Archive for March, 2005

  • Kiwi given the Fairfax nod

    Evans will relocate to Australia to begin his new position before the beginning of May, though he will remain a member of the advisory council for Fairfax NZ. The appointment comes amid speculation over the upcoming departure of CEO Fred Hilmer, whom Evans himself had been touted as the most likely replacement before having his application declined by the Fairfax board.

    Hilmer claims the new appointment will consolidate of the creation of the Metropolitan Newspaper business unit that occurred two years ago. “Brian’s appointment is the next logical step to take the metros forward by providing a stronger focus on their business, and creating further opportunities for commercial initiatives in conjunction with the regional and community newspapers,” he says.

    Hilmer also claimed the appointment will enable him to better concentrate on strategic issues facing the company, at least until a suitable replacement is found. News Corporation executive Doug Flynn was nominated by the Fairfax board as the preferred replacement CEO, but rejected the offer to instead take a role at pest control group Rentokil. Hilmer has indicated that he will stay at Fairfax until the end of 2005 if required.

  • Job of the Week: Technical Sales Manager – Colour Management, Sydney

    With our recent appointment as master distributor for GMG Color proofing software, we are seeking an accomplished graphic arts colour management professional to head our growing portfolio of products that include Gretag-Macbeth, Eizo, EPSON, GTI viewing booths, ColorVision and more. The position is Sydney-based.

    The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of colour management as applied to CMYK and RGB printing
  • Knowledge of contract digital proofing software and hardware
  • Working knowledge of inkjet drop-on-demand proofing
  • Working knowledge of Apple and PC networking
  • Ability to create ICC and other colour profiles
  • Ability to interpretatively use Spectrophotometers and densitometers
  • Ability to fingerprint presses for 100% colour matches
  • Experience in sales management
  • Ability to train others
  • Self-starting, organised and time-efficient
  • Kayell with GMG is exhibiting at PacPrint and the position will be filled prior to this. An excellent overall package is offered to the right candidate, with a high degree of autonomy.

    Apply by email only to: Mr Robert Gatto

    Websites: and

    Email resumes to


    To view more printing and graphic arts career positions click here for JobsOnline21:

  • Book Club –

    A new edition of Pocket Pal is always an event in the printing and graphic arts industry. First published in 1934, this indispensable reference work has long been the authoritative introduction to the graphic arts for artists, designers, publishers, advertisers, students and buyers of printing. It has also proved to be an indispensable handy reference guide for printing professionals.

    A new edition of Pocket Pal is always an event in the printing and graphic arts industry. First published in 1934, this indispensable reference work has long been the authoritative introduction to the graphic arts for artists, designers, publishers, advertisers, students and buyers of printing. It has also proved to be an indispensable handy reference guide for printing professionals.

    Pocket Pal is the ultimate argument solver, jam packed with facts, figures, diagrams and illustrations of all major imaging processes. It provides detailed, concise information on prepress, press and post press, with individual sections on paper and a graphic arts glossary. Readers will find information on types and typographies, including proofreading, type, colour charts and digital prepress.

    The 19th Edition is edited by Frank Romano, RIT School of Print Media (Michael Riordan, RIT, Assistant Editor) and builds on the millennium edition’s initiative to bring digital printing into the mainstream of the industry’s reference. The result is a thoroughly up to the minute reference work that also retains the solid background knowledge that has made it such a favourite for generations.

    Pocket Pal is easy to read, an inexhaustible resource, and provides printing and graphic arts professionals with the wherewithal to fully understand all facets of their industry.


    To buy Pocket Pal: Graphic Arts Production – New 19th Edition and to browse the Print21Online Graphic Arts Library click

  • D-Day for Creo takeover

    The meeting was held in the Canadian city of Burnaby, with a total of 33,186,209 votes cast with respect to the proposed takeover. Shareholders also voted to re-elect Creo’s current board of directors, with KPMG LLP also reappointed as the company’s auditor for the coming year.

