Archive for June, 2007

  • CPI launches Print Guru

    “The guru has been many months in the making and a tool we have created to help agencies, designers, corporates, print reps and students gain an overall better knowledge of paper and print,” explained David Bull, director.

    Like a personalised calculator, the CD contains information regarding paper options for print jobs, inspiration and tips for designs, insights into printing and finishing techniques and a reference for standard paper sizes and measurements. The CD will help plan a print job, explain various paper and printing processes, demystify environmental jargon and provide inspiration for printing and paper users, including binding and folding options.

    “Paper and print is the only sustainable communication medium,” Bull said. “We have for this reason, and linking to CPI’s strong environmental offering, decided that a Guru and the holistic imagery was best suited.”

    Those wanting to acquire a Print Guru can do so through contacting their nearest CPI Paperworks.

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  • Candidate of the week: Qualified Printer, Sydney

    I have eight years experience including an apprenticeship at Prontaprint, where I remained for seven years learning the tools of craft, printing skills, operating and maintaining the printing presses and Pantone colour-matching.

    On a day-to-day basis I printed everything from stationary to local magazines with solids and hairline register work.

    My duties also included spending time in the finishing department, guillotine operation, packing jobs, machine maintenance and stock taking.

    In 2005 I began work at Security Print Solutions where I was able to develop my skills further. I gained experience of Security inks, setting split ducts and operating web press machines which we used to print bank cheques, security forms and event tickets.

    In summary I would appreciate the opportunity to further my skills in the Australian print industry.

    Benjamin Poulton



  • Users embrace imagebank 2.0

    The new-look imagebank has a number of updated features including a new interface, increased upload capabilities and functionality that allows users to collate up to ten images at a time into a user basket for easy bulk download.

    “It combines all the original features of imagebank as well as some very useful additions to provide users with a complete and comprehensive component library right at their fingertips,” said Peter Miller, managing director.

    “Our clients no longer have to hunt around for image files, nor do they have to worry about burning the image to a disk, then couriering the disk to their client: all this now happens online.”

    Features which separate imagebank 2.0 from its predecessor include its ability for users to upload as many as ten individual image assets at a time; search for images; create a report on image usage; set access permissions/restriction for an image asset and automatically create images in EPS, TIFF and JPEG image formats from an original image.

    So far, 2.0 has been well received by users. “Only weeks into its release, imagebank 2.0 is already receiving excellent feedback,” said Chantal Brodrick, marketing communications manager. “With the increased upload capabilities and user basket functions being popular features of this comprehensive online image library, users no longer need to start from scratch with their campaigns.”

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  • Pretty good year for Pacific Magazines

    “We’re thrilled and we look forward to the awards night,” said Nick Chan, ceo of Pacific Magazines.

    Established in 1998, the Magazine of the Year Awards are designed to recognise and award excellence and achievement in Australian magazine publishing and editorial.

    “The quality of entries received this year was as high as ever and in some cases higher,” said Helen Kingsmill, executive director of Magazine Publishers Australia. “Generally speaking the submissions are all of a high standard and there was a strong showing in terms of numbers and entries from the weekly magazine segment; weekly magazines have been energetic and well performing for the past few years now.”

    Sixty-one finalists were chosen from 268 entries. From these, Pacific Magazines has 19 finalists overall, followed by ACP (18), EMAP Australia (12), News Magazines (5), Time Inc. (4), Reader’s Digest (2) and Northern & Shell (1). Fifteen magazines have been short-listed for the Magazine of the Year award, which is selected from the winners of the four General Excellence categories. The finalists in these categories include:

    General Interest/News:

    NW (ACP Magazines); Woman’s Day (ACP Magazines); WHO (Time Inc.) and New Idea (Pacific Magazines).


    Shop Til You Drop (ACP Magazines); Men’s Health (Pacific Magazines); Madison (ACP Magazines); and InStyle (Time Inc.)

    Home and Food

    delicious (News Magazines); Gardening Australia (News Magazines) and Better Homes and Gardens (Pacific Magazines).

