Archive for July, 2003

  • LCM&A taken over by Computers Now

    Operating out of Computers Now’s North Sydney premises and led by Lawrie Matthews, the LCM&A team will continue to service the high-end professional and corporate markets. This will be focusing on wide format printing, digital imaging and video and other specialised environments.

    Already considered market leaders in the consumer space, having launched Apple’s new AppleStore concept in Victoria with the refurbishment of their Malvern store, Computers Now has continued to grow its retail business with the recent acquisition of the Bentleigh AppleCentre bringing the retail arm to five stores.

    Headed by two women, Renai Lawrence and Pamela Rothfield, both directors, Computers Now has seen rapid growth in all divisions over the past three years.

    “Computers Now is the number one supplier of Apple products and related services for education in Australia, as well as Apple’s number one Service Partner,” says Lawrence.

    “The addition of LCM&A Professional Services immediately brings our coverage of the professional and corporate markets into line with other parts of our business, making us a much more balanced and therefore stronger company.

    “We are delighted that Lawrie Matthews is staying. He has an excellent working knowledge of the industry, where technology is moving and how it can be successfully applied,” says Lawrence. “And with the release of Apple’s new G5s and the new version of Quark Xpress just around the corner the timing couldn’t be better!”

    The acquisition is not only a good fit strategically but also culturally.

    “Computers Now is still a family business – established some 13 years ago – as is LCM&A. In our case we are into the third generation,” says Rothfield.

    “Despite the fact that we now have over 90 staff members, we have never lost sight of our initial core values. We continue to place enormous value on staff and believe this to be a key contributor in our success to date.”

  • Ideas that Matter – Sappi funds good causes design projects

    Australian and New Zealand graphic designers working on public benefit campaigns for community organizations are now eligible to apply for grants of up to US$50,000 through the worldwide Sappi Ideas that Matter programme. The million-dollar campaign, which is sponsored in the region by Sappi Trading Australasia, was introduced by parent company, Sappi, in 1999.

    “The idea is to help humanitarian projects such as anti-Aids campaigns and charitable organizations to get their message across,” said Tim Schafer, managing director Sappi Australasia. “The campaigns must be paper-based, of course, and ideally we are looking for new projects in the planning stage.”

    Since its inception the Sappi Ideas that Matter programme has annually awarded a combined US$1,000,000 to chosen designers in North America, Europe, and South Africa to create materials for community organisations.

    Among last year’s winners was US-based designer, DK Holland, who received an Ideas that Matter-grant in 2002, which she used to create a brochure and annual report for the Literacy Assistance Center in New York, working with designers from Whitehouse & Company.

    “The grant played an integral role in sustaining this organization, which had fallen on particularly hard times after the tragedy of September 11th,” said Holland. “The materials we were able to produce helped tremendously with the Center’s fundraising efforts, and the Sappi paper we used made the pieces really shine. We’re grateful to Sappi for providing this unique and important opportunity both to designers and non-profits.”

    To make application for Ideas that Matter– contact Tim Schafer, phone 02. 9410 2911 or e-mail

    To find out more about Sappi visit

  • Fairfax Tullamarine gets the official nod from Premier Steve Bracks

    Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax, Fred Hilmer, said the plant was a great milestone for the company. “Today is one of those wonderful occasions when we can formally acknowledge that an idea has become a reality. This new plant will serve as the platform for The Age and the The Australian Financial Review so that they can continue their role in Victoria, and continue to build their business.”

    The $220 million state-of-the-art facility, with a staff of 150, prints all editions and sections of The Age and AFR. The Age’s editorial and commercial operations remain at the company’s Spencer Street city location.

    The centre’s three massive MAN Roland presses now allow Fairfax to potentially print 100 per cent of The AGE in colour. The six-hectare site close to the Tullamarine Freeway, is well known thanks to the innovative design, by Italy-based Australian architect Ken Sowerby, and its 32 metres tall ‘rolled-up newspaper’ landmark.

    Each of the four-storey tall presses can run at a speed of up to 75,000 copies an hour, which is equivalent to 37,500 revolutions/rotations every hour. This translates into the potential to print 21 newspapers every second. The presses were designed and calibrated specifically for The Age production requirements.

