured instantly with UV light, so fewer VOCs are released, plus this technology allows for printing directly on non-porous substrates such as glass and plastic bottles. Furthermore, such direct printing is eye catching and dramatic when compared to traditional labels.

What this means is that beverage companies can produce their alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and get them packaged more strikingly and in a shorter time frame, so their products can be fresher when purchased by the consumer. And at the same time, the entire production cycle can be better for the environment. Moreover, since digital printing allows for versioning and immediate printing, it’s possible to keep less product in inventory or change the product more often (perhaps on a seasonal basis to focus on special calendar dates).

Another benefit of the current digital technology is the amount of coverage possible with some of the newer technologies. For instance, Egan in “Package Printing Gets Personal” focuses on both shrink sleeves and paperboard packaging, noting the benefits of each. That is, the shrink sleeves holding a six pack of a beverage provide a lot of space for dynamic images; however, they are often torn off and discarded. In contrast, some bottlers choose to package a six pack in cardboard, providing a longer-lasting visual display. The consumer can see the imagery and read about the brand story whenever she/he goes to the refrigerator. In both cases, the printing and wrapping of the product have benefited tremendously from digital printing and finishing technology.

Specialty inks can also add to the brand appeal. For instance, Egan’s article references the use of thermo inks in Coors Light packaging. The color of the imagery will change depending on the level of coldness of the beer. When the beer gets to the right temperature for drinking, this will be reflected in the color of the ink on the cans. (This is both useful and fun for the consumer.)

This reflects the growth in specialty inks, which have been crafted to change with temperature, and which can adhere better to metal cans. At the same time, other inks are now on the market that are light responsive or more tactile than traditional inks. And in addition to better technologies for coating metal cans, there has been an increase in the resolution of the imagery that printers can produce when printing beverage packaging.

The Take Away

Tom Egan’s article, “Package Printing Gets Personal,” basically says that if you’re a commercial printing vendor, the newer digital printing technologies, as well as advances in inks and coating methods, will help your brand tell its story. If you can create an experience that resonates with the consumer’s values and aspirations, and if you vary the appearance of the packaging to keep making the buying experience new and interesting, you can drive customers to your product year after year.

Commercial Printing: Designing a Magazine Experience

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

After 14 years of driving a Jeep Cherokee, my trusted ride became unreliable. At about the same time, my fiancee decided to get a new, used car because her Subaru had reached the 14-year-old mark and was no longer trustworthy for long-distance driving.

I needed nothing more than a glorified moped for local errands, yet my mechanic’s suggestion that I buy a used Toyota or Honda seemed daunting. (How would I find a good one? How would I know it would last another ten years?) Everywhere I looked I saw CR-Vs and RAV-4s that had been invisible before this car search because I hadn’t been looking for them. At this point I could recognize all of the car logos, even without seeing their accompanying brand names.

How to choose?

By this time I was beginning to open my mind to buying the Subaru from my fiancee as a minimal-mileage-per-year vehicle. Interestingly enough, the Subaru magazine that had come to our house for 14 years (and had heretofore held no interest for me) was beginning to look inviting. I liked the design, the paper, the lifestyle stories it contained.

I was hooked. I was rolling around the proverbial “sales funnel,” getting ready to drop through the hole and “convert.”

How Do They Do It?

As a student of commercial printing, design, and marketing, I was amused that I had been “sold” (but not in a manipulative way; after all, I was looking to buy). But at the same time I could see how the design of the magazine along with its contents, its tone and message, and the less obtrusive but equally powerful custom printing specifications, could be a powerful tool of persuasion once I was “open” to receiving the sales message. At that point, it wasn’t really a question of the magazine’s “selling” me, but rather of my “consuming credible content” that supported my buying goals. I needed a new, used car. The magazine told me about one of the best brands (with which my mechanic was very much in agreement).

