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Johnson's World is a monthly column currently appearing in What They Think magazine, and and previously in Printing Impressions, Printing News, Wide-Format & Signage, Quick Printing, and American Printer magazines. Scroll down to read past issues.

March/April 2024 Look to the stars for inspiration for promoting the efficacy of print
Astronomer vs astrologer can compare in the same way as printer vs digital media.
January/February 2024 Getting Real About Artificial Intelligence
Depending upon who you ask, AI means either the beginning of the end for the human race’s domination of the world, or the elimination of all our jobs…
December 2023 This Christmas, Get A Clue
The grandkids, at grandpa’s house, with a board game. Steve Johnson introduces some digital natives to the board game Clue.
September/October 2023 The Bald Facts
Who loves ya, baby? Steve Johnson explains how Telly Savalas is a case study in how to successfully distinguish yourself in the market.
July/August 2023 Pause, Plan, and Proceed
Leaders don’t always have the option of taking as much time as they need to carefully plan and implement their strategies…or do they?
May/June 2023 You Have Mail…Or Maybe Not
By law, the US Postal Service is supposed to deliver mail six days a week. Steve Johnson tries to understand why his mail delivery has become erratic and unreliable.
March/April 2023 Kudos
Steve Johnson offers kudos to two stellar examples of variable-data printing, truly personalized with useful information.
November/December 2022 Christmas Times A-Comin'
I’ve been sending Christmas cards my entire life, so I’ve learned a thing or two about them, and I’m going to share some tips with you, dear reader.
September/October 2022 Vague musings, name-dropping, streams of consciousness and occasional flashes of brilliance...
Paper may be used less, but where it is growing, paper is worth more.
July/August 2022 Sound Like a Dry Martini
As a rule, I do not enjoy reading blogs. Countless scientific studies have unanimously concluded that online reading results in inferior comprehension and minimal retention. In-depth on-screen reading is also uncomfortable on my eyes. 
May/June 2022 Grow Your Own
Graphic arts programs are disappearing from vocational schools and you can no longer count on a steady stream of applicants. What to do? 
April 2022 The Cat and Mouse Game
Walter the Cat lives with me in a large house on a big lot in a rural area with a cold climate, all factors which add up to mice.
March 2022 I Call Nonsense
I’m calling out some nonsense, and what better place to start than the internet? It is home of social media, which is unequalled for nonsense.
January/February 2022 The Lizard and the Window Washer
How to hit the jackpot when things go wrong.
November/December 2021 Warming Up to Color
When a genuine reason to add color appears, especially where it is not normally used, jump in! Make the case. Be an advocate for color and for print.
October 2021 Bad Data Needs a Scrub
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.
September 2021 Dear Mr. Schwab
It was with sadness that I received Charles Schwab & Co’s notice that the summer issue of your magazine On Investing would be the last. As both your client and a connoisseur of printed magazines I can vouch for the quality, professionalism and efficacy of On Investing.
August 2021 Poop On the Playground
Before you embark on your company’s next big thing, pick up a bag and a shovel. You might want to clean up your poop.
June/July 2021 Musings, Droppings, Streams and Flashes
Digital print or conventional print? Do you have a preference? More importantly, do your clients? Do they even care how you affix ink to paper?
May 2021 Thanks, No Thanks
You're worth more than a cup of coffee.
April 2021 Are You Impressed With My Press?
I just bought a press! Pretty exciting, eh? Can you guess exactly what I bought?
January/February 2021 Be My Valentine
Ask your customers to be your Valentine. I’m not suggesting that you send roses to your customers, but how about a card?
November/December 2020 Go Ahead, Judge Me
Whew! Thank goodness the elections are over. The sad fact is that while everyone either loves or hates the president, many folks don’t care or even know who exactly is their county clerk, their coroner or their representative on the library board or fire protection district.
October 2020 Cheese, Sausage, Mushrooms, Shipping
The question was changed from what's the best pizza to what's the best pizza to ship a thousand miles across the country.
September 2020 Don't Keep Secrets
You are the best promoter for print.

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
Those darn beancounters! Killjoys! Dealwreckers! The bankers and the corporate moneymen are always there to rain on our parades! They are just being barricades on our road to innovation, success and glory!
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 Bid 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 ... "You have a much better chance of returning to your reading material if it is in print form, which lies about on a table, nightstand, credenza or bookshelf, beckoning “read me” every time you pass by."...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 Injet 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 Apple
I personally hesitate to use Apple
as an example for business.
