Archive for September, 2005

  • Clancy . . . overflow . . . the bes bits . . . funnies

    The move will be the first time that all Kodak’s recent acquired companies and original divisions will be integrated in same location. GCG will join with the consumer division and medical division in the new building on Tuesday after the Labour Day weekend. It may be a first but Sydney is not the Kodak HQ in Australia; that will be in Melbourne and won’t be integrated until November at the earliest.

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    To those readers who’ve been having sleepless nights wondering about our recent reports of a young female trade-qualified printer who couldn’t find a job – you can now rest easy. The relentless efforts of James Cryer of JDA have paid off, and our young ink-stained Portia is happily behind the wheel of a 4-colour GTO, with a printer on Sydney’s Northern Suburbs. It’s amazing that in an industry loud with the cries of printers unable to find staff, an eager young printer should have such difficulty finding a position.

    “I wonder how many other women printers there are out there? Maybe we could recognize their special contribution to the industry,” said James.

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    It must be the season for new logos. Following on from last week’s new Quark logo, this week I’d like to point out the similarities of the new Ricoh and Kodak logos. Undoubtedly designed by people who know a lot about these brand new matters, they certainly have a lot in common. Plain red on a white background is the go.

    Makes you wonder what they’re getting at, if anything at all.

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    According to the latest Trendwatch report from the USA internet creative firms are not sure where the future lies. “Understanding where our business should go in the future’ was cited as a business challenge by 55 per cent of all internet creative firms, the highest level ever tracked by Trendwatch.

    It somehow makes it better that those on the bleeding edge of innovation also haven’t a clue about the future.

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    Knowing what you’re worth is essential in the labour marketplace, and knowing what other people are paying allows you to keep your business competitive. Which is why we should all lend a hand for GASAA’ wage survey. It’s a notable annual industry event and the more people who participate the better and more accurate the result. Log on here – GASAA Survey

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    And finally … for everyone who ever wondered if marriage counselling works at all.

    A husband and wife go to a counsellor after 15 years of marriage. The counsellor asks them what the problem is and the wife goes into a tirade listing every problem they have ever had in the 15 years they’ve been married. She goes on and on and on.

    Finally, the counsellor gets up, goes around the desk, embraces the woman and kisses her passionately. The woman shuts up and sits quietly in a daze.

    The counsellor turns to the husband and says, “That is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do that?”

    The husband thinks for a moment and replies, “Well, I can get her here
    Monday and Wednesday, but on Friday, I play golf.

  • Book Club: The Basics of Print Production

    Often there is a lack of understanding and communication, resulting in reduced productivity.
    The Basics of Print Production provides an overview of the production process from the creative concept through to the printed piece. The manual is an excellent resource for all professionals in the printing and graphic arts industry from clients through to creative and management.
    Mary Hardesty breaks the entire process down into specific steps (see Table of Contents), highlighting important points and defining key terms and phrases. Information on all key areas of the process are investigated from sizing and estimating, paper products, proofing, printing and finishing.
    This book is a must for those of us who are interested in increasing our awareness and appreciation of the production process.

    Table of Contents

    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    Introduction

    1. Specifications

    2. Sizes and configurations

    3. Photography and illustrations

    4. Paper

    5. The mechanical

    6. Scans and color

    7. Proofing

    8. Printing

    9. Finishing

    10. Binding

    11. Packaging

    12. Shipping

    Appendix: image and surface comparisons
    Index
    About the author
    About GATF
    About PIA
    GATFPress: Selected titles

    Colophon

    _____________________________________________

    To buy The Basics of Print Production and to browse the Print21Online Graphic Arts Library click here.

  • Job of the Week: Regional Sales Support Manager – ANZ, Sydney

    If you have a background in the technical aspects of digital printing, prepress, graphic arts and/or commercial printing, and are looking for new challenges to take your career to the next level – with a mix of technical and business responsibilities, we would like to hear from you!

    Solid technical experience, sound business acumen and excellent people skills are absolutely essential for this role.

    Creo POD Solutions is an independently managed unit within Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group (GCG).

    For more information, please contact Doreen Davis.

    Doreen.Davies@creo.com

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

  • Where printing worlds collide – magazine feature

    The battle lines between offset and
    digital printing have become clearer
    this year as both sides roll out weapon
    systems in the shape of highly-evolved
    printing presses. The distinctive strengths
    and weaknesses of the technologies
    appear in sharper relief than ever
    before.

