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Thursday, December 20, 2012

R. R. Donnelley forecasted to be stock Deal Of The Year

Matthew Frankel of, a Website for stock market news and financial analysis, has picked North America’s largest printing company, R. R. Donnelley and Sons Co. (RRD), as a contender for 2013’s high-yielding Deal Of The Year.
Among the things he likes about the company are its strategies to lower its cost structure, improve the quality of its products to stand out in the industry, and grow by acquisition.  (It has acquired nine companies since 2010.) 
He predicts:  “RRD is expanding by capitalizing on the exit from the market of smaller, weaker competitors. As RRD acquires smaller printing firms and expands, the company will gain market share as it leverages its geographic and product breadth in its favor. Operating margins in 2012 and 2013 will be helped by increased productivity and cost synergies from its recent acquisitions, and its revenues will rise slowly but surely.”
Especially impressed by RRD stock’s “insanely cheap” valuation (currently around $9.00 per share), Mr. Frankel writes:
"RRD has paid out $1.04 a share annually every year since 2004. Analysts are projecting earnings of $1.87 this year, $2.00 next year, and 5% growth from there, so do the math. For this reason, analysts have an average 1-year price target of $13.25 on the company, which is 6.7 times projected 2013, well below RRD's historic valuation levels. This represents a 45.8% upside potential over current levels, and I believe this target to be very conservative. If RRD meets analyst expectations and turns in a few more positive quarters, I think the stock will gravitate toward the lower end of its historic EPS multiple, around 8.5 times earnings. Based on projected 2013 earnings, this translates to a target of $17."

See his full analysis at:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cross-media-marketing case studies

My October article for PrintAction details how Cats Media, a small Canadian business, grew and thrived by transforming itself from a traditional print and copy shop into a cross-media-marketing services provider.  I wrote the story because I perceived a frustrating scarcity of information on role models and action plans to help other printers make similar transitions in their business.

Now I’m glad to report that Jeffrey Steele has documented more such case studies in his December-1st article for, “Grab Attention with Cross-Media Marketing”.  His article details the tactics of several U.S. print providers who are successfully expanding their services beyond printing into such other media as QR codes, augmented reality, and social media to bolster their customers' marketing campaigns.  The printers describe their best campaigns to date, the types of media they favour, how they sell customers on cross-media-marketing services, and—very importantly—how they track and report campaign results to clients.

Addendum dated 3 January 2013:
I see Joann Whitcher of has reprised a similar topic in her December-31st article, "Implementing Cross Media Solutions: Are You Up to the Task?"

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pantone decrees Emerald the Color of the Year for 2013, Sephora follows suit with Emerald products for eyes and nails

 In case you’ve been holding your breath, this month Pantone LLC, the global provider of professional colour standards for the design industries, has announced that the Color of the Year for 2013 is PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, “a lively, radiant, lush green.”
You may recall that Pantone intended 2012’s Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango (PANTONE 17-1463) to provide us “with the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.”  Pantone’s aspiration for next year’s shade is that it “enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight, as well as promoting balance and harmony.”
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, elaborates:  “Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other colour in the spectrum.  As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate.  Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world.  This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”
Among other merchandisers jumping on the Emerald bandwagon, the cosmetics chain Sephora has collaborated with Pantone to produce a limited-edition SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE™ 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection, which will be available exclusively from Sephora starting in March 2013.  The collection, featuring a variety of products in next year’s colour, including eye shadow, nail polish and accessories, will be sold at Sephora stores across the U.S. and  No specific word seems to have been released yet about whether Sephora’s Canadian retail outlets will carry it.

Are you planning any Emerald products or promotions for 2013?

Update on 16 March 2013:

Tomorrow, St. Patrick’s Day, would be the perfect opportunity to try Emerald-green cosmetics in honour of both Ireland’s patron saint and Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year.  Please let me know if any of you fashionistas decides to take the plunge. 

