Archive for March, 2007

  • Jobs of the week: Technical Support Chemist, Melbourne

    This position reports to the Technical Manager – Asia Pacific and will be based at Day International’s Hallam manufacturing plant near Dandenong. It incorporates laboratory testing and development, as well as customer support involving work in the laboratory and off-site.

    Day International celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005, and has been formulating and blending chemicals under the globally recognised Varn label since 1947. With numerous plants worldwide, regionally the company has operations in five countries, manufacturing highly engineered products for the printing industry. Regarded as an industry leader, the company has shown excellent growth throughout its history, with a reputation for quality, innovation, and integrity.

    The successful applicant will join a small and enthusiastic regional team of young chemists. Day to day responsibility will ensure product quality using physical test instruments, pH, conductivity, density, and titration methods. The lab role will include some product development and adjusting formulas from overseas labs for local conditions. Preparation and dissemination of MSDS, regulatory requirements, and plant occupational health and safety are also part of the responsibilities. Testing and liaison and ultimately troubleshooting with end users at their own plants is an important and developing part of the role, to provide technical support to customers and other members of the team.

    To be considered for this challenging role, you will require a degree in science with a major in chemistry. Experience in the printing industry is essential. Good verbal and written communication skills are necessary. A current drivers license is mandatory. You will have experience in OH&S, and confidence with GC and IR analysis. As a successful applicant you need to be a motivated and focused professional who will be rewarded for your efforts and expertise, and provided with an opportunity to grow and develop.

    To apply, e-mail an application letter and resumé to steve_smith@day-intl.com

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

  • Surviving the digital impact– magazine feature article

    We begin 2007 with our Digital issue of Print 21, although so pervasive is the digital environment in which we operate today that we might as well call it the Air issue or the Light issue.

    For that very reason of ubiquity though, it is sometimes worth standing back to try and get a view of exactly what it is that we are working in. What defines the digital world, what are its dominant characteristics, the ones that will serve as pointers to the future?

    One of my earliest recollections of the digital world was sitting in an auditorium filled with designers and desktop people watching a video of a man smashing his computer to pieces. The place went wild and we were washed in a wave of cathartic relief. Yeah! And why not? Show me a person in this industry who hasn’t, in moments of incandescent frustration, wished they could insert a large axe into their monitor.

    This points to the paradoxical nature of our response to living in a digital age. The fact that something which gives us access to so many wonderful and magical forms of technology, many of which were unheard 10-15 years ago, can also drive us to limits of a pathological rage.

    Are we getting any better at learning to live with the digital monster we have created? Are we learning to love it or simply getting used to the compromises and contradictions it can sometimes impose upon us? Where is it taking us and, based on past experience, what can we expect in the future?

    Speed–it’s getting faster all the time

    Instant access, quicker downloads, faster processing – the need to do everything much faster is practically the raison d’être of digital development. If there is one universally acknowledged truth of the digital world it is that it will get faster (apart from when it grinds completely to a halt). We have got used to seeing this, year after year, in terms of throughput and output speeds and now the introduction of Adobe’s new PDF Print Engine (see story this page) promises yet another jump in our expectations. How fast can we go?

    Price–going down and down

    The other seemingly inevitable consequence of ‘going digital’ is that its implementation will drive down costs. OK, so it can cost an arm and leg to introduce initially but whether it’s as a result of greater throughput and higher productivity, or greater automation and less human intervention, or just greater accuracy and less waste, the end result always seems to be a lower unit cost and cheaper overall production. Inevitably these savings are passed onto the customer, but is that always the right thing to do? Martin Booth argues eloquently for another approach, namely one that adds value rather than squeezing margins. Not only is this better for business but in a world of finite resources, he suggests, it is also the responsible thing to do.

    Obsolescence – if it ain’t working, can’t fix it

    Being a male of the species, my habitual response to learning of some mechanical breakdown is to announce that ‘I’ll have a look at it’. This usually involves taking the offending item apart bit by bit, scrutinizing each part and then reassembling it, as near as damn it, in the hope that this will miraculously fix the problem.

    Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. But what has worked successfully in the past for a variety of cars, lawn mowers and video machines doesn’t always apply in the digital world. Sure you can take a computer apart (with an axe if you prefer) but what’s in there can’t always be fixed with a bit of blowing and a squirt of WD40.

    Digital technology, even expensive hardware, is now virtually a consumables market; if it wears out or doesn’t work, whip it out and put a new one in. The implication of this approach for business, especially capital-intensive ones such as printers, is profound and, as Andy McCourt argues in his column, one that our industry must take on board.

    Omnipresence–they seek him everywhere

    A character in a novel I was reading recently was asked which God-like attribute they would like to possess: omnipotence, omniscience or omnipresence. Although you could perhaps make a case for power and knowledge, the characteristic that best defines the digital world is that it is EVERYWHERE. Think there are still pockets of the industry that are digital-proof? Think again. As Derek Fretwell suggests in this issue, even digital printing of newspapers is closer than you might think and the future of offset is not assured by any means. In a similar vein, Patrick Turner asks whether digital print is finally ready to take the place of screen printing. The lesson is that everybody should be thinking digital because if it hasn’t caught up with you yet, it sure as hell will do.

    Convergence–where the rubber hits the road

    This has been spoken about for so long, like personalisation and repurposing, but the inevitable consequence of everything being digital is that everything becomes transferable across markets, delivery mechanisms and media. Online developers can become printers, direct marketers can become printers, multi-media specialists can become printers – and printers can be all these things and more. We are on the cusp of a major shift in terms of how the industry operates and what it actually produces, and it’s a challenge that everybody faces, from the very top where major media companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of whatever the future holds, right down to the smallest operator who must decide where to invest and what technologies will best suit their purpose. This issue highlights examples of businesses that are increasingly meeting this challenge and forging a new-look graphic arts industry.

    Enjoy your 2007 and may all your business plans bear fruit

  • Entry level CTP’s to launch at PrintEx07

    Dainippon Screen will unveil its latest thermal CTP device, PlateRite 8200 at PrintEx next month. Using Dainippon Screen’s thermal laser imaging technology, PlateRite 8200, an entry level, eight page device, is an easy-to-use manual CTP device supporting plate sizes from 450x370mm up to 1060x820mm at a productivity rate of 12 plates per hour.

    “PlateRite 8200 will provide a low cost solution with thermal quality and consistency, daylight operation with a very small footprint and a growth path towards processless/chemistry-free CTP,” said Peter Scott, technical sales support, Dainippon Screen Australia.

    Also catering to the small format market, leading international manufacturer Heidelberg will launch the entry-level thermal CTP image set, Suprasetter A52, amongst a series of ‘firsts’ at PrintEx07.

    “Expanding the highly successful Suprasetter range into the A3 market, the A52 brings manual and automated plate handling, as well as Heidelberg’s renowned Prinext workflow, to small format printshops,” said Soeren Lange, product manager prepress and workflow, Heidelberg.

    “Whereas entry level computer plates previously produced polyester plates, with the A52 small format customers can now economically produce metal plates which are preferred by printers.”

    PrintEx07 Chairman, Grant Churchill, said that the launch of the PlateRite 8200 and Suprasetter A52 is great news for small format printers.

    “PrintEx was initially launched to cater to small and medium-sized print businesses and it’s fantastic to see the leading wholesalers providing smaller printers with the latest technologies to keep up with local and international competitors,” he said.

    Got a view on this story? Drop us a line and let us know

  • News Limited has its eye on Queensland

    As of 2 May, the Wednesday edition of both newspapers will come with the 32-page magazines cairns eye and townsville eye respectively. Printed on 52 gsm gloss, the magazines will have a print run of 32,000 copies and cover the latest in fashion, food, properties, travel and the arts. Distribution of the magazines will not be limited to newspapers, however. An additional 2000 copies will also be scattered throughout city hot spots such as cafes, dental surgeries and real estate agencies.

