Copresco President Steve Johnson's editorial monthly column provides firsthand observations and thoughtful commentary about the state of today's graphic communications industry. Starting in July 2017, “Johnson’s World” is now on the back page of Printing Impressions, the foremost magazine of the graphic arts industry.
||New Doors, But Old Habits
When we needed to get our new doors
painted, I called Pete because his work
was usually good enough.
||Annoying Your Customers for the Right Reasons
A bumper sticker on the front door of an ad agency eliminated the middleman by offending 50% of the people walking in.
||Social Media: How to Alienate Friends
and Make New Enemies
Just employ the power of social media to share your political opinions with the world.
||Important Print Lessons from The Bard
Many think Shakespeare is archaic,
something from the distant past, worthy of
study by historians, but of no relevance in today’s society. Funny, that’s the same thing many people say about print.
||Data Is Everywhere ...
But Make Sure to Use It Correctly
Data is merely information; it is what you
do with it that counts. If we have the right data and get the data right, print is a powerful marketing and informational tool. Get it wrong, and you’ve just lost all credibility, meaning you have no more perceived value than a Twitter feed.
||Lessons About Data
A donation I made at a recent fundraising
event for the Forest Preserve Foundation
generated a heartfelt thank you letter for
me and my wife … wait a minute, I don’t have a wife!
||Print: The Only Effective Medium in Some Cases, and Here's One of Them
In the less-than-glamorous Spring elections there isn’t much money available for advertising. How exactly are those precious campaign funds spent? I decided to take a look.
||Hats Off To Print
Domtar Paper’s Blueline is either a small magazine or a very complex and content rich brochure. I’m going to call it a magazine, since that’s what Domtar calls it, but the label really isn’t important. What is important is print.
||You Can Do It, Sam I Am
The story, recounted by James Clear, says a bet was made between polymath Bennett Cerf in his role as founder of Random House Publishers, and Dr. Seuss, who needs no further introduction. Cerf bet Seuss couldn’t write a children’s book using only 50 different words. Seuss won the bet.
||Special Greetings are 'Still a Thing'
Think the time for cards has passed?
Not nearly. The Greeting Card Association reports that Americans buy about 6,500,000,000 printed greeting cards each year.
||Give the 'Original Present' This Year
Bible publisher Tyndale House’s Filament project is the New Living Translation of the Bible and an app, which pairs the text with augmented reality. Augmented reality and interactive print are topics that regularly garner enthusiasm in the design, publishing and packaging world. Unfortunately, they don’t get much coverage anywhere else.
||Midterm Elections Show Value of Print
A sign in someone’s yard means they have thought long and hard about this election, made a call to the campaign office or at least responded formally to a campaign worker’s request.
||DiGiorno Pizza Marketing Approach Provides Printers With Good Food for Thought
Check out DiGiorno’s website. All you see is pizza. Check out their packaging. All you see is pizza.
Your printed products may not be mouthwatering like pizza, but an accurate representation of your specialty should be the highlight of your marketing. If a prospect needs your product, their mouths will water.
||The Hole Not There: Master Your Core Competencies First
Quite a few years ago I received a promotional wall calendar in the mail. It was from a small company, and it was clearly homemade. By “homemade” I mean it was conceived, designed, printed and bound in the office of the representative company. Design and print professionals were not consulted.
Four-score and eighty years ago, two of
our forefathers set forth to face one another in a
series of debates. The Lincoln-Douglas debates were intense. Unlike today’s presidential debates in which candidates respond to questions with short soundbites.
||Here's Your Mission, Should You Accept
The idea of a clearly-defined mission or purpose was, and is, an excellent idea. When properly defined, it serves as a litmus test for everything that a company does.
||Big Data Needs a Bath
Bad data is an inevitable byproduct of the
information age. The sheer volume of data
collected is part of the problem, but it is the
way it is managed that really causes glitches.
||There are No 'Safe Spaces' in Business
Young people of college age today are being treated to a phenomenon... never dreamed: safe spaces.
||Elections Bring Out Primal Elements in
Advertising and Marketing
As Samuel Johnson wryly noted, “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” I suspect the winner-take-all nature of elections has this effect. Incremental market share means nothing. Winning marketing awards means nothing.
||Print-Related Musings To Reflect On
Vague musings, name-dropping, streams of consciousness and occasional flashes of brilliance ... from Johnson’s World.
||Commentary: Print Is A Medium On
Steroids. Promote It As Such
Instead of declaring that "Print Is Not Dead", we need to start selling print the way we should have been doing it all along: as the world’s most effective medium of communication and information.
||Looks Are Important In Direct Mail
An oversized bright green foil padded
envelope arrives from Sebold Capital Wealth
Management. I don't know who they are, but I can guess.