    Offset printing has become more
    automated, focused on quick changeover
    times between jobs in order to compete
    for the shorter runs being demanded by
    the market. Digital printing has solved its
    quality issues and is rolling out serious
    production machines capable of printing
    a million sheets a month. We are entering
    a defi ning phase of the confl ict for the
    future of printing and the outcome is far
    from certain.

    It would be a mistake to assume
    that one form of printing will triumph
    by obliterating the other, winning
    complete hegemony over the market.
    Technology battles don’t turn out like
    that, or at least not in the short term.
    There are many sectors of the printing
    industry where the decision of digitalversus-
    offset simply does not apply.

    The release of the Heidelberg XL 105
    fl agship press is a case in point. This
    behemoth, the fi rst completely new press
    built from the ground up by the leading
    press manufacturer in over 30 years, is
    a production masterpiece, capable of
    running at 18,000 sheets per hour day
    after day, week after week. At 105 cm
    it is the widest press Heidelberg has
    produced and can print on anything
    from super slim 65gsm paper up to thick
    board. Although initially targeted at the
    packaging industry, its sheer productivity
    enhancement is winning it fans in the
    commercial market.

    This is not a press that is ever likely
    to be challenged by digital. Its 24/7
    monthly output is over 12 million full-size
    sheets on materials that not even the
    most one-eyed supporter of digital would
    contemplate putting through a digital
    press. It will be operated by commercial
    and packaging printers of manufacturing
    clout, in big automated printing factories,
    as far removed from hands-on traditional
    craft printing as you can get.

    The Heidelberg XL 105 is designed
    to drive production by combining the
    sheer muscle of offset printing with
    the advanced automation of computercontrolled
    manufacturing. Equally at
    home running the same job until the
    printing plates wear out-and then
    some-or snap changing between
    different short run jobs, it is a defi ant
    statement that in its own sector offset
    printing is unchallengeable.

    The hero of the new age

    The other side of the equation is best
    exemplified by the Fuji Xerox iGen3-the
    fl agship press from the leading digital
    printing engine manufacturer.* At the top
    of the largest range of digital engines
    produced by any one company, covering
    every production target and output
    speed, the iGen3 is the spearhead of Fuji
    Xerox’s push into commercial printing
    territory.

    Rated at a one million A3 sheets
    per month duty cycle, it challenges
    any serious production printer to walk
    away from its quality and versatility.
    There is nothing in the cut sheet
    commercial market it cannot produce,
    plus it brings the unique advantages
    of digital printing-personalisation,
    ‘versionalisation’ and push-button
    operation.

    The iGen3 is competing across a broad
    range of offset work, a market where,
    according to research fi rm CAP Ventures
    in the USA, the average print run size
    is sub-5, 000 copies and falling. It is the
    assault tank of on-demand printing and
    the totemic print-run of one.

    In straight
    economic terms it is competitive with
    offset to around 1,500 -2,000 copies, but
    it is pushing that border all the time and
    many of the jobs running through the four
    iGen3s that are currently in operation in Australia are well in excess of that
    number. The advantages of a completely
    digital production environment, with all
    the ease and leverage that comes with it,
    cannot be overestimated.

    So where’s the battle taking place?

    At fi rst glance, offset and digital are
    locked in battle with one another in the
    same way that offset and letterpress
    fought it out in the 1960s. But there are
    differences in this struggle that indicate
    the outcome is more likely to be a
    negotiated settlement than an outright
    victory.

    Benny Landa, the inventor of the
    Indigo press and widely acknowledged as
    the ‘father’ of digital printing, famously
    said, “Everything that can go digital, will
    go digital.” It was a watershed remark at
    the opening of the digital printing epoch
    in the early 1990s and one that has been
    quoted uncritically for over a decade.

    But
    perhaps it’s time to revisit it in the light of
    experience to see if its prediction stands up.
    There is no doubt that the digital
    revolution has proved a lot slower in its
    progress than was initially expected. The
    early machines were a quality and
    reliability nightmare that littered the
    industry with failed entrepreneurs. Even
    when the quality started to settle down-
    somewhere around drupa 2000-successful
    business models proved elusive.

    One of
    the most striking advantages of digital,
    the ability to personalise every sheet in a
    print run, stumbled over the failure of the
    marketing industry to sanitise its databases.
    In other fi elds, such as the famous
    personalised wine bottle labels, the
    demand never took off and digital press
    manufacturers came to the realisation
    that it was up to them to educate the
    market, in effect to create the demand.

