Print Media Distribution is Focus of New Book Published by RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press
Book authored by Twyla Cummings, graduate program director of RIT’s School of Print Media
June 24, 2008
by Kelly Downs
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“Twyla Cummings’ work could not come at a better time. It is my hope that her book will stimulate an industry-wide discussion about the need to train and educate the industry on distribution and logistics so it can assure customers and future customers that we can not only produce the job, but also get it to market.”
RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press has released its third in a series of books focusing on the printing industry. Its latest release, Print Media Distribution: A Look at Infrastructure, Systems, and Trends, written by Twyla Cummings, Paul and Louise Miller Distinguished Professor and graduate program director for Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Print Media, analyzes the roles in the distribution workflow of printed products. Cummings also examines the well-defined print production process that results in end users receiving various print materials such as newspapers, magazines and catalogs.
“While distribution of the product is at the end of the print production process, it is one of the most critical steps in the print supply chain,” says Cummings. “If not done correctly or in a timely manner it can have a severe impact on the customer’s (a publisher or retailer, for example) and the distributor’s bottom line. Thus, distributors cannot risk thinking of it as an afterthought.”
Print Media Distribution is the first publication to comprehensively examine the infrastructure and systems of print media distribution, offering workflow solutions that can provide significant advantages to print producers’ business models.
Bernice LeMaire, a major contributor to the book, earned an M.S. degree in printing technology from RIT in 2006, conducting her graduate thesis work for the Printing Industry Center in the area of printing industry media distribution, analyzing physical and electronic distribution workflows and e-commerce as a tool for print distribution. LeMaire, formerly of Standard Register, is an account executive at Garner Print in Des Moines, Iowa.
Cummings says the book is a culmination of several years of investigation into print media distribution drawn from primary research studies, case studies and in-depth expert interviews.
“Three years ago I began pursuing a research program on the profitability of value-added services,” says Cummings. “As part of that research, I wanted to understand what was going on in the areas of print finishing and distribution. I was able to find a good deal of information on finishing, but almost nothing on issues associated with print media distribution unless they were linked with the U.S. Postal Service. This was a surprise to me, and I wanted to understand why there wasn’t more written on what I deemed to be a very important subject.”
The other publications available in the Printing Industry Center Series are Data-Driven Print: Strategy and Implementation by Patricia Sorce and Michael Pletka and The New Medium of Print by Frank Cost.
The Printing Industry Center at RIT is a joint program of RIT’s School of Print Media and RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business. The Printing Industry Center at RIT is dedicated to the study of major business environment influences on the printing industry, precipitated by new technologies and societal changes. The center addresses the concerns of the printing industry through research initiatives and educational outreach. For more information on the Printing Industry Center, visit http://print.rit.edu.
RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press is a new academic press at RIT that publishes peer-reviewed scholarly content. Together with a new, companion imprint—RIT Press—the Cary Graphic Arts Press is working to craft a university press model that is progressive, innovative and nimble. It maintains a close relationship with the Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection at RIT, a renowned resource for those studying printing and graphic communications history, bookbinding, typography, papermaking, calligraphy and graphic design.