Editor's Note: Time for Quiet Contemplation?

Each month, I have the opportunity to sit down and write something that serves as a forward—in a way—for the issue you are currently reading. Sometimes it’s an observation about the industry; other times comments on some interesting market trends. As I was preparing to write this column, drupa is (of course) looming overhead, only a few weeks away and I’m busy setting up my schedule for the time I’m in Germany. But as I sat down this morning to write, I was rather pensive—especially after looking over all the articles contained within the pages of the issue.

From my point of view, the features this month can—and I believe will—have a profound effect on many businesses this year, and even into the future. I’ll highlight two specifically. Take for instance Jeff Steele’s article on page 9, “Profitable by Design”. The market for digital print in interior design spaces is really still in its infancy. While some PSPs are putting their proverbial toe in the water, many haven’t considered it as an option. But in this market, education is key. But not necessarily just for shops. Interior designers need to understand what the possibilities are when they turn to digital print. But how do we tell them, educate them, on the power of print for their business?

We’ve already seen some pretty amazing interior design projects, but can you even begin to imagine what they’d be like once interior designers truly take hold of digital print and run with it? Yeah, that makes me smile, too.

Sustainability has been an ongoing topic in the industry as a whole, but it is picking up steam once again—especially in Europe. Pressure is mounting to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic from packaging and billboards. Some companies like Nike, Puma, and Wal-Mart are taking a broad, hard look at their entire supply chains—everything from toxins in products to worker’s rights in emerging countries and progressive recycling/recovery initiatives. Sustainable supply chain scorecards are being developed by Ford, General Mills, IKEA, Procter & Gamble (P&G), and others. While this issue might not directly affect you now, what about three or six months from now? Will you be ready—and able—to provide a sustainable solution if you customer requests?

So as you delve into this month’s issue, ask yourself this question: How will the issue mentioned in this article effect my business now and in the future?