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

Friday, May 08, 2009

Journalism as rambling might make sense. Chances of interviews decrease all the time. I did phone Heidelberg about Total Print Expo and the answer is they don't know yet. Long ago I sent some questions to the Guardian for Alan Rusbridger. No reply though he has replied to comments on his blog so this is the sort of thing that is more likely. At the time I followed ABC numbers but it became clear that there is no model for how news organisations move online and no integrated ABC figures to show how titles do as print and Web.

Recently I notice that the print Guardian seems to carry on in a print sort of way. Attacks on bloggers are quite frequent. News about digital developments sometimes missing. The new Amazon Kindle has not turned up in my print Guardian. Announced Wednesday, this is Friday. However online there was a blog from Bobbie Johnson on Tuesday and a story updated yesterday though I only found it through Google.

Kindle DX heralded as "saviour of newspapers" apparently. So what do they mean? Can't be paper as such, it must be about news organisations. So far New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe are signed up for the new device with possible cheap hardware with a subscription. So would the Guardian do something similar in the UK? PDF can display on the larger screen without reflow. The PDF version of the Guardian is more or less a secret in the UK but could do with a relaunch.

Maybe it is just that different people make different decisions but the effect is that the print version of the Guardian seems to ignore a lot of actual news. Do they think the print audience is just going to stay loyal as a source of income and has no idea what they do online? If they have a coherent plan, why not tell people about it? I could be wrong about the lack of Kindle stories but this blog is one way of checking. Chances of the book aspects turning up on Saturday? Quite low I would think.

Also today Printweek hard copy version has a story about magazines that makes no mention of the Web either as a cause of declining advertising revenues or as a publishing option. Yet Haymarket as such seems to be moving online quite rapidly. Marketing Direct is now mostly a website. Print organisations can offer web design and digital communication. Printweek could do more to report what other magazines are thinking about and new devices such as the Amazon Kindle.

I will try a few emails but my guess is that new information will come about mostly through search and blog comments.

This IPEX blog is mostly about the UK. Meanwhile new developments may be included in the drupa blog where the memory of the innovation parc is still fresh.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Thinking about imagining IPEX is already happening. Not much will happen in the meantime as far as I can tell. The Printweek printed report on Northprint includes a statement that Total Print Expo is still "on the cards" following a significant drop in numbers for Northprint. So my guess is that there is a 70% chance of it happening and a 50% chance of Heidelberg being there. But this still may not be a very useful test on what is possible for book production. Jo Francis from Printweek has made a note to check out the Espresso in about six months time. This could be as significant an event. A lot of these tests are mostly spin, or culture. If digital book production is gaining attention, some way could be found for Blackwell to appear positive.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Printing and bookselling could fit together in various ways. For a long time there ahave been bookshops as an extension of a print operation. Cambridge University Press has a shop mostly with stock from their own titles. Most printers have had to get in stock from other sources if they wanted a shop to continue. So far there has not been much of a welcome for the Espresso and the development that Blackwell offer instant print on Charing Cross Road. I think printers could look at this again and use the publicity to investigate other possible combinations of online content and digital printing. Recent blog post by Jo Francis on the Printweek community site refers to reports that the Espresso binding may fall apart. She plans to visit Charing Cross Road within six months and check whether interest continues. I saw the final products at the London Book Fair and briefly at the Blackwell shop and I think the binding problem can be solved if it exists on any scale. Several people seemed well pleased with the result.

Looking at the detail on the reports of binding problems, it was only the first effort that fell apart on the visit by Valentine Low reported in the Times. The second one was ok so the process took 13 minutes. Paul Manning lists several problems in comment on anearlier Printweek report, but he also states that the problems could be resolved in a year or so.

The print industry has better binding equipment and suitable kit for short runs. It is still unclear what the Espresso runs will be like, especially for the originals people are asking for. There may be opportunities for print organisations to work with bookshops. Maybe there is space for more instant print on Charing Cross Road.