Starting with IPEX 2002, this blog covers events relevant for UK print, including Seybold and DRUPA. See also website at

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cary Sherburne also reports on US interest in e-paper. An announcement form E Ink and LG.Phillips.LCD was previously reported in Printweek.

The previous week Printweek's resident columnist Lawrence Wallis described as 'arrant nonsense' a reported view from Bill Gates that print "will become virtually redundant in 10 years". The forecast is partly based on the latest iteration of e-paper as a foundation for comuter tablet technology. Wallis points out that the demise of print has been predicted "on umpteen occasions" since he joined the industry in 1949. He consider that print remains dynamic as new technologies support print production itself.

He lists some features that give print an advantage
  • no need for special equipment
  • no need for electricity
  • no need for telephony ( web access )
  • referable
  • comparatively cheap
  • portable
  • editorially disciplined
  • congenial to a user

These could be looked at as factors where print and online can be compared. Many people find a screen congenial on occasions. On the planet most people do not have access to a phone, let alone a tablet PC. I'm not sure about the 'editorial discipline'. There are some web news sites that employ editors. I submit stories for OhmyNews and find they are improved by the process. Often there are more interesting stories from other people that I find while looking to see if my own are accepted.

The heading "referable" may imply that the indexing on books can be relied on. The theme of Online Information is that 'everything is miscellaneous'. This may be something that could only work on the web. Searching for "Lawrence Wallis" on Google turns up a Seybold review of Typomania from 1996. I wonder if you would find this title from browsing in a bookshop?
There seems to be a trend for Adobe to insist on events that are centred on Adobe, rather than attending general shows. Adobe Live has been well attended in London and other European cities. However, I think something is lost by the lack of context.

Printweek now features a regular letter from Cary Sherburne, senior editor for This week she reports on Seybold's 'abandonment' of conferences -"once the most influential trade shows in the printing and publishing industry"- and states that Adobe have 'stepped in' with a new initiative. My impression is that MediaLive made every effort to continue the conferences. The original New York dates this year turned out to be close to Adobe Live in New York. Later dates were announced. The Amsterdam dates turned out to be close to the series of Adobe Live events in Europe.

Based on downloading the presentation files after the event, my impression is that the Chicago conference made a real contribution to the discussion around print. Quark made the first public demonstration of Quark 7, including ways to create JDF files from the desktop. So far I think Adobe have not fully described what may be possible using the JDF features in Acrobat 7. The fact that both companies are working on a new phase in workflow is obviously to be welcomed. At an old-style Seybold event there could have been some comparison, plus some research based comment on general trends.

It seems unlikely that Quark will be part of 'Momentum in Print' so many people will make their minds up later.

Adobe is also part of the PDF Forum for Print Production in Miami. The 'state of the art PDF creation' session includes speakers from both Adobe and Quark. The PDF Forum will be moderated by Stephen Jaeggi from Binningen, Switzerland. On the panel at Seybold Amsterdam he was on good terms with a 'wish fairy' that conjured up a group vision of a better future. His own contribution was that Adobe PDF server software be priced at some level more people could consider, given the realities of available budgets. This is the kind of issue that may not come up at an Adobe hosted event. Adobe Live in London had limited coverage of Acrobat as part of the Creative Suite, limited mention of JDF in PDF for print production, and almost no coverage at all of 'intelligent documents' or LiveCycle. Something like Seybold did a better job in presenting an overall picture of Adobe capability.

Seybold Amsterdam in particular was a major benefit in Europe for connecting with a web discussion linked to print issues on which Europeans made a contribution. This will not be easy to replace.

I am not convinced that San Francisco is still a place where there is much interest in hard copy. Again my impression is based on browsing the web, but I found a lot of interest in Web 2 and the recent event organised by MediaLive and O'Reilley. Macromedia were involved but there did not seem to be much interest from Adobe.

Maybe MediaLive would consider bringing a version of Web 2 to Amsterdam next summer. With a corner somewhere for print.

This coming week in London there is an Online Information show. Print is there by implication. Scholar journals are moving online but Oxford University Press for example is still mostly hard copy. There will be more on this later. Not much about Adobe as they don't have a stand.