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2019 Premier Print Awards Winners Announced!

Posted Monday, June 17, 2019 by Benjamin Mertz.

alt textPPI is pleased to announce the 2019 Premier Print Award Winners who were submitted into the competition at no additional charge from their wins in the 2018 PrintROCKS! Awards. 85 submissions were awarded with 25 organizations recognized for their stellar work.Our region’s showing only reinforces once again the tremendous work done by the greater print community in the six states we serve. Bonus for the entrants is that we saved them over $13,000 collectively in processing time, shipping and entry fees.Warm up your fingers, prepare your trash talk, and get ready for PrintROCKS! enter today! It’ll be the best PrintROCKS! yet! We will celebrate these wins at the PrintROCKS party September 27th in Portland, OR at the Redd on Salmon.

ALL 2019 PrintROCKS Entries awarded Honorable Mention through First Place will once again be submitted in 2020 to the Premier Print Awards for consideration at no additional charge. You too can get this 2+++ for 1 opportunity by entering PrintROCKS today! We’re open for entries and look forward to helping you promote your amazing work.

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See the Industry Under One Roof

Posted Thursday, June 6, 2019 by Kate Achelpohl, Director of Publications & Public Relations, SGIA.

Printing United Banner

Time and technology are transforming the printing industry. Printers who once identified with a single segment are now adopting technologies and product lines that pull them into adjacent markets. Those changes — summed up in the word “convergence” — are at the heart of PRINTING United, the latest iteration of the SGIA Expo, produced by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and NAPCO Media, and coming to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas October 23 - 25.

Partying at PRINTING United

“There’s a transformation taking place in the printing industry, a blurring of segment boundaries as print service providers (PSPs) seek out new products and technologies to better serve their customers. Convergence is changing how PSPs and their suppliers do business, the technologies they choose and the information they need to stay ahead of the competition,” says Mark Subers, President/CRO, Printing and Packaging, NAPCO Media.

But it’s more than just the technology that’s changing. The needs of brands and marketers are continuing to evolve as well. “Our customers’ needs continue to change and we need to change with them,” says a PSP interviewed for SGIA’s “Critical Trends Report: Commercial Printing Winter 2019.” “It is not just about how well we can print, but how well we can help them communicate their message — in a variety of ways.”

PRINTING United will bring the universe of printing under one roof, serving markets including commercial printing, apparel decorating, graphics production, functional printing, packaging printing and in-plant.

“PRINTING United represents a sea change in event strategies for addressing the industry environment. Rather than focusing on a single industry segment, it’s welcoming in the entire community,” says Subers.

Attendees can begin making connections on the expansive show floor — the equivalent of more than 12 ½ football fields — filled with more than 600 exhibitors, including Ricoh, Heidelberg, RMGT — Graphic Systems (Ryobi), Muller Martini, and Kirk-Rudy.

The show floor is more than a comprehensive view of the latest printing technologies. It’s also home to The Experience Zone, a 4,000-square-foot exhibit with over 100 printed applications that demonstrate how printing shapes consumers’ lives.

“Our industry touches everything around us,” Subers says. “The Experience Zone will put a face on it, with displays from in-home, out-of-home and retail environments. We want PSPs visiting The Experience Zone to leave inspired to try new product lines and markets.”

Education Empowers Convergence

What printers learn at PRINTING United will change the way they see their business.

The greatest levels of product-line expansion for commercial printers, according to SGIA’s Commercial Printing Scorecard (based on 2019 (Q1) SGIA Survey — Markets & Products), are graphic and sign (65.4%), functional printing (21%), package printing/converting (19.8%) and apparel decoration (14.8%). PRINTING United provides the knowledge attendees need to explore these and other segments.

“The education at PRINTING United is designed to give attendees the resources to explore new markets and opportunities — whether inside or outside their traditional segment,” says Dan Marx, Director of

Content Development, SGIA. “We’ve structured the programming so there will be something relevant to anyone in attendance at any given time.”

Education begins Tuesday, October 22, with three concurrent half-day intensive workshops:

· Convergence Power Rankings: Where (and How) to Grow — Marco Boer of IT Strategies provides background PSPs need to find and take advantage of new, opportunity-rich areas.

· Wide Format 101: Strategies for Success — SGIA’s Ray Weiss assembles a cast of seasoned professionals to share knowledge for success in the wide-format segment, covering technologies, applications, color management, pricing strategies and more.

· Digital Textile Printing: What, Why and How — Keypoint Intelligence/Info Trends’ Ron Gilboa and digital textile experts will discuss how to maximize the possibilities of digital textile printing, its future and the importance of workflow.

Like the trade show, the PRINTING United conference is built on the foundation of its predecessor, the SGIA Expo, but, says Marx, “We’ve ramped up the relevant, innovative education past attendees know to expect and extended that to the commercial, package and in-plant printing communities as well.”