    Kodak plans to acquire all issued and outstanding Creo shares through a statutory plan of arrangement at a price of US$16.50 per share, to a total value of approximately US$980 million. Following the landslide approval given to the plan received by Creo shareholders this week, the transaction now only needs to be subjected to the standard regulatory and court approvals.

    The final endorsement from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice will be sought on the 1st of April. Creo and Kodak claim they will continue to work together towards obtaining all the necessary regulatory approvals, and aim to complete the transaction before the year comes to a close.

  • Another local pulp mill on the cards

    The projected $300 million pulp mill would produce bleached chemi-thermo mechanical pulp (BCTMP) for export to the Asia-Pacific region. The mill is expected to require as much as 700,000 tonnes of pulpwood every year to reach a production capacity of 350,000 tonnes per annum. The planned location is the Coolangatta Industrial Estate, with Griffin estimating that around 150 employees will be required to operate the plant.

    The Griffin Group is conducting the study in conjunction with ARC International Industrial Material, based in Hong Kong, and claims the mill will utilise the best available technology and be built to meet environmental standards. Renowned pulp and paper consultant Jaakko Pöyry will be responsible for completing the study over a four-month period.

    If the proposed pulp mill is shown to be viable by the study then Griffin claims it will be followed with an environmental impact study, during which time the appropriate approvals will be sought from the government. The project’s commencement will also hinge on Griffin securing a deal with plantation growers to provide the necessary wood resources.

    The proposed pulp mill in Collie accounts for only one of the several different projects that are currently in the evaluation phase, including Gunns’ plan for a pulp mill in Tasmania and the Heywood Mill project in South-Western Victoria.

  • WC Penfold lives to fight another day

    Creditors reached an arrangement in June 2004 that saw control of the retailer handed over to a group of investors, the deal entailing the formation of a new company called Buying Group Services. National office products supplier Office Choice owns the largest stake in the company at 48 per cent, and now controls the former warehouse leases of WC Penfolds and is responsible for supplying the remaining retail outlets.

    While Office Choice administration manager Max Richie confirms a rationalisation took place that saw the stores not turning a profit (up to eight) being closed down, he asserts that the 16 remaining retail outlets will continue to operate under the WC Penfold title. In addition, the stores that have remained open have reported an improvement in trading performance, with the period of voluntary administration allowing for the resolution of supply-chain issues and a cutting of operating costs.

    In related news, after almost a year the administrators of WC Penfold are close to delivering a return to the failed business’s unsecured creditors, to which $6.3 million is owed. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu indicates that a payment of around 3.3 cents in the dollar can be expected, a slight improvement on the meagre returns the creditors faced last year.

  • Candidate of the Week, Sydney

    I am seeking work in the area of graphic design.

    I am a designer from England with over 2 years industry experience and am fully Macintosh literate in various software programmes.

    I have only recently moved to Sydney and will be here approximately 4 months. I hold a one year working holiday visa and am available to start work as soon as possible.

    Currently I am working as a temporary receptionist and am eager to get back to working on macs as either a designer or mac operator. I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding any work you may have suitable for me.

    Anthea Wright

  • EFI expat returns home for PacPrint

    Wilson relocated from her home in Melbourne several years ago to the EFI head office in California, recruited by the company to play an integral role in its development of solutions for the high-end digital print market. Some of the projects Wilson has worked on include advanced colour management, variable data printing and the introduction of optimal solutions into workflow.

    EFI Asia Pacific director of sales Eric Holtsmark claims Melbourne-born Wilson presenting at PacPrint is a coup for the company. “She’s an impressive speaker who is well-versed on virtually any digital printing topic, so EFI offices around the world frequently request her expertise and presence. EFI Australia and PacPrint offered Kathy the ‘hometown advantage’, and we’re delighted to have her here,” says Holtsmark.

    “I miss a lot about home,” said Wilson. “But EFI offered the terrific experience of living and working in Silicon Valley, and from its headquarters helping to deliver the industry’s leading solutions for every stage of the printing process. It helps to have my Aussie husband with me, and that Vegemite is available at our local market!”

    Wilson will be delivering two PacPrint presentations during her stay in Australia, discussing the inner workings of variable data printing as well as providing an overview of the key markets and business applications succeeding with digital print.

    In other PacPrint news, with only two months to go the event’s organisers have urged the industry to register online. “We are in the final lead up to PacPrint’05 and everyone involved is very excited about the shape of the show,” says a spokesman for the PacPrint ’05 board. “The number of pre-registered visitors is already running well ahead of the same period in 2001, which indicates that we will see an enormous industry gathering over the five days of the exhibition.”

  • Collins Booksellers in trouble – news commentary by Andy McCourt

    Collins Booksellers, established on Melbourne’s eponymous Collins Street (and not connected with Harper-Collins), in 1922 by Frederick H Slamen (and still family-controlled), and now a 57-store national chain and web-commerce business, has closed three stores, stopped ordering new titles and is in need of cash.

    With 33 company-owned outlets and 24 franchised stores, which will be affected to a lesser extent as the owners deal directly with publishers, Collins has a reputation as Australia’s pre-eminent bookseller in the traditional sense. Although hosting an excellent website through which to source and sell books, Collins has apparently not managed the pell-mell transition of book supply from a genteel learned person’s profession to commodity fulfillment as well as the likes of Borders, Angus & Robertson, Dymocks and Amazon.

    Quality books can also be obtained in K-Mart, Big W and even Australia Post, where to their great credit they display many printed-in-Australia children’s books from publisher Funtastic. A host of online businesses offer books for sale at discounted prices and many newsagents have opened book retail sections.

    The Australian reported Collins’ managing director David Dean as ‘sending an email to suppliers last week canceling all back orders, including all April and May new releases.’

    Collins Booksellers has a reputation as staunch supporters of local literary talent, holding regular functions and signings for home-grown (and home-printed) books. It states its own philosophy as:
    “Collins Booksellers is a specialist, professional bookselling company. Through its long history it has concentrated its activities on one central theme: providing the customer with the highest level of service possible…”

    No doubt this is true, as was the almost identical customer mission of WC Penfold when it too stumbled financially. But it would appear that laudable old-style retailing of printed products, but at higher prices, does not win sufficient hearts and minds of the buying public.
    Collins Booksellers is seeking solutions to its financial woes and management is confident the firm will survive. A sale is not out of the question.

    Sad, sad, sad. But inevitable, inevitable, inevitable.

    Old money private print-related companies in Australia are having a stiff time of it at present. The disciplines of having public ownership and demanding shareholders are not there and they take a lot longer to recognise megatrend shifts in consumer and competitor behaviour. The ‘better service’ line no longer washes. People don’t count as much as the system under which the business operates.

    Take Borders, it sells the same latest release by Tim Winton or Dan Brown, but the shops are positioned as “Books, Music, Movies, Café.” Café? Yes, a trip to Borders means you can browse and sip cappuccino; it’s a meeting place, well-stocked and everything is discounted. Borders has only 11 stores but they are all huge and well-positioned. You can check titles on their computer terminals, or get one of the young staff to do it. It’s ‘McDonalds’ bookselling.

    Angus & Roberston, with 170 stores is Australia’s largest bookstore chain with an estimated 18 per cent market share (of the estimated $1.3 billion Australian book market) and since the 1960s has undergone several metamorphoses, today being owned by Pacific Equity Partners, a hard-nosed merchant bank that also controls New Zealand’s Whitcouls. PEP bought A&R- Whitcouls from UK outfit WH Smith in May 2004. Scots founders David Angus and George Roberston would not recognize the way the company is run these days. Business first, books second.

    In those early days of Australian bookselling, Geo Roberston was able to send a letter denying trade supply to one JT Steele, accused of the heresy of discounting books. Steele published the letter in newspapers, reproduced here from George Ferguson’s masterful Some Early Australian Bookmen. It says “I regret to say I cannot supply you with the Goods ordered by you at Trade Prices, in consequence of your underselling the regular booksellers….”

    Try that today and you’ll end up with a huge fine and conviction, courtesy the ACCC!

    But, some businesses still hold on to the ‘divine right of profit’ belief. They feel that, because of illustrious pasts, qualified staff, good old-fashioned service and reputation, the customers simply MUST patronise their establishments.

