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Johnson's World

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.

April 2020 Wrestling at Oxyrhynchus
Think that the times we live in are different
from anything the world has known in the past? Think again. We may have the printing press, the internet, and indoor plumbing, but human nature remains unchanged.
March 2020 History Goes Paperless;
History Goes Away

"Old formats of documents that we’ve
created or presentations may not be readable
by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed."
February 2020 Musings and Morsels
This month's article is all about Valentine’s
Day candy, those pesky click charges, just
right vs. too much, and the value of print.
January 2020 Darn Those Beancounters
"Old formats of documents that we’ve created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed."
December 2019 Laughing at My Newsletter
Half the content of my company’s monthly
Overnight Lite newsletter is made up of jokes,
riddles, and puns. Right now my newsletter has me smiling, but it is no laughing matter. I’m smiling because we’ve just celebrated 30 years of continuous publication.
November 2019 Gift Giving for Kids Is Easy
When giving to kids, check out their toys. American Girl dolls and Star Wars have spawned many volumes of reading material.
October 2019 New Doors, But Old Habits
When we needed to get our new doors
painted, I called Pete because his work
was usually good enough.
September 2019 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.
August 2019 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.
July 2019 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.
June 2019 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.
May 2019 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!
April 2019 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.
March 2019 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.
February 2019 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.
January 2019 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.
December 2018 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.
November 2018 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.
October 2018 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.
September 2018 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.
August 2018 It's Debatable
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.
July 2018 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.
June 2018 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.
May 2018 There are No 'Safe Spaces' in Business
Young people of college age today are being treated to a phenomenon... never dreamed: safe spaces.
April 2018 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.
March 2018 Print-Related Musings To Reflect On
Vague musings, name-dropping, streams of consciousness and occasional flashes of brilliance ... from Johnson’s World.
February 2018 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.
January 2018 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.
December 2017 Think Of Buying Inkjet Printing
Equipment Like A Marriage

Don't choose your new inkjet presses based only on appearances combined with gut feelings.
November 2017 Lessons From A Bruised Apples
I personally hesitate to use Apple as an example for businesses.
October 2017 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.
September 2017 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.
August 2017 What Printers Can Learn From Bowling
It is a sign of the times we live in that teenagers bowl using 2 balls each.
July 2017 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.

June 2017 Advice You Can Bank On
Need money? Alas, money is hard to
come by sometimes.
May 2017 'My Card'
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.
April 2017 The Copier Repairman
If your digital press needs service every
few weeks instead of every day, this is
not good enough, not nearly!
March 2017 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.
February 2017 Leadership Off, and On, the Field
Next to parenting, leadership is the most
influential role you’ll ever have. As in
parenting, “Do as I say, not as I do” won’t ever cut it.
January 2017 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 Herald was
on the spot again. This time they got it right.
December 2016 It's All About More Than The Dress
Give the gift of touch for Christmas.
Consider coloring books, board games with pieces,
cards, dice and fake money which will draw family
and friends together.
November 2016 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.
October 2016 How To Alienate Friends and
Make Enemies

It’s easier than ever to alienate friends
and make new enemies while at the same
time disgusting the general population.
Just employ the power of social media.
September 2016 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.
August 2016 We All Scream for Ice Cream
In the old days when you wanted to cool
off you would go to your hometown Dairy
Queen for a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone.
Then the market changed.
July 2016 Mind Your Manners
Some large American companies should
learn from the politeness and etiquette of the
Japanese culture in order to improve their sales rate.
June 2016 Musings, Droppings, Streams, and
Flashes Pt 8

In 1524 Antonio Pigafetta, having successfully
completed Magellan’s 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.”
May 2016 Threats
What is more threatening? An olive-
skinned young girl wearing a hajib in a
Toyota driving into the parking lot of a local
college or an olive-skinned young girl wearing
a hajib in a Toyota fixated on her smart phone?
The Answers Are in Print
April 2016 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 demand.
March 2016 Vote for Me
If you aren’t in the “in” circle of local
politics, how do you know how important
an election is? How can you identify the hot issues?
The Answers Are in Print
February 2016 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 "Johnson’s World".
January 2016 Of Plastic Lumps and Buggy Whips
In his book "Vaporized", Robert Tercek asked the question, “Where have all the record stores gone?”
December 2015 Merry Christmas! Have A Drink On Me
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.
November 2015 Dear Newspaper Publisher
Each weekday before our office opened,
your newspaper was delivered to the front door
of our corporate headquarters. Each day, that is,
until three weeks ago.
October 2015 Musings, Droppings, Streams & Flashes
(Part 7)
Piggly Wiggly, Children with books
in 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 Churches.
September 2015 She's Going to Disney World
Jana's tale of her getaway with
her husband to Disney World.