    The Centre’s CTP platemaking equipment is by AGFA while the post-press equipment has been supplied by FERAG.

    Everything about the Print Centre is big; in an average week it uses around14,000 litres of ink, between 8000 and 10,000 printing plates, and 800-900 tonnes of newsprint.

    Public tours of the facility will begin later in the year.

  • Clancy column . . . the overflow . . .best bits . . .funnies

    Despite being unable to register the colour as a trade mark, – a decision it is appealing against – the company maintains that its competitor is misleading and deceiving customers by using a “strikingly” similar wrapper, in effect passing off its product as Cadbury. Darrell Lea denies the allegation.

    Cadbury purple is really a violet and was based on the UK PMS2695C, although now the company has moved away from Pantone colours. Best estimates have the colour as 97 per cent violet and 3 per cent black. Cadbury prints at PMP in Hobart on a MAN Roland 700.


    Here are a couple of internet facts that illustrate how the virtual world is expanding, and how it is getting into trouble.

  • According to a report in the People’s Daily China had 68 million internet users as of the end of June, 8.9 million more than half a year ago. The number of China’s netizens now constitutes 5.3 per cent of its 1.3 billion population.
  • There is a spam site in the US that is advertising a broadcast email of an unlimited size sent to 28 million addresses for just US$129. The same group, which shall remain linkless, reckons there are now 890 million email addresses in the world.
  • –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    Autologic, an Agfa Company and a Harlequin RIP OEM since 1991, will base the latest version of its GRAFIX RIP for the newspaper industry and other markets on the next generation of industry-leading Harlequin RIP – the Eclipse Release. Agfa itself was one of the earliest adopters of the rival Adobe PostScript RIP, but it shows no sign of trying to convert its now subsidiary company.


    Australian Type Foundry has released a new handwriting font: ATF Bosin. Described as ‘casual, friendly and easy going’ it has a suitably laid-back appeal for an Australian designed font. It is world’s away from the ITC Django which is ‘a unique hand script with a psychotic edge,’ and ITC Panic ‘a crumbling grunge face in decay.’ And you thought your handwriting had problems.
    Check them out at


    Teutonic efficiency – a primer. Before next year’s drupa opens its doors, the German organisers of the world’s largest print media fair have already settled on the dates of the following show in 2008. For those of you who need to plan your calendars early, the 14th Drupa will take place at the Messe Düsseldorf from 29 May to 11 June 2008. That’s after the 13th drupa, which will take place next year 6-19 May.


    The crowded world of digital print near the 60 page per minute mark just got more populated with Konica joining the fray. It has launched the 8050 to challenge the Fuji Xerox and Canon colour and B&W machines around that speed. However it is squaring up to the Canon product rather than the Xerox with a production rating of about 80,000 copies per month. The Fuji Xerox 6060 does six times that.


    And finally . . . here’s a blonde joke from our favourite platinum bombshell, Astrid Sweres.

    A redhead walked into a sports bar around 9:58 PM. She sat down next to a blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV. The 10:00 news was on. The news crew was covering a story of a man on the ledge of a large building preparing to jump.

    The redhead turned to the blonde and said: “You know, I bet he’ll jump.” The blonde replied: “Well, I bet he won’t.” The redhead placed $20 on the bar and said: “You’re on!”

    Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy did a swan dive off the building, falling to his death. The blonde was very upset and handed her $20 dollars to the redhead, saying : “That poor foolish man. Here’s your money.”

    The redhead replies, “Sweetie, I can’t take your money, I saw this earlier on the five o’clock news and knew he would jump.”

    The blonde replies, “I did too, but I didn’t think he’d do it again.”

  • Announcement of this years 2003 GATF InterTech Technology Awards recipients

    This year’s submissions reflect the industries increased focus on flexo, inkjet and remote proofing, digital finishing, and automation technology.

    “The 26th anniversary of GATF’s InterTech Technology Awards program proves that technological evolution in graphic communication and print services is as pronounced and dynamic as ever,” one judge said.

    The 2003 GATF InterTech Technology Award recipients are listed below, alphabetically, with the technology named first.

