Archive for June, 2005

  • CPI profits slump as paper trials continue

    CPI announced in February this year that it expected the June 2005 half year to be profitable, but has now issued a warning to shareholders of an expected loss. The cause is attributed to one of the biggest problems currently faced by the paper industry, the failure of producers to pass the rising costs of paper production onto consumers.

    CPI is not the only paper merchant suffering from this trend, with PaperLinx shares plummeting earlier this year in response to the announcement of a similar 20 per cent downgrade in profit forecasts. This is combined with last week’s shock announcement of the closure of Moirs Paper, one of the industry’s longest established firms, a development also attributed to pressure from printers to keep paper prices down.

    Company secretary Birol Akdogan confirms that the profit revision is reflective of the wider problems currently faced in the paper industry. “In line with other industry announcements, CPI has experienced a difficult June quarter as the cost of paper increased but was not passed through into selling prices,” he said.

    Akdogan asserts however that it in spite of the financial difficulties faced by the company, he expects the full financial year to be profitable for CPI. “While industry conditions remain difficult, CPI remains confident that continued progress is being made in the company’s recovery.”

  • 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 a 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 concise and detailed 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 here.

  • Lionheart rises from the ashes with new press installation

    Relocating to new premises in Banksmeadow to start the business over, Lionheart has hit the ground running with a series of high-end press installations to replace the machines destroyed in the fire.

    The company has invested in a Heidelberg five-colour CD-74 to bear the brunt of its heavy production schedule, in addition to a four-colour SM-52. Both machines are networked by Prinect CP2000 workflow software. Described by the team at Lionheart as the ‘bees knees’ of printing technology, the two new machines are capable of taking the place of as many as four of the old presses used previously at Mascot.

    Lionheart have also invested in a Heidelberg Topsetter for CTP, using Agfa’s latest-and-greatest Azura plates, an environmentally friendly solution that requires no chemicals or processing and very little water.

    General manager Steve Bujeia (pictured right) claims the installations represent a new beginning for the company, following the heavy difficulties faced last year. “It certainly was a difficult period for everyone after spending so much time building the business up and then having to start again from scratch,” he says.

    Bujeia said that after a period of uncertainty, Lionheart Offset is back on its feet again and going strong. “We have been moving forward over the lifespan of the business, and we intend to keep moving forward,” he says.

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

    The funeral of the popular Queensland manager of Currie & Co was held in Brisbane yesterday, attended by family and a large contingent of friends and business associates.

    Clancy last came upon Haymen just weeks ago at PacPrint where, ever-present on the Currie stand, he epitomized the resilience of the human spirit in the face of difficulties. Positive and cheerful, even if totally bald, he made you want to value life as much as he did. He displayed a courage that was all the more admirable for the straightforward way he dealt with the prospect of losing the fight. He will be well and long remembered with much affection.


    What can they be hiding? In the week after PacPrint we reported that attendance was down by eight per cent to around the mid-20 thousands. We couldn’t be more specific because the official figures had not been released. They weren’t released the week after or the one after that. To Clancy’s best knowledge they still haven’t been. Is it because bad news travels as slow as its bringers can bear? Or did the disk get wiped? Or did the dog actually eat the homework?
    I think we should be told.


    It does seem that the margins that can be obtained on press manufacturing activities are destined to continually come under pressure. Albrecht Bolza-Schünemann, CEO of German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer, dampened the good news of orders being up 15 per cent for the first half of the year by complaining that margins continue to be squeezed by downward pressures on selling prices and upward pressures on purchasing costs.

    The only satisfaction he could report is that, thanks to the incorporation of the former east German plant at Radebeul, near Dresden, KBA has moved into second place on the German sheetfed press manufacturers’ league table. Given that there are only three competitors I guess that means; Heidelberg first, KBA second and MAN Roland third.


    Now here’s a conundrum. It is reported by Print Week in the UK that the strike by Finnish paper mill workers will continue for another week at least. Employers say that the unions have rejected all proposals. “The industry has now used all possibilities to meet the paper workers’ demands. The employers accepted both proposals for a settlement made by the National Conciliator,” said mill-owners spokesman Timo Poranen.