    During this start-up period, the
    printing industry was divided between
    those who were prepared to have a go
    and those who professed disdain at the
    whole digital printing concept. But the
    pressure was building on the traditional
    offset printing sector, fuelled by the
    expectations of on-demand printing and
    shorter run lengths.

    The decision as to
    when a job would be produced deserted
    the printers and went over to the
    customers. A market that was printing,
    on-demand, full colour pages on its offi ce
    and home desktop digital print engines
    was not about to tolerate a commercial
    printer telling them to come back in two
    weeks time for its brochures.

    Into the breech for offset printing

    Heidelberg, as the leading light of the
    offset printing industry, addressed the
    digital challenge in two ways-it set about
    automating its presses to deal with fast
    changeovers on smaller jobs, and it went
    into a joint venture with Kodak to
    manufacture its own digital press, the
    NexPress. The latter strategy came a
    cropper due to the over-reaching corporate
    ambition by Heidelberg to be all things to
    all people-however there was, and is,
    nothing wrong with the NexPress
    technology, which is now back with Kodak.

    The former strategy proved an
    unqualifi ed success and is the reason why
    offset printing, especially small offset,
    has been so successful in holding onto
    its traditional market in the face of the
    digital assault. Many small offset printers
    will now happily compete for runs of
    less than 500 sheets, thanks to quick
    changeovers between jobs and the use of
    cheaper printing plates.

    A wakeup call for digital
    workflow

    It now seems fairly certain that not
    everything that can go digital will go
    digital. Where both offset and digital
    come together and where everything
    has become digital, is in prepress, or
    premedia as it is becoming known.

    Printing files are created in digital
    format regardless of how they will be
    imaged at the end. The rendering of the
    fi les, the ubiquitous RIP (raster image
    processer), decides how and where the
    pixels will be created.

    Computer-to-plate
    closed the loop between the analogue
    offset printing process and the digital
    creation. With automated plate changing
    on the press there is no call for human
    intervention.

    CIP4 is the offset digital
    standard that allows digital files to embed
    all instructions for a complete offset
    printing workflow. In theory it enables
    offset printing to be created, transferred,
    imaged, coated, cut, bound and finished
    out the door in one sequential workflow.

    Digital production presses have all
    the diffi culty in interfacing with digital
    fi les as the little inkjet printer on your
    desktop-in other words, no difficulty at
    all. Whether the output press is on the
    same fl oor, in the same building, across
    town or across country does not matter.
    All that has to be decided is which press
    and how many copies.

    The situation at the frontline

    In this battle of technologies, printers
    are no longer spectators on the sidelines,
    dismissing one or the other as not being
    suitable for their business. Every imaging
    business, large and small, will need the
    capability of both offset and digital if it
    is to remain a serious contender in the
    market. Picking the right application is
    proving more important than the right
    technology.

    Even though the market is
    moving towards more niche operations
    and specialised printing, most commercial
    printers still get asked to produce a wide
    range of jobs. Knowing what jobs are best
    suited to which technology is half the
    battle. Having access to the appropriate
    technology, either in house or through
    well-established alliances, is the other.

    The frontline between the two is the
    small offset market and it is constantly
    moving, as is the steadily falling length of
    print runs. What was a definite offset job
    last year is no longer quite so definite and
    vice versa.

    Much of printing is proving
    unsuitable for personalising. No one cares
    whether their cardboard cartons are
    addressed to them personally or not. While
    the benefits of being able to address
    marketing messages to an individual are
    recognised, the downside of getting
    someone’s name wrong can be catastrophic.

    Not being able to offer the service at all is
    an even greater risk to customer confi dence.

    Knowing when to move
    The unrecognised influence underneath
    all this is the investment cycle. Printers
    have a lot of capital tied up in their
    machinery, many would say too much.

    Those offset printers who have moved
    up to the latest generation of automated
    presses are fairly relaxed concerning
    the digital challenge. They can compete
    across 80 per cent of the market, often
    well below 500 copies. Those printers
    still operating ten to twenty-year-old
    offset presses, especially small offset, are
    feeling the digital heat. There is no way
    they can compete.

    If they are to stay in the industry
    they must invest in new equipment
    and then the decision as to whether to
    go digital or offset will present itself
    in stark relief. It is not an easy choice,
    especially for a company that may only
    have a rudimentary digital workfl ow.

    What is different now is that both
    sides of the equation, Heidelberg and
    Fuji Xerox especially, have in place
    business development and assessment
    programmes to not only help make the
    decision but to assist in implementing it
    and making it a success.

