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Business + Management: Marty Mcghie

Professional Associations and Resources

A sourcelist of organizations for print providers.




How do you stay current and garner new
information about the market and trends?
One good option is to join a trade association.
These associations bring together
companies with similar interests and challenges.

Most of these organizations offer publications,
website resources, and trade
shows/conferences aimed directly at
their membership. Depending on the mission
and makeup of these organizations,
they: help members solve problems
through seminars and workshops; offer
networking, group-buying discounts, and
market research; help set or evaluate
industry standards and bestow awards;
and generally aid in bringing new products/
technologies to the forefront (or at
least make members more aware of these

One trend that shouldn't surprise:
Notice how several organizations' names
have changed in recent years to encompass
a broader, more general member
base”?the former International Prepress
Association has become the Association
of Graphic Solutions Providers, for example,
while the Screenprinting & Graphic
Imaging Association has become the Specialty
Graphic Imaging Association. This
mirrors the graphic-arts marketplace as a
whole, putting the emphasis on providers
of digital solutions rather than specific
position or technology niches.

What follows is a sampling of trade
associations and resource organizations
that should prove of interest to most print
providers. Note that we've also included
several organizations whose memberships
are typically limited to manufacturers
or suppliers. Although print providers
may not be able to join these groups, they
often provide a wealth of information on
the industry, business tips, and more on
their websites.
A sourcelist of organizations for print providers.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI )


ANSI is a private, nonprofit organization that administers and coordinates
US voluntary standardization and conformity assessment
systems by establishing consensus among qualified groups.

The Association for Suppliers of Printing,
Publishing and Converting Technologies (NPES)
(originally National Printing Equipment Association)

NPES is a trade association whose members manufacture and distribute
equipment, systems, software, and supplies used in printing,
publishing, and converting. The association provides a variety of
research and educational programs, has a government affair representative,
works on developing safety and technical standards, and
more. The NPES headquarters houses the Graphic Arts Show Company
(owned by NPES, NAPL, and PIA), Graphic Arts Education and
Research Foundation, and the Graphics Communication Council.

Association of Graphic Solutions Providers (IPA)
(formerly International Prepress Association)


IPA is a trade association consisting of graphic communications
and graphic-arts supplier companies. It aims to unite
and educate leading providers of integrated graphic solutions.
IPA member companies provide services ranging from
concept and design to prepress and asset management,
from traditional printing and fulfillment to digital printing and
electronic output. Offers research studies, publications, and
IPA University.

Association of Professional Color Imagers (APCI)

A division of PMA, the APCI develops and promotes the professional
color laboratory industry, through marketing research and
business resources. Members include portrait/wedding labs,
general service labs, and commercial labs.

ASTM International
(formerly American Society for Testing and Materials)


Provides a global forum for the development of voluntary consensus
technical standards for materials, products, systems,
and services. Standards developed at ASTM are the work of over
30,000 ASTM members from more than 100 countries.

Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress,
Press and Postpress (CIP4)

Members participate in focused working groups to define future
versions of JDF (Job Definition Format) and to study user
requirements. Members include vendors, consultants, and endusers
in the print-communications and graphic-arts industry.

Digital Printing & Imaging Association (DPI)

A trade association representing firms producing digital graphics,
primarily in the US, but also in countries throughout the
world. Members include digital printers to screen printers to
photo labs and textile printers to reprographic shops. Holds a
yearly trade show and conference with SGIA; offers articles and
information on the latest technologies, government affairs, and
business management; features purchasing discounts; and
offers a toll-free DPI hotline.

Digital Imaging Marketing Association (DIMA)

A division of Photo Marketing Association, DIMA conducts
national and regional conferences that include sessions on the
production and sale of large-format graphics. DIMA tracks the
market through research studies, shares success stories, and
helps members stay up-to-date on the technology front. Digital
Quick Start Seminars initiate digital beginners into the basics of
creating digital images, running a digital imaging business, and
the future of digital imaging.

Giclee Printers Association

Formed in 2001, this organization attempts to define industry
standards and educate consumers to quality control and
longevity issues surrounding digital inkjet printing of fine art.
This group certifies fine-art printmakers as TruDecor and Tru-
Giclee quality.

Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF)

Serves the graphic communications community as a resource
for technical information and offers training, research, consulting,
publications, and more. GATF facilities include state-of-theart
prepress, pressrooms, testing laboratories, libraries, and

Printing Industries of America (PIA)”?Worldwide graphic-arts
trade association, with 13,000 member companies. Consolidated
with GATF in 1999.

Graphic Arts Marketing Information Service (GAMIS)”?A special
interest group of the Printing Industries of America (PIA),
GAMIS is a market-research association for the graphic-arts
industry with members from diverse segments of the printing
industry. GAMIS produces three to five proprietary market
research/information studies per year.

