Archive for May, 2007

  • View from the top: report on PrintEx forum

    “Similar to IT, the knowledge, expertise and skill of the print industry meant a profitable existence which in recent times has come under pressure,” he said.

    Referring to the impact of globalisation, Towell said that consolidation is happening in every industry across the world, with businesses getting cleverer at compartmentalising and addressing individual customer needs. Whilst this provides a perception of choice, many brands are owned by the same company.

    Fuelling this, the industry is being hit on a number of fronts including the growth of offshore printing options, especially China; the accelerating speed and take-up of new media; and the industry’s need to modernise.

    “What’s driving this is customers, and if we’re not listening to customers, we’re dead. As a generalisation, printers forgot this along the way and allowed other participants to come into the industry. As customers get bigger and more sophisticated, they want suppliers to be more sophisticated and offer a broader range of products,” he said.

    “Companies are also looking to drive down costs wherever possible. If we don’t find cost-efficient solutions, others will. We need to address our supply chain and get our cost to manufacture as low as possible.”

    Towell cited how in five years, China has moved from sourcing zero to 15 per cent of USA’s annual printing needs, and cut delivery times to Australia from 16 to 6 weeks. Whilst clearly this sends the signal that China is looking for major targets and opportunities, he said there was more the local industry could do to address this.

    “We need to impress on people that when they buy locally they get guarantees in terms of environmental sustainability – for example, when sourcing from overseas we don’t know if pulp has come from, for example, fine old growth trees from Brazil.”

    In terms of the growth of digital, Towell said the industry needed to embrace the new technology and be part of it. He said paper remained a powerful medium – unique in its shelf life and imagery potential – and personalisation of direct marketing pieces offered exciting growth opportunity for the industry.

    “People are getting sick of electronic media. The delete button is the one used the most, and response rates are going down. We have to remind people that print as a medium is very, very powerful.”

    Towell said the industry should look to other sectors for inspiration and best practice.

    “We are a great industry but we need to re-invent ourselves and become more relevant in a fast-changing world.”

    Pictured: Gordon Towell addressing the crowd.

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

  • Inca Spyder gives more bite to Brisbane business

    Phelan, who is managing director of CV Signage Solutions, believed that there were economic benefits for both his company and clients by producing business in house; but first he needed to find the right printing equipment.

    “We assessed what was in the market and looked at four or five large format print options,” he said. “We found that the Inca Spyder had the capacity to deliver the volume and quality we want.” First setting his eyes on the Spyder at a trade fair, Phelan then made the trip to Fujifilm Sericol’s headquarters in Sydney where his mind was made up.

    The Inca Spyder gave CV Signage Solutions the results they wanted, namely being able to provide clients with a faster turnaround for large format work. “In only a short time we are already seeing the benefits of Spyder,” Phelan said. “The quality of service provided by Fujifilm Sericol during the installation process was excellent and we were very pleased in the way they worked with us.”

    CV Signage Solutions needed a refit to house the new Inca Spyder; they were also installing another piece of equipment at the same time but did not receive any disruptions, reporting business as usual. “Fujifilm Sericol is someone we would want to have an ongoing business relationship with,” Phelan said. “Their quality across the board is second to none.”

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

  • Melbourne newspapers prove a leader among local community

    Having acquired Times Publications, Leader Newspapers replaced The Western Times, Werribee Times and Hobsons Bay Times with new titles, the Maribyrnong Leader, Wyndham Leader and Hobsons Bay Leader. The Maribyrnong Leader (formerly The Western Times) now has a print run of 28,758 – an increase of 4000 copies, while the Wyndham Leader (formerly Werribee Times) sits at 44,479, with an increase of 7000 extra copies.

    Circulating throughout Melbourne’s western suburbs, the three papers focus on local issues and also have accompanying websites. Launched on 29 May, Rick Edwards, editor, said that things were looking good for each of the publications. “The launch went well,” he said. “The three papers looked fresh and were full of local news.”

    Leader Community Newspapers has a total of 33 newspapers that attract 1.96 million readers per week, making them the primary source of print media for many residents. “We now have 100 per cent coverage of metropolitan Melbourne,” said Sylvia Bradshaw, Leader Newspapers general manager. “Our local editorial teams ensure that we report news that’s relevant to our readers and we provide an unparalleled advantage to advertisers who can choose to talk directly to readers in their local community – or cover the entire Melbourne footprint.”

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

  • So hot right now … ‘s Hot Pick winners revealed

    Winnowing the very best from the rest, the awards recognise technological excellence within the industry. “The Print 21 Hot Pick technology awards recognise the most innovative and creative responses to industry challenges,” explained publisher, Patrick Howard. “The awarded technologies represent the cutting-edge of the graphic arts; this is something everyone should pay attention to.”

    The full list of winners and their products include:

  • FujiFilm: Pro V chemical-free violet

    Though it’s only a demonstration that is not yet available, this technology will have an undeniable influence amongst the industry. A violet photopolymer chemistry-free plate, the Brillia HD PRO-V is Fuji’s plate solution for both the main CTP imaging technologies and continues the company’s strategy of giving users a choice according to their specific requirements. The Brillia HD PRO-V plate includes new technologies such as: sensitive polymerisation technology for high productivity, new MultiGrain technology for excellent ink/water balance and new emulsion technology for FM capability.

    Pictured: Peter Carrigan (left), who was very excited to receive the first Hot Pick award of the day from Print 21 publisher, Patrick Howard.

  • Currie Group: HP Indigo Press 5500

    Released two weeks ago in Rome, this is the first showing within the Asia Pacific region and is a huge triumph for the Currie Group. The HP Indigo 5500 and its sister, the 3500 feature 7-colour printing, producing offset quality with a photo look and feel.

    The HP Indigo pres 5500 includes recently unveiled HP DreamColour Technologies, which ensure colour accuracy at all times. The HP Indigo 3500 and 5500 presses deliver up to 68 pages per minute in full colour.

    Pictured above: more happy recipients, Rob West and Phil Rennell

  • FujiXerox: Nuvera 288

    The Xerox Nuvera 288 Digital Perfecting System prints at 288 impressions per minute, 15 per cent faster than any other cut sheet printer available on the market.