    At the top end of the industry, the days
    of box dropping are gone. Back-up and
    ongoing partnerships are the essential
    features of successful transactions.

    Of
    course there are those who want nothing
    from their supplier other than the lowest
    machine price. However for those who
    intend to be around for a while it is
    important to make a decision, not only
    between digital and offset, but between
    the price of the hardware and the level of
    frontline support required.

    In the long run, that will be what wins
    the battle.

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    * There are other suppliers on both sides
    of the equation, such as HP Indigo, MAN
    Roland and Shinohara, but for the sake
    of drawing the distinction between offset
    and digital this article concentrates on the
    two leading manufacturers, Heidelberg
    and Fuji Xerox.

  • Get Connected goes live

    The website directly via www.getconnected2005.com.au, or alternatively through the Printing Industries website at www.printnet.com.au. The launch also coincides with the release of the conference logo, used internationally as part of the marketing campaign.

    Joe Kowalewski, marketing and media director for Printing Industries, claims that information for local and international presentations is being updated almost daily. “We have more than 26 scheduled speakers participating from 10 countries providing an invaluable knowledge base for all companies in our industry.”

    “Speakers profiles as well as a synopsis of their sessions are available to help delegates plan their attendance. We expect the busiest day to be Friday, when the conference features three simultaneous streams. Delegates can choose from business management, technology and international industry development streams.”

    The site contains information on the Forum of AsianPacific Graphic Arts Technology, and a rundown on the LIA Graduate of the Year awards which will be presented during the conference dinner on Friday 18 November.

    Visitors from interstate and overseas can use the Sydney Sights Guide to help plan their pre and post conference activities in Sydney.

    Entries for the Printing Industries NSW Business Awards close on Friday 7 October. Awards criterion and entry information is also on the website.

    Get Connected is being co-ordinated by Printing Industries and is a consolidation of Printing Industries NSW Conference and Business Awards, the LIA’s Biennial Conference and the Forum of Asian Graphic Arts Technology being hosted for the first time by Australia.

    For more information contact Joe Kowalewski at Printing Industries on (02) 9789 7300 or via e-mail at joe@printnet.com.au, or Bob Lamont at the LIA on (02) 9876 4049 or via email at lamont57@ozemail.com.au.

  • NZ’s premier printing expo due in 2006

    Organisers DMG World Media indicate that close to half of the show’s 100-plus-exhibitor floor space has already been booked, and promise Printech will offer a unique showcase of revolutionary technology and breakthrough printing, design and digital communication offerings.

    Joan Grace, chief executive of Printing Industries New Zealand, claims the exhibition provides an ideal opportunity to see live demonstrations of the latest industry developments. “Our members who have attended in the past have found it valuable. It also provides a chance for them to get together and network with others in the industry.”

    The display of the 2006 Pride In Print Award winners is also highlighted as another notable feature of the show. “This allows people who might not be in the industry – such as students for example – to see what is on offer from a technological perspective and to then see what the outcome is through the Awards display,” says Grace.

    Previous Printech expos have been characterised by large numbers of attendees, with over 4600 industry professionals and 3585 unique visitors making it to the show in 2002. The 2006 event is predicted to be the biggest yet for exhibitors, taking up over 3500 square metres of show space in halls one, two and three of the Auckland Showgrounds.

    Irene Smith, exhibition sales manager for Printech, claims the show represents the perfect opportunity to bring together the top industry contributors with the graphic arts technology of the future.

    “This exhibition is the ultimate event for introducing leading suppliers of printing industry goods and services to their target audience of professionals, who are focused on developing the profitability of their businesses,” says Grace. “Statistics from the last Printech exhibition show that 61 per cent of respondents to their visitor survey held direct authority or influence for purchasing they types of goods or services seen at the Exhibition, and that over 42 per cent organised a quote or appointment whilst at the show.”

    While printing machinery and graphics materials traditionally receives a strong showing at Printech, a wide variety of other sectors will also be represented, including finishing and binding as well as educational seminars.

    Printech will be held at the Auckland Showgrounds from June 11-13, visit www.printechnz.com for more details.

  • Kodak boosts its CTP lineup

    The Thermoflex Narrow Flexo-Offset platesetter was revealed at Labelexpo Europe over the weekend. The device is distinguished by its ability to image across multiple plate technologies, capable of imaging on offset, flexographic and letterpress plates as well as film.

