Author Archive

  • Evolution: Spicers unveils new film range

    Samples of the Digitac range from Spicers.

    Spicers has launched its new Digitac range of films for sign and display, which it bills as “an evolution in grip”. They include materials for both indoor and outdoor use.

    Evolution: Harry Pagoulatos, Spicers.

    Digitac can be printed on UV, Latex, and eco-solvent roll-to-roll machines, and has a wide variety of applications, says Harry Pagoulatos, marketing and business development manager at Spicers. “Evolution is driven by the demands of the environment. Natural selection ensures that creatures develop the best attributes to thrive in their habitat,” he said. “Digitac from Spicers mimics this evolution, with a diverse range of sign and display solutions.”

    The range includes:

    • Digitac Popdot, recommended for short-term indoor campaigns and promotional use.
    • Digitac E-stat White and Clear, self-clinging static films for indoor promotional applications.
    • Digitac Floortac Indoor, a hard-wearing laminate with an R11 anti-slip rating, recommended for short-term indoor campaigns and promotional applications.
    • Digitac Floortac Outdoor, which uses aluminium construction for outdoor environments and has an R12 non-slip rating, suitable for high-traffic areas.
    • Digitac Floortac Carpet, which can be applied to commercial short-pile carpets, has an R11 non-slip rating, and is recommended for retail shop campaigns, sponsorship targeted marketing, promotional events, way-finding, point of purchase, and facility safety flooring.
  • Starleaton promotes Zünd S3 cutter

    A Zünd S3 Digital Cutter.

    Starleaton is featuring its Zünd S3 flatbed cutter as part of its growing array of signage equipment ithat includes Epson, OKI ColorPainter and Flexa.

    The super-fast S3 line of cutters are modular and can be changed, expanded, upgraded any time. Modular tooling allows for processing a wide variety of materials up to a maximum thickness of 25mm. Various levels of automated material-handling turn the S3 into an all-round production system.

    With its focus on innovation, Zünd has for decades been a driving force in the graphics industry. The “simple” vinyl cutter/plotter of the past has evolved into a multifunctional digital cutting system capable of accurately matching cut to print while automatically processing a multitude of flexible and rigid substrates.

    Starleaton is an Australian-owned and operated importer, converter and distributor of materials, hardware, software and know-how for the Signage, Display, Exhibition, Photography, Graphic Arts and Packaging industries.

  • Print21 newsletter issue 1056 – WEEKEND SPECIAL

    The march of digital printing is unstoppable, highlighted this week with Whirlwind converting the Lindsay Yates plant into a digital hub, and a US printer buying 20 HP digital flexo presses, for the not inconsiderable sum of $100m. And congratulations to Imagination Graphics and all the state winners in the Konica Minolta digital print awards, the work on display was terrific.


    Welcome to the latest issue of the Print21 newsletter, the premier news and information source for print businesses in Australia and New Zealand.


    Wayne Robinson

  • AGS snaps up Morgana in Victoria

    Done deal: Nathan Broughton, Print and Pack (left) with Glenn Maynard, AGS.

    Australian Graphic Servicing (AGS) has signed on as a reseller of Morgana finishing equipment in Victoria, thanks to a deal with supplier Print and Pack Australia.

    The reseller agreement will see AGS supply Morgana equipment across Victoria including the DigiFold Pro creaser/folders, which combine creasing, folding, perforation and cross perforation. “The Morgana range fills a void in our equipment portfolio for creasing and folding products.  It is a solidly built, well-recognised brand with a reputation for reliability,” said Maynard.

    AGS has a number of Morgana products on display in its Mulgrave showroom already. Andrew Dunn, business development manager at AGS, says the company is excited about the deal. “We did go and speak to many of our customers and their feedback on Morgana centred around its reliability and fit for purpose products. I believe the partnership with Print and Pack, with our first focus being the customers, will be a win-win for all,” he said.

    According to Nathan Broughton, national product manager for bindery and digital finishing at Print and Pack Australia, PPA is always on the lookout for new opportunities to expand the reach of the products it supports. “AGS is a well-established business, which offers ideal synergies to this philosophy by facilitating a nice showroom and after sales support team,” he said. “AGS takes a professional approach when dealing with industry needs within this digital print and finishing sector. Therefore, when the opportunity arose, PPA acted swiftly to secure AGS as a reseller of our Morgana equipment range.

    “To put it simply, the Morgana range is very sought after and we are certain AGS will bring further great results for Morgana, PPA, and Victorian printers alike.”