    The digital duplex production system has an unparalleled resolution of 4800 x 600 dots per inch – partly attributed to its pioneering Emulsion Aggregate (EA) toner technology and fusing. The Nuvera 288 was designed for maximum productivity and uptime, with Pass Through Programming that keeps the system running even if one of the engines needs service or a soft shutdown.

    Pictured above: Nick Nugenthiran and Wendy K Apton being presented with their award by Patrick Howard.

  • DES: ORIS Ink Saver

    Using this clever software results not only in huge savings but also in positive environmental outcomes; for example, it is possible to obtain the same image but use less ink. In a one-step, automatic process, ORIS Ink Saver significantly reduces the CMY components for all printed elements, and optimises the black separation – while maintaining visual and colorimetric integrity.

    Above: Christophe Thommessen, Scott Barry and Sarah Weightman.

  • Canon: imagePRESS C7000 VP

    The long-awaited final production model is here, and the results are most impressive. The imagePRESS is a brand new technology engine with a rated speed of 70 ppm. It can hold neutral colour across wide areas and produce stapled and folded A4 sized brochures from A3-size stock to name but a few of its many features. The largest and best colour gamut for digital workflow, it offers consistency and a wide range of colour and the Digital press preserves this through sophisticated RGB through CMYK conversions within the print controller.

    Pictured: Christophe Lambert with Patrick Howard

  • EFI: Fiery QX 100

    Impossible to ignore, this is the new generation of Fiery Rip. The industry’s preferred driver continues to set new benchmarks of efficiency and compatibility; the new Pro series Fiery are targeted at a variety of industry levels, with more than 14 million Fiery technology users worldwide, EFI is renowned for consistently precise colour, advanced connectivity, high quality, sophisticated workflow, and ease of use. The new Fiery puts EFI’s more than 17 years’ experience in print management solutions to work and adds tremendous value for customers in this highly competitive, dynamic industry.

    Pictured above: Kathy Wilson and Eric Holtsmark

  • Heidelberg: Heidelberg Anicolor

    The Heidelberg Anicolor is the offset fight-back against the perceived advantage of digital printing
    with very short runs. Part of the problem with traditional offset is the amount of waste sheets
    required before the job gets to acceptable colour. In a time when ecological values are becoming
    ever more important, apart from the issues of cost, the ‘run-up’ of offset seemed a deterministic
    factor that could not be overcome. The revolutionary inking unit on the Speedmaster SM 52 can get a print run up to colour in a very
    short time. On the Heidelberg stand at PrintEx07 full-colour job changes were up and running
    within five or six sheets before an enthusiastic audience removed
    any doubt that the technology, on its first Australian and New Zealand outing, will redraw
    the lines of battle between offset and digital in the short-run market.

  • Eizo: FlexScan SX3031W

    Among the many exciting debuts at this year’s PrintEx, Eizo treated audiences to an exclusive Australia-first release of the largest and cleverest graphic arts screen around. As the world moves increasingly closer towards soft proofing, it is technology like the FlexScan SX3031W that becomes even more important than ever.

    Pictured: Penny Swinfield and Matthew Bauer.

  • Kayell: Press-Side Soft Proofing

    The name says everything – to make soft proofing in the press room a reality requires scientifically-calibrated lighting conditions. This innovative American company, GTI has combined hi-tech software, Eizo monitors and its own developed lights to produce an effective solution which is even used in the US by Time publications.

    Pictured: Bob McCurdy (left), GTI and Fred McCurdy (centre), GTI with Robert Gatto (Kayell).

  • Ricoh: RDO Print

    In a move towards the democratization of the digital printing world, Ricoh takes a step forward by creating open access workflow. Its new RDo Print-enabled system allows printshop to trasnalte previously locked software files in open-standard PDF. If this doesn’t seem like such a big deal, remeber there are millions of legacy documents in existnece which can often require complicated translations. RDO (Roster Document Objects) is aiming to do for the digital print file system what PostScript did for commercial printing. The new system can take the legacy files and output them with little or no operator intervention. The subsequent PDF can also be created for viewing and archival.

  • Agfa: :Avalon Automated CTP

    Pictured (right): Garry Murratore, Agfa.

    The flexibility and ease-of-use of Agfa’s :Avalon makes it a stand-out piece. The :Avalon can handle plate sizes from 380 x 310 mm to 1130 x 820 mm. The PlateManager automates plate handling and provides loading of up to four cassettes at one time. The CtP system can work with a number of screening technologies, including Agfa’s :Sublima XM cross-modulation screening or :Cristal Raster stoachastic screening. These options allow delivery of higher resolutions – up to 340 lpi.

  • Fastbind: Powis Photopress

    A unique solution for digital printers, able to make photographs into books. The Powis Photopress proved to be a major hit at the show; Derek Lane reported people queuing up to buy it.

    Pictured: Derek Lane with his Hot Pick.

  • Konica Minolta:Bizhub Pro C6500 Production

    The bizhub PRO C6500 Production builds on the success of the existing bizhub PRO 1050 and supports the same finishing options. Customers can choose from a folding unit, staple finisher, booklet maker / saddle stitch unit or trolley stacker. It can be configured in nine different ways according to the needs of nearly any business, to produce a wide variety of output such as brochures, promotional materials or any kind of documents for inline finishing.

    Purpose-built to withstand the rigors of production print environments, the bizhub PRO C6500 Production provides high-speed output of 65 ppm in both colour and B&W to stay ahead of heavy workloads and tight deadlines. Robust internal components handle a monthly duty cycle of 300,000 pages and a sophisticated air-assist paper feed system with internal heating unit keeps even heavy coated stock running smoothly.

    Next-generation Simitri HD Colour Polymerized Toner enhances fine detail, sharpens text and improves colour halftone reproduction. And precise registration accuracy aligns front and back images to give colour booklets and brochures a crisp, professional look.

    Konica Minolta has partnered with both EFI and CREO to provide a powerful range of controllers for these models. With the options of either Fiery or Creo controllers and the introduction of the Micropress cluster printing system, Konica Minolta can now provide a true alternative.