    The growth and development in both towns has made each an ideal location for these type of magazines, said John Hartigan, chief executive officer of News Limited. “They are lucrative advertising markets with incomes of residents steadily climbing,” he said. “The eye magazines will give advertisers new opportunities in a high quality editorial environment to tailor campaigns that will compliment the strong focus on local stories, people, fashion, property, leisure and entertainment.”

    Both Jason Scott, general manager of Townsville Bulletin and Nick Trompf, general manager of The Cairns Post agreed that there had been significant changes to the two demographics.

    “In the past decade Townsville has been transformed from a working-class port town to a vibrant, cosmopolitan city,” Scott said.

    Trompf added that: “We’ve got thousands of people moving here [Cairns] every year because we offer not only a great lifestyle but terrific business and family opportunities.”

  • Agfa Graphics NZ management changes

    The new year began with Mike Stevens’ (pictured) appointment as New Zealand’s national sales manager, replacing Steve Taylor, who relocated to Melbourne as Agfa’s new inkjet business manager.

    Now, after 45 years in the print industry, printing products’ business manager Mike Kerwin will retire at the end of March to enjoy a ‘well-earned’ holiday. At the same time, John Holloway from the Wellington branch will retire from his role as Senior Account Manager and Clem Jarvis and Ken Moxon will take up technical support roles in the North and South regions respectively.


    “Mike Kerwin has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the New Zealand printing industry, spanning some forty-five years,” says Stevens. “During that time he’s seen some major changes in the technology and structure of the printing industry, right from his modest beginnings as an apprentice letterpress machinist using hot metal type – a long-defunct trade’ at Phoenix Print – which also no longer exists. Years later, at Agfa, he was involved in the initial introduction of computer-to-plate technology – a significant technological shift for the print industry.”

    Kerwin’s introduction to the supply side of the graphics’ industry was in 1982 when he joined Morrison Printing Inks as a technical specialist for ‘Ozasol’ offset plates. When Printing Technologies opened its New Zealand offices in 1990 and took over the Ozasol agency, he moved with it, becoming the printing products manager and taking on responsibility for other agencies, including Reeves blankets.

    He became an Agfa employee when the company acquired Printing Technologies in 2000, moving to the Glenfield site to take on his current role of business manager. Kerwin was instrumental in securing many of Agfa’s important plate contracts and his long-established relationships with many senior print industry managers in New Zealand has been a great benefit to the company.

    Based in Auckland, Clem Jarvis will become more involved with technical plate support in the Northern region.
    “He has an extremely good technical understanding of plates and the precise operating parameters of Agfa’s plate portfolio,” says Stevens, “and this will enhance our existing high-profile plate accounts and any further opportunities for increased plate business.”

    In a similar role, Ken Moxon will be based in Wellington from early April to support the Wellington region and South Island market as a technical plates specialist. He draws on many years of plates experience and, says Stevens, will be an asset to the region.

    Stevens himself is settling in to his new role, as national sales manager for New Zealand. He took over on 1 January when Steve Taylor relocated to Agfa’s Melbourne office to manage the company’s growing inkjet product portfolio.

    “I’m enjoying the new challenges of my new role and am looking forward to working alongside our client partners and assisting them with their business efficiency objectives.,” he says.

    After serving his apprenticeship as a photolithographer back in late 1970s he worked in the trade for many years, as well as spending some time as a primary school teacher. He joined Agfa New Zealand 15 years ago as a technical sales representative and was the business manager for imaging systems before taking on his new national role.

    With the retirement of Kerwin and Holloway, Stevens does lament the loss of such highly-skilled and knowledgeable staff from the company.

    “We’re losing 170-plus years of experience in the next few months,” he points out. “However, despite the changes in staff, it’s still ‘business as usual’ for Agfa, so our New Zealand customers can rest-assure the same good service and technical backup is still in place.”

  • The winds of change – people moving, new faces, industry appointments, news

    Ken gets ready to pen his next chapter
    After 20 years with News Limited, Ken Mullins is calling it a day.

    On 30 March, Mullins will retire and return overseas to Kentucky. As News Limited’s group printing system manager, his association with the giant media group began long before he was even working for them. “I used to work for a company called Napp Systems, and News Limited were one of my biggest customers,” he recounts.