Here are some of the elements of marketing, design, and commercial printing that I identified as useful in promoting the Subaru brand and encouraging Subaru owners to become emotionally tied to, and affiliated with, the Subaru label. Together these elements were most effective, for me, and I’m sure that other brands have done the same kind of marketing in an equally effective way:

  1. The front and back magazine cover—The front cover focuses on a smiling woman and her trusted dog, Winston. She’s happy, and he’s grateful (presumably, sitting up close to her) for having been rescued and treated like a king. She is wearing the same color lime green sweater (under her brown jacket) that her dog Winston is wearing in his lime green neck scarf. As an accent, he has a purple tag. Both the purple and the lime green are repeated in the color of the Subaru magazine: the drive magazine title, and the solid blocks of color from which the hand-printed (really a script typeface) subheads have been reversed.
  2. The lowercase word “drive,” the title of the magazine, and the faux-hand-printed type provide an informal feel to the magazine cover. The human subject is happy. It’s the weekend (presumably), and she’s doing what she loves with her trusted companion. The title of the magazine is also rendered in an italic, sans serif font. It is casual but energetic (since as an italic typeface it slants forward: i.e., to the right). Other than the Subaru branding (logo and taglines), there is relatively little on the cover. The smiling woman is also looking directly at the reader. The message? It’s all about the reader. The reader can “participate in the lifestyle.” He or she can also become a member of the exclusive Subaru club, or “tribe.”
  3. Photos inside the magazine include members of multiple ethnicities, men and women, as well as children, to ensure that the magazine embraces all those interested in the Subaru identity.
  4. The paper is a thicker than usual (for a magazine text sheet) gloss paper, and the cover weight is also substantial. Based on the “nature” theme (e.g., the magazine article about covered bridges in the United States: i.e., where to drive your Subaru on your days off), I had assumed the cover and text paper would be uncoated. However, the substance and weight of the cover and text paper suggest seriousness and a commitment to quality. (A thinner paper might have sent a subliminal message of lower overall quality, presumably of not only the reader’s experience but also the car-buyer’s experience.)
  5. The articles focus on “lifestyle,” or how the Subaru owner approaches her or his life and how this life includes vehicles made by this brand. There are articles, long and short, pertaining to cooking, traveling in the United States “wilderness,” family, sustainability, etc. All of these relate to the brand and the automobile, seeking to convert the reader into a fan not only of the car but also of the values espoused by the brand.
  6. That said, the magazine does include articles about the Subaru “ride.” These highlight the safety of the cars, and this approach reinforces Subaru’s commitment to the family. (Keeping your loved ones safe is the prime goal.) The articles are also well researched, suggesting that the targeted reader is educated and has researched multiple vehicles based on their safety, quality, etc. The Subaru buyer is multi-faceted, intelligent, and an independent thinker, influenced by facts and statistics, not just by the appearance or style of the car.
  7. The colors of the magazine interior are predominantly earth tones. This is relevant not only because of the rugged, Earth-centered “personna” (the targeted buyer, the amalgamation of all market research on the demographics of the potential buyer) to which the magazine is aimed but also because of the approaching season: autumn. However, it is clear that the target reader also values family time spent after work hours within the rural landscape. (“Save the Earth, but also experience and love the Earth.”) This is echoed in the photo on the inside front cover of the magazine, an image of a sunset in Nippersink Creek, Glacial Park (Illinois). The Subaru aficionado takes time to commune with the wonders of nature. He or she also drives a Subaru to these locations because the car is reliable and durable, and because it reflects a sensitivity to the environment.

What We Can Learn from This Magazine

All of this is not manipulative, but rather persuasive—in a consistent but understated way. Every detail of the magazine contributes to the sales goal by reinforcing (and restating, again and again) the values Subaru has baked into their brand. To read the magazine, buy and drive the car, and participate in the lifestyle (everything from the choice of activities pursued to the choice of clothes and food purchased or consumed by the multicultural audience portrayed in the magazine) supports “affiliation with the brand.” If you do, or own, all these things, you will be a part of a select group that embraces these values.

Subaru has grasped the nuances of this target audience and has honed its brand and its printed marketing materials to appeal to this target audience. Not all brands can do this sort of thing quite as effectively. It takes a perceptive staff that observes and listens carefully, and then incorporates the elements of persuasive writing and design (as well as custom printing) into their overall message.

When you can do this sort of thing well, you can sell a quality product (and overall experience) to an audience that is ready and willing to buy it.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved