CANVAS Magazine - June 2018 - Mapping Minds

Page 1

Data Hunters Culturally Speaking


Clear. Concise. Confident.








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Inside this issue


34 24 30 38


Lenspeace’s Lennie Gray Mowris on why strategy, breadth and diversity rule the design world


Publisher’s Note

A little help, please?



08 10 P2

How every leader can be BRAVE How to start a conversation with your customers about AR



Why tracking ROI from printed P.O.P. matters



Industry news & awards



onsider the C permanence of print


How your message can make a difference

CANVAS Buyer’s Guide

16 17 18 20

Do you have what it takes? Minimize Overhead. Maximize Revenue. The rule breaker Inside ‘The Reflected Works’



Thriving in the age of innovation

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4mm Coroplast Signs



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Inside this issue| Publisher’s Note



Sarah Mannone Executive VP Trekk


A little help, please?


’ve been digging through some old boxes and realized that my love for self-help books started when I was a young man. Books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “The Magic of Thinking Big” have had a huge impact on my life. I continue to read that kind of material to this very day. When I first started indulging in these types of books, I read them in the privacy of my home. And when I ordered a full set of Tony Robbins tapes back in the day, I hid them under my bed so that nobody knew how really messed up I was. Years later, I’ve come to the conclusion that not only did I need the guidance and support of those authors, but there is nothing shameful about that. Reading parables and finding motivation is not soft or fluffy. It doesn’t mean you have some sort of flaw. It means you’re vulnerable like the rest of us and that you’re willing to admit it. And while some may think Tony and his friends are taking us for a ride with all of that positive mumbo jumbo thinking, the reality is that we all could use some support in our lives. These times are confusing at best. Our collective self-esteem clings to a “tweet” or a “like.” People seem so consumed with their “selfie” lifestyle that many crave the steadying hand of a mentor. And while there may not be many live bodies around willing to coach you up, some good old-fashioned reading can help. The mental and emotional parts of our lives are not as easily gauged as the physical. So, we must push ourselves by learning new things or connecting to something more deeply. This mental training is similar to physical training in that we must stretch and condition our minds just as we would our bodies. There’s no reason to be bashful about seeking out a little mental support. In fact, it may be silly not to give it a try. Our minds must be stretched to deal with the new landscape, but our hearts must be full to enrich the lives of others. So, as long as Daniel Pink, Tony Robbins, Harvey MacKay, Malcom Gladwell, Seth Godin and the rest of those motivational super friends keep writing, I’m all ears. In this issue of CANVAS, our cover feature, “Mapping Minds,” touches upon tips and tricks to use the process mind mapping to foster collaboration and rethink your business. In our second feature, “Culturally Speaking,” we discuss the idea of creating the appropriate culture in the current business environment – one that accesses the human side of business. When I think about it, CANVAS has always endeavored to be little bit of a self-helper, too. I just hope you read it with pride and don’t hide it under your bed.

Reading parables and finding motivation is not soft or fluffy. It doesn’t mean you have some sort of flaw. It means you’re vulnerable like the rest of us and that you’re willing to admit it.

Warmest regards,

Mark Potter, Publisher @MarkRicePotter

Linda Bishop, President, Thought Transformation @Linda_Bishop Dan Pulos Founder & GM S2K Graphics Chris Harrold, VP Creative Director, Mohawk Fine Papers @tweet_convert

Jeff Foley Executive Leadership Coach Marshall Goldsmith’s Stakeholder Centered Coaching @JeffreyWFoley1


2180 Satellite Blvd., Suite 400 Duluth, GA 30097 WWW.THECANVASMAG.COM

THE CANVAS TEAM MANAGING EDITOR michael j. pallerino ART DIRECTOR brent cashman SALES/MARKETING mark potter

EDITORIAL BOARD tom moe Daily Printing gina danner NextPage david bennett Bennett Graphics scott hudson Worth Higgins

PUBLISHED BY CANVAS, Volume 12, Issue 3. copyright 2018 CANVAS, All rights reserved. CANVAS is published bi-monthly for $39.00 per year by Conduit, Inc., 2009 Machenzie Way, Suite 100, Cranberry Township, PA 16066 Periodicals postage pending at Duluth, GA and additional mailings offices. Periodical Publication 25493. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to CANVAS, 2009 Machenzie Way, Suite 100, Cranberry Township, PA 16066. Please note: The acceptance of advertising or products mentioned by contributing authors does not constitute endorsement by the publisher. Publisher cannot accept responsibility for the correctness of an opinion expressed by contributing authors. CANVAS magazine is dedicated to environmentally and socially responsible operations. We are proud to print this magazine on Opus® Dull Cover 80lb/216gsm and Opus Dull Text 80lb/118gsm, an industry-leading, environmentally responsible paper. Opus contains 10% post consumer waste and SFI and FSC chain of custody certification.



If they aren’t biting...

CATCH THEM WITH CONTENT channeling content & connections |


The average amount of time (in minutes) that you have to make an impression on a prospect, according to Docsend’s “From Strategy to Execution: 6 Sales Content Benchmarks Every Business Needs” report. The recommended length for sales content is between two to five pages in total, the report says. The bottom line: Approach your sales content strategy around the principle that everything you need to say has to happen within this range.





Why personalization strategies are raising the stakes to compete for consumer attention

If you’re going to engage with your audience, you better get personal. Ac-

cording to the “2018 Adobe Consumer Content Survey,” 67 percent of consumers

say it’s important for brands to automatically adjust content based on their current

context. And if they don’t? Watch out – 42 percent

admit to getting annoyed

when their content isn’t personalized. It gets better. The survey says that 33 percent get annoyed when

content is poorly designed, while 29 percent are put off when the content isn’t optimized for their devices. And if you’re looking for the mother of all warnings – 66

percent confess that encountering any of these situations would stop them from making a purchase.

The percent of B2B marketers and sales professionals who believe that their marketing and sales applications will be powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) by 2020. Additionally, 70 percent say AI-powered applications will help improve and accelerate the buyer’s journey by recommending next best actions. (“The Myths & Realities of AI in Marketing & Sales” study by Demand Gen Report and Demandbase)


The percent of marketers who cite personalized content as the most effective account-based marketing tactic, followed by 49 pecent who prefer email and 45 percent who favor social media. (“Account-Based Marketing Strategy” report by Ascend2)


The percent of all purchases by consumers that are driven by conversation. Almost half of those conversations take place on social media, with the slight majority taking place face-to-face. (“TotalSocial ® Version 3.0” report by Engagement Labs and Northeastern University)


Perspective | Leadership | Insights




How every leader can be BRAVE ranks. The best leaders recognize the importance of sustained investment in the development of their people. Once developed, rigorous execution of the program is paramount. Success stems from a culture where leaders are equipped with the mindset and passion for developing others. Leaders own the task of developing their people.

illiam had just been promoted to president of the company that had grown dramatically over the past three years and it was not ready for this rapid expansion. While he felt confident he was the best qualified for this position, he lost sleep thinking of all the leadership challenges his people were expecting him to fix. He envisioned himself the Greek titan, Atlas, holding up the globe. The good news is William was not afraid to ask for help. He had a mentor he could turn to for that. His mentor happened to be a career Army officer who had developed a simple, powerful, proven model for developing leaders in the business world. He titled it BRAVE – fitting for an army guy. What keeps you up at night? What is causing you to feel pain? Some of the most significant leadership pains business leaders suffer from include the shortfall in achieving desired results, the inability to attract and retain quality talent, the lack of leadership skills in managers, lack of a values-based culture that enables bad business decisions and unethical behaviors, the lack of an engaged workforce, and the lack of an inspired high-performing executive team. Being a great leader is tough business. It takes courage. It takes bravery. The BRAVE model helped William tackle his challenges. The model can also assuage your fears as a leader, and put you on the path to running a more stable, profitable organization. Here's how you can make the BRAVE model work for you: B e a leader of character Character is at the heart of being an effective leader. It begins with a comprehensive understanding of yourself – a necessary condition before you can effectively lead others. No amount of leadership or technical competency can overcome a lack of character. Character ultimately is defined by those values or deep beliefs that guide behavior. For leaders to be followed, they must secure the trust and confidence of their followers. The best leaders of character define and communicate those values, then live them, and reward others who live them. R einforce leader competencies Clearly documented leadership competencies – and their associated behaviors – make it abundantly apparent what is most important to an organization. Core competencies highlight the fundamentals of solid leadership for everyone throughout the organization. There are additional competencies commensurate with a leader’s level of responsibility. As one progresses up in the organization, responsibilities and authorities change. At the executive level, the environment is characterized by increased complexity, higher risk, greater uncertainty and less direct control over subordinate echelons. There is risk to any organization if expectations of competencies are left up to chance. Identification of them, and gaining proficiency with them, requires training, tireless practice and feedback. A ttack with a leader development program Over the past 240-plus years, the Army recognized the value in investing heavily in the development of leaders at all



V alue coaching excellence One-on-one coaching is arguably the most important skill a leader must possess to be effective in developing others. The best leaders are great communicators who set the example for what right looks like. Great coaching skills do not come naturally to many leaders; they must be learned and practiced. When leaders ignore or short-change this critical task, their people fail to grow and reach their full potential. The consequences continue to expose themselves as their people will also fail to learn how to coach their own subordinates. The entire organization suffers. The keys to coaching success include creating a positive and open communication environment, agreeing of clear goals, and engaging in consistent dialog focused on assessment of performance and inspiring actions for the future. E mbrace trusted relationships Trusted relationships between leaders and their people trump everything when it comes to effective leadership. A leader’s influence over others will not occur if their mutual trust is absent. For leaders to be trusted, they must have strong character, competent in technical and leadership skills, genuinely care for their people and exercise humility. The best leaders have these qualities. Trusted relationships remain in place for life. Soldiers will follow their leaders into the most dangerous places, under the most extraordinary conditions if they trust their leaders. Earning that trust is a critical task and must be mastered to be a leader in the military. Why BRAVE? Francis Scott Key is the author of the famous words, “The land of the free and the home of the brave.” He wrote those words in 1814, and since 1931, they have been sung as the national anthem of the United States. The words have powerful meaning. Being a great leader is difficult. It takes courage. It takes bravery. There are powerful lessons to be learned from the U.S. Army. This model helped William achieve the success he was seeking, and it can help you.

Jeff Foley is a recognized speaker, executive leadership coach and author of “Rules and Tools for Leaders.” The West Point graduate is a retired Brigadier General with 32 years of service in the Army. For more information on Jeff Foley, visit


Perspective | Leadership | Insights BY SARAH MANNONE

How to start a conversation with your customers about AR


ugmented reality is here to stay. Venture capital investment in AR/VR startups has seen recordbreaking growth over the last year, with this segment of tech startups raising $3.6 billion in the 12 months leading up to the end of Q1 2018, according to VentureBeat. And investors aren’t the only ones with skin in the game – those who have been paying attention know that device manufacturers are making strategic moves in the AR space. Apple released its own AR software development kit, ARKit, in 2017, and Google’s answer, ARCore, was not far behind. Both tech giants have been quietly purchasing smaller AR tech companies, and each is trying to build its capabilities faster and better than the other. Microsoft has thrown its hat in the ring, Print the static as well, with its mixed reality headset, the HoloLens. information in the Apple, in particular, is pushmanual, and use AR ing specific, practical use to add informational cases for augmented realvideos, images, and ity, well beyond the interactive apps that have game text, which are easy developers excited about to refresh when AR. Apple sees AR making a things change. real impact in people’s lives, beginning in the classroom; in March, the company launched a $299 iPad for students and educators equipped with a powerful A10 Fusion chip that enables immersive AR experiences. Early demos of the technology featured students dissecting augmented frogs, and that’s only the beginning. Just imagine the impression your high school history lessons would have made had you been able to augment and explore a pyramid, a medieval castle, or a pre-industrial farming tool. Imagine classrooms having access to museum exhibits around the world – all through augmented reality. Picture expert instructors breaking down complex ideas in a kind of augmented TED Talk. That’s the vision Apple, Google and Microsoft have for AR. So, what does the investment of tech manufacturers and VCs tell us about the future of print? It’s interactive. Shopping, navigation, healthcare and education – pretty soon, all the print we associate with these industries will need to be able to play with AR, especially as more of our mobile devices are built to interact with the world. And print industry professionals need to be able to provide informed, consultative answers when the question of interactivity comes up – which we all know it will. Even if you’re new to augmented reality, now is the time to start prepping for customer questions. Here are some common questions, along with answers that will help you continue the conversation and determine if augmented reality is a good fit for your customers.


Question: How can AR make my print more relevant? Start here: Your audience expects a consistent experience across print and digital. Your engagement through your web presence or on social media should feel like an extension of your print, and vice-versa. Think of AR as the bridge between your print pieces and the digital realm. You can actually use your print to help people connect with you through their mobile devices. The interaction might begin on the pages of your magazine or with a piece of transactional mail, but bridging to digital with AR will make it easier for your audience to engage on the channel of their choice. Then ask: What action do you want your target audience to take, and would it help if they had an easier way to move from your print to your digital channels? Question: How will AR increase the shelf life of my print? Start here: With AR, more of your print pieces can be designed to be evergreen. Include elements that are unlikely to change in the print piece itself, and use the AR component to communicate more timely information. Take, for example, a company training manual. The major topics covered in employee training are fairly static, while the details are more likely to need updating from time to time. Print the static information in the manual, and use AR to add informational videos, images and text, which are easy to refresh when things change. The added benefit in this scenario is that these interactive elements can better capture the attention of people with varied learning styles. And updating your AR content regularly is a great way to incentivize repeat engagement with your catalogs, magazines and books, extending the shelf life of your print even further. Then ask: What is the average shelf life of your print right now, and what would you like it to be? Question: How can AR help me evaluate my ROI? Start here: In the past, it was more difficult to measure the effectiveness of certain kinds of print, such as direct mail. New technologies, including AR, have allowed us to collect better data on our print engagement. When someone launches an augmented video from your textbook or accesses an augmented promotion from your postcard, you’ll have a record of that interaction. AR experiences can even be designed to collect information, convert subscribers or secure purchases – all more actionable data for you. Then ask: How are you evaluating your ROI today? This is just the beginning of the augmented reality revolution, and these questions will hopefully be just the beginning of some fruitful conversations with your customers. Keep in mind through it all that when a brave new world presents itself, it usually requires us to be daring, too.

Sarah Mannone is executive VP of Trekk, a techdriven creative agency obsessed with exploration. She thrives on infusing new ideas and technologies into multi-channel marketing programs. Connect with her at or @sarahmannone on Twitter.

Perspective | Technology | Insights


What is your content marketing maturity level?

Survey shows brands still have lots to learn

Here's a fact that might not surprise you: 87 percent of B2B companies say they engage in some form of content marketing, with 80 percent saying they use it for lead generation. But, interestingly, according to "The State of B2B Content Marketing: 6 Things Every Brand Needs to Know" study by MDG Advertising, the strategy still only accounts for a modest share of the annual marketing budget. Take a look look at how today's B2B firms rate their organization's maturity level:


First steps

26% Young



22% Mature


Sophisticated CANVAS P11

BEHIND THE CURTAIN Around the industry Canon Solutions America Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A. Inc. has partnered with Agile Cybersecurity Solutions (ACS), a Washington, D.C. cybersecurity firm serving leading governmental agencies, major private sector companies and other organizations. The alliance expands Canon Solutions America’s portfolio of secure print, enterprise content management (ECM) and document solutions that secure business process workflows across industries. Canon Solutions America has long been committed to providing customers with tools to help secure their business and vital information. By referring customers to esteemed organizations, the company helps its customers to connect with experts in cybersecurity, Canon Solutions America provides tools and resources for its vast customer base so that they will receive training, guidance and consulting services to help address security concerns. Whether it be cyber etiquette training for its customers’ employees or Canon Solutions America’s full suite of security offerings, the industry-leading company is dedicated to aiding organizations of all sizes with tools and referrals. Case Paper Co. recently became the exclusive distributor of Mohawk Silk. The 96 bright coated paper, a new product from Mohawk Fine Papers, is manufactured using windpower. Mohawk Silk is 10 percent PCW and FSC-certified and is available in 80 pounds and 100 pounds in both text and cover weights. The velvety finish gives the paper a sophisticated, premium appeal. Mohawk Silk is stocked in

The long run...