August 2015 A Place For Everything And Everything
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 not.
July 2015 The Fight of the Century
What can we learn from the so-called
“fight of the century”?
June 2015 A Short Talk With A Printer
How much do you really know about
the man whose words fill the last page
of this publication each month?
May 2015 Shades Of Grey
I haven’t counted fifty, but I do see
several grey areas that the phenomenon
of this book’s success illuminate for us.
April 2015 All The News That's Fit To Print
Instead of Facebook or Twitter,
sometimes only print will do.
March 2015 Things Fall Apart
Why I couldn't finish “Misconceptions
about the Original Populists.” because
the book fell apart.
February 2015 Print Could Save Your Marriage …
and Your Business

Why I might very well refer Dr. David
Gursky as a marriage counselor.
January 2015 Musings, Droppings, Streams and
Flashes (Part 6)

Cat videos on YouTube, Roman Gods,
Top reasons people do not go online, etc.
December 2014 Gift Giving Made Easier
No gift is more personal than a real book, carefully chosen with the recipient in mind.
November 2014 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
proposition is.
October 2014 Settle Down
Do you have a “bucket list” of great things you hope to accomplish in life? Don’t settle for anything less.
September 2014 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.
August 2014 Understand Your Brand Part 2
Two examples of branding done well.
July 2014 Understand Your Brand
Be very careful of your brand.
Promote it, market it, guard it.
June 2014 I Need a Vacation
A nice long trip to Hawaii, or perhaps
a week in Florida. At least so says Hilton Grand Vacations.
May 2014 Promises, Promises
If you are an equipment sales
representative, don't over-promise.
April 2014 Taxman
Some print-related taxing tidbits as April 15 comes and goes.
March 2014 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.
February 2014 Use General Interest To Target Markets
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 operate them.
January 2014 Flying With The Inkjet Set—Or Not
Can inkjet presses that will halve my costs still deliver quality acceptable to my clients?
December 2013 Cards For The Holidays
In Johnson’s World we always chose the best tool for the job.
November 2013 Reinvention In Interesting Times
Waiting for an upswing in the general economy to revive your business no longer qualifies as a strategy. You could reinvent.
October 2013 A Deli-cate Situation
You may not be selling sandwiches, but your customers are hoping for price, quality, and service.
September 2013 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 printing.
August 2013 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.
July 2013 Tan, Don't Burn
If you are in sales, your prospects are
probably more sensitive than you.
June 2013 Disorganized Reorganization
is Risky Business

When bureaucratic company policy is
allowed to trump customer service,
you run the risk of losing business.
May 2013 USPS Reformed or Deformed?
Poor service, delivery problems, and decreasing mail volume also need to be
part of USPS reform initiatives.
April 2013 Something Old, Something New
Cutting edge technology can blend with old world tradition to paint a picture of print as a living, growing discipline.
March 2013 Going Postal in a FedEx World
Poor business practices will not help the USPS survive as other options become cheaper, easier, and more convenient.
February 2013 Know When to Hold ’Em,
Know When to Fold ’Em

Ditching unprofitable customers can
improve your bottom line.
January 2013 For Us or Against Us
How are you ever going to convince
your prospects of the value of print if you don’t believe in it yourself?
December 2012 Give the Timeless Gift of Print
Books open worlds that no video can match.
November 2012 Trees Love Paper
It’s up to us to tell the world the truth about the sustainability of paper and print.
October 2012 If It Is Windy, This Must Be Graph Expo
Did you know that the moniker “Windy City” originally referred... to the hamlet’s blustering windbag politicians?
September 2012 Chicken, Civility & Customers
Recent events offer valuable
lessons in online etiquette.
August 2012 Root, Root, Root for the Home Team
Digital printers can learn a bit from
the boys of summer
July 2012 Printerly Musings, Observations,
and Flashes

Vague musings, name-dropping,
streams of consciousness,and occasional flashes of brilliance from Johnson’s World.
June 2012 Championing the Cause of Profits
Are you in it to win it?
Then pay attention to the bottom line.
May 2012 Email Marketing Is Too Easy
Make sure the fruits of your labor
don't produce spam.
April 2012 Shopping for Customer Service
What can you learn about customer service
from the checkout line at an upscale grocery?
March 2012 The Internet, Global Warming, and the
Paperless Office
The new market is here.
Create your own opportunities.
February 2012 Random Thoughts About Consistency
I do know a thing or two about consistently
marketing your services.
January 2012 Whose World Is It Anyway?
Real world advice and observations from
a print shop owner.
December 2011 The Green, Green Pastures of Home
Sound management skills deliver success
no matter what services you offer...
October 2011 Welcome (Back) to My World
Steve Johnson joins the Quick Printing's
roster of columnists...

Johnson's World

View award-winning articles written from 2004 to 2011 by Copresco President Steve Johnson reflecting on digital printing, graphic arts and the world in general.

Feature Stories

Feature articles from American Printer magazine relating to print on demand, written by or about Copresco.

July 2004 Getting better customer files
September 2003 The Copies Overnight/Copresco Story
March 2003 Avoiding On-Demand Paper Pitfalls
May 1996 Top 50 Fastest Growing Printers

Other Publications

Besides American Printer, Copresco is featured in these respected trade magazines.

May 2015 Don's World Meets (Steve) Johnson's World
Printing Impressions
May 2015 At Least Fifty Shades of Short-Run POD
Quick Printing
December 2004 Overseas Printing Threatens U.S. Market
Business Ledger
January 2004 Charity and Printing—An Industry that Gives Back
Printing Impressions

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