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An Interview with New SGIA President Ford Bowers

(February/March 2016) posted on Thu Mar 03, 2016

Did he find print, or did it find him? What's next for the Expo? Will screen printing disappear?

click an image below to view slideshow

By Steve Duccilli

FB: It took a great deal of foresight. The challenge now is to really look at the next 10 or 15 years, because I think people are now starting to feel that maybe’s it’s not as obvious as it was when [wide format] digital started to blossom, but technological change hasn’t stopped. We may be at another crossroads with single-pass printing, for example. That could be equally as disruptive. So what do we want to be looking at 10 years down the road? How do we want to position the association? How do we want to support the members? What do they see that they’re going to need as support moving forward? Everybody is taking a deep breath and talking about these things.

SP: Getting back to the show, it has always been perceived as being stronger in the graphics sectors than in the garment or industrial fields. It seems, particularly over the last three or four years, that the association has worked to break down that perception and create an event where graphics printers can walk the aisles with T-shirt printers and companies involved in printed electronics and all will get value from being there. Is that a direction that will continue moving forward?

FB: I think so. I don’t think that we’re going to purposefully pare down the communities that we serve. What we want to do is look at the ones that we have now and figure out how to deliver more value to each of them. When you go to the show, you see digital textiles all over the place. You see screen-printing equipment for garment decoration. It does feel like the smaller part of a larger whole, so when you have something like the Expo that brings multiple communities together, there will be perceptions that have to be looked at.


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