SGIA & PIA merge to become largest printing & graphic arts association in the US

Merger to bring resources & services under one roof

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SGIA & PIA
SGIA & PIA merge

The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Printing Industries of America (PIA) today announce that, as of 1 May 2020, the two organizations will officially merge. SGIA and PIA are together committed to serving the graphic arts community with preeminent research, education, training, events, legislative support, government affairs, health and safety, and other key industry services. SGIA primarily serves the graphics, industrial and apparel decorator segments; and PIA primarily serves the commercial printing segment. Together, members will have access to services across many channels.

Ford Bowers is elevated to president and chief executive officer of the combined organization. Michael Makin, current president and chief executive officer of Printing Industries of America, will become an executive vice president of the unified organization, effective May 1. The new association name will be announced in the coming weeks, as will the combined board of directors.

“As convergence increasingly continues in our industry, this newly-formed entity with PIA is the logical progression of our long-standing history together,” says Bowers. “SGIA acquired NAPCO Media in 2019, bringing the industry’s leading media company under our umbrella. Now with PIA, we can provide even more streamlined services across all market segments and in one easily accessible location. Together, we house the most renowned thought leaders, events, and programming in the printing and graphic arts community.”

“PIA is thrilled to join forces with SGIA, combining resources to serve every segment of the printing industry. Pooling the extensive talent of both organizations, along with the media expertise of Napco Media, is a game-changer,” says Makin.

In addition to collaborating to produce the Printing United Expo and Conference, SGIA and Napco Media recently partnered with PIA and its affiliates to launch a powerful resource channel dedicated to providing the printing and graphic communications industry with up-to-the-minute news and resources on COVID-19 and how to navigate the latest information about the pandemic. The COVID-19 Resource Channel continues to serve the industry with this critical detail. The companies will now work together to continue offering these essential resources and services.

Further details about the merger and combination of services will be announced as the integration takes place. In the meantime, information is available on both company websites until the new site reflecting the combined organizations is launched.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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