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App Identifies Pantone Colors in the Real World

Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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Ever been inspired by the gorgeous, distinct colors in a stunning sunset, the combinations of uniquely colored homes in a big city? Well, you can actually use an app on your phone to identify the Pantone Color and incorporate it into your design work.

Kushagra Agarwal developed Cone, a color-identifying app to create a solution to his own problems. “Being a red-green colorblind designer, it’s difficult for me to recognize or identify certain colors,” he explained. “With the help of Cone, I could point my phone at an object and see exactly which color the object was.”

The initial version of the app quickly became an integral part of his design workflow. “Whenever I came across a beautiful color, I would instantly capture it and later try to use it in my designs.” After sharing Cone with others, they encouraged him to continue developing it and making it even more useful for designers. “Since then, a number of features have been added, including the ability to ID Pantone colors, which no other app in the App Store does.”

So how can designers use Cone? Kushagra mentioned a couple of his favorite creative ways he’s seen it in action.

  1. Packaging/Product designers love using Cone to ID Pantone colors, and it’s one of the most used feature of the app. Since most of the brands use Pantone for their colors, designers now find it very easy to quickly figure out the Pantone ink they’re using, for reference.
  2. Some users use Cone to ID the color of the paint on walls and interiors. This helps them design/choose matching interiors very quickly and efficiently.
  3. One user contacted Kushagra about how Cone makes it easier for them when they have clients trying to describe colors or when they have produced a sample that requires matching.
  4. Another designer used Cone to sample the colors of wooden planks. The user designs wooden signs and previously, they had to take a picture of the plank, transfer it into their computer, color correct the photo, and then start working on the design on top of it. Now the user simply samples the color once and directly uses it on their computer, reducing a lot of painful work.

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U.S Postal Service Announces New Prices for 2018

Posted Monday, October 16, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt textThe United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today of price changes to take effect Jan. 21, 2018. The new prices, if approved, include a one cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp from 49 cents to 50 cents.

Postcard stamps and metered letters would also have a one cent increase. Today’s filing does not include any price change for single-piece letters being mailed to international destinations or for additional ounces for letters.

The proposed prices would raise Mailing Services product prices approximately 1.9 percent, and most Shipping Services products will average a 3.9 percent price increase. While Mailing Services price increases are limited based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Shipping Services prices are adjusted strategically, according to market conditions and the need to maintain affordable services for customers. The proposed Mailing Services price changes include:alt text

The new Shipping Services product prices would increase Priority Mail 3.9 percent and Priority Mail Retail an average of 0.8 percent. As in the past, the Postal Service will not include any surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday delivery.The proposed domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Retail price changes are:alt text

The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect on Jan. 21, 2018. The complete Postal Service price filings with the new prices for all products can be found on the PRC site under the Daily Listings section at For the Mailing Services filing see Oct. 6, 2017, Docket No. R2018-1. For the Shipping Services filing see Oct. 6, 2017, Docket No. CP2018-8.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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PPI Association Announces the 2017 PrintROCKS! Awards Winners

Posted Thursday, October 12, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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PPI Association, a visual communications trade organization, hosted its 10th Annual PrintROCKS! Awards & Party on September 22, 2017 at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington. Print manufacturing companies, agencies, and even students entered the 28 categories ranging from direct mail to catalogs to posters to packaging.

PPI received 210 PrintROCKS! Awards entries from 40 companies in PPI’s six-state region and Utah. This year’s entries raised the bar as new technology and techniques expand traditional capabilities. Excellent examples of web, offset, digital, large format, folds, dies, finishing and special solutions challenged the panel of judges comprised of Karen Wang – PDX Design Scout, Helen Doty – AAA Washington, Carl Vonder Haar – Sales Aficionado and Abe Hayhurst – Konica Minolta Inkjet. Michael Makin, President & CEO of PIA shared the stage with PPI Executive Director Jules Van Sant to honor the top PrintROCKS award winners. The PrintROCKS! Award winners include:

