The Print Report: Cool Collabs at drupa 2024

On this episode of The Print Report, live from drupa 2024, Deborah Corn and Pat McGrew discuss the various collaborations announced and showcased at the event, the importance of partnership in the printing industry, and the integration of printing technology and community engagement through the #WeAreDrupa initiative powered by Antigro Designer and their Sticker Builder software.



Mentioned in This Episode: 


drupa Next Age (drupa DNA):

drupa daily:

The Print University:

Pixel Dot Consulting:

Ryan McAbee:



#WeAreDrupa Project:

Antigro Designer:

Antigro Sticker Builder:

Roland DGA:


Jason Leonard:



Benny Landa:

Landa Digital Printing:


International Circle of Educational Institutes for Graphic Arts Technology and Management (ICEIGATM):

Pat McGrew:


Deborah Corn:

Print Media Centr:

Partner with Print Media Centr: 

Subscribe to News From The Printerverse: 

Project Peacock: https://ProjectPeacock.TV 

Girls Who Print:


[0:00:00] DC: Today, on the Print Report, live from Hall 7, we’re talking about collaboration.

[0:00:07] PM: And there is a lot of collaboration in these halls.

[0:00:11] DC: Welcome to the Print Report with Deborah Corn and Pat McGrew, all the print that’s fit for news.


[0:00:20] DC: Hey everybody, welcome to Podcasts From the Printerverse. My name is Deborah Corn. I am the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse. I provide printspiration and resources to print marketing professionals around the world. I am here introducing one of the series called the Print Report, which is on the Podcasts From the Printerverse channel. My co-host for this program is Pat McGrew. Pat McGrew from the McGrewGroup.

[0:00:47] PM: Yes, from the McGrew Group universe. So, I am Pat McGrew, 40 years in print, and I love it, and I’m still here.

[0:00:56] DC: Also, I want to give a shout-out to The Print University, something that you’ve put together. Speaking about collaborations for the printing industry, why don’t you share a little bit about that, because it’s super important?

[0:01:07] PM: With my colleague, Ryan McAbee, who is Pixel Dot Consulting, we’ve created a licensable print university for beginners in print, and it’s based on podcast-length videos. There are actually also, you can go on to, and it’ll take you to a Vimeo page where you can actually buy in for $75 a month and get some of the episodes. But we license it to universities, vendors, and print associations for people who are just beginning. It’s not going to teach you about G7 color management, but it’s going to teach you that there’s such a thing as G7 color management. Not going to teach you how to run the press, but we’ll teach you the difference between toner and inkjet, offset and digital, wide format and big fat presses. We’ll teach you a little bit about finishing. We’ll teach you a little bit about what makes a print shop run. So, that’s what it’s all about. But thanks, Deb.

[0:02:04] DC: It’s a great resource, especially if you don’t have anyone or you don’t feel comfortable asking anyone questions. You could do some research on your own and take it from there. Help you with your career. Pat, you’ve been running around the mess. I’ve been pretty much in Hall 7 most of the time. I did spend two days in Hall 17 with HP, which is a giant collaboration going on in there. It’s actually incredible what they’re doing with that process. They wanted to make all of the print samples that they were printing at the show meaningful. Can you share a little bit? You’ve been working on some of those projects, so maybe let’s start with them.

[0:02:43] PM: So, yes, HP, at this time, said that they wanted to come to drupa with a lot of collaboration and innovation. So, what they did is they reached out to all of their partners, and they asked them what was important for them to show. And then the branding team at HP, who determined that HP coming to drupa in the past, we printed a lot of paper that maybe no one ever used, and ended up directly in recycle. That’s not a great story in 2024. So, what they said is, “Let’s go find people who need print.” They found some amazing organizations that are helping all sorts of people all over Europe and UK, helping them with things like books for students, books for refugees. There are books that will be sold by different non-profit associations, and it’s everything from books and magazines and all sorts of content that is being printed across the HP Hall, which includes both toner technology and inkjet technology, is pretty cool.

[0:03:49] DC: There’s one specific example is the fiftyfifty magazine –

[0:03:52] PM: Which is cool.