    There is no divine right of profit, and customers will flock to wherever they can get the best value (not necessarily price), with minimum effort. This applies to printers, booksellers, butchers bakers and candlestick-makers. We all have to adapt, and quickly.

    Best of luck Collins, because I for one relish visiting your main store whenever I am in Melbourne. I hope you ride this storm and prosper.

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

    Entries close tomorrow on April Fools Day, and you’d be a mug not to be in the leading publishing awards if you’ve got a book, periodical or non standard item published last year where content is of Australian origin.

    This year there’s a new category for the Australian printed book of the year.

    Nomination forms can be downloaded from

    This is the bit I love. . . send your entries to:

    Andrew Connolly c/o PETA,

    In Grounds of the Camdenville Public School,

    Laura St, Newtown 2042


    Heading up Hewlett Packard must be one of the most sought after roles in modern business. With the abrupt departure of Iron Lady, Carly Fiorini, two months ago the search was on for a new CEO and President. Now Mark Hurd, the man credited with turning around NCR has got the nod. It’s a big leap for the 48 year-old after spending 25 years with the firm, latterly as president and chief executive officer.

    And to dispel any notions that Carly getting the boot was the work of the old boy’s club, Patricia Dunn, is HP’s non-executive chairman. She said that the HP board unanimously selected Hurd based on his track record of leading a complex organization, as well as his strong executive and personal qualities.


    The Poms are again leading the way in industrial mayhem with the latest series of democratic industrial laws about to come into effect on April 6. After those employers with at least 150 employees have to consult with their staff about the business they work for and inform them about key business issues. This new requirement also becomes compulsory from 6 April 2007 for employers with 100+ employees and from 6 April 2008 for those with at least 50 employees.

    What it means is that employers must keep their staff informed about recent and probable developments of the company’s activities and economic situation, and consult on likely changes to employment contracts.

    Employers are concerned that commercial confidences will be breeched by disgruntled employees taking disclosed strategies to the competition.


    And finally . . . for everyone who wondered where the really good ideas in business come from.

    In the beginning was the Plan.

    And then came the Assumptions.

    And the Assumptions were without form.
    And the Plan was without substance.

    And the darkness was upon the face of the Workers.

    And they spoke amongst themselves, saying, “It is a crock of shit and it stinks.”

    And the workers went to their Supervisors and said, “It is a pail of dung and we cannot stand the smell.”

    And the Supervisors went to their Directors, saying, “It is a container of excrement, it is a vessel of fertilizer and the workers cannot cope with its odour.”

    And the Directors spoke amongst themselves, saying one to another, “It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong.”

    And the Directors went to the Vice Presidents saying, “It promotes growth and it is very powerful.”

    And the Vice Presidents went to the President saying, “This new Plan will actively promote the growth and vigour of the company with powerful effects.”

    And the President looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.

    And the Plan became policy.

    And this is how Shit Happens.

  • PaperlinX gets into the merchant management shuffle

    Long-term Dalton Fine Paper chief Bill Eichhorn is shifting over to Dalton Web Paper, filling the position of general manager that Gordon Anthonisz vacated when he defected to Edwards Dunlop. Ken Bishop has taken Eichhorn’s place as general manager at Dalton Fine Paper, moving over from his position at the head of Spicers Office Papers, another company in the PaperlinX stable. Tony Bertrand is appointed the new general manager at Spicers Office Papers.

    According to Ken Bishop, the new appointments are part of an endeavour from PaperlinX to introduce some new faces into the management team. “The company is on a constant lookout for new ways to drive growth and progress in its paper merchant business. Fresh ideas are important for PaperlinX, and this is the main reasoning behind the management reshuffle.”

    Tony Bertrand sees his new position as general manager at Spicers Office Papers as an exciting opportunity. “We’ll be looking to expand on the work performed by Ken over the last several years. The company had its annual general meeting on Wednesday, and the management reshuffle has provided us with an opportunity to reinvigorate both the business and the people within it. That’s definitely something that needs to take place once in a while.”

