PRINT 18 Chicago

Posted by digitalpress on 29 November 2018
PRINT 18 Chicago

PRINT 18 Chicago by Theo Pettaras

PRINT 18 was an inspiring adventure for informed print and marketing professionals. This highly regarded and credible three-day conference packed a punch with over eighty innovative and problem-solving, educational sessions to assist in all print matters. There were nowhere near enough hours in the day to fit it all in...

I was fortunate enough to have won an all expenses trip thanks to the Konica Minolta Specialised Print Awards where our self-published book, a collaboration with Tim Jetis of A Cabinet of Wonder studio, "A Meeting of Words" took top prize.

My learning experience at PRINT 18 kicked-off with the opening keynote address by bestselling author and speaker Seth Godin. Godin delivered a most interesting address looking back on a century of marketing, industrialism and print, painting a picture of how we can each make a dent in the future with the work we do in our industry. Godin imparted the audience with actionable takeaways that can shape our personal and professional lives into the future.

Later I met up with Professor Frank Romano. He is one of the industry's foremost keynote speakers with over fifty years in the printing and publishing industries. Many know him best as the editor of the International Paper Pocket Pal or from the hundreds of articles he has written for publications from North America and Europe to the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Meeting Frank was a privilege and I was extremely impressed with his humility and wealth of knowledge. I attended one of his talks on the current state of the industry. Romano outlined his interesting expert opinion on where the industry is and where it is heading, including democratic, communication, technology, age and information consumption trends. What struck me most was that direct mail seems to be making a strong comeback as it has proved to be one of the most effective forms of marketing. Other interesting trends include short run bespoke packaging, in Romano's words; "everyone loves unboxing a package if it's presented well" and wide format printing; "Practically every wall can be covered in print". These are trends we sensed, so it is great to know they are backed up by expert opinion and data. Check out this great podcast.

Other key speakers included Pat McGrew, Senior Director at Keypoint Intelligence, who talked about the ongoing disruption from technology processes, sharing her perspective on where the industry is, what the future holds and how vendors can bring success to their customers.

Deb Corn, {pictured above} an impressive industry stalwart, well known for her mammoth LinkedIn profile, principal at PrintMediaCentre host of #printchat, #PMCpodcast and founder of International Print Day, did a stellar job hosting many chat forums which included a session "Girls Who Print". These inspiring women graced us with heartfelt, personal stories of their print experiences and put a spotlight on a very important sector of the print industry. Please check out her amazing website packed with so much incredible information.

A chance meeting with Sabine Lenz was a total bonus and Blessing Sabine is the founder of PaperSpecs she is passionate about paper, print and great design. She shares her passion and knowledge with other designers, print buyers and printers. Through her videos, webinars, blog posts, speaking engagements and more her team provide inspiration, insights and access to crucial, hands-on tools and resources to help designers create printed pieces that WOW. I recommend you sign up to her newsletter.

Valuable time was spent time with existing vendors, engaging with their managers, vice presidents and research and development experts from various world headquarters. This gave me firsthand information on our current technology and an insight into future upgrade paths such as Xerox Iridesse, Konica Minolta KM1 B2 Inkjet Press and the MGI Digital Foiling UV Press.

Lots of new and interesting technology was explored which can further enhance our bespoke suite of services, as well as the ability to produce work more efficiently and cost effectively. Cloud-based technology was also a standout factor at the show and it was clear there will soon be the release of very distinct, game-changing cloud-based programming that will see very exciting developments in our industry. I am very excited with what I saw with Chili Publish web to print, and possibly the world's best print MIS system Print IQ both perfectly integrated with very exciting plans for the future.

"I am a firm believer that knowledge is power."

Here I am {above} sightseeing with Devan Nair from Konica Minolta. I feel so fortunate and glad to have made the trip to Chicago for Print18, the things I learned are invaluable and without doubt by sharing my findings will benefit not only our business but our clients and the print industry as a whole.

Chicago is real America, you have to add it to your bucket list!

Thanks, Theo


The Surprising Power of Print Marketing

Posted by digitalpress on 22 November 2018
The Surprising Power of Print Marketing

The Surprising Power of Print Marketing to Leverage Your Ecommerce Site

Imagine conducting your business entirely with handwritten communication. (Now shudder.) Digital is much more convenient, but print media can be essential in running a company that solely exists online.