Industrial Fabrics Association International

A trade association whose more than 2,000 member companies
represent the international specialty fabric marketplace. Members'
products span the entire spectrum of the specialty fabrics
industry, from fiber and fabric suppliers to manufacturers of end
products, equipment, and hardware.

International Color Consortium (ICC)

Creates and encourages the standardization and evolution of an
open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color-management system
architecture and components.

International Digital Enterprise Alliance (IDEAlliance)

IDEAlliance is a nonprofit organization that advances crossindustry
solutions for publishing and content-related processes
by developing standards and identifying best practices. Has fostered
the development and adoption of standards such as GRACoL,
ICE, PRISM, SGML, and XML. Offers conferences, webinars,
committees, and more.

International Publishing Management Association (IPMA)

IPMA is a professional association dedicated exclusively to the
needs of in-house corporate publishing, printing, distribution, and
design professionals. IPMA provides in-plant managers with education,
certification, networking, and other programs and resources.

International Reprographic Association (IrgA)

Founded to help companies serving the large-format document
reproduction needs of architectural, engineering, and manufacturing
firms. Many of these companies have evolved to offer
large-format graphics, so its annual conference, trade show, and
educational programming include pertinent wide-format information.
Offers mounting and laminating training seminars
throughout the year.

International Sign Association (ISA)

Founded in 1944 as the National Electric Sign Association
(NESA), ISA members represent manufacturers, users, and suppliers
of on-premise signs and sign products. Annual conference
and trade show features sessions, equipment, and materials primarily
related to large-format graphics.


Established as a resource for advertisers, designers, and their
clients to research and learn more about the lenticular process.

National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL)

Chartered in 1933, NAPL is a trade association for commercial
printers and related members of the graphic-arts industry.
Develops conferences, periodicals, consulting, and economic
data and analysis for members.

National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)

Formed in 1998, NAPP is a trade association for Adobe Photoshop
education, training, and news. It is led by Photoshop
experts, authors, consultants, trainers, and educators.

Networked Graphics Production (NGP)

NGP is an industry-wide initiative for automating the entire print
production process by creating an efficient, collaborative environment
“?from idea to delivery. This integration is a result of
industry-leading companies working together to define, develop,
test, and implement plug-and-play systems that are built using
open standards, such as JDF.

Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA)

Trade association for companies selling out-of-home advertising.

Photo Marketing Association (PMA)

Unites diverse professionals in the imaging industry; representing
more than 18,000 members in 100+ countries. PMA membership
is open to any firm doing a substantial portion of its
business in photo-imaging retailing, processing (digital and silver
halide), or service work.

Point of Purchase Advertising Institute (POPAI)

With more than 1000 members in 18 countries, this trade association
of the P-O-P industry promotes and advances P-O-P
advertising through research, education, trade forums, and legislative

PrintImage International
(formerly National Association of Quick Printers)

A trade association for the quick and small commercial print
industry; members also include graphic-arts companies, educational
organizations, and supplier firms. Offers conferences,
research, programs, products, seminars, and discounts from
suppliers and consultants; as well as Print Owners Boot Camp
and PrintImage Owners Conference.

Print On Demand Initiative (PODi)

PODi is an industry consortium that promotes interoperability
through standards in digital printing technology, especially PPML.

Professional Digital Imaging Association (PDIA)

PDIA is an independent, member-directed organization that provides
practical information and education about preparing,
proofing, printing, protecting, finishing, displaying, and selling
digital images. Members include professional/amateur photographers,
graphic designers, and digital-graphics producers.

Professional Photographers Association (PPA)

This association for professional photographers, with more than
14,000 members in 64 countries, provides education, professional
recognition, conferences, advocacy, competitions, and business
discounts. Also credentials imaging professionals and educators.

Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA)
(formerly Screenprinting & Graphic Imaging Association)

International association of screen printing, digital printing,
embroidery and pad printers, and suppliers. Provides publications,
industry surveys, management resources, government
safety issues, and information about the market. Hosts the
annual SGIA Convention & Exposition for companies servicing
the digital and screen-printing markets.

Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD)

Association of designers of environmental and architectural
graphics who often incorporate 3D, large-format graphics into
their work. Members also include fabricators, artisans, suppliers,
students, educators, and allied professionals. Provides
resources for design specialists in the field of environmental
graphic design, architecture, and landscape, interior, and industrial
design. SEGD members are leading designers of directional
and attraction sign systems, destination graphics, identity programs,
exhibits, and themed environments.

Specifications for Web Offset Publications (SWOP)

Plays an active role in the acceptance, usage, and certification of
various proofing systems.

Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA)

TSEA is aimed at marketing and management professionals who
use exhibits to promote and sell their products, as well as to
those who supply them with products and services. Provides
education, advocacy, promotion, communication, service, and
member-only discounts.


Xplor is a professional association for those involved the
design, production, and distribution of variable-data documents,
ranging from high volumes of statements, bills, insurance
policies, and personalized direct mail to very customized
marketing materials.



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