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What’s on the Horizon: The 2018 SGIA Expo

Posted Monday, May 21, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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Featuring the latest innovations in technology and new ideas, the 2018 SGIA Expo is ready to take on Las Vegas.

Registration is open for the 2018 SGIA Expo (Las Vegas, October 18–20), show owner and producer the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) announced. Registration for the Expo is free through September 19.

With over 500 exhibitors and more than 20,000 registrants expected to attend, the SGIA Expo continues to be the most exciting printing trade show in North America, supplying industry leaders with new ideas, applications and technologies to catapult their businesses to new levels.

As printing evolves, and technologies and markets converge, the SGIA Expo facilitates industry development, giving printers and suppliers a comprehensive look at the state of the industry and what is on the horizon for printing.

“The SGIA Expo attracts printers across a broad range of markets, and this is not by accident. Whether you are in packaging, commercial, garment, graphics or industrial, there are many technologies, ideas and insights to be gained from the resources at the most dynamic show in printing,” said Ford Bowers, President & CEO, SGIA.

A robust 72-session conference program will complement the Expo floor, giving attendees insights into how they can maximize the latest machinery, applications, consumables and ideas they see on display.

Register and learn more about the 2018 SGIA Expo at

SGIA — Supporting the Leaders of the Digital & Screen Printing CommunitySpecialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is the trade association of choice for professionals in the industrial, graphic, garment, textile, electronics, packaging and commercial printing communities looking to grow their business into new market segments through the incorporation of the latest printing technologies. SGIA membership comprises these diverse segments, all of which are moving rapidly towards digital adoption. As long-time champions of digital technologies and techniques, SGIA is the community of peers you are looking for to help navigate the challenges of this process. Additionally, the SGIA Expo is the largest trade show for print technology in North America. “Whatever the medium, whatever the message, print is indispensable. Join the community — SGIA.”

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PIA Applauds Introduction of PRINT Act; Urges Washington to Reject Tariffs on Canadian Uncoated Groundwood Paper

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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Printing Industries of America President & CEO Michael Makin released today the following statement regarding introduction of the Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade (PRINT) Act of 2018 by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME):

“Printing Industries of America (PIA) has spent the better part of 2018 informing the Department of Commerce of the unique circumstances in the trade remedy case targeting Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood (UGW) paper, providing a realistic viewpoint of paper consumption, and explaining the devastating impact taxing produce is having—now—on the print and publishing industries.

Currently, alleged anti-dumping tariffs and countervailing duties are being collected at the border and printers are feeling the effects of market upheaval in regards to scarce supply and higher costs being passed onto end users. While PIA respects U.S. trade law and understands a quasi-judicial process to determine final injury to the sole petitioning paper company must proceed, the association also has a responsibility to stand up for its member companies caught in the crosshairs of this ongoing investigation.

The printing industry is constantly innovating and reinventing itself to stay competitive in the modern communications marketplace. Taxing our most essential raw material drags down the industry’s job creation, economic growth, and future viability. The reality is that demand for newsprint and electronic alternatives—not unfair foreign competition—has driven down consumer use of newsprint. That’s why PIA applauds Senators Collins and King for standing up to say “time out” on behalf of the printing and publishing industry by introducing the PRINT Act.

This bipartisan bill would require the Department of Commerce to conduct an economic wellbeing study on the printing and publishing industry and pause any affirmative determinations on final tariffs until President Trump has certified receipt of report and has concluded such determinations are in the national interest. Most importantly, the PRINT Act would halt the current collection of cash deposits for Canadian UGW imports.

Trade remedy laws are designed to help domestic industries attain a level playing field on which to succeed—not to create an exponential number of domestic losers in the process. The PRINT Act is crucial to restoring a much-needed sense of sanity surrounding tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper. PIA endorses this legislation and will continue to work to highlight the need for rational decision making in relation to this ill-conceived tariff.”

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Why PGSF matters to the future of our industry

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by John Berthelsen, VP-Development, Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation.