||Think Of Buying Inkjet Printing
Equipment Like A Marriage
Don't choose your new inkjet presses based only on appearances combined with gut feelings.
||Lessons From A Bruised Apples
I personally hesitate to use Apple as an example for businesses.
||Thoughtful Lessons From Books …
The Printed Kind
You can learn a lot from books, usually
from reading them but sometimes just from
looking over their covers.
||WeatherTech: Floored by the Mats
WeatherTech is a good example for
several of my usual themes. They market
aggressively, using a balanced combination
of the internet and print publications to get
their story in front of buyers.
||What Printers Can Learn From Bowling
It is a sign of the times we live in that teenagers bowl using 2 balls each.
||See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Read Me
Helen Keller would be frustrated by digital media. Lacking perception of both sight and sound, she relied on her remaining senses to absorb and disseminate information. Digital media would have nothing to offer her.
||Advice You Can Bank On
Need money? Alas, money is hard to
come by sometimes.
The first thing a new business does is put
up a website and establish its email addresses.
Next comes the social-media presence. Business cards might come after that, but then again, they might not.
||The Copier Repairman
If your digital press needs service every
few weeks instead of every day, this is
not good enough, not nearly!
||Make It Fascinating
Print has unique opportunity to reach
generation Z who are overwhelmed with
digital media. When they get mail, they look at it.
||Leadership Off, and On, the
Next to parenting, leadership is the most
influential role youll ever have. As in
parenting, Do as I
say, not as I do wont ever cut it.
||Musings, Droppings, Streams &
Flashes Pt 9
After the nail-biting, extra-inning game 7
of the World Series in which the Cubs
emerged victorious, the Daily
on the spot again. This time they got it right.
||It's All About More Than The
Give the gift of touch for Christmas.
coloring books, board games with pieces,
cards, dice and fake money which
will draw family
and friends together.
||The Sound and the Fury
The author, William Faukner, suggested
what was a radical idea
at the time of
using colored text to clarify the ever-changing
different time periods in his book.
||How To Alienate Friends and
Its easier than ever to alienate friends
and make new enemies while at the same
time disgusting the general
Just employ the power of social media.
||Trains, Magazines, and Portals
Is the airline inflight magazine doomed,
now that we have wifi
and literally hundreds
of movie choices to entertain us? It appears
that the opposite is true.
||We All Scream for Ice Cream
In the old days when you wanted to cool
off you would go to your
Queen for a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone.
||Mind Your Manners
Some large American companies should
learn from the politeness
and etiquette of the
Japanese culture in order to improve their sales
||Musings, Droppings, Streams, and
Flashes Pt 8
In 1524 Antonio Pigafetta, having
completed Magellans voyage around the world and
having penned by far the most interesting account of the explorations,
petitioned the Doge of Venice and the city council, that no one may print
it for twenty years, except myself.
What is more
threatening? An olive-
skinned young girl wearing a hajib in a
driving into the parking lot of a local
college or an olive-skinned young
a hajib in a Toyota fixated on her smart phone?
Are in Print
||Of Quartos and Folios
Learn why a 17th Century book of Shakespeare's popular plays called
"First Folio" would today be considered an example of print on
||Vote for Me
arent in the in circle of local
politics, how do you know
an election is? How can you identify the hot issues?
Answers Are in Print
||Of Beer and Clydesdales
Yes, Super Bowl 50 may be played in
Santa Clara California, but
Super Bowl L
will be played right here and now in "Johnsons
||Of Plastic Lumps and Buggy
In his book "Vaporized", Robert Tercek asked the
question, Where have all the record stores gone?
||Merry Christmas! Have A Drink On
When I entered the workforce, booze
was the standard
go-to Christmas gift for clients.
Not wine; I'm talking the hard stuff. But
times change and people's tastes change.
||Dear Newspaper Publisher
Each weekday before our office opened,
your newspaper was
delivered to the front door
of our corporate headquarters. Each day, that
until three weeks ago.
||Musings, Droppings, Streams &
(Part 7) Piggly Wiggly, Children with books
their homes, Shor Restaurant at Graph Expo, French philosopher promotes anarchy
because of failed print shop, coloring your hair at home and astronomy, ATMs in
||She's Going to Disney World
Jana's tale of her getaway with
her husband to Disney
||A Place For Everything And
In Its Place
There is a graphic floating around
on the Internet of an old Radio Shack flyer with a caption pointing out that
every item in the flyer has been replaced by a smartphone. Maybe
||The Fight of the Century
What can we learn from the so-called
fight of the
||A Short Talk With A Printer
How much do you really know about
the man whose words fill the
of this publication each month?
||Shades Of Grey
havent counted fifty, but I do see
several grey areas that the
of this books success illuminate for us.
||All The News That's Fit To
Instead of Facebook or Twitter,
print will do.
||Things Fall Apart
Why I couldn't finish Misconceptions
about the Original
the book fell apart.
||Print Could Save Your Marriage
and Your Business
Why I might very well refer Dr.
