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Landon Donovan is the greatest player US Soccer has ever produced.

What have you done for me lately?

English: United States national team midfielde...

English: United States national team midfielder Landon Donovan poses with young fans in South Africa at an open training session ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a lot of hand wringing over the exclusion of Landon Donovan in the 2014 World Cup roster head to Brazil. We do live in a world today where, “what have you done for me lately?” is how we live. In the real world, if you work in sales and are not producing, you get fired. It does not matter that you brought the biggest account into the business. You are only judged by your production today. It’s not fair, but it is the reality of how the world works. That is how soccer works too.

Landon Donovan is to date, the greatest player US Soccer has ever produced. To many, he is an enigma. I personally have been critical of some of the decisions he has made. His refusal to work it out at Bayer Leverkusen and return to MLS. I wrote a comment on Big Soccer that someone there recently resurrected from 2005 challenging Donovan’s mental strength as a player. In hindsight, I stand by those comments. Post 2006 World Cup, he did commit himself to be a major factor for the US National Team leading up to the 2010 World Cup. He was invited to Bayern Munich by then Manager, Jurgen Klinsmann. Then he did 2 pre-season stints at Everton, one which led to the 2010 World Cup. He was the hero for the US in South Africa.

Here is what is different. This year, he really has done nothing to prepare for Brazil 2014. While Klinsmann wanted his players to go on loan to European clubs in the Winter, Clint Dempsey went to Fulham and Donovan chose not to go. Yes, Clint Dempsey did not tear it up for Fulham. He did get match fit which has translated into excellent form for his club team in Seattle. If he was still at Seattle now, he would probably on track to breaking goal scoring records in the league. He has been that hot.

Contrast that to Landon Donovan’s form with the Galaxy. He has no goals and only 2 assists. The Galaxy have been in last place in the western conference only coming off the bottom this past Wednesday with a win over FC Dallas without Donovan. Point is, Donovan has not done much lately on the field. His performance for the national team against Mexico was another indicator that something is wrong. The US arch-nemesis Rafa Marquez pretty easily took the ball off Donovan in the offensive third. It was really sad to watch this great player, so easily get picked by Rafa Marquez, the Mexican player everyone loves to hate.

And, the interviews with Donovan over the past couple of weeks. While he says he respects and understands the process, it came across as a veil of admission that he is no longer “wants’ to be the guy. It is pretty obvious that Landon Donovan in Myers-Briggs terms has the temperament of an “NF”, he process information based on how he feels. I am going to say he is a big picture guy that is motivated by how his environment makes him feel. Klinsmann comes across as an “NT”, he is pure logic. Donovan’s choices are unlogisch fur Herr Klinsmann. Donovan is not feeling appreciated by his Manager, so he is not feeling it any more. It is pretty obvious in his words and his play on the field

Great soccer players are temperamental. Their play and movement is often the result of how they use their instincts in the moment. Landon Donovan is the greatest player US Soccer has ever produced. He is also the most maddening because he is the Frank Sinatra of the sport in this country. He has done everything his way. Because of his talent, his coaches have let him do it. Now, his new boss is telling him, he has to it a different way. This is where things are not working.

How is the US National Team going to do?

As I have shared on several social media sites where the hysteria is deafening, this team has won games without Landon Donovan. Jurgen Klinsmann has built a national team program without Landon Donovan in mind. Last year was the best year in US National Team history in qualifying and friendly games. We have seen some new players step up and make themselves heard.

I think with Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Tim Howard, the US National Team will be challenged in their group, but will be well represented. This is Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey’s World Cup. Based on what they have accomplished over the past year, I think they will lead this team to be competitive in every game they play. We also have a Manager that has played and already coached at the World Cup level.

Many of the decisions he is making for this world cup parallel what he did before the 2006 World Cup in Germany. It is the transition from the old 30 year cycle of player development to the new 30 year cycle of player development. Bringing in players like DeAndre Yedlin and Julian Green represent the future of where the game can go in this country. There are more coming in behind them. Who knows, there could be another Landon Donovan somewhere in the group.

Whatever happens, I think the boys will be alright. It is time to support our team heading to Brazil – USA!