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
What has digital media to offer Helen Keller? Nothing.

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 Faulkner, 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?
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 and Flashes (Part 7)
Vague musings, name-dropping, streams of consciousness and occasional flashes of brilliance ... from Johnson’s World.
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
Very few of us are professional boxers or fight promotors, so 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
When bureaucratic company policy isallowed 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 lend 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
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.
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 concistently marketing your services.
January 2012 Whose World Is It Anyway?
Real world advice and obsservations 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.

August 2011 Digital Printing Walks The Plank
Why diigital printing is not an option on cruise ships.
July 2011 Don’t Be A Museum Piece
The museum I visited displayed samples of single-page newspapers, broadsides and financial documents, all archaic items from days gone by.
June 2011 It’s Not About The Press
Yes, most presses look alike to the general public. Should we educate them on the differences? Don't bother. Instead, educate them on the differences between you and your competitors.
May 2011 New Routes, Wrong Turns & The Road Less Traveled
Can you steer yourself in any direction you choose?
April 2011 Exchanging Ideas With Future Generations
Youth Exchange is a life-changing program for both the students and their host families.
March 2011 The Awesome Power Of Social Media
Joe the printer has a cell phone and a Facebook account, although he doesn't use them much.
February 2011 It's All In The Cards
Whether or not you sell or print them, there are lessons for us all in the saga of the simple business card.
January 2011 Green Initiatives & Common Sense
Green is suddenly everywhere. Hardly a month goes by without an ecology minded group promoting a new green incentive. Kermit the Frog would be proud.
December 2010 Holiday Thoughts
If you are looking for a last-minute or belated Christmas gift for a young person, you can't go wrong with comic books.
November 2010 A Tribute To Dick Gorelick
Dick's last newsletter, published posthumously, was filled with pages of tributes from printing industry luminaries.
October 2010 Checkmate
Chess is like fighting, but with rules, so it is ideal for married couples.
September 2010 It’s Like Printing $100 Bills
Printing firms have been squeezed to some degree by the sad state of the economy, and is being reshaped rapidly by the onslaught of new media technology.
August 2010 I Was A Teenage Printer
In the Trinity Lutheran Church basement I recently found a Can of Squirms, a role-playing game which I helped to print in the 1970s when I was a teenage pressman.
July 2010 Make Your Printing Clickable
Have you seen Playboy's June issue, featuring “Miss Playmate of the Year” in 3D? Put on your special glasses and voila. Who says printing is old school technology?
June 2010 Going up – Discussing Viral Marketing And Social Media
Someone likes something, so they tell others. It has been this way since the world began. For thousands of years, we could only tell a few people at a time.
May 2010 Root, Root, Root For The Home Team
Are you a fourth-generation printer? When it comes to digital, we are all new to the game, so we'd better choose our team with care.
April 2010 Digital Presses Run The (Color) Gamut
Every digital press model uses its own unique patented process from start to finish.
March 2010 I'm On A Mission
Remember when corporate mission statements were in vogue? Every big company in corporate America had to develop a mission statement.
February 2010 Who's A Printer?
If you do silk screening, metal etching or imaging on aluminum are you a "real" printer?
January 2010 Another Decade
A decade ago, the financial industry in particular, egged on by the federal government, really was wondering if Y2K meant civilization as we knew it would come to an end.
December 2009 Quality Is A Sticky Issue
If you live in the great state of New York and you own a motor vehicle, you've already heard this story.
November 2009 Fonts Still Matter
My introduction to the Futura font came while composing headlines on a Ludlow. This was before a Mac was a computer. It was before a Mac was even a hamburger! If you don't know what a Ludlow is, go ask your grandfather.
October 2009 Get Involved In Print’s Evolution
Last month, Google announced a deal to provide two million book titles for printing and binding on the Espresso Book Machine.
September 2009 Print, By Any Other Name
Before I opened my digital-only printshop, I worked in conventional shops of varying sizes, performing various job functions. This gave me the opportunity to see the possibilities of digital printing.
August 2009 Three to Get Ready, Four to Go to PRINT 09
I have a few new observations just for PRINT 09, to make certain your trek to Chicago next month is a memorable yet useful event.
July 2009 There Are No Magic Print Markets
It seemed that during the Internet bubble of the nineties, the “death-of-print” predictions of a paperless society would be fulfilled.