    Mullins then spent time working as a consultant for News International during the industrial dispute before being offered a job by News Limited as a quality control manager for Mirror newspapers.

    “From there I moved into group technical department and joined the project team that was appointed to build the new print centres for Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane,” he said. “After the project was completed in 1994 I was appointed as the group printing systems manager for the News Limited group of newspapers.”

    There was nothing ‘soft’ about his time spent at News Limited, and the constant pace is what Mullins liked most about his role there. “The most enjoyable thing was the hard word, hard play and unique characters in the industry,” he said.

    Returning to Kentucky, Mullins is looking forward to catching up with old friends and family. “Then I will decide what the next chapter in my life will be about,” he said.

    Peter climbs the corporate ladder

    Peter Cottam is no stranger to the printing industry.

    “I was born in the industry,” he said. “I’ve been involved in printing all my life.”

    It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that he’s recently joined CPI, Sydney to take up the position of corporate business development manager. “It’s a newly-created position designed to meet the demands of corporates we’re dealing with,” he said. His main agenda is to help people see what they can do to improve their business in terms of environmental and social responsibilities. Peter (pictured) stresses that, “I’m not actually selling, just giving them advice.”

    Scott snaps up marketing position

    With a background in photography, Scott Strothers comes to Roland DG to take up the position of marketing co-ordinator.

    Assisting the operations and marketing manager with ads, promotions and other media-related work, Strothers admits to thoroughly enjoying his new role. Having spent almost nine years involved with photography “shooting jellybeans through to cars and everything in-between”, it is the team at Roland DG that has impressed him most.

    “I really enjoy the dedicated team they’ve got here,” he said. “Most of the employees have been here for a long time.”

    CPI is music to Simon’s ears

    Simon Clarke’s days spent hunched over a computer screen are a thing of the past now that he’s taken on the role of paper specifier at CPI, Sydney.

    Originally working as a graphic designer within the music industry, Clarke (pictured) realised that “I prefer dealing with people rather than sitting in front of a computer.”

    So he’s abandoned designing posters and CD covers for the likes of Australian Idol and Kasey Chambers to instead focus on calling in on design agencies and studios and showing them examples of specialty papers. “I show them what’s out there and what they can use,” he said.

  • What price presses and printers? Nine dollars?

    Graysonline had an Indigo (pre-HP takeover) E-Print 1000 digital press that started at auction unreserved – nine dollars in Grays parlance – and closed yesterday at a winning bid of $6,300. 35 new and reconditioned Fuji Xerox A4/A3 colour and mono printers with one-year warranties are also going under the online hammer as we go to air. They too started at $9.

    Need a Heidelberg KORD for a spot of die-cutting? Nine dollars. How about a big machine for making plastic magnetic stripe cards? Nine dollars. A Xerox booklet maker that saddle stitches and folds A5 and A4 products? Nine bucks.

    “Of course, it’s where an auction finishes that counts, “ says Graysonline’s printing specialist Andy McCourt, “but the nine dollar starts are genuine unreserved auction prices and the market determines what it is prepared to pay. Because all equipment can be inspected prior to final bidding, buyers can be 100 per cent satisfied as to the condition. A $9 item does not mean it is not working – all the Fuji Xerox printers carry one-year onsite or RTB warranties and are either new or reconditioned.”

    “For example, Graysonline currently sells more Dell computers than anyone bar Dell itself – and they all start at $9. It engages serious bidders and creates a fun buying environment where the customer is in total control of his or her budget. We’re not ‘sudden death’ at auction close time; we have the traditional auctioneer’s ‘going once … going twice’ philosophy where if a bid comes in within 10 minutes of close time, the auction extends by 10 minutes and a further 10 minutes until there are no more bids except the winning one.”

    Would McCourt auction a ten-colour long perfector for nine dollars? “I’d be happy to start it at nine,” he laughs, “but I’m pretty sure the bid increments would have to be a few hundred thousand.”