  • In Memoriam – David Yaffa (1934-2018)

    Vale David Yaffa: independent and passionate publisher

    David Yaffa, proprietor of Yaffa Media, publisher of Print21, has died aged 84.

    A staunchly independent and passionate publisher, he built an empire of more than 30 business and consumer magazines and websites, becoming a significant force in Australian media.

    As one of the largest specialist publishing houses in Australia, the company could have been sold many times over, but he was not interested. Nor was he interested in joint ventures, partnerships or going public. He wanted to build the company his way and grow it as a successful family business.

    His father, David Yaffa Snr, founded the company in 1925 when he established Yaffa Syndicate, which supplied cartoons, photographs and articles to the Australian and New Zealand newspaper industries. In 1928 he launched a monthly industry publication, Newspaper News, which later became AdNews. He also established a printing company, Rotary Colorprint, which printed not only his own magazines but also Phantom comics, Reader’s Digest and other publications under licence.

    David Jnr was only 13 when his father died. At age 21 he was running the company. By the 1960s it had five publications but still relied on printing and the syndication business for the bulk of its income. Conditions for publishing improved in the 1960s and ’70s, and Yaffa Publishing expanded mainly through the acquisition of additional titles.

    As advertising revenue increased in the ’80s and ’90s – for all media – the stable of magazines was increased further, the event company Two de Force was purchased, and a digital division established.

    David Yaffa retired in 2012, and his daughter Tracy Yaffa became managing director. The company was renamed Yaffa Media in 2015 and transformed into an organisation that now combines publishing, content marketing and events.

    David Yaffa will be remembered for his love of the media. His knowledge and experience with magazines for almost 60 years was unrivalled. He understood as well as anybody that publishing is a people business. He was a shrewd judge of character, demanded plenty from his staff but always treated them with respect.

    In a statement to Yaffa Media staff, managing director Tracy Yaffa said: “It is with great sadness and heavy heart, I announce the passing of David Yaffa, on Saturday, October 6. He was of course my predecessor, my adored father and for some of you, your boss.

    “A true publishing giant and unique gentleman, his career spanned an impressive 57 years from 1955 to 2012. His contribution to the Australian media landscape was extraordinary.”

    James Yaffa, publisher at Yaffa Media, said: “I had the privilege to work with Dad for over 20 years, and enjoyed every minute of it. For me Dad was a real character who made a positive impact on so many Australians. Our staff simply respected him like no other.

    “For me getting started there could have been no better mentor and for that I’m eternally grateful. “And for the record we had plenty of fun working hard to be as competitive as possible. Make no mistake, David liked to win!”

    See David Yaffa, an empire builder who shunned the spotlight.

  • Pantone blunder leaves V flat in court

    A mix-up with Pantone swatches has scuppered beverage company Frucor’s attempt to trademark the shade of green used for its V energy drinks, with a federal court ruling highlighting Pantone’s crucial role in branding.

    Frucor attempted to trademark the shade of green designated as Pantone 376C as ‘V Green’ in 2012, but its application was knocked back four years later after it was found that a Frucor solicitor had attached a swatch of the wrong green to the original application. The Coca-Cola Company, owner of rival energy drink Mother, opposed the application, arguing that the attached swatch was actually the much darker Pantone 7727C.

    Frucor appealed the decision to the Federal Court, saying that it should have been based on the written description of “Pantone 376C” rather than the attached colour, but Justice David Yates knocked it back, noting that though Frucor had been aware of the mistake since 2014, it had made no attempt to amend its application until three years later.

    Additionally, Yates ruled in agreement with Coca-Cola that though Pantone 376C was ‘reminiscent’ of V, it was the large V logo that served as the drink’s ‘brand of origin’ rather than the colour. “Frucor’s own use of colour before the filing date shows that, in relation to its own V energy drink range, colour was used to denote varietal differences, and to distinguish products in the range from each other and from its core product – the hero in the range,” he wrote in his decision.

    “Although Frucor’s use of V Green was pervasive and no doubt fundamental to its whole marketing strategy, it was, nonetheless, reminiscent of its core product. In this way, Frucor’s use of V Green was essentially descriptive, not distinctive in the trademark sense.”

    Frucor will not be permitted to appeal or amend its application further.

  • Print21 newsletter Issue 1051 – WEEKEND SPECIAL

    A watershed moment as digital finally pips print in outdoor media spend, but outdoor print itself is still growing, up another $2m to $110m in the third quarter, in a sector which far from slowing down is actually increasing the rate of growth, up by more than 10 per cent this quarter, happy days.