    This has left the mills with no option but to continue the lockouts imposed when the workers tried to return some weeks ago. So now they are reduced to refusing entry to workers who don’t want to come back anyway. Good tatics.


    A radical approach from The New York Times, which is beginning to leverage its huge heatset press capacity to offer advertisers a ‘one stop shop’ for catalogues, inserts, pamphlets and fliers etc. Because it buys so much paper, ink and other consumables the newspaper group is able to offer killer prices to its clients. The initiative is reported to be widely accepted. Until recently all inserts were supplied by the advertisers’ printer of choice.
    Given the amount of web press power at News, Fairfax, APN and Rural it’s on the cards similar strategies are likely to be explored here.


    And finally … just when you thought we’d never get around to true love.

    A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to start a conversation.

    Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket towards the man. He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.

    “Oh my, I am so sorry,” the woman says as she pops her eye back in place. “Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you.”

    They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theatre, followed by drinks. They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his. She listens.

    After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap… and stay for breakfast. They have a wonderful, wonderful time. The next morning, she cooks a gourmet breakfast.

    The guy is amazed. Everything has been SO incredible. “You know,” he says, “you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet?”

    “No,” she replies. “You just happened to catch my eye.”

  • SICPA cuts loose its packaging inks

    SICPA has branded its move as an attempt to strategically reposition the company, shifting it into a more directed focus on security inks for governments and industry. The Australian and NZ branch of Swiss-based SICPA will continue to distribute security inks, while the packaging inks will be transferred to Siegwerk once regulatory approval has been received.

    The purchase will establish the Siegwerk Group as the world’s second-largest manufacturer of packaging ink, also boosting it among the world’s top five ink manufacturers overall. It follows closely from the Siegwerk Group’s prominent buyout of CCI in 2002, which at the time was ranked as the fourth-largest ink manufacturer in the US.

    While it remains unclear exactly how the local branch of SICPA will be affected by the sale, an industry source labels the Siegwerk purchase as a positive development for the Packaging Inks Division in Australia and NZ.

    “What it doesn’t do is rationalise the local ink industry, as there is still too much supply and not enough demand,” the source says. “Otherwise, the latest developments will be a big win for the Packaging Inks Division in Australia. It will extend its capabilities, giving it access to a range of new technologies.”

    SICPA, a privately owned company of the Amon family, has been supplying security inks for the majority of the world’s banknotes for over 70 years. It plans to strengthen its position as an organisation that protects governments and brand owners against the risks of counterfeiting and fraud. Less than 10 years ago, SICPA was the leading ink supplier in the Australian market, with major manufacturing facilities in Sydney and Melbourne. It now no longer manufactures any ink in Australia.

  • Two Jobs of the Week from CyraChrome: Equipment Sales Professional & Prepress Specialist, Sydney


    CyraChrome promotes a broad range of prepress solutions with a core focus on colour management and workflow solutions connecting to various ouput engines.

    We are market leaders in of digital proofing across all areas of print production, and, are a key supplier to the fleoxgraphic printing and packaging industry.

    We reperesent key brands such as CGS, Epson, Eizo, Gretag Macbeth, Asahi Kasei, Agfa, HP, Grapo to name just a few.

    Due to continued growth as the supplier of choice for many of Australia’s largest print related businesses CyraChrome seeks a competent, enthusiastic and professional technical support specialist to join our NSW team.

    The position will suit a sales professional who is focused on delivering exceptional sales growth through the delivery of superior technologies and services to our customers.
    Based in Lane Cove, you will be responsible for the development and execution of the sales strategy required to secure both new business and increase the volume at existing customers.
    The position has responsibility for selling our extensive range of wide format inkjet imaging equipment, colour management & amp; workflow software, service contracts, and most importantly, our range of consumables to the NSW sign market.

    After sales support is a key requirement of the business and as such you will be required to attain a strong working knowledge of the various hardware and software solutions sold.

