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Where Are All the Apps for the Printing Industry?

[fa icon="calendar"] Thu, Apr 28, 2011 / by Andre Palko

According to Apple's website, there are more than 350,000 apps for their iPhone and iPads. Android has apps numbering somewhere in the tens of thousands. No one knows for sure. There are apps to tell you where to eat, what movie to see, for tracking packages and for doing pushups.

So you'd think in our high-tech printing and bindery industry there would be lots of helpful apps, right? After an admittedly quick search, I found all of 23. And that's all on one site.

Basis weight appThe best part of this story is who is doing the creating. My guess would have been some teenager working in his parent's print shop on the weekends, distracting himself from running a folding machine or packing boxes. Or maybe a new 20-something employee bored with his entry-level duties.

According to Graphic Arts Magazine, the credit goes to Manfred Breede, Professor Emeritus at Ryerson University's School of Graphic Communications Management.

You heard right, this retired college professor is leading the way in printing industy apps. Score one more for us gray-haired baby boomers.  The apps, which you can browse here, include some useful print industry functions.

  • Convert GSM grammages to Basis Weight and vice versa (screen shot shown upper left)
  • Calculate length of roll in feet or meters, based on roll diameter and material thickness
  • Calculate volume of paper on a skid in cubic feet
  • Calculate scanning resolution for line art and halftones
  • Calculate max. halftone screen ruling needed for desired gray level
  • Convert US points to inches, mm, picas,and more
  • Scaling width and height dimensions for enlargement and reduction
  • Calculate equivalent basis weights in different categories of paper

If you know of some interesting apps related to our industry, let us know in an email. If we discover new ones that are useful, interesting or fun, we'll put them together and post it here.

All this leaves me thinking, just what ARE you creative twenty-somethings in the industry doing out there?
Andre Palko

Written by Andre Palko

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