SGIA names ‘2018 Sustainable Business Recognition Award’ winners Twenty four. That’s how many member companies were recognized by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) with a “2018 Sustainable Business Recognition Award.” Recipients demonstrated efforts in 2017 that improved employee safety and health, reduced environmental impact and increased business efficiency. The annual program encourages SGIA’s member companies to create and adopt sustainable business practices while setting an example for others in their industries. Among the suggested practices were reducing energy use, recycling, joining the “SmartWay” program and improving shipping efficiency.


standard sheet sizes of 20 inches x 26 inches, 23 inches x 35 inches, and 28 inches x 40 inches; custom sizing is available upon request. Graphics of the Americas (GOA) is postponing its 2019 exposition and conference until February 2020. The GOA leadership made the decision because acceptable dates and space for 2019 at the Miami Beach Convention Center were not available. GOA attracts exhibitors and attendees from North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. For the past two years, the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale served as an alternative location for GOA while the Miami Beach Convention Center was under construction. Participation and post-show reviews from those events revealed that a return to Miami was key to increase exhibitor participation and attendance. Ripon Printers and Geiger recently inked a deal to extend their relationship for another five years. The agreement includes printing and distribution services for Geiger’s iconic Farmers’ Almanac, which has been in continuous publication since 1818. The Almanac is known for its long-range weather predictions and astronomical data, as well as a mix of humor, trivia, and advice on topics ranging from gardening and cooking to fishing and human interest. Ripon Printers and Geiger have a long-term association spanning 20 years. The new contract, which runs through 2022, includes pre-media services, offset printing, custom color inkjet imaging and order fulfillment.

The award recipients included: ADI Displays (Springfield, Vermont) Albert Basse Associates (Stoughton, Massachusetts) Beacon Promotions (New Ulm, Minnesota) Blue Ridge Graphics (Charlottesville, Virginia) Boston Barricade (Cartersville, Georgia) Campeche Sportswear/FunTees DigitAllWorx Graphics (Kalakhang Maynila, Philippines) Easiway (St Paul, Minnesota) Empire Screen Printing (Onalaska, Wisconsin) Global Products (St. Louis) Hang-Ups Unlimited (Santa Monica, California) Image Options (Foothill Ranch, California) Kernow Coatings (Pittsford, New York) Lawson Screen (St. Louis) Miller Zell (Atlanta) Modagrafics (Rolling Meadows, Illinois) Modernistic (Stillwater, Minnesota) Ritrama (Moore, South Carolina) RRD Retail Solutions (Dallas/Carrollton, Texas) Sanca Stratojet USA (Santa Fe Springs, California) Superior Essex (Atlanta) Tausas (Ontario, Canada) Yunker Industries (Elkhorn, Wisconsin)

Industry news & more

Awards & Recognition The Independent Carton Group (ICG), an association of 18 independently owned and operated folding carton manufacturers, named FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division, as the recipient of its “Supplier of the Year Award” for 2017. Fujifilm supplies ICG members with printing plates, pressroom consumables, and a wide range of technologies used in the production of offset and digitally printed folding cartons, corrugated packaging and other paperboard packaging solutions. An ICG supplier since 2006, Fujifilm is one of more than 40 reputable companies supplying equipment and materials to the ICG members through the group purchasing program, which was introduced in 1999. Dr. Mark Bohan, director of Prinect & CtP at Heidelberg USA, has received the “2018 TAGA Michael H. Bruno Award” from Printing Industries of America. Bohan was recognized for his contributions to the advancement of graphic arts. Bohan is the business driver for Heidelberg’s Prinect Workflow – the fully featured Business Intelligence Platform designed specifically for printing. Prinect acts as the backbone for all production and is a transformative tool for integration in print manufacturing. The only end-to-end workflow in the industry, Prinect has delivered a high level of satisfaction and benefit to customers in the United States, in part due to the efforts of Bohan and his team. HP Indigo’s Shai Lior was named the winner of the prestigious “2018 Johann Gutenberg Prize” for his contribution to the invention and development of liquid electrophotography printing (LEP). An HP Fellow and HP Indigo’s head of Advanced Technologies, Lior was in the HP Indigo founding group, making a major contribution to the development of the LEP process over the past 40 years. The prolific inventor has authored more than 50 printing patents, and continues to develop and invent revolutionary printing technologies to produce the highest quality prints for commercial, labels and packaging, photo albums and other markets. Issued by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology, the award has been given since 1987 for outstanding technical achievement in, or contribution to, printing technology.

Alcom Printing Group Inc., Harleysville, Pennsylvania, has been awarded the “Best Workplace in the Americas (BWA)” designation by Printing Industries of America. Being designated a “Best Workplace” company demonstrates the significant commitment that Alcom has made to its employees by investing in their work environment, their personal goals and ambitions, and recognizing that an exceptional workplace also serves the needs of the company. Trade Show News Network (TSNN) has named the SGIA Expo its 77th “Top U.S. Trade Shows” of 2017. The listing ranked the top 240 U.S. trade shows by net square footage. The annual SGIA Expo, which showcases innovative technologies and products in the printing marketplace, welcomed nearly 600 exhibitors and more than 19,000 registrants to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans in October 2017. This year, the 2018 SGIA Expo will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Oct. 18–20. After that, the “SGIA Expo” name will be retired. SGIA and NAPCO Media will launch the PRINT United Expo in Dallas in 2019, highlighting opportunities created by the convergence of printing technologies and markets. PRINT United will offer an even broader range of printing and finishing technologies. Idealliance, the global communications non-profit organization, has certified the HP Indigo 1x000, 7x00, 5x00 Press Series and the HP Indigo Label & Packaging Web Press Series with its Master Elite Level ISO/PAS 15339 Certification designations. Idealliance ISO/PAS 15339 Certification is an extended compliance program of the Digital Press Certification for digital printing press manufacturers, allowing OEMs to certify demonstration of press aptitude as it relates to hitting specified color spaces and the ability to hold color tolerance. By achieving both the Idealliance Digital Press and the Master Elite Level of Idealliance ISO/PAS 15339 Certification, the HP Indigo presses demonstrated clearly not only their capability to print to the largest color gamut, Universal Extra Large CRPC 7 within CIEDE2000 tolerances as specified in CGATS TR 016-2014, but also their capability to hold color consistently.

Personnel Moves Ricoh USA Inc. has named Joji Tokunaga as its new president and CEO of Ricoh in the Americas. A 33-year sales, marketing and management veteran, Tokunaga will spearhead the North America team’s efforts to bring the global RICOH Ignite growth strategy to its valued customers and Ricoh Family Group (RFG) dealer partners. Glenn Laverty remains senior VP of Ricoh Americas Marketing, and president and CEO of Ricoh Canada Inc. He will report to Tokunaga. Most recently, Tokunaga served as executive VP and GM of Shared Services within Ricoh Americas, where he oversaw the organization’s human resources, finance, legal, supply chain, customer administration, IT, process improvement, marketing and strategic planning functions that provide support to Ricoh’s main business units in the Americas.

chief accounting officer (CAO). In addition, Mark Allred has joined EFI as the company’s new VP of Corporate Accounting. EFI has also hired Jill Norris as its new CIO. The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) elected several new members as well as re-electing existing members to a second three-year term. The PGSF Board directs an endowed fund of just under $10 million that is dedicated toward encouraging young people to consider the graphics field as a career and then assisting in their education process to facilitate that end.

Proforma has named Chris Piper its VP of Business Development. With more than 20 years of experience, Piper will help accelerate the company’s growth, in part, by coaching Proforma owners to maximize their business success.

Three-year nominees included: Judy Durham, Association for Print Technologies Roger Gimbel, Gimbel Companies Todd Luman, Interprint George Ryan, retired industry association executive Walter Vail, Vail Paper Management

Electronics For Imaging Inc. (EFI) has completed three additions to its Silicon Valley-based senior leadership team. Gene Zamiska, the former senior VP of finance, corporate controller and chief accountant for Verifone, has joined EFI as its new

Second three-year nominees were: Ray Hartman, industry consultant Laura Lawton, Lawton Printing Jules Van Sant, Pacific Printing Industries


Makers’ Corner

Consider the permanence of print


e live in an era of impermanence, bombarded by short, ephemeral bursts of information and images. An ever-changing scroll of tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook notifications amount to a virtual wave of information that rolls over us minute by minute. But in the midst of this digital tsunami, analog has taken on new importance. As much as digital is the new normal, it is fleeting. In this context, all things analog have been imbued with a new sense of authenticity, gravitas and permanence. Print is a perfect example of the renewed importance of analog. To help frame print as permanent, I’d like to share some excerpts from an article first published in Mohawk Maker Quarterly, Issue #6 titled – “What is Ephemeral?” – written by Bryn Mooth. In the article, Mooth examines how the explosive use of digital has recast print as a permanent and critically important way to preserve and celebrate words and images for future generations. Focusing on the object quality of print is a framework our industry can use to state the case for print as an enduring, relevant and lasting medium that leaves an impression long after your newsfeed refreshes.


