printers

Cairo Is For Printers

Cairo Is For Printers

Less babble, more pics! You know what the problem is with writers? Sometimes, we write too much. We vote in favor of typography-heavy posters; we force designers to resize fonts to fit all our copy into brochures; and when it comes to blog posts, we tend to go on and on and, uh, on. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been posting about the print design and advertising I saw on the streets of Cairo, but what I haven't been doing is putting up many pictures. Not very interesting or proper, since Cairo's skyline is one of the most fascinatingly billboard-heavy skylines I've ever seen. So without further ado, please enjoy Cairo in Print:

Is The ‘Death of Print’ A Uniquely Western Construct?

Is The ‘Death of Print’ A Uniquely Western Construct?

And if so, then why? For the past two weeks, I've been living and working in Cairo. And one of the things that has stood out to me here is the amazing quality of print advertising and media, in general. If we are, in fact experiencing the slow decline of the print industry, nobody told them about it in Egypt. The national literacy rate is growing by leaps and bounds here, and as such, news publications are rampant, as are privately published 'zines produced by everything from large organizations to local coffeeshops. And the printing frenzy extends to marketing collateral. Beyond the print ads displayed prominently on every lamppost and windowless building face, the sheer amount of flyers, club cards, and brochures to be found in businesses and in the mail is staggering. And not only that – both the print media and the advertising that I've seen being produced is of an amazingly high quality. The paper stock is […]

Hotcards Goes to Cairo!

Hotcards Goes to Cairo!

Ads of the World Edition Watch a film or commercial on TV in Egypt, and you'll instantly notice that the sex scenes are cut out, and all kinds of language bleeped to adapt to restrictions in the Middle Eastern world. However, hit the streets; if there are any laws restricting the sheer amount of advertising allowed outdoors in Cairo, they are unapparent. Driving into the city on one of its massive freeways, the first thing you notice is how the gently sandblasted landscape is overlaid by a downright futuristic web of offramps and bridges, all of which are layered with billboards and other signage where roadsigns and blank building faces might otherwise be. Imagine the city Marty McFly first encounters in Back to the Future II, or the world John Anderton occupies in Minority Report. Now change all the glossy skyscrapers to crumbling brick and marble, and change the holographic ads to print. That, in a nutshell, is the advertising […]

Printing 411

Printing 411

Deep thoughts on printing. The other day, Mike and Andrew from Printing411 got in touch with us here at Hotcards to tell us about their great new blog, which explores, in their words, “the psychology, style, history, and environmental impact of mail marketing and modern propaganda.” Mike and Andrew are both grad students who take an academic interest in the print industry. Although their blog is just in its infancy, they've already posted on great topics like reducing the environmental impact of marketing materials, and weighed in on the pros and cons of personalization in direct mail marketing. As all you print lovers out there know, it's hard to find a printing blog that's not primarily promoting a business interest, so check out Printing411 for what might turn into an interestingly impartial look at what print is doing right, what it's doing wrong, and where the industry as a whole is headed.

Is the Print Industry Too Protective of its Secrets?

Is the Print Industry Too Protective of its Secrets?

And how, maybe, this recession could turn into a good thing… WhatTheyThink just held their Environmental Innovation Awards, in which printers could apply to be recognized for their eco-mindful changes and contributions. As a follow-up, this week GoingGreen is interviewing each of the winners. Although the focus is eco-friendly printing, what these folks have to say has applications throughout the printing and print design industry. But I'm not actually talking about green printing, per se. What struck me as I listened to these interviews is how interviewees across the board expressed a frustration at the lack of communication between members of our industry. To move forward in terms of green innovation, they said, we have to share ideas and communicate! Could it be?Are printers secretive? Ironic that one of the hubs of the communications industry could have that problem! But the more I think about it, the more I find it to be true. Throughout our history, most of us […]

