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If you were in the audience of the 2017 DMAW Innovative Formats Integrated Techniques (IFIT) Forum on March 7th in lovely Arlington, VA, you know what I mean when I exclaim, “What a buffet of ideas!”

The presentations kicked off promptly at 9:00 am with introductory remarks from the ‘time captains’ and brilliant co-chairs Shannon Murphy and Elise Buck.  The audience, of over 100 attendees, ran the gamut of experience level, but I’m certain everyone took home a nugget of brilliance in addition to a folio full of formats, techniques, and other goodies provided by the presenters and sponsors.  Everyone said they were taking the fun samples for their children or friends, but I think they’re keeping them.  Did you get a dry erase board and sharpie?

The IFIT Captains ran a tight ship.  We were told to clear the aisles to make way for the samples, and they delivered. A folio of more than 20+ samples of formats and technique were distributed to each attendee – and they were awesome.  But some of the best takeaways were the stories ‘behind the samples.’

 

IFIT Room

 

One format was a digital print representation of a program built to integrate over 800 variables – text and images.  Digital printing was at the center of the most diverse DM samples offered up; that’s how the magic is made possible when great data connects with a story and design that makes an impression.    No matter how high the bar of expectations—when it comes to custom printed products with A to Z variability—digital print will be at the center of the solution. From every day workhorse envelopes, forms, and magnets to the extraordinary plypak, portfolio, and wrapped accordion insert.

The PowerPoint image did not do justice to some of the samples – the sensory impact of the intricate folds, textures ink, paper finish, and print complexity had to be held to be appreciated.  The presentation included a good selection of hard working formats with new twists, but others were total eye candy. I love a multidirectional snake fold, but I’m going to have to quit my day job to find an application for this off-the-chart paper engineering phenomena.

Did I mention what a great event this was for catching up with friends, colleagues, and folks you’ve known forever or some you just met? In addition to the great networking, having more than a dozen experts demonstrating their products gave me some great ideas — I for one was intrigued by the mention of an oyster fold, NFC business cards, pixie dust, lenticular motion, 2D matching, telephone town halls, hyper-personalization, and the wrapped accordion fold.

I’m just saying—I’m ready for the next DMAW’s IFIT Forum!


 

Cheryl Keedy IFIT

Cheryl B. Keedy is the Creative Director at The Harrington Agency. She can be reached at Cheryl@theharringtonagency.com or 267-972-9427.