    Pictured above: David Procter receives a Hot Pick from Patrick Howard

  • Quote & Print: Version 8

    Always one step ahead of the rest, Quote & Print’s latest release, Version 8, has truly pushed the boundaries and beyond. Some of its special features include JDF connectivity, new workflow solutions and new navigation. It was recognised by the prestigious Kodak-backed NGP director Mark Wilton as being a suitable technology to link into the industry leading Prinergy workflow. This opens up a wide horizon for the many Q&P users to interface with Kodak-enabled printers around the world. “It is so good to see Australian innovation develop and take on the world,” said the Vancouver-based Wilton, who came home for the show.

    Pictured above: All smiles as Judy Bell with Kodak’s Mark Wilton (centre) and Dave Bell (right)receive their Hot Pick.

  • Ferag: High Water Python CTP

    Ferag is the agent in Australia and New Zealand for the awarded Highwater Python CtP, a manual load and unload CtP device technology designed for the 2-up and 4-up market. The plate is mounted on a flat table, correctly positioned in the three-pin touch sensitive register system. It is clamped automatically and transferred to the high precision, internal drum. Here it is exposed using Pythons advanced optical laser system. The plate is retained in the clamp in perfect register while it is imaged at a resolution of 2540 dpi, at 6 mm per second. A B2 plate takes two minutes to image.
    The Python system includes a high-spec workstation running a Torrent Level 3 RIP, with a full complement of software applications.
    Pictured: Ian Martin (left) and David Griffin (right)

  • Kodak: Prinergy 4

    Kodak Prinergy Workflow System Version 4 is the latest system upgrade to a workflow that aspires, with some justification, to be the benchmark of the industry. This particular iteration includes a new dashboard to deliver at a glance job information. The system also offers support for transparencies, digital print automation to expand into the Kodak Web-to-print Solution, and new digital job notes and custom fields. Prinergy 4 has two major enhancements for transparencies to produce more predictable, high quality results while reducing errors and rework without flattening files. The Color Matcher and Trapper features have been upgraded to handle transparent objects natively. The new system also includes Adobe’s PDF Print Engine, with its full transparency support.

    Pictured: Nick Nataras, Sue McQuate and Gustavo Oviedo, regional managing director.

  • Océ: Vario Print 6250

    Pictured below: Herbert Kieleithner (left) and Tim Saleeba (right)

    This lightning-fast printer is capable of printing 250 digital prints-per-minute duplex. Targeted at high-end commercial and corporate printing markets and customers with production volumes of between 750,000 and 8,000,000 prints per month, examples of the 6250’s work includes: office documents; flyers; manuals; books-on-demand and direct mail. A spanner in the works won’t interrupt the flow of the 6250. If a ‘rush job” comes along with must be completed, the machine is still able to commence work on this without holding up other jobs which are already coming through.

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

  • Print is staying in Victoria: government speaks about Stream Solutions print tender

    Placing the role of purchasing print in the hands of Stream Solutions is expected to reduce costs to the government by 15 per cent. This cost reduction was listed as being a chief reason behind the decision, citing statistics that in an average year, government departments spent $15-20 million on printing. Victoria is the first state government in Australia to employ such a system and it is expected that other governments will also follow suit.

    “This is also a more professional, transparent and accountable method of buying printing. Over a number of years, print-buying has become highly decentralised and not subject to adequate scrutiny,” said Andrew Hockley, director of strategic communications in the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

    Hockley also have his assurance that the decision would not be detrimental to the printing industry in Victoria. “This move should actually make it easier for small and regional businesses to deal with Government,” he said. “Printing is one of the largest manufacturing industries in Victoria and a major employer. Victorian Government Departments have an obligation to support Victorian printers.”

    The message was confirmed by Andrew Price, Ceo Stream Solutions who says Victorian and Australian printers have nothing to fear from the deal. He maintains there are many ways of producing the promised 15 per cent savings apart from lower prices. “Mostly we save money by putting the right job on the right press; a two-colour job on a two-colour press and a four-colour job on a perfector. That’s our expertise, that’s what we do,” he said.

    He also disabused the industry of the fear that Stream will offshore printing to Asia, by pointing out that less than one per cent of its work is currently printed in Asia, apart from work for its Asian customers. He said he looks forward to working with the industry associations, remarking that two senior executives of Printing Industries were speakers at last year’s Stream conference at the Gold Coast. “I look forward to inviting them again,” he said.

    Also, contrary to report here is no indication that Stream Solutions is about to be sold, if anything the opposite is likely to happen as Toll tightens its ownership by lifting its share holding to slightly under 75 per cent. “I think they like us,” said Price.

    After a six-month tender process, Stream Solution was appointed.
    let us know

  • Successful print deserves promotion – magazine article

    Print may be competing with an ever increasing range of marketing channels, but recent statistics show it still dominates advertising spending with 56 percent (or $1.1 billion) of the total spend in New Zealand during 2006 allocated to print. NZ Advertising Authority figures show total advertising revenue last year reached $2.22 billion, compared with $2.07 billion in 2004 – an increase of 7.2 percent.

    Looking further at the breakdown of these statistics, the print industry’s share has remained steady at 56 percent of the total spend since 2004. Going back further to 1997, the figure was 55 percent. Print is not suffering. Newspaper advertising has grown from $606 million in 2001 to $810 million in 2006, an increase of 33 percent. It is currently worth 36 percent of the total advertising spend. Magazine advertising revenue growth has been even higher with an increase from $166 million in 2001 to $251 million in 2006. Magazine advertising is now 11 percent of the total spend.

    So are newer avenues of marketing impacting on sectors of the New Zealand print industry?

    Statistics for addressed and non-addressed mail, available from 2003 onwards, show that this type of marketing is still in the early stages of establishing itself, worth only 4.5 percent of the total spend. Advertising revenue for addressed mail remained static between 2003 and 2006 at $35 million. Non-addressed mail advertising revenue increased from $56 million in 2003 to $64 million in 2006.

    Likewise on-line advertising is a small percentage of the total but with dramatic increases from just $8 million (0.4 percent of the total spend) in 2003 moving to $65 million (2.9 percent) in 2006. Over this same period, television advertising’s share of the total spend has fallen from 31.9 percent to 28.8 percent.