    Plate Cell Patterning
    Artwork Systems

    ORIS Color Tuner 5.0
    CGS Publishing Technologies International


    Epson Stylus Pro 7600/9600 with UltraChrome Ink and Epson Professional Media Line
    Epson America


    Goss Digital Inking System
    Goss International


    Stitchmaster ST 400

    Remote Director
    Integrated Color Solutions

    Kodak Polychrome Graphics Matchprint Virtual Proofing System, Version 1.0
    Kodak Polychrome Graphics

    Lithrone S40
    Komori America Corporation

    RealTimeProof Express

    Xerox Square Fold Booklet Maker
    Xerox Corporation/Plockmatic International AB

    For more information about the 2003 InterTech Technology Awards or the 2004 program, contact John Lind, Director of Research, GATF, by phone: +41 2 741 6860 ext. 585 or email

  • Gold for Australian apprentice in Swiss world titles

    The young apprentice won the title against an international field of 12 other designers at the WorldSkills International Competition in Switzerland this week.

    WorldSkills Australia, general manager, Maryka Gibson, said that Sarah (pictured) was a clear winner from day one of the competition. “Sarah’s brilliant performance dazzled the international competition. WorldSkills Australia is thrilled with the result.”

    Sarah, an apprentice who studied at RMIT’s, International Centre of Graphic Technology and is now a part owner of Kudos Graphics, Eltham, was selected to represent Australia at the National WorldSkills finals in NSW last year (Archive search = Worldskills).

    The WorldSkills competition is the Olympics for vocationally trained graduates from around the world. It is an intense international event in which representatives from 30 countries compete in their chosen vocation, over four days. It is the competition that sets a worldwide standard and the benchmark for skills required in the graphic prepress sector by having the competitors undertake real work in a competitive production environment. The students are given live briefs and are required to produce designs, layouts, proofs and printed products to predetermined standards under stringent time-lines.

    Sarah’s win makes it two in a row for Australia, with Marcus Kostalac winning a Gold Medal at the finals in Seoul, 2002.

    According to Robert Black, Programme Manager-Operations, International Centre of Graphic Technology, Sarah is not the only winner by claiming the gold.

    “The efforts of all concerned with the competition, students, employers, teaching staff at the ICGT, and the organizers are to be congratulated, as it was no doubt a team effort. As well as endorsing the ICGT Graphic prepress program, and the support and commitment of prepress staff, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support and invaluable contribution made by Ms Jane Stokie, prepress manager, with the Shepparton News Group.

    “Jane has been a long time contributor to the WorldSkills competition and is a renowned international judge. Our congratulations deservedly go to Jane, as we have no doubt that her commitment, encouragement and support, gave both Sarah and Marcus the confidence to succeed.”

  • Major printing tender called for NSW Health Services

    Tenders are invited to supply either or both Area Health Services (Tender number: CSSS 03/04).

    Central Sydney Area Health Service (CSSS)

    CSSS manages the provision of goods and services to the Central Sydney Area Health Service. CSAHS has responsibility for the administration of health care facilities within this health area including:

    • Balmain Hospital
    • Division of Population Health
    • Concord Repatriation General Hospital
    • Institute of Rheumatology & Orthopaedics
    • Institute of Forensic Medicine
    • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
    • Rozelle Hospital
    • The Canterbury Hospital
    • United Dental Hospital

    The health care facilities range from large hospitals through to community health care centres and all facilities are located in the inner West of the Sydney metropolitan area.

    Illawarra Area Health Service (IAHS)

    IAHS manages the provision of goods and services to all Health Care Facilities within IAHS, including;

    • Coledale Hospital
    • Bulli Hospital
    • Wollongong Hospital
    • Port Kembla Hospital
    • Shellharbour Hospital
    • Kiama Hospital
    • David Berry Hospital
    • Shoalhaven Hospital
    • Milton-Ulladulla Hospital

    The health care facilities range from one large hospital to numerous community centres, along a 240klm coastal strip from Helensburgh in the north to Duras in the south.

    Scope of tender

    This invitation to tender includes the following categories:

    Group A

    1. Printed forms and other printed materials which are regularly used and currently held as stock
    2. Scans & film production for these items
    3. Future development of electronic forms and
    4. Maintenance of the style book for all printed material.

