Wednesday, May 24, 2006


GDP Revision, Printed Electronics, Newspapers, More Magazine Engagement, Lightning Source, and China Printing

Today's GDP revision for 1Q-06 was +5.3%. Averaging it with the +1.7% of Q4-05 which was affected by the hurricane disruptions brings us to an average of +3.5%, which is above average. Works for me. I'm still looking for +3.25% for the rest of the year.

Printed electronics? Don't hold your breath. It will happen, but not imminently.

Forbes article about the decline of newspapers (again?)

I received more information about that GfK Roper study concerning magazine reader engagement. I even read the whole report. The press release sums it up well.
From the conclusion:
"... Those advertisers who believe that simply showing up in high-engagement publications will translate into high levels of attention to their ads are likely to be disappointed. What will determine the ultimate success or failure of the ad is not the reader’s passion for the publication, but the ad’s creative power to attract attention and speak meaningfully to the reader..."
Yes, there's a reason why good graphic designers and good ad agencies get what they earn. I've always been struck by the comment of some of the graphic arts marketing managers when asked why they're in a certain magazine. "Because our competitors are there," is often the comment. Then, they have an ad campaign with pictures of equipment... just like their competitors. Oh, give me the old Heidelberg ads with the shop owner with rolled up sleeves and holding a press sheet, with a quote at the bottom about what the equipment meant to their shop. They weren't the most creative ads, but they spoke to their target audience quite well. Few ads in graphic publications are compelling enough to arouse the curiosity of their readers. Yeah, I even miss the fat guy overflowing his t-shirt in the ad for printing blankets that said "I'm compressible," and even the old Potlatch paper ad for their "Makers Matte" sheet with the full page picture of the sweaty, dirty face of a coal miner, implying its durability on press. I'm getting old. The industry that prints all the marketing materials has a shortage of creative print marketing. Ouch!

Lightning Source, the ondemand book printer, is expanding in the UK and adding color to its US operation as well.

A bit more about the Chinese printing industry, including the initiative to have "printed in China" on books printed there.

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