Archive for March, 2004

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


    The Users Group got a thumbs up from all participants for the insight it gave them into Creo’s software and its strategies for the future. A number of participants cited the new contacts they made with other Creo users in different countries as the most valuable take home. Other expressed their satisfaction as being able to contribute to the elements that will go to make up future iterations of the software.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––

    It’s here, but under wraps. The first Australian iGen3 has landed and is currently coming on line at Fuji Xerox’s Australian Technology Park showroom in Sydney. Phil Chambers, managing director, says the flagship product will be open to the public during April. The revolutionary, high-production digital printing press is sure to have the industry queuing for a looksee.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––

    And speaking of new digital printing technology, the first machine from the joint Konica-Minolta stable has all the signs of being a giant killer. Already available in New Zealand from the start of the year the KM8050 colour printer is targeted at the ‘soft spot’ of 50 pages per minute. As a fully equipped A3 colour printer it’s set for 150,000 it has a duty cycle of 150,000 copies per month with a price point of just $100K to $140K, and the company claims it produces colour sheets at between 109 and 14 cents a copy.

    Now that’s a neat machine.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––

    A fairly staggering piece of information came from the launch of the Konica Minolta machine above. Apparently 40,000 colour laser printers were installed in Australia last year. It makes you realise that the production of print is moving away from the commercial industry at a rapid rate.
    It would seem change is no longer optional.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––

    They just can’t stay away. At the NPA Clancy ran into Andy Molnar and David Fittler, two veterans of the industry, both of whom had departed into broader lands – Andy from Apple and David from Fuji Xerox. Now they’re back with a new company, Rochester Systems. It a technology retailer and we’re likely to hear more from them. Check them out at z www.rochester.com.au

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––

    And finally . . . in this age of heightened tensions and conspiracy theories, here’s one you hadn’t factored in – from Norman Koslowski.

    At Sydney International airport today, an individual later discovered to be a
    public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in
    possession of a ruler, a protractor, a setsquare, a slide rule and a
    calculator. Phillip Ruddock, attorney general, believes the man is a member of
    the notorious al-gebra movement. He is being charged with carrying weapons
    of math instruction.

    “Al-gebra is a very fearsome cult, indeed”, Ruddock
    said. “They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes
    go off on a tangent in a search of absolute value. They consist of quite
    shadowy figures, with names like “x” and “y”, and, although they are
    frequently referred to as “unknowns”, we know they really belong to a
    common denominator and are part of the axis of medieval with coordinates in
    every country.

    “As the great Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, “There
    are three sides to every triangle.”

    When asked to comment on the arrest, John Howard said, “If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes.”

  • Candidate of the Week – Graeme Scott, Melbourne

    I was born in Melbourne. I have lived, worked and trained in the United States for the past 18 years. I was proud to bring my conventional prepress training to the USA. and have continued to grow with the new challenges that have changed the face of printing.

    I look forward to help a new company find solutions and success. My family (wife Heidi, and daughters Katherine and Teah) and I have moved permanently to Melbourne.

    I am looking to use my management and technical sales skills to help communicate with customers in a production manager, customer services or technical sales role. I have successfully transitioned three major Seattle prepress and printing companies to digital workflows. This included implementing standard operating procedures that decreased spoilage while increasing productivity and reduced turn around times. I strive to always accomplish this in an environment that promotes participation from everyone involved.

    The last ten years I have been employed at Ad Services. During the Internet revolution Ad Services undertook a measured response to this new technology. We changed from a very successful FileMaker shop floor system to a Web based system that allows our customers full access to job ordering, proofs and billing. Twenty-two percent of total sales now come from web orders. It was easy to expanding this system to accommodate recent opportunities and now we have online ad procurement. This site enables five of our major corporate and agency accounts to order newspaper and magazine insertions, change ad text and track orders online.

    During the last ten years I have consulted with Adobe systems about Indesign, Illustrator and PDF work flows. I have conferred with Microsoft in regards to Publisher. Seattle colleges queried me about the course of study necessary to prepare new students for the prepress workforce. Many major agencies sought my expertise when planning their transition to a digital design workflow.

    Within months of the Associated Press opening their satellite system to ad transmission, Ad Services sent ads to thousands of newspapers across the US. This was at a time PDF was in it infancy. Since those early days I have kept Ad Services at the forefront of technology-never and always profitable.

    Graeme Scott

    Mooroolbark Vic

    Ph: 9723 1274
    Mobile: 0425 827 801
    kathteah@hotmail.com

  • 21st National Print Award – the complete list of winners.

    Gold medal award winners

    • Adams Printers – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines bound by any
      method but Saddle-stitching
    • AMR Hewitts – Specialty or “Special” Printing
    • Avon Graphics – Innovation
    • Bambra Press – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines Saddle-stitched
    • BPA Print Group – Two and Three Colour Printing
    • Brite Solutions – Screen Printing
    • Deluxe Printing – Small Printing Business
      Awards Less than 4 Staff
    • Finewrap Australia – Flexographic Printing on Film
    • Hannanprint (NSW) – Web Offset Un-Coated Stock
    • Imatec Solutions – Digital Printing Electrographic
    • Inprint x 2 – Annual Reports ; Stationery
    • Intafoil – Embellishment
    • J.S. McMillan Printing Group – Postcards and Greeting Cards
    • Offset Alpine Printing x 3 – Commercial Posters, Showcards,
      Card Constructions and Mobiles; Web Offset Publications
      with a cover price; Web Offset Coated Stock
      Off-line Finished
    • Penfold Buscombe – Book Printing – Colour
    • Picton Press – Limited Editions and
      Art Reproductions
    • Platypus Graphics – Multi-Piece Productions
      and Campaigns
    • Pot Still Press – One Colour Printing
    • RA Printing – Small Printing Business
      Awards 4 to 10 Staff
    • Rodney M Poole – Calendars
    • Scott Print – Book Printing – Colour
    • Screen Offset Printing – Labels – Offset
    • SNP Sprint (Aust) – Security Printing
    • Sony Music Entertainment – Packaging
    • Van Gastel Printing– Leaflets and Folders; Self Promotion
    • Websdale Printing – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines Saddle-stitched
    • Whites Law Bindery – Digital Printing Inkjet