    If you want to have a shot at the Fuji Xerox network printers, Kord, packaging or cardmaking gear, you’d better get online before 12pm tomorrow (Friday 30th) when the auction is scheduled to close. Click here to visit the auction

  • Fairfax claims $182 million charges claim is speculative

    The defamation proceedings has been going on between the two groups snce November 2002, following statement which were made in Fairfax public The Australian Financial Review regarding the NTG’s accounting practices.

    Proceedings have progressed slowly by NTG, with Fairfax Media holding tight and defending the claim on grounds, such as the defence of truth. The most recent development is a claim from NTG who are seeking special damages in the proceedings and alleging their loss is between $158 million and $182 million.

    After considering the claim, Fairfax Media directors have shed doubt on these allegations and believe that the large figure is “speculative.” Fairfax Media will continue to defend the proceedings.

  • 3D model builds future for New Zealand printers

    Suited to architects and designers, property companies and developers, the three-dimensional modeling technology can also be used for the creation of prototypes, industrial tooling and pattern making for moulds.

    A model of a mansion that was created using this technology (pictured) has been entered in this year’s Pride in Print Awards, under the ‘Innovation in print’ category. 3D Print director, Richard Keesing said that the effect of the model was remarkable. “The architect’s clients were amazed to see how their house would look when it was finished,” he said.

    3D Print, based in Albany on Auckland’s north shore, grew from a specialist print company, The Colour Box, which has been operating in the large format ink-jet market since the mid 1990s, specialising in exhibition displays, posters, outdoor signs and banners. The move towards three-dimensional printing came when The Colour Box director, Peter Dawson, saw the possibilities of using the Z Corp three-dimensional machine in the New Zealand market.

    Peter said three-dimensional technology has been around for a while but the new machine is a substantial step up.

    “Ours is one of only a handful of such machines in this country and I could see that it had immense potential,” he said. “It not only provides a rapid model solution, it does so at a price which is affordable and which can save considerable time and expense compared to the traditional methods of relying on drawings, artist’s impressions and prototypes.”

    3DP sees itself now as consultants and experts in this area offering a whoa-to-go service including the ability to design from scratch in-house in 3D or convert 2D drawings and files into 3D files suitable for printing.

    The company will know if they have won a Pride In Print award when winners are announced at Awards Night at Christchurch Convention Centre on June 15.

  • MAN Roland chairman vows sheetfed fightback

    Signalling a revitalised role for MAN Roland in the local market sheetfed, Finkbeiner maintains that the current line up of press products from the second largest press manufacturer is the best ever. On his first visit since MAN Roland changed ownership two years ago Archive – but his 50th over 23 years – he emphasized the technology superiority of the next generation of 700 sheetfed presses, with the hi-print and direct drive options.

    “Direct drive is a quantum leap in efficiency with over 60 per cent increase in productivity. As I said at our recent sales conference in Augsburg, I believe we have never been in a better position product-wise,” he said.

    Obviously revelling in the autonomy that comes from running MAN Roland as a stand-alone company, Finkbeiner confirms the Australian and New Zealand market is very significant. With over 70 web presses installed here he admits the technology feedback from technologically advanced customers such as News Limited over the years has seeded improvements to the product.

    (Left to right) Gerd Finkbeiner, chairman MAN Roland, Peter Wilton, md MAN Ferrostaal Australia, and Ditmar Zutt, MAN Roland delegate.

    With the arrival of Ditmar Zutt as the MAN Roland delegate to the region, MAN Roland is set to raise its profile here and win back market share in sheetfed. Zutt will work closely with MAN Ferrostaal, the trading arm of the MAN group and the local agent for the press mnaufacturer.

    Finkbeiner admits there have been some tough years in the sector even as the web-fed business powered ahead, sustaining its market leadership position. MAN management’s lack of focus on the printing press division did not help but now that the company is in control of its own destiny he is confident the business is on track to achieve its five-year goals.

    First year results included an 18 per cent lift in sales and an 83 per cent surge in EBIT (earnings before income tax). Order intake is up two per cent and sales rose by 11 per cent. MAN Roland will concentrate on its core business of printing systems while extending its electronic controls and software-based networking competencies.