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When I have conversations with leaders of graphic service providers, as well as the suppliers to those companies, I hear one consistent theme. They are worried about replacing a workforce that is growing older and retiring. It used to be possible to fill vacancies by “robbing” the competition for experienced workers. For the most part, those days have ended. Today companies must look closely at their ability to attract young people and facilitate their training. That is where the Print and Graphic Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) comes into play.

While the Foundation cannot replace a production worker or a CSR next month, we do provide an important resource for the macro issue of providing workers for the industry. And we cannot do this important work without the support of companies and individuals from the industry. We work with high schools and colleges across the United States to promote graphic communications as a career choice for young people. We explain the wide range of possibilities available in a stable, wide spread industry. And, in the greater big picture, this helps everyone. Our scholarship alumni are working in virtually every industry occupation for producers and vendors. Some are even working today as buyers of industry products and services.

We can assist companies with local promotion of careers with posters and career guides that inform young people about these opportunities. Many companies use these on a local basis for high school career days, when giving plant tours and for educating school officials and parents. On our website, we provide print files for localization and reproduction of the poster and guide. We also assist by providing resources for the development of intern and apprenticeship programs.

And, of course, when a student determines that they want to pursue a career in graphics, we assist them with financial support. PGSF has been around for more than 60 years and has provided support to over 7,000 students who are now working in the field. Annually, we average over 200 students receiving more than $400,000 in total. Most scholarships come from permanent endowments created over the years. But we also have annual scholarships that are funded in any given year. New endowments can be funded over a period of years, once established.

Competition in today’s market is more difficult than ever. The winners will be those companies that make the right strategic decisions and do the most to recruit and employ the most talented young minds. So, as the industry continues to evolve its development will rest in the hands of those who serve as its future. You can help PGSF make sure that we are attracting and supporting those bright young minds.

For more information on PGSF and its programs, go to Or you can contact me at We look forward to building the future workforce of the industry together.

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Auditor Insights: Day-to-Day Operations of Internal Audit

Posted Tuesday, May 1, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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Provided by PPI Partner Kirkpatrick Price

Internal audit provides a level of monitoring which is generally not available when working with a third-party auditor. If you’re going on a long road trip, how likely are you to hop in the car and start driving? You’re not – most people will take the car to the shop for an oil change and overall inspection. If the road trip is the audit engagement, the practice of taking the car to the shop equates to the usage of an internal audit function to ensure the car (the organization) is ready for the road trip (the third-party assessment).

So, you’ve recognized the value of an internal audit program, you have senior management’s support, you’ve developed an internal audit program, and now you’re implementing it. What does internal audit require on a day-to-day basis?

What Does an Internal Audit Require on a Day-to-Day Basis?

Part of your internal audit team should consist of project management personnel and operational auditors. Project management personnel are responsible for the execution of audit functions which translate activity at the operational level to information driven by reporting requirements established by executive management. Operational auditors are responsible for the execution of audit activities including compliance requirement identification, testing, evidence evaluation, and reporting. By now, though, you may be wondering what this team does on a day-to-day basis. The duties performed by internal auditors normally include:

  • Objectively review your organization’s business processes. This is the process of providing a non-biased assessment of the completeness and adequacy of an organization’s business processes with a focus on the effectiveness and efficiency of the process.

  • Evaluate the efficiency of risk management procedures that are currently in place. What one individual or business considers to be an acceptable risk may not be so reasonable to executive management. Internal audit represents management’s interests while evaluating risk decisions and handling techniques.

  • Protect against fraud and theft of the organization’s assets. Again, while serving as a representative of executive management, internal audit can identify and bring to light incidents of fraud, waste, and abuse.

  • Ensure that the organization is complying with relevant laws and regulations. Internal audit can create control mappings which translate legal, regulatory, or ethical requirements into actionable controls, which can be evaluated for compliance with defined requirements. For each separate legal statute or contractual obligation, a control can specifically address the organization’s business processes and translate business activities into measurable actions which support compliance.

  • Make recommendations on how to improve internal controls and governance processes. Based on control reviews, evidence collection, and interviews, internal audit can provide insights regarding how improving controls or the supporting process may better assess the organization’s compliance levels.

How Does an Internal Audit Team Work with a Third-Party Auditor?