    Silver Medal Winners

    • Avon Graphics – Embellishment
    • Bambra Press – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines bound by any
      method but Saddle-stitching
    • Collotype Labels – Labels – Offset
    • Concept Pop & Displays – Screen Printing
    • D and D Global Group x 2 – Self Promotion; Specialty or “Special” Printing
    • Finsbury x 4 – Two and Three Colour Printing; Calendars; Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines bound by any
      method but Saddle-stitching; Postcards and Greeting Cards; Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines Saddle-stitched
    • Fivestargrafx – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines Saddle-stitched
    • Green & Gold Printing – Two and Three Colour Printing
    • Graphic Skills Sunshine Coast – Digital Printing Inkjet
    • Hannanprint (NSW) x 4 – Web Offset Publications
      with a cover price; Web Offset Coated
      Stock Press Finished; Web Offset Coated; Web Offset Un-Coated Stock
      Stock Press Finished;
    • Inprint – Calendars
    • IQ Printing – Small Printing Business
      Awards 4 to 10 Staff
    • J.S. McMillan Printing Group – Stationery
    • Lamb Printers x 2 – Magazines bound by any
      method but Saddle-stitching; Book Printing – Mono.
    • Lane Print Group – Lane Print Group
    • Lilyfield Printing – Commercial Posters, Showcards,
      Card Constructions and Mobiles
    • Manark Printing x 2 – Multi-Piece Productions
      and Campaigns; Innovation
    • McLaren Press – Leaflets and Folders
    • Momentum Digital – Digital Printing Electrographic
    • Newstyle Printing Co – Commercial Posters, Showcards,
      Card Constructions and Mobiles
    • Offset Alpine Printing x 2 – Web Offset Coated
      Stock Off-line Finished; Web Offset Coated
      Stock Off-line Finished;
    • Pacmetal Services – Packaging
    • PCC Packaging – Flexographic Printing on Film
    • Pemara Corporation – Labels – Offset
    • Picton Press – Limited Editions and
      Art Reproductions
    • PMP Print – Moorebank – Web Offset Coated
      Stock Off-line Finished
    • Precision Labels – Labels – Offset
    • Press Here – Small Printing Business
      Awards Less than 4 Staff
    • Price Screen Process – Screen Printing
    • Print Bound – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines Saddle-stitched
    • Printpoint Australia – Annual Reports
    • Printworks – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines bound by any
      method but Saddle-stitching
    • Rowett Print – Small Printing Business
      Awards Less than 4 Staff
    • Riverstone Printing – Self Promotion
    • SNP Sprint (Aust) x 2 – Security Printing; Security Printing
    • Sony Music Entertainment – Packaging
    • Southern Cross Visual Communications – Specialty or “Special” Printing
    • Toth Bienk & Associates – Stationery
    • Trilliance x 2 – Flexographic Printing
      on any subtrate but Film; Packaging
    • Van Gastel Printing – Book Printing – Colour
    • Visualcom – Small Printing Business
      Awards 4 to 10 Staff
    • Visy Displays -– Digital Printing Inkjet

    Bronze Medal Winners

    • Adams Printers – Packaging
    • AMR Hewitts PrintPackaging – Packaging
    • Avon Graphics x2 – Embellishment; Embellishment
    • Beanstalk Creative & Production – Stationery
    • BPA Print Group – One Colour Printing
    • Brite Solutions – Screen Printing
    • Collotype Labels – Labels – Offset
    • Complete Colour Printing – Limited Editions and
      Art Reproductions
    • Craft Printing – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines Saddle-stitched
    • Espak Australia – Flexographic Printing on Film
    • Finsbury x 7 – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines bound by any method
      but Saddle-stitching; Two and Three Colour Printing; Leaflets and Folders; Annual Reports; Calendars; Multi-Piece Productions and Campaigns
    • Full Impact Australia x 3 – Screen Printing; Screen Printing; Digital Printing Inkjet
    • Gaston Renard – Innovation
    • Graphic Skills Sunshine Coast – Calendars
    • Hannanprint (NSW) x 6 – Web Offset Coated Stock
      Press Finished; Web Offset Coated Stock; Web Offset Publications
      with a cover price; Web Offset Publications
      with a cover price; Web Offset Un-Coated Stock; Web Offset Un-Coated Stock
      Press Finished;
    • Hannanprint (VIC) – Web Offset Coated Stock
      Off-line Finished
    • Inprint – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines bound by any method
      but Saddle-stitching
    • J.S. McMillan Printing Group – Embellishment
    • JJ Davis Printing – Innovation
    • Labelhouse – Labels – Letterpress or Flexographic
    • Lilyfield Printing x 2– Commercial Posters, Showcards,
      Card Constructions and Mobiles; Self Promotion
    • Lindsay Yates & Partners x 2 – Multi-Piece Productions
      and Campaigns; Multi-Piece Productions
      and Campaigns
    • MacDonald & Masterson Printing – One Colour Printing
    • Momentum Digital – Digital Printing Electrographic
    • Newstyle Printing Co – Leaflets and Folders
    • Offset Alpine Printing x 4 – Commercial Posters, Showcards,
      Card Constructions and Mobiles; Web Offset Coated Stock
      Off-line Finished; Web Offset Coated Stock Off-line
      Finished; Web Offset Publications
      with a cover price
    • Pacmetal Services – Packaging
    • Peachy Print Australia – Small Printing Business
      Awards 4 to 10 Staff
    • Picton Press – Self Promotion
    • Placard – Security Printing
    • Platypus Graphics x 2 – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines bound by any method; Annual Reports
      but Saddle-stitching; Left here
    • PMP Print – Moorebank – Web Offset Coated Stock
      Press Finished
    • Pongrass Digital – Digital Printing Electrographic
    • Pot Still Press – Book Printing – Colour
    • Printpoint Australia – Limited Editions and
      Art Reproductions
    • RA Printing – Small Printing Business
      Awards 4 to 10 Staff
    • River City Press – Small Printing Business
      Awards Less than 4 Staff
    • Rural Press Printing – Ballarat – Web Offset Un-Coated Stock
    • Scott Print x 3 – Postcards and Greeting Cards; Calendars; Self Promotion
    • SNP Sprint (Aust) – Book Printing – Colour
    • Southern Cross Visual Communications – Specialty or “Special” Printing
    • The Bureau – Digital Printing Inkjet
    • Toth Bienk & Associates – Small Printing Business
      Awards 4 to 10 Staff
    • Trilliance – Flexographic Printing on
      any subtrate but Film
    • Van Gastel Printing – Stationery
    • Vega Press – Booklets, Catalogues and
      Magazines Saddle-stitched
    • Webstar – Web Offset Coated Stock
      Off-line Finished
  • The judges report – Rod Urquhart presiding

    I had thought that last year’s report on the entries in the National print awards pretty much said it all, as the praise for the skill and effort incorporated in the work judged reflected the respect (and in many cases amazement) of the judges for its quality. But that was last year. So, you may well ask, what could beat that record? The answer is: this year’s entries – so please let me tell you all about them.

    Judging of the National Print Award entries took place at the Dawson Street campus of RMIT on January 28 and 29. A group of 28 totally professional industry experts, (with cumulative experience within the industry totalling an astonishing 1089 years!), spent a non-stop two days minutely examining the entries.

    As the independent chair of the judging panel, I can assure anyone who put an entry into the competition that they received a thorough, expert, and most definitely, a completely fair assessment of the merit of that entry. Even with clear direction from the Awards Committee to pick only the supreme item in each category and award a single gold, the judges in two categories had absolutely no alternative but to defy instruction and grant two top awards. The quality of the work was so outstanding that the printed results simply could not be separated.

    As one judge remarked of the large number of entries in one category, “you could give them all a medal.” And indeed he was right; but with diligence and great care, the best of every group was selected and medals awarded accordingly. In just a few cases among the 34 categories, the number and quality of entries did not rate the awarding of all three places, but we found to our great pleasure that one category that had not gained a gold last year had come good this year to such an extent that the judges could not stop talking about just how high the standard of this year’s entries was.

    NPA – what it stands for

    As noted last year, and at the risk of becoming repetitive it must be said again, the National Print Awards are exactly what the name states: awards for work done in Australia and based on the quality of the printed job. No matter how clever the layout, eye-catching the design, gimmicky the production, brilliant (or even mundane!) the content, entries stand or fall on print quality.

    With such sophisticated prepress and onpress controls as are available today, it could be supposed that most of the old pitfalls of mis-register, marking, colour variation, roller marks, mis-alignment, and hickies would be a thing of history. Sadly, however, such was not the case, and although the vast majority of entries were of superb quality, some otherwise sound entries went back into the packing boxes due to the presence of small but easily avoidable faults of this type. Yet again it must be said, the judges can only work with the example that is before them. It is therefore in the very best interests of the print producer to ensure that the particular item that is entered in the competition is as perfect as the printer can produce.

    It was remarked by one judge that those who physically put in the entries should learn more of the types of printing faults that will kill a job in the eyes of the judges. A sage comment, as clearly anyone who knew the fatal effect of a hickey on page one, or a roller mark across a halftone panel, would look through the job for another sample rather than submit an entry that would be bound to fail.

    So the advice from the judging panel is, look as critically at the printed work as the judges do, and, if there is any print fault in that item, seek a fault free sample to submit.

    One area that has shown remarkable progress in just the past two years is the digital category. Currently this print area is simply divided between xerographic and ink-jet application methods. However, the judges will recommend to the Awards Committee that a review of the digital printing category be undertaken for the 22nd awards. This is because so many entries are of the same high standard that, in order to split them, entries may additionally need to be judged on how well the entry demonstrates the use of the technology.

    A final word of advice, read the category list very carefully, as a significant number of entries were put into areas that were not the most suitable for them, or were not entered in multiple categories when they had good chances in more than one. Therefore, some may miss an opportunity to gain more than one award.

    I extend my thanks and admiration to the judges and the National Print Awards Committee for organised the awards. This was clearly the most efficient and smooth judging procedure that anyone had experienced, and indeed it was a fitting process, to match a most competitive and outstanding array of Australian print work.

    Chairman of Judges
    Ron Urquhart

    Panel Convenors
    Bill Hicks,
    Graeme Barnes

    Judges

  • Bruce Irwin (QLD)
  • Dudley Scott (WA)
  • Ron Hoolahan (NSW)
  • Owen King (VIC)
  • Bryan Price (SA)
  • Danny Roach (TAS)
  • Greg Riding (NSW)
  • Fritz Uhl (VIC)
  • Consultants

  • Mark Holland
  • Greg Grace
  • Geoff Osmond
  • David Watkins
  • Tony Hyland
  • John Shalvey
  • Alan Dabscheck
  • Joe Cleary
  • Garry Muratore
  • Brett Maishman
  • Ken Pickett
  • Trevor Stanley
  • Garry Amy
  • Jim Richardson
  • Mac Barrott
  • Garry Barker
  • Robert James
  • Thank you all – a message from Chairman Alf Carrigan

    The Awards are governed by a registered constitution, have an Independent Chairman and a panel of judges selected by the regional councils of printing industries.

    The awards charter is:

    • To provide an annual evaluation of the standard of printing in Australia and to ensure that the graphics industry continues to strive to improve those standards.
    • To recognise and honour achievements in excellence in printing in Australia by, amongst other things, holding annual awards functions.
    • To increase awareness of the high standards of graphic reproduction and printing available in Australia by presenting a high profile of the capabilities of the graphic industry.
    • Over the past 21 years of competion our industry has witnessed vast change, many new stars flashed across our horizon and disappeared but the computerisation and automation evolution changed our industry forever. Our judges report this years entries are of the highest standard and note the excellent results being achieved using the latest technologies.

      The Awards have also witnessed change and whilst we can reflect on past glories we must continue to asses our current position and set goals for the future.

      This year support for the Awards has been outstanding and confirms the belief that
      our industry needs this platform to honour excellence in craft.

      We sincerely thank AGFA, Australian Paper and Heidelberg for their continued support as our Major Sponsors and are proud to announce that we have achieved a record number of 31 Patrons for these, the 21st Awards, a big thank you to all Patron companies.

      To the Awards committee, thank you for your support and commitment, with a special thanks again to Graham Luke for his dedication to the cause. To Rod Urquhart, our Chairman of judges and his team, we appreciate the time and effort, well done. My thanks also to Scott Telfer and the Sydney dinner committee.

      Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you to all the entrants for without you there would be no competion.

      Alf Carrigan Chairman

    • Websdale apprentice wins Australia Paper award

      The Australian Paper Award is presented for Print Excellence achieved by a 3rd or 4th year printing machinist apprentice. This year it went to Phillip Said, who is currently completing his time with Sydney-based Pongrass Communications group.

      Pictured (left to right) Tom Pongrass, Phillip Said, Scot Telfer and Wayne Stanistreet.

      In accepting the award from Wayne Stanistreet, Australian Paper, Phillip made mention of the opportunity afforded him by the encouragement and mentoring of Tom Pongrass and Scot Telfer. He also made the point that he was able to produce the work on the very latest equipment, honing his skills in a high technology company.

      Phillip was formally trained at the Sydney Instituite of Technology.

    • McMillans wins inaugural new-style Agfa award

      In awarding the prize for the Most Creative Use of Imaging
      in Printing to JS McMillan Printing Group, which was accepted by Julie-Anne McMillan, (pictured with Garry Muratore) who is not only Bob’s daughter but a director of the company, the dominance of digital processes in another former craft was confirmed.

      “The advent of digital cameras has changed the process of image capture more in a couple of years than in the 150 years since photography was invented,” said Muratore. “Once the core technology to image capture, film has been replaced by CCD’s & digital media storage. This has resulted in many of the physical constraints of photography being totally negated, leaving photographers or designers limited purely by their imagination.

      “With this in mind, we at Agfa decided it was time, after 21 years to update our award, and open it up to not just photography, but to any of the processes now related to image capture and design. Agfa’s corporate belief is that in the future, imaging will
      increasingly hold the key to communication.
      And
      I’m pleased to say the winning entry of our award
      embodies our vision statement.

      JS McMillan have a tradition of producing the most amazing and creative Christmas cards. So popular are these pieces I am told that customers use cards of Christmas’s past to create office nativity scenes. The 2003 McMillan Christmas card utilised a combination of innovative imaging techniques including, photography, digital design and computer to plate.”

      The Brief

      Kim Munday, Senior Designer at McMillans tells how the award winning entry came about.

      The Christmas card must be a 3-D construction and include Suzie (Robert’s
      dog) and the wording < I>Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year There should be enough room to write a short message and an area to overprint different names e.g J.S. McMillan Printing Group.

      The Concept

      Once the design/concept is established, I start work on a knife design dummy, ensuring that the basic folds and mechanics will work with the concept.
      The assembly should be relatively straight forward.
      Research postage sizes and costs, without compromising the design – A5 was chosen.
      Check the overall size will fit on the sheet of board, allowing for bleed and grip.
      Source an embellishment that will give the card the “WOW” factor.
      After considering at holographic transparent foil and pearl foil I selected multi-colour glitter coat. I noticed that the sample flaked off when creased, so rang Allcoats and enquired as to how to fix this problem. The solution was to leave a gutter of 1.5mm either side of the fold.

      The Photography
      Source suitable toys and photograph.
      Organise a shot of the dog (Suzie) to be taken. Buy clothes for my nephew and tee up a time for me to photograph him. (This ensured that I got the exact shot I was after and saved money on photo library shots).

      The Artwork
      Hardware used: Apple Macintosh G4
      Software used: Adobe Photoshop 5.5
      Adobe Illustrator 8.0.1
      QuarkXpress 4.11

      The Illustrations

      The Artwork was split into four basic groups

    • 1. Outer (the toy shop building and Child)
      Using the knife dummy for measures, in
      Photoshop I illustrate the building. This is done in three different files left hand side of the toy shop, right hand side of the toy shop and the door. There is also an additional file for the cover. All photos were retouched (Suzie was given a make over) and snow added using special effect in the airbrush filter.
    • 2. Small inner (Left hand side of the toy shop)
      Each individual toy is deep etched then placed in a photoshop file. Each photoshop layer denotes a layer on the artwork. Once I am happy with the composition the knife is drawn for each layer and exported to be used in constructing the knife guide in Illustrator at a later date. The file is now split up into layers (5 files), one file for each layer. Bleed, shelf and shadows are then added.
    • 3. Big inner (Right hand side of the toy
      shop)
      As above
    • 4. Awning
      A slightly different approach was used
      for this piece. The basic artwork and
      knife was created in Illustrator as it has
      stronger filters, than Photoshop 8. then
      imported into Photoshop to complete
      the rest of the rendering/illustration.
    • The knife guide
      Using the files exported from Photoshop
      earlier I combined them for each of the
      four pieces needed to complete the card.

      The embellishment
      Glittercoat (5th Colour)
      Open up the Photoshop files that require
      glittercoat and select this area fill with
      solid black and save as a tiff file using
      only the layer with the black.

      Artwork
      This is where all the pieces come
      together…

      The Photoshop images/illustrations are
      imported into QuarkXpress, followed by
      the knife guides and lastly the glittercoat
      images, a 5th colour is created and the tiff
      files are changed to this colour.
      There is now a 6th colour created in
      Quark to indicate gold foil.

      Mock Up
      This is the first time that the entire
      concept is viewed complete.
      The Quark files are printed to a lazer,
      mounted on board and cut out and
      assembled, it is then shown to the
      committee.

      The Committee
      It is decided that the card is to be 210mm
      x 210mm as opposed to the original
      design size of 210 x 148.5mm.
      The alterations are made, and a new
      mock up assembled and approved.

      CTP
      From the Quark files a PDF is created
      ready for CTP.

    • Keeping print in Australia – Penfold Buscombe wins Heidelberg Award

      The Melbourne operation of Penfold Buscombe produced the award-winning limited edition A3 book, The National Story, for the National Golf Club based at Cape Schanck in Victoria. In accepting the award from Andy vels Jensen, Hill (pictured on left) paid tribute to Malcolm James of the National for realising that a local printer could do just as good a job as the nominated Hong Kong company. The fact that the end result won the coveted Heidelberg Award for Excellence in Craft reinforced his belief in the company’s abilities, nationwide.

      “I’m accepting this award on behalf of the team at Penfold Buscombe, it’s not my award, it’s theirs,” he said. “We are delighted to have won. We have devoted many hours to developing standardised internal and external processes to ensure the highest production levels possible. This means that all our facilities – Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast –operate on the same platform. We are confident that the award could have been won if produced in any one of them.”

      Designers Simon Hughes, of Huge, and Christopher Seater, of Christopher Seater Designs were charged with the task of combining the diverse elements of text, images and maps to create a cohesive, and visually engaging book.

      “In realising the vision of Mal James from the National Golf Club, it became clear that there were several challenges in the job,” says Hughes. “These encompassed the accurate reproduction of an original watercolour, along with complex image placement which needed to accommodate images crossing over pages and even sections.”

      Nine hundred and sixty-seven individually numbered books were produced, along with 268 additional copies. The cover and presentation slipcase were silver foiled, with the stock imported from Germany.

      The job was printed in five colours, CMYK plus PMS 462 green, on a Heidelberg Speedmaster 102-6 colour press. The plates were produced on Penfold Buscombe’s Heidelberg Topsetter P/PF 102.

      Andy Vels Jensen, Managing Director of Heidelberg Australia & New Zealand says, “the absolute excellence of this job shows that Penfold Buscombe has an in-depth knowledge of the capabilities of the Heidelberg technology. It is the dedication to quality and consistency, of people and equipment, on a daily basis that has enabled the company to win the Heidelberg Award.”