    Finkbeiner is determined that growth will be organic without any diversion into prepress or finishing, activities he describes as very different in engineering and manufacturing skills. He reaffirms to Australian and New Zealand customers a renewed focus on their needs and commits to being a sustainable partner into the future.

    In reflecting on his long association with the local market he describes the industry here as one with high expectations that expects suppliers to go the extra mile, but which values good relationships. “Business is a partnership between people, success relies on that. Technology is not everything,” he said.

  • Job cuts at FPC won’t affect printers

    But it isn’t bad news for IPMG Group, which print FPC’s magazines – including Vogue; Notebook and GQ – and will continue to print the company’s products regardless.

    In November 2006, it was announced that News Limited would be acquiring the range of 25 magazines at the estimated cost of $180 million. Following this, News Limited then expressed a keen interest in obtaining the company’s community newspapers, which are distributed throughout Sydney, the South Coast and Queensland.

    Jewel in the crown is the Wentworth Courier in which Michael Hannan’s FPC will retain a 45 per cent interest. The deal went through only after being cleared by the ACCC.

    With reports of tension and unease plaguing the Alexandria offices, Kat Vidovic, a spokesperson for FPC said that while some staff had been informed that their positions within the company had been made redundant, it was only “a small number” of employees that were affected.

  • Takeover spells a colourful future for DES

    The new business agreement was welcomed by David Mulligan, managing director of Colorite Equipment, and Ian Clare, managing director of DES, who said that it will result in the formation of a major new presence in the colour management industry.

    Trading under the DES banner, the entity will mean more resources, more technical skills and more local service and support with offices and technical staff in all major centres. DES will be serving the digital imaging, prepress, pressroom, photographic and creative markets, as well as venturing into the colour and appearance for industrial, automotive and medical markets.

    Bruce Sinnott recently appointed the National Manager of X-Rite Products, will be working closely with David Mulligan, former owner of Colorite Equipment. David Mulligan will be joining DES as a consultant, in order to assist with the hand over of clients and technical training on the X-Rite products for the Colour and Appearance market.

    Following the acquisition, it will be business as usual for the customers of both companies.
    The new entity will maintain a sales and service presence in all states and continue to support and maintain all products currently offered by Colorite Equipment and DES.

    “As industry pioneers in colour management solutions, both of our companies shared many common goals. We are looking forward to further developing training and education, and raising the profile of the X-Rite equipment in the local markets,” said Clare.

  • Cream of the crop: NZ apprentice award winners announced

    The award winners include:

  • Binding and finishing award: Isaako Eti
  • Graphic pre-press award: Anna Mollekin
  • Paperboard packaging award: Stephen Meredith
  • Reel-fed award: Andrew Hale
  • Screen award: Baydon Harris
  • Sheet-fed award: Graeme Allardice
  • Top national certificate trainee award: Hazel Hemara

    Having taken out their respective branch awards, the Apprentice of the Year finalists, along with the top National Certificate Trainee, will travel to Christchurch to attend the PrintNZ Training Apprentice Awards Breakfast on 15 June 2007. Later that evening they will attend the NZ Pride In Print Awards where the Apprentice of the Year will be announced live on stage.

    The Apprentice of the Year finalists and top National Certificate Trainee, announced in March, were selected based on their attitude to training, correspondence, workshop grades and other information gathered from employers and PrintNZ training workplace assessors, competency assessors and training liaison officers. Over 100 apprentices and trainees who completed PrintNZ Training programmes during 2006 were in contention for the award.

  • Suite never tasted so good: exclusive review of Adobe Creative Suite 3

    With an official launch date of March 27 in the US, the Adobe CS3 range including Adobe CS3 Design Premium, Production Premium and Web Premium, has addressed some general user requirements across the suites and some very specific ones within the applications.

    Throughout the Creative Suite applications, there is a new interface to address the constant problem of palette blight. Panes are docked at either side of the screen or arranged in vertical stacks called docks but, if you prefer, you can still use them as floating palettes. Clicking on the grey strip at the top of a dock toggles the dock between an expanded and contracted view that shows only an icon for each palette. Panes and palettes can be hidden, as before, using either TAB or SHIFT-TAB but now, much like the hidden dock on Mac OS X, palettes will pop-out as you move to the left or right of the screen—a great enhancement that minimises palette blight while maximising the work area.