[0:03:53] DC: – which benefits Düsseldorf, specifically. It’s a homeless organization, and they’re printing magazines that homeless people can sell, and they keep 50% of the profits. They’ve also created a higher-end magazine and 100% of those profits is going to the fiftyfifty organization to build homeless shelters, and they’re printing that every day on the show floor. So, what an amazing way to show the collaboration between a printing company, an event, and a community.

[0:04:28] PM: Yes. They’ve got a bunch of them that they’re working on. So, HP, God love them, and I do. They’ve really pulled out all the stops to make this happen. It’s not an easy thing to do. But the folks in the different organizations were motivated to work as closely as possible with HP to make it happen. But then HP had to do something. They print. They don’t finish. So, HP doesn’t make a magazine, right? They print rolls of paper. They had to have those conversations with their partners. Horizon, TechNow have all been doing finishing for them. They also have finishing that has been done in the Meccanotecnica booth, in the Muller Martini booth. They have rolls of paper going pretty much everywhere across the mesa.

[0:05:15] DC: It’s really incredible. We have some great collaborations here in Hall 7 as well. One of them, we just did a session about before –

[0:05:24] PM: If you’re sitting here with us, you’re sitting on one.

[0:05:26] DC: It’s React Magazine. It was produced by our friends at 4Ps powered by Atomics, and a whole bunch of other technology. You were involved in that as well. So, maybe you could share a little more.

[0:05:41] PM: Yeah, that one. If I didn’t already color my hair, I would be now. The challenge with collaboration is that you kind of need all of your ducks in a row at the same time. You need your content, you need your design, you need your printing technology, you need your finishing technology. Working with 4Ps, they created content based on the launch of their new product, Atomics, and an event that they did in Ghent earlier this year. The speakers from that event, and the participants and their partners wrote articles for the magazine. Then, because we’re crazy people, the folks at HP working with the folks at Atomics and then pulling in partners from Verizon and Ultima.Tech, collaborated to create a magazine that then also had a variable data component, which was to sort the content for different constituencies, but it’s all the same content. It’s just in a different order.

So, if you look at the magazines that are sitting here, there are three different covers, and each one of the covers behind it is a slightly different sort order. You’ll also find an advertisement for Deborah’s Print Media Centr in there, which has got a QR code. You can find your way to Deborah that way. Isn’t that pretty cool?

[0:06:57] DC: You can actually find Podcasts From the Printerverse from there, too.

[0:07:00] PM: Yes, you can. So, it’s all pretty cool. One of the things that made this all work is that everyone was motivated to work together. This was not an easy project. There were pitfalls. I think some of the best collaborations come out of the pitfalls and you take learnings back to your products over it.

[0:07:17] DC: Yes.


[0:07:20] DC: Print Media Centr provides printspiration and resources to our vast network of print and marketing professionals. Whether you are an industry supplier, print service provider, print customer, or consultant, we have you covered, by providing resources and strategies that enable business marketing and creative success, reporting from global events, these podcasts, Project Peacock TV, and an array of community lifting initiatives. We also work with OEMs, suppliers, industry organizations, and event producers, helping you connect and engage with our vast audience, and achieve success with your sales, marketing, and conference endeavors. Visit and connect with the Printerverse. Links in the show notes. Print long and prosper.


[0:08:14] DC: Other collaborations come from crazy ideas two weeks before drupa opened their doors, and I’m staring at it right now. It is the, “WeAreDrupa” mural in the back of the show. Antigro Designer is a fantastic company from Poland, and I met them through a connection in the UK. Talk about collaborations, right? We worked together last year in the United States for a little while. And about two weeks before drupa opened their doors, the guys gave me a call, and they were like, “What are you doing at drupa?” And they told me about their new technology called sticker builder. Sticker builder enables any photo to have the background automatically removed, to have a set die cut area put around the customized – because every face is a different shape and size.

My hair gives it some challenges as well. They are able to help people create custom die-cut stickers. Their idea was to have people go to their booth, which is actually in Hall 7a, and come to make a sticker, and they asked me if I would help send people over there. I was like, “Do you have to go to your booth to get the sticker?” I was like, “Can you scan something from a QR code maybe, and upload a photo?” And they’re like, “Sure. You can do that.” I said, “And how many stickers do you think we can make? How long does it take?” And they were like, “It takes about four minutes from the time that a photo is uploaded for the stickers to come out.” And I said, “I have got a crazy idea. Let us collaborate on a project that we’re calling WeAreDrupa.”