June 2009 Telling Your Company's Story
I just read a press release from a printing company, proudly boasting that they have just installed the world's longest 41-inch sheetfed press, or some such malarkey. I have questions.
May 2009 Just The Facts
Don't you wonder how much all the hot air created from self-righteous experts talking about “green” has contributed to global warming?
April 2009 The Holy Grail Of Digital Printing
The phrase “near-offset quality” is archaic; digital print quality surpasses offset as often as not.
March 2009 Letters About Mail
At my printing company, we send customized marketing packets to prospects after we make initial contact. We include some combination of a personal letter, various Copresco publications, samples, case histories and technical materials.
February 2009 Would You Print Less To Add More Value?
If you had the option to receive a printed stock prospectus or receive the materials electronically, what would you do?
January 2009 Standing Resolute In The New Year
Nobel Prize-winning author and Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's book “The Oak and the Calf” employed the metaphor of a calf repeatedly butting its head against an oak tree, refusing to stop until either the tree was knocked down or it killed itself trying.
December 2008 The Colors Of The Season
The holiday season is upon us once again. A season of colors, all of which have significance. Beware, for here in Johnson's World, everything has a double meaning. Allow me, your somewhat overgrown elf, to guide you through this maze of holiday colors.
November 2008 A Table For Two
“Hello, you just phoned Adelle's two minutes ago about a reservation tonight. I think perhaps I spoke too hastily. I'm sure we can accommodate you if you would still like to join us for dinner. What time did you say you had in mind?”
October 2008 I Ought To Be In Pictures
Whenever we install a new press (or new bindery equipment, or new software, or another building) we take pictures. Lots of pictures. 
September 2008 Would You Like Fries With That?
If you are a printer, does it make sense to open a restaurant nearby?
August 2008 Drawing Conclusions
Steve Johnson likeness by artist Barbara Carlson
Have you ever had your caricature drawn by a street artist? You might not have been flattered by the results, but I'll bet your friends and family all agreed that the drawing was accurate.
July 2008 May I Have Your Attention?
When you write a magazine column, the only way you know that anybody out there is listening is when a reader sends an email comment to you.
June 2008 One For The Money, Two For The Show
Many of AMERICAN PRINTER's recent articles have been about Drupa. To read this magazine and the other trade magazines, you would think that everyone is attending Drupa.
May 2008 Whither Pluto?
What is Pluto now? Is it a minor planet, or a planetoid?
April 2008 All Is Fair in Love, War and Printing has announced that any books printed on demand must be printed by Amazon itself if the book is to be made available via the Amazon Web site.
March 2008 Food For Thought
When a hotel clerk says to me, “You are all set, sir. Here is your hotel room key, and the key to the minibar.”, I always gave the mimibar key right back to the clerk. If I awaken at 3:00 a.m., I don't need to be tempted by a bag of M&Ms or a jigger of scotch.
February 2008 More PURLs Before Swine
Last month I talked about PURLs and URLs, and the advantages and challenges of including them in variable-data printed materials vs. e-mail.
January 2008 PURLs Of Wisdom
Why are printers interested in PUTLs? Marketing, my dear Watson. A properly constructed PURL lands me on a Web page that has been personalized just for me.
December 2007 Don’t Stop Believing – An Open Letter To Santa
I'm writing you this letter as I always do, with ink and paper. You don't seem to have your own blog or MySpace page yet.
November 2007 Musings, Streams and Flashes
I see more and more of phrases of this ilk cropping up: “A Google search on ‘direct mail’ gives 355 million results. Obviously you cannot afford to overlook such a hot market.”
October 2007 Johnson & Johnson: An Identity Crisis
Remember the brouhaha over the unholy alliance between corporate behemoths Adobe and FedEx? Two companies joined forces to steer print away from Adobe's loyal customer base and toward Kinko's, the college copy service.
September 2007 School Days
Here is what printing companies of the future (the ones that will be hiring your graduates) need from today's college programs.
August 2007 Picture-Perfect Profits
Forget shoeboxes full of photos or disks filled with digital images. Frank Romano of the Rochester Institute of Technology predicts the photo book market will grow to surpass a billion dollars by 2010.
July 2007 Paper Dolls
“Daddy, are you writing a column?” asks my daughter Roxane. “Yes, dear, I'm supposed to, but I'm having trouble thinking of ideas.” “Why don't you write a story about dollies?” “How about paper dolls?”