EPHEMERAL? (Excerpted from Mohawk Maker Quarterly Issue 6) “In an age when each of us has thousands of images, songs, e-books and documents, out of sight and out of mind on our desktops or in the cloud, we’re entirely disconnected from all of it. Our relationship with all this digital stuff is so temporary and distant – even if we don’t give that relationship much thought. But as creators and makers, we value things that make an impression, that are more permanent. We use technology as a means to produce our work, yet we prefer the physical product that results.” “People think digital media will always be there – but that’s not necessarily the case,” says Mary Molinari, director of the Research Data Center at the University of Kentucky Library. “I have boxes of family photos from the 1800s. But when my daughter’s hard drive crashed, she lost all the baby pictures of her second child. People don’t realize it until they lose things.” In a presentation to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, internet pioneer and Google’s

Chief Internet Evangelist, Vint Cerf, warned that this issue of digital data lost isn’t just a problem in the here and now, but rather has sweeping historical consequences. We can’t possibly know how valuable these materials will be decades or centuries from now. Family photos will be important to our descendants, and important research being done today will be vital to future scientists. We’re facing a “forgotten generation or even a forgotten century,” Cerf said. We take care to store the information that matters most to us on computers, on servers, on backup hard drives, and in the Cloud. But our efforts may be less permanent than we think. Historically, humans etched, chiseled and wrote important information into and onto relatively permanent materials – stone, wood, paper – that require little more than the human eye to read. But the 20th Century brought a wave of new archiving formats jockeying for dominance in our constantly changing cultural landscape.


2-10 YEARS



1-10 YEARS




By Chris Harrold VP, Business Development & Creative Director Mohawk Fine Papers

>> Visit Mohawk Focusing on the object quality of print is a framework our industry can use to state the case for print as an enduring, relevant and lasting medium that leaves an impression long after your newsfeed refreshes. Taking all of this into account, we have a unique opportunity to recast print as a powerful medium that has both immediate and enduring impact. Far from being Luddites who cling to the past, printers have a responsibility to celebrate, enlighten and inform their customers about the lasting impact of print. Long live print!

What Will You Make Today? Inspiration + Education + Tools right at your fingertips.



Do you have what it takes?

Sappi North America opens 2018 ‘Ideas that Matter’ call for entries

The judges • Maurice Woods, Senior Experience Designer, Microsoft, and Founder/ Executive Director, Inneract Project • J ustin Ahrens, Principal & Creative Director, Rule29 • J acinda Walker, Founder & Creative Director, designExplorr • Terry Marks, Principal, tmarks • J ulia Zeltser, Creative Director & Principal, Hyperakt


Making a difference. That is at the center How you can enter of Sappi North America’s “Ideas that Ideas that Matter proposals are evaluMatter” grant program – which invites ated on creativity, potential effectivedesigners to show how their work can ness and practicality by an annually play an important role in changing lives selected, independent panel of judges for the better. (see sidebar, The Judges) who are influSappi established the “Ideas that ential in the design industry. Matter” grant program 19 years ago to Submissions are open to individual fund designers who apply their creative designers, design firms, agencies, talents to causes that address signifiin-house corporate design departcant issues facing our society. For nearly ments, design instructors, individual two decades, it has witnessed firsthand design students and design student how the creative and integrated work of groups. Only applicants in North designers can change society. America may apply. Grant awards Today, the program, the only one of range from $5,000 to $50,000 USD its kind in the paper industry, is a key per project. Each application must part of Sappi’s corporate social responinclude an IRS 501 (c) 3 letter or Canasibility efforts. Since 1999, it has prodian equivalent of the applicant’s vided $13 million to support causes that nonprofit organization. change lives, communities, and ultiApplications for the 2018 program mately, the planet. must be submitted and postmarked no This commitment shows that the leading later than July 6, 2018. Judging takes producer and supplier of diversified paper place in August, grants are announced and packaging products remains steadin September and awards are distribfast in its belief that good ideas inspire uted in October. people to take action – and great ideas change the world. Though many For more information on entry forms media choices are availor to see a list of previous winners, able, print is at the heart of influential and visit the “Ideas that Matter” website effective messaging at or and a perfect complecall 800-882-4332. ment to promote positive social causes.

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Minimize Overhead. Maximize Revenue.


4over launches Strategic Print Advisory Program for commercial printers

Thanks to its new Strategic Print Advisory Program, 4over is helping commercial printers across North America increase their profits and customer bases without the stress of overhead costs. By incorporating new technology, products and services, printers now will be able to drastically reduce labor and equipment pains on their businesses. The program’s main objective is to determine growth strategies that don’t require taking on additional debt. 4over will work closely with printers to foster new revenue streams with products and services, including EDDM, Printer Bridge (W2P) and Large Format, offering support and training along the way to ensure success.

The program’s main objective is determining growth strategies that don’t require taking on additional debt.

In addition, in-depth consultation will be provided in the buying and selling of equipment, print-to-broker conversions, merger and acquisition solutions, and succession planning with acquisition workouts. Joe Stramel will be heading the program as Lead Strategic Print Relations. With 32 years of experience, Stramel brings along a philosophy of driving sales through motivation, not manipulation. His team of Print Advisory representatives will implement this straightforward approach as they provide guidance to commercial printers in managing operating costs and keeping pace with an evolving market.

To request your free confidential consultation today, contact Joe Stramel at or call 720-298-3614 to find out more about the Strategic Print Advisory Program.




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The rule breaker

How the Océ Colorado 1640 is changing the game for printers

Inside the Océ Colorado 1640 • Built for speed – The world’s fastest 64-inch roll-to-roll printer with a maximum usable print speed of 1,710 feet2/hour for outdoor banner applications • Designed for high volumes – Industrial designed production printer capable of printing higher print volumes and built to withstand high-duty cycles • Cost effective – Up to 40 percent reduction in ink/printing costs when compared to other 64” roll-to-roll technologies Breakthrough productivity. Never seen before automation. Wide application range. Lowest cost of operation. Robust, industrial production platform. When it comes to the Océ Colorado 1640 printer, the accolades seem endless. Powered by Canon UVgel technology, the Océ Colorado 1640 hits the spot in today’s roll-to-roll production market, offering Print Service Providers the opportunity to deliver real production efficiency while lowering operating costs. Canon’s game-changing UVgel technology was designed to provide customers with a vast color gamut, lightfastness, indoor and outdoor usage, high productivity, zero drying time and low ink usage. This flexibility, coupled with the Océ Colorado 1640 printer’s reliable media handling system, helps print service providers to deliver unprecedented large format production efficiency


while boosting on-the-fly quality assurance. This facilitates unattended printing and reduced print waste. Additionally, end-users can take advantage of a large range of applications, which include outdoor banners, indoor Point-of-Purchase signage, wall coverings, floor graphics and backlit. Designed for indoor and outdoor applications, the Océ Colorado 1640 delivers a large color gamut, similar to solvent inks, but combines this with the environmental benefits and safety profile of latex systems. Greg Janowiak, owner of Sign Works in Bensenville, Illinois, says the printer has helped take his business in new directions. “Supporting both our indoor and outdoor display graphics applications and signage, the Océ Colorado 1640 has brought us into new markets as we continue to expand our reach and offerings.”

• Uninterrupted printing – Extremely easy and fast media loading and automatic switching with the support of two in-line rolls • High quality without sacrifice – Very high print quality across a wide range of applications without having to significantly compromise productivity by reducing speed • Breakthrough productivity – On-the-fly quality assurance technology facilitates unattended printing and reduced print waste • Innovations in automation – Automated maintenance


Book Series

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Inside ‘The Reflected Works’

Sappi’s groundbreaking retrospective collection highlights past, present and future of advertising, education and promotion

The rest of the collection The original three booklets in Sappi North America’s “The Reflected Works” collection includes: Advertising – S.D. Warren and Sappi’s own advertisements have appeared in national newspapers and respected trade publications for more than 100 years. Education – The first edition of the Warren Standard, printed and released in 1924, educated stakeholders and industry peers on various aspects of the papermaking process. Today, Sappi has restored the Standard, with the help of renowned graphic artist Kit Hinrichs, by creating a six-book series for printers and designers. Promotion – The importance of merging image, press, printing technique and paper grade is highlighted in the third booklet using S.D. Warren materials dating back to 1910.


