Trends for 2013

2013 represents a new year for not just individuals, but industries as well. In the print media industry, as we all know, things are constantly changing – so what will be the trends and changes for the industry in 2013? I give my top 5 picks in no particular order.

The Actual Practice of a Buzz Word

Cross Media Marketing – it is the buzzword that got thrown out a lot in the past couple of years in the print media industry. However, 2012 was the year when consumers really saw the applications of it come to them in full force: for example, the Chick-fil-A add campaign that blew up marketing blogs and Forbes Magazine. Chick-fil-A did this by sending out a direct mail piece to loyal customers using a PURL that drove these customers to Facebook that captured more information and received a special promotion. After that information was captured, customers could share the promotion with their Facebook friends and encourage new people to sign up. The results? Increased store activation or loyalty cards by 104% (Incubator, 2012).

From Chik-Fil-A
From Chik-Fil-A

With the success of this campaign in 2012, you can bet we will be seeing more of this in 2013.

Pantone Everything….

Pantone announced in December 2012 that Emerald green was to be the color of the year in 2013, but the presence of the company has expanded much further ( The popularity of the company and Pantone products really entered the market place in 2012. From the cellphone cases in Urban Outfitters to the new eye palettes just released by Sephora for 2013 – Pantone is turning into less of a color system and more of a marketing tool for larger chains. With the rise in customization in everything else, why wouldn’t someone want to have their own Pantone color just for them?


Get ready world, Pantone is no longer for print geeks, it’s for the mass market now.

Things Will Get Wider

EFI, one of the world’s leaders in wide format inkjet technology, during a showcase “highlighted the enormous potential growth opportunities in color digital printing for display graphics, predicted to grow by 20% year-on-year, and for digital label printing with 35% growth” for 2013 (Francis, par 3). As need for personalization grows even more in 2013 the use of wide format inkjet will increase. These printers allow for the single one stop shop digital system that includes finishing – an amazing addition for turnaround and those looking to get into wide format production (Francis, par 5).

From EFI
From EFI

Everyone Gets the Luxury Treatment

With the rise in digital magazines and open access to well designed publications online, one might think that the days of the printed book are over. That may only be half true. As digital publishing grows, really beautiful luxury printed books will rise. Luke O’Neill, author of the graphic design book, Computer Arts Collection, was quoted as saying “In 2013, I think there will be continued experimentation with print techniques and innovative finishes to really enhance the experience for the consumer who still likes to hold something in their hands” (Carney, par 13). Recent publications, like the graphic novel, Building Stories by Chris Ware offer just that experience to readers by incorporating multiple pieces of printed materials to make a unique story (check this book out it is AMAZING).

From Smithsonian
From Smithsonian

You Must Respond

In 2013 there is one thing everyone can count on – more digital devices. Whether it is iPhone version 55 or a new monitor, we are going to have more ways to look at cats online than ever before. That is why responsive design for media devices will become more important than ever (Qayyum, par 4). In combination with multi-touch campaigns, this trend will blend across multiple platforms.

From Creative Blog
From Creative Blog


• Carney, R. (n.d.). Design trend predictions for 2013 | Design | Creative Bloq. Creative Bloq | Your daily dose of design tips and inspiration | Creative Bloq. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• (2012). Chik-fil-A. Incubator, 3, 30.
• Francis, J. (n.d.). EFI showcases product roadmap at Connect. Print Week. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• Johnson, P. (n.d.). Chick-fil-A Introduces the Next Hot New Trend in Marketing – Forbes. Information for the World’s Business Leaders – Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• Pantone. (n.d.). Pantone. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• Qayyum, A. (n.d.). Six Expected Web Design Trends in 2013. Free Online Resources For Developers, Designers and Photographers @Smashing Hub. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from
• Sephora. (n.d.). Pantone Universe + Sephora. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from

Plate Making at Print Applications Laboratory

I was going through some of my old notes from a class and found this on platemaking. feeling a bit nostalgic since this platemaker isn’t there anymore or anything else from PAL 😦



Within the Print Applications Laboratory, located within Bay 3 is the plate making facilities for the entire lab. We had a chance to view the processes of plate making first hand and watch the creation of a lithography plate.



The plate making process is broken up into seven linear steps; prepress of content, imaging of the plate, pre-baking, development of image and non image areas, cleaning of residual cleaner, checking for quality and finally sending the plate to press.

The other serves as a multipurpose device to allow for web integration and storage For the prepress part of the workflow, once the file is received it is processed using the software Workshop, which is part of the Prinergy workflow. The pages of the files are refined, converted, trapping is set in place and optimized. After the Workshop software, the file is sent to Preps, which again will refine the PDF to the specifications of the output – the plate. Preps allows you to define your media size and imposition on the plate. Each imposed signature is sent as individual separations (CMYK).

Next, the each of the separations is sent to be imaged on a plate it is referred to as plate setting. The process of exposure is the thermal method using an infrared laser. The laser will write the halftones and dots that will make up the image. The plate is imaged on a steal drum using two lasers, the first is to actually image the plate while the second checks the drum for the height of plate to ensure that the plate is in correct alignment with the other plates so that on press all the image areas will be aligned. The plate maker is capable of a resolution of 2400 x 2400 dpi at 250 rotations per minute.