    Welcome to the Print21 Weekend Special, the premiere print industry newsletter for Australia and New Zealand, read by more print professionals than any other.


    Wayne Robinson

  • Print21 Newsletter Issue 1049 – WEEKEND SPECIAL

    Congratulations to Sarah Leo on her scholarship award. I visited OpenBook Howden in Adelaide a couple of years ago and was mightily impressed by the company, particularly its continual investment in its people, both blue collar and white collar.


    Welcome to the Print21 Newsletter, from the premier news and information service for Australia and New Zealand printers. Enjoy the long weekend, and good luck to all the finalists this weekend; win, lose or draw it’s the lucky country.


    Wayne Robinson

  • Winners revealed at 15th global label awards

    Innovations by Avery Dennison, Hamillroad Software and RotoMetrics were among the category winners honored at this year’s Label Industry Global Awards, which took place this week at Joe’s Live in Rosemont, Chicago, as part of Labelexpo Americas 2018.

    Now in its 15th edition, the awards celebrate the most innovative, creative and successful work from the label and package printing industry across the globe in the last twelve months.  The 2018 award ceremony brought together 330 guests featuring some of the biggest names from the international label community, and those working behind the scenes to constantly innovate and push this dynamic sector forward.

     The Award for Innovation (for companies with up to 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web, was presented to Hamillroad Software for its new product solution, Bellissima, which combines the best-of-breed technologies of plate, anilox and screen. The system is a set of Digitally Modulated Screens (DMS), developed and optimised specifically for flexo. Imaged at 4,000dpi, Bellissima provides a high level of image reproduction (over 300lpi equivalent), with no screen or content moiré.

     The Award for Innovation (for companies with more than 300 employees), also sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web, went to RotoMetrics for its RotoRepel, a non-stick coating that is available on its solid and flexible cutting dies. This technology minimises adhesive pick-up and transfer and has resulted in significant benefits, including improved press efficiency, presses running faster, significant reduction in downtime, longer tool life, waste reduction and lower tool costs.

     Avery Dennison won the Award for Sustainability, sponsored by Labels & Labelling magazine. Avery Dennison partnered with EcoVadis, a leading sustainability performance rating solution, to operate a collaborative dashboard providing sustainability ratings and performance improvement tools for their global supply chain. The platform delivers simple and reliable scorecards to monitor supplier best practices. A total of 21 internationally recognised sustainability criteria are reviewed and separated into four criteria themes: environment, social, ethics and supply chain.

    The final award of the night, the R Stanton Avery Pioneer Award, which was previously announced in June, went to Alex Knott, of the Dow Chemical Company. This award, sponsored by Avery Dennison, honours the contribution an individual has made which has impacted the label and package printing sector, whether their pioneering work has spanned two years or two decades. Knott is a senior scientist in the company and leader of a global team that has pioneered the latest innovations in pressure-sensitive silicone release liner coating technology, including the introduction of Dow’s Flat Release Systems.

     This technology has impacted high speed, low coating weight, high performance and labelstock release liner production, and has also been a key factor in helping to drive down silicone coating costs. For the label converter and end-user, this has contributed to superior waste stripping performance at ever-increasing press running speeds, as well as enabling much higher label application line speeds on the latest automated product decoration systems. This work has helped build Knott’s global reputation as a leading authority on silicone pressure-sensitive systems.

     He joins fellow winners of the individual award including: Professor Tan of PEIAC, Tomas Rink of Ritrama, Helmut Schreiner of Schreiner Group, Suzanne Zaccone of GSI Technologies, and Neil McDonough of FlexCon.

    Mike Fairley, chair of the judges, commented: “This is an industry that dares to be different and push the boundaries of excellence and technology, but this would not be possible without the sheer determination and hard work of our many industry colleagues around the world. Our annual awards seek to highlight these companies and individuals and share some of the fantastic innovations that have been achieved in the last twelve months. I, on behalf of the judging panel, would like to commend and congratulate all our finalists and winners, and thank them for this spirit of innovation that makes our industry so unique. These are the only awards of their kind in existence, and I sincerely hope this year’s winners will inspire others to push ahead with our industry’s continued development and drive it ever forwards.”

     The other members of the judging panel for this year’s awards were: Chris Ellison, president of FINAT; Dan Muenzer, president of TLMI; James Quirk, group managing editor, Labels & Labeling; Rosina Obermayer, editor of NarrowWebTech; and Steve Katz, editor of Label & Narrow Web.