    Special Interest

    Slimming & Health (EMAP Australia); Australasian Dirt Bike (EMAP Australia); Australian Geographic (ACP Magazines) and Weight Watchers Magazine (Pacific Magazines).

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  • Melbourne web printer targets Queensland

    Mark Goss is the new Queensland sales representative of Singapore-owned TPA in Queensland. As the one-man show, Goss will focus on strengthening TPA’s position within the marketplace, specialising in web catalogues, large-run catalogues and magazines. “We haven’t been servicing the Queensland market for a while and thought that there was an opportunity for growth there,” said Brendon Coghlan, sales team leader.

    Goss, who has recently finished his MBA, is best known for his time spent at PMP. Depending on the success of the sales office, TPA may consider expanding the Queensland team. “We will assess the opportunity for growth as the office progresses,” Coghlan says.

    With high hopes for both Goss and Queensland in general, the expansion is a punt for TPA in a market that is well served by local suppliers. It is indicative of the increasingly national focus of web printing companies.

    “Hopefully it will go well,” said Coghlan. “Mark is a well-held and esteemed industry identity and we believe his contacts will make the project work.”

    “This marks a major milestone in the reengineering of sales teams within the Times group in Australia,” said Simon Fitzgerald, national sales manager. “Mark will be a welcome addition to the marketplace as well as the Times group.”

    Pictured above: Mark Goss (left) with Ken Alexander, general manager of Times Printers (right)

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  • Online magazine for the blind sheds some light on fashion

    Pushing Carson Kressley and the Fab Five to the side, the 24-year-old Sydneysider realised that there were three things which the visually impaired were excluded from: fashion, the internet, and the media. As a member of the blind community, he likes to break through stereotypes and encourage others to live a normal life.

    “There’s a common assumption that if you’re blind or visually impaired then you aren’t interested in fashion,” he said. “But in fact, caring about your appearance can help you improve your confidence and make you start caring about life.”

    While most people look to newspapers for information, those who are vision impaired must rely on broadcast media. Print wasn’t an option, but Ko saw no reason why he couldn’t start up an online publication thanks to computers designed specifically for those who are vision impaired which ‘read’ the screen to them. From here, Fashionable Eye for the Blind Guy … and Gal was born, and the response has so far been a success.

    Ko was recently presented with an award from Vision Australia for the online publication which is read by those around the world – sighted or blind. “It’s nice to know that my work is helping others and showing them that anything is possible,” he said.

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  • Book printers and publishers cry foul at PMP and McPherson’s merger

    Concerned that the merger, announced in let us know

  • International JDF pioneers make their way to Melbourne

    Held on 5 July, the two sessions are presented by Keith McMutrie, Tharstern managing director and Eamon Booth, product and development manager of Mosaic MIS in the UK. Together, the two will provide Australian audiences with information on the latest application of JDF technology that’s popular in the UK.

    Based on similar sessions held overseas, audiences will be presented with information that is relevant and useful, according to Napil Abdel, sales manager at Mosaic. “The attendees leave the session having finally seen something that is relevant to them, quantifiable and isn’t just ‘integration theory’. They can equate the process to their business needs, their customers’ needs and how it works with various plants and equipment,” he said.

    “We believe that when print industry suppliers offer connecting solutions, it empowers the printer to choose the best of what is available.”

    Key areas that the sessions will address include: the benefits of MIS; how to use MIS data to compare and evaluate key performance indicators; how the internet can be used to automate orders; print workflow innovations by Tharsten and Kodak’s graphic communications group along with a question and answer session.

    Small and intimate will be the key to the sessions’ success, and Abdel believes that the day will prove to be a positive experience. “We’re keeping the sessions small so that they are very much an interactive event,” he said. “We want to make sure that there is plenty of scope for question and answers. We’re proposing this will be the first event of its kind and will evaluate it afterward to see where we take it in future.”

    The seminars will be held at Kodak, Victoria. For more information, contact Napil Abdel on 0437 863 457 or

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  • The winds of change – people moving, leaving, news

    The sound of music lures Kelvin into retirement

    When Kelvin Kerney came to Australia in the 1960s, he was not familiar with the printing industry.