    You will have intimate knowledge of the signage and display graphics market and be experienced in selling capital equipment and consumables to the sign making industry. As such you will possess excellent communication skills, commercial acumen and the negotiation capability required in closing sales.
    To support your sales initiative we have first class technical support teams, together with modern, professional demonstration facilities in both NSW and Victoria.
    An attractive package is available to the successful candidate including base salary, incentives, car allowance, laptop and mobile phone. There is flexibility with regards to the remuneration with a strong emphasis on high rewards for achieving results.

    If you are interested in this opportunity, please forward a copy of your resumé and contact details to:

    Michael Laird,
    Managing Director

    or FAX to (02) 9428 380



    The position will suit an experienced prepress applications specialist with working knowledge of all DTP applications, colour profiling and CtP/CtF workflows.

    It is essential that you be experienced in colour management including the creation and use of ICC profiles and their application in today’s print industry.

    Based in Lane Cove, your duties will include sales support, customer demonstrations, installations and  customer training in our range of our colour management and workflow products as well as our wide range of output devices. Other duties include consulting the  customers in specifying workflows and configuring servers to meet their specific need.

    After sales service is a key component of the role.

    To support you in your new role we have existing first class technical support teams with whom you will work closely, together with modern, professional demonstration facilities in both NSW and Victoria. Some interstate and/or overseas travel will be necessary.

    An attractive, flexible package is available to the successful candidate including base salary, incentives, company car or car allowance, laptop and mobile phone.

    Confidentiality is assured.


    If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please forward a copy of your resumé and contact details to:

    Michael Laird,
    Managing Director

    or FAX to (02) 9428 3807


    To view more printing and graphic arts career positions click here for Print21 Online employment section.

  • Two more iGen3s go into Sydney

    Advancing the cause of the iGen 3 at PacPrint were (left to right) Bruce Jacobs, Jagar Document Integration; Mike Jones, CDM; Phil Chambers, managing director, Fuji Xerox; John Loadsman, CDM; and Nick Kugenthiran, Fuji Xerox.

    The two latest recruits join last month’s install at Digital Logic, Moorabbin Digital Logic and the original two machines at Ron Anderson’s Rapid Digital in North Sydney. The first year iGen3 programme launched by Phil Chambers aims at six to eight machines installed.
    (For a full account of the current state of the high-end digital colour market don’t miss next month’s Print21 magazine.)

    CDM is one of the more high profile digital printing providers specialising in Total Document Management, while Jagar provides integrated document services to large corporations from its CBD offices in Sydney. Both companies were existing Fuji Xerox customers and are members of the company’s worldwide graphic arts Premier Partners network.

    Premier Partners has more than 300 members and connects print buyers internationally with digital printing providers. The aim is to grow the Asia Pacific regional membership to 100 by year end. There are currently six premier partners in Australia.

    The iGen3, Fuji Xerox’s most productive digital colour printer, is to be launched to the New Zealand market next year.

  • McPherson’s bound for the future – Print 21 feature

    No-one knows books like McPherson’s Printing but even for a company with McPherson’s expertise, staying competitive in the book market requires constant vigilance. Now the industry’s top book producer has emerged from a two year process of re-organisation and re-investment with its sights set firmly on the future.

    For the casual visitor, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer size and diversity of the finishing operations at McPherson’s Nelson Street premises in Maryborough, Victoria. This is the site that the company acquired when it took over neighbouring printers, APG, and it is now home to a huge bindery and finishing department, with a range of equipment worthy of any trade show.

    Not only is it big, it’s also abuzz with activity as pallet-loads of ‘work-in-progress’ make their way through the various stages of production.
    McPherson’s is, after all, best known as the leading book producer in the country, responsible for printing and binding a myriad of titles for major publishers such as Penguin, Pan Macmillan, Allen & Unwin, and many others. It also specialises in legal and educational texts as well as producing the Melway/Sydway street directories.

    Recently though, the Nelson Street site has also been the focus of an ambitious long term investment program designed to reinvigorate and streamline the company’s book and catalogue production.

    While there has been a good deal of activity over the past year or so among the larger printing groups as they seek to re-equip and re-organise for the future, it’s doubtful if any can match McPherson’s when it comes to the importance it places on the process of finishing. Certainly none has ever invested in such a range of different types of equipment, both in terms of the various manufacturers involved and the types of processes they cater for.