    More goes into the mix

    The options for promoting products and services have grown significantly in line with technology changes. In years gone by, the primary channels considered were an advertising slot on prime time TV and running a few newspaper ads. Not anymore.

    These days companies have added email campaigns, text or SMS and sleek, interactive websites to their marketing mix. Mobile phone users are able to subscribe to receive advertisements in exchange for air-time credits, which appeals especially to a younger audience.

    Cross-media options, such as a new service in New Zealand called Txt4Info, are taking advertising to another level. For instance, if consumers see advertising on TV, billboards, magazines or direct mail that features Txt4Info instructions, they can text to receive further information. This information can then be delivered by email, post or a follow-up phone call and may include brochures, vouchers, samples, pdf application forms or a whole range of other marketing material produced in the print industry.

    One of the benefits of these new marketing methods is the direct feedback on the impact of the advertising spend.

    Everybody should be promoted

    While our focus is often on helping others to promote their business, we should also stand back and look at how we can promote our own businesses and the print industry as a whole. The public profile of our industry is low and, for those who are aware of the industry, their perceptions are often negative – those of a dirty, declining industry with little future. We need to turn this around.

    So what can a print business do? The following are some suggestions that you may like to take action on:

  • Take advantage of every opportunity to speak about the industry at service clubs or other public functions.
  • Inform your customers about new products and services you can add to their marketing mix ie by holding ‘customer evenings’ to show off your print capabilities and expertise.
  • Take pride in the work you produce and enter Pride In Print in New Zealand or the Australian National Print Awards competitions. This is a great way to measure the quality of what you produce against others and, if you win, another way to market your business.
  • Become active in your Association and its projects and activities.
  • Form a relationship with a local high school or tertiary college. Offer to show students around your workplace or assist them with their printing needs. This is a great way to open the eyes of potential future staff to a career in print.

    Associations such as PrintNZ and PIAA also play a role in changing the perception of the industry. The associations are the collective voice of the industry and are actively working with politicians, business leaders and the public to raise the industry’s profile.

    During 2007, PrintNZ and PrintNZ Training will be undertaking a number of activities to support this role, including:

  • Making submissions to government on legislative changes that impact on the industry.
  • Educating business leaders and those in government about the role print plays in the success of all New Zealand businesses.
  • Promoting the importance of keeping print in New Zealand.
  • Actively targeting school leavers with information on the industry through newspaper advertising, careers expo involvement, holding careers breakfasts for high school teachers and acting as a liaison between printers and schools that have students interested in gaining work experience in the print industry.

    Everyone working in the print industry has a role to play when it comes to promoting print. So while we are busy printing the marketing material of others, let’s not forget to market our industry every chance we get!

    For further information on PrintNZ visit our website at website

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

  • Why clean and green are two different things

    “When it comes to printing, you would be surprised how many clients still ask for green when what they really want is clean,” he said. Peck points to a classic example in Britain where a customer asked for brochures printed on ‘green’ paper. What he got back was green paper all right, literally. But it wasn’t in any way recycled of environmentally friendly paper like that which the customer had in mind.

    The recent fad known as ‘green-washing’ – that is, companies who promote themselves as being environmentally-responsible to gain the kudos of being good, ethical citizens really wouldn’t know the forest from the trees when it came to helping save them.

    Peck (pictured) believes that this is something that runs rampant throughout the printing industry. “For a long time, ‘green’ has been associated with being recycled and in many cases now, it is neither,” he said. “Clean, as opposed to the marketing term ‘green’ is what they [customers] should be asking for and, surprise surprise, there are lots of clean green paper products out there of an acceptable commercial quality.”

    Peck says that at Sprinta, the company uses a range of default stock lines that are 55 per cent pre-consumer waste and 45 per cent fibre-sourced from either ISO or FSC-certified plantations. They also prefer alternative paper production methods and look towards totally chlorine-free (TFC) or elemental chlorine-free (ECF) papers. “TCF and ECF papers are now every bit as good as any other commercially acceptable paper,” he said.

    Most of all, Peck believes that there is nothing green about traditional papers. “Brown might be a better word to use, for all the smoggy air pollution they produce,” he said. “Clean is the best word to use; it’s the word we use and the word our clients use.”

    For more information about eco-friendly printing see our up-coming ‘Environment’ issue of Print 21 published in early June.

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

  • Quote & Print cater for the digital revolution

    Sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with all the new technological advances. From camera phones to blackberry, there’s not much that hasn’t been thought of. Dave Bell from Quote & Print responds to the techno jungle.

    Printers are always striving to improve the way they can communicate with their customers. They want to do it faster and more often. Letters were replaced by faxes that have in turn been replaced by email. You rarely see a separate fax machine in an office these days; they are usually combined with a printer and copier. If there is a separate one it is usually sitting in the corner gathering dust.

    SMS text messaging using your mobile phone is another great way of communicating with your customers and sales reps. It has the advantage that it is less intrusive than a phone call. Its biggest disadvantage to date has been the time it takes to enter in a message using your thumbs.

    Quote & Print have overcome this issue by adding an SMS interface to their software. Sending text messages to a mobile phone is now as easy as sending an email. This will be linked to our new workflow so production staff can easily inform customers and sales reps of the status of their jobs via SMS.

    Given the universality of mobile phones it means that every member of your staff can easily be contacted. Messages can be batched so that a message can be sent to multiple phones at the same time.

    We have also introduced an interface to Google Maps. Finding out where you need to go has never been easier.

    Visit us at PrintEx07 Stand 2024 to see these and many more features.

  • Take the CyraChrome Soft Proof Challenge at PacPrint

    Find out what soft proofing is all about with the CyraChrome Soft Proof Challenge at PacPrint05.

    Affordable, accurate soft proofing is the new frontier in digital contract proofing and, as usual, colour specialists CyraChrome are leading the way with its all-in-one soft proofing package comprising new Color Tuner 5.1 software with Soft Proof option, high quality Eizo ColorEdge LCD monitors and Epson digital inkjet printers for hard copy output.

    At PacPrint05, CyraChrome will be laying down the challenge to anybody with an interest in colour correct soft proofing to come and see if they can tell the difference between hard and soft copies being produced for a genuine production job.