Print Services Need to Change, Not Fight, to Survive

Print Services Need to Change, Not Fight, to Survive

“Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.” – Bruce Lee A while ago, I started a little segment on the blog here called “Don't Stop the Presses.” It's all about finding interesting stories from around the internets about cool stuff happening in the print industry. As you've probably noticed, I'm not the only one taking this tack lately. In response to various sources crying the 'death of print,' many bloggers have begun to write positively about the future of the industry. Which is great. No problem there. The thing that's freaking me out, however, is the sudden wash of writing that attempts to insist that nothing is wrong. First, I came across an article in the “Print Buying” section of PrintWeek.com which insists that print is still better at selling health and beauty than the web. Sigh. I'm not suggesting that the referenced study is wrong, just that […]

Check Out Hotcards on PrintCEO!

Check Out Hotcards on PrintCEO!

Interviews with printers who use social media – like us! Over the last year, having a presence in the social media marketplace has become pretty darn important to those of us in the printing industry. For the thoughts and insights of seven different printers (including Hotcards) on the subject, check out this great piece on PrintCEO, put together by Gail Nickel-Kailing. My favorite quote in the article comes near the beginning, where marketing expert Seth Godin says, “Social media, it turns out, isn't about aggregating audiences so you can yell at them about the junk you want to sell. Social media, in fact, is a basic human need, revealed digitally online. We want to be connected, to make a difference, to matter, to be missed.” This isn't just my favorite quote from the article, but probably one of my all-time favorite insights into social media. It shows that the worst thing you can do is get out there and push […]

Print Design Posts of the Week 7

Print Design Posts of the Week 7

Less gloom, more pretty colors. Last week was pretty grim, so this week I put together a list of links that focus more on how awesome the print and design industry is. It's spring. The sun is shining, the birds are singing (maybe not in Cleveland, but somewhere). Enjoy a nice, relaxing weekend, folks! Dan Woellert over at Kodak's Build Your Biz blog weighs in on the importance of innovation in the print industry, using an interesting metaphor. A disgruntled journalist shares his Google Reader links to content from all over the web talking about the death of the newspaper, and the fight to save journalism. Very cool stuff. The stimulus plan now has a logo, so that we all know when we're being stimulated. If anyone knows that value of a good logo, it's our well-designed President. How does that old Beatles song go? "All you need is typography! All you need is typography! All you need is type-type-type-type […]

Would the Death of News Printing Benefit Commercial Printers?

Would the Death of News Printing Benefit Commercial Printers?

Welcome to touchy-subject-land. Every second piece of news about printing over the last couple of months has been about the death of print journalism – namely, newspapers, but also magazines, trade publications, and even the sacred BOOK. All this hubbub isn't unjustified. Just on Friday, Denver's oldest newspaper, The Rocky Mountain News, put out its last print edition. However, there seems to be this assumption flying around in the subtext of all the talk that if newspapers die, the rest of the print industry is bound – nay, perhaps even obliged – to go down, like some sort of incidental Titanic string quartet, with the ship. This is simply not the case. The question, in my mind, is not how commercial printing will survive the death of newsprint, but, dare I say, how it stands benefit. Intimations of these benefits are already appearing. Just yesterday, it was announced that The Daily News in Valencia, California, will quit printing, laying off […]

Print Design Posts of the Week 6

Print Design Posts of the Week 6

This week in printing news… This week's links are more about the design of the printing industry than print design per se. Printers are stressed, but at least we're in the news! Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo. Goodbye Rocky Mountain News. Just shy of 150 years in business, the Rocky Mountain News – one of Dever's two major papers – printed its last edition on Friday. Check out the sad, poignant video of how it all went down. The first of many? Creating a cool avatar. Print designer and blogger Bruce Colthart says a thing or two about the importance of having a high-quality, consistent visual presence throughout social media. Good advice for printers new to the business of networking online. Pantone fashion – I knew Pantone were the color experts, but I didn't know they tracked the fashion industry's seasonal colors for women. Does Print Still Matter? Kodak's Chris Echevarria answers with an impassioned YES. The internet […]

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