We’re honored.

Last week, the Printing Industries of America honored Fujifilm with one of its prestigious InterTech™ Technology Awards for the development and introduction of the J Press 720, the world’s first half-size sheetfed inkjet press.

The J Press 720 is the culmination of years of R&D, a tremendous investment in technology and the foresight to recognize the changes coming to our industry. From our perspective, and we were happy to know that the InterTech judges agreed with us, the future of this industry lies in inkjet technology. It’s bringing incredible change. It’s changing what we print, how we print, how we buy print, and how printers sell print.

For some, that’s a scary proposition. For others, it’s an opportunity. But, make no mistake, print is not dying. It’s changing…and that’s okay. We’d even call it a revolution.

The InterTech awards honor “the development of technologies predicted to have a major impact in the graphic arts” and we’re flattered to be included.

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Put me in, Coach. I’m ready to play.

We were honored last week when so many friends and colleagues were able to join us in Kansas City to learn more about Fujifilm’s inkjet solutions and our vision for the future. We were excited to talk about (forgive me for the cliche) the opportunities that wide format inkjet technology offers when added to a printer’s lineup and we had a great time at the Kansas City Royals’ game. Thanks again for joining us!

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It’s in the details

Admittedly, I’m a “details” person. While I know it sounds a bit cliché, it really is the little things that make a big difference, at least for me. And that’s no different when it comes to publishing and printing. I’m enamored with well-written copy and I swoon at clever phrases. I’m attracted to well-designed pieces and I simply can’t put down packaging that surprises me.

I hope that’s the feeling that’s been conveyed with the most recent issue of Fujifilm’s Energy Magazine. On the cover, we used two coatings (Thanks, Coatings & Adhesives) to give the magazine that added special touch. A soft touch coating covers the entire cover, while a high gloss gives the red apples and the magazine name a dramatic pop. The effect, I hope, is a magazine that will make readers pause before even opening it. A magazine that not only offers useful information and content, but also one that shows the powerful effect printing can have.

Energy Magazine is published quarterly. Give us your mailing address and we’ll make sure you get future issues.

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Social media is rewiring my brain

I’m becoming obsessive. I check my email on my iPhone as soon as I wake up. I catch up with friends on Facebook while sitting at red lights and I get an overwhelming sense of urgency to check my phone when I hear the familiar ping of an incoming text message. (I’m afraid to even mention the number of feeds and streams in my Hootsuite account.) I’ve noticed that these tendencies have gotten worse over the last few years and have made a joke about having developed some form of communications-related attention deficit disorder.

Imagine my surprise (read: vindication) when I read a post on Ragan’s PR Daily blog citing a number of pieces of research asserting that social media is indeed rewiring our brains. Here’s how:

We’re becoming dumber.
When your email is pinging and your Twitter stream is flowing, it’s easy to become distracted, and distracted workers are dumb. In fact, their brains are more numb than that of a pot smoker. A 2005 Hewlett-Packard study found that workers distracted by email and phone calls experience a temporary drop in IQ that is more than twice that seen in people who smoke marijuana.

We get bored more easily.
Emails, texts messages, and social media updates tickle the primal part of our brains that responds to threats and immediate opportunities, according to a 2010 New York Times article. “The stimulation provokes excitement—a dopamine squirt—that researchers say can be addictive,” wrote Matt Richtel for the
Times. “In its absence, people feel bored.”

We can’t focus or handle stress.
All that media you’re consuming daily—which is about three times as much as people consumed daily in 1960—is stressing you out, hurting your problem-solving abilities, inhibiting your creativity, and making you a slower thinker. (That’s according to this infographic from VizWorld, which compiles the information in a tidy fashion for distracted thinkers.)

But that’s not all. The same Times story from Richtel on the dopamine squirt we get from technology also said:

“Heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, scientists say, and they experience more stress. And scientists are discovering that even after the multitasking ends, fractured thinking and lack of focus persist. In other words, this is also your brain off computers.”

Of course, thanks to smartphones and other mobile devices, our brains are never really “off” computers anymore.

We are less satisfied.
According to a
Harvard Business Review (HBR) story from this year, the online connection that provides dopamine doesn’t give us the calming oxytocin or serotonin we typically get when we interact with people in real life. That means, “On Twitter, you won’t feel satisfied the way you might if you chatted in person with 50 people at a conference,” says HBR’s David Rock.