    “The main requirement of a soft proof is that it should match the colour output of a hard copy version. That’s what we’ll be showing visitors to our stand at PacPrint, as well as demonstrating the ease-of-use that comes from using an automated soft proof system with auto-calibration,” said Michael Laird, CyraChrome managing director (pictured).

    “We challenge anybody to find another system that can match us for colour accuracy, ease-of-use and cost-effectiveness. I’m confident that nobody will be able to find a better option.

    “CyraChrome can deliver a complete, high quality soft proofing system that combines the best that the industry can offer in terms of software, hardware and media. No other system can compete with Color Tuner when it comes to colour fidelity and value for money.

    “Plus we won’t lock you into a proprietary system or charge you an on-going ‘click’ rate for proofs.

    “Soft proofing should be a natural extension of existing contract proof systems, not a separate system that involves additional job tasks or requires operators and customers to manage a new workflow environment,” explains Laird. “New Color Tuner 5.1 with Soft Proof is simplicity itself. Proof-ready files are dropped into a hot folder that creates colour-calibrated PDF files ready for automatic distribution and outputting at a remote site – all without any manual intervention.”

    To take the Soft Proof Challenge, visit Stand 839 at PacPrint05, or for further information about the full range of Color Tuner colour management and workflow tools, contact CyraChrome Sales or phone (02) 9420 8188.

  • Creo Screening technology – Staccato and SQUAREspot – Producing Better Printing

    Creo delivers advanced screening technology for consistent, reliable, high-impact print production in offset and flexo printing.

    Staccato screening produces high fidelity, artifact-free images that exhibit fine detail without halftone rosettes, screening moiré, grey-level limitations or abrupt jumps in tone – with no impact on RIPing or rendering time.

    Staccato screening also improves colour and halftone stability on press, making it a perfect complement to consistent “by-the-numbers” printing. When imaged with the consistency and accuracy of SQUAREspot thermal imaging Staccato screening delivers unmatched quality to proof and plate, making screening a practical tool for today’s pressroom, and an effective competitive edge for today’s printers.

    Increased stability means more vibrant, more predictable colour
    Staccato screening brings tonal and colour stability to the pressroom, by reducing variations in dot gain, wet trap, and colour contamination from paper. The random nature of the Staccato halftone patterns also means that misregistration does not degrade the look of the halftone, nor does it cause overall colour shifts in presswork. Unique halftones are used in each separation to prevent dot-on-dot printing. With this kind of stability, you can reliably replace custom colours with process screen builds.
    Staccato screens absorb light more efficiently and produce midtone vibrancy and gamut that is not possible with AM screens. Staccato provides near-contone quality, protects the purity and saturation of colours.

    SQUAREspot thermal imaging for reliable stochastic screening
    Conventional filmsetters as well as computer-to-plate (CTP) devices require a level of process control in imaging, proofing, plating, and processing that makes it difficult for many printers to deliver consistent results.

    Comparing the difference between traditional thermal imaging and Creo’s SQUAREspot thermal imaging. Note that round laser spots have gradations of energy from centre to edge.

    Creo SQUAREspot thermal imaging technology is the foundation for accurate and consistent presswork in all production conditions. With SQUAREspot, stochastic screening is reliable and practical for routine daily production. SQUAREspot delivers end-to-end imaging integrity from the original file through to the press despite natural imaging variables such as laser power, plate emulsion sensitivity, and processor variation.

    Smooth tints and quartertones for noise-free print
    You can print consistently smoother tints and quartertones with Staccato screening. Second-order screens overcome the problems with graininess and visible artifacts in flat tint areas that are commonly associated with traditional first-order FM screens. Staccato second-order dots are clustered into orderly patterns to eliminate low-frequency noise and inconsistencies that lead to visibly grainy patterns seen with other FM screens.

    Print on more materials, with thinner ink films
    Staccato screening prints with thinner ink films, making it ideal for printing onto a wide range of substrates including fine paper, uncoated stock, recycled paper, newsprint, plastics and metals. Shadows can be held open without sacrificing solid ink density, contrast or gamut. Thin ink films dry faster than AM screens, which improves performance on perfecting presses, reduces drying time with less setoff, and may help speed up work in progress and reduce time to bindery.

    Staccato screening meets the stability and quality needs of sheetfed and web offset printers. It is being used with great success in all offset printing environments, including web publication, directory printing, packaging, and commercial sheetfed printing.

    Staccato provides on-press stability for critical-critical work, helping ensure flesh tones and process colour builds remain consistent.

    Optimised screens for print, proof, and tone control
    Staccato screening is optimised for printability and smoothness. Unique halftones are used in each separation. To ensure consistency, the dot patterns are built-in and deliver the same pattern every time they are imaged. Pre-defined calibration curves help normalize dot gain to standard printing conditions. For specific print requirements, Staccato screens can be optimised with the Harmony tonal calibration utility in Prinergy, or with Tone Reproduction Curves in Brisque workflow software.

    Creo uses a unique 10,000 optical dpi energy swath to expose the plate. The laser spot is turned on and off (modulated) as it sweeps the plate, according to the 2,400 dpi recorder grid, to build each halftone dot.

    Simplicity for workflow integration
    Staccato screens are applied and calibrated in prepress in the same manner as other halftone screens. Staccato screening can be controlled from Brisque and Prinergy workflows, and from desktop applications that can assign screening to PDF and EPS images, pages, forms, and individual separations. It has no effect on RIPing or rendering time.

    Creo’s New Flexo Screening Technology – MaxTone™

    For high-quality flexographic printing, Creo offers MaxTone™ screening, a hybrid AM screening solution that overcomes highlight and shadow reproduction limitations. MaxTone uses high-quality Prinergy® AM screening through the main part of the tone scale. Highlight and shadow tonality is managed with larger dots that are more printable, and tonality is controlled by varying the number of dots using sophisticated FM screening techniques.

    MaxTone allows users to specify different dot sizes in highlights and shadows, independent of screen ruling, angle and dot shape. MaxTone is available in version 2.1 of the Prinergy Powerpack™ workflow.