    A time to invest

    Bill Drummond, Manufacturing Manager for McPherson’s, is ideally placed to reflect on the changes that the company has undergone over the past couple of years.

    “Following the acquisition of APG, we sat back and reassessed the company and looked at our position in the market,” he explains. “The equipment we had was aging, so we thought it was time to reinvest, particularly in the bindery because that’s the area that involves a lot of handling and is very labour intensive.”

    He continued: “At the same time, we wanted to look at quality and also manual handling issues. If we were going to install new equipment, we wanted to make sure that, where possible, we eliminated any manual handling issues associated with lifting heavy books day in, day out. As much as possible we also wanted to eliminate the human error element of the finishing processes.”

    “Basically, we looked at our entire product range and asked ‘How can we do it better?’ Each piece of equipment that we purchased was done with that in mind.” And what a shopping list it turned out to be in the end.

    Bindery is the heart

    At the heart of the new installations is a new collating and sewing line from Aster that comprises the Multiplex SA (Super Automatic) loading and unloading system combined with an Aster 220SA/51 sewing machine. This proven system from Italian manufacturers, Meccanotecnica, exemplifies the McPherson’s approach to its new investments.

    For a start, it is recognised as being among the best of its kind on the market, as demonstrated by the fact that the system purchased by McPherson’s at Drupa last year was the 100th order for the Multiplex SA system worldwide. Further, by combining the gathering, feeding and sewing of book blocks in-line, the system not only promised to increase productivity, it also met McPherson’s criteria for eliminating manual handling and quality issues. Suddenly, all the time-consuming manual operations such as palletising, storage and handling of pallets as well as the manual loading of the sewing machine became a thing of the past.

    This focus is also evident in the installation of two MBO T800 folders which come with a unique return delivery system that effectively ensures that one operator can easily load and unload the machine at full speed. Then there were two guillotine peripheral equipment systems from Senator Technology comprising pile hoists, joggers, re-stackers and air tables, again all aimed at reducing the emphasis on manual handling.

    The list goes on. A new Kolbus 152-P three knife trimmer which will eventually run off the end of a new binding line was introduced to replace an aging trimmer; another new stitching line was also installed as well as a new end papering machine from Hunkeler and various other bits and pieces. In most cases, these items were the best currently available on the market.

    A single supplier – IPP

    Given the extent and variety of the installations, perhaps what’s most surprising about the overall project is that 90% of the equipment was purchased from a single supplier – Intergrafica Print & Pack. Meccanotecnica, Kolbus, MBO, Senator and Hunkeler are all exclusive to IPP in Australia and just happen to be among the best of their kind.

    “Never at any stage did we think that we would be going to a single supplier,” explains Bill Drummond. “We asked suppliers to come in and have a look at the equipment that we’ve got and what we found with IPP was that they could supply the complete package. Not everything was bought from them but certainly the biggest spend was with IPP.”

    “It makes the equipment installation a lot simpler when you’re dealing with one contact. The support we got as a result of doing it that way was great. A project manager was put on to look at the whole installation rather than just for each piece of equipment and there were times when we were able to hold back a piece of equipment so that it arrived at the right time. You can do that with one player but not when there are three or four.”

    On the move

    In addition to the focus on new finishing equipment, the company has also been investing in new press capacity, for both web and sheetfed printing, and reorganising its plant layout. There are in fact two facilities operating in Maryborough, one at Sutton Road as well as the one at Nelson Street.

    Printing and finishing operations at the former site will all eventually move into Nelson Street. The Sutton Road site will then be used primarily for warehousing and logistics and Nelson Street will become the focus of all book printing and finishing operations. In addition, the company also operates a sheetfed only facility at its headquarters in Mulgrave, Melbourne. Here there are several multi-colour high speed presses with coaters that are used for producing book covers and general sheetfed colour printing. Items produced here are then shipped on a daily basis to Maryborough for finishing.

    With the majority of new finishing equipment now in place, a new binder due for installation in May and a new web press due to arrive later this year, the hard work of planning and project managing the entire process over the past couple of years is starting to take effect.