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UV Coating Review: SureCoat Low Odor UV Coating Fluid

At Lloyds of Indiana, we are always looking for high quality products at good value. For small print shops, some of the bigger manufacturers are overpriced for the the volume they do. Spend $100,000 on a machine and it will take for ever to break even. Get something more economical, you could start realizing your […]

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23 Sizes of Laminating Pouches

? If you need ID Badges that do not require magnetic strips or bar codes, lamination pouches work great. If you are trying to laminate photos, make sure you get photo lamination pouches for the job to protect the photo while bring out the colors in your picture. Laminating pouches are not that expensive, nor […]

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2 Ways To Reduce Odor From Your UV Coating Machine

UV Coating Can Smell So, there are a couple of ways to deal with this: Buy a low odor uv coating fluid. REVO Coatings offers a low odor uv coating fluid that keeps the ozone output to a minimum. It also brings out the rich colors of your printed document whether you are using gloss […]

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Elitism Rankles In The Author Versus Writer Debate

Elitism Rankles In The Author Versus Writer Debate

Are people who write books considered authors?

More specifically, are people who self-publish their books considered authors?

Michael Kozlowski, editor-in-chief of Good E-Reader, wants to draw a distinction between writers who have published real books with real publishers, and writers who have only self-published ebooks on Smashwords, Amazon, Kobo, Lulu, and other electronic publishers.

Kozlowski says published book writers are “authors;” self-published writers are still just “writers” and are apparently no better than the thing I found on the bottom of my shoe.

Indie authors and self-published authors who claim they are real authors makes me laugh. The term basically doesn’t mean anything. Being a photographer means nothing either; as soon as you pick up a camera, you are one. By definition, you would be an “author” because of commenting on this post or a “singer” because you sing in the shower. If you put words on a document, you are certainly not an author.

Employee in PERQ collaboration spaceTo me, and many other writers, there’s no distinction or correctness between published and self-published. Oh sure, some people look down at the self-published people and pat them on the head like eager puppies. But that’s just more of the same elitism Kozlowski is flinging.

But even the self-published author has something the critics and so-called experts don’t: a sense of accomplishment.

Even if the book sucks, is self-published electronically, and only read by 12 people, the author still worked for months, and sometimes years, to put that massive collection of words together. That work made them an author. Putting those words into that form makes a writer an author.

On the other hand, the critic/expert only sits in judgment and says, “I don’t like it,” but never actually risks anything themselves or does any of the real work the author did.

As Hemingway reportedly said, “Critics are men who watch the battle from a high place, then come down and shoot the survivors.”

I have a real problem with non-authors who try to determine what constitutes an author.

The Elitism Rankles

Many novice and would-be writers already struggle with adopting the mantle of “writer.” It’s not a term they easily accept. They’re unnecessarily waiting to call themselves a writer, even if they’ve been wordsmithing for five years.

People who put together an actual book should be able to call themselves whatever they want. I’m just happy they’re writing at all!

(On the other hand, I might question whether something was an actual “book.” Something that’s 80 pages, with a picture of a kitty and two sentences on every page, in 48 point type, hardly qualifies as a book, regardless of how it’s formatted.)

But Kozlowski does have a problem with how the book is formatted.

Just because its easy to upload your written word, so that it can be downloaded to another machine does not make you an author, any more than me buying a stethoscope allows me to be called a doctor. A “singer” is someone who sings. A “professional singer” is someone who makes a living from singing. There is a stark contrast between being a writer and being a professional author.

Twisted analogies aside — substitute “me buying a stethoscope” with “me going to medical school for two years” — Kozlowski confuses the distinction between “professional author” and “professional writer,” and tries to make “professional author” the natural progression from “writer. There are many writers who never become professional authors, but Kozlowski makes it sound like this is the goal every writer has.

An author is a specific sub-set or type of writer, it’s not a stop on the career path. The author compiles many thousands of words into a couple hundred pages, edits it, and sells it as a book. A copywriter is not author. A journalist is not an author. A speechwriter is not an author. And unless they package their work into a book, they never will be.

Here’s the difference:

The writer strings words together for other people to read. The professional writer gets paid to do that. The author publishes those words in a book, whether paper or electronic. The professional author gets paid to do that. Are Ebooks Even Real Books?

Frankly, the question is as silly and uninformed as trying to draw a distinction between books printed on real paper and “books” that are only available online. Is it really a book if it doesn’t occupy a physical space in the world?