  • Making money from A4 colour digital printing at 20 cents a sheet!

    The amazing thing I learnt in 2004 is that it is possible to sell A4 colour copies at 20 cents and make a good profit. This is humble pie for me as I have long maintained that any price under 40 cents was crazy. So what is the secret?

    First you pay a click charge for service and toner of about 10 cents per A3, and you run all the work A3, so click cost per A4 is 5 cents. Then you pay maybe 2 cents or so for half a piece of quality A3 paper, so we are up to 7 cents per A4.

    Let’s say that you want to make 5 cents per A4 that you are selling for 20 cents. This would be a mark-up of 33% on a cost price of 15 cents. The click and paper come to 7 cents, so at these prices you have 8 cents to cover the box, operator, overheads, directors drawings and so on.

    If you have a high speed colour box that will do 60 A4 copies a minute, you can theoretically get 3600 A4 copies an hour. If you multiply 3600 by 8 cents you get $288 for every hour that the machine is up and running. Reduce that to 85% to account for jams and so on and it still comes to $245 per hour. So what, you say, it all depends how much volume you put through the machine. Yes and yes again. That is the big secret. I have come across two shops that are exceeding 300,000 colour copies a month, and sometimes up to 500,000 a month – on a single machine.

    Money in them thar boxes.

    Can you believe that? I saw the figures. Even 300,000 x 8 cents will bring in $24,000 a month. That’s a hell of a lot of costs and overheads. And of course much of their work is sold at better prices than 20 cents, the lowest rate for highest volume.

    How does this affect you? In the short term probably not very much. But you can see the writing on the wall. Colour copy prices in capital city markets are around 40 cents for volume work, and can be expected to slide down closer to 20 cents over the next year or so. This means that the click charge you pay for service and toner is going to be critical to profitability. When colour copies sold for a dollar it didn’t matter too much whether you paid 18 cents or 24 cents. But it does now. Next time you buy a colour box, or renegotiate your current box, you will be looking for a click charge of 11 cents or less.

    Next thing I learnt in 2004 is that Canon is a serious player in the black-and-white production market. I have known about their IR105 box for at least two years, and one of my customers has two of them, but somehow it never really registered. Having seen David Weaver and his fleet of five IR105s, at the Pirion site in Sydney, each box doing 600,000 a month, every month, I now realise that Canon is indeed a force to be reckoned with in the B&W market. I’m also very impressed by their integrated booklet maker with foredge trim for I think about $15,000 per box.

    CostMaster grows through partnership.

    For me personally, the big thing in 2004 is that I took on Doug Malcolm as a full partner in the CostMaster business. This was not an easy decision. I had a disastrous partnership arrangement about 10 years ago and swore ‘never again.’ Doug had being doing marketing and sales for us for the last 18 months and saw better synergies and outcomes from full partnership. I hadn’t known Doug all that long, and consulted a mutual friend who has known him for many years. Amongst other things, he said, “Well of course Doug is absolutely honest.” That’s a nice recommendation isn’t it? It made my decision easier.

    Doug has a background in marketing and finance, is old enough to have the experience but young enough to have the drive and enthusiasm. Unbelievably to me, he actually enjoys sales and marketing. So far we make a very happy combination, and sales have rocketed, mainly in the offset market which I have never really targeted before.

    So 2005 looks good for us, and I hope it is for you.


    Ian Maclean produces the CostMaster MIS for print shops and also consults to the trade. You are always welcome to contact Ian on 0411 426 215. or

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

    Half the 150 Kiwi firms questioned in an international annual survey said a lack of skilled workers was their biggest barrier to expansion. With Russians it was 48 per cent and 45 per cent of Australian businesses said they were struggling to get enough skilled labour.

    The New Zealand experience makes sense when it is correlated to the fact that at 3.6 per cent, the Kiwis have the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD.


