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Spotlight: Christine Yardley, president of Print Panther


January 13, 2022
By PrintAction Staff

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Earlier this year, Print Panther, Oakville, Ont., won multiple Gold Leaf Awards from the Foil & Specialty Effects Association. In the Category of Best Foil/Coatings Selection Guide, Print Panther was awarded the Gold Award for the “Konica Minolta Extreme Digital Guide – Capturing the Feel of Creativity”. It also earned a Best in Show Honourable Mention. The award-winning project was a labour of love for Christine Yardley, president of Print Panther, and her production team.

For 24 years, Yardley has led Print Panther whose clientele is largely international. An industry veteran with a global perspective Yardley has some interesting thoughts about the state of the Canadian printing industry.

What is the state of the print industry today, in your opinion?

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CY: I think everyone is looking for ways to increase business opportunities. It doesn’t matter where you are or what business you are in. I think high value, exciting, innovative print is a leader in helping companies, especially small and luxury brands, regain market share and position. Print allows brands to communicate on a tangible level. I think that is paramount after the last 18-24 months. It is difficult to imagine a post-pandemic world, but history proves innovation and creativity prevail during difficult times. From direct mail to packaging, tactile, meaningful print will be at the forefront when we come out of this digitally saturated period of history.

What attracted you to the print industry?

CY: I have always been attracted to the printed page in some form. My background in typography, graphic design and marketing positions me to create beautiful print that legitimately helps my clients connect with their customers. My love of print has been an organic flow of ideas and design. A life-long love affair, really.

How can the industry attract more young people?

CY:  Like any industry, there are ebbs and flows. I think we all, no matter our age, suffer from some sort of digital fatigue. When someone enrols in a program at Ryerson University [Toronto] for example, they are taught design needs to cross over between print and digital. Print is a large part of the curriculum. Further, successful brands need print. I am not sure if there is truly an issue with attracting young people. I can tell you that everyone working for me is about half my age, and they love it.

In such a competitive landscape, how can printers win more sales?

CY: I do not think the industry has become more competitive than previous years. Having said that the industry is not only competitive, but also turbulent. I think printers need to embrace new technologies. It is our job to show customers what they can do to help elevate their brands and support their businesses. During times of crisis, opportunity is everywhere. Just think: you can provide a small company a custom brand colour that’s fresh and different. With metallic and fluorescent inks, foils and spot varnishes, the opportunity to make a product and/or service stand out is at our fingertips, literally! We must help managers and others who help promote companies and products understand the positive impact of innovative printed solutions.

What are some of the biggest opportunities in the print industry?

CY:  We should all see opportunity as the world re-opens. Everyone is craving some sense of normality. Businesses will be looking at ways to move forward. With the holidays upon us, it is the perfect time to reconnect with clients with a wonderful, printed piece. I love receiving cards; it never gets old. Getting something physical and personal is more meaningful than a “pop-up” on a website. Print creates a touchpoint with customers.

What do you think is the most exciting thing about print today?

CY: I think print is exciting and beautiful. We need the tactile experiences that only print can provide. Quality has never been better, thanks to new digital printing capabilities. The technology has transformed design. We are seeing more customized and personalized print products. I love foils and bright inks. Bright colours, clever bindery and textured papers for creating tactile, sensory products are certainly going to lead in 2022.

Yardley’s responses were edited for length. For more Q&A Spotlight interviews, please visit
www.printaction.com/profile.

This article originally appeared in the December 2021 issue of PrintAction.