The Hard Copy Observer

The Hard Copy Observer

The Hard Copy Observer

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The Hard Copy Observer is a regular publication of Lyra Research. It is a business (as opposed to consumer) publication targeted at the Printing and Imaging business, and is widely considered the premier authoritative factual source for that industry. Tekrati, a firm in the Analyst Relations business, summarizes The Hard Copy Observer as "a leading publication serving the industry and, in fact, the printer industry bible."

Volume 1, Number 1 of "the Observer" was published in October 1991. Its founder as well as original editor and publisher is Charles LeCompte, who remains as publisher (2010). The success of the publication spawned what grew to be a much larger marketing research organization, Lyra Research, headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts. A companion monthly newsletter, The Hard Copy Supplies Journal, was also developed to focus on the consumables portion of the business.

The first edition was 28 pages in length, and featured front-page stories about Xerox, Apple Computer, and Dataproducts. Its "look" was the no-nonsense black-and-white format that for the most part has remained unchanged. Today's subscription rate is $650 a year, compared to 1991's $495 a year, though the average edition's length, in its print form, grew to over 50 pages. Then as now, the publication is subscriber-supported with virtually no advertising.

The print version of the publication ended with the August 2009 issue, and beginning in September 2009, the newsletter...
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