    “There have been a lot of changes and that creates its own set of issues, such as training,” commented Bill Drummond. “But now we’re starting to see greater efficiency and people are a lot happier now that they can see the new equipment in operation. There is still some fine tuning to be done but, overall, it’s been very good indeed.”

    No illusions

    Nobody is under any illusions as to the competitive nature of the market in which McPherson’s is operating. Perhaps more than any other printing sector, book manufacturers must compete on a global scale and for customers who operate internationally. The past two years have clearly given the Group new purpose and direction and, with the right equipment and processes in place, the McPherson’s story is all set for the start of a whole new chapter.

  • Thermal CTP still overshadowing violet light

    Worldwide sales of computer-to-plate rose by 19 per cent during 2004, with violet-light CTP enjoying a healthy rise of 12 per cent during the period. Thermal imaging effortlessly eclipsed this growth however, rising 23 per cent to 3,600 installations worldwide. Sticking the boot in even further, thermal accounted for almost 70 per cent of overall CTP purchases during 2004.

    Huge expectations exist for the 4pp violet-light market, yet the study from Vantage Strategic Marketing found thermal 4pp machines outsold those of violet by a factor of almost two to one during 2004. 8pp platesetters continue to dominate and accounted for 45 per cent of all sales last year, with thermal machines again outselling those of violet by three to one.

    The report also revealed some interesting trends for CTP worldwide, with Europe accounting for 44 per cent of worldwide sales while the US has dropped back to 25 per cent as adoption starts to approach saturation levels. Sales to the Asia Pacific region rose by a massive 50 per cent but still accounts for less than one-third of total sales worldwide, with the Chinese market still yet to take off.

    CTP now accounts for around 40 per cent of the world’s 500 million square metres of offset plates, with Vantage Strategic Marketing predicting it to smash the 50 per cent barrier within the next few years.

  • Mitsubishi Paper delivers on promise to ban Tasmanian old-growth chips

    Mitsubishi Paper Mills followed through on statements delivered last year with the release of its policy on the conservation and creation of forest resources. The company is ruling out any future use of wood from forests of high conservation value and pledging to instead pursue plantations and second-growth forests.

    Environmental groups have applauded the move, labelling it as a major victory in the battle to conserve Tasmanian forests, as well as a wake-up call for timber giant Gunns. “This is a clear signal to Gunns to shift to more sustainable forest practices as the way of the future,” says Alec Marr, national campaign director of The Wilderness Society. “It also sends an unmistakable message that World Heritage-class Tasmanian forests should not be fodder for wood chips.”

    The response of the Tasmanian government lies at the other end of the spectrum however, with the Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources, Bryan Green blasting the green movement for distorting the issue.

    “Forestry operations in Tasmania are carried out on a sustainable basis, and always will be,” claims Green. “The result could well be that they’ll be directed to countries where forest management is not subject to the same tight controls as in Tasmania.”

  • It’s official! Pacific Print Group buys Vega Press + 2 to create $190m print group – News commentary by Andy McCourt

    In an exclusive interview, PPG’s dynamic executive chairman, Geoff Wilding told me, “Yes, Vega Press is now a member of the Pacific Print Group of companies and within the next few days we expect to add another Victorian sheetfed printer and a NSW-based printer to the group.”

    The combined turnover of the enlarged PPG will exceed NZ$190 million, Wilding revealed.

    Will it stop there? Not if Geoff Wilding realises his vision. “I see no reason why we could not become a $500 million print group, but we’re taking one step at a time and looking for quality opportunities both in Australia and in New Zealand.”

    As reported here two weeks ago, PPG has announced to the NZSX its intention to go public. Asked about this, Wilding is forthright, “The PPG board will consider the timing of this in the next two to three weeks.” So, it’s not if, but when. He described the float as ‘initially’ solely on the New Zealand bourse, leaving ASX listing under speculation.