What that does is, anybody who wishes can participate by scanning the QR code, uploading their photo, custom sticker – everyone’s going to do it right now. They can upload a photo of themselves. Come by Hall 7 to pick it up. Take one of the stickers, of the sheet of stickers that they’re giving as a takeaway, and put it on the WeAreDrupa banner, which is filling in all of the faces of all the people, and their animals and kids, and everybody that comprises We Are drupa.

Because Pat, we’re more than just a turnstile click, and a scan at a booth, and a square footage count, and how many people are coming to a webinar signed up for my mailing list. It is so important to remember that the printing industry is comprised of people, and certainly, this collaboration shows that. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Roland DGA donated the printers that were using here. Antigro Designer, the first night before the show started, they had one touch point on this whole process, and they felt that was one too many.

So, the night before the show opened, Marcel back there, automated the whole process. The only time they touch anything is when they’re looking through the stickers to hand them to the right people.

[0:11:33] PM: I think that one of the things that proves is that there is a massive amount of innovation in this hall. So, it’s a collaboration story, but it’s an innovation story. If you walk through Hall 7, the drupa next stage space, you will meet some of the people who are really building entire new infrastructures for how we deliver information to the presses that we need to drive print. In their case, it’s a press that’s producing stickers. But for some of these others, it’s document printers, it’s wide format printers, it’s textile printers. We’ve got a little bit of everything here and a little bit of – a lot of what we’re seeing here is that there are a lot of AI-driven processes to help create workflow automation solutions that make it possible for a printer to not have to hire an entire army to get their business out the door. They can actually leverage the power of the software and the power of the presses to create the products their customers want.

[0:12:31] DC: Yes. The other thing about it is that, I mean, what people are doing with that banner is just incredible for me. It has taken on a life of its own, where people are creating these clusters, whether it’s their company or, I know there was a whole bunch of soccer fans. On one thing, they’re kind of – I can see from here, you can see they’re filling in like different quadrants of it. It’s just really interesting how it goes. People of all ages are really doing it.

But I have to tell you that when you show someone 30 or younger that something like that is going on back there, their eyes light up. I think that that is really super important as well because that is collaboration that causes an engagement. These people will take these stickers home, and they will relate that they had a print experience at the show that made them happy, and they might think differently about printing. They might tell somebody at their dining room table to think differently about printing. It is cool. Look what I just did at drupa. So, I’m just so happy to be proud of this project and work with the team at Antigro Designer, and again, thanks to Roland for donating the printers.

So, you have been walking around drupa. What are the other collaborations that are really drupa standing out for you?

[0:13:51] PM: They’re all over the place. So, if you start in Hall 1, a lot of heavy equipment there. So, what you’re going to find is that most of the folks who have their finishing equipment, whether it’s book finishing equipment, it’s folding and cutting equipment, they had to find someone to supply roles to them. They’re collaborating with the press manufacturers, both offset manufacturers and digital manufacturers. You’ll see Canon rolls, and Fujifilm rolls, and Ricoh rolls. In addition to the HP roles, you’ll find Koenig & Bauer rolls, Komori rolls, [inaudible 0:14:26]. You will find them over in Hall 1. You’ll find them in Hall 3 because they decided to work together to tell a bigger story.

If you go also into Hall 1, our friends from Meccanotecnica are there. They are finishing books for Canon. They’re finishing books for Ricoh. They’re finishing books for HP. They’re finishing books for pretty much everybody on their new lines. Those were all collaborations, not only with the paper manufacturers who were supplying paper and the vendors who were printing it but also in case, in some cases, with artists. So, they were working on a really cool test with Ricoh that have some amazing fine art photography printed on the Ricoh press and then taken to Meccanotecnica finished, and then they send it to their case binder, and it’s one of those boxed books with the nice linen outside that’s killer.

So, those are the kinds of things you see. But it’s not just in printing and finishing. There are collaborations between software manufacturers as well.

[0:15:26] DC: That’s a lot of software collaboration.

[0:15:28] PM: And we saw one announced yesterday.