    Now, with more than 25 years’ experience, he’s decided to call it a day. The marketing services manager – machinery, at CPI Melbourne is one of the gentlemen of the industry. An individual of intense focus, he rewarded loyalty in relationships, was fair in discussion and conducted his dealings with the highest integrity.

    As a survivor of the tumultuous changes on the supply side of the industry, Kerney was known for his comprehensive files that documented the changes to the company he worked for, its place in the industry and the immense press coverage of the products he promoted. Such recognition is not likely to be replicated and will be surely missed.

    An individual of immense knowledge of the industry sector in which he operated, he enjoyed his influence in shaping the progress of the technology and its adoption. His understated influence was often the deciding factor in many decisions.

    Ever the committed soul, he describes the world of printing as being one of the most dynamic industries.

    “It’s a very exciting industry to be in,” he said. “In my previous career I was supplying equipment to a wide range of manufacturers. But in the printing industry you’re supplying exclusively to printers. There’s a real brotherhood that’s not out there in other industries.”

    The working environment at CPI was what Kelvin enjoyed most. “It has a very open management style and there’s a culture of getting things done,” he said.

    But for now, Kelvin has other work to be done. As an amateur musician, he’s recently joined a choir and hopes to pursue his life-long interest in music. “I’m approaching 65 and I think it’s time to enjoy retirement,” he said. “I’m looking to expand my musical interests; I’ve even got my guitar out again.”

    The printing and graphic arts industry has many individuals who contribute to its rich and varied character, but few will be more caring and particular than our good friend, Kelvin Kerney.

    If your company has new employees you’d like us to know about, drop us a line and href=””>let us know

  • A virtual look at drupa

    Launched by Printing Industries, Joe Kowalewski, national communication and technical services manager, said that while most people understood the enormity of the exhibition and the physical effort required to navigate through it, few had the opportunity of visiting their accommodation beforehand or knowing anything much about its location.

    “Although we have a range of hotel options, our base camp will be in Mönchengladbach, a surprisingly picturesque town close to Düsseldorf for convenience, but enough out of town to be a haven after a rigorous day bustling through the drupa crowd,” he said.

    “You can take a virtual tour of the bas camp hotel, Hotel Amadeo in Mönchengladbach and also tour Mönchengladbach itself from our supa drupa website on

    “The first virtual tour guides you through the hotel showing various room configurations, furnishings, hotel facilities and both internal and external views – all to the musical accompaniment of Three Steps to Heaven!

    “Our second virtual tour is less angelic and features a commentary supported video and a 360 degree virtual tour of points of interest in Monchengladbach. The tour can be viewed here

    Kowalewski said that drupa was not all about the exhibition. “Of course drupa is the key motivator, but once you are in Dusseldorf, in the centre of Europe, there are many other opportunities to take advantage of not the least of which is Euro 2008 soccer tournament which coincidentally will be kicking off around the time of drupa,” he said.

    drupa08 is expected attract the largest visitor numbers in its history. During the Printing Industries- Messe Düsseldorf drupa08 road show last month drupa08 Director Manuel Mataré, described the 2008 show as “XXL size”.

    “It will be the biggest drupa yet. We have built an additional two halls, and every square metre of space is already sold out,” he said.

    drupa08 will run from May 29 to June 11 2008. For registration or information on the official industry drupa08 tour packages, please contact Theresa at Printing Industries on (02) 8789 7322 or email

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  • Jobs of the week: Guillotine Operator, Sydney

    Reliable guillotine operator wanted at mascot please phone 97009929.


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

  • Book Club: Penfold Buscombe Print Buyer’s Guide

    To help with all print-related problems, Penfold Buscombe Print Buyer’s Guide, edited by Caroline Beinke, has answers to all those most-asked questions to get you out of any tough situations. An invaluable tool which caters for the needs of print buyers, designers, marketers, procurement specialists and their clients, the book has just launched and is available now to buy from Print 21 online.