    Geoff Wilding makes no pretence about being an expert on printing, he agrees that if he and PPG were described as a kind of ‘merchant bank,’ it would be a fair description. Asked if PPG would enter the web printing sector, he demurs; “I leave the decisions on printing industry-specific matters to the managers who are more qualified than I am to make them. If they come to me with a proposition that makes financial sense, I’ll look at it. He says the same about Print Management Companies, “If PPG’s qualified management says we should buy or start a Print Management Company, it would be looked at on its merits. Three years ago I wrote down a business plan and all we are now doing is executing it.”

    An interesting aside is that Wilding’s business plan fits onto one side of a sheet of A3 paper.

    As with other PPG acquisitions, Vega Press will be left to manage itself. Quizzed on the leverage of ‘buying power,’ now that he heads up one of ANZ’s largest print groups, Wilding says; “We may end up with a price advantage but I’ll leave it up to the individual operators. We have bought profitable, well-managed businesses so there is no reason why they can’t continue to buy in the way they have in the past.”

    So, PPG could not be described as a consolidating type of company, as Geoff Wilding notes, “We rely on the skills and abilities of our managers, we’re investing in people, so we don’t seek to suddenly change the formula.”

    Succession planning is vital
    Vega Press’ Peter Gude is both excited and delighted at the deal, mostly because ‘from the heart’ it gives an excellent succession path for Vega’s 85 staff, many of whom are only in their 30s and 40s. “The issue of succession planning is critical to so many private print businesses. In the next ten years, probably 80 per cent of privately-owned business will change hands. Being part of PPG is fantastic for Vega’s younger people as they will be the ones who will be developed as future managers during my three to five year contract with PPG.”

    Gude said very little will change at Vega Press, roles will remain the same and he will remain ‘at the coal face – a place he clearly relishes having taken Vega from a cluster of factories in Blackburn, Vic., to modern premises in Notting Hill, equipped with three state-of-the-art KBA presses.

    “I’ve been in printing for 40 years, “ said Gude, “and have seen acquisitions and take-overs result in the scaling down of businesses, and job losses, as new owners plunder the customer list. But this is different, PPG buy good businesses and leave them to stand alone, providing the financial and corporate expertise. We intend to continue the way we were heading, with the growth and development of Vega Press. I’m particularly pleased for my staff. Maybe there will be supplies buying advantages too, but we won’t know until we talk to other members of PPG.”

    Print 21 Online will bring you the news of the next two PPG acquisitions next week.

    My call

    It’s good for the industry. This is not corporate raiding or a view to asset-stripping; it’s good solid investing in the most important resource any business has – its people. PPG’s is a growth-oriented strategy with wealth-creation for shareholders, employees and business owners alike. When ANZ Private Equity realized its massive 78.6 per cent return on its $3 million seed stake in PPG, the benefactors were probably super funds and ANZ Bank shareholders. Let’s hope this is repeated for the Moms and Pops when PPG floats.

    Just as most printers do a poor to average job of promoting themselves (see Malcolm Auld’s article in next week’s Print21 magazine), we also undervalue our human resources. Modern printing personnel are highly skilled, literate, technology-savvy and hard working. There’s much they can teach other industries and PPG’s high value placed on the people in its acquired assets is both refreshing and common-sense.

  • Direct mail continues to hit the high spots

    The 8.1 per cent growth in direct mail pushed it to a figure of $1.5 billion in Australia, with strong growth identified in both addressed and unaddressed mail. An upsurge in addressed mail in particular was powered by the federal elections in late 2004, according to a report issued by the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia.

    The report on direct marketing and media spending identified different levels of advertising growth. It reinforced print’s continuing healthy share of the advertsiing spend:

  • magazines are up 46 .4 per cent to $44.2 million
  • printed classifed directories are up eight per cent to $1.4 billion
  • newspaper rose four and half per cent to $46.9 million
  • mail order was up five per cent to $408.6 million.
  • According to ADMA CEO Robert Edwards, the growth in direct mail indicates an increasing preference from both consumers and advertisers. “If you look at a lot of the research in respect to consumer attitudes, by far the most preferred method is direct mail,” he says. “An eight per cent level of growth, up from five per cent in the previous year, is indicative that it is continuing to grow and that more and more businesses are using it.”