Wait, isn't print marketing largely on its deathbed? Wouldn't the likely clientele of a digital company be most responsive to digital advertising channels?

Though many people believe that print is on the way out, it's still more effective than we realise.

Why print is still relevant...

Think about how brick-and-mortar businesses use print. They mail out postcards; they install window decals with their hours and contact info; they hang banners or place sidewalk signs during a big sale. Though you may not have a physical storefront, print media can still be equally helpful to you:

* Print engages more of the senses than digital media, making it memorable. As customers feel and smell paper, they gain tactile memories to associate with you.
* Print pushes you to consider how well your visual design translates across different media. While your logo and colors may look great on a monitor, how well would they do in paper and ink?
* Print helps you test your ability to engage your audience without falling back on a digital crutch. When there aren't animations or clickable components available to hold viewers' attention, how appealing is your design?
* Print gives you a tangible way to build credibility with your target audience. By consistently displaying your logo, you convey that you are serious about your business, which builds brand awareness in your community.
* Print makes you more personable. It reminds people that you are the face behind your business, especially if you include a picture of yourself or a short handwritten note on your print promotions.

Because you do so much online, you don't interact with the local business sphere as much as you would. Still, you shouldn't overlook the power of a loyal local fan base. You need a strong foundation of retained customers to drive profit, since loyal shoppers tend to spend more than new customers. Take advantage local connections through print.

How print boosts ecommerce...

More Internet-based companies are employing print media than you may realize. If you've ever ordered from a larger online company, you may have discovered in your mailbox an enduring symbol of the power of print: catalogs. They drive impressive online profits because of the convenient browsing experience they provide. Shoppers can note the items they want, then go online and order when they're ready. With apps like Pounce, they can even interact digitally with their catalogs through their smartphones.

If you think a small catalog would help increase your traffic, start with a limited print run to test the waters, and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Remember, a catalog doesn't have to be forty pages to be worthwhile. A five-page overview of your product categories and popular items would easily pique interest.

Circulars are also crucial in creating buyer awareness. Just seeing your favorite brands is enough to remind them of your products and service. Testing this out on your local area is easy, as appealing photo postcards are even simpler to produce and mail than catalogs.

What print can do for your social media...

What does print have to do with social media? Believe it or not, they connect well, particularly in brand voice. An engaging and consistent voice leads fans of your print campaigns to check you out on social media, and makes your social fans pay attention to your print ads.

In addition to using a consistent, shareable tone, you can help your print and social marketing work together in these ways:

* Engage multiple generations of consumers. While elders tend to prefer print and younger shoppers search primarily online, neither group sticks exclusively to one format.
* Drive social traffic with printed calls-to-action. Mention hashtags that fans can use to join the latest conversation on Twitter, or encourage them to like you on Facebook for special promotions.
* Share your online reviews offline. This makes your reputation more accessible to those who may not immediately hop online looking for reviews.
* Print and social media are not mutually exclusive. Fans will appreciate the effort you put into both, and the traffic your store receives will be proof!

Source: Entrepreneur


Theo Pettaras extremely proud to have been elected National Board member of the PIAA

Posted by digitalpress on 15 November 2018
Theo Pettaras extremely proud to have been elected National Board member of the PIAA

"I am extremely proud to have been elected National Board member of the PIAA" - Theo Pettaras

I am extremely proud to have been elected National Board member of the Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA).  I think with my experience and enthusiasm, I can make a significant difference. I think I have a lot of contacts in the industry and I want to reach out to every one of them and tell them how important print is.

I am passionate about print, and I have been through it all, so I'll be aiming to bring the print community together, if we are together we are strong. We have much to share with each other. And I want to bring in experts from overseas that we can benchmark against and learn from, knowledge is power.

I've recently transitioned my approach to life, changing my lifestyle, taking control of my nutrition, losing weight, and switching from a 70 hour working week to 40 hours, which created a clear focus for the Digitalpress business. As a result the business is performing at its best level ever, and now I have time to devote to other activities, including now the PIAA Board.