      The win by Penfold Buscombe is continued recognition of the company’s success in increasing its presence across the eastern seaboard, the objective of the merger between Buscombe VicPrint and Penfolds Printing Group two years ago.

      Penfold Buscombe National Operations Manager, Michael Smithe says the production team approached the job with the dedication and attention to detail that is given to every job.

      “Even though we are a large company, we have a strong commitment to small business which is reflected in the level of personal attention we are prepared to give clients,” says Smithe. “We conducted a personal tour of our facility for the National Golf Club to ensure they had confidence in our capabilities and to demonstrate the state of the art production values we hold.”

      Once securing the job, the Penfold Buscombe production team toured the National Golf Club’s course to view first hand its high standards; standards which would be reflected in the book’s production.

    • Reality bites – Andy vels Jensen annual industry appraisal

      “Good evening, fellow moaners and sufferers of the industry,

      “Profitability of the industry may not have improved dramatically over the past years, but the NPA events certainly have. Congratulations to Alf, his team and the organizers for putting together a most professional and enjoyable event.

      “Print has been around since the birth of Australia. In fact, the second company to be formerly registered in Australia was a printing company. The first company was a bank. Makes for an interesting evolution theory for printers; from convict -> banker -> printer -> and, if margins continue to erode, we may see it come full circle !

      “We have joined here this evening to celebrate the quality of our industry, something that thankfully still carries some weight with print buyers and the buying consumers of Australia. The fact remains that at a time when communication methods are becoming more complex, ink on paper consistently proves to be the most reliable and honest medium to convey images and ideas to create awareness and buying interest.

      “Over dinner the other evening my daughter tells me she has been doing some university research work about our industry. She proceeds to comment, “What I read is not exactly too flash” and “Why would anyone want to join such a depressing industry!”

      “Was she onto something here? Blondes normally are….

      “We are certainly terribly good at making ourselves look bad; talking down our industry and not focussing on the many positive aspects of our industry.

      “If we want to attract new talent to our industry, and more importantly, investor money, we need to be more interesting than the next industry. In this respect it’s been great to see the efforts by GAMAA, RMIT and PIAA on further education and informing the industry. We compete for attention and investments every day of the year.

      “With unemployment running at a 22 year low, we need to make it an innovative and exciting business, providing for attractive returns. According to statistics, there are 115,000 people in our industry turning over in excess of AUD 17 billion.

      “So, where to invest?

      “Leading in to drupa in 48 days time, there will be plenty of new technology and innovations to tempt printers. And remember, PacPrint in Melbourne is no more than 14 months and 6 days away.

      “Today the challenge is not how to run a print shop and find money to buy the latest technology. It is how to manage and create a viable business that successfully applies new technology to that business.”

    • 21st National Print Awards celebration – a night to remember

      Any concerns that the National Print awards were running out of steam were blown away by last week’s event where a full house gave a resounding vote of confidence in the industry’s highest profile event. It has taken three years for the new organization, under the aegis of Printing Industries to get up to full speed but this time out there was a gratifying sense of professionalism and relevance in the awards ceremony that dispelled any fears for its future.

      On a night when the emphasis was primarily on having a good time, the 29 award categories were ran through without any of the tedium associated with previous years. Yes, it may have had to do with the fact that this year the audience was primed with entrée and some noticeably fine wines before the presentations began, but a lot had to do with the professionalism of the comperes, Sandra Sully and Vince Sorrenti, and the military precision with which Scot Telfer, chair of the NSW committee, lined up the presenters. Printers went up and down the stage to collect their gongs with alacrity, no speeches, no trip-ups, and no sour grapes.

      There were 32 Gold Medals presented by representatives of the award’s patrons in addition to the three sponsor’s awards from Heidelberg, Australian Paper and Agfa. All told there were 154 awards given out – 53 silver and 69 bronze. While Offset Alpine won the competition for the gold with three medals over its old rival, fellow IPMG company Inprint, and Van Gastel Printing, each with two, another IPMG company Hannanprint (NSW) scooped the pot with a tally of 11 medals, (one gold, four silver, six bronze) just pipping Finsbury who also scored 11 but failed to include any gold. In fact, perhaps they should rename the web categories as the Hannanprint awards, after such a comprehensive demonstration of the company’s superiority with this type of printing

      Around the states, the honours went to Victoria with 11 gold, followed by NSW with nine, Queensland five, Western Australia four and South Australia two.

      The Sponsors awards came after dinner and the very good-natured gathering wildly applauded the recipients. (See stories this bulletin.)

      Congratulations must go to Alf Carrigan and his team for revitalising the NPA. It was a splendid night and according to Alf the feedback coming from the industry indicates that the feeling is widespread. “Our role is to lift the profile of the evening and to make sure that the people who come along got value for money. If we have achieved that, and the positive responses show that we have, I count it a success,” he said. “I believe the National Print Awards now have a solid foundation from which to grow in the future.”

    • Tender for SA aerial photgraphy

      Issued by Department for Environment and Heritage
      Request for Tender
      Tender State: Current Tender
      Tender Code: DEH009996
      Contract Number: RFA 1310/04
      Category: Editorial and Design and Graphic and Fine Art Services
      Description
      Requests for Applications are now being sought for Membership of a Preferred Supplier List to supply Aerial Photography Services in South Australia for the South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH). The purpose of the aerial photography Preferred Supplier List is to streamline the administrative operations of tendering.
       
      A Preferred Supplier List is the establishment of an agreement with one or more suppliers over a period of time, that sets the terms and conditions under which services are to be provided. Members of Preferred Supplier lists are not guaranteed services, rather they are eligible to submit an offer for the supply of goods or services when required without the need for a further contract.
       
      The Services are to be provided to the Environmental Information (EI) directorate of the Department and relate to the exposure and processing of aerial photography and related GPS data capture services in accordance with the attached Technical Specifications.
       
      These Services will consist of some or all of the following activities: –
      ·         Expose aerial photography with mapping accuracy airborne GPS control.
      ·         Process the exposed film.
      ·         Produce mapping accurate GPS digital data of the coordinates of all photo-centres.
      Produce reports detailing the provision of the Services and the results obtained.

      www.sa.gov.au

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

      It has announced it’s relaunching the Quark Alliance partner programme to encourage people to continue writing Xtensions for the software. The company has also joined CIP4 as a partner member. Perhaps it’s a case of if you can’t beat them . . .