    A brand-new technology from Creo, called ‘scaffolding’, complements MaxTone. It aids in the exposure of small dots or graphic elements on a photopolymer plate. Scaffolding helps to reduce the relief depth in between dots and expands the base of the shoulder so the dots are better formed and ready to stand up to the wear and tear of normal use. Scaffolding preserves the size of the dot and the intended tonality, but makes it possible for printers to work with smaller highlight dots. Users configure MaxTone and scaffolding to suit the behavior and leverage the capabilities of their manufacturing operation.

    For further information on Creo’s Flexographic screening Solution go to Targeting the print market of one

    Print is on the move away from its mass media background to the new personalised world of time-challenged, media-savvy consumers. Only by directly addressing customers are marketers able to cut through the blizzard of media that is 21st century life. Personalised print is the future of direct marketing and Fuji Xerox is developing strategies and tactics to show how it is best done.

    LPN is a Sydny-based multi-faceted visual communications company working across packaging, point of sale, print advertising, direct mail, corporate identity, exhibition and interactive design in both the B2B and B2C arenas. The company uses Fuji Xerox digital print technology for client projects when traditional printing cannot meet the requirements for on demand and personalised printing – particularly for those in the IT and packaging industries.

    Says Craig Stokoe, a partner at LPN, “LPN is working with its customers to harness the true potential that personalisation can bring to our customers’ marketing campaigns. We are creating new ways for customers to maximise their brand awareness and make striking impressions on their target audiences, and in the process achieving even better results than those utilising conventional marketing communication and printing methods.”

    LPN’s current personalisation-based projects include:

    Loyalty program

    For one client, LPN runs a loyalty program with a niche target market. Variable data printing allows LPN to issue monthly ‘statements’ with graphic depictions of member points-achieved, points-redeemed, prizes available and reminders of prizes already redeemed.

    Says Stokoe, “There is no limit to the size of the target market that can be reached with seemingly individually-tailored messaging when relying on the impact of fully-personalised direct mail; an enticing display of the recipient’s progress and pictorial reminders of prizes up for offer.”

    Prospecting campaign

    Variable data printing allows LPN to provide the marketing department of another client with ‘ready to go’ mail pieces for distribution to its sales force. Each printed piece is fully personalised towards the prospect with content altered according to industry type.

    Following printing, each letter is fully addressed, sealed and supplied to sales teams ready to lodge at their own discretion.

    “In this scenario, sales personnel are given control of the timing of the direct mailers and necessary follow-up contact with targets in accordance with their own schedules to support and fulfil subsequent orders,” explained Stokoe.

    “It is an ideal marketing solution as it maximises opportunities created by the personalised communication by incorporating the sales support into the equation. This is the essence of personalisation: recognising that the importance of customer communication lies more in who receives it and what eventuates rather than who sends it.”

    Mail/internet invitation

    For certain customer events, LPN creates printed invitations that feature personal URLs for RSVPing. “By leveraging the convenience of the Internet and providing each recipient with their own personalised RSVP page, we have found that it is easier for potential attendees confirm their availability,” said Stokoe.

    “It also provides the event coordinators with immediate and accurate attendee data that helps with planning the event. Most of all, this unique way of responding to an invitation gives us an opportunity to customise the customer’s experience and as a result, receive response rates that are well above the norm.

    “In addition to expanding our own business offerings, we are using pioneering digital printing technology to produce personalised, one-to-one documents in full colour to add value to our customers. In addition to heightening brand awareness and loyalty, this value is visible in bottom line success such as increased customer response and repeat business.”

    Suzanne Myerson, Production Services Business Group Marketing Manager at
    Fuji Xerox Australia said, “LPN is a prime exponent of what can be achieved with personalisation. Over a number of years, LPN has established itself as an impressive force leveraging innovative marketing strategies to help meet customers’ increased demands for a return on their marketing dollar.”

  • A Canon star is born at North Ryde RSL

    Using large format technology makes it just so much easier for North Ryde RSL Community Club to help its stars to shine.

    Whether it’s a cabaret act, touring rock band or some other form of quality entertainment, patrons of North Ryde RSL Community Club learn about it from posters designed and printed in-house

    “I believe we invested in this Canon equipment at the right time and that the investment has already been justified. I know our GM is very excited by it and thinks it’s one of the best things we’ve ever bought, “ said Michael Borg, Marketing Manager, North Ryde RSL Community Club (pictured above)

    Situated only 15 minutes from the Sydney CBD, North Ryde RSL Community Club is not only one of Sydney’s premier clubs, but also a club that endeavours to be on the cutting edge of technology for its members whenever possible.

    An example of this philosophy saw the introduction of a personal Smart Card in 1998, which doubles as a membership card for patrons. This revolutionary system was among the first of its kind in Australia. It allows club members to not only earn North Ryde Reward points, but also to add money directly to the card, enabling a ‘cash-free’ experience when at the club.

    Opportunity knocks
    When Michael Borg began employment as the marketing manager at the North Ryde RSL Community Club 12 months ago, one of the first areas of the business that caught his attention was the expense of getting posters and other marketing materials created for upcoming events or promotions that the club was involved in.

    “We were sourcing our posters from the outside and it was costing anywhere from between $70 and $150 per poster, depending on the size and the amount of design work that had to go into it,” said Borg. “So I could immediately see an area where we could significantly cut costs. Having an ability in design myself, I reasoned that if our team could design in-house and if we had the right printer for the output, it would be much quicker and more cost-effective.”

    Borg spoke to DES Digital Imaging, a reseller of many leading printing manufacturers, which evaluated the needs of the RSL. These included their specific desire to produce high-quality poster-sized prints in-house more cheaply than outside the business.

    Between DES Digital Imaging and Borg and his team, the decision came down to two possible solutions – the Canon W7200 Wide Format printer and a similar device from a competitor. Upon closer inspection of both machines, Mr Borg chose the Canon device.

    The 36-inch W7200 Wide Format printer is a professional graphic printer designed for high-quality and high-speed output. It boasts a revolutionary new high-density one-inch print head that Canon designed for providing incredibly fast speed with brilliant photographic output. Printing with an astonishing quantity of 7680 nozzles, the six-colour W7200 is the superior wide-format printer in the 36-inch market.

    “We went with the Canon as its output was fantastic and, after doing our sums, realised that we’d be saving quite a lot of money by using it,” said Mr Borg.