We are becoming more partisan.
Social media channels—blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds—are making it easier for news consumers to find content that is slanted to their political beliefs, thus exposing them to less cross-cutting information. That’s not good for your dinner table conservations or the nation’s ability to make important decisions. A 2011 paper from researchers at Southern Illinois University determined:

“Selective exposure is generally seen as an important concern because a lack of diversity in political information and discussion hampers the ability of disagreeing citizens to engage in rational decision-making.”

The mainstream media—to some extent—provide something of a balance to partisan views, the report noted. (Although that is being undermined by cable news networks.)

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100 days and counting….

While it feels as though the industry is only beginning to come down off of the high of drupa 2012, it’s officially just 100 days until Graph Expo 2012 kicks off in Chicago. What should we expect?

Overwhelmingly, this year’s was an “inkjet” drupa, and manufacturers hosted a number of technology showings and previews, all largely focused on inkjet and providing a clear indication of precisely where this industry is headed. But, the show wasn’t focused much on where the industry is now. Most of the technologies and devices that were shown were said to be 18-24 months from commercial availability – and that’s a long time for business owners watching their profits rapidly decline.

Will this, then, be an “inkjet” Graph Expo? Will attendees in Chicago get a similar glimpse of things to come?

Not at Booth # 414. (That’s Fujifilm’s booth, in case you were wondering.) There, they’ll get a look at things that have arrived.

Admittedly, that’s why I see Fujifilm as being different and why the company really is leading the way for change. We showed our J Press 720 inkjet press at drupa 2008 and already have nine installations around the world. We wanted to ensure that our customers have both options and opportunities for their businesses today and that’s the rationale for the tremendous R&D efforts and investments Fujifilm has made over the last several years.

Inkjet is clearly the future of the printing industry and we’re anxious to show you our latest solutions and what they can do.

See you in 100 days…and counting.

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Toshiba’s National No-Print Day = #prfail

It had all of the makings of a public relations coup: an unexpected announcement, a national event, a cause that virtually everyone supports, even a cute mascot. It should’ve been a homerun. So…why wasn’t it?


Earlier this month, Toshiba announced the creation of a National No-Print Day on October 23, 2012 and, in doing so, created a firestorm in the printing industry. The day was created in an effort to “raise awareness of the impact printing has on our planet,” but it appears that the campaign creators didn’t quite think things through. The campaign, which featured a new website (www.NationalNoPrintDay.com – since removed) and a mascot aptly-named “Tree,” blanketly categorized office waste and inefficiencies as “printing” and encouraged people to pledge NOT to print on Oct. 23. For every pledge, Toshiba said it would plant one tree as part of the company’s effort to plant 150 million trees by 2025.


“Not so fast,” said the printing industry, the Printing Industries of America (PIA) leading the charge. In an open letter to association members, PIA President and CEO Michael Makin responded, saying, “We find such a proposal ridiculous and an insult to the more than 800,000 Americans who directly owe their livelihood to our industry.” He added, “Toshiba claims that our industry has failed ‘to make the link between printing waste and its negative impacts on our landfills, natural resources and the environment.’” Makin went on to detail and compare the environmental “costs” associated with print and other mediums and pointed out that our country has 20 percent more trees that it did on the first Earth Day 40 years ago.


PR campaigns such as this one are created to raise awareness and to move people to act in support of your cause. It did both of those things…but NOT in the direction that Toshiba intended. Printers across the country were spurred to action. Hundreds of them called PIA to register their opposition and many of them added that they would be boycotting Toshiba. PIA’s own campaign called The Value of Print received renewed interest and printers banded together to defend and support their way of life. That’s PR success.

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Offset & (far) Beyond

Taking place in a hotel adjacent to the historic St. Louis Arch, the recent Offset & Beyond conference was full of valuable content and gave both attendees and exhibitors an opportunity to learn. The common theme to the event was quite clear: “question everything.” Question everything you are doing to determine if there is a better way to create it. To deliver it. To produce it. To make it more relevant. The Imageadoption of accessing information via tablets, social media outlets and mobile phones is fueling a rapid change in how we produce and disseminate information. Case in point, I don’t receive breaking news from the newspaper or from a television, for that matter. It comes to me online, via news alerts I’ve set up or over Twitter’s wires. People live tweet important events, both planned and unplanned, they post movies to YouTube in real-time and they upload pictures of to their Facebook pages.

The good news for our industry is that printers are adapting. They are changing the structure of their businesses to take advantage of the opportunities our new world order has brought forth. They are diversifying into new growth areas such as wide format graphics and marketing services and they’re combining print with the myriad of communication vehicles available to us today. The Offset & Beyond conference focused largely on the “beyond,” and I’m excited to see what it brings to our industry.

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