    The Thermoflex’s other important feature is the availability of a multiple plate configuration. Operators can load any plate size up to the maximum of 762 x 762 mm for flexo and 762 x 744 mm for offset plates, with the new option of imaging multiple plates simultaneously.

    Bob Dalton, product manager for Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group, claims the Thermoflex is targeted to service an increasing crossover between flexo and offset printing. “Narrow web printers are investing in offset and/or combination presses to expand their service offering, whereas commercial printers are buying flexo presses to move into multi-substrate printing.”

    Kodak has also announced a new ‘X-Speed’ option for its Magnus and Trendsetter devices, which increases speed by at least 50 per cent and doubles productivity in some cases.

    An enhanced Magnus device images at 27 80-inch plates an hour, which Kodak claims makes it the fastest available for large format and 8-page plates. A boosted Trendsetter 800 II operates at a speed of 40 B1 plates per hour.

  • Canon throws down the gauntlet for high-end digital

    The imagePRESS brand will encompass all of Canon’s new digital colour printing technology, targeted by the electronics giant to meet the needs of the commercial print and graphic arts markets. One of the industry’s worst kept secrets – a prototype press was in a secure room at last year’s drupa exhibition – imagePRESS will take the fight for production level digital print up to the other suppliers.

    While details of the actual machines remain under wraps, with its launch still not due to hit the market until mid 2006, Canon has loudly declared that its entrance into the market will revolutionise digital colour printing in much the same way as its first colour laser copier did almost 20 years ago.

    Steven Brown, manager for production and graphic arts at Canon Australia, emphasises the company’s attitude that hardware is a business enabler, rather than the key to business success.

    “But we have to admit that we’re looking forward to redefining the hardware side of digital commercial print market with the new range of devices that we’ll release under the imagePRESS product family name,” says Brown.

    Brown claims the release of the new products will mark a ‘new beginning’ for colour consistency and quality in graphic arts, the result of one of the most significant research and development investments made by Canon.

    “Just as Canon pioneered the first digital colour copier and digital colour solutions for the enterprise market, we expect imagePRESS will transform the production marketplace, allowing commercial and quick printers, as well as in-plant and variable data customers, to grow their client base, volume and profits.”

    Charlie Corr, group director of InfoTrends/CAP Ventures, claims Canon’s new strategy will offer commercial printers the opportunity to complement their existing offset presses with digital technology.

    “This market has evolved to the point where – to remain competitive — print providers must offer their customers shorter run lengths and faster turnaround times at competitive pricing. Canon has consistently been at the forefront of digital imaging, and we see Canon’s imagePRESS representing the sort of innovative and flexible solutions required to deliver customised, relevant documents.”

  • Darwin printer pulls the peak PICA award

    Colemans Printing picked up the judge’s award for best overall production in the Northern Territory for its work on the 2005 Darwin Cup Carnival magazine. As well as receiving additional silver and bronze awards, Colemans Printing was also presented with a recognition award by Ian Bowden, president of Printing Industries in South Australia, for its 25 years of membership and service to the industry.

    Tony Coleman, managing director of Colemans Printing, (pictured with Printing Industries’ Ian Bowden) cites the company’s efforts in finding and retaining quality staff as the key to its success. “Colemans Printing prides itself on training our own people and it is one the reasons we continue to produce a quality product,” he says.

    For South Australia, the judge’s award for best overall production went to Van Gastel Printing, commercial printer from Wingfield specialising in intricate high-end print jobs. The company snared the award for its work on Island To Empire, a book produced for the Art Gallery of South Australia, as well as picking up a further nine gold awards on the night.

    (Left: Jack van Gastel accepts an award from Printing Industries Ian Bowden)

    During the well attended night in Adelaide last week, a presentation was made to Katie Furnell, a TAFE student enrolled in design and visual communications at the South Australian campus of Croydon, who designed the artwork for 2005 PICA promotional material. The LIA graduate of the year award, Lee Gradisar of Precision Labels, sponsored by Heidelberg Australia was also presented during the evening.

    But by far the biggest winner of the night was Finsbury Green Printing, the nationwide printing company with an office in Adelaide and a committment to environmnetally sound practices. Proving that integrating green production methods is a step on the ladder to quality excellence, the company picked up a total of nine gold, ten silver and nine bronze awards.

    Here is the complete rundown on the SA PICA Awards 2005. Is your company here? Or perhaps more importantly, is your competition?

