GraphExpo is held every year in Chicago. I am always amazed at the size and scope of the expo and this year was no different. The Printing Industry of America along with the Graphic Arts Show Company and Graphic Arts Education/ Research Foundation hosted a teacher symposium, which started the day before the show opened. Approximately 100 educators across the country and Canada attended. Our conference was titled “Technology Trends in Graphic Communications.” Up first, a panel of program case studies; a high school, 2 year and 4 year college. I spoke about our program here at DCTC. One of the items of most interest was our SHOTS simulator and how we use it. Also on the docket, a presentation titled MUST SEE’EMSSM a show preview, Engaging in the Social Media Conversation, Using Production Software, Integrating Prepress into Graphic Design Programs and Production Inkjet.
The expo itself began Sunday and ran until Wednesday. Buses transported attendees from hotels to McCormick Place continually. On the bus, I heard several different languages being spoken. What a huge industry we belong to! Folks from all around the world were in Chicago finding out what was new and exciting it print!
What did I learn from the expo and seminars? In a nutshell: Teach your students how to implement variable data, paper is not dead, include QR and similar systems, unique materials and creative use of those materials will help differentiate printers in the marketplace. I also learned that production digital color printing (toner or inkjet) is the primary printing industry growth process. On the show floor were all types and sizes of ink jet printers by every manufacturer.
I learned print is not going away—it’s changing and it’s adapting. If you’d like to hear more about my trip, stop me in the hall or better yet, add a comment to this blog!