Internal audit can be a valuable resource when working with third-party auditors since internal audit can supply the third-party auditor with control objectives used by the organization as well as the mappings to common frameworks for assessment. This activity allows third-party auditors to better understand the assessment activities performed by the organization and provide an assessment or opinion of the organization’s compliance efforts.

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10 Ways Printers Can Help Designers

Posted Tuesday, May 1, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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Designers are visual people and the best way to teach a visual person is to show them. Graphic designers are also curious people who generally like to see how things work. We all walk around with our cameras all day, lauding their efficiency for email, Slack, twitter and more. But it is the instant transmission of images and videos that make showing easy-as-pie.

Here are 10 ways you can use your smartphone to reach out to your designer clients, add value to your company website and make life easier for yourself. (Sales managers, appoint one person to collect this kind of knowledge and disseminate to the whole sales team.)

  1. Coated vs. Uncoated. Sit down with a designer and have two paper swatch books in front of you and explain coated paper versus uncoated paper. You will have saved yourself countless hours of “it looks like postcard paper” descriptions, and the like.

  2. Bleeds. Take a video of your guillotine cutter in action, preferably a job with a bleed. Zoom in on the crop marks, text it to your designer client. (Put it on your website too!)

  3. Grain. Look in your sample room for something with a nice black solid. Pull two samples. Fold one sample with the grain. Fold the other sample against the grain. Put them side-by-side folds-up and photograph with your phone. Open the image and crop to relevant image area and mark as a favorite in your phone for quick retrieval.

  4. Waste=Cost. Show your client an illustration of paper waste for various page sizes. Here are some examples you can use: (Put it on your website too!)

  5. Quantity matters. Walk into your pressroom and film a sheet-fed press at the delivery end while it is running for 30 seconds. Confirm run speed with pressman. Text video to the client explaining that’s how long it takes for (insert quantity here) brochures/posters, etc. to run through the press and why they should opt for digital printing on this short run. (At 15,000 iph 30 seconds is 125 sheets, 8-up that’s 1000 pieces!)

  6. Printing is green. Calculate how many pounds of trim, corrugated and electronics you recycle each year (if your trim is picked up and weighed by a recycler they have this info). Next time your vendor picks up a container run out to the parking lot and take a pic. Put the photo on your website with an infographic of the tonnage you recycle annually. Explain that the trim and corrugated goes into future recycled paper products.

  7. Ink can change color. Show your client this photo. Explain that the ink formulas with a high percentage of opaque white (basically all pastels) will shift within a year (swatch on left was two years old, on right 6 months, when photographed). Share that pastel colors are great for a short-lived item like an invitation not so great for an identity system.

  8. Paper makes a difference. Next time you’ve got an attractive job with photos that’s going to run on white paper, order some extra sheets of ivory, canary and grey uncoated paper. Add those colored sheets to the job and photograph the same detail area of all four colors. Make a montage (easy with the Layout app for iPhone). Send this montage to a client who is wondering about running a job on colored stock and put it on your website too.

  9. How to read a swatch book. Oh boy, if I had a penny for every time a customer found the “perfect paper” in a swatch book and placed an order specifying that sheet only to find out there wasn’t enough, or it wasn’t stocking or that the chosen color had been discontinued… This is a great topic to discuss at a quick lunch with a new customer. Text her an image showing how to look up the date of a swatch book. Then bring her some lunch and a few swatch books and show her how to “read” it.

  10. Art takes time. Text your idea of a rudimentary schedule to your client as a pdf graphic they can print out and pin to their idea wall. Next time they are working with a client to develop a timeline they won’t guess and it saves them and you a call/email.

I know that some will think that answering questions and fielding problems bring value to a client, and they do. But do they bring value to a business owner? If staff is reacting/interacting at the 100-foot level, how are they going to interact at the 30,000 foot level with intention? Focus on the little things with intention and planning and then the 30,000-foot questions aren’t as scary. What are your clients’ plans for next year? Are you discussing budgets internally? Are they planning on launching any new products or services within the next six months? These conversations are really easy when “what do I need a bleed for” is taken care of.

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