    Gold medal winners:

  • Barossa Printmasters – 1
  • Cadillac Printing – 2
  • Collotype Labels – 2
  • Digi We Doo – 2
  • Finsbury Green Printing – 9
  • fivestargrafx – 2
  • Hyde Park Press – 2
  • John’s Print Centre – 2
  • Newstyle Printing – 1
  • Rowett Print – 2
  • Studio Labels – 1
  • Van Gastel Printing – 6
  • Silver medal winners:

  • Barossa Printmasters – 1
  • Bowden Printing – 1
  • Cadillac Printing – 3
  • Coleman’s Printing – 1
  • Collotype Labels – 1
  • Finsbury Green Printing – 10
  • fivestargrafx – 2
  • Graphic Print Group – 1
  • Hyde Park Press – 2
  • John’s Print Centre – 1
  • Newstyle Printing – 2
  • Price Screen Process – 1
  • Rodney Robertson & Associates – 1
  • Studio Labels – 1
  • The Bureau – 1
  • Van Gastel Printing – 5
  • Visualcom – 2
  • Bronze medal winners:

  • Barossa Printmasters – 2
  • Cadillac Printing – 2
  • Coleman’s Printing – 1
  • Digi We Doo – 1
  • Eagle Press – 1
  • Eureka Corporate Group – 1
  • Finsbury Green Printing – 9
  • fivestargrafx – 1
  • Lane Print Group – 2
  • Newstyle Printing – 3
  • Precision Labels – 1
  • Price Screen Process – 1
  • Printskill – 2
  • Rodney Robertson & Associates – 2
  • Rowett Print – 1
  • Studio Labels – 1
  • The Bureau – 1
  • Van Gastel Printing – 2
  • Visualcom – 3
  • Ink makers blame oil for price rise

    The skyrocketing cost of oil is identified as the primary culprit responsible for the impending price rises. Both Sun Chemicals and Flint Ink have already announced increases in the cost of their inks, while local manufacturer Coates has indicated that a price hike before Christmas is inevitable.

    David Rands, managing director of Coates Australia, claims manufacturers have up until now absorbed rises in the cost of raw materials used to manufacture inks. “However, this trend can not continue on for much longer,” he says. “Any manufacturing industry that uses oil will inevitably see increases, so it will not be long before we see some movement.”

    Rands claims the rises will differ from product to product, and assures customers it will not be a proportionate reflection of the mounting cost of petrol. As a broad approximation he expects prices to rise by around five per cent, as little as two per cent on most inks but as much as 10 per cent on specific products.

    Flint Ink North America has already confirmed that price rises on all of its product lines will be effective from October, in an attempt to offset the escalation of raw materials, energy and freight costs. Flint Inks in Australia declined to comment on how price increases will impact its supply of inks in the local market.

    The US company’s heatset web offset and publication gravure inks have both risen by 12 per cent, while its solvent packaging, energy curable and commercial/sheetfed inks are all up by 10 per cent.

    Bill Miller, president of Flint Ink North America, insists the company has taken extensive measures to ensure a consistent supply of products to its customers. “But our industry and its suppliers have been caught at the centre of global shortages and rising demands for crude oil, natural gas and their by-products, as well as many other raw materials that are key to the manufacture of printing inks.”

    Sun Chemical has simultaneously announced price increases in North America of 9 to 12 percent, also effective by October and attributed to rapid increases in raw material prices and shortages.

    Michael Griem, president of Flint Inks North America, says “given the rapidity and scale of cost increases, we are forced to implement price increases to cover basic costs that are not expected to drop any time soon and issue surcharges by industry segment.”

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

    It’s not going to happen overnight but the aim is to increase the 150,000 tonne capacity by 80,000 tonne in the future, according to Industry Edge the paper and pulp industry’s bible.

    While everyone at the mill is keen to move to total chlorine free (TCF) production Industry Edge reckons it’s not going to happen in the medium term. Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) is the best that can be hoped for. However, Robert Eastment, the publisher, congratulates PaperlinX management for “grasping the nettle” of investment and not letting the mill die slowly from neglect.

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    We can be heroes department. … Nelson Ferrari, the wide format graphic arts marketing manager of HP in Australia, is not the type of bloke to strike Clancy as a great humanitarian; a nice guy certainly but too much like the rest of us to warrant that type of reputation.

    Which goes to show how wrong one can be. The bold Nelson has grasped his personal nettle and is winging home to Bolivia for a year to establish an orphanage there for … well, Bolivian orphans. According to HP publicist Alison Stieven-Taylor, Nelson’s made all the right contacts and the venture has government backing.

    It’s just so unexpected.

