Bruce Watermann, Blurb’s SVP Print Operations and resident potentate of all things print, will occasionally post here on issues of a more technical bent. Below he gives his insights on what’s happening in the world of ink on paper. And now to Bruce….
I’ve spent the past few days reviewing the newly updated digital press portfolio from Hewlett-Packard (HP). Blurb has a long-standing relationship with the technology giant and all of our digital color book pages have been printed exclusively on HP Indigo presses since 2008. But we – and HP – are never ready to rest on our laurels and together we’re always pushing the envelope to help our customers get the best quality books. So we were interested when HP announced that they are expanding their high-speed ink jet line with faster and wider presses.
So why is this important to Blurb? Because I’ve seen the future and it is ink jet. We’re always looking for new, more efficient ways to print our customer’s work and bringing the efficiencies of offset printing to the flexibility of small-run digital printing is where we live.
But these technologies are also changing the printing business from the inside out. During my two days at O’Neil Data Systems in Los Angeles, a hybrid shop that merges traditional offset with the newest digital printing technologies, the biggest thing you notice are the folks who are running the ink jet web presses at ODS. They look like they would be more comfortable in a server room rather than a press room. With these new technologies, information technology (IT) is king and this represents a sea change in the commercial printing business.
Blurb believes that when you, our customer, choose to print, you’ve raised the value put on your content. So, we consider it our primary role to make sure you receive the highest level of craft and quality in the product level you choose. And when I meet with equipment manufacturers my role is to act as your surrogate to make sure you’re always getting the best product for your money. I’ll continue to do that and to update you with the latest in all things print and technology. As always, your feedback and suggestions are great so feel free to chime in with your comments.