      –––––––––––––––––––––

      The world of print management is becoming more integrated in the industry every day and it appears to be thriving. John Crichton has been appointed Business Development Manager for the Sydney office of Rothfield Print Management. He replaces Dale Hard who has moved to open a new office in Cairns.

      Until late last year John headed up the print management team for PMG Solutions within the offices of IAG/NRMA. Prior to that he was a Print Specialist with Westpac.

      –––––––––––––––––––––

      All you drupa attendees and tour organisers, mark your Düsseldorf diaries for
      4pm on Monday May 10. It’s Australia/New Zealand Day at drupa, courtesy of
      mine hosts Ian Clare and Russell Cavenagh of DES, distributors for EFI’s
      proofing (formerly Best) and workflow products. Come all ye to Hall 4, stands
      B34 and B40 (facing), and enjoy some Aussie/Kiwi hospitality at a special
      function laid on by DES and EFI.
      Enquiries: russell.cavenagh@des-pl.com.au or phone
      Russell on (02) 9743 6708.

      –––––––––––––––––––––

      The best things in life are not necessarily free, and one of them is the GASAA’s moderated online forum, known as GTX Forum. This invaluable industry resource has grown in popularity since it foundation, providing a forum where people can get advice on knotty technical problems from some of the best brains in the business. But not everyone is paying their share and reluctantly Gary Knespal, GASAA Executive Officer has decided that GTX will from now on be exclusive to GASAA members only.

      From April 1 representatives of non-member companies will be removed from the list – unless of course, their companies join GASAA in the meantime. So, come one, put a rocket up the boss.

      –––––––––––––––––––––

      Waterless Printing is one of those really worthy and excellent technologies that everyone agrees are worthwhile, but few make any movement to implement. Perhaps the World Waterless Printing Conference, scheduled for 12 May, 2004 at the Drupa Conference Center will help it along. It marks the first time the Waterless Printing Association will unite with the Japanese Waterless Printing Association and the European Waterless Printing Association to ‘bring attention to the proven productivity and environmental benefits of waterless printing to the world’s printers and print buyers.’

      –––––––––––––––––––––

      It’s not often revolutions happen with such lightening speed but it’s official, film photography is dead, overthrown is a sudden coup by digital. According to a report on this year’s convention of the Photographic Marketing Association in Las Vegas, the annual industry rollout of new products firmly established that digital has now crossed over to become the dominant factor. To quote the writer, for all effects and purposes, film is dead. By the end of 2003, 31% of U.S. households owned digital cameras. Digital cameras outsold film cameras at the rate of 12.5 million digital units versus 12.1 million film cameras. This gap is expected to widen in 2004 with 15.7 million digital cameras expected to be sold, compared to 10.5 million film cameras (source PMA).

      –––––––––––––––––––––

      And finally . . . because yesterday was St Patrick’s Day.

      Pat and Mike were doing some street repairs in front of a known house of ill repute in Kings Cross. A Jewish Rabbi came walking down the street, looked the left, looked to right, and ducked into the house. Pat paused a bit from swinging his pick and said “Mike…will you look at that! A man of the cloth, and going into a place like that in broad daylight!”.

      A bit later, an Anglican minister came down the street, looked to the left, looked to the right, and scurried into the house. Mike laid down his shovel, turned to Pat and said “Pat! Are you seeing what I’m seeing? A man of the church, and he’s giving that place his custom!”

      Just then, a Catholic Priest came down the street, looked to the left, looked to the right, and slipped into the brothel. Pat and Mike straightened up, removed their hats, and Mike says “Faith, and there must be somebody terribly sick in there

    • Job of the Week – Area Manager, Barcode Systems & Supply, Brisbane

      This person must have an understanding of computer systems and PC base operational skills.

      As an achievement orientated individual it will be an advantage to have: a proven record in sales, a tertiary education and an understanding of barcode and labelling technology.

      The successful applicant will be joining our friendly, enthusiastic staff devoted to exemplary customer service. Comprehensive training in all our products will be supplied.

      This position offers excellent prospects in a recession proof industry and is located at our Brisbane branch.

      For further information about our company visit:
      www.peacocks.biz

      Resume to be posted or emailed to:

      Ruth Kaplan
      Peacock Bros Pty Ltd
      11-13 Stamford Road
      Oakleigh Vic 3166

      Ph: 03 9563 1900
      Fax: 03 9563 1977

      Email: ruthk@peacocks.com.au

      Search for more of the industry’s most attractive career opportunitites Print21Connect
      www.bluelinemedia.com.au/index.cfm?pageid=jobs01

    • Working up the ‘what if?’ factor

      I’m a great believer in ‘what if?’ At various stages in history, someone has
      asked ‘What if 400 people could fly in a huge aircraft?’ and “What if, instead of
      gas lighting, illumination could happen at the flick of a switch, using electron
      flow?” In our industry, the greatest ‘what if’ was; “What if, instead of fixed
      blocks of type, the letters were cut individually and moved around?” Another
      that ranks up there is “What if we could make plates directly from digital data,
      without film?”

      The majority response to radical ‘what ifs’ is always negative. But success and
      history are not written by the majority. The majority first see failure as the likely
      outcome of radical ideas. If, often against all odds, success ensues from a
      big ‘what if’ then the old adage “Success has many parents but failure is an
      orphan” cuts in! Everyone wants a slice of the glory. This is okay too as it adds
      impetus to the concept.

      So, here’s a big ‘what if?’
      I was encouraged by the feedback from an article that appears in the latest
      issue of Print21 magazine, on international competition for our printing. In
      particular, Stephen Lewis of The Bureau in Adelaide penned a heartwarming
      email about a book, which he also authored, printed in Adelaide against stiff
      overseas quotations. His experience was countered by the experience of a
      fellow writer/publisher who went offshore for his print and received 2,000
      faulty books, late and with initial denial of any problems. The ink had not cured
      prior to UV varnishing and the images lifted.

      In the article, I (admittedly off-the-cuff) suggested that investors could start up
      a greenfield super print centre in Darwin’s free trade zone, to compete with
      Asian printers. Its customers would mostly be overseas and its sales force
      would not be just in Sydney or Melbourne, but in New York, LA, London,
      Frankfurt – even Singapore and Tokyo.

      This is the ‘what if?’ What if we actually did this? Are there investors out there
      willing to stump up the seed capital for establishing a global printing centre in
      Darwin, so automated that it outshines anything else in the world; so well
      marketed that the print contracts are already in place before the roof goes on?
      Would the Federal and Northern Territory governments support this bold
      initiative with incentives, tax breaks etc?