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    A few obsessions mar Clancy’s otherwise calm and sagacious existence. One is not wearing clothes with brands or slogans on them. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a shirt that does not sport an identifying logo, such as a crocodile or a bloke playing polo, not to mention the illiterate font massacres of your average t-shirt.

    But he will confess to a fondness for his Heidelberg watch, a press freebie from many years ago. He is also happy to throw his unmarked togs into a Heidelberg kitbag when catching a plane. It’s got so much cred it lends cachet.

    But now Glenn Plummer, HAN’s general manager product management and marketing, is promoting the global Heidelberg Selection Shop website – Heidelberg where enthusiasts can buy Heidelberg-branded gear from golf balls to scarves. He reckons they make great corporate Christmas gifts.

    But if everyone starts wearing them…

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    The fickle finger of fame and fate has fallen on one Brian Mandelbaum, 24, director of business development of New York City-based True Type Printing. The graphic arts executive is picked as one of Donald Trump’s foils in the latest season of the television show, ‘The Apprentice.’ He is the first of our bunch ever to make it onto the high-rating show, so we’re hoping he’ll meet whatever deadlines are set him.

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    There’s a new air blowing through the corridors of Quark following its near-death experience at the hands of Adobe. In true born-again style the once hard-nosed corporation is now “more open and customer-focused, and we have a focused vision to go with our new attitude,” according to acting president Linda Chase. And there is a new logo.

    To give you the full PR spin … “Our new logo is one of the most articulate symbols of the new Quark, and I feel proud to have led the team that worked on it,” said Susan Friedman, senior vice president of strategic relations at Quark.

    “It’s a positive sign of change that has re-energized our staff and caught the attention of our customers and partners, who understand that Quark is dedicated to relationships built on trust and mutual goals.”

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    And finally … here’s one that’s funny enough to transcend the usual carping of the politicals.

  • 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.

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

  • Job of the Week: Graphics Prepress Operator

    You are an experienced operator who works with Macs and PC’s, and will be able to demonstrate exceptional skills in your field of expertise.

    You must be able to demonstrate a high level of skill in RGB and CMYK colour correction, and have a natural flair for high end retouching. 

    You must be able to multi task, work under pressure and to a tight deadline, have great people skills and an ability to build strong relationships, take direction and work alongside a dedicated team.

    Advanced working knowledge of digital proofing would be regarded as an advantage, as would a solid working knowledge of ICC based colour management, including workflow integration.

    If you think you have what it takes to succeed in this role, please send your CV including samples of your work, current work related and personal references, with a covering letter, either by post or email.

    PREVIOUS APPLICANTS NEED NOT APPLY

    Camille Vermeulen
    Assistant to the Production Director
    Pacific Magazines
    35-51 Mitchell Street, McMahons Point NSW 2060

     
    Pacific Magazines is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    camille.vermeulen@pacificmags.com.au

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

  • Tech fest reigns at Print ’05

    The industry’s technology-hungry reputation was only consolidated further at the McCormick Place exhibition hall last week. The biggest graphic arts event staged during 2005, the new products on display jostled with each other for the attention of an estimated 70,000 professionals in attendance.

    As would be expected, the big boys in offset were well represented on the floor at Print ’05. Heidelberg was showcasing its heavily hyped new Speedmaster press at the XL 105 Theatre, showing off its hybridised proficiency in both packaging and industrial print.

    KBA North America fired up five different presses that performed over 40 different jobs at its colossal stand, while MAN Roland staked the claim for the biggest press on the floor with its 64-inch 900 XXL.

    Following in the footsteps of companies like Agfa, Heidelberg took the focus off its new press for a moment with the release of its Saphira Chemfree Thermal Plate, developed with chemistry-free processing in mind. The negative working aluminum plates are to be offered alongside the Suprasetter, the latest CTP thermal platesetter from the German offset king.

    Integrated workflows emerged as one of the major themes of Print ’05, centring on the notion of delivering unified software that serves both the conventional and digital printing equipment of a printing business. Creo and Agfa both announced workflows to drive HP Indigo presses, while Kodak unveiled its Unified Workflow, a collection of best-of-breed program in the same style as Xerox’s FreeFlow.

    Leaving workflow behind to take a peek at the best there is to offer in digital imaging, EFI launched the next generation of its leading RIP. The Fiery System 7 software is optimised to deliver improved printing performance and image quality, with the Fiery Production Printing Package emphasised as one of its key features, a set of job management and submission tools that produce elaborate print jobs at maximum speed.