    Turnaround times slashed

    Saving money was not the only reason for adopting wide-format printing in-house at the RSL. Another key reason for bringing in the technology rests in the turnaround times that can now be achieved, compared to the prior printing arrangement.

    “Essentially, we’re able to design on demand in here,” said Borg. “Rather than sending our brief to a designer or graphic artist, then getting that back for approval, then sending it out to a print house, then waiting for it to get printed and delivered back to us – we can now have an idea and print the poster as soon as we’re happy with our own design work. It’s so much easier – and the turnaround drops from a couple of days, minimum, to a couple of hours in most cases.”

    He jokes that designing in-house is a much more pleasurable and rewarding experience due to the fact that the output is exactly what he and his team want. Too many times in the past, he explains, he would provide a detailed design brief, only to receive output that didn’t meet the requirements of his brief – by which time it would generally be too late to request new artwork as it would be time to go to print. In this way, Mr Borg considers the new situation ‘artist proof’.

    Savings are the winner
    While the number of posters created on the W7200 per month can vary greatly, Mr Borg says the unit will pay for itself in less than a year, a result he describes as “unbelievable”. According to Mr Borg, the estimated savings range from $60 to $135 per poster.

    “Although it’s not a steady flow of work that goes through the W7200, we’ve sometimes got the machine pumping – to the point where it will pay for itself within 12 months, easily,” said Borg. Although the machine has only been installed for six months Mr Borg but has been clearly pointing out its merits since day one, enabling him to make the Return On Investment (ROI) measurement.

    News of the RSL’s purchase has travelled far and wide, and he has shown the Canon solution to a number of representatives from similarly sized clubs. They are impressed when they see how it’s saving North Ryde RSL Community Club significant amounts of both time and money.

    “We’re happy to show the Canon to people in the same situation because we aren’t necessarily competing with each other, so we like to help them out by showcasing what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” he said. “I believe we invested in this Canon equipment at the right time and that the investment has already been justified. I know our GM is very excited by it and thinks it’s one of the best things we’ve ever bought!”

  • That was the Agfa year that was … 2005; John Shore’s Christmas message

    As the end of the 2005 year approaches I, no doubt like you, ask myself how has it gone so fast. Maybe there is truth in the sense that “the older you get the faster the years go.”

    Myself and the whole team at Agfa Graphics can look back on 2005 with satisfaction and for that I thank our customers and distributors for their contribution.

    As we have come to expect, each year delivers new challenges, opportunities and demands. During the past year we saw the release in the Oceania Region at the PacPrint exhibition in May of the :Azura chemistry free plate product, which has seen significant new business written in both Australia and New Zealand and provided a list of healthy prospects for our sales teams to begin their campaigns for the 06 year.

    We will see during the next year significant releases to both the equipment and consumable products portfolios that will cement Agfa’s position as the premium supplier to the Australia and New Zealand print industries.

    An example of such releases is the Q1 release of another plate from the ThermoFuse family, :Amigo. Like its stablemate :Azura, :Amigo will offer significant reductions in chemistry and water with the added advantage of it being a best in class plate in terms of chemical resistance and run length.

    Of course 2006 is an IPEX year and Agfa plans to make this show a watershed event in terms of productivity and innovation. On the productivity side we will enhance the JDF functionality of both :ApogeeX and :Delano offering the industry automated solutions in terms of process control and computer aided manufacturer.

    In the area of innovation our new Inkjet products will begin to come on stream. The :Anapurna (pictured above) will be a high speed hybrid roll/flat-bed device for the large format display markets, whilst the M-Press (below) (developed in conjunction with Thieme) will be a true digital press based on Agfa’s new high resolution inkjet heads. These
    products will introduce Agfa Graphics into new and exciting market opportunities that we do not currently participate in and, in doing so, these new markets will demand that our business equip its resources to enable the maximum gains to be obtained from this new technology venture.

    I wish you all the very best for the festive season and convey to you my best wishes for a prosperous and enjoyable holiday period.

    Regards & Compliments of the Season

    John Shore
    General Manager
    Agfa Graphics
    Oceania Region

  • DES Adds Two New Soft Proofing Displays

    DES annouces new additions to its rapidly growing soft proofing range- Quato Intelli Proof 213 and Quato Mini Mate Display, giving graphic artists, photographers, and prepress professionals the perfect colour experience.

    Quato Intelli Proof 213
    Large format work requires a large format displays; the Quato Intelli Proof 213 is just that- and perfect for anywhere that requires a standard true colour representation and a wider colour space.

    The Quato soft proofing solution will be particularly valuable for professionals who need to retouch images and have complete confidence with the accuracy of their screen.

    The integrated direct USB-hardware calibration adjusts whitepoint, gamma and luminance with 36 bit precision, based on 48 bit numerics. The user friendly iColour Proof IP software is easy to use and makes the complete calibration process a snap. The sophisticated software and hardware combined with the 30 bit colour output – ensures highly precise soft proofs.

    Key Features:

    • 30 bit internal and external colour
    • 36 bit internal precision with 48 bit software precision
    • direct USB-control of the 3x 10bit LUT and the luminance inside the monitor
    • up to 250 cd/qm luminance, contrast 550:1
    • iColour Proof IP calibration software and hood included
    • precise 4 – channel colourimeter optional available

    Quato Mini Mate Display
    The Mini Mate Display is designed from the ground up to be the perfect partner for Apple’s new Mac Mini. The idea behind this TFT is that the Mac Mini becomes a part of the display. The silver coloured materials equal the Mac Mini’s approach. The front glass ensures brilliant colours, high contrasts and it secures the sensitive panel from being touched.

    Not only the design is optimized for Apple’s smallest Mac, also the technical specs are developed with the small Mac in mind. A DVI-Interface avoids image distortion and blurred colours; the included Hub adds two USB 2.0 ports and integrated stereo speakers give more power to multimedia applications. The image quality of the 16ms panel and the Mac Mini adapted design make the Mini Mate Display the best partner for design oriented but powerful users.

    Due to its protective glass the Mini Mate Display is also well suited for education.

