Unisource, The Print Council and the Relevance of Print Media

Businesses rooted in the print industry are passionate about role print plays and don’t have any plans to back down in the face of the digital age any time soon. This is evident in the ongoing Power of Print campaign by media giants Time Inc., Conde Nast, Hearst Meredith Corp. and Wenner Media. Starting in May 2010 (April for weeklies), the $90-million campaign aims to inform readers and advertisers alike about the steadfast relevance of printed media.

This August, Unisource Worldwide Inc., one of the largest distributors of printing and imaging papers, packaging, supplies and equipment in North America, showed just how relevant they feel the print industry still is by announcing their commitment to match any $100,000 grant to the Print Council made by any additional members of the group up to September 30, 2010.

“This partnership demonstrates Unisource’s commitment to educating both our own printing industry as well as the creative design, media and marketing communities about why they should continue to include print in their overall marketing mix,” (Al Dragone, CEO, Unisource Worldwide Inc.).

Made possible through the donations by sponsors such as the U.S. Postal Service, Heidelberg USA, Hewlett-Packard, Mohawk Fine Papers and a number of others, the Print Council has worked to promote, develop and advance the market for print media through education, awareness and research for a number of years. A free newsletter provided by the Print Council, Print in the Mix, informs consumers and industry professionals about the great influence of print media through case studies and research.

AIGA Report Shows Revival in Design Investment


Since 2005, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has conducted a quarterly survey of design industry leaders in an effort to gather information on the conditions within the design economy. Using a system called the Design Leaders Confidence Index, AIGA obtains answers from several hundred design leaders and uses their responses to measure the current state of the design economy. April’s index concludes that an interest and investment in design has steadily been rising from the survey’s all time low in October 2008 (50.66) to a record high this past April (103.73), representing the strongest level of investment in design yet seen during this economic recovery. What does this recent index mean to industry professionals and those participating in the design economy? – Good news.

We’re getting Jobs.

While 15% of industry professionals feel they are less likely to hire new designers, more than one-third of survey respondents believe they will be more likely to hire new designers in this quarter than last.

We’re Modernizing.

Nearly half of the survey participants reported an increased interest in purchasing new hardware and software. A statistic which is up from three months ago.

We’re Confident.

The survey indicates that designers are more confident than many other business leaders. This has to be due at least partially to a renewed interest in consumers who are reinvesting in professional-grade design, reducing both concerns about business as well as the availability of jobs.

AIGA will conduct its next quarterly Design Leaders Confidence Index survey in July.

Coloring 2010


Love it or hate it, 15-5519 is the color of the year.

Pantone, a professional color standards provider for the design industries, selects a color out of their widely used Pantone Matching System each year, which it then declares the color of the year ahead. In case you were wondering what the color of 2010 is, it’s turquoise. The blue-green hue we all either love – or hate with a passion, was chosen in part because of the sense of tropical escape and serenity the color evokes.

“[Turquoise] is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing… turquoise also represents an escape to many – taking them to a tropical paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.” (Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute).

What is Pantone trying to say about the year ahead of us by naming what it openly regards as an “escapist color” for this new year? Is it an appropriate choice considering everything that’s happened and is currently happening around the globe? If turquoise is the color of serenity, then what’s the real color people are feeling this year?

Considering the nature and symbolism of 2009’s color of the year, this new one seems even further off the mark. Last year, Pantone chose the color Mimosa. Why? because the hue “speaks of enlightenment… a hue that sparks imagination and innovation.”… Is it too late to go back and swap colors of the year? If you ask me, 2010 is the year of innovation; 2010 is the year of persistence; 2010 is not the year we all imagine ourselves floating on the back of a boat in the Caribbean: it’s a nice notion, but I think 2010 is the year we all hunker down and working together, start digging ourselves out of the mess we’re in.

Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Pantone’s official press release here