It was just a year ago that SPIE published its Proceedings, Volume 53, on Laser Recording and Information Handling, documenting a comprehensive seminar which we are proud to have organized and chaired. Now this special issue of Optical Engineering, highlighting the same subject, has inspired the creation of a new group of excellent papers to express substantial advances in our understanding and application of this growing technology. The series begins with a unique compilation of surveys and study data, representing the considerations of several of our prominent specialists in the field. It concludes with some new applications data, taking advantage of the spectral characteristics of laser radiation in direct color image recording and instrumentation. Two Short Communications - on the distinguishable gray level in high-resolution film, and on semiconductor injection lasers -complete our report.