100 DESIGNER FRIENDLY COMPANIES
Every year for several decades, we have spotlighted 100 companies and institutions that provide first-rate products and services to creative professionals, adding value and finding solutions, communicating with and standing behind our community. Such companies are few and far between, and deserving of special recognition.
This is especially true as we all face a challenging 2009, marked by a painful recession rooted in reality, but also exacerbated by instant 24/7 communications that spread bad news way beyond reality.
As always, the winds of change whip through this annual exercise, showcasing the dynamic interplay of markets, technology, innovation and initiative. We note several major trends: an increased emphasis on environmental and corporate responsibility; the continued winnowing of companies and brands by mergers and acquisitions; the appearance of ever more sophisticated digital, printing and workflow products; the growing impact of e-commerce in shopping and purchasing habits; the emergence of new companies that address changed needs; and the disappearance of some grand old names.
The following includes company overviews, new developments and contact information. And we continue to add information about educational institutions and non-profits — schools, conference organizers, certification programs and others who matter to the creative community — to the traditional mix of manufacturing and services companies. After a respectable delay, the roundup will also appear on our popular website as well.
Why does this all matter in 2009? Because in an age of interdependence, collaboration and the blurring of design and production, you are only as good as your tools, your technologies, your services, your vendors, your knowledge and your information. And in a year of economic turmoil, double down on what we just said.