Tip:  For application ideas, it may help to consult the numerous sources of inspiration available on the Internet, including:

Update on 11 April 2013:

"Emerald City", a current art exhibition by Meg Cranston, on display at LAXArt (a contemporary-art gallery in Los Angeles, California) until April 20th, uses Pantone Emerald Green as both a material and a subject.  The exhibition includes a painting of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, wearning the much hyped emerald-green peace-sign-print dress made by luxury brand Mulberry that she wore to a London opening at the British Natural History Museum in November 2012.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Respected blog raises $62.5K on line to publish premium printed magazine

Next year, after 80 years in print, the mainstream news magazine Newsweek goes all-digital.  But the edgy, Toronto-based Creative Applications Network is moving the other way--from an authoritative art-and-technology blog to an upscale printed magazine examining the convergence of art, science, and technology.

The new magazine, called HOLO (logo shown at left), is planned as a premium, twice-a-year, 150-to-200-page publication on high-quality stock with a cover price of $30.  Its international content will be “dedicated to rich, detailed stories that demand time and attention. At HOLO they are committed to telling these stories – attentively and expertly – in a patient, spacious medium that does them justice.”  (Profuse thanks for this poem on printing to Technology Will Save Us.)

To help meet the new magazine’s estimated start-up production costs of $35,000, its publishers are raising capital on Kickstarter, a fund-sourcing Website.  As of 10 o’clock this morning, with 48 hours still to go in the campaign, the new magazine has already amassed an impressive $62,434 from 820 backers.

I can’t wait to get my hands on their first issue.

Addendum on Friday, December 14, 2012:
As of 10 a.m. today, with 24 hours still left to go in its on-line fundraising campaign, the publication has collected $64,725 from 865 backers (185% of its $35,000 goal.)  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Impressive printed holiday greeting cards for 2012

This week, one of my most active and business-communications-savvy contacts on LinkedIn, Paul Castain, has posted an articulate tribute to the enduring qualities of printed greeting cards, even--no, make that especially--in this era of digital media.

Additionally, for all greeting-card lovers in search of design novelties:  my colleague at PrintAction, Trish Witkowski of, has uploaded a series of videos showing a collection of 16 ingenious holiday-card ideas from all over the world. The more exotic ones include a card that presents a slice of pumpkin pie and one that can be assembled into a paper model truck.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One of the world’s most valuable pieces of print

Who says printing isn’t valuable in today's economy?  One little printed ticket that went missing in England is worth over £64m—the highest British lottery prize ever to remain unclaimed.  The winner has only until 11 o'clock p.m. GMT today to claim it.  Residents of Stevenage and Hitchin, the Hertfordshire towns where the ticket was sold, are said to be ransacking their belongings in a desperate effort to find the precious ticket before tonight's deadline.  

Thanks to PrintWeek in London for pointing out the story on Twitter.

Océ and manroland partnership reinforces optimistic forecast for printed newspapers

In my November cover feature for PrintAction, several of Canada’s most powerful newspaper editors confirm that print remains strong.  Both Océ and manroland must also foresee a strong future for printed newspapers, since they’ve recently collaborated to produce a new system for inkjet newspaper production.  The system combines the Océ JetStream 5500 full-colour inkjet printing system with the manroland web systems variable pin folder FoldLine VPF 211.  In 2013 two of the new systems are scheduled to go into production of newspapers and other commercial products at French printer Rivet Presse Edition, the first customer for this innovative technology. The printing company is spending $14 million to construct a building to house the systems in Limoges, France.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Toronto Sun links Catholic school board’s print supplier to controversial church

On Friday Toronto Sun reporter Michele Mandel broke a story revealing that TriPrint Media--a printing company in Mississauga, Ontario, that for years has been a supplier to the publicly funded Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board (DPCSB)--is affiliated with a controversial church.  Ms. Mandel reports that the printing company is co-owned by brothers Joe and Fred King.  Fred King is the present leader of the Church of Jesus Christ Restored, a group that broke away from the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints in Owen Sound, Ontario, and is currently under investigation by Ontario Provincial Police on allegations of polygamy and underage sex. 
School-board spokesperson Bruce Campbell declined to tell Ms. Mandel definitively whether or not DPCSB would continue to use Triprint’s services. DPCSB’s Web site states:  “The Mission of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, in partnership with the family and church, is to provide, in a responsible manner, a Catholic education which develops spiritual, intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, social, and physical capabilities of each individual to live fully today and to meet the challenges of the future, thus enriching the community.”  
The case as it unfolds will provide a working study of the complex interplay between conducting business in public, private and public morals, religion, the law, police investigations, the media, and the use of taxpayer’s money.

Any thoughts on how the scenario will or should play out?