1854. Featuring various S.D. Warren adverGraphic designer. Did you ever wonder tisements, educational pieces and promowhere the term came from? Thanks to tions from 1910-1969, the series provides a Sappi North America’s “The Reflected comprehensive look at how the industry has Works” collection, you can get the entire changed over the past century, as well as how story. The educational collection, part of it has stayed the same. an original three-book series and online “Marketing and advertising have changed archives, showcases the creative marketdrastically since 1910, but the importance of ing campaigns of S.D. Warren Company, paper remains,” says Patti Groh, Sappi’s Direcwhich Sappi Limited acquired in 1994. tor of Marketing Communications. “In recent While the first three pieces focused on years, brands have struggled to find the right advertising, education and promotion, the balance between the numerous media availfourth edition spotlights the work of the able to them. However, we’ve always believed famed designer, W.A. Dwiggins, who has in, and now science shows, print’s unique abilbeen tabbed with coining the term “graphic ity to help consumers notice, understand and designer” in 1922. In addition, Dwiggins was remember content.” among the most influential and innovative “The Reflected Works” was created by designers of the 20th Century, working for Sappi North America with help from 50,000 decades for S.D Warren, including on several feet and Classic Color. issues of the Warren Standard. Sappi worked closely on the Dwiggins bookThe complete collection and archive let with Bruce Kennett, who authored the biogcan be found on Sappi, Etc. raphy and anthology, ( To browse “W. A. Dwiggins: A Life the entire collection and archive digitally, in Design.” The collection demonstrates Sappi’s visit creative leadership since


Ricoh USA, Inc., 70 Valley Stream Parkway, Malvern, PA 19355, 1 ©2018 Ricoh USA, Inc. All rights reserved. Ricoh® and the Ricoh l of Ricoh Company, Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of

Thriving in the age of innovation


hen Brian Dollard thinks about the qualities that drive successful companies in today’s commercial print space, being an innovator and pioneer jump to the top of the list. Those are the characteristics that our industry’s thought leaders need to have in order to push everyone and everything forward. As director of Strategic Planning and Business Development, Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group for Ricoh USA, Dollard knows just how important the relationship between vendor and printer is in helping keep pace with the many industry changes afloat. In many cases, Dollard believes vendors can help facilitate their reach into the market in search of the information resources needed to develop future strategies. “Outside of you, nobody should know your business as well as your vendor,” he says. “Some manufacturers conduct their own user conferences, which are fantastic opportunities to see what trends are relevant and help you learn about them. To do so with your peers, many of whom may be in the same position as you, is critical. It’s about crossing that bridge your considering together.”

What opportunities are out there?

A great example of some of the new opportunities is the rise in popularity of augmented reality in print, whereby with the use of a smartphone, a printed image can be captured with the phone and then directed to a multidimensional interactive experience. We’re all familiar with the QR code, as they have been in the market for a number of years as a good tool to bring you to a single digital experience from a printed piece. Augmented reality expands the capabilities considerable in a way that is much better suited for supporting driving revenue. As an example, take when a sports team sells a poster to a fan. As part of that buying experience, the fan is encouraged to install the teams’ app, which directs them to scan the poster. The process presents items that are tailored to the fans specific interests with a discount to purchase those items. This is an instant cross-selling opportunity that you otherwise would experience using traditional methods.

What advice can you offer printers wanting to take that next step in 2018 – and beyond?

Here, Dollard takes an inside look at the trends and challenges facing today’s print leaders and where tomorrow’s opportunities exist:

What are you seeing out there today for today’s commercial printers?

There are a wide variety of new technologies that deliver a much broader set of applications. Some come as a result of enhanced capabilities to existing technologies such as specialty toner, i.e., clear, UV, fluorescent, etc. Others are a result of new imaging technologies altogether, many of which are inkjet-based, such as sign and graphics, garment printing and industrial applications like decor.

What trends and challenges are they facing?

Brian Dollard

The key to success today and going forward is a mindset that, at it’s core, is about engaging your customer on a very strategic level.

The industry is trending more to an account strategy-centric approach as opposed to a traditional transaction or job-based approach. Technology advancements from the integration of print into digital marketing campaigns, be it omnichannel, where print is a component of a much larger initiative, are drivers for the commercial printers to engage their customers on a much more strategic level than ever before. This presents significant challenges for some commercial printers, not only because they need to master new and very different skills, but they also need to transform the sales skill set to be able to carry the message to the market.


There are tremendous resources available to understand the trends taking place in our industry today. The manufacturer you partner with should be one of the very best resources available, as they understand your business and can leverage their resources to your benefit. Other valuable resources you should leverage are industry events like conferences, trade shows and manufacturersponsored events. These events are a great opportunity to not only hear from industry experts on the latest trends, but more importantly, it is an opportunity for you to network and hear directly from your peers.

What mindset holds the winning strategy for our industry today?

The key to success today and going forward is a mindset that, at its core, is about engaging your customer on a very strategic level. Understanding their business, its challenges and helping define the strategies that will help them realize their business goals is essential to staying relevant going forward. This requires transformative thinking in how you engage the market. That’s why it is more critical than ever that you leverage all the resources mentioned above. There is no substitute for networking and establishing your own network of peers. In fact, we’ve seen a significant rise in peer groups as a result.

Achieve Graphic Greatness. Take a look at Ricoh’s line of innovative and affordable 5th Color Digital Cutsheet Presses. Set your business apart with oversized media capabilities, outstanding image quality, support for specialty stocks and substrates up to 360 gsm, plus a 5th color station for Clear, White, Neon Yellow, Neon Pink and Invisible Red* toner. Deliver an impressive range of high-end capabilities that traditional 4-color digital systems simply cannot match. Go beyond CMYK. Go beyond basic. Go big. Imagine the possibilities. Proactively offer new applications while building customer loyalty, expanding your base and increasing your bottom line at the same time.

Watch the video, see the samples and be inspired to take your business further.

*Invisible Red toner available Spring 2018.

Ricoh USA, Inc., 70 Valley Stream Parkway, Malvern, PA 19355, 1-800-63-RICOH. ©2018 Ricoh USA, Inc. All rights reserved. Ricoh® and the Ricoh logo are registered trademarks of Ricoh Company, Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.



Lennie Gray Mowris

on why strategy, breadth and diversity rule the design world Lennie Gray Mowris is many things – an artist, arborist, model, project and business manager, farmer, adventurer, strategist, consultant and partner. Her design career grew out of a desire to create artistic communications that serve people and their environment. For more than 15 years, she has worked for natural health and sustainabilityrelated organizations creating interdisciplinary designs for a range of clients. Because Mowris believes in the power of design thinking to solve complicated problems with strategic empathy, she weaves this belief throughout her work. Her designs explore our relationships throughout various aspects of identity from subjective psychoemotional spaces to objective strategies for community building. Her practice centers on two key ideas: “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and “discipline is the path to freedom.” The studio she founded in 2010 – Lenspeace – has grown into a collective of professional creatives with imaginative passion who combine talents to create projects centered around understanding the human condition and serving today’s global community. Along with two vintage printing presses – a Kluge 12x18 production letterpress and a Vandercook SP-15 proofing press – Mowris utilizes monoprints, blockprints and mixed media techniques. We sat down with Mowris to get her thoughts on what works best to manifest a spectrum of creative ideas.

Give us a snapshot of today’s graphic design market. What are you seeing out there?

In design itself, I keep seeing a merger of tradition and innovation. Logo development is trending toward vintage styling, but with a contemporary approach. Handcrafted work is continuing to rise within typography and downloadable assets. The


better our digital tools become, the more we try to make them “look like the real thing.” A counter-response to that is simply to create “the real thing” and photograph it.

What are your clients looking for today?

My clients are seeking strategy, breadth and diversity. They need designers who can do it all – identity, print, web, social graphics, basic copy editing. Identity design is the most important component of why I’m sought out. My clients want to streamline their visual voice, be relevant to their mission statement and iconic in their presentation while relevant to their following. Many of my clients are seeking to be more culturally sensitive while they develop their brand so they can avoid misrepresentation.

What’s the one quality every art director must have today?

Context. I specialize in social impact and get asked to critique art, design and film for micro-aggressions in communication for racism, misogyny, homophobia and accessibility concerns. More often than not, I see things about to go to market that often fail to adequately represent the community the design is intended for. I’ve seen brands torn apart on the internet for engaging in a socially unacceptable “-ism” without even knowing they were insulting an entire group of people through their design. Lack of awareness surrounding our complex social issues compels design to be insensitive, or worse, completely ineffective.

Why is it important to embrace the power of each moment? Is this something a lot of other artists miss?