    Edwards also claims the results demonstrate the value of specifically targeted marketing. “Research shows that consumers react favourably to correctly targeted and appropriately sent information – the holy grail of direct marketing,” he says. “With the data-mining tools now available to direct marketers, they are allowed to dig deeply into demographics and appropriate target markets.”

  • NEWS FLASH! Shock closure of Moirs Paper as paper margins bite

    The shock closure of one of the longest established firms in the industry is indicative of the razor thin margins forced on merchants by a consolidating industry. The company will cease trading on June 30, transferring its stock to the newly opening NSW branch of Focus Paper in Girraween. The new company has undertaken to help realise the assets of Moirs Paper, including assistance to collect trade debts.

    The board of Alexander Moir & Co issued a statement saying that following its decision to cease trading as a paper merchant, it intends exiting the industry in an orderly fashion with minimum disruption to customers. The arrangement with Focus is intended to bridge the transition period

    Alexander Moir & Co was a family-owned company but is now held privately by independent investors. It is the latest independent paper merchant to feel the heat following Jaeger Paper’s takeover by KW Doggett last year and CPI’s incorporation of Boomerang Paper.

    It fell victim to the increasing power of printers to reject price rises for paper, according to Chris Gersbach, Moirs marketing manager and industry veteran. “The customer base is changing. Printers are forming into larger groups and really putting the squeeze on. Despite increases in volumes, merchants’ profit margins are being cut all the time. I only hope other paper merchants learn the lesson from us and take stock about getting reasonable returns,” he said.

    The new Focus Paper presence in NSW comes about as a result of the success of the company over the past three years in Melbourne. Initially headed up by such industry figures as Ian Harry (ex CPI) and Frank Huntley (ex Daltons and PaperlinX), the venture north is spearheaded by four directors; David Chatillon, Luke Wilkinson, Tony Corona and Stuart Le Mottee.

    “We’ll take the Moirs’ stock to our new Sydney warehouse and do what we can to help,” said Lemottee.

  • Book Club –

    In the publication industry, there has never been a guide for folding. Designers have never understood all of the folding options available to them, and have not had access to the math behind proper digital document set-up. Until now.

    Finishing Experts Group, an industry-specific publishing company, has just released Fold, a first-of-its-kind, two-volume set that creates an essential system for the printing and design industry by establishing naming conventions and standardizing the folding process.

    Fold is an 850-page reference manual with over 1,000 illustrations that systematically documents and classifies more than 180 brochure folding styles, breaking them down into eight folding families (accordions, basics, exotics, gates, maps, parallels, posters and rolls). Each folding style is named, numbered and illustrated. Then, each style is diagrammed with proper folding compensations for accurate digital document setup. There are also tips and considerations for each.

    The reference manual, written by Trish Witkowski, a creative director with a Baltimore marketing firm, is the product of five years of industry research.

    Geared toward print and design professionals, industry organizations, binderies, folding machinery manufacturers, and the graphic arts education market, Fold provides a common language for designers and printers/binderies, giving everyone the same frame of reference and saving valuable time and resources.

    “As a professional designer, I would often become frustrated with the lack of a comprehensive resource for folding,” said Witkowski. “This guide fills a vacuum in the industry. My hope is that the book not only will be the go-to guide in the industry for folding, but that it also can serve as a springboard for creativity.”

    Trish Witkowski is currently the creative director for a marketing and communications firm in Baltimore. She earned her master of science in graphic arts publishing from Rochester Institute of Technology’s world-renowned School of Printing Management and Sciences and a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design. She has taught design and desktop publishing at the college level, and is the co-author of The Adobe InDesign Guide.
    Fold is available exclusively in Australia and New Zealand from Print21Online