    For this purpose of this review, I have focused on three of the print workflow applications: Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop CS3.

    Illustrator CS3, the thirteenth version of the software, focuses heavily on a new colour environment called Live Color that enables a user to modify a complete colour scheme in selected objects in one action. It will aid designers in selecting sets of colours—warm, cool, complementary, supplementary, etc—and also in the management of colours in sets. A concept can be presented in a set of varying colour schemes very quickly. The new Live Color dialogue hosts a universe of options, including the ability to easily modify artwork to map colours to other tints or shades.
    Path editing is also more intuitive. As you select points using the Direct Selection tool, they magnify as the Direct Selection tool is over them and the Control panel displays tools to add and delete points, cut and join paths and convert anchors. Multiple selected anchor points can also now be removed in one action. There is a new Eraser tool making some effects easier to achieve, and an Isolation Mode that works by double-clicking any group in order to enable object editing while temporarily disabling editing of the rest of the artwork. It works with all objects in a group, including Live Paint groups, symbols and objects with envelope distortion applied.

    The new Crop Area tool lets you double-click on an object or group to set crops around the selection, then choose File > Save As PDF to create a single-page PDF cropped to that selection. It also has Control palette editing and includes dimensions and units for print, web, video and film. Flash integration is also improved with vectors that copy-and-paste and import reliably, maintaining the integrity of paths, anchor point positions, gradients, clipping masks and symbols as well as preserving the layer and grouping structure.

    Transparency a clear winner

    InDesign CS3 provides new creative controls, as well as productivity enhancements for repetitive tasks. For instance, the Pages palette now displays thumbnails for faster navigation and management of pages within and between documents.
    Transparency has taken a major leap forward with the ability to apply transparency and effects to any part of an object—fill, stroke or content including type. Effects are located in the Effects palette, making the interface more similar to Photoshop, and now include a gradient feather which is essentially a gradient with transparency, bevel and emboss, inner and outer glow, as well as drop and inner shadows that can be saved as Object Styles.

    Timesaving improvements include the ability to place multiple files at once with the Multi-File Place command. Choose Place once, select multiple text and graphics files, click Open, and then click the icon to place the files one at a time, using arrow keys to toggle through thumbnails to locate a particular file. New frame-fitting options let you edit settings on a frame to automatically size incoming content, while double-clicking a frame handle fits the frame to its content. Tables and cell styles facilitate fast and consistent table formatting and as well as document-wide table-formatting changes.

    Photoshop for professionals

    Adobe CS3 Design Premium includes Photoshop CS3 Extended, a new version that combines all features of Photoshop CS3 with additional features and tools for more specialised needs. There are new tools for professionals in film, manu-facturing, architecture, engineering, healthcare and science as well as precise selection tools for image editing. The new Quick Selection tool makes a selection by loosely painting an area and pressing modifier keys to modify the selection. It automatically completes the selection that can then be fine-tuned using the new Refine Edge command.
    Non-destructive image editing is a significant new feature that can be applied to any part of an image once it has been converted to Smart Filters, much like the existing Smart Objects for vector artwork. Smart Filters are applied within a Smart Object layer and are non-destructive and fully editable so they can also be scaled, transformed and edited non-destructively.

    The new Auto-Align Layers command lets you combine the features of several versions of an image by placing multiple images on separate layers and auto-aligning the layers based on content. Layers are moved, rotated and/or warped to align them, and the Auto-Blend Layers command blends colour and shading. The Vanishing Point Filter has also been enhanced with 3D support.

  • Cards open up opportunities for young artists

    Student Art 2007 has returned again after its debut last year. The annual design competition is open to all student artists currently enrolled in art and design courses. The categories for Student Art 2007 are: fine arts (including painting, drawing, printmaking and intermedia), photomedia and digital media (including graphic design and illustration).