    There’s no shortage of skilled volunteers to populate the board of management of PrintEx07, the Sydney booth-style trade show. Conceived by the Graphic Arts Merchants Association of Australia (GAMAA) as a sort of younger sibling to PacPrint in Melbourne, PrintEx07 will be the third outing since the inaugural show in 1999. Stepping forward to take their places on the board are

  • Grant Churchill (Chairman) A.E. Hudson;
  • Gary Seidl, DaiNippon Screen (Australia);
  • Mitch Mulligan, Böttcher Australia;
  • Anni Rowland-Campbell, Fuji Xerox Australia – who is rather mysteriously described as ‘Alternate’. Is this because she’s the only woman?
  • –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    Necessity is the mother of invention and local photography and media company, F8, found it needed a way of tracking its print jobs online and to create adverts easily. It developed Adtracker and after a year has decided to go public with its system. If you want to check it out for yourself go here:

    Username = admin
    Password = Test


    Temporary hiatus is how the mothballing of one of MAN Roland’s manufacturing plants is described. The German press manufacturer’s Geisenheim plant is being closed – or put into temporary hiatus – even as the company pursues labour negotiations at its Mainhausen facility with the aim of reducing production costs and improving productivity. The two threatened production facilities operate as satellites around the main MAN Roland Offenbach sheetfed plant.


    Xerox continues to lay claim to be a leading light in the printing industry with market share, throughput and revenue. In recent years it has rivaled the traditional German offset press manufacturers in profile at major exhibitions. At our own PacPrint in Melbourne Fuji Xerox is one of the largest exhibitors, while its sister company, Xerox, has announced that it has boosted its floor space at Ipex 2006 in the UK by almost 50 per cent.

    And it seems only yesterday they were being sidelined as copier companies.


    And finally . . . the good Dave Allen passed away last week. Here’s one of his yarn’s, which works best if you imagine the man himself telling it, complete with glass of whisky, cigarette and knowing smile.

    It seems there was an Irishman wanting to buy himself a horse. So he went to the open market, which is a place in Ireland where people sell things, among which are . . . horses. He saw one that he liked and asked the price. Paddy, who was selling the horse said to him, “Well, now, I’ll be sellin’ you this horse but I feel there’s something I need to tell you first.” The man wanted to know what that was. Paddy said, “Well, it seems he has a strange habit of wantin’ to sit on bananas.” Now, the man thought Paddy was crazy! “Sit on bananas?” “Yes,” Paddy said. “Seems he likes to sit on bananas.” Now the man thought about this and realizing there weren’t all that many bananas in the whole of Ireland figured it was a good barging and he bought the horse.

    As soon as he’d paid for the horse, he got on it and began to ride. Well, it was a good horse. It galloped across the market, it leaped over the hedges, it ran down the roads and jumped the fences and soon it began to approach a narrow stream. The man thought, “This is a grand horse. Surely it’ll clear this small stream.” When, all of a sudden, just as its hooves touched the water, it promptly came to halt and sat in the water!

    The man went flying through the air and landed in a bush. He ripped his coat and put a nasty gash in his arm. But he pulled the horse up and got back on and galloped across the meadow, ran up the road, jumped the fences, leaped over the hedges and galloped across the market until he stopped it right by Paddy!

    The man jumped off the horse and began to yell, “What sort of a stupid animal did you sell me?” “Well,” began Paddy, “I told you she was a bit strange … that she liked to sit on bananas, didn’t I?” “WHAT?” shouted the man? “Bananas? I galloped her across the market, I leaped her over hedges, ran her up the road, jumped her over fences and when I came to a small stream she stopped dead in her tracks and sat in the water! I tore my coat and gashed my arm!” “Ooooh,” began Paddy. “I forgot to tell you … she also likes to sit on fishes …”

  • EXCLUSIVE: Canon ups the IQ of digital print

    Canon’s mission statement with the W6400 and W8400 machines is to offer an improvement in image quality without a sacrifice in speed, and to this effect the latest models feature a sweeping range of changes over its predecessors.

    The new ImagePROGRAF machines contain a one-inch-wide, high-density printhead, featuring microscopic 4-picoliter droplets that allow for high-quality images free from graininess. To ensure these image improvements do not result in a speed bottleneck, the printhead employs 7,680 tiny ink nozzles, or 1280 for each of the six colours. This allows the W8400 (pictured right) to maintain a print speed of around 2.2 minutes per page in A0 size output, while both models can produce A1 output at around 1.3 minutes per page.