For thousands of years, books only existed on paper or papyrus, sandwiched between two covers of thicker paper, animal skins, or other protective materials. And now we can take the words from these books and put them on electronic devices.

Should we even call those “books?” Are they real books? They don’t have mass or size. They only exist as a corporeal collection of ones and zeroes. The machines don’t even capture the real book reading experience. So doesn’t this mean these electronic word-assemblages are not real “books” after all?

Calling it a book doesn’t mean it’s a book, one could argue, any more than sitting in my garage makes you a car.

Except we won’t do that. It’s a silly issue no one gets too worked up about.

But for a guy who regularly writes about how people can read fake books on tiny computers, Kozlowski’s awfully picky about who’s an author and who’s merely a writer.

The argument is a hollow one, and completely unnecessary. It’s picking a fight over something that’s a non-issue these days. The only ones who seem to worry about it are the ones who aren’t actual authors.

Take it from a professional author. We’re not that worked up about it.

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How To Use Print Materials Effectively: Email To Print

So much has been written on how print is dead. I would say, no it is not. If anything, the opportunities are greater today than they ever have been. Printed documents can be done at low cost with uv coating protection. Question is how do you combine print with electronic mediums? Email to Print Email […]

The post How To Use Print Materials Effectively: Email To Print appeared first on The Print Finish Blog. Garry Jones is President of Lloyds of Indiana, a leading provider of binding machines, laminators, uv coating systems, id badge systems and supplies and service.

Don’t Stick Your Finger In the Rat Cage – A Convocation Speech

Don’t Stick Your Finger In the Rat Cage – A Convocation Speech

I was invited to give the convocation speech at Ivy Tech in Warsaw, Indiana, during the honors ceremony the week before graduation. I was an adjunct faculty member there in Speech Communication for two years while I lived up in Syracuse, Indiana, so I was invited back to campus to share my words of wisdom. While it’s not Neil Gaiman’s Create Good Art speech, I think I did a pretty good job.

This is the text of my speech given to the students receiving honors and recognition, and their families.

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I’m very pleased to be here. And a little surprised too. 30 years ago, I was not the guy you would expect to be asked to speak to a group like this. According to my high school grades and SAT scores, I was not even the guy you’d expect to be sitting out there with you.

But life gives us second chances. Second chances, third chances, fourth chances. I used all of those, and learned something each time. Eventually I got smart, and tried not to learn from my mistakes so much, but to start learning from other people’s mistakes instead. I learned how other people failed, so I could avoid doing that. And I learned how they succeeded, so I could do more of that.

So I want to talk about things I’ve learned in the last 5, 10, 20 years. Some of the knocks I’ve taken and seen other people take. I want to tell you what I learned in finding my way so you can find your own.

If I were really clever, like Neil Gaiman, the British science fiction writer, I’d tell you to “make good art,” and how you’re allowed to make glorious and fantastic mistakes. He didn’t say how many though, and I’m still trying to find the limit.

If I were David Foster Wallace, the American novelist, I’d tell you the story about the three fish, how “this is water,” and how it relates to the importance of being well-adjusted.” Well, I know what water is, but I haven’t been well-adjusted in years.

There are three lessons I want to share with you tonight, in the hopes that you can learn them now, rather than learning them yourself the hard way.

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Lesson 1: Help Others Achieve Their Goals

The first is to help others achieve their goals.

When you do a lot of networking, you meet people who need something. They don’t necessarily need something from you. They just need something.

One day, you meet a Realtor who wants to fix up a rundown house to sell. The next, you meet a retired contractor who’s looking for something to do. You introduce them, and in a few months, he becomes her go-to-guy on all her fixer-uppers.

Or, your friend from high school is now a wedding planner. Two months later, your cousin opens a specialty cake business. And her best friend is a wedding photographer. You send a couple quick emails, and they’re having lunch and have passed enough business between themselves to book their entire summer.

Or your chiropractor tells you he’s trying to grow his practice. Three days later, a friend complains about her back pains. You refer her to your chiropractor, and she’s feeling much better, and is very grateful.