    “The book is designed for experts through to novices in print buying,” said Print 21 publisher, Patrick Howard. “It is something that everybody should have, especially print buyers.”

    With chapters focussing on areas such as properties of paper; varnishes and special inks; embossing and foil stamping; coating, laminating and encapsulation; binding; envelopes and direct mail, Penfold Buscombe Print Buyer’s Guide provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of the industry.

    To buy Penfold Buscombe Print Buyer’s Guide and to browse the Print21Online Graphic Arts Library click here.

  • Anatomy of an ethical printing plant – magazine article

    When the opportunity arose for businesses in the Hunter Valley region to be involved in Newcastle City Council’s Cleaner Production program back in March 2004, the staff at Fairfax Regional Printers, Newcastle were happy to jump on board.

    “This plant has always been well-run and we believed that we had the environmental side of things taken care of as well,” explains Michael Aubrey, plant manager, “so when the council approached us we decided it wouldn’t do any harm to have a look at it.”

    It was a decision that paid off. Now, the plant boasts the enviable reputation of having significantly improved its waste management and water quality levels, among other initiatives. Having taken out five awards for Environment and Safety in 2005 alone, the Newcastle plant is on a roll, and shows no signs of slowing down. But trees don’t grow overnight, and neither do visionary printing plants. Let’s take a step back to when the environmental program was just a seed waiting to germinate.

    From little things big things grow

    It began with a free 24-hour waste audit which left no stone unturned. The results of this audit proved to be a turning point, and an eye-opener, says Peter Anderson, assistant mechanical services coordinator (better known throughout the company as the ‘Environment Champion’). “We started working out what we were throwing away and realised that there was a hell of a lot of things that could be reused or recycled,” he says.

    From here, the company enlisted the help of a local waste firm to help separate waste. This gave Anderson and his team a fresh perspective. “It’s sometimes good to get an outside person to come in and have a look at what you’re doing,” he says. “Just from segregating and separating all our waste we reduced our waste in landfill from 18 cubic metres a week to 5 cubic metres a week almost overnight.”

    Like all changes, things take time and Anderson is a firm believer in starting small and getting bigger. “A lot of people think ‘Oh that’s just a bit of plastic’ but it can make a big difference in the grand scheme of things,” he says.

    Savings by the pallet-load

    Cynics may read this and scoff, but Fairfax’s methods have achieved results. Take, for example, the installation of needle valve flow controls to the replenishment systems of the plant’s film and plate processors. This has reduced water consumption in the plate room from 40,000 litres a week to 30,000 litres a week, equating to half a million litres of water a year. PET plastic bottles that were once sent to landfill at a rate of 45 to 50 a week are now being recycled with approximately 300kg of cling wrap that comes in on pallets. And pallets, while good for transporting stock, often aren’t much good once the stock has been taken away. Frustrated at the ever-growing number of pallets left lying around waiting to be taken to landfill, a determined Anderson spent weeks phoning different companies until he found a manufacturer who took them away to reuse.

    The recent introduction of CTP is also expected to save money and water. “We were anticipating that CTP would reduce our water usage by about a million litres a year but now it’s put in and we’ve done the figures, it looks like we will be saving 1.8 million,” says Anthony Payne, general manager.

    No end in sight

    When it comes to savings, money isn’t the company’s driving force. “People have to realise that dollar-saving isn’t necessarily everything,” says Aubrey. “A lot of the stuff we do has a financial benefit and has been cost-neutral or actually saved us money, but we do it just as much for the social and environmental benefits.”

    Currently, the plant is in the process of looking at making modifications to air compressors along with automating lights and weighing up air conditioning versus natural airflow. These changes have caught on, and Payne recounts how other printers have followed Fairfax’s lead. “It’s starting to spread throughout the industry,” he says. “If your business has a poor environmental performance then you’re going to pay one way or the other.”

    Determined to stay at the forefront, the Newcastle plant don’t believe in resting on their laurels and look at the process of changing their site as an on-going task. “We don’t see the environmental program ever having an end,” says Payne. “It will be something that can always have continuous improvements.”