      Think of the benefits of Darwin. Close to Asian markets, well serviced with sea
      and air freight and now connected by rail to ‘the South.’ The climate is no
      problem, because someone – a printer actually – asked ‘what if we could
      condition and dehumidify the air?’ last century. Air conditioning enabled
      industrial expansion into hot areas in the USA, and has enabled Asia to become
      the industrial powerhouse of the world.

      Imagine – a slick air-conditioned global printing centre in Darwin with both web
      and ‘long’ sheetfed presses, advanced case and perfect binding; all-CTP; all-
      CIP4/JDF; networked, MIS’d; online and selling to the huge world publishing
      market.

      What if?

      What do you think; email Andy at andy@mccourtconsult.com.au

    • Heidelberg Printmaster is fit for a queen


      Cunard Line commissioned Heidelberg to design and install prepress, sheetfed and postpress systems that could withstand ocean currents with stabilizing equipment and meet daily printing needs with land-sea logistical service solutions. Heidelberg worked closely with the ship’s builder in preparation for the specialized installation.

      Of the two features, the stabilizing equipment consists of special mounting brackets and ink dispensing systems that can handle rough seas in the North Atlantic. In regards to daily printing needs, QM2 has daily print demands with limited space to operate presses and store enough material between ports-of-call.

      Heidelberg designed a configuration to meet space and storage needs. With such a system, QM2 can produce 1,500 copies of daily programs, 1,700 menus for the three main dining rooms and seven alternate venues, eight-page versions of U.S. and British daily newspapers, and high-quality name cards for special occasions.

      Installed aboard QM2 is a two-color Printmaster QM 46-2 press, a Quicksetter 300 CTP device for polyester plates, a Polar 66 cutter and a Quickfolder T 34. The system is managed by a two-person crew led by Chief Printer William Neugebauer and Jared Unterborn.

      Heidelberg referred to similar plans that it had used for other vessels including Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), considered by many people as the most recognized passenger vessel in the world.

      “We are honored Cunard has chosen Heidelberg once again, and has relied on our tradition and experience of printing outside the press room in unusual and chal-lenging environments,” said Niels Winther, president of Heidelberg USA. “Heidelberg is pleased to have provided two unique printing solutions to two of the most spectacular vessels ever built.”

      According to Lawrence Rapp, Cunard’s vice president of hotel operations, Cunard needs reliable systems and a contractor that has the experience and resources to handle these challenges. “Heidelberg understands the difficulties of printing at sea, and we are impressed with the quality and service we have received from its systems aboard Queen Mary 2,” said Rapp.

    • Kodak is back into commercial printing – so what is it all about?

      The long-expected acquisition of NexPress and Heidelberg Digital by Kodak came to fruition last week. Jim Langley was asked what the industry can expect from a re-focused Kodak.

      The History

      In late August of 2003, Kodak announced a strategy to realign
      operations to pursue growth opportunities in commercial and
      consumer markets. On March 8, 2004, at the On Demand
      Conference and Exposit ion in New York, Kodak announced its
      intent ion to purchase Heidelberg’s 50% interest in NexPress (a
      Kodak/Heidelberg joint venture) and the equity of Heidelberg
      Digital. The objective of these acquisitions was in line with Kodak’s
      strategy to become a major business presence in the digital
      printing market and to secure a place as a leading player in the
      digital industry.

      Langley said, “The first six months on the job have been exciting
      and challenging, and we’re making significant progress.” When
      Langley started, the business unit was comprised of the Encad
      subsidiary and joint ventures with NexPress and Kodak
      Polychrome Graphics. On January 5, 2004, Kodak completed the acquisition of Dayton, OH
      based Scitex Digital Printing. The acquisition took approximately three months from initial
      meetings to closing. The March 2004 announcements included the buyout of Heidelberg’s
      interest in NexPress and Heidelberg Digital.

      The Strategy

      According to Langley, Kodak is executing on its strategy of expanding product lines in a
      selective and disciplined manner with the ultimate objective of gaining market leadership. He
      said, “We also are leveraging Kodak’s R&D capabilities and unsurpassed knowledge of image
      and colour science to enhance our posit ion in the commercial printing market .”
      I spent time
      with Langley reviewing the product mix and announcements that he saw as particularly
      important.

      Kodak Versamark

      Kodak Versamark (formerly Scitex Digital Printing) is an acknowledged leader in high-speed,
      variable data inkjet printing systems. According to Langley, “The new Versamark product
      offerings that will be demonstrated at drupa in May illustrate a commitment to improving colour
      quality and workflow to make high-volume digital colour printing a reality for a larger segment
      of the commercial printing and transactional document market.”

      Kodak Versamark will be
      featuring what it characterizes as the next generation in colour technology. The new V-Series
      has fully integrated colour management tools as well as support for multiple data streams and a
      print resolution of 300 x 1200 drops-per- inch with a throughput of over 1,400 pages per
      minute. The V-Series systems offer a modular growth path from monochrome to full colour.

      Langley noted, “The integration of Versamark is going extremely
      well and is on schedule. We are pleased with how quickly
      Versamark has been able to incorporate some of Kodak’s image
      and colour science into its products.”

      Encad

      According to Langley, “Encad has a history of innovation in wide format printing technology.
      Encad offers a broad line of inkjet printers, a complete select ion of wide format media, and is
      backed by the extensive image science and technical support of Kodak.” The applications in
      this space- – including indoor and outdoor signage, point -of-purchase graphics, photographic
      enlargement , graphic arts product ion, fine art , textile design, and computer aided design- -are
      part of the $385 billion plus imaging business industry driving the new Kodak Commercial
      Printing Group.

      The recently announced Encad NovaJet 1000i is the first printer jointly developed by Kodak
      and Encad. Langley stated, “This product demonstrates our ability to leverage Kodak’s
      extensive research and expertise in ink formulation and media, combined with Encad’s
      strengths in wide format hardware and systems optimization.”

      NexPress and Heidelberg Digital

      Langley stated, “Critical to business growth is participation in the $17 billion digital product ion
      printing market. NexPress and Heidelberg Digital are leading suppliers of high-end, on demand
      and variable data product ion printing solutions for the colour and monochrome markets
      respectively. When customers and industry analysts visit our booths at drupa, they will see
      that we are committed to creating more efficient workflows that expand customers’ application
      opportunities that help drive their success. This is critical to our users, because our new
      product opt ions will provide the capabilities they require to build profitable businesses.

      “Having one management team for both NexPress and HDi will make it a better, more nimble operation. Our customers will work with a company that is dedicated to developing, marketing
      and supporting digital printing solutions,” Langley said.