    The Health Service will evaluate tenders with a view to appointing a single tenderer as preferred supplier for Group A.

    Group B

    1. Not stocked printed forms and other printed materials (reprinted as required)
    2. Non standard new work not covered by any of the above categories which is variable and for which exact quantities cannot be specified at this time e.g. booklets, brochures, newsletters, posters etc and
    3. Scans & film production for these items (see Section D para 4 below).

    The Health Service will evaluate tenders with a view to appointing a panel of tenderers for Group B, which may include the preferred supplier for Group A.

    Enquiries regarding this request for the tender should be directed to the health services’s authorised officer, Bruce Cornwell.

    Contact details: phone 02. 9767 8541, fax 02. 9767 8595 or e-mail

    Visit the NSW E-Tenders web site

  • Victorian print export network formed

    Up to 45 leading printing companies attended last Monday night’s launch of the Victorian Printing Industry Export Network (VPIEN).

    Tim Holding, Victorian Minister for Manufacturing and Exports, pictured with Bob McCulloch (left), industry specialist, launched the joint Printing Industries Association of Australia initiative.

    According to the minister the launch was part of the government’s Agenda for New Manufacturing , which aims to establish Victoria as the key Asia-Pacific centre of manufacturing excellence by fostering a culture of innovation and export.

    “Manufacturing is vital to Victoria and accounts for over 358,200 jobs or 16 per cent of the state’s workforce and over 60% of total Victorian exports. In that the printing industry is a major contributor. It turns over more than $4 billion per annum representing 7.5 per cent of total manufacturing turnover and employs over 18,000 people.

    “It also has enormous capacity for excellence with many companies already demonstrating innovative product development and a global focus.”

    Gary Donnison, CEO Printing Industries, hailed the launch of the network as an important step forward for the industry.

    “Initiatives such as these provide an opportunity for printing companies to work together to further the common goals of the industry. They create new markets in which all can share and spark innovation and research. There is no point in trying to merely export ink on paper – there must be an intellectual value-add to the products. This is why the focus of the network is on product innovation,” he said.

    A steering committee comprised of industry leaders was formed at the launch. This will meet next week to chart the network’s development, part of which will be to review access to many of the Victorian government’s incentive and development schemes.

    Bob McCulloch, printing industry specialist within the Department, was pleased the network has attracted such a wide range of industry support. “It’s important with initiatives such as this to draw on people and companies with different skill sets. We have commercial printers, book printers, plastics and polymer printers and specialty products – right acorss the industry.”

    The launch was addressed by industry export guru, Mark Reid, Avimo Australia, who was able to talk to both sides of the coin – in a previous role he was CEO of a major Hong Kong printing firm that exported to Australia. He made the point that it is futile to try to compete in export markets on price alone. “You will not succeed if price is your only selling point. How you sell is at least as important as what you sell,” he said.

    Further details on VPIEN can be obtained from Rick Deering or Bob McCulloch

  • Copyright cops crackdown on copy shop caper

    The raid was organized by the Australian Publishers Association (APA), following extensive monitoring and investigation of the off-campus copy shop, which was tearing books apart, copying them and selling cheap counterfeit versions to students. The store was kept under surveillance and a sting was organized with a marked copy of a book, which was ordered the following day.

    According to Sandy Grant, President of the APA, the painstaking gathering of evidence was necessary in order to gain a wide-ranging Anton-Pilar order from the Federal Court of Australia. “This was not simply a case of a university lecturer or some students copying chapters of a book. This was professional piracy, stealing other people’s work for profit. We seized some things from the store and got an injunction to stop them,” he said.

    He also said that copy shops in other states are also under investigation and any that continue to deal in copyright fraud can expect similar raids in the near future. In addition to compensation by authors and publishers, copy shops knowingly infringing copyright can face criminal charges carrying a maximum penalty of fines exceeding $70,000 or five years imprisonment.

    The APA estimates the copyright scam is costing Australian academic authors and publishers up to $10 million per year. This is despite a copy agreement with universities that allows the copying of a single chapter of an academic book for inclusion in course notes under a general agreement with the Copyright Agency. The publishers are now suing the copy shop for damages.

