The Seybold Report

A Newsletter Read Worldwide by Graphic Arts Professionals

Plastic Losing Luster as Packaging Material?

Today came the news the state of Massachusetts is getting tough on the use of plastic packaging. The Environment and Energy Leader website’s article says, “Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey said this week she will sign an executive order prohibiting state agencies from buying single-use plastic bottles. Massachusetts is expected to be the first state in the country to achieve a law-enforced ban on purchasing plastic bottles. In recent years, legislators have attempted to make similar bans without success. Healey made the announcement on Sept. 18, 2023, at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City before a panel on ocean conservation practices.”

The article and the news reminded me of an August 2023 article from Duomedia blog entitled Why Paper is Sending Plastic Packing. This article talks about how some major food and beverage manufacturers have decided the world is a better place with less plastic floating around.

Unilever’s pledge to become the first major consumer goods company to commit to reducing plastic across its portfolio has led to numerous developments including recyclable paper based ice cream tubs and Pot Noodle containers.

Heineken UK created Green Grip, a plastic free and recyclable cardboard topper for multipacks aimed at eliminating all consumer facing secondary plastic from packaged beers and ciders.

Nestle switched all the packaging globally for its Smarties range to recyclable paper as part of its commitment to making 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. KitKat is now trialing the approach.

Why paper is sending plastic packing

Thanks to Naja Bertolt Jensen on Unsplash for making it possible to use a photograph in this post.

Remembering John Warnock and How PostScript Changed the World

On August 19, 2023 John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe died at age 82 of pancreatic cancer. Sadly and somewhat ironically, this is the same kind of cancer that robbed the world of Steve Jobs, Warnock’s fellow technology visionary, at the age of 56 in 2011.

The careers and accomplishments of these two men wove themselves in and out for decades from the early 1980s until Jobs’ death. The story of Jobs and Apple is legendary. The story of Warnock (and company co-founder Chuck Geschke) and Adobe is less known, but arguably much, much more revolutionary.

It was on January 22, 1984, during that year’s Super Bowl, the now-iconic and totally unforgettable Apple Computer advertisement aired. The commercial never showed the computer itself, but ended with this audio: “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’”

It has long been my opinion the real reason 1984 was not like the book 1984 and one of the foundational reasons the entire world began to change so profoundly that year is because of the software that is PostScript and not hardware that was Macintosh. As a technology researcher, writer, and editor at National Software Testing Laboratories at the time, I watched the history of the software and the hardware unfold in real time, an experience which has never left me. 

To be sure, in 1984, the Macintosh was new and exciting. It got a lot of press in the tech world, but also captured the imagination of the world press. Having Jobs, a young, handsome, and charismatic wunderkind, as its pitchman helped.

Postscript, which Warnock and Geschke introduced in the same year, on the other hand, was, to most people, completely unknown. Even in the graphic arts community at the time, its birth was overlooked, and its potential unrecognized. 

But, Jobs needed Postscript to fuel a printer to go with the Macintosh: his LaserWriter. Without the LaserWriter and its Postscript-based print controller, the Macintosh could not have survived more than a few years after its birth. 

As cute as it was, the Mac was surrounded in the computer marketplace by some tough, older competition. As someone remarked to me at the time, nobody ever got fired for buying IBM. 

The LaserWriter, which premiered in 1985, was a game-changer for Apple and Adobe. For the rest of us, it was a world-changer. For the first time, thanks to the computer language living inside the printer, which some have called a “software printing press,” publishing could be done on the desktop. Ordinary people could plan, design, and print whatever they wanted.

And with that, desktop publishing was born, and it started its own revolution. As John Seybold, one of the founders of the Seybold Report newsletter (which I joined as an editor in 1988 and now own) dubbed it: WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”).

PostScript also made two more things possible that were also needed to make Apple and its Macintosh champions: device independence and digital fonts. Warnock and Geschke found a way to surmount both of these challenges as well.

A simple blog post does not permit further description of these particulars, but perhaps a quotation from John Warnock, part of a 2017 Computer History Museum oral history, will suffice, “We showed those to Jonathan Seybold, and he couldn’t believe his eyes. He said, “Really?” He said, “This—you have solved the problem,” okay, “For laser printers,” and then Seybold added, “This is revolutionary. This is going to change the world.” Jonathan Seybold is one of John Seybold’s children and founder of the now-defunct Seybold Seminars.

In December 2022 the Computer History Museum released a copy of PostScript source code dated late 1984 as part of its Art of Code Series. Warnock was enthusiastic about the release; he believed in innovation, and he knew the value of history. 

David C. Brock, director of curatorial affairs at the Computer History Museum, said at the time of the release, “The story of PostScript has many different facets. It is a story about profound changes in human literacy as well as a story of trade secrets within source code. It is a story about the importance of teams, and of geometry. And it is a story of the motivations and educations of engineer-entrepreneurs.”

Desktop publishing lives on today in the form of digital publishing, and Postscript lives on, too. Millions of people around the world use PostScript on a daily basis and do not know it: the ubiquitous Portable Document Format (PDF), which Adobe introduced in 1993, is based on PostScript. The software is also still used in multiple types of imaging devices around the world.

