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

Friday, January 27, 2006

In her latest letter from the US for Printweek, Cary Sherburne reports that some printers will not be coming to IPEX becuase they prefer the web. "I am more interested in a webinar custom-tailored to me than a generic trade show presentation."

There is still a point to trade shows as they are a chance to ask direct questions and ask some questions. Having tried to make out as much as I can from the web aspects of two recent events, I am aware of a lot of missing information.

Adobe promoted "Momentum in Print" with a keynote from Frank Romano. I am mostly concerned with JDF and was hoping that Adobe would say a bit more about this. There is nothing new on the web that I can find. Frank Romano spoke later on a webinar where he said a bit about JDF. He still cannot see where the ROI is going to be for a print company to update production equipment. However he is ready to look at case studies and is open to being persuaded.

There are case studies on the CIP4 site, especially detailed for the winners of awards. At IPEX it will be possible to see some working examples, including the daily newspaper. CIP4 will have a day at Xplor, alongside the PDF Forum. This may have a wider discussion. Quark will be there and presumably will include something on Job Jackets, their version of JDF creation on the desktop.

It may just be that I can't find it, but I don't think there is much detail on how Adobe expect JDF to work with Acrobat and/or Indesign. "Classic Publishing" is now a product group run from India including JDF, but I don't think there were any speakers from India in San Francisco. Not sure about this, maybe it will become clear later.

Scot Petersen wrote in an e-Week blog about the event, reporting a joke from Frank Romano-
"What do you call a group of printers at a conference? Survivors."

Petersen is convinced that "print is dying, in some forms more than others--newspapers in particular." Print could evolve with technology "if the print industry learns to adapt". But even that is going to be a challenge. "Printers are stubborn," Romano said. "We do not like to make changes. If we do change it's because we have no choice but to change."

(The Scot Petersen blog was posted Jan 23rd)

Challenging though this is, I still think the people from print companies should have been at a meeting that had a wide enough scope to include all forms of publishing and media. There is rapid change coming and it makes little sense to consider print just in itself.

Many companies and publishers can create for the web fairly easily so they expect print to be as fast and controlled. JDF is a marketing opportunity, not just a production efficiency. Print needs to be presented as if it is conscious of a place in digital communications.

I realise I am repeating myself quite a lot. IPEX seems to be shaping up much like Chicago last year. I managed to write an article for OhmyNews based on press releases and websites. Quark were interested in JDF. This year Adobe have a stand at IPEX so some more detail should appear.

The PDF forum includes a beach party. It may be warm enough in Miami. Somehow the reality of January and February in the UK is a lot to cope with by comparison.

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