[0:15:30] DC: Yes. XMPie is in here and they just did a presentation on personalized print. They’re utilizing at least three printing partners out there.

[0:15:37] PM: Right. You saw Atomics, the picture with Atomics guys talking with design and buy, and also with Cloudprinter. XMPie partners, I think, with everybody. If you go door to door, you will find that even here, new collaborations are forming, which is really cool.

[0:15:55] DC: Yes.


[0:15:57] DC: McGrewGroup can help you with assessments, RFP reviews, education content, and surveys. Plus, our consulting practice to offer guidance on your best business workflows and integrations. McGrewGroup is ready to help you grow, expand, optimize, and thrive. Drop us a note on LinkedIn or at our website,


[0:16:22] DC: I mean, my friend Jason is here. Jason Leonard from Neenah. I’ve seen the Neenah logo –

[0:16:28] PM: Everywhere.

[0:16:27] DC: – booths out there. So, thank you to you and your company for spreading your beautiful paper all over the mesa and showing amazing print samples. Paper matters, people.

[0:16:39] PM: Paper does matter.

[0:16:40] DC: Make your best choices. Look at the approved media. Usually, the manufacturers will test it with you. But if you have any questions, find Jason or find me, and we’ll figure out how to get that tested. The other thing I wanted to speak about was the collaborations that are going on between companies that are starting to collaborate now. We had a couple of interesting announcements at the show that you probably know a lot more about than I do. One of them was Canon and Heidelberg, and another was Landa Digital and Gelato. Which I thought – I actually happened to interview Mr. Landa yesterday about that, and I will release that as a podcast. But let’s start with Canon and Heidelberg. Interesting collaboration, Patricia.

[0:17:34] PM: It’s one of the many ones. Is the many that have been announced here in the first week of drupa. If you think of Canon, you typically think of them as digital printing. Heidelberg, you think of traditionally as offset printing. But in this case, Heidelberg has tried several times to find their own path to digital. Each time they kind of got to a waypoint and then kind of got stuck. So, this time, their path is with a partner, and their partner is Canon. So, they will be reselling three of the Canon inkjet devices, including one designed for packaging, and they’ll be rebadged as JetFire Solutions and same great Canon infrastructure, solid, well built, well tested, but sold and serviced by the Heidelberg teams.

I think that’s an interesting approach for Heidelberg. They’re at that point where they’re trying to find their feet again, and I think in the digital side, I think that’s really exciting collaboration. I know Canon’s very excited about it. It gives them more footprint. The other thing that it does is it brings Canon to more offset houses that may not really have yet defined a digital strategy, but they know they need one.

[0:18:44] DC: So, as I said, I was in the Landa Digital printing booth yesterday, which, if I mean anybody hearing this podcast, drupa will be over. But if you have a chance to see some of the outputs that are coming off of the Landa presses, it is worth taking a look and figuring out if it’s right for your business. But they have partnered with GelatoConnect and the philosophy behind it, and that’s what actually, Mr. Landa described it as a philosophy. The philosophy behind it was that he wanted a way to have his customers be able to be connected with each other in order to collaborate with each other and work together, which fits into our theme today.

Do you have any more insight on that?

[0:19:32] PM: So, Gelato has been around for some time. This is not a brand-new company. The Gelato we knew as a network of printing companies that often serve the brands, right? But what they realized is that they had built something pretty spiffy. They have some really nice software that is really built so that a brand owner doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to buy print and I think that’s essential. So, they decided that this was something that they wanted to share with the world. So, they created GelatoConnect.

But part of their – what I think they sense is their obligation to the people who work in their networks is that they want to be able to recommend output devices that they know their clients are going to be satisfied with the print quality. They’ve had year’s long collaboration with the Indigo team at HP. They have recommended those presses for a very long time, and it seemed only natural that they would continue to work with Benny Landa, who originated the Indigo before he sold it to HP. If you look at what Landa does, it gives you access to the highest quality, B1 digital inkjet printing right now available.

Because of that, I think the team at Gelato realized that there is an awful lot of print that can be realized in that B1 format, that can’t be realized any other way. So, whether it’s folding carton packaging, it’s giant posters for events, or it’s a whole lot of business cards that is a really nice device to print on. It’s a partnership, I think, that is just going to continue to grow for them. But that’s not to say that Gelato only works with a Landa or an Indigo, because in their network, they support a lot of different print devices.