    Ten successful entries will be published as cards, along with a profile of the artist or designer. “This is an exciting opportunity for student artists and designers to have their work in the public realm,” said Helen Kundicevic, project manager of Student Art.

    Students’ work is worthwhile, said Kundicevic, and it was this belief that led to the creation of the University Co-operative Bookshop’s Student Art awards. “It was formed from a general interest in promoting student work and we thought cards would be a good way to do that,” she said. “We wanted something in our bookshops from students.”

    The deadline for Student Art 2007 is 5PM (EST) 11 May 2007. For more information visit: Student Art

  • Register today for free drupa briefings

    Registration is now open for these sessions, which are organised by Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) in conjunction with Messe Düsseldorf organisers of drupa, the world’s biggest printing industry exhibition, from 29 May – 11 June 2008.

    Printing Industries ceo Philip Andersen, said that Mataré would provide an exclusive insight into the technology and business trends that are expected to make the exhibition the largest on record.

    “Although we are still more than 12 months away, the organisers have sold more stands than ever and individual exhibitors are taking larger spaces than they have in the past 50 years,” he said.

    “This is in stark contrast to the consolidation that has occurred in the supplier area and in the industry in general. The reason appears to be the huge growth in digital technology area with new services, software, and IT focussed products coming into the industry at a rapid rate.

    “Mr Mataré will use the Sydney and Melbourne briefings to outline these trends that are sure to surprise many people. Our Industry appears to be far from contracting, but rather is set to benefit from new opportunities to prosper and expand that drupa will showcase.”

    Mr Andersen said the briefing sessions would also provide full details of Printing Industries official industry tour, supa drupa, comprising some seven tour choices, a wide range of accommodation options for all budgets, details of Australian delegation on site briefings, networking opportunities such as dinners and Happy Hours and optional side tours.

    “There are some great savings to be made right now if you are planning to attend drupa including accommodation and flight discount vouchers. Just pay a $200 deposit per person by the end of this week. Call Theresa on (02) 8789 7322 and save,” he said.

    The free Sydney and Melbourne briefing sessions, which include food and beverages, will also feature some of the printing industry’s leading suppliers who will preview what tour members can expect to see in the equipment and consumable areas.

    The pre drupa briefings will be will be held in:
    Sydney – Monday 30 April 2007 at the Stamford Grand North Ryde, corner Epping & Herring Roads North Ryde from 4:30 – 7pm

    Melbourne – Tuesday 1 May 2007 at the Novotel Glen Waverley, 285-287 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley from 4pm – 6:30pm

    Registration for these events is essential and can be made by calling Theresa for Sydney event registration on (02) 8789 7322 or Lisa for Melbourne event registration on (03) 8541 7333 or either via e-mail: supadrupa@printnet.com.au

  • Adobe’s best-kept secret unleashed: Creative Suit 3 arrives

    Described as the biggest launch in the company’s 25-year history, the launch of Creative Suite 3 was a customer-inspired release, moulded on feedback and criticism from users of previous versions.

    Battling for attention with cellphones, YouTube and Myspace, more people are contributing creative content, and Creative Suite 3 hopes to be a one-stop shop for designers and creative types alike. “The boundaries between our media are quickly dissolving,” said Will Eisley, director, product management, Creative Solutions. “It’s not enough to push content to users, they have to engage with it.”

    Returning with more support for users, the software lets customers choose from six all-new suites or full version upgrades of 13 stand-alone applications, including Photoshop CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, InDesign CS3, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and After Effects CS3. Also returning to Macs, the majority of Suite 3 editions will be available as universal applications both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs and support Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista.

    “Creative Suite 3 is the biggest launch in Adobe’s 25-year history and a milestone for the creative industry,” said Bruce Chizen, chief executive officer at Adobe. “This release reflects the powerful integration between Adobe and Macromedia and how our products bridge the gap between designers and developers.”

    The estimated, GST-inclusive street price for the software is:
    Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium is AUD3,100 / NZD 3,688.66,
    for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium is AUD2,750 / NZD 3,279.84,
    for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium is AUD2,750 / NZD 3,484.25,
    and for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection is AUD4,300 / NZD 5,119.53.