Who Buys Print Anymore? You Do!

As the number of companies with dedicated print buyers continues to dwindle, more graphic designers and creative professionals are buying printing than ever before. This year, a full 88% of designers questioned say they either buy or specify printing, according to GD:USA’s 47th Annual Print Design Survey published in June. And what do they look for in a printer? You’d better sit down for this one…

These designers and creative pros believe that relationships still matter, along with personal characteristics, trust and technical and paper knowledge. Oh sure, customer service and quality matter, too, as does price, of course. Increasingly, environmental practices and policies are showing on their radar, as are short-run digital capabilities.

Losing sleep?

Whether or not you personify this description, come and meet experienced print buying peers at GRAPH EXPO’s two-day Print Buyer Forum, being held today and tomorrow, and moderated by Margie Dana of Print Buyers International for the fourth consecutive year.

Attendees can network, share the challenges they face, how their careers are evolving and what the industry can do to help. Most importantly, attendees can learn about new resources for managing print production responsibilities.

If you’re not a creative, perhaps you’re a corporate or agency print buying professional, or a marketing manager overseeing a sizable print spend and/or a staff of print buying specialists. Even print firm CEOs, sales reps and CSRs can benefit by gaining a better understanding of current challenges facing today’s print buying and designing professionals.

A total of five educational seminars are featured (see box at left), including a “personal workflow” workshop with Peter Muir of Bizucate—how to achieve optimum on the job productivity with a roundup of tools to help buyers prioritize—and what has become a staple presentation on the status of the U.S. printing industry by Frank Romano, whom Dana calls “the king of print.” Romano also will discuss “amazing” new applications in digital print. Dana herself will lead a dynamic brainstorming session about things that keep print pros up at night. The differentiating highlight of the 2010 program, according to Dana, is an engaging new seminar on using cross-media strategies to improve the bottom line, presented by media consultant Steven Schnoll, a 30-year graphic arts and software veteran.