From the Editor

The economy will turn around—whether it begins in 2010 or 2011, it will happen. And it's the companies and individuals that keep their pipeline for new products strong that will be well positioned when that turnaround does take place. It is the businesses that, even when times were tough, were flexible and creative in answering customers' needs, that will thrive—in spite of the fact that staffing was tight and resources limited. They make the most of what they have so customers remain confidant and business relationships stay intact.

And artists know they have to continue creating now for the future. Customers will always respond to good design and will open their wallets for a product that makes their day-to-day life a little easier. And they definitely will respond to products that inspire or ease their minds—probably now more than ever.

We found that many businesses featured in this issue of Art of Licensing are taking positive steps to ensure they remain top of mind with customers. They are attending trade shows, adding new artists and producing fresh and innovative lines that are versatile and can work across a variety of categories and for a variety of customers. Many are expanding their business beyond design and have developed consulting divisions.

Were those easy investments to make in a tight market? Of course not. But they were smart decisions because when the business does start to turn around, those companies that were aggressive and showed leadership today will be the ones that make the deals tomorrow.