Features

Top Stories of 2022

Before we head into 2023, let's take a look back at the year's most popular stories

As we look forward to a new year, it goes without saying that we’ve seen a great deal of rebuilding, growth, and change in 2022. From shops taking steps to survive the “new normal,” battling continued supply chain issues, and serving their communities, the year continued to be anything but typical.

Before we jump into 2023, we wanted to take a moment to look back at some of the year’s top stories.

GRAPHICS PRO

GRAPHICS PRO Announces Sales Territory Realignment, Sales Director

  • GRAPHICS PRO has restructured its sales force into five new sales territories. This realignment positions sales reps to serve clients with the entire range of marketing solutions currently offered.
  • Heading this entire effort is James “Ruggs” Kochevar, director of sales. Kochevar formerly acted as director of sales for GRAPHICS PRO EXPO (GPX). 

GRAPHICS PRO EXPO Announces 2023 Dates

  • GRAPHICS PRO EXPO (GPX) announces its 2023 event schedule, featuring six locations across the U.S.: Irving, Texas, March 9-10; Charlotte, North Carolina, April 27-28; Indianapolis, Indiana, June 15-16; Portland, Oregon, July 19-20; Long Beach, California, Aug. 18-19; and Baltimore, Maryland, Sept. 13-14.
  • GPX also includes Training in the Classroom, covering a variety of different topics designed to arm attendees with new skills and profit centers for their businesses.
  • GPX Indianapolis features START HERE Academy, a 101-level educational conference the evening before exhibits open and GPX Long Beach features WRAPSCON, the single largest gathering of wraps and vinyl installation professionals.

The GRAPHICS PRO Files

Top custom graphics news

US Supreme Court Announces Decision for On-Premises Signage

  • As stated in the court’s report, it has ruled that the traditional regulatory distinction between on-premises signs and off-premises signs (billboards) is content-neutral and constitutional.
  • Justice Breyer writes in his concurring statement, “In this case, for example, there is no evidence that the city regulated off-premises signs in order to censor a particular viewpoint or topic, or that its regulations have had that effect in practice. There is consequently little reason to apply a presumption of unconstitutionality to this kind of regulation.”

Corel Rebrands as Alludo

  • According to the company, the rebranding is part of its commitment to reimagining the future of work — not just where people work but also how, when, and even why they work.
  • The name Alludo is said to represent a cohesive identity and is a nod to the company’s purpose: to empower “all you do.”

FTC Takes Action Against Apparel Company for Making Fake USA-Made Claims

  • According to the FTC, Lions Not Sheep added fake “Made in USA” labels to apparel and accessories imported from China and other countries.
  • Sam Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, says, “Companies that slap phony Made in USA labels on imported goods are cheating their customers and undercutting honest businesses, and we will hold those companies and their executives accountable for their misconduct. American consumers have the right to know the truth about where their clothes and accessories are made.”

Supply Chain Issues Still Affecting Printing and Customization Industry

  • According to Tran and Evans, last year’s supply-chain woes were primarily a function of record consumer demand for goods. This year’s 2.0 version is exacerbated by China’s battle with COVID-19 and Russia’s war on Ukraine.
  • “We’ll be feeling the effects of the lockdowns in China for months, along with the backup at ports, container shortages, and lack of drivers. I don’t anticipate much change for the rest of the year,” states Cathy Klein, controller at Crystal D Awards.
  • While it remains to be seen how long prices will stay high, the highly reported labor shortage, particularly of truck drivers, is a problem affecting not just shipping but the entire supply chain.
  • According to Investment Monitor, “It is impossible to know how the various strategies concerning supply chains will play out across the year; however, it is clear that a failure to react to the ongoing disruptions will not be enough for companies and supply chains to survive.”

Condé Systems President Transfers Ownership to Employees

  • Condé Systems Inc., a supplier of sublimation and digital heat transfer equipment, supplies, imprintable products, and education, announces that its employees are now the owners of the company through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).
  • The company’s president, David Gross, approved the transaction in October with the intent of further strengthening its commitment to the company’s employees, business partners, and customers.

InkSoft and Printavo Acquired by Blue Star Innovation Partners and PSG

  • Blue Star Innovation Partners and PSG announce the acquisition of InkSoft, an e-commerce platform for branded merchandise, and Printavo, a print management software.
  • According to JP Hunt, co-founder and president at InkSoft and GraphicsFlow, the purpose of the acquisition is to invest in accelerating InkSoft and Printavo’s shared mission of delivering the best platform and technology for the branded merchandise industry.

In the field

Mark Cuban Invests in Campus Ink

  • Illinois-based Campus Ink announces the completion of an investment from Mark Cuban Companies.
  • “With Mark’s investment, we will be able to expand significantly on our mission to teach college students design and sales, manage brands, and help athletes leverage their influence,” Steven Farag, co-owner of Campus Ink, says. “We are passionate about empowering athletes to take control of their brand and profit from their Name, Image & Likeness through custom merchandise. Mark embodies our vision and values as a self-made entrepreneur. We’re grateful for the trust he has placed in the foundation we have built.”

Colorado High School Prepares Students for Sign and Wrap Industry

  • Jefferson Jr./Sr. High School, an Edgewater, Colorado-based public school, has been training its students in graphic design and the wrapping process since 2019 through its “Sign and Wrap Laboratory” program.
  • “Our ultimate goal as a program is to create a pathway for our students into the vinyl industry. We want them to be able to walk out of Jefferson with desirable and hirable skills,” explains program instructor Shanna Stevens. “We want to work with shop owners to do a lot of the training needed to be successful so these kids have another viable option after high school and can make the best choice for themselves. We have been focusing on employability skills and making sure students understand what is needed to be successful after high school.”

B-Unlimited Hits the Road with Mobile Printing Facility

  • Fayetteville, Arkansas-based B-Unlimited, a custom apparel and accessories business catering to the collegiate and Greek-life markets, recently hit the road with its brand new mobile printing facility and pop-up store — a modified Airstream travel trailer dubbed the B-Stream.
  • The print company decided to build a mobile printing facility to bring this hands-on experience to its customers outside the Fayetteville area. Thus, the B-stream and “mobile print parties” were born.
  • “I have seen firsthand the B-Stream’s ability to humanize the art of custom apparel,” B-Unlimited Mobile Division Manager Lorianna Livingston tells GRAPHICS PRO. “The way manufacturing and technology has evolved in the printing world is truly incredible. Just like in any other industry, the more advanced technology becomes, we as consumers have higher demands for perfection and instant gratification. A manual printing experience is a great way to slow down and remind customers of the artistry that still exists in the making of custom apparel. It gives us all a deeper appreciation of the process and the final product.”

Despite challenges throughout the year, the custom graphics industry showed up and supported each other. From the GRAPHICS PRO team, we’d like to thank you for sharing your stories, letting us have a look behind the scenes, and sharing in your triumphs. We look forward to serving you in 2023!

Avatar of Marie Fennema

Marie Fennema

Marie Fennema is the editor of the GRAPHICS PRO Today, covering news and guidance in apparel decoration, awards and engraving, and sign and digital printing.

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