[0:21:17] DC: Yes. Just a point of clarification, you described Landa as a B1 inkjet. I don’t know if they would describe it that way.

[0:21:26] PM: Well, there’s Samba heads in there from Fuji, so I think they’re inkjet. Yes.

[0:21:31] DC: Okay. Well, they describe it as an Innography, so I’m going to stick with that.

[0:21:34] PM: Well, Innography is the marketing, but the physical technology is, it’s a Samba head from Fujifilm, from the Samba division of Fujifilm, that sits in there, that is jetting ink onto a blanket, and then the blanket is doing the transfer, and it is a unique form of inkjet.

[0:21:54] DC: Thank you so much, Patricia. I need you sometimes for my technical stuff. The last two collaborations I want to speak about are the International Consortium of Educators for Graphic and Technology Management, and then the drupa daily that’s been going on.

[0:22:13] PM: The Cal Poly students.

[0:22:13] DC: Yes. But let’s first talk about the amazing educators that are in Hall 7, and the fact that they’ve been here with students the whole time promoting the programs at institutions around the world. They all came together. They come together in this consortium to exhibit here together and speak about the universities. Did you have a chance to speak to anyone over there?

[0:22:39] PM: I have not. I’ve spoken to some of the students running around, but I haven’t had a chance to actually hang out in that space. But the fact that they were there was important to me, because a lot of these institutions struggle for vendor support, and they need it. So, if you’re one of the vendors listening to our podcast, please reach out to the consortium and to the educational institutions in the areas that you support, because if they can’t train our next generation, we’re not going to have a next generation.

[0:23:08] DC: Technically, I made a mistake. It’s the International Circle of Educators and Graphic Communications and Technology Programs.

[0:23:16] PM: There you go.


[0:23:20] DC: Like what you hear? Leave us a comment. Click a few stars, share this episode, and please subscribe to the show. Are you interested in being the guest and sharing your information with our active and growing global audience? Podcasts are trending as a potent direct marketing and educational channel for brands and businesses who want to provide portable content for customers and consumers. Visit, click on podcasts, and request a partner package today. Share long and prosper.


[0:23:54] DC: Luckily enough, Pat, everything we’re talking about is going to have a link in the show notes.

[0:23:58] PM: Don’t worry about it. It’ll be there.

[0:23:58] DC: So, people, just look and click. It’s very simple. The last collaboration I want to speak about is something that has been going on. I mean, it goes on for 10 hours a day here, which is what they think, drupa daily, and not only did they have the students from Cal Poly here, which is a lovely thing to have them participate in something like that, an event like this. But they are collaborating with journalists all over the mesa. You’re actually one of them. So, can you give a little insight into what it takes so everybody knows, to produce those drupa dailies that are showing up every day.

[0:24:37] PM: So, the drupa daily is a part insanity, part chaos, part passion project. The team at what they think, who’ve been principally known for online media dissemination for a long time, they started producing a quarterly magazine. Adam Dewitz, he has masters from RIT in print, so they understand the concept of producing a printed magazine. The team there, they won the bid to produce it, and then they had to kick into high gear. One of the interesting things that happened was that in an event they were at, they were having a conversation with the Cal Poly team. The Cal Poly group really wanted their students to experience real-time what it takes to do production.

So, the money was found to import a bunch of students to hang out in Germany and help with the delivery and production of the drupa daily. The drupa daily, this time, is being done in a magazine format, which is different than drupa’s past. It had been a tabloid before. It takes a lot of content to do a daily magazine. It’s a massive amount of content.

[0:25:42] DC: For 11 days straight.

[0:25:43] PM: For 11 days straight, it is a lot, a lot of content. So, we actually started writing the content in March ahead based on things we knew would happen, what we call evergreen content. But the team was absolutely passionate about pulling in journalists from around the world to help create the content for the magazine. So, from Italy, from Africa, from South America, from Asia. There is content from Scandinavia, from all over Europe, from the UK, US, and Canada. There’s a lot of different content in there, and that content is available both here physically at the mesa. It gets delivered by the local German printer here in Düsseldorf, every single morning with his staff. But it’s also available online.