    The Label Industry Global Awards 2018 category finalists were as follows:

    1. The Award for Innovation (for companies with up to 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web (in alphabetical order):

    • Dienes Corporation
    • Eaglewood Technologies
    • Hamillroad Software
    • MGI
    • Phoseon Technology

    2. The Award for Innovation (for companies with more than 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web (in alphabetical order):

    • Esko

    • Fujifilm Graphic Systems Division

    • Paper Converting Machine Company

    • RotoMetrics

    3. The Award for Sustainability (in alphabetical order) sponsored by Labels & Labeling:

    • Avery Dennison
    • Signode India
    • UPM Speciality Papers

    The Label Industry Global Awards were created in 2004 to celebrate innovation and excellence within the label and package printing sector. The Awards ceremony alternates each year between Labelexpo Europe (Brussels) and Labelexpo Americas (Chicago).

  • Print21 – Issue 1048 MIDWEEK SPECIAL

    Transparency and accountability are needed in public life more than ever, and when questions are asked about the public purse they need clear answers – society demands a whiter than white approach from those holding the purse strings.


    Welcome to the Print21 midweek newsletter, the premier news and information service for the Australian and New Zealand print industries.


    Wayne Robinson


  • Court rules NZME can’t buy Stuff

    NZME headquarters in Auckland.

    The New Zealand Court of Appeals has knocked back NZME’s attempt to buy out Stuff, the New Zealand arm of Fairfax Media. The ruling upholds previous decisions by the New Zealand Commerce Commission and High Court.

    NZME prints the New Zealand Herald, and six regional daily papers, and also prints several Stuff newspapers using its presses in Auckland.

    Under the proposed merger, NZME would have paid $NZ55 million ($A38m) for Fairfax’s New Zealand operations and issued new shares to allow Fairfax to hold a 41% stake in NZME.

    NZME and Stuff launched the appeal after the New Zealand High Court knocked back their last appeal in December 2017, which sought to overturn the NZCC’s May 2017 decision to block the merger on the grounds that it could substantially lessen competition in advertising and reader markets in New Zealand. The court denied the request and ordered both parties to pay the appeal costs.

    Disappointed: Sinead Boucher, CEO Stuff.

    Sinead Boucher, CEO of Stuff, maintained in an email to staff that the NZCC’s decision to block the merger, which had been upheld by the High Court, was “wrong in fact and in law”, hence the appeal. “The decision is not the outcome we had hoped for, but, as everyone will be aware, we have not been sitting around idly waiting for it,” she said. The process has spanned more than two years, and in the meantime we have forged ahead with our own strategy of growing our Stuff and Neighbourly platforms, and new digital ventures, complemented by a strong portfolio of newspapers and magazines.”

    NZCC deputy chair Sue Begg welcomed the ruling. In its initial decision, the commission expressed concern that the merger would concentrate media ownership in New Zealand to an unprecedented extent for a modern liberal democracy. “We are pleased the Court has again upheld our decision and look forward to reviewing the judgment,” she said.

    the NZME radio network and e-commerce sites GrabOne, HeraldHomes and; it also prints some Stuff newspapers using its presses in Auckland. Stuff’s assets include, more than 60 metro, Sunday, regional and community newspapers, and a share of

  • ABG plugs in to digital at Labelexpo

    The Digicon Series 3 with Digilase laser finisher.

    ABG, distributed in Australia by Currie Group, is showcasing 14 label finishing solutions with a heavy focus on digital equipment across four booths at Labelexpo in Chicago this week.

    The ABG booth features the flagship Digicon Series 3 finishing line in a new beverage configuration, including a fast flatbed screen printing module, Big Foot 50-tonne flatbed hot foil unit, and a 25-tonne flatbed hot foil unit with a new swivel head that allows foil to be fed both along and across the web.

    At the HP booth, ABG is exhibiting an inline Digicon Series 3 with Fast Track die and fully-integrated AutoSet glueless turret rewinder, as well as an inline coater for the wide-web HP Indigo 20000 digital press, designed for shrink sleeve and in-mould label production. The HP Indigo 20000, along with the rest of the HP Indigo range, is also distributed by Currie Group in Australia and New Zealand.

    Additionally, ABG is launching its new Digilase laser system at the show. Billed as perfect for direct from web sticker printing, ABG has reduced the web path and the material necessary for lead-in and lead-out, which it says will slash waste by 85 percent. “The minimum job length is 50 per cent shorter, and file downloading takes just milliseconds, allowing a number of jobs to be processed on the machine at the same time – from unwind, to laser cutting, to rewinding,” said the company.

