by Jack Condon

Last month, the AFP Consortium met in sunny Ivrea, Italy, in the province of Turin, to discuss the present status and future course of the Consortium. Many thanks to core member ISIS Papyrus for hosting us in this lovely locale!

It’s an eventful time in the world of the AFP Consortium, with the incomparable Harry Lewis retiring from his president, secretary and treasurer posts as well as his “day job” with Ricoh. Though Harry has moved on, the Consortium’s collaborative efforts are well positioned to continue to push AFP to new and greater heights.

Speaking of new beginnings, RISO Kagaku, the Japanese corporation that invented the Risograph, joined us for an in-person meeting for the first time as a participating member. Welcome, RISO!

One major topic of discussion was how to make AFP more attractive to younger generations. While the platform has strong adoption in transactional and TransPromo print spaces, we expect the growth of multichannel communications to drive demand for even more robust features in the electronic presentment arena. Fortunately, AFP is well suited both for electronic presentment as it’s used today and for evolution to satisfy emerging use cases.

Many of these use cases are in the banking and credit card industries. As a result, the consortium is hard at work researching, discussing and exploring ways AFP can better serve this industry, which similarly prides itself on precision and security.

Additional topics of discussion that we intend to continue to work on throughout the year included:

  • Planned publication of AFP References for MO:DCA, GOCA and Line Data
  • Designs for AFP tagging and IPDS Metadata
  • Analysis of AFP support for color overprint applications

All in all, it was a very productive meeting. Seeing the people who work year-round to improve the platform that makes so much possible is always a great experience – here's looking forward to our next meeting in Boulder in the fall!