      Strategic Planks for the Future

      In my discussion with Langley, he out lined key focus areas that he planned to address in
      establishing a market leadership posit ion for Kodak.

    • 1. Leveraging Kodak innovation and technology w ill be critical to future success.
      Langley identified emerging technologies that can take the market to new levels of
      price and performance for commercial, in-plant and transactional service bureaus.

      Kodak has patents in place for what it calls STREAM technology, a continuous ink jet
      technology capable of running at high speeds with high resolution. Stream technology
      is not based on electrostatics, but introduces a new principle of inkjet printing based
      on thermal “pinch-off” of continuously jetted fluid streams.

      Kodak has also invested in nanotechnology and has developed nano-sized pigment
      particles in an effort to create inks that are less likely to clog nozzle heads in inkjet
      printers, with the added benefits of extended colour gamut and improved quality of
      printed images. Utilization of this technology for consumables in the digital printing
      industry means reduced cost combined with improved image quality.

      Langley said,
      “Tapping into the Kodak image science, media, chemistry and colour management
      capabilities will be key to the success of the Commercial Printing Group. The
      technology exists.”

    • 2. The development of a unified workflow supporting a variety of both input and
      output devices is essential to Kodak’s business model. Langley stated, “Our
      strategy is being built around compliance with industry standards for variable
      information and print -on-demand product ion workflows, and in taking these
      businesses to the next level of growth and profit potential. We will work together to
      develop solutions that enable creators, producers and all other participants in the print
      value chain to capture the market opportunities available through digital technologies.

      “Kodak is uniquely positioned based on our comprehensive understanding of image
      capture (digital photography and scanning) , colour management , and now, print
      product ion.”

    • 3. Delivering price performance across the product line will be essential. Langley
      said, “Given my experience in other manufacturing businesses, cost reductions of 15%
      annually are a baseline. We need to deploy this philosophy in our productivity
      initiatives. We will leverage new technologies and electronic components, and reengineer
      products to deliver the benchmark price performance for our customers.”

      Kodak has a state-of- the-art manufacturing facility for toners for the NexPress and
      Digimaster product lines, produces inks for Encad, and will be using Kodak technology
      to enhance Versamark consumables. Efficiency in consumable product ion processes
      can be passed on to customers in terms of cost savings. Langley also indicated that
      there are some obvious areas in which to take cost out of the business with the
      Heidelberg acquisitions.

    • 4. Building the right distribution and industry alliances is critical. In the
      production marketplace encompassing commercial printers, quick printers,
      corporations, and transact ion printing service bureaus, companies are looking for an
      array of products, services and solutions. According to Langley, “We have distribution
      arrangements in place with Canon, IBM and Danka, and direct sales and distribution
      channels in place with Versamark and Encad. Kodak also has an ownership stake in
      KPG. Heidelberg sales resources will be integrated into our business model. We need
      to develop a non-disruptive go- to-market plan with partners and channels that
      ensures cross-selling of products to the customer base.”

      Langley also acknowledged
      that a network of strong alliance partners for workflow, application solutions, finishing
      and fulfillment will be important . Several alliances are already in place and this is an
      area he projects will continue to evolve.

    • So What is the Bottom Line for Kodak?

      When asked about his view of the future, Langley stated, “My objectives are clear. In 36
      months, this business will be a multi-billion dollar business with double-digit revenue growth.
      We want to be the most cost-effective digital alternative to offset printing.”

      There are several key elements in place that position Kodak to become a key player in the
      production printing market . The pieces of the puzzle –- from image capture to high-speed
      variable data printing – exist within Kodak. Alliances or partnerships will be essential to
      complete some areas in the product portfolio. Kodak’s challenge is to rapidly integrate and
      execute over the next several months; its ability to do so is directly correlated to its ability to
      succeed long term.

      Please offer your feedback to Barb. She can be reached at: bapppr@rit.edu

    • The Economy Unwrapped: Don’t worry how it looks now – it’s going to get better

      Guest speakers Chris Caton, Chief Economist for the BT Financial Group and
      Printing Industries
      economist, Hagop Tchamkertenian, took centre stage to talk to a good turnout of industry professionals about the printing industry, the Australian economy and roll on effects from the US and Asian economies. For representatives of the ‘dismal science’ they were surprisingly upbeat – for economists.
       

      Caton said growth in the Australian economy had suffered significantly from the drought in 2002-2003 being held back by almost one per cent – a remarkable result considering that farming activity only represents about three per cent of the economy. However recovery would help drive the economy.
       
      He said:

    • World economic growth was improving and would continue to do so.
    • 6-10% gains in international shares were likely in next 12 months.
    • the Australian economy was still doing quite well.
    • the housing bubble looked set to burst soon.
    • interest rates were likely to rise further, but not by much.
    • the exchange rate would rise further, but mainly against the $US. It would stabilise around the 70 cent mark by the end of the year.
    • the Australian market was unlikely to do better than overseas.
    • Caton said 2004 would likely be a year of moderate gains in the Australian share market with significantly different sectoral performance.

      “Critical determinants of overall performance will be the strength of the world economic recovery and Australian growth, while sectoral performances will depend hugely on the exchange rate, interest rates and the extent of the decline in residential construction. It will be an interesting year,” he said.

      . . . if you don’t know where you’ve been?

      Hagop Tchamkertenian began the industry perspective with a short history lesson on where the industry evolved from (Did you know that a ranking of the 100 most influential people of all time features two printing industry icons – Ts’ai Lun the inventor of paper (ranked seventh), and the father of printing Johann Gutenberg (ranked eighth.)

      In spite of having a fairly pessimistic audience when it came to canvassing expectations, Tchamkertenian said 2004 would likely see:

    • improvements in printing industry economic conditions;
    • an increase in advertising expenditure;
    • a positive flow on from 2004 being an election year;
    • more rationalisation and industry consolidation;
    • possible improvements in capacity utilisation rates;possible reversal in labour force downsizing;
    • exports and import replacement efforts to remain at the mercy of currency movements;
    • currency has probably peaked and will begin to depreciate;
    • capital expenditure likely to continue the recent trend – unlikely to reach past peaks;
    • selling prices to continue to be driven down for traditional areas of printing;
    • targeted customisation campaigns to continue to overtake mass marketing campaigns.
    • To finsih, other historical snippets from Hagop included the fact that In Australia the printing industry was one of the earliest industries to emerge after white settlement; industry icon – John Sands was founded in 1837 and was the second company to be registered in Australia after the Bank of NSW.