    “Academic book piracy appears to be increasing, and is costing the industry millions,” said Grant. “Illegal copying is not fair to copyright owners and undermines publishers’ ability to produce textbooks written by local authors for Australian courses of study. Copy shop owners who are tempted by this type of activity should be aware we are very interested in their activities.”

    According to an industry authority, students appear to be oblivious to the quality or lack of colour illustrations in academic rip-off copies, being concentrated on the content for their course. Ironically the illegal copy is often printed on brighter copy paper than the original and presents as a superior product.
    The advances in copying and reproduction technology allow for easy scanning and duplex printing (both sides of the page) of even large books overnight. Very often these are textbooks of 300-400 pages with a purchase price of more than $100.

    “This is not about individual students copying reasonable amounts for their study, it’s about profit-making businesses undertaking illegal photocopying of whole textbooks for sale,” said Susan Bridge, CEO of the Australian Publishers Association. “We want to put a stop to this illegal activity. Working together with our members, the APA is confident of putting an end to the problem.”

  • Apple crys foul as Buzzle liquidator turns up the heat

    In a stinging attack on liquidator Andrew Wiley, Apple is asking the Supreme Court of NSW to dismiss him from the position on the grounds that he is actually working in favour of the two former Buzzle directors, Donald Hartono and Wing Ne Liu, who appointed him in December 2001. The move comes after Wiley indicated he wanted to examine Apple executives on the suggestion that the company had contributed to Buzzle’s $30 million collapse.

    According to a report in the Financial Review Apple is alleged to have pressured dealers who were in trouble to join together in the Buzzle company in the hope of recovering an existing $20 million in debt. It is also alleged that it subsequently stuffed millions of dollars worth of surplus equipment, much of it defective, into the business that was formed from the amalgamation of six Apple resellers owning a total of 30 stores.

    Buzzle, was formed during the final stages of the dot com boom in 2000 with the intention of becoming a public company. It collapsed spectacularly after less than six months in operation owing Apple $19 million. The ABC produced a documentary on the high profile rise and fall of Buzzle that was shown on television.

    Apple is pursuing an action against the two Buzzle directors and claims that the allegations by Wiley also form the basis of their defence – no mere coincidence. The liquidator denies the charge and maintains there was no way Buzzle could have traded out of its difficulties, because the individual resellers who joined were not in a sufficiently healthy financial position.

  • NexPress 2100 gets the gong as best in its class

    According to BERTL,
    the NexPress 2100 press breaks new ground by being the first print system that creates its own, closed, self-contained environment. This means that the print system is impervious to heat, cold, humidity or other atmospheric variables that can impact productivity. It also means that the Heidelberg NexPress 2100 has the potential to be used in environments where it was previously impractical to install a print production system, due to dust or other environmental factors.

    Heidelberg also took existing technology and improved upon it by introducing a new type of holepuncher which allows users to adjust the types of holes punched and where they are placed on a page. This new take on an old technology adds a new dimension of productivity to high-volume CRD departments, which are no longer restricted to only one or two variations when creating documents that will be bound a number of different ways.

    Heidelberg also made magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) printing far more flexible by introducing technology which allows users to switch between MICR and non-MICR printing — maximizing their device’s usefulness and allowing printing with standard, non-MICR toner without the hassles of manually switching toner units.

    “Since its launch, the NexPress 2100 press has been setting new standards in image quality, reliability and productivity for digital color printing,” said Venkat Purushotham, president and CEO of NexPress Solutions LLC. “We are pleased that our press has been recognized by BERTL for its exceptional technology and performance, and remain committed to helping print providers take advantage of new, higher-value applications.”

    The BERTL award is not the first industry recognition for the NexPress 2100 press. It won the prestigious GATF InterTech Technology Award, for excellence in innovative technology for the graphic communications industry.

    The NexPress 2100 sheet-fed, full-colour system produces 2100 full-colour, ledger +/A3+ sheets per hour at 600 multi-bit dpi. With the robustness of an offset press and the open-standard flexibility to produce state-of-the-art variable data colour printing, the press sets new standards for uptime, reliability, image quality and consistency.

