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Estimable estimators

In the late 1970s print estimators worked with the original spreadsheets, which were large sheets of paper with printed grids that were filled in by hand with written instructions and calculations.

Best of British: Global Graphics Software

Global Graphics Software is always a bit of a conundrum to write about. It’s a successful British software developer whose users may not even know they have it. Its PostScript and PDF RIP-rendering code has underpinned a lot of the pre-press sector’s workflows for platesetters and digital presses since the late 1980s

Taming colour’s Wild West

Most wide-format printers are capable of producing a very wide colour gamut so that it’s relatively easy to print a pleasing image with vibrant colours that appear to be just what the client ordered. That said, most wide-format users are working with a wide variety of different media, each with their own characteristics, so it’s essential to use ICC profiles to put down the optimum amount of ink to ensure consistent output.

Copyright or wrong?

Ideas are the stuff of life for any business worth its salt. But of all the legal means of protecting ideas – trademark, patent and copyright – it’s the last which is so easy to breach, either deliberately or accidentally.

Printing in another dimension

Augmented reality – or AR, as most of us refer to it – is seeping into the print industry and changing the way we interact with brands and products.

The future is up in the air

Cloud-based systems are changing the way printers work, allowing them to better serve changing customer demands and put resources and capital into more effective channels, as well as providing additional functionality.

Security gets tougher for online sales

Europe has, for some time, been worried about the problem of card fraud. As part of the fight back, a new process known as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) made under the Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) will be in place.

Early birds can catch the slug-a-beds napping

Simon Biltcliffe’s beard is not (quite) in the same league as Kim Kardashian’s derrière as a personal physical attribute with the ability to break the internet but it may be as close as the UK print industry is going to get.

Picking the right route to success

Printers are facing a perfect storm with rising job numbers, shrinking average order values, a less clear-cut distinction between the most appropriate production methods and the ever-present spectre of downward price pressure.

Open up sociable channels for better reach and impact

You don’t need me to tell you how big a deal social media has become. You’ve probably already read that somewhere... like Facebook. Or maybe LinkedIn or Twitter. Or possibly on some other platform, sandwiched between puppy GIFs, selfies and random shots of a stranger’s dinner.

The brains of your printing business

UK printers first started using management information systems (MIS) in the 1980s. At the time the software was pretty rudimentary, recalls Keith McMurtrie, managing director at Tharstern, who describes those early systems as “barely more than a calculator”.

PDF 2.0: Scene-setter, not a game-changer

After 10 years in the making, it looks like PDF 2.0 will finally reach real world users in the next year or so. Since the 1990s PDF has been the dominant format used to deliver document files for printing.

Software superstars in the spotlight

There are a lot of different design programs around that can be used to place text and graphics in specific places, and to draw shapes and add effects such as transparencies or drop shadows.

What threat does IoT pose to printers’ kit?

Fridge freezers that auto-order milk, kettles that boil water using an app and thermostats that you control from your car... the internet and things that run on it have come a long way since Sir Tim Berners-Lee decided that a network to share data with colleagues at CERN would be a good idea.

Time spent on SEO will be richly rewarded online

There are more than 6 billion word searches on the internet everyday. More than 4 billion of those are on Google. More than 94% of those searches lead to an ‘organic’ link click, with just over 5% opting for the advert.

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