I have a friend who’s a professional photographer, focusing mostly on commercial and corporate work. He’s got another photographer friend who focuses on family portrait work. So the two of them trade leads constantly. Paul tells me he gets anywhere from 2 to 6 inquiries a month directly from Kristeen.

Why should you do this? What’s in it for you? You’re helping all these people, but what should you expect return?

Nothing. You should expect nothing. And that’s as it should be.

Because a little-known secret to success is first to help other people achieve their goals, their dreams, and their wins.

You don’t have to give up on your own goals. But in the course of your day, as you’re working on your own thing, you’re going to have a chance to help other people find the things they need. Introduce them to people they should meet. Share opportunities that don’t fit your own plans, and plug your friends in.

But — and here’s the kicker — don’t ask for a return favor.

That’s right, don’t ask for anything back. Nobody owes you one, you don’t have a favor coming to you. You don’t get a finder’s fee, a commission, or a free lunch.

If they insist on returning the favor, tell them about the people you’d like to meet or the opportunities you’re looking for. But explain that you’re not doing this so they’ll pay you back. You’re doing it to be helpful, because you hope they’ll do it for someone else some day.

Don’t keep track, don’t call in favors, and never call them and say, “Remember that one time I introduced you to that guy who did that thing with the stuff at the place?”

Because keeping track is petty and mean. Keeping track is lonely. Because people know when you keep track. They remember when you call in favors, and they know you keep an exact count of who owes what. And when they’ve paid you back, they’ll stop accepting your help because they know it comes with strings.

But if you’re the kind of person who just helps, they’ll remember you forever. If you do it enough times for enough people, good things will happen for you.

Call it Karma, blessings, God’s favor, “The Secret,” or the universe doing you a solid. Whatever you call it, if you help enough people, your generosity will be returned to you in ways much, much bigger than if you kept track.

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Lesson 2: Create Your Own Luck

By creating opportunities for other people, and helping them reach their goals, you’re going to accomplish my second lesson: create your own luck. You are going to create your own opportunities and your own lucky breaks.

Most people don’t like to do this is because it’s hard work, and the payoff is slow. Any time you try something new, like searching for a job, you won’t see success right away.

It’s very rare to try something for the first time and win a contest, get published, get recognized, or close a sale. There are no brand new singers who go on American Idol or The Voice and win the entire thing. Very rarely do we get that lucky. If you do, you’d better hope it’s because you bought a lottery ticket.

But you can create your own luck. You can create the circumstances where you get the thing you want, and the things you’ve worked for.

Maybe it’s getting that first job interview. Or the job offer. Or landing a sale with a big client. Or even running a 5K race. Trying out for a play. Publishing a magazine article.

But it’s not just blind luck. That didn’t happen the first time you ever tried to accomplish your goal. It happened after you applied to 50, 100, or even 200 jobs. Ten years ago, I applied for over 400 jobs in a single year before I got one.

Creating your own luck is not a matter of rubbing a rabbit’s foot, or having a four-leaf clover, or not changing your socks until your hitting streak ends.

Creating your luck is a matter of doing the thing you want over and over. It means applying for as many jobs as you can find. It means meeting as many people for coffee as you have time and a bladder for. It means making as many sales calls as you can, or sending as many emails.

Because the law of averages says someone is eventually going to pay attention to you. The hiring manager will call you. Or the purchasing manager will finally buy something. Or the newspaper or magazine will publish your article.

Lorraine Ball, Kyle Lacy, and Me

Me, Lorraine Ball, and Kyle Lacy. Lorraine introduced me to Kyle, and we ended up writing two books together.

Or, if you’re like my friends Kyle and Lorraine, meeting someone will set off a long chain of events that lead you somewhere else. Kyle met Lorraine when they both attended the same networking group.

Kyle ended up working for Lorraine as an intern, and she taught him about marketing and networking. He left after a year and started his own business. I met them both through the same networking group, and Kyle and I eventually wrote a couple books together. Lorraine became my mentor and taught me about business, and I learned enough to eventually own my small company.

Now Lorraine’s business is the biggest it has ever been, I’ve written four books, and Kyle is a high up muckity-muck at ExactTarget in Indianapolis.

Who doesn’t return my calls.

Our accomplishments all happened because we met someone who introduced us to someone else who introduced us to a third person, who introduced us to a fourth person who did something awesome. We constantly refer people to each other — “Oh, you need to meet Kyle,” or “you should really talk to my friend Lorraine.”

