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Coping with your worst nightmare

Those images on Monday 28 December were horrifying, and remain unforgettable. Like most people, Chris Milner had been tuning into TV news channels over the Christmas period, gripped with cold fascination as the rising waters of flood-hit Britain made news headlines across the UK.

How the humble mobile phone will conquer W2P

On Valentines Day this year, a landmark moment in retail was reached: according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, the proportion of online retail traffic coming from mobile devices broke the 50% mark.

Apply an aptitude for apps

Ethan Nicholas built one and it earned him $600,000 in a single month. Steve Demeter built one and he netted $250,000 profit in two months. Nicholas did it with a small military tank. Demeter did it with some floating triangles. Both did it on the iPhone. Clearly, the business of building applications, or 'apps', for Apple's game-changing smart phone handset can be a nice little earner.

Next-level file flow

There are a host of pre-press products on the market to automate file processing and improve file checking and approval, ganging, imposition, image correction and ink optimisation

Is repro having a sudden renaissance?

Things change. Just look at the UK repro sector. A year or so ago, consolidation was rife and rarely did a month go by (or so it seemed) without an industry-shaking merger or a headline-grabbing closure. Anyone considering launching a repro company would have been seen as hopelessly optimistic, ridiculously brave, or seriously deranged. Fast forward to the present, however, and there are signs that repro or pre-media to give it its current title is back in fashion. Within the space of a month, we have seen both overseas investment in the recent Keenes and Wellcom deal and that rarest of breeds: a pre-media start-up.

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.

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.

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.

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.

An integrated MIS helps keep eyes on the prize

Regardless of size, one thing that every print business should bear in mind at all times is how profitable a job is likely to be as, after all, making profit is essential for any company that wants to continue to grow, thrive and move forwards.

Don’t let aged files byte the dust

There’s a fine collection of old Macintosh computers in my attic and garage. A 1988 Mac SE, a 1995 PowerBook laptop with tiny mono screen, a 1996 Performa 6200 and a huge metal G5 from 2002. They all work, but my wife doesn’t understand why I want to use up all that storage space.

Review of the decade

As the curtain falls on the decade, the printing industry will be hoping that the next 10 years bring better fortune than the last. In a two-part look at events since the turn of the millennium, PrintWeek trawls the archive to revisit the stories that hit the headlines during one of the industry's most eventful periods

Building for the future

As the nature of print has evolved, the background processes and systems, such as workflow tools and MIS, have also matured, reflecting the increasingly complex nature of the output. Never has it been more necessary to replace the blanket term 'pre-press' with the multi-channel friendly moniker 'pre-media' to describe the building blocks behind output that can just as easily include online delivery as it does the traditional printed page.

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.

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”.

The art of repro in the digital world

What happened to repro? Around a decade or so ago most photographs were still taken on film and getting them into halftone print required high-quality scanners together with repro operators with the skill and experience to get the best from the resulting digital files.

Techie tips to back up your presses

A printing business is a technology business, with many elements vital to its smooth operation – from fast networks and file storage systems, to security and e-commerce platforms. PrintWeek asked a raft of experts in these fields, as well as printers themselves, about how they’re dealing with these challenges, and what’s on the horizon to be aware of.

WF sector plays catch-up in web-to-print stakes

It is a truism that wide-format printers lag behind their commercial counterparts in the adoption of productivity software, such as workflow, colour management and MIS. And the same seems true with web-to-print software too.

Ten top buys for 10K or less

From new kit to additional training, it needn't cost a fortune to revitalise productivity and rapidly recoup initial outlay, writes Jo Francis

Finding the right plate chemistry

The debate over whether to switch to chemistry-free, and how free of chemistry these plates actually are, is being influenced by increasing environmental pressures, finds Philip Chadwick

Cashing in on the content

Workflow, workflow management, manufacturing management, total production workflow. Congratulations if you managed to wade through that list of long words. Guaranteed to make many printer run for the hills, cover their ears, hide behind their pre-press manager or a combination of the above, workflow isnt going to go away any time soon. In fact, what has been for so long seen as the preserve of the pre-press department is now moving upstream to creatives and customers, and downstream through print and post-press to despatch and delivery.

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