Best of Show: ColorGraphics – Kent, WA

People’s Choice: PrintWest – Woodinville, WA

Best of Division:

101 or more employees: Hudson Printing – Salt Lake City, UT

51-100 employees: Wright Business Graphics – Portland, OR

21-50 employees: PrintWest – Woodinville, WA

20 or less employees: Minuteman Press of Redmond – Redmond, OR

Bindery: North West Book – Bellingham, WA

Student: Highline College – Des Moines, WA

Mad Props: Journal Graphics, North West Book, Premier, and PrintWest

WTFabulous!: Premier

* See all award winners at *

Congratulations to all the winners and participants. The PrintROCKS! Awards Party was a celebration of excellence and achievement. The attendees were thrilled with the entire evening’s event. This year’s theme, Your Name in Lights, celebrated the 10th year of PrintROCKS! complete with a red carpet and Hollywood flair. Party attendees enjoyed Hotel Murano’s fine cuisine, entertainment by caricature artists, and photo booth fun, plus a guest visit from Marilyn Monroe and Sean Connery. Following the awards ceremony, guests enjoyed networking and entertainment.

The Pacific Printing Industries Educational Trust is held in high regard by the PPI membership and was spotlighted at the PrintROCKS! Party. This year, the Ed Trust benefitted from a fundraising auction offering highly valued donations provided by the membership and sponsors. Over the course of the evening, we raised over $23,000 toward developing a future workforce for the print and visual communications industry. The Ed Trust extends a “thank you” to all the donors.

PrintROCKS! Awards & Party details and photos can be found at:> PrintROCKS! > PrintROCKS! 2017> Events > Event Photo Galleries> 2017 PrintROCKS! Party and Awards

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Don’t Let Your Business Go Up In Smoke

Posted Tuesday, October 10, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

alt textSource: Federated Insurance

Fire Prevention Week – October 8-14, 2017

Every year, fires costs business owners billions of dollars—and that number doesn’t even begin to measure the impact fires have on the business itself and the families of employees who are injured or killed by the blaze.

Fire Prevention Week, October 8-14, 2017, is a great reminder that preventing workplace fires is not something to be done yearly, monthly, or even weekly—it should be a daily activity. Investigations reveal that most business fires can be prevented if workers consistently pay attention to a few, very specific hazards. To help you and your employees make it home safely each day, your Federated Insurance team is excited to provide a customizable fire prevention checklist you can use to review your business’s fire prevention techniques. (The latest full version of Adobe Reader is required to open and use the customizable checklist.)

Made available to all association members through our partnership with Federated, the checklist helps you identify and implement high priority fire prevention practices that can significantly impact your business. It’s designed to also allow businesses to add checkpoints for the unique risks and exposures they face. Go to to access the sample checklist and view a video that shows the reality of business fires and discusses the need to make fire safety everyone’s responsibility.

Federated clients can find more fire prevention resources by logging on to Federated’s Shield Network®, or contacting Federated’s Risk Management Resource Center at 1.888.333.4949 or At Federated Insurance, It’s Our Business to Protect Yours®.

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PIA Launches Spoilage Survey

Posted Tuesday, October 10, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

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Printing Industries of America (PIA) announced today that the organization will be investigating spoilage within the printing industry. Data will be collected by means of a survey distributed to printing companies.

The aim of the examination is to better understand the extent that spoilage is tracked, how statistics are calculated, and more importantly, the range and average of spoilage levels by size and type of company. In addition, it seeks to understand whether low spoilage figures correlate to other company behaviors, such as having standardized processes.

“The goal is to let managers benchmark their control of spoilage,” said James Workman, PIA’s vice president of the Center for Technology and Research. “They’ll soon know if their company is a leader or laggard.” PIA also expects the survey results to give insight into best practices for measuring and calculating spoilage.

A summary report of the findings will be sent to all survey respondents and a white paper shared with member companies. A session on the findings will be featured at the 2018 Continuous Improvement Conference (April 8-11 in Chicago). Companies can visit to learn more and participate.

For more information about the survey, please contact Jim Workman at

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