Out of more than 270 session proposals, just 96 made it to the curated conference schedule in tracks for commercial printing, digital print and graphics production, digital textile printing, functional print (industrial applications and printed electronics), apparel decorating, package printing and business intelligence.

“The competition was stiff, and every proposal went through a rigorous review process with a team that included editors-in-chief from NAPCO Media’s Printing Impressions, Wide-Format Impressions, In-Plant Impressions and Packaging Impressions,” Marx adds.

On the show floor, PRINTING United’s three amphitheaters will feature research and exhibitor-led presentations addressing the apparel, industrial, graphics, commercial and packaging printing communities in prominent locations on the show floor.

PRINTING United Connects the Community

“PSPs who want to improve their businesses and better serve their customers need access to suppliers, manufacturers and education. PRINTING United provides those connections across market segments,” says Ford Bowers, President and CEO, SGIA.

In addition to the expansive show floor and educational options, PRINTING United will bring the community together to create and strengthen connections with peers and industry leaders. Networking events during the show feature informative and inspiring speakers for the apparel, functional and industrial printing, sustainability and Women in Print Alliance communities.

And in the evening, the Opening Night Party on October 23 at the iconic Gilley’s Dallas will channel the energy and excitement of the printing industry.

“The launch of PRINTING United is something to celebrate,” Bowers says. “It encompasses and serves today’s printing industry better than any event in the printing and packaging space has before. If you’re part of the industry, you need to be there from the start.”

Registration for PRINTING United will be free through September 10, but some events have additional fees. Learn more and register today at PRINTINGUnited.com.

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SGIA Now Accepting Product of the Year Competition Entries

Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2019 by Kate Achelpohl, SGIA.

Fairfax, Va. — The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is accepting entries for its annual Product of the Year competition through August 2. Exclusive to PRINTING United exhibitors, and judged by a panel of industry experts, the competition awards the leading products in the market across 87 printing categories.

“The Product of the Year competition represents the best of the best among a wide range of categories in commercial hardware, software, consumables, and industrial and screen equipment,” said Ray Weiss, Director of Digital Print Programs, SGIA. “Any exhibitor’s product that is, or will be, available on the market in 2019 is eligible for entry.”

To best reflect the current array of solutions for the printing industry, Weiss also noted all the competition’s categories are re-evaluated and refined each year based on previous entrants’ feedback.

Entries are judged at SGIA’s headquarters by a panel of volunteer industry experts in an open scoring system, factoring in criteria such as date of manufacture and “wow” factor, as well as objective print quality data. The results will be announced in advance of PRINTING United — SGIA and NAPCO Media’s latest iteration of the SGIA Expo coming to Dallas October 23 - 25 — allowing exhibitors to promote their winning products prior to the expo. Additionally, winners will receive a Product of the Year award jewel and have their entry displayed in PRINTING United’s Golden Image/Product of the Year Gallery.

“The Product of the Year awards gave us the opportunity to coincide a product launch with a product win,” said Yoann Giorsetti, Managing Director, Siser North America, which won the Media — Heat Transfer Material, Cuttable category in 2018. “We knew introducing Siser® BlackBoard™ heat transfer vinyl at the SGIA Expo was going to cause a buzz, but the extra publicity from the win skyrocketed our booth attendance. We were out of sample tote bags by the end of day two!”

Weiss hopes this year’s entries will top 2018’s record-breaking 255. “With each year, it gets more exciting to see the game-changing entries,” he said. “Product of the Year allows participants and winners to bring their solutions to the forefront for prospective customers.”

Giorsetti echoed these sentiments. “In addition to the extra attention, the Product of the Year awards supported and confirmed the quality of the product to our customers,” he said. “Although we already believed in BlackBoard™, we were honored to receive SGIA’s stamp of approval and are grateful for the benefits that followed to help make this one of our best product launches.”

Product of the Year participants must submit entries ($85 each) online and send in required materials before August 2. For more information and to enter, visit SGIA.org/programs/awards-competition.

About Printing United PRINTING United, a new event owned and operated by SGIA in partnership with NAPCO Media, will launch in Dallas, Texas, October 23 - 25, 2019. Focusing on the opportunities presented by the convergence of printing technologies and markets, PRINTING United will cover print and finishing technologies in industry segments from apparel to graphic, packaging to commercial, and industrial. Its objective is to convey all components of integrated solutions to satisfy virtually any client need.

About SGIAThe Specialty Graphic Imaging Association is a trade association for the leaders of the 21st Century printing industry. SGIA members are bold, driven, creative and riding a wave of technology and innovation. In addition to providing high-quality information and educational resources designed to help move the printing community forward, SGIA produces the leading trade shows PRINTING United (Dallas, October 23 - 25, 2019) and Graphics of the Americas (Miami, February 27 - 29, 2020).

