2014 – Vistaprint is on a roll

Vistaprint acquires the Dutch Drukwerkdeal.nl as well as a 97% stake in Italian web-to-print business Pixartprinting and a $25 million stake in Brazilian web-printing startup Printi. It renames its parent company to Cimpress, with the intent of having Cimpress develop the underlying software and platforms for their  web-to-print portals.

• French press manufacturer MGI uses the British Ipex trade show as the global launchpad its new Meteor DP8700 XL+ digital press, DF Pro inline finishing unit and JETvarnish digital spot coater. The Ipex show itself is smaller then previous editions because Heidelberg, Agfa and several digital press vendors decide to no longer attend it.

MGI is a French manufacturer of digital printing presses• Adobe releases the Technical Communication Suite 5, which includes Adobe FrameMaker 12 and Adobe RoboHelp 11. It also launches the 2014 edition of its Creative Cloud software suite.

• Agfa Graphics releases version 8 of its Fortuna security printing design software. It is used to design passports, ID cards, official documents, certificates, tickets and other documents that might be counterfeited.

Agfa Graphics Fortuna 8 security software

• Kodak climbs out of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy it entered in January 2012. Its new strategy puts the focus on business-to-business imaging services.

• Xerox launches the Versant 1200 digital press, to compete with the Konica Minolta C8000 and Ricoh C901 in the mid-range segment of the digital printing market.

Xerox mid-range digital press

• Heidelberg stops manufacturing saddlestitchers and perfect binders but it continues its line of Stahlfolder folding machines.

• In the USA print keeps getting less attention from the average consumer. The graph below shows the percentages across various media, but keep in mind this is only for consumer print: packaging, sign & display and other markets are as healthy as ever.

In the USA people read less newspapers, magazines and books

• Drop shadows, complex blends and skeuomorphism are out. Flat design is the dominant new style, both online and in print. It stands for a minimalistic design approach that emphasizes usability, featuring clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colors and two-dimensional/flat illustrations.

4K monitors, capable of displaying 3840 x 2160 pixels, become affordable. Many photographers and designers skip these so-called ultra high definition screens and go for Apple’s Retina iMac which includes a 5120 x 2880 display.

The 5K display of the 27" iMac is great for photography, drawing and page layout

• At Graph Expo 2014 in Chicago one of the show highlights are the digital die-cutting devices of Highcon, an Israeli company.

• An ad for Ikea catalogues mocks Apple advertising and highlights the advantages print has over ebooks and tablets.

Radiant Orchid (Pantone 18-3224) is the color of the year


• The Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa infects over 19000 people and killing at least 7000.

• During a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing,  a Boeing 777 from Malaysia Airlines disappears over the Gulf of Thailand. Despite months of searches, the wreck is not found.

• Sunni militant group called the Islamic State begins an offensive through northern Iraq and beheads several captured Western journalists.

• The robotic lander Philae that accompanies the ESA Rosetta spacecraft successfully lands on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenk.

• American actor and comedian Robin Williams dies.

 

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10 January 2015

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