I myself strive to live in the moment as a means of planning the next one. The art of good design strategy is to be in all of

Creative corner sponsored by:

the past, present and future simultaneously. It’s just as important to know how it got to be this way, as it is to know what we’re facing now, to make an effective decision for where we go next. That’s just good problem-solving. I think many artists are awesome at being in the moment, so much so that they get stuck there. I work in a merger of arts and business, and every successful creative person I know is completely present and also forming a plan. Every unsuccessful artist I know can have all the talent and presence in the world, but with no direction, they have no intentions to direct their output.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer today’s designers?

I would tell them all to stay curious and push their boundaries. Find skills to pick up that seem unrelated to design. In addition to design and letterpress printmaking, I love target shooting, knife throwing, archery, backcountry camping, running, yoga, cycling, farming culture, and anything that gets me outside and playing. I would also tell them to not be afraid to let their “self” out – to be uninhibited in their personal expression, because it challenges their ability to release creative inhibitions for their work. So often we get caught in the trap of idolizing a hero or devaluing our own work, without asking ourselves what our work looks like. You get offers based on the work you have to show. If you can’t be seen in your perspective on design, you’ll never be seen as a design leader.

What’s the biggest thing on your todo list right now?

Aside from the daily running my own strategy and letterpress

studio, my biggest creative task is The Path To Impact for AIGA National. I’ve been on a small but mighty team for the last two-plus years developing our new Design For Good Framework to teach to the chapter system and leadership. The further out in the world this body of work gets, the more opportunity comes from it, including developing a design curriculum for schools. So this will likely be my biggest to-do item for the next five to 10 years.






Cover Story: By Jessica Gray






ou’re sitting cross-legged on the floor of your office. The carpet is covered in markers, stickers, post-its and pens. Your fingers are stained with streaks from the fluorescent highlighters. At best, the clutter makes you look like a creative genius. At worst, you look like a kindergartner preparing for her first art show. But don’t worry, you’re mind mapping – a strategy where the only rule is that there are no rules. Mapping minds is all about jumping in and getting your hands (sometimes literally) dirty. The process starts with a main concept and adds associated thoughts along the way, which eventually branch off the central branch. Twigs are drawn off of those branches. The process can be created with pen and paper, or on a computer using digital software. People use the strategy for personal growth, team building, brainstorming projects, lesson planning, and much more. The modernized concept was created by renowned inventor Tony Buzan, an English author and educational consultant. Described as one of the most influential leaders in the field of thinking creatively, Buzan has dedicated his life to developing and refining techniques to help individuals think better and more creatively. “We are now subject to more information coming through our consciousness than ever before,” says Buzan, who also is the bestselling author of “Head Strong: 10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Body and Mind,” and “The Mind Map Book.” “We react to novelty, to the new, the innovative, the creative. Where old methods of advertising (billboards and newspapers) used to work, this next generation expects you to reach out and connect with them personally in order to get through their filters.”


Mapping Minds For business professionals, mind maps can be used for content marketing planning, organizing a meeting or putting together client presentations. Mind maps can help boost your memory about a topic, aid in making connections you may have otherwise missed, help find common ground with colleagues about ideas, or simply explore your own thoughts and mindset. And if mind mapping seems a bit cluttered and chaotic, don’t worry, the process works. “Mind maps get messy,” says Jean Marrapodi, Ph.D., CPLP Senior Learning Architect at Illumina Interactive and adjunct professor at the New England College of Business. “[But] that’s fine. The goal is to capture thinking, not make a lovely diagram. There are generally lots of ‘ah-ha’s’ that come out of the process.”

Getting started

If you’ve never created a mind map, start with an “About Me” and code the branches. When you’re finished, set the map aside. Create a blank time log grid for the prior week broken down into 30-minute time increments to document what you are doing. Next, color code each box as it relates to the map, and then compare what you believe is important (your mind map) and the actual behavior (your time log). Your mind map can include color, artwork, symbols, and so on. You also can link files to related videos, images, audio, etc. If done correctly, once you’ve completed you mind map, you should be staring at a dizzying, perhaps nonsensical, jumble of words, numbers, thoughts, shapes, letters, and more. “I find it to be a wonderful way to brainstorm needs and content planning when I’m doing training work in the many industries I’ve worked with,” Marrapodi says. “The one challenge is that you cannot hand off a mind map to the uninitiated. When that information needs to be presented to someone else, it needs to be digested and repurposed for the outsiders to make sense of the data.” That’s because your map most likely will look like an incoherent mass of bubbles, doodles, colors or links (depending on which type of mapping you do.) “When you’re done, step back and examine what you’ve discovered,”


Marrapodi says. “When reviewing a mind map, read it clockwise, starting at 1 o’clock, and read out along the branches.”

Why mind mapping matters today

Piyush Patel believes that mind mapping is an ideal strategy in today’s constantly changing business and marketing landscape. As an entrepreneur and innovator, Patel has helped educated more than one million students in digital animation with his company, Digital-Tutors, a world-leading online training company with clients such as Pixar, Apple and NASA. Patel says that what often worked to get a brand where it is today doesn’t always help guide it where it wants to go tomorrow. That’s why it must constantly rethink its approach. Mind mapping can help. “As the name implies, mind mapping is a great tool for visual learners to get stuff out of their heads,” says Patel, who also authored the book, “Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work.” “With ideas captured, you can put it into some form of organization – to link together similar thoughts in a visual way. It’s the process of taking the abstract and starting to make it a bit more concrete. At the end of the day, mind mapping is a tool. It’s a technique you can use to organize information. Not everyone likes a visual layout for organizing thoughts and ideas. Some people might prefer organizing things in a more hierarchal method, with bullet points in an outline. The right way to organize your ideas is the one that works best for you.” And while mind maps are an exceptional tool for building individual acumens, they are also an incredibly powerful teamwork building strategy. Collaborative online tools like Mindmeister are ideal for group mind mapping exercises, especially as group brainstorming can sometimes present challenges. – Piyush Patel, Founder, Digital-Tutors “Everyone can be logged in and add topics as they go,” Marrapodi says. “You can do this synchronously, in the same room, or connected over a conference line if you’re spread apart. You can also leave the discussion open for people to add things for a day or two, as ideas may percolate once you complete the live session.” Before you know it, people will be throwing out ideas, thoughts, opinions, song verses or pop culture references faster than they can be put down on paper. The mind mapping exercise is what business leaders can do to get everyone involved in the process. “A huge part of reshaping your company’s vision is to constantly rethink your approach,” Patel says. “You have to find something that resonates with you, share it and start the conversation about using your new knowledge to improve your company. Good leaders know they need to keep learning to move their company forward. They encourage their entire organization to make improving yourself a part of your company’s culture. Keep learning each day and strive to make yourself better today than you were yesterday.”

W ith ideas captured, you can put it into some form of organization – to link together similar thoughts in a visual way.



It can be easy to throw out two or three ideas and want to start organizing them right away. Resist the urge and separate your time into a time of dumping ideas first. This’ll let you focus on one thing at a time. For more on this topic, read David Crenshaw’s “Multitasking Is Worse Than a Lie.”




Mind mapping can mean getting a lot of abstract ideas and concepts out of your head. Depending on the size of your map, it can start to look confusing fast. When you get to the organization phase, use color to your advantage. Bundle ideas together so you can see different groups at a glance. For example, the green items are “nice to” haves, blue ideas are “must” haves, and so on.




Ideas aren’t limited to words in your head; your mind maps shouldn’t be, either. Snap photos or sketch out ideas to get the ideas out of your head. It’s not about creating a final work of art, it’s about getting your concept across. Get creative.


The human mind is great at remembering stuff at the worst times. After you start organizing, new ideas will come. Most of the time, they won’t even relate to the idea you’re mind mapping. Like the popular concept of a parking lot in a meeting, capture those ideas in a separate area. That way you’ll rest assured they’re captured while not getting distracted from the project at hand.

Source: Piyush Patel, founder, Digital-Tutors



Why tracking ROI from printed P.O.P. matters


Feature Story: By Dan Pulos


hen customers enter a retail establishment, one of the first things they encounter is signage – something that directs them to the appropriate aisle or toward the product they’ve come to purchase. Similarly, while customers wait in the drive-thru of their favorite fast food restaurant, they’re scanning the promotional signs and menu boards to help make their purchase decision quickly. Whether the focus is on retail establishments or quick-service restaurants (QSRs), marketing professionals and their printers include point-of-purchase (P.O.P.) signage as a vital component of any onsite sales or advertising campaign. Given the importance of P.O.P. in driving sales results, P.O.P. suppliers must present more than price, design and quality in their client consultations. In today’s highly competitive retail environment, P.O.P. suppliers should also include each printed piece’s value in terms of return-on-investment (ROI).