    Key Features:

    • 19″ TFT – 1280×1024 Pixels
    • 16ms panel speed (8ms grey to grey)
    • 24 bit colours
    • manual white point adjustment
    • 250 cd/m2 luminance, 800:1 contrast
    • VGA, DVI-D, audio and USB 2.0 2-Port Hub

    Quato- Perfect Colour Experience
    It is Quato’s aim to be the leading innovator for colour management, and to bring this technology to everyone working in photography, prepress and graphic arts sectors. Over the past two years, the highest barrier for colour management has been removed: complexity. Quato’s solutions make it incredibly easy to make use of colour-managed workflows and even more, it’s now affordable for everyone.

    Quato offers a range of colour management solutions including flatbed scanners, 35mm slide scanners, light boxes, calibration software, Intelli Proof and Intelli Colour Displays.

    Quato is exclusively distributed in Australia from proofing specialists DES; contact Russell Cavenagh

    (02) 9736 6723 for further information.

  • ColoRite brings the ‘right colours’ to large format signage sector

    ColoRite Equipment, Australia’s leading provider of hardware and software for accurate management of colour in all forms of graphic reproduction, exhibited its range of X-Rite and Monaco products at Visual Impact 2004, Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

    Colour guru, Trevor Canty (right) explains the black hole of colour theory to a vistor at the ColoRite stand at Visual Impact signage show.

    “Visual Impact, held this year in conjunction with the Digit conference, is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest trade exhibition for the visual graphic display industry,” says ColoRite Equipment managing director David Mulligan. “Like so many other sectors, it is going digital with the adoption of wide and grand format inkjet, sublimation and paintjet systems – all of which need accurate methods for ensuring colour fidelity.”

    He continues, “Whilst the expectations of the core printing industry with ICC profiling, digital proofing and colour management software are well established, there is a thirst for knowledge and solutions amongst the visual display community, and we quenched this thirst at Visual Impact 2004. We met with all types of customers experiencing colour matching challenges, and even sold some of our Monaco OPTIX monitor calibration kits off the stand! The large format signage printing industry can rest easy that the solutions to precise colour are available, and they needn’t cost a fortune.”

    Continuing the theme ‘Matches Made in Heaven’ – a reference to X-Rite’s promise to ‘Get the right colour, anywhere, everytime’ – ColoRite Equipment showed solutions costing from just a few hundreds of dollars up to sophisticated spectrophotometers complete with ICC profiling and proofing software. Some of these products include:

    Monaco EZColor – A very low cost software solution for matching colours between monitor, scanner and printer. Available alone or in a great value bundle with the OPTIX monitor calibrator, EZColor must represent the most fantastic value-for-money for anyone using computers for quality graphic reproduction.

    Monaco DCColor – Monaco’s software specifically for digital camera profiling and colour fidelity! A new colour target will also be shown. With this combination, digital camera files sent for publishing or large format output can now look as good as if they were E6 transparencies, scanned on a high-end scanner.

    X-Rite/Monaco Profiler Gold bundle – The best value bundle around for the serious professional operation! Featuring the industry-standard X-Rite DTP41 scanning spectrophotometer together with Monaco Gold ICC Profiling software and the OPTIX monitor calibrator, you get end-to-end colour management and very happy customers when they see how accurate their colours are reproduced!

    X-Rite DTP22 – The ‘Digital Swatchbook’ for medium-level colour management at a very attractive price.

    X-Rite DTP34 – The perfect densitometer for keeping large and grand format printers linearised and calibrated. Works on density, not spectral data so is quick and easy to use.

    X-Rite 500 series – The industry benchmark range of spectrophotometers and combination spectro-densitometers. There is a 500 model for all applications, no matter how critical or at what stage of the graphic reproduction cycle.

    David Mulligan concludes; “Shortly, we will be announcing an exciting new line-up of instruments, software, press side densitometry and direct-to-press inkcontrol; first previewed at drupa. Precise colour control is becoming easier than ever and ColoRite Equipment, together with X-Rite and Monaco, are right at the forefront of this trend.”

  • Passion Meets Integrity with new HP Indigo 5000

    High-end commercial digital printing company, PMI, installs the first HP Indigo top of the range engine in Australia.

    The Melbourne-based PMI, which is the digital arm of old-established printing company, Ellikon Printers, represents the future direction of the industry, according to director Chris Zapris (28) (Pictured at left with Tim Farrell, Southern Region Sales Manager – Digital, Currie & Company)

    “This is where companies will be in ten to fifteen years time. Our company has an innovative record and we have tracked digital printing technology over the past two Drupas. Since 1998 PMI’s digital volume increased substantially to the stage where we wanted a unit that could deliver higher capacity and be able to meet our customers’ expectations.

    “Our decision to go with the HP Indigo 5000 from Curries was based on three main areas; uncompromising quality, the ability to print on a wide range of media, and producing sophisticated products by utilising seven-colour inking stations,” said Zapris.

    He believes the digital printing market is splitting into two areas – digital document printing (product and training manuals), and digital offset printing – short-run publications, brochures and personalised marketing collateral. PMI is targeting the commercial printing sector where he sees the Indigo ‘electro-ink’ printing technology delivering a better quality result than toner-based systems.

    While recognising that there are differences between offset and the high-end printing from his HP Indigo 5000, he claims that on some type of jobs the quality from the digital engine is superior.

    “We have offset printers who are in absolute awe of the print quality we are producing,” he said. “Digital printing has never been at this level before”.

    Building on the 30-year offset printing tradition of the family firm, Ellikon Printers, PMI (which are the initials of the company motto -– Passion Meets Integrity) has developed a sophisticated print fulfilment business model that bridges all the gaps.

    In deciding whether a specific job is suitable for digital or offset reproduction, Chris maintains the deciding factor is time more than price. “It’s about fulfilling customers’ on-demand expectations. With our offset division to lean on, it’s easy for us to offer a seamless service. We cover the entire market spectrum – On Demand”

    The HP Indigo 5000 is now in its third week of operation at the Fitzroy facility and Chris could not be happier with the high level and quality of engineering support provided by Curries.

    The move into high-end commercial digital printing is a major step for PMI, but it is only one of a number of developments under way. Chris Zapris makes no secret that he has his eyes on expanding the business with a likely move to Sydney within the next 12 months.

    The print fulfilment market in Australia is about to see the bar being lifted.

  • Speedmaster XL 105