So, if you’re listening to this and you’re kind of curious about what was going on every day here, we got a time machine for you.

[0:26:36] DC: Yes, we do.

[0:26:37] PM: Right? So, Deb can provide a link in the show notes and the drupa daily, it’s available through the drupa website as well. That’s going to be your fastest way to it. In addition to the written content, there are very often video links in there to interviews that were done by the what-they-think staff, either here in what they think studio, or out and around the mesa during the show. It’s sort of a time capsule of education, because here’s one snapshot in time, an 11-day sequence where these vendors and these printers who are visiting the show are interacting and learning together. So, it’s really cool.

[0:27:14] DC: It is short-form journalism.

[0:27:16] PM: It is very short form.

[0:27:17] DC: I’m just saying –

[0:27:19] PM: We may not write more than – I think they have a bit of a heart attack if we show up with 300 words. Two-hundred and fifty is good because every single article has to be translated into German. If you are familiar with the English to German transform, things get bigger, and you only have when it’s print. It doesn’t go on forever. You’ve got real estate you got to work with.

[0:27:42] DC: Germans use a lot of letters in their words.

[0:27:44] PM: There’s a lot. And a lot of words to just – you need a very long word.

[0:27:48] DC: Yes. And they describe what they are. I learned that menu is called food plan, is the translation. I’m like, “Okay.”

[0:27:55] PM: It’s a lot of fun.

[0:27:57] DC: We only use four letters, but you use a whole bunch more. I was trying to illustrate the point to people.

[0:28:03] PM: And a little bit of a shout-out here. Two people who came to drupa and have not seen an ounce of it, haven’t seen an inch of it, Julie Schaffer and Richard Romano, sitting up in the what they think, office, trying to get this thing looking good every day. Sitting there, tweaking the in-design, right? So, those two people have been working in a Herculean effort to make sure that everything gets done and to the printer the night before to make sure that it’s here by 8:30 in the morning and that’s pretty amazing.

[0:28:34] DC: Yes. Every once in a while, I see them scooting by in the morning. I want to give one shout-out to Eric Vessels. The day before the Hall opened, I was here setting up the theater, and Eric Vessels was personally hanging the graphics on the studio.

[0:28:52] PM: Yes. That’s Eric.

[0:28:53] DC: Eric Vessels was personally sweeping the floor room, sweeping the floor because he wanted it to be clean. Not that the mesa wouldn’t have gotten to it. Of course, they would have. But I just felt that that was such an indication of the team that they had put together, that nobody was above getting it done. And I just really had a lot of respect for that, because he really could have just pointed at someone and say, “Hey, can someone do that?” But he did not. He did it himself. I just thought that was really cool. Pat, we’re going to wind up right now. Final words on collaboration at drupa.

[0:29:31] PM: Look, if you’re ever going to a show and you’re a printer and you’d like to see your things featured, reach out to your vendors, because they might be delighted to collaborate with you, to feature you in their stands at whatever show or event they might be doing. Vendors, don’t forget to reach out to your customers to do collaboration, and remember that you’re only one link in the chain, so the more you can show how you work with others in that chain, the bigger your story gets.

[0:30:03] DC: I would say, apply that to your booth graphics and to the materials that you’re giving away. I know that plenty of people working together, but I only see it manifested as the product. I don’t see it necessarily being shown in the booth graphics. Like, “Find us here. These are the partners that made this possible. Here’s a making a video.” So really, rely upon each other’s social media presence, your media people, your PR people, especially if you’re a smaller company working with a global corporation. Get their global PR departments on it. They’re going to have more reach and awareness than you will just by virtue of it. Let them share your story, but sometimes it’s really easy to do that if you provide them some content as well.

So, thank you everybody so much for joining us today. We’re going to be recording four – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday –

[0:30:57] PM: A bunch of them.

[0:30:59] DC: – and Thursday. Four episodes of the Print Report Live at DNA, so we will be back. Until next time everybody, print long and prosper.


[0:31:11] DC: Thanks for listening to Podcasts From the Printerverse. Please subscribe, click some stars, and leave us a review. Connect with us through We’d love to hear your feedback on our shows and topics that are of interest for future broadcasts. Until next time, thanks for joining us. Print long and prosper.


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