June 2007 Everyone's A Winner
I've just won a prize, and if you are a digital printer, I invite you to share it with me.
May 2007 Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming
Long ago and far away, I wrote a letter. The “long ago” was three or four years, and the “far away” was in Washington, DC.
April 2007 History Lessons, Part 2
Long ago and far away, I wrote a letter. The “long ago” was three or four years, and the “far away” was in Washington, DC.
March 2007 History Lessons
Come with me now to 1987. Desktop publishing was the buzzword.
February 2007 Ancillary Or Essential?
As a panelist at the National Printing Equipment and Supplies (NPES)' regional meeting, when asked about "ancillary services", I jumped on my soapbox and the fun began
January 2007 In My Humble Estimation
Are you staying awake nights wondering whether you should continue to use budgeted hourly rates (BHR) as the basis for your estimating standards or switch to activity-based costing (ABC)?
December 2006 I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
Engaging a consultant? Odds are you’ll hear something like this: “You know, railroads thought they were in the railroad business. They didn’t realize that they were actually in the transportation business.”
November 2006 The Stevie Awards
All entries were subject to the rules and regulations explained in my July 2006 column, most of which I have blatantly revised on the fly in the interest of getting a good story.
October 2006 Black Monday
After a year of careful planning, I incorporated my new company on October 19, 1987, better known as “Black Monday.”
September 2006 My Stream of Consciousness
As the hotel industry finds it prudent to avoid the 13th floor, perhaps book printers and publishers should eliminate chapter 11.
August 2006 The Variety of Variable Printing
Gutenberg didn't actually invent printing, but he did invent variable-data printing (VDP).
July 2006 You May Already Be A Winner
We are living in the middle of an offset-to-digital printing transition and we all have a stake in the outcome.
June 2006 Where Have All The Printers Gone?
In the 1970s, a new type of print shop appeared on the American scene that was dubbed "quick print".
May 2006 Letters, We Get Letters
If an organization is holding seminars and promoting speakers to tell us variable printing is the savior of our industry, they had better be able to get the name printed correctly on the invitation.
April 2006 Hey, Hey, Holy Mackerel
Here in the Windy City, there are two professional baseball clubs: the Cubs and…and…the other one. Very few people are fans of both teams. 
March 2006 All the News That's Fit to Print
If you read AMERICAN PRINTER from front to back and at least glance at the stories on each page, each issue, it is a pretty safe bet you’ve seen the following: Copresco has been honored in some way.
February 2006 The Cookie Monster
“Cookies,” are those little files planted on your computer by Web sites. They might simply note that you visited the site. More complex cookies keep detailed records of your browsing and buying habits.
January 2006 Welcome To My World
Does the printing industry need another commentator? What can you expect from me that you can’t get anywhere else?
December 2005 Give The Gift Of The Printed Word
What do Theodore Geisel, Alan Milne and Laura Wilder have in common? Who are they? What are they doing in a printing magazine column?
October 2005 I’m Just Wild About Harry
The weather might be cooling off, but a fever is simmering just below the surface. Its name is Harry Potter.
August 2005 The Green, Green Pastures of Home
A great misconception haunts the printing industry. It returns as regularly as Halley’s comet but wears a new disguise each time. Call it "Green Grass Syndrome."
June 2005 Victoria's Real Secret
My wife finds a Victoria’s Secret catalog in her mail now and then. I don’t believe she ever made any purchases from their catalogs until recently. Therein hangs a tale.
April 2005 Don't Dilute the Value of Print
It tears me up to see print’s value diluted to the point that a term like "junk mail" enters the vernacular.
February 2005 The Sunny Side of Print
After six centuries of nonstop growth, print volume is declining or—at best—flat and this frightens some, especially those experiencing a decline in their own sales.
December 2004 But Is It Actionable?
Harvard professor Chris Argyris addresses the problem of converting catchy slogans into tangible results. He asks "Is it actionable?"
October 2004 Be Wary of Sub-par Data & Sub-par Advice
The database is king in variable printing. I say this often. If the database is not up to snuff, the printing doesn't matter.
August 2004 Different vs Differentiated
When I was a kid, people often said I was“different.” It wasn't exactly clear what they meant, but I don't think it was as a compliment.
June 2004 Variable Printing in the Illinois Senate Race
Although he didn't come out on top in the Illinois primary election this spring, Andy McKenna won, hands down, the prize for best use of variable data in a political campaign.