After the plate has been imaged it enters the plate oven. The oven initiates the hardening of the imaging area. The plate oven runs at about three feet per minute and the temperature should be around 248 degrees. If the plate oven is over or under temperature, it could cause problems with the hardening of the image areas. Baking also helps the plate to be more resistant to cleaning solvents.

Directly from the oven, plate goes into a development tank. It is there that the plate is developed in Kodak MX1919 Regenrator Solution and then is washed out in a water bath. A velvet roller will agitate the chemistry and with the water to insure that, no residual chemical is left on the plate. Once the plate is washed, Gum Arabic or plate finisher is then applied as a coating to protect the plate against oxidation, fingerprints and general use on press. Any dark green areas are the image areas and the silver colored areas represent non-image areas.

Finally, the plate is inspected for quality. Using the IC Plate2 by X-rite, you can measure the dot of the plate. This device is self-calibrating and helps to determine whether dots are in the correct range of +/- 2 % of tolerance. If they are not this may mean the plate has been over or under exposed. After evaluating the measure of the dot, a densitometer is also used. The densitometer is not as accurate as the IC Plate2 because it takes into account the measures for light reflectance of the metallic plate. However, a densitometer is very consistent in its measurements and allows the operator another way to track exposure.


Materials Used:

Software: Creo Prinergy PDF Workflow – including Workshop

Plate maker: Creo 5080 Trendsetter VLF Quantum with 40 watt V-speed Laser

Plate: KPG Gold Thermal plate, Electrochemically grained and anodized aluminum substrate

Oven: Kodak Polychrome Graphics

Processor: Kodak CTP 850 Quartz Plate Processor

Chemicals Used: Kodak MX1919 Plate Regenerator, Kodak MX1591 Prebake Solution, Kodak 8505 Plate Finisher



Negative or Positive Plate?

The plate that we created for this lab is a planographic, negative working plate. The plate is negative working because within the specification sheet of the plate, Kodak labels it as such. However, if that sheet were not available, you would know by the process used to image what type it is. In this method of exposure, the image areas are exposed to light and non-image areas are left unexposed, much like producing a photographic print with a negative in the darkroom. With the use of film for exposure decreasing, the plate we worked with in lab was exposed using an infrared laser. The caveat when dealing with negative working plates is that because we must use an infrared laser to harden the photopolymer, exposure is everything and the smallest error could render the plate useless.


Graphic Design Work

I have been doing a lot of graphic design work lately and I thought I would share them with you!

Italian Heritage Club of America - Utica, NY
Tutor Training Program at Rochester Institute of Technology
Business Card for Laura Morris

Brief Analysis of Digital Printing Textile Research

For a break down of my favorite article Measuring Print Quality of Digitally Printed Textiles feel free to download this pdf.


The topics of the three papers chosen deal with textiles and printing. The research papers especially focus on textiles and inkjet printing. The topics include image quality on ink jet printed textiles, dyes for digitally printed textiles and evaluations of pigmented inks on digital printers for textiles.After reading the papers, it was found that there has been much research in regards to creating new ways to allow on demand printing textiles to evolve into a production sized operation, as well as ways to integrate digital into the rotogravure market of textile printing.

The paper that stood out the most was the article Measuring Print Quality of Digitally Printed Textiles (Kai 548). The article deals with the quantitative methods for evaluating print quality of the printed fabrics. By evaluating the output, they were able to determine which fabric maintained the best image quality for this process. Thermal Ink Jet Printing of Textiles details research into the requirements of textiles as it relates to results of a modified printer for thermal ink jet (Hunting 568). Finally, the Evaluation of Pigmented Ink Formulations for Jet Printing onto Textile Fabric provides insight into the methods of pigment dispersion to have it successfully move onto the fabric (Daplyn 307).

When looking at all three papers there is a great emphasis on digital textile printing in laboratory environments. Since most of the hypothesis in the articles were proven correct, it would be interesting to see these experiments replicated at a production scale. Another area not explored that may be of benefit for further research is a subjective evaluation, done by the consumer, to see if the fabric that was chosen to be the best quantitatively is also the best qualitatively. There seems to be no such study in the field. If it can be determined what digital printed textiles consumers prefer, it may help direct the development of textile friendly ink jet substrates.



Daplyn, S., & Lin, L. (2003). Evaluation of Pigmented Ink Formulations for Jet Printing onto Textile Fabrics. In Pigment and Resin Technology (Rep. Tech. Vol. 32 No. 5). England: ABI/‌INFORM Trade and Industry.

Hunting, B., Derby, S., Puffer, R., & Loomie, L. (1999). Thermal Ink Jet Printing of Textiles. In Recent Progress in Ink Jet Technologies II (Rep. Tech No. 5). Springfield, VA: Society for Imaging Science and Technology.

Tse, M.-K., Briggs, J. C., Kim, Y. K., & Lewis, A. F. (1999). Measuring Print Quality of

Digitally Printed Textiles. In Recent Progress in Ink Jet Technologies II (Rep.Tech. No. 1). Springfield, VA: Society for Imaging Science and Technology.