    Table of Contents Volume ONE

    • Visual Index…………………………………….. 1
    • Folding List……………………………………. 33
    • Getting Started
    • How to Use This Guide………………….. 43
    • How This Guide is Organized………… 47
    • Understanding the Lingo……………….. 49
    • Format Options………………………………. 52
  • Folding Preparation
    • Planning for Folded Matter………………. 55
    • Setting-Up the Digital Document…….. 56
    • Placing Fold Marks………………………….. 60
    • Making Sequenced Folding Dummies.61
    • Modifying the Folds in this Guide………. 63
  • Folding 101
    • Folding Basics…………………………………. 67
    • How Paper Effects Folding………………. 69
    • Die-cutting, Scoring and Perforating… 71
    • Wafer-seals and Glue………………………. 72
  • Reference Materials
    • Conversion Chart……………………………… 75
    • Press Sheet Sizes……………………………. 76
    • Standard Envelope Sizes………………….. 77
    • Finishing terms…………………………………. 81
  • Folding Families
    • Accordions………………………………………… 85
    • Basics……………………………………………… 279
    • Exotics……………………………………………… 373
  • Table of Contents Volume Two
    • Gates……………………………………………….. 435
    • Maps………………………………………………… 509
    • Parallels…………………………………………… 551
    • Posters…………………………………………….. 681
    • Rolls…………………………………………………. 779
    • Index…………………………………………………. 845


    To buy FOLD: The Professional Guide to Folding and to browse the Print21Online Graphic Arts Library here.

  • crosses the digital ocean with Océ

    Readers in Britain will have access to the digitally printed version of the New York Times on a daily basis, produced on newsprint by the Océ Digital Newspaper Network to give the publication the same look and feel of its offset counterpart.

    Taking full advantage of the benefits of digital print, the newspaper data arrives in London prior to printing at 4:15am as a PDF, enabling the editions to go on sale on the same day of publication for the first time. The new development is a result of the successful partnering of the two organisations during last year’s Olympic Games, with the New York Times investigating other areas around the world where digital printing can be used.

    Marc Z. Kramer, senior vice president of circulation at the New York Times, claims he is excited by the potential offered by digital printing. “We were very pleased with the results in Athens and that gave us the confidence to put this new agreement in place,” he says, “providing our readers in London more timely service and wider availability.”

    Océ DNN head Tim Venediger also highlights the new partnership as an ideal example how digital printing can be put to best use. “We are focusing strongly on areas that are of strategic importance to publishers, where digital production technology can make a real difference through adding value to publishers’ businesses.”

  • LIA drops into Nationwide News

    The visit was hosted by general manager Jim Nally and project coordinator Peter Williams, who led the members on a comprehensive tour of the centre’s facilities. The centrepiece of the event was a demonstration of the Agfa Polaris computer-to-plate system, an installation that is soon to be followed by a further three commissionings.

    (Right: Agfa’s Ron Stewart explains the features of the Polaris computer to plate system)

    The Nationwide News hosts spoke on the sound investment offered by CTP, claiming the increase in processing speed and reduction in costs of plate material is what offers the technology the edge. It was also revealed that when all four systems are up and running, the plant will theoretically have the capacity to produce 440 Newsman plates every hour.

    Following dinner at the Strathfield Golf Club, Jim Nally spoke candidly on the future of the newspaper from a News Limited perspective. Outlining some of the changes to be expected over time, Nally claimed that the newspaper will continue to be the vehicle of choice for news and information into the foreseeable future.

    (Right: Jim Nally outlines current and future plans for the Chullora site)

    The LIA has indicated it has another big night planned for early August which members should keep their eyes open for.

  • Box office opens for GAMAA Leadership Workshop

    Power and Influence will be the theme of the presentations, the workshop running as a three-day module and offering attendees a unique opportunity to network within the wider industry. The course has been tailored for professionals working in graphic arts and related industries who wish to refine their business and management leadership skills.

    Focused on offering advice on how to thrive amidst a constantly changing environment, some of the issues to be discussed include techniques for improving personal influencing skills, dealing constructively with conflict and organisational politics, as well as conveying points of view effectively to others.

    “The GAMAA Workshops are a must for anyone who is interested in enhancing their leadership skills,” says Meredith Darke, national marketing manager for IPP and president of GAMAA. “They enable you to continue to improve interpersonal skills, and to explore your own personal leadership style.”

    To book places in the workshop, contact Karen Goldsmith at GAMAA on 02 9417 0500 or