Sometimes those introductions pay off, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, they pay off five years later when someone calls one of us and says “we met a few years ago, and I just had something come across my desk that you would be perfect for.”

This isn’t just luck, this is serendipity. Being in the right place at the right time to meet the right person holding the right opportunity. This happens all the time in all our lives, we just have to be willing to be open to the idea, and pursue the people and opportunities that come our way.

It’s a direct reflection of the amount of energy and effort you put into other people and into the work you want to do. And the more people you meet, and the more energy you put in, the more successful you’ll be.

There’s an old saying that if you want to split a rock, you need to hit it 1,000 times. When it breaks, it’s not the thousandth strike that did it, it’s the 999 times before it.

When I was a kid, whenever I lost something, my dad always said, “It will always be in the last place you look.” I never understood exactly what he meant, so one day, when I was trying to find my basketball, I tried to shortcut the system.

I stood in my bedroom and declared, “The last place I’m going to look is my closet!” Then I looked in the closet and. . . no basketball.

I was so annoyed. I had told God and the universe that this was the last place I was going to look, but that didn’t put the basketball there, which meant this wasn’t true. It also meant I had to keep looking, which meant it really wasn’t the last place I looked. (It was in my toy box out in the garage.)

Your goals don’t work that way. You can’t stand over the rock and declare your first strike to be the thousandth. You can’t declare your first job application to be “the one.” If things worked that way, I’d be filthy rich.

Instead, you have to stand over the rock, sweat in your eyes, shoulders aching, swinging that stupid hammer over and over again. When you want to quit, you take a little break, get a drink, switch arms, and swing some more.

Just when you think you’ve had enough, and your arms are going to fall off, that’s when that last strike comes. You hit the rock and there’s a different sound. It’s deeper, and you feel it in the ground. That’s when everything starts to change and all your work starts paying off.

Not only do you get one phone call for a job interview, you get four. Not only did you close the sale, you got a year-long contract. Not only did you land the part in the play, you got the lead. Not only did you run the 5K, you won your age group.

It happened because you kept hitting the rock. You worked hard, you practiced, kept writing, rehearsing, running, and calling. And that’s why you succeeded.

None of this is going to happen for you every time. Just like every economy has an up and down, and every civilization has a high and low, our own lives have their own ups and downs. It’s what you do during the ups that prepare you for the downs. And it’s what you do when you’re down that makes your ups higher and longer.

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Lesson 3: Don’t Take NO For An Answer

One of the reasons you have to keep trying? One of the reasons it’s going to be hard? Because you’re going to hear NO a lot. Which brings me to my third lesson, don’t take NO for an answer.

I was a troublemaker when I was a kid. I was constantly causing trouble, getting into trouble, and making trouble, and my teachers and parents were worried that I wasn’t going to do much with my life. I had “a lot of potential,” but so did every other kid. Turns out making trouble was the best thing I could have done for my future.

There are people who study this kind of thing. One interesting thing they found about troublemakers is that we make the best entrepreneurs and artists, because we never take NO for an answer.

“NO” is not the final word. It’s not even “No, dammit, now cut it out!”

We hold out for “Fine, do whatever you want.” Because in our minds, “See, I told you so” is our final word. We never want to end something on someone else’s terms, we end them on our own. If you tell us NO, we’re going to push and push until we get to our version of Yes, with or without you.

It reminds me of the time my dad made me get my finger bitten by a lab rat.

lab ratMy dad was a psychology professor at Ball State for 45 years (in fact, today is his last day; he finally retired). When I was four, he did a lot of work doing behavioral testing on lab rats. One day, he took me to the rat lab so I could see where he worked. He bent down, looked me straight in the eye, and told me the one thing guaranteed to get me to stick my finger in a rat’s cage.

He said, “Don’t stick your finger in the rat cage.”

We spent the next few hours at Ball Memorial Hospital where I got a shot in my butt and a bandage on my finger.

Troublemakers never do what we’re told. In fact, we do the opposite of what we’re told. That’s what makes us such good entrepreneurs. People tell us to forget about a problem, or to just live with it, but we can’t. In fact, the best way to get us to fix a problem is to tell us it can’t be solved.

But we’re going to hear a lot of NO while we do it. We’re going to spend a lot of our life hearing NO over and over.

No, you can’t go to this college. Fine, I’ll go to another one.

No, you can’t take those classes. Fine, I didn’t want to take your stupid classes anyway.

No, you can’t have a job here. Fine, I’ll start my own job. And then you’ll contract with my company to do that job better than the person you hired.

This also means that life is going to knock you down. A lot. Many of us have been knocked down a few times already. That’s life’s way of saying NO.

But to the troublemakers and the entrepreneurs, that’s not the end. It’s a dare. That’s life pointing at its chin and saying, “come on, give me your best shot.”

The troublemaker will get up again and again and again. Eventually we’ll stop getting knocked down. We’ll be the ones knocking life on its backside for a while.

Many of you have already done something that 60% of the people in this country will never do — you went to college. And many of you are planning on going on to something bigger. A new job, more opportunities, maybe even more school.

And you are already — as motivational speaker Les Brown says — blessed and highly favored. I hope you all realize that, because I think all of you can do great things. All of you, not just our graduates.

And it really all will just come down to doing the three things I’ve discussed tonight: Help others achieve their goals; Create your own luck; Don’t take NO for an answer.

It’s that simple, but it’s not that easy. It’s hard work. It means doing a little more every day. Doing a little more than the person next to you. Working a little longer. Watching less TV and reading more books. It means getting up 30 minutes earlier, or staying up 30 minutes later.

I can tell you that even though this is common sense advice, it’s not as common as you might think. Because no matter how many times “the experts” tell people this is what it takes, most people won’t do it. They don’t want to put in the extra effort. But you can, and the payoffs will be huge.

Even if you do just 30 minutes more per day than anyone else — 30 minutes more practice, 30 minutes more sales calls, 30 minutes more job searching — you’ll be 2.5 hours ahead of the game at the end of the week.

That’s 10 hours in a month. That’s 120 hours in a year. That’s three extra weeks of work in reaching for your own goals. And if you can put in that three extra weeks of reaching for your dreams, you’re going to be miles ahead of those people who show up at 8 or 9 and go home at 4 or 5.

Because when you get down to it, by helping others, creating your own luck, and never taking NO for an answer, you too will be blessed and highly favored, and you’ll be in a position to do awesome things for yourself and your family.

Thank you, congratulations, and good luck.

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When the speech was over, a woman came up to me and said her grandson was a fellow troublemaker and she wished she had a copy of the speech to show her daughter, to explain why her grandson was going to be awesome. I handed her the hard copy of my speech, and she said, “I’m going to show this to my daughter tonight!”

Best. Thank you. Ever.

Photo credit (Erik, Lorraine, and Kyle): Toni Deckers
Photo credit (lab rat): Rick Eh? (Flickr, Creative Commons)

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Best Forums for Print Finishing Professionals

The great thing about the Internet is information can be found with a press of a few buttons or to request Siri to find an answer. Often, the best place to find answers is still a forum. There are several forums out there that are specific to the Print Finish Industry.So, I am going to […]

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UV Coating Machine Review – Tec Lighting Versus Al’s Co versus Duplo

We got a lot of inquiries about UV Coating machines at Lloyds of indiana. The 2 primary manufacturers we carry are Tec Lighting and Al’s Co. Duplo is another popular brand. For small print shops, the Duplo models may be cost prohibitive because of their up front costs. Let’s look at the pros and cons […]

The post UV Coating Machine Review – Tec Lighting Versus Al’s Co versus Duplo appeared first on The Print Finish Blog. Garry Jones is President of Lloyds of Indiana, a leading provider of binding machines, laminators, uv coating systems, id badge systems and supplies and service.

Is my UV Coating Fluid making me sick?

UV Coating Fluid Can Make the Difference A UV coating machine is an excellent way to add protection to documents you are printing. It is far more cost effective than lamination. It makes your finished documents look excellent with either a gloss or matte finish. The challenge sometimes is the heat and odor. UV lamps […]

The post Is my UV Coating Fluid making me sick? appeared first on The Print Finish Blog. Garry Jones is President of Lloyds of Indiana, a leading provider of binding machines, laminators, uv coating systems, id badge systems and supplies and service.