    The Jetfx digital embellishment module is another drawcard, an offline system for varnishing and foiling. The unit on display at Labelexpo includes two Jetfx inkjet bars, as well as an overlaminator for cold foiling.

    ABG equipment is also on display at the Domino and REA stands.

  • P21 Issue 1045 – September 14 WEEKEND SPECIAL

    Nothing stands still does it, printers at the wide format show Visual Impact wondering how to compete in an increasingly crowded will be delighted with some of the messages coming from the exhibitors as the technology opens up new opportunities.

    Welcome to the Print21 newsletter from the printing industry’s premier news website.

    Wayne Robinson

  • Jet to host Innovation Series

    (l-r) Screen MD Peter Scott and Jet Technologies MD Jack Malki.

    Industry technology supplier Jet Technologies is hosting The Innovation Series, which will present the latest developments in labelling and narrow web printing.

    Gary Seward, Pulse.

    This event series will provide global learnings from Jet’s international guests, with practical applications to demonstrate how technology can increase operational efficiencies and produce optimal outcomes for customers.

    Topics include responsibilities for food packaging and closed-loop colour management through an optimised ink system, improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) on the press, creating value with digital printing, and the impact of sensory packaging on consumers (this last topic is only available in the Australian briefings).

    Dieter Niederstadt, Asahi.

    Speakers include Dieter Niederstadt, technical marketing manager at Asahi Photoproducts who is flying in from Germany for the events, Gary Seward, managing director of Pulse Roll Label Products, coming from the UK, Peter Scott, managing director of the ANZ arm of digital label printing solutions developer Screen GP, and Jack Malki, director of Jet Technologies (Australia only, pictured at top).

    The Innovation Series will take place in Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne, with the Auckland event on Monday October 15 4pm-6.30pm at Sorrento in the Park, the Sydney event is 7.45am-10.30am at Jet HQ in Roseberry, while the Melbourne event is also a morning session, and will be hosted at Yarra Yarra Golf Club in Bentleigh East from 7.45am-10.30am.

    Printers can register here or on the Jet Technologies website.

  • EpsonPrecision Core

    Epson’s booth at Visual Impact 2018.

    Epson‘s booth at Visual Impact 2018 was laid out exactly like a typical print shop, and split into three zones: fabric, POS and signage.

    All print solutions on display were using Epson’s proprietary PrecisionCore print technology. Nathan Fulcher, marketing manager at Epson says, “PrecisionCore is what it says, precise, due to the microthin film piezo technology which effectively creates channels for the ink to sit in, much like microprocessor chips do for the electronics.

    “For the printer this means really fine printing with remarkable ink control and variable dots for fine gradations and a wide colour gamut, up to 99 per cent Pantone.”

    PrecisionCore is in all Epson print systems now, including the high-end SureColors and the lower end T-Series, which were being launched at the show.

    For just $2000 for a 24” model, or less than $5000 for a 36” T-Series, Epson has brought in a printer that produces sellable collour prints. Fulcher says, “They have just landed here, they will print coated and uncoated stocks, and can print both flatbed and roll to roll, with flatbed on media up to 1.5mm thick.”

    Also on the stand was the second-generation SureColor F2160 direct-to-garment printer, a successor to the F2000. Ryan Warby, business development manager for professional print solutions at Epson, said the F2000 was a popular and successful product. “It changed the industry quite a bit with its low maintenance and its reliability,” he said. “We’re improving on that with the F2160, adding a cleaning cartridge, adjusting speeds and resolutions, and putting in variable-dot printing. It’s a good step up from the F2000.”

  • P21 Issue 1043 – September 7 WEEKEND SPECIAL

    Great to see the industry moving ahead, congratulations and best wishes to Soar Print on becoming the first printer to opt for the radically new Heidelberg subscription model for offset printing, and to Read Labels & Packaging on its new HP Indigo 20000 digital flexo press.

    For anyone in any doubt as to the changing nature of the industry a 43 per cent reduction in paper imports since 2011 should provide clarity.

    Welcome to the weekend edition of Print21, the print industry’s highest circulating newsletter.

    Wayne Robinson

  • P21 Issue 1042 – September 5

    Great to see PIAA doing the hard yards for the printers in SA, after a period of turmoil and infighting the training win demonstrates how effective the PIAA can be when it has the support of its members. Now to replicate the same success aroumnd the country.

    Training is the lifeblood of the industry. And check out the jobs section on the Print21 website for the latest opportunities.

    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and informaiton service to the printing industry in Australia and New Zealand.

    Wayne Robinson