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Teen Fashion Designer Headlines Breakfast at PRINTING United

Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2019 by Kate Achelpohl, SGIA.

Fairfax, Va. — Ariel Swedroe, a 15-year-old fashion designer, will start the day on an inspirational note as the Women in Print Alliance Breakfast’s keynote speaker on October 24 at 7:30 AM at PRINTING United (October 23 - 25, Dallas).

In an interview with Women in Print Alliance advisory committee member Adrienne Palmer, Editor-in-Chief of Big Picture and Screen Printing magazines, Swedroe will speak about her life’s journey, her passion for fashion and how she brings artwork to life in the fabrics and apparel she designs. Sponsored by Stahls’, the event will also include presentations from members of the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association’s (SGIA) Women in Print Alliance advisory council and roundtable discussions for networking.

“Ariel’s story isn’t just about a remarkable young woman, it’s about how she’s using digital printing to create a product,” said Women in Print Alliance Chair Elaine Scrima, Vice President of Operations, GSP Companies.

Swedroe was seven years old when she fell in love with fashion. Inspired by the work of her grandfather, noted artist and architect Robert Swedroe, she began creating fabrics from his more than 900 collages in her early teens. She starts with a digital photo of the design, and after manipulating it to create just the look she wants, prints the fabric using heat transfer dye sublimation.

Her efforts go beyond her own studio, too. In addition to teaching pregnant teens in Cartagena, Colombia, to sew, Swedroe has worked with organizations such as CODella and Pearl Girls, which inspire girls to learn to code and follow their passions.

“The values Ariel puts into action are in line with what the Women in Print Alliance is all about,” Scrima added.

SGIA created the breakthrough Women in Print Alliance to attract the printing industry’s next generation of gifted women, retain and recognize those who are successfully serving the industry, and advance or promote talented women in print whose success would benefit the industry as a whole.

Women in Print Alliance speakers will cover topics including staying focused and motivated when crisis hits, knowing your value and holding conversations with confidence. Speakers include Kristin Lanzarone-Scribner, Owner, WrapStar Pro; Heather Roden, Strategic Account Manager, Zund Americas; Tiffany Rader Spitzer, Operations and Technical Product Manager, Roeder Industries; and Michelle White, Technical Market Manager, Vycom Plastics.

The Women in Print Alliance Breakfast is one of several networking events at PRINTING United — SGIA and NAPCO Media’s next iteration of the SGIA Expo. Tickets for the breakfast are $30 and are available while registering for PRINTING United. Registration for PRINTING United is free for members through September 10. Learn more and register at printingunited.com.

PRINTING United reflects SGIA’s continual goal to serve as the foremost resource for information and education for the printing industry at large. Access the many benefits SGIA membership offers by joining today at SGIA.org/membership or contacting membership@sgia.org.

About Printing United PRINTING United, a new event owned and operated by SGIA in partnership with NAPCO Media, will launch in Dallas, Texas, October 23 - 25, 2019. Focusing on the opportunities presented by the convergence of printing technologies and markets, PRINTING United will cover print and finishing technologies in industry segments from apparel to graphic, packaging to commercial, and industrial. Its objective is to convey all components of integrated solutions to satisfy virtually any client need.

About SGIAThe Specialty Graphic Imaging Association is a trade association for the leaders of the 21st Century printing industry. SGIA members are bold, driven, creative and riding a wave of technology and innovation. In addition to providing high-quality information and educational resources designed to help move the printing community forward, SGIA produces the leading trade shows PRINTING United (Dallas, October 23 - 25, 2019) and Graphics of the Americas (Miami, February 27 - 29, 2020).

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Using PrintROCKS! to win customer hearts and minds

Posted Monday, May 20, 2019 by Kristin Baldwin.

In business, we are always trying to find ways to connect and deepen our relationships with our customers. Use the PrintROCKS! competition as a reason to contact your customers about their past projects, let them know that you are entering on both of your behalves and bask in the glory together if you win.

In a previous life, as a sales and marketing director, I actively looked for opportunities to connect my customer with their target market. It was a win-win solution to helping my clients find more customers of their own and then my clients became more loyal to my business in the process. Submitting an entry into PrintROCKS will give you an excuse to reach out to that client, let them know that you respect their creativity and passion for their work and that you are their partner in creating the best-printed piece.

As a former marketing director, I would have been thrilled if the printer saw our relationship as more than just one-sided, but as a partnership in producing the best. So, reach out to your customers in the process of submitting your best work to PrintROCKS! (Deadline is July 1st – so hurry on that one). And if you do submit with a client, make sure to invite them to the PrintROCKS party on September 27th at the Redd East in Portland.

You can’t win if you don’t enter. Entries are now being accepted for 2019 Rock, Paper, Print - PrintROCKS!

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