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  • Konica Minolta launches new bizhub C550

    Equipped with advanced print, copy, scan, fax, Box and other networking functions, the C550 has proved popular within the office environment.

    “The C550 has already exceeded expectations in terms of sales within its first month in the Australian market and while I cannot divulge actual figures, it is positioned in the fastest growing category in the colour MFD market,” said John Venett, national marketing manager.”

    Inspired by three core elements: communication technologies, open platform and design and engineering, the C550 brings technology, intelligent manufacturing and user-centred Universal Design together to ensure office efficiency.

    Design and aesthetic appeal is part of the C550’s success, according to Venett. “The C550 is particularly special because of its bold, sleek design and its flexibility in being able to provide high-impact, high-definition colour when you need it and cost-effective B&W when you don’t,” he said.

    “It has high-speed scanning options that allow you to move information between destinations and speed up your workflow. In addition to an InfoLine track device, enhanced security functions and custom finishing options, you also have built-in multifunctional features so that you have full print / copy / scan functionality right out of the box.”

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  • The other shoe drops – Blue Star buys McMillan Print

    The long anticipated announcement of the buyout of the McMillan group makes Blue Star Printing Group the second largest regional printer after PMP. The multi-million dollar deal will see owner Bob McMillan remain as a consultant to Geoff Selig, managing director of BSPG Australia. All 600 McMillan employees have been reassured of their future.

    The agreement, which will take effect from June 29, includes Canberra-based Pirion, whose managing director, Richard Gibson, has entered into a long-term employment contract with BSPG. The takeover boosts the annual revenues of BSPG to over $500 million, spread across a comprehensive suite of sheetfed and web-printing enterprises.

    “This agreement is part of the ongoing rationalisation and consolidation taking place in the Australasian printing industry. McMillan Printing is closely aligned to the vertical product offering we are keen to promote to the market,” said Selig. “The combined companies will report through me.”

    The deal is the latest move in a stunning rearrangement of the industry taking place since the advent of private equity late last year. Backed by major shareholder Champ Private Equity, BSPG has slugged it out with rival GEON, backed by Gresham, to gain the lion’s share of the regional printing market. Kick starting the process with its successful takeover of Merritt Madden in 2004, BSPG has countered takeover with takeover as the two giants snapped up mid-size printing companies on both sides of the Tasman. In its progress it has acquired such well-known companies as Link Printing, Kings Mailing Services and Craftsman.

    In recent weeks it has bought Michael Smith’s National Capital Printing, which now combined with McMillan’s Pirion, gives it an almost unassailable position in the federal capital. The McMillan takeover moves BSPG up a significant notch in the takeover status.

    “And no, I don’t think this is the end of it,” said Selig, forecasting a continuing interest in suitable acquisitions.

    McMillan Printing has long been regarded as the jewel in the crown for the PE-backed investors. A diverse and somewhat haphazard printing enterprise, it was very much the creation of its idiosyncratic owner who first put it on the market late last year. Recognised as one of the hardest dealers in the industry, Bob McMillan’s company holds some of the best long-term corporate and government printing contracts.

    While not necessarily valued for the integration of its equipment, McMillan Printing Group has led the industry over the years in many sectors, not least in print management where it was an early pioneer. The inevitable exit of Bob McMillan will see the industry lose another of the owner/operators who, while once defining the industry, are now becoming an endangered species in the face of consolidation from the major groups.

    BSPG is now the most comprehensive printing supplier in the region. Not only is it a major sheetfed printer and print management company, it also has a significant web printing division in Webstar, distinguishing it from its PE-backed rival, GEON. It has also had notable success in retaining the services and commitment of the owner/operators of the companies it has taken over.

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  • Bob Lockley is new printing chief for Fairfax

    Following the merger between Fairfax and Rural Press there was always going to be stiff competition for the role of leader of the printing pack. The enlarged organisation boasts one of the most impressive arrays of printing facilities in the country. Rural has 16 web-press sites scattered throughout the country while Fairfax has three, including the massive Chullora and Tullamarine metropolitan press halls.

    Lockley, formerly general manager