The ability to measure, analyze and present P.O.P.

ROI as part of a sales presentation adds greatly to the effectiveness of the P.O.P. supplier’s pitch and success in securing an order. Converting the focus of the sales call from what a printed piece costs to how much it can make – the “return” – gives the client important and compelling data that leads to a results-focused purchase decision. In order to provide this ROI data, it’s essential to have a robust process that can properly test the effectiveness of individual printed elements in the field, summarize the impact of the tested products and convert that data into a simple ROI calculation – incremental benefit divided by incremental cost – that the retailer can understand. The good news is that this process is easier than it sounds.

Setting up the ROI test

The purpose of the ROI test is to calculate how well-printed products perform in the field versus what these printed products cost. The process begins with the selection of a small group of test stores within the larger footprint of all locations. A few important factors must be considered when choosing the sample test locations. First, in order to provide statistically valid results to the retailer, the test should run across at least 30 locations. This number is mathematically sufficient to draw valid statistical conclusions from data results. Next, it’s important that the sample size includes locations that reflect potential market variations in demographics, traffic patterns, competition and, at times, even the weather. The

goal is to have the selected test locations represent and perform like the total trading area – the geographic area from which a community or business generates the majority of its customers. This allows the test store results to be extrapolated across the retailer’s total footprint. A smaller sample size or a concentrated grouping of test stores in a single trading area will likely not reflect the diversity and breadth of the retailer’s market footprint, making any claimed results suspect. Many franchise organizations have companyowned stores in addition to their franchised units. These company-owned stores often make good sample sets since they tend to be randomly

The ability to measure, analyze and present P.O.P. ROI as part of a sales presentation adds greatly to the effectiveness of the P.O.P. supplier’s pitch and success in securing an order. dispersed within the total footprint and offer a single source, the franchisor, for all data collection. In addition to the test stores, a control group of non-test stores must also be identified. This control group is usually all of the other stores in the chain not testing the P.O.P. product in question. Performance results from the test stores are then compared to performance results from the control group to measure the effectiveness of the P.O.P. element. Another important aspect of the test setup is the requirement that all test locations have their P.O.P. test elements properly installed and installed on time. Poor or late installations will skew the results negatively and will not accurately reflect the P.O.P.’s true ability to deliver results. When possible, it is recommended that the P.O.P. fabricator supervise the installation of all tested elements to guarantee perfect field execution ensuring valid results.


Data Hunters

Setting up the data metrics

Typically, a P.O.P. test will measure by how many additional profit margin dollars are generated versus the incremental cost – the increase in total costs – of the P.O.P. elements. It is important that the retailer agrees in advance as to what data will be required from each test location and also from the control group. Some retailers are reluctant to share actual unit movement, sales numbers and margins. But this data is essential to the ROI calculation and there is no test without them. It’s better to have this discussion up front with the retailer rather than be disappointed later.

Getting down to business

The actual ROI testing period typically lasts anywhere from four to eight weeks from first identifying the test locations to completing the actual ROI analysis. This makes sense since most retail


merchandising is promotion-oriented and changes every four to six weeks. After the P.O.P. supplier receives margin figures from each test location at the conclusion of the test, the ROI analysis begins. ROI is typically calculated by taking the difference of average margin improvement across all the test stores versus the average of the control group and dividing that improvement difference by the cost of the P.O.P. element in question. The average margin improvement was hopefully significantly greater than the cost of the P.O.P. element. And, because the test locations were set up to be representative of the market as a whole, this result then becomes statistically significant when projected across the retailer’s full system. When the testing is done correctly with necessary controls in place, the P.O.P. supplier can present these results to clients with confidence.

Many P.O.P. printers compete on price alone. As such, printing often devolves into a commodity.

Why it matters

Many P.O.P. printers compete on price alone. As such, printing often devolves into a commodity. While retailers are concerned about cost, they get excited about ROI on their merchandising programs. They know that the lowest cost solution may not be the one that drives results. Providing valid ROI test results isn’t just good for a P.O.P. supplier’s clients, it’s beneficial for the supplier as well. Armed with demonstrable ROI calculations, P.O.P. suppliers have the opportunity to win over new clients who can see the profit benefit the presented products will have for their organization.

The testing process often provides the P.O.P. supplier with test store testimonials and pictures that can be included in sales presentations to other retailers.

Incorporating Big Data analysis into P.O.P. strategies

Earlier on, the need for taking into account – and testing – locations with demographic variations was touched upon. Incorporating Big Data analysis into P.O.P. strategies and ROI calculations is something that P.O.P. suppliers might soon be considering. As P.O.P. suppliers develop new innovations, the possibility of quantifying how these innovations might

become even more effective if customized store-by-store based upon Big Data exists. While these short, Big Data-based customized print runs would be more expensive, they just might prove to be ROI winners when the results are calculated. This is an exciting next step in ROI analysis for P.O.P. suppliers. P.O.P suppliers that go the extra distance for their clients – by helping them achieve maximum ROI on their P.O.P investment and introducing Big Data solutions into the client decision-making process – will be the companies that stand out as the industry continues to grow and change.

Dan Pulos is the founder and GM of S2K Graphics – an affiliate of the Franke Group and a nationally recognized leader in point-of-purchase (P.O.P.) merchandising – a business he founded in 1989 as “Signs 2000.” You can contact him at 800-969-6100 or visit



Culturally Speaking


Feature Story: By Feature Jamar Laster Story


heartbeat. A mindset. The core from which everything else extends. No matter what word or term you use, it’s widely acknowledged that a company’s culture is vital to its business success. AmyK, international award-winning speaker, founder and intelligence activist at AmyK Inc., and author of the Amazon best-selling book, “The Secret Leaders Keep,” says culture drives buy-in and engagement for meeting and exceeding goals. Brian Braudis, an author, coach and consultant who works with executives, management teams and individuals to release human and organizational potential, says culture does not only define how a company perceives, thinks, feels and solves problems. It is also an accumulated and collective learning based on a history of shared experiences with a company. Translation: Culture binds a company’s leaders, employees, ideals, thoughts and actions under one cohesive umbrella. “Culture comes about as a result of a strong human need – you could call it a drive – for stability, consistency and meaning, which cause a variety of shared elements and experiences of a company to shape into patterns that become a culture,” Braudis says. “It is learned and instilled through the deepest fibers of a company. The effective maintenance and nourishment of a positive, progressive and rewarding company culture would be a much more easily attainable goal in a business climate where corporate mergers, acquisitions and consolidations weren’t commonplace. But the frequency with which these actions occur make the following questions apropos: How can executive leaders effectively blend cultures or establish a common culture? How can we find the human side of business? What obstacles hinder the creation of positive culture and how can they be overcome?

The Merger Quandary

Jennifer J. Fondrevay, a chief humanity officer and internationally skilled C-suite executive who has survived three multibillion-dollar acquisitions, says blending cultures after a merger or acquisition can, at its lowest point, become a turf war. Fondrevay says she frequently sees large companies acquiring small, entrepreneurial companies for their products, spirit and outside-the-box thinking, only to rip apart those aspects at the time of integration. “There are several challenges in blending cultures. Does one culture dominate another? Who decides? What parts of the culture are maintained?" Fondrevay says that one side might feel that all elements of their culture must be maintained when another side does not value them so much. "And the acquiring company might not feel that they have to adopt any of the acquired company’s culture. They are the acquirers so they may think, ‘Why bother?’” AmyK says another barrier to blending cultures is the uncertainty that doing so will yield success. She says people actually crave change, but only when they know or believe it will result in positive outcomes. “We often ruminate, ‘Will this specific change set me up for success tomorrow?’” she says. Braudis, author of the e-book, “The Way Upward: Make Your Limiting Past a Limitless Future,” says most of the difficulty in blending cultures has to do with unlearning old, less effective ways or habits. “Culture has been collectively learned over time and is embedded in routines that have become part of a group and even a personal identity,” Braudis says. “The key is to understand people. Recognize that their resistance to change is less defiance and more fear of violating or losing some aspect of their identity.”