By Molly Joss

September 2023

New: the drupa 2024 next age Forum

Recently we spoke with Frank Tueckmantel, one of the people involved in designing and running the new drupa next age (dna) trend forum and program for drupa 2024. We talked about the initiative, what it offers, and how people can get involved.

Frank, who is working with Deborah Corn on this initiative, says dna came about because Messe Düsseldorf GmbH wanted to develop and offer a turn-key solution for potential drupa 2024 exhibitors who cannot afford the larger booths as well as a related presentation program. To help keep costs low for exhibitors, the drupa dna booths will be simple 10 x 10 square meter spaces and will be clustered in groups of four (see image below). Frank says the goal is to have (at most) 50 or so exhibitors for the dna section, and the company has already sold about half of these spaces.

In addition, Frank and Deborah are working on a slate of presentations, panel discussions, and interviews to take place on the dna Stage, which will be in the same exhibition area in Hall 7.0 as the dna exhibit area. The idea behind this forum, he explains, is to provide dna exhibitors and others a 20 minute span of time (per presentation) on stage to talk about their products, services, solutions, and so forth.

Frank adds there will be a strong emphasis on face-to-face interaction between exhibit area visitors, speakers, and exhibitors. “Face-to-face marketing is all about visibility and trust. Moreover, in-person interaction fosters engagement. For this reason I am honored and excited to work together with drupa on the 2024 drupa dna program, hopefully engaging with many of the attendees that will participate in the largest get together our industry has to offer.”

The themes for drupa dna exhibits and presentations include Additive Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, New Materials, Platform Economy, and Predictive Maintenance. Other dna themes include Printed Electronics, Remote Services, New Business Models and Process Design. Overall, the emphasis will be on showcasing what is new, upcoming, and transformative.

There is still time for interested companies to register for participation at the dna forum – and there are several ways to get involved as an exhibitor, sponsor or speaker. Company representatives interested in learning how their companies can take part in drupa dna as sponsors or exhibitors should contact Benedikt Salmen from the drupa team (SalmenB@messe-duesseldorf.de). Anyone interested in speaking should contact Deborah Corn (deborah@printmediacentr.com) or Frank Tueckmantel (tuecki@mac.com) as soon as possible.

Media Organizations Ponder Next Moves Regarding Artificial Intelligence

Recently in the Seybold Report we have been talking about how various segments of the worldwide graphic arts community are reacting to the possibility of increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) in work and in the world in general. We are not alone.

We present a brief quote from the article here along with a link to read the rest of the article (click the article title below to read the full text).

Publication Date: June 28, 2023

Title: Media Organizations Grapple with Developing AI Policies

Generative AI tools have a lot of power to change the media business—from the way we work, to the data we collect, to audience needs and expectations. The area is complex, and changing so rapidly, that navigating the landscape requires a roadmap—policies that outline how media companies will use AI

AI has been hard at work in media organizations for decades. However, as we have explored, generative AI has broader capabilities, can generate more nuanced language, and open-source models make it widely accessible. It is capable of creating content, images, audio, music, code, and could be a valuable tool for collaboration.

Given that the generative AI space is changing underfoot, DCN checked in with six media organizations—Harvard Business Review, The Weather Company, Consumer Reports, The Washington Post, Skift, and The Boston Globe—to explore how they are developing AI policies and internal guidelines for AI usage and what these look like.

By Jessica Patterson – Independent Media Reporter

PGSF and Electronics for Imaging Announce 2023 Box Design Contest Winner

Pittsburgh, PA – June 12, 2023 – The Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) (www.pgsf.org) and Electronics For Imaging (www.efi.com) have announced the winner of the inaugural Packaging Design Contest.  This year’s contest was open to any college student studying Graphic Arts with a focus on packaging.  More than 40 entries were submitted representing eight universities. 

“EFI is proud to sponsor the Box Design contest in conjunction with the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation to inspire and reward future graphic designers in digital printing creation for corrugated products.” said Liz Logue, VP Corporate Development, Inkjet Strategy for EFI. “The student submissions were all well designed and thought out. Ultimately EFI chose Alex Woon’s box design, from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, who showed creativity in designing a unique look for a wine carrier while making best use of digital printing’s design capabilities.

Alex’s design was for Grace Wines of Berkley, California and when assembled holds several bottles and looks like a gothic church. In addition, the graphics for the package include a spot varnish/clear coat of braille (see image below).

“Designing for the PGSF box competition was a great opportunity, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate! This project was exciting — I had the chance to put my all into an idea that has great meaning to me. The design itself reflects the cross-disciplinary and accessible work I strive to create. In having this work publicized, I hope to inspire a more diverse, equitable, and accessible future in our industry.”

The contest winner receives a $500 prize from EFI and will have their design printed on an EFI Nozomi Ink Jet press.

More information about the scholarship foundation and its other contests can be found at www.pgsf.org/2023-student-design-contests

About the PGSF

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation is a not-for-profit, private, industry-directed organization that dispenses technical and college scholarships and assistance to talented youth interested in graphic communication careers. The mission of PGSF is to promote the graphics industry as a career choice for young people and then to support them through their education process.

© 2023 The Seybold Report

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