RR Donnelley Recognized as Partner-Level Supplier in John Deere’s Achieving Excellence Program

R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company (Nasdaq:RRD) announced today that it has earned recognition as a Partner-level supplier in the 2014 John Deere Achieving Excellence program. RR Donnelley was selected for the honor in recognition of its dedication to providing communication products and services of outstanding quality as well as its commitment to continuous improvement. RR Donnelley provides prepress services, magazines, and catalogs to John Deere operations in the U.S., Australia and EMEA. Suppliers who participate in the Achieving Excellence program are evaluated annually in several key performance categories including quality, cost management, delivery, technical support and wavelength, which is a measure of responsiveness. Partner-level status is Deere's highest supplier rating and is awarded to suppliers who go beyond John Deere's performance standards, who achieve excellent service levels, and who have a measurable impact on customer satisfaction.
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Report: Malls Not Dead, Far From It

New data from two leading retail industry trade groups show that, once again, the demise of the nation’s malls is greatly exaggerated. Rents, occupancy and net operating income among the nation’s shopping centers reached record levels last year, according to a review of 2014 data by the International council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF). “The 2014 data paints a very strong picture of the shopping center industry for the year ahead, and is especially promising in the mall segment,” said ICSC spokesperson Jesse Tron. “Record growth in key indicators such as occupancy and NOI strongly indicate a healthy outlook and further underline the ability of the industry to innovate to fit the needs of today’s consumer.”
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5 Tips for Personal Branding

Marketing is not just for ad agencies and corporations. How effectively are you promoting yourself and your work? Just like businesses benefit from branding, so too can individuals. A consistent and compelling brand attracts clients; impresses supervisors and hiring managers; and leads to more assignments, responsibilities and job offers. But you have to pull everything together and package it well.
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Oil Holds Around $55 as Iran Nuclear Talks Drag On

Brent crude oil futures held around $55 a barrel as speculation continued over whether a preliminary deal over Iran's nuclear programme would be reached, opening the way for more Iranian crude to come into world markets. Talks between Iran and six world powers to settle a dispute around Tehran's nuclear programme extended beyond a Tuesday deadline in the Swiss city of Lausanne. Brent crude for May delivery LCOc1 was down 3 cents at $55.08 a barrel by 1026 GMT, after reaching a session low of $54.70. U.S. crude for May delivery CLc1 was trading 39 cents lower at $47.21 a barrel.
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Electric Vehicles Will Travel Much Further Than Drivers Expect, Study Finds

Electric vehicles (EVs) will meet the daily travel needs of drivers longer than commonly assumed, according to the first study of its kind carried out by scientists at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Many drivers and much prior literature on the retirement of EV batteries have assumed that EV batteries will be retired after the battery has lost 20 percent of its energy storage or power delivery capability. This study shows that the daily travel needs of drivers continue to be met well beyond these levels of battery degradation. Samveg Saxena, who leads a vehicle powertrain research program at Berkeley Lab, analyzed real-world driving patterns and found that batteries that have lost 20 percent of their originally rated energy storage capacity can still meet the daily travel needs of more than 85 percent of U.S. drivers.
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Crown Beverage Packaging Supplies Cans To Craft Brewers Participating In Hops For Heroes’ 2015 Homefront IPA Release

For the second straight year, CROWN Beverage Packaging North America will help to make Memorial Day memorable in support of U.S. military armed services, veterans, and their families. The Company will be a national sponsor of Hops for Heroes’ 2015 Homefront IPA program and will donate cans, graphics work for can printing, and freight for shipping, so that the ten participating craft breweries can produce their own unique versions of Homefront IPA for mutual release parties, events and local accounts. Notably, all funds raised will be donated to a military-focused charitable organization. This year’s charity is Soldiers’ Angels, which provides aid and comfort to men and women of the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In 2014, over $200,000 was raised in the Homefront IPA effort. To remind customers of the importance of the past, present, and future members of our armed services, Memorial Day (May 25th) will be the official release date of Homefront IPA. It will also encourage customers to remember the ultimate sacrifice so many have made to preserve our freedom. “This is such a great and worthwhile charitable effort,” notes Ron Skotleski, CROWN Beverage Packaging’s Director of Marketing. “We are proud to participate each year, especially in something we are passionate about — craft beer. We are also extremely proud to have our cans chosen for Homefront IPA in support of our veterans and their families.”
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Commemorating a Classic with Vintage Design

Since its introduction in 1939, some of the most celebrated entertainers, celebrities, and politicians of their time have used Shure Inc.’s iconic Model 55 Unidyne microphone. Among them, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Buddy Guy, President John F. Kennedy, and General Douglas MacArthur. To celebrate the microphone’s 75th anniversary, Shure created a commemorative version of the 55 Unidyne, the Model 5575LE Unidyne, that replicates the original design, with improvements in durability and sound quality. For such a special limited-edition item, Shure wanted a packaging design that would capture the famed history of the audio product. In April 2014 Shure approached MiresBall—a design agency with several successful Shure packaging projects to its credit—to develop the anniversary package and its graphics for a December 2014 launch. To capture the spirit of the brand, MiresBall took inspiration from archival Unidyne packaging and advertising graphics, using them to decorate the standard, corrugated carton used by Shure.
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Stora Enso is Expanding its Selection of EU Ecolabel Certified Boards

Stora Enso Consumer Board is expanding its selection of EU Ecolabel certified boards for graphical end uses. Now also Ensocoat 2S, Aurocard and Performa Alto have been certified, in addition to Ensocoat, Chromocard, Performa White, Performa Bright and Performa Cream. The EU Ecolabel Certificate confirms that the boards fulfil the European Commission’s ecological criteria for copying and graphic paper. It is thus used in graphical end use areas, not in packaging business. The EU Ecolabel requires the use of certified fibre in board production, limitations of harmful substances and emissions, restrictions on energy use, and implementation of waste management systems.
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Misunderstood by Some Customers, 4over Decides to Sunset Project RedTag; URL for Sale

In 2010, 4over launched RedTagPrints.com, designed as a way to capture leads and distribute business to its existing customers. The intention behind the project was straightforward and positive—capture opportunistic online buyers, share their leads and payout any profit over wholesale cost with our customers. Unfortunately, 4over’s business model for RedTag was occasionally misinterpreted and the project came under scrutiny, thus impacting the early adoption of the site. Responding to misinformation from competitors, some customers thought 4over was trying to go directly to the end user when, in fact, the aim was to counter the growth of online printers who were hurting 4over’s customers. Other customers embraced the model and were rewarded financially for their efforts, gaining new customers that they service today.
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USPS Postpones April 26 Date for New Rates

Following the Postal Regulatory Commission's second rejection of proposed Standard Mail rate changes, the U.S. Postal Service has postponed its original April 26 implementation date. An “Industry Alert” sent to customers by the Postal Board of Governors late last week said that no date would be set until after PRC approval is received for market-dominant rates. “This decision was primarily motivated by a desire to eliminate potential adverse impacts on postal customers that might result from a staggered implementation of our new prices,” read the notice. “After considering the complexity of the required programming changes…[and] the specific complications that our customers might face…the Postal Service has decided to delay implementation until all of our proposed rates and classification changes can be implemented at one time.”
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