Culturally Speaking

Surviving the push(back)

Though the very nature of a merger or acquisition may foster pushback among employees, managing it is possible. To do so, AmyK says it helps to be proactive and immediately engage employees in creating a better, mutually beneficial company culture. “Start with soliciting strengths from all constituents,” AmyK says. “Learn what each constituent brings to the table that works, lay out the common, shared objectives and then seek their input for how to best move forward together.” Fondrevay, who has founded a merger-and-acquisition consultancy called DAY ONE READY, advocates proper planning from the moment a merger or acquisition is considered, thus allowing time for determining the best parts of both cultures and how

“There is no different implication for the digital manifestation of your brand and company than there is the static logo and brochure that have always existed for your company.” – Jennifer Fondrevay, founder, DAY ONE READY

they can fit harmoniously. She likens the planning process to a couple getting married and moving into a new home. “It’s always best for both [people] to move into a new place together, and agree on what furniture to bring to create a new home,” Fondrevay says. She points to Boeing’s acquisition of aerospace manufacturer McDonnell Douglass as examples of successful planning, noting that Boeing went to great lengths to make acquired employees feel valued – even incorporating the McDonnell Douglas logo into its own. Braudis says successfully overcoming pushback begins with actually leaning into it while understanding the human condition. Show people how learning something new or solving problems in new, more effective ways won’t lead to them losing themselves in the process. Ensure that identity, integrity, meaning, stability and consistency remain. “Understand and recognize that uncertainty in a change setting creates fear and anxiety,” he says. “Make the effort to create comfort during this time of perceived discomfort.


Establishing culture in small businesses Small-business owners should remember the following tips when establishing winning, positive, humancentered cultures: 1. Y ou are the culture – The small-business owner embodies the company culture. Create a culture that can be sustained beyond your presence in the business.

2. Involve everyone in idea sharing – Everyone in the company should co-define the behaviors that convey important values. It also is important for the owner to make it a safe place for people to honor their gifts and talents, and also ask for help.

3. P ay attention – Data, spreadsheets and balance sheets won’t indicate human elements such as employee morale. Observe people and calm any anxiety with your increased human presence. Shift your team’s energy from anxiety and uncertainty toward meaning and purpose.

Sources: Jennifer J. Fondrevay, founder, DAY ONE READY; AmyK, founder, AmyK Inc.; and Brian Baudis, author, coach and consultant.

Capitalize on established norms and existing strengths.”

The human factor

Whether they are employees, suppliers, stakeholders or customers, people are at the heart of every company. That’s why it’s important, regardless of how ingrained digital technology becomes in the business landscape, that leaders remember the human element. Braudis says doing so allows a company’s highest source of potential value to be released. Employees must be treated as humans, not associates; environments of continuous growth and daily wins must be created; employees must be challenged with “meaty assignments,” he says. “More human involvement and less reliance on data and strategy is what will unleash human potential.” It’s no secret that employees’ personal and professional lives intersect despite traditional notions that both should be kept separate. AmyK says such outdated mantras reject the current reality of personal and professional integration and the emergence of personal

branding elements in our lives. This means a new level of personal connection and sharing, and businesses must adjust accordingly. “Adapting to changing work-life environments, getting curious about a new generation’s needs and desires and letting go of beliefs that are no longer relevant move us all forward more fruitfully,” she says. Even a surging digital presence in business shouldn’t replace a company’s cultural foundation. Fondrevay says to remember your company’s original vision for the product, service or solution that was created to serve a particular audience because those things – and what they stand for – attract people to not only invest in them but also to work for your company. “There is no different implication for the digital manifestation of your brand and company then there is the static logo and brochure that have always existed for your company,” Fondrevay says. “It is the meaning you bring to that logo and brand that inform your culture, and vice-versa.”

Culture binds a company’s leaders, employees, ideals, thoughts and actions under one cohesive umbrella.




Feature Story: ByFeature Linda Bishop Story

How your message can make a difference

Clear. Concise. Confident. H

ow can you get more meetings? Common wisdom says you should increase the amount of time you spend contacting potential prospects. If you’re already working long hours and have a solid base of business to service, the “do more” approach often isn’t practical. That doesn’t mean you should shrug and accept the status quo. Instead, let’s consider how improving message content will help you get more meetings. Whether you’re calling or e-mailing, buyers pay attention and agree to meet when your message is: • Relevant • Interesting • Well-crafted • Motivating • Focused and short Every buyer has problems. Some relate to tasks, like managing 38 print projects for a big product rollout, and getting all of them produced on time and within a budget. Others derive from work in general. For example, every customer deals with too many emails, multiple meetings and administrative tasks that get in the way of work that’s more meaningful. To get a meeting, the buyer must have a high-level understanding of how your solutions solve their problems. By presenting the benefits of your solution, you show how you can help. “We are G7 Certified,” is not a benefit. It’s information. “Make-readies are fast and approvals are easy, because we are G7 Certified,” offers two benefits along with information. Benefit-driven messaging increases interest and motivates buyers to act.

The Benefit Exercise

If you’re serious about getting more meetings, set a timer for 10 minutes.

Write “What We Do for Our Clients” at the top of a sheet of paper. List all the benefits delivered by your company and by you. During this 10-minute block of time, adopt a “more is better” mindset. Go for quantity, not quality. After the 10 minutes are up, set aside the list for 24 hours. After a day has passed, go over the list and give each benefit the “So what?” test. “So what?” benefits lack power and punch. Buyers don’t care about them, and they will not act on generic promises like “excellent service.” Look for benefits that make buyers say, “I want to learn more,” because these are the ones that motivate them to meet with you.

When to hire a copywriter

We have examined the elements of a good message and benefits. Before we discuss how to construct a message, there are times when it pays to hire a copywriter. Consider this option when: • You’re not a writer (and don’t really get excited about writing either). • You need to construct a written message (or series of written messages) that you plan to use again and again. • A better message would help you achieve your goal of getting meetings. Good copywriters transform benefits into sparkling words that engage readers and create emotional connections. To find a copywriter, ask a client for a referral, or tap into the gig economy and hire a freelancer. For example, Upwork is an online community of freelancers looking for clients. To use Upwork, you’ll need to set up an account and write a description of the job for hire. After your job request is live, you receive proposals and can find the best writer for your needs and budget.


Clear. Concise. Confident. How to write effective messages

If you’re ready to embrace the challenge of writing motivating messages, here’s a basic framework for an effective introduction e-mail taught in Thought Transformation outbound selling seminars:

Message Content


Start with a salutation, like “Hi Bob.”

Name-based salutations are cues to keep reading.

Introduce yourself. Include your name, your title, your company, and a few words about your company. State a common problem found in the buyer’s world. Make a brief statement about how you have helped others solve it. Drop names if you can to add credibility to your solution. Ask for a meeting. Be specific about the amount of time you are requesting. State why the meeting benefits the buyer. Thank them. Sign off.

Before you dive into your message, tell the buyer who you are. When buyers agree that the problem you present is real, and they’re interested in solving it, they keep reading. Position yourself as a solution to the problem. Bold this type. Make it easy to see. Even if the buyer is interested in solving a problem, the meeting must offer inherent value. Before the buyer agrees to meet, he must believe the investment of time will have a payoff. End without complications.

Bob Big Print Let’s say you offer offset, digital, wide format, mailing services and warehousing. You also provide print on demand. Your goal is to get a meeting with marketers who manage trade shows. The benefit is providing a one-stop shop solution to save time and make life easier. Here is an example of how the formula works:

Hi Bob, My name is Linda Bishop. I'm an account executive with Big Print, one of the city’s most innovative printers. Today’s event marketers are busier than ever. You must plan to get people to your trade show booth, update materials and display graphics, and ensure everything arrives at your venue on time and in good order. You may travel, which means you are juggling projects while you're away from your office. After an event, you need to market to leads to maximize the ROI from your event spend. Big Print has everything event marketers like you need to get their job done. From start to finish, we make it easy for you to get your materials – banner stands, invitations, collateral – whatever you need. Clients like Widget World, the world’s largest widget producer, love Big Print’s solution because we save them time. May I have the opportunity to meet with you for 30 minutes next Thursday or Friday and share some of our success stories? If you're looking for ways to save time and improve outcomes, there is value in knowing more about Big Print’s trade show solutions. Thanks, Linda Bishop Account Executive Big Print

Final thoughts

Zig Ziglar once said, “You cannot tailor make the situations in life, but you can tailor make the attitudes to fit those situations before they arise.” Even the more brilliant messages are affected by timing. Buyers can be interested, but too crazy-busy to respond or meet.

Be prepared for silence. Have the grit to persist and create a message that matters to the buyer. That’s what it takes to win today. Good selling.

Linda Bishop, a longtime veteran of the commercial printing industry, is the founder of Thought Transformation Inc. (, which trains and consults companies and sales professionals on how to sell more and reach their full potential. You can reach her at


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