"I want to promote print as a communication medium and help create a cohesive industry. We need to show people why print is such a compelling proposition, and as online is becoming less effective through saturation we have a great story to tell."

Print is on the move, there is no doubt about that, the Print2Parliament event showed what can be achieved, and has created a great platform for print and politicians to continue to engage.

I want to unite us all as a print community, to start engaging with each other, talking about our hardships and discussing things openly. I think education is important, I want to bring out influential speakers to talk on things us printers can learn, such as trends that are happening overseas or new markets we can look into.

My recent trip to Print 18 in Chicago confirmed a few things for me in terms of trends in the US versus Australia. It is important for members to have direct dialogue with overseas counterparts, we cannot afford to remain insular. I also have over the years established solid contacts and connections with high profile figures overseas and it is my desire to bring them out to Australia to share their stories, views and expertise to our members.

There are issues I will want to work on, including power pricing and industrial laws. I think we should also work towards stronger tariffs on importing printing from overseas, because it does affect us.

We should be showcasing print and promoting print and that we should not see each other as competitors. We should see social media and online marketing as our biggest threat as competitors but if we can reach out to fellow printers that is my aim - to talk about the importance of print.

Having gone through a transition myself, I understand the difficulties that businesses go through. I do not know all of the answers but with my experience I can give back and make a difference.

There has been a new change of the guard at the PIAA - it is now fresh, dynamic and exciting and there is ever a time for me to join this is the time and I am excited about it.

Thanks, Theo

If you're keen to connect, just give me a call on 1300 377 377 or email

"We are delighted to have someone of Theo's calibre and his enthusiasm for print, his lifelong commitment to the industry and desire to give back. That is what we need from board members we need people that have skin in the game and are embedded in the career now because they are the people that are making the decisions about what the industry needs."

- Andrew Macaulay, PIAA



Print Politicians International Print Day

Posted by digitalpress on 8 November 2018
Print Politicians International Print Day

Print, Politicians & International Print Day By Theo Pettaras

This week I was invited to attend the Print 2 Parliament event held at Parliament House. With 60 Ministers in attendance it was like speed dating with politicians, but I LOVED IT! What a great opportunity to speak with our Federal Ministers about an industry I'm so passionate about...

It was a privilege to be a part of this amazing unprecedented event. We had the opportunity to voice our industries challenges as well as showcasing our 2018 national print award winning samples proudly on display. The Ministers could see first-hand how print leads with technology and innovation to create cutting edge marketing that is simply 'beautiful print'.

Theo Pettaras' showcasing Digitalpresses' 2018 national print award winner "Katrina and Tori Martin Place Memorial Book with Federal Minister Senator Eric Abetz and Senator Angus Taylor.

As a new board member of the industry's representative body, Printing Industries Association of Australia, I felt particularly proud to represent Australia's $7 billion print industry and its 29,000 employees to ensure our politicians understood the significant role print plays in Australia's economy as well as the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

From our statements and utility invoices, to newspapers and magazines, to business cards, birthday cards and postcards, right through to the local restaurants takeaway menu delivered to the letterbox, print is part of the very fabric of Australia's culture.

Theo Pettaras with Printing Industries Association CEO Andrew McCauley and Federal Minister Senator Eric Abetz.

Coinciding with the significance of this event was the International Print Day 2018, ironically with the theme being 'Collaboration'. It was designed to celebrate the mutual love of print and help print trend across social media.

Here is an extract from the Two Sides Australia article, it makes for interesting reading...

'why do so many people love print?'

Print promotes literacy and education

  • Research has found children remember more details from stories they read on paper than stories they read in e-books.
  • 65% believe that reading news in a printed newspaper provides a deep understanding of the story

Print is enjoyable, relaxing, and practical

  • 72% prefer reading books in print
  • 69% think it's important to 'switch off' and enjoy printed books and magazines

Print is safe, secure, sustainable, and trusted

  • 71% are increasingly concerned that their personal information held electronically is at risk of being hacked
  • 73% keep hard copies of important documents filed at home as they believe this is the most safe and secure way of storing information.'

Thanks, Theo

If you're keen to know more about how we apply innovation to make simply beautiful award winning print, {that will have you standing out from the crowd}, just give me a call on 1300 377 377 or email


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