    Print ’05 was the first major tradeshow that presented the united colours of the re-branded Kodak, now taking in companies like NexPress, Creo and Encad. The launch of the Magnus 400 CTP family represented the event of greatest note for the company at the show: part of the next generation of 4-page devices, the product is promoted by Kodak as a swift and highly accurate solution that is ideal for smaller commercial printers.

  • Océ expands with Imagistics purchase

    Imagistics International is a direct sales and service organisation that provides document solutions, its portfolio spanning both printers and the network facilities used to facilitate document production. The acquisition means that these services will be combined with Océ’s existing range of printing systems.

    Océ will acquire all outstanding shares in Imagistics for a price of $54.55 per share for a total of approximately $889 million, with the transaction already receiving the stamp of approval by the board of directors of both companies.

    Océ has indicated that it intends use the deal to help it expand its presence in the US corporate printing market, as well as offer its own document management services to Imagistics’ existing customers.

    Rokus van Iperen, chairman of the board at Océ, claims the purchase accomplishes the company’s goal of strengthening its presence in the US market. “As a result of this acquisition we will be even better positioned to offer a complete range of value added solutions and world class products and services to our customers,” he say.

    Marc Breslawsky, CEO of Imagistics, claims that both companies under the same umbrella will make for a powerful combination. “Our customers will have comprehensive product coverage across all segments, all from one company, across the world,” he says. “We expect that Océ and Imagistics will become a major force in the US office market, with superior growth prospects globally.”

  • Spotlight on proofing and trade at Get Connected conference

    A moderated International Forum will be held on the second day of the conference, discussing a range of topics that impact on the printing industry both locally and internationally.

    The topics discussed at the forum will include:

  • Free Trade agreements: what are the likely impacts? Are the agreements an opportunity or impediment to business?
  • Environmental issues: impacts are being felt globally, particularly in regard to recycling and emissions. Is there a need for international standards to be developed?
  • Technology: it has opened up business borders. Has it also opened up issues of copyright and intellectual property? What are the new technology challenges?
  • Day three will discuss the future of proofing, a key technology issue for the printing industry. The LIA is organising a panel of leading industry practitioners to look at the role of proofs, debating whether or the process will still be needed by 2010.

    More than 24 speakers will provide presentations at the Get Connected conference, extending across a range of business, technical and international industry performance areas.

    Get Connected is co-ordinated by Printing Industries, and is a consolidation of Printing Industries NSW Conference and Business Awards, the LIA’s Biennial Conference and the Forum of Asian Graphic Arts Technology, hosted for the first time by Australia.

    Previously confined to eight participant countries, the Forum has now confirmed the admission of Sri Lanka who will participate as a full member for the first time in Sydney.

    The conference, at the Sydney Shangri-La hotel from 16-19 November 2005, in addition to the international presentations, will feature a plenary program, an international forum, streamed business sessions and a streamed technical program developed by the LIA.

    For more information contact Joe Kowalewski at Printing Industries on (02) 9789 7300 or via e-mail at joe@printnet.com.au, or Bob Lamont at the LIA on (02) 9876 4049 or via email at lamont57@ozemail.com.au.

    Conference registration information will be available from next week on www.printnet.com.au.

  • Digital colour printing goes mainstream

    The quantity of digital prints are on the rise, with 39 per cent of digital printers claiming their volumes are increasing “a little” or “a lot”. Creatives are also increasingly recognising the potential of digital with 42 per cent indicating their use is increasing, according to the report Digital Printing 2005: It’s Mainstream, Baby! from TrendWatch Graphic Arts.

    Heidi Tolliver-Nigro, analyst and author of the report, claims the data confirms what was predicted for over a decade. “Digital colour printing has finally become an accepted and mainstream part of the commercial printing marketplace,” he says. “There are still limitations, and some education still needs to be done, but as an industry, we’ve finally turned the corner.”

    Variable data printing is one of the major draw cards of digital printing, and personalisation is also emphasised in the report as an area with a major buzz attached to it. 22 per cent of catalogue publishers indicate they consider variable data printing as a top sales opportunity for their businesses.

    The report looks into the growth and adoption of digital colour printing, and analyses trends in both the graphic arts and creative market spaces. The different applications of digital colour printing are also looked at, including short-run, on-demand printing, variable data printing and web-to-print.

    Digital Printing 2005: It’s Mainstream, Baby! is available for purchase by visiting the secure TrendWatch Graphic Arts website at www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com/special.html.