    For information in the region contact Jon Field

    DocuProof 1250 is 1st Fuji Xerox engine to win 3DAP approval

    At last night’s Sydney presentation of the DocuProof 1250 (left to right) Harry Kontos, KPG, Luke Mortlock, Henryk Kraszewski, and Brett Maishman, of Fuji Xerox Australia, and Ross Gilberthorpe, KPG.

    The approval came on the eve of the Sydney presentation of the toner-based proofer, which was first launched at this year’s PrintEx03. The recognition is significant, according to Henryk Kraszewski, Production Colour Manager, Fuji Xerox.

    “The DocuProof 1250 sets a new standard of proofing for many companies in the industry who never realised just how simple it is to provide high quality proofs. Working with KPG we are delivering the most effective proofing solution in the industry,” he said.

    The 3DAP accreditation, although designed as a set of digital colour proofing guidelines for the publication industry, has widespread recognition throughout the commercial printing industry as a de facto standard.

    According to committee member Bruce Sinnott of IPMG, 3DAP approval is being sought by an increasing number of vendors. “There is heaps of demand at the moment. We’re getting lots of requests from the vendors,” he said.

    He indicated a review of the approval process is underway with the committee seeking a different colour space instead of the Cromalin proof now in place. “Not many people make analogue Cromalins any more,” he said.

    It could all become academic in the near future. Sinnott flagged a falloff in paper proofs as a general practice in the industry, citing anecdotal evidence of more people happy to send off a file without an accompany proof. “CTP is so accurate these days,” he said.

    The DocuProof joins a list of other proofing methods approved this year.

    • Two COLORBUS Cyclone Proofers
    • Two Best Colorproofs
    • A new Kodak Polychrome Graphics configuration
    • Four Cyrachrome EPSON and CANON configurations
    • New Agfa Sherpa Proofing configuration.
  • Miss Universe gets her picture printed

    At last month’s Miss Universe competition in Panama City, the organisers printed a wide variety of promotional pieces on HP digital publishing solutions. This is the first year that the organization took advantage of high level HP digital printing technology to create full colour on-demand material in short runs using variable data.

    The annual televised competition was preceded by over two weeks of intensive activities and charitable events in Panama. The applications printed on HP digital publishing solutions in support of these events and the live telecast included:

    • On-demand Souvenir Books and press material in English and Spanish, including photography of the newly crowned winner, distributed immediately following the pageant – printed on the HP Indigo Press 3000
    • Floor to ceiling banners showing the newly crowned winner, displayed immediately following the pageant – printed on the HP Designjet 5500
    • Press releases including color photos of the newly crowned Miss Universe 2003 – printed on the HP Indigo Press 3000
    • Miss Universe Lenticular Photo – a lenticular motion cover showing Miss Universe 2002 – printed on the HP Indigo Press s2000 using HumanEyes® Technologies Ltd. Impactio™ 3D software.
    • Delegate Cards – trading cards with a photo and information on each delegate – printed using variable data on the HP Indigo Press 3000
    • Delegate Profile Books – printed on the HP Indigo Press 1000

    “We wanted to add a new dimension to the Competition this year,” said Theresa Beyer, vice president, Miss Universe Organization. “We found that HP’s digital printing technology would enable us for the first time to print brochures, banners, press kits and photography showing the new Miss Universe immediately after she is crowned.”

    According to Eric Bredin, European Marketing Manager, HP Indigo, the Miss Universe Competition was an excellent venue to demonstrate the power of HP’s digital publishing solutions. “What’s important to us about the Miss Universe event is that it gave us the opportunity to show what our Digital Publishing solutions can do on a global stage in a high pressure environment. The MUO needed the highest quality, highest speed digital printing in relatively short runs using variable data. We provide the only digital publishing products that can meet these criteria.”

  • JPE – Pushing the Envelope Tour

    The Junior Printing Executives are hosting a tour of the new Australian Envelope’s Sydney plant next Tuesday 22nd July.

      Where –
      11 Ferndell Street
      Granville 2142.

      When – 6.00pm and afterwards at the Granville RSL Club, Clyde St. Granville.

    ‘Envelopes are becoming more and more a marketing tool, with fully customised designs adding a real impact on printed direct mail’s effectiveness. JPE invites you to come and learn about the amazing machines that produce these envelopes and visit the exciting new premises of Australian Envelopes, a leading manufacturer of a variety of envelopes.’