    Steven Brown (pictured right), market manager of graphic arts at Canon Australia, claims the productivity upgrades promised by the machines may be an even bigger source of interest for local print operators. “Canon has really thought hard during the development of its new printers,” he says. “The machines are definitely much smarter about the way they do things now.”

    The automatic print head alignment is an example of the smart technology deployed in the machines, ensuring both that the print quality is maintained as well as easing the strain on the printers themselves. The monitor-matching mode ensures the colours remain the same on the monitor and the printed material, with the software comparing the two profiles and adjusting the colours displayed to align it with what is being printed.

    The ImagePROGRAF range has the ability to print on a wide new range substrates, as well as media used by operators in the CAD market. The new software solutions that come with the machines are also tailored towards ease of use, with the printer driver enabling high-impact borderless prints in a wide range of formats and the new PosterArtist software streamlining the process of poster creation.

    (Right: Canon’s new W6400 wide-format printer)

    For an in-depth look at Canon’s new ImagePROGRAF machines, keep an eye out for the technology profile in the next issue of Print 21 Magazine.

  • Scitex Vision sell off on the horizon

    Scitex Corporation has declined to identify the company that it is engaged in negotiations with, and emphasise that the proposed transaction is subject to further discussions and a due diligence process. Scitex is providing no assurance that the transaction will actually take place, but asserts the move is part of its previously announced pursuit of strategic alternatives, which it confirms may involve the sale of the business in initial public offering.

    The news comes not long after the announcement of Graphic Systems Australasia as the local distributor for Scitex Vision machinery. Patrick Turner was also recently appointed as the new sales director for Scitex Vision in Australia and New Zealand, though he is declining to offer any comment at this stage on what the ramifications will be for the local market.

    The markets for wide format and ink-jet technology are emerging as areas with huge potential for future growth, and major suppliers such as Agfa, Fuji and Kodak have all recently invested in the sector. The potential sale of Scitex Vision opens the gate for other major suppliers to enter the burgeoning market as well.

  • New finishing benchmark on the way for graphic arts industry

    The publication will function as a reference tool for printers and graphic designers, and brings together all standards for the print finishing processes such as film laminating, UV coating, bookbinding, foilstamping and more. A full list of APFA members and their Print Finishing services will also be included in the publication.

    APFA president Mathew Powell hopes the publication will provide a useful reference point for the industry. “ We are often asked for information about the simple issues that can make a big difference to the production of the finishing processes we provide,” he says. “We have combined standards as put forward by our members into the one publication and this will be available during the PacPrint exhibition to be held in Melbourne in May this year.”

    PacPrint was chosen as the venue to launch the publication due to the maximum exposure it offers to those in the graphic arts industry. “We are very excited to have our stand at the PacPrint show,” says Powell. “We see it as a great opportunity to meet our members, and also to show the benefits of membership to those who have not already joined”.

    The Australian Print Finishers Association was formed in 2003, with some of its objectives including creating awareness in its related communities, setting and maintaining sector standards, facilitating training in finishing techniques and creating a networking opportunities for its members. Further information about the Association and its activities can be found at their website

  • Queensland print company bites the dust

    Impress Media Group is a well-known production printing business that made its reputation in general offset and digital printing. It also provided design and prepress services to its clients. The company has been servicing southeast Queensland for over a decade, with a workforce of 12 full-time employees and a turnover at its peak of approximately $3 million per year.

    A director of Impress Media Group indicated that a failed buyout and the stalling of plans for a potential merger contributed to the decision to close the company’s doors, as well as other financial difficulties experienced by the business over the past two years.

    A multi-million dollar sell off of the company’s equipment will be taking place in Brisbane on Saturday the 16th of April, at 172 Evans Road in Salisbury. Some of the equipment to be auctioned off includes Shinohara and Ryobi presses, a HP digital press as well as collators, binders and other associated equipment. Visit for more details.