Gursky as a marriage counselor.
||Musings, Droppings, Streams and
Flashes (Part 6)
Cat videos on YouTube, Roman Gods,
Top reasons people do not go online, etc.
||Gift Giving Made Easier
No gift is more personal than a real book, carefully chosen with the
recipient in mind.
||Be Brief, Be Succint
It is difficult to sell anything when the
offer is not unique,
but it is impossible
to sell when it is not clear what the
have a bucket list of great things you hope to accomplish in life?
Dont settle for anything less.
||8 Solid Reasons Why You Should Attend
GRAPH EXPO 14
If you can't travel to the drupa 16 show in far
off Dusseldorf Germany, consider going to GRAPH EXPO 14.
||Understand Your Brand Part 2
Two examples of branding done well.
||Understand Your Brand
Be very careful of your brand.
Promote it, market it, guard
||I Need a Vacation
nice long trip to Hawaii, or perhaps
a week in Florida. At least so says
Hilton Grand Vacations.
If you are an equipment sales
print-related taxing tidbits as April 15 comes and goes.
||Shooting Yourself In the Foot
Some overachievers in sales and marketing spend much time and effort
creating brand awareness while they themselves seem unaware of what their own
brand stands for.
||Use General Interest To Target
If you are reading this article, whether in print or
online, it demonstrates that reading is alive and well. That is why newsletters
are an unbeatable medium of communication between businesses and the people who
||Flying With The Inkjet SetOr
Can inkjet presses that will halve my costs still deliver
quality acceptable to my clients?
||Cards For The Holidays
In Johnsons World we always chose the best tool for the
||Reinvention In Interesting
Waiting for an upswing in the general economy to revive
your business no longer qualifies as a strategy. You could
||A Deli-cate Situation
You may not be selling sandwiches, but your customers are hoping for
price, quality, and service.
||Hot Town, Squirrel in the City
Until now, 3D printing has been used
mostly for creating
prototypes, but it is
starting to come into use for short-run
manufacturing. It seems to me this exactly follows the pattern of digital
|| Dear Mister Perfect
Complacency is deadly to your business. Any company that has the
"good enough" mindset is sending an open invitation to competitors, who will
happily come in and steal your customers.
||Tan, Don't Burn
you are in sales, your prospects are
probably more sensitive than you.
When bureaucratic company policy
allowed to trump customer service,
you run the risk of losing
||USPS Reformed or Deformed?
Poor service, delivery problems, and decreasing mail volume also
need to be
part of USPS reform initiatives.
Old, Something New
Cutting edge technology can blend with old world
tradition to paint a picture of print as a living, growing
Postal in a FedEx World
Poor business practices will not help the
USPS survive as other options become cheaper, easier, and more convenient.
When to Hold Em,
Know When to Fold Em
unprofitable customers can
improve your bottom line.
||For Us or Against Us
How are you ever going to
your prospects of the value of print if you dont believe in
||Give the Timeless Gift of Print
Books open worlds
that no video can match.
||Trees Love Paper
Its up to us to tell the
world the truth about the sustainability of paper and print.
||If It Is Windy, This Must Be Graph Expo
Did you know
that the moniker Windy City originally referred... to the
hamlets blustering windbag politicians?
||Chicken, Civility & Customers
lessons in online etiquette.
||Root, Root, Root for the Home Team
can learn a bit from
the boys of summer
||Printerly Musings, Observations,
Vague musings, name-dropping,
streams of consciousness,and
occasional flashes of brilliance from Johnsons World.
||Championing the Cause of Profits
Are you in it to
Then pay attention to the bottom line.
||Email Marketing Is Too Easy
Make sure the fruits of
don't produce spam.
||Shopping for Customer Service
What can you learn
about customer service
from the checkout line at an upscale
||The Internet, Global Warming, and the
The new market is here.
Create your own
||Random Thoughts About Consistency
I do know a thing
or two about consistently
marketing your services.
||Whose World Is It Anyway?
Real world advice and
a print shop owner.
||The Green, Green Pastures of Home
skills deliver success
no matter what services you offer...
||Welcome (Back) to My World
Steve Johnson joins the
roster of columnists...
View award-winning articles
written from 2004 to 2011 by Copresco President Steve Johnson reflecting on
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