2014 – Vistaprint is on a roll

Standard print products are increasingly ordered online. The companies fulfilling these orders realize that there is a big advantage in economies of scale so they try to grow as fast as possible. In 2014 this is especially true for Vistaprint. It 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.

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.

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

The British Ipex trade show is smaller than previous editions because Heidelberg, Agfa and several digital press vendors decide to no longer attend it.

An ad for Ikea catalogs 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 polymer 50 Dollar bill of Trinidad and Tobago is elected as the banknote of the year.

Trinidad and Tobago polymer banknote
Haas Unica was created as a somewhat friendlier version of Helvetica. Neue Haas Unica is an updated version of that typeface by Toshi Omagari.

Neue Haas Unica typeface example

These are some important or remarkable events from 2014:

  • 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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