      Cost $45 Plant tour and Dinner (cash bar), $25 Plant Tour Only (GST inclusive)

      Contact: Que Nhi Luong on
      (02) 9248 7300 or email What Does A Sales Person Have To Know About Digital?

      Uncomfortable sales people usually cut prices to get a job. That just results in having to compete on price and quickly makes what’s being sold a commodity. They may win the job today but lose it–and a lot of future business tomorrow.

      Today’s printing salesperson must be comfortable with selling digital services. This means they will have to learn a few computer tasks and wrap their heads around the technology to increase their value to the customer and expand their comfort zone when selling. Here’s what they need to know:

    • The company’s digital standards. The salesperson must understand what software the company supports, what formats are supported, and how files should it be packaged for the printer. They also must understand your preferred requirements for colour and graphics.
    • The packaging procedures for the major software applications. Quark’s Collect for Output function, Pagemaker’s Save For Service Provide plug-in, InDesign’s Package feature, and Microsoft Publisher’s Pack-and-Go are critical tasks customers must perform when submitting files. Salespeople should have printed instructions available to provide customers when they wish to use one of these programs. Ditto for having customers create PDF files for printing.
    • How to find and save fonts with a file. Salespeople must know how to show customers where to find and gather fonts that might be required to print the file properly and how not to break copyright laws doing it.
    • How to submit files to the company via the Internet. Salespeople are always telling their customer to send a file by email, FTP or directly to a printer’s web site. Be sure the salesperson has sent a file his or her self and knows how to use the procedure.
    • How to load PostScript drivers and create Postscript files on both the Mac and PC. PostScript is the foundation of Acrobat PDF files and most digital printing equipment. Sales people need to understand the value of PostScript and how to teach customers to prepare PostScript files properly.
    • How to load a custom Job Option in Acrobat on the Mac and PC. To help make sure customers with distilling capabilities create proper PDF files, printers are creating a custom Job Option (usually renamed with the printer’s company name). When the customer creates a PDF file, he selects the custom Job Option rather than one of the supplied Job Options (Press, Print, Screen and E-book). A salesperson needs to know which folder to place the Job Option and where to find it.
    • Any normal operations that the printer requires of the customer should be taught to salespeople. The prepress staff can usually do this training. The salesperson should be given the time to learn the tasks and then be able to demonstrate his or her proficiency.

      In addition to the training, salespeople should have support materials and “cheat sheets;” instructions on how to perform the different tasks that are part of their sales toolkit. When a customer needs to learn how to make a PostScript file or find a font, the salesperson can give the customer printed instructions. These same instructions can be the step-by-step instructions used to train the salesperson. You can’t expect salespeople to remember every digital detail. They need printed resources to help them get the message to the customer. Have the same information available on your company’s web site so customers can download it as needed.

      Salespeople who understand the basics will be more comfortable when dealing with customer questions about digital files. Now when the salesperson begins to move outside his/her comfort zone, they’ll know it is time to bring in the digital specialist to work with the customer.

      John Giles is an USA industry consultant who specializes in digital issues for quick and small commercial printers. He is the author of Digital Directions: a digital workflow guide for customer-created files and the Digital Original, a CD which focuses on teaching customers to create Postscript files as well as the other functions required to get a file to print properly. Giles has developed a customer training programs that he presents for printers and does onsite training for printing companies to establish standards and procedures for dealing with customer-created files. Contact him on

    • Clancy column . . . overflow . . . the best bits . . . funnies

      Companies are concerned that the patent is sufficiently wide enough to affect existing on line transactions for business cards, flyers, newsletters and other industry products in addition to publication advertisement placements.

      Joe Kowalewski, Printing Industries’ marketing manager, said the association was still receiving daily calls from companies wanting information in spite of the 3 July deadline for lodgements of objections. He said IP Australia, which manages patent applications in Australia, acknowledged the high level of industry concern on the matter and was keen to have the issue resolved as quickly as possible. The Commissioner of Patents is proposing to direct that all evidence in support of the Oppositions by submitted by the one deadline – 3 January 2004.


      Now is the time to get into mergers and acquisitions. Companies that are avoiding mergers and acquisitions in the current depressed economic environment may be missing a major strategic opportunity, according to a new study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Mergers that take place during periods of below-average economic growth have a higher likelihood of success and generate more value. The BCG study, Winning Through Mergers in Lean Times, analyses 277 transactions that took place in the US between 1985 and 2000.

      The BCG report debunks some common misconceptions that have the current economic environment as the wrong time to make acquisitions. “The excesses of the late-1990s boom created a backlash against M&A, leading many executives and investors to dismiss it as a discredited approach to growth,” said Chris Neenan, global leader of BCG’s M&A practice and a co-author of the study. “Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, periods of weak economic growth can be an ideal time for companies to use M&A strategically.”


      PrintCity, the alliance of more than 40 best-in-class suppliers to the print industry, is pleased to announce that world-leading print finishing equipment supplier Müller Martini will play a major part in PrintCity’s ”Print Factory” project at Drupa 2004. Müller Martini will contribute saddle stitching systems and finishing skills to the Web Factory, which will be run by PrintCity’s Web Systems Activity Group as part of the overall Print Factory. The Web Factory will feature a number of traditional and digital web presses, and newspaper presses, and will be producing a wide variety of magazines, brochures and newspapers.


      The Copyright Clearance Centre in the US is prosecuting a number of quick copy shops that service colleges for illegally compiling course notes for students. The course packs are made up of reading material designated by lecturers and comprise extracts of books on which no copyright is paid. At this stage the CCC is only chasing the printers but it has flagged that it may start going after individuals, following the example of the music industry. University libraries are advised to exercise strict control over copying facilities.


      The distinction between enterprise documents and enterprise forms is about to become even more blurred. Adobe is bringing out new form design software that will enable organizations to easily design and deploy intelligent forms in PDF or in an XML Data Package (XDP).

      The example the company gives of the new technology is a financial institution that can make loan applications available online. Anyone with the free Reader software can download the form, fill it in offline, and electronically submit the application back to the institution. Because the data in the application is submitted as XML, it can be integrated directly into the existing loan processing system.
      The new form designer will be available for beta testing during Q4 2003.


      And finally. . . this from funster Norman Koslowski, for those who really know how to do it.

      An elderly Jewish gentleman marries a much younger woman. No matter what the husband does sexually, the woman never achieves orgasm. Since a Jewish wife is entitled to sexual pleasure, they decide to ask the rabbi.

      The rabbi listens to their story, strokes his beard, and makes the following suggestion: “Hire a strapping young man. While the two of you are making love, have the young man wave a towel over you. That will help the wife fantasize and should bring on an orgasm.”

      They go home and follow the rabbi’s advice. They hire a handsome young man and he waves a towel over them as they make love. It doesn’t help and she is still unsatisfied.

      Perplexed, they go back to the rabbi. Okay”, he says to the husband, “let’s try it reversed. Have the young man make love to your wife and you wave the towel over them.” Once again, they follow the rabbi’s advice. The young man gets into bed with the wife and the husband waves the towel. The young man gets working with great enthusiasm and the wife soon has an enormous, room-shaking, ear-splitting screaming orgasm.

      The husband smiles, looks at the young man and says to him triumphantly: “You see, you young schmuck?
      THAT’S how you wave a towel!”

    • 4Print – launch of a new find-a-printer website for Australia and New Zealand

      The website: is a free directory of printers who want to list their business capabilities and areas of specialisation. The venture grew out of Singer’s frustration at the difficulty in getting a quote on some business cards 18 months ago.

      “We sent out faxes to printers and only two bothered to reply. I came up with the idea there had to be a better way,” he said.

      So far 95 printers have responded to the invitation to register their details, along with a number of designers. The printers are able to provide extensive information on their abilities while clients are able to keep track of their trading history. Printers are also able to promote special deals.

      The business model is that the site will make money through advertising.

      “4Print can help you find printers anywhere in Australia and New Zealand. It works by allowing you to match your requirements for a print job against our database list of printers, to ensure suitable printers are found for your printing needs,” said Singer.

      He is adamant that 4Print will not be a web auction or e-commerce transaction website. “My aim to help the printing industry not destroy it,” he said.