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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Takeaways from What They Think, LINK still no embed code.

This is a recovery with new media in the background. IPEX is just a filler between two drupas.

Except there is IGAS in 2011. Inkjet could get stronger so the nature of drupa changes. Expect Heidelberg in Hall 1 but will there be space for some guests?

Monday, May 24, 2010

IPEX 2010 marks the end of Adobe Classic as a marketing priority.
Google I / O focus for mobile Flash

Through PrintersLounge on Twitter I have found a story on the Printweek website - Adobe launch cements 'commitment to print'.. 
Adobe senior product manager Mark Lewiecki said that any suggestion that the US software giant was losing interest in the sector (following the closure of its Adobe print partner programme) was nonsense.
However, it is obvious to me that the Adobe priority for this IPEX was much lower than on any previous occasion. I think a new version of the PDF Print Engine is a major occasion. I do have access to the press area for IPEX so noticed that hard copy of a press release did not appear till the second day. Actually the paper was described as a "media alert" and I could not find it on the Adobe press release website. I heard about the 2.5 release through the FujiFilm stand where Mark Lewiecki speaks at 4.15 each day. As far as i know that is the full extent of Adobe presence at IPEX for public access.

John Warnock and Charles Geschke were announced as Champions of Print for IPEX 2010 but were not able to attend the opening ceremony. There was nothing about IPEX I could find on the events page of the UK website ahead of the event.

I found the presentation about the Print Engine very interesting and am not trying to criticise the contribution from Mark  Lewiecki. But I think it has to be recognised that Adobe priorities have changed. Most of the messaging has been about Google I/O and Flash on mobiles. IPEX started on May 18th. The Tweet from Adobe with the information that there is no Adobe stand  is dated May 21st, copied to Adobe UK.

It seems that the decision to purchase  Macromedia was based on a view of the classic Adobe products and the sense of continuing to promote them. this is interesting as Warnock and Geschke continue although the Chief Technology Officer is Kevin Lynch. There are not many examples of senior management switching technology away from the base they were themselves involved in. There is an element of speculation in this but this is just a blog. There is clearly a change in Adobe priorities and from the UK, IPEX 2010 seems like a moment to clarify this.
IPEX Print Show Zooms Social Video
Twitter Followers Too Busy For Wetherspoons

At IPEX Frank Romano spoke about the future of print as just one part of communications. I know this because Kodak recorded a video and put it online. Kodak supported video to the extent of giving away cameras at their press conference. They see Social Media as important and cameras as a large part of this.

Previously Andrew Tribute has contributed to a text blog for Xerox In the Balance or what They Think or even for Attributes>/a>

At this IPEX he is doing a series of interviews as video for WhatTheyThink. The link is to one on Heidelberg. Can't find any embed code but I think a link is ok. One thing I discovered at IPEX is that What They Think is only online. No hard copy at all. Never would have guessed.

Printspeak have a range of video online, currently featuring an interview with Trevor Crawford, event director of IPEX.

Oce TV have the basis of a studio on the stand. There is space for an audience and some large screens to expand the pictures. They post everything to YouTube including this interview with Andy Tribute. It may be surprising that he thinks this is an Inkjet IPEX, not the social video IPEX. But he explains that more of his journalism is on video.

Printweek are also including video in their media mix. Matt Whip was part of the panel for a discussion in the Kodak K Zone

There was not as much space for a studio on the Printweek stand. They did have to fit in an editorial office and production for the IPEX daily. But there are several videos on the website.

There is a lot more to come. YouTube has a lot of choices from other sources if you start with the links above. Canon has a policy on social media but I have yet to find the video. Perhaps by the time of drupa they will become followers of Kodak and give away some cameras to the bloggers.

I will be loading more of my own video soon, even the low quality ones. At the opening ceremony it was explained to me that there is a choice of focus. It took till day two to realise there is a zoom. But clearly social video can only get better.

The Twitter feed on IPEX has been getting stronger but I am not sure the #Tweetpex meeting on Saturday was as well supported as it might have been. Several Tweets about having missed it or not being sure where the Wetherspoons was. I was back in Exeter by then and tried to arrange something similar in support. Just the two of us as it turned out. Maybe something will happen later.
Xerox Tips IPEX Digital Solutions Past Heidelberg
Compositing has left the buildings

(outline notes for OhmyNews story one)

IPEX 2010 has a new layout, a range roughly from very digital to very mechanical. This only partly because pre-press is at the beginning and finishing at the end. Computers and the Web are throughout the show but the description "Digital Solutions" is used for the halls with pre-press and/ or digital printing. The only complication with this is that Xerox are in a hall just beyond Heidelberg.

Heidelberg press conference confirmed that they will have a partnership with digital kit "in this calendar year"- 2010. But not specific. However, Xerox demonstrate how workflow could cover digital and litho. They print  short runs of wrap round covers for a photobook that Heidelberg are printing litho. They have a Prinect screen showing the production status of each Heidelberg machine at IPEX. So if Xerox is not on the shortlist at least they made an effort. They also show integration with FujiFilm XMF but this is not as advanced as with Prinect for messaging  within the Job Definition Format (JDF).

Heidelberg also show a prototype of an iPhone app linked to Prinect. This can display the current status of jobs. It is not clear if memebers of the sales team will be able to make adjustments to the schedule.

Meanwhile FujiFilm showed how inkjet could target a short run. Heidelberg are responding with improvements on make ready times.

Digital print took much of the space at this IPEX. Manroland did not display any machines. Benny Landa, founder of Indigo, predicted that at the next IPEX HP (who bought Indigo) will have the largest turnover as well as the largest stand area.

The consequences of digital innovation have also reached composition and page make-up to the extent that they seem no longer to be part of IPEX. There is no stand for Adobe or Quark. Apple were not at drupa a couple of years ago and not even at BETT, the schools show that is also the only hardware show with a comprehensive range. It seems that people in pre-press now accept the "print-ready" PDF that publishers and clients supply. there is a lot of software on show for managing the colour. But a whole section of the industry seems to have vanished at least from this show. The debate about whether the iPad is a threat to print is at a tangent to whether pre-press can offer a service to publishers that includes digital formats. Elpical image optimisation includes an option for twelve shades of grey as required on a Kindle.

The layout of IPEX is complicated so you need to cover the complete length at least once. Esko Artwork are at the digital end and have a reputation for design software including 3D models of packaging. At this IPEX they are also showing short run finishing equipment from Kongsberg. This very automated and computer controlled but also definitely part of the world of hard copy. At the other end of the show in Hall 17 Manroland have a space for RedTie Web-To-Print. Previously this has been thought of as mostly used with digital printing.

There is still a balance of digital and mechanical technology thoughout the show. For whatever reason Xerox chose their spot, my overall impression is that Heidelberg has become part of the transition.

Comment welcome. Longer version in OhmyNews soon.