HP announced today that HP has helped National Geographic create customizable covers for the new National Geographic Your Shot special collector's edition magazine. Readers can upload their favorite personal image to a National Geographic web page and then order a copy of the magazine that features that image on the cover. The covers are printed by Consolidated Graphics, the world's largest HP Indigo user, on its fleet of HP Indigo 7000 Digital Presses.I wasn't there so I can only conjecture, but here's my conjecture. HP got the job. The Indigo Fleet produced the job. Maybe the commission on the sale was shared with Consolidated. Maybe Consolidated just got the clicks. The point is that like almost every print job it wasn't sold, it was bought.
From the press release it seems that National Geographic had the idea. They are doing the ecommerce part with someone they trust.
National Geographic worked with its e-commerce solutions provider to develop a web-to-print tool for the creation of customized covers.Just as Lexus had the idea for "mine" magazine. CMO's don't need ideas from printers or their vendors. They need a phone number of someone in whom they have confidence.
"The pervasiveness of HP Indigo technology in the printing industry gave us the confidence to approach the cover customization project with HP," said John MacKethan, director, Consumer and Member Marketing, National Geographic Society. "Knowing that we would receive a level of quality that is consistent with our magazines, HP and Consolidated Graphics helped us create a new product that enables us to engage with photography enthusiasts and general consumers who like the idea of being able to customize the cover with a unique, personal photograph."I still can't quite figure out if National Geographic called CGX or called HP. My bet is HP. Maybe Google will make a call to produce a couple of 10's of millions of clickable postcards to speed the adoption of the Chrome OS. Maybe someone will answer the phone.
The other just the right part is that the project is leveraging the power of print as a "special collector's edition". You can't collect a web page. Now we just have to wait for the sales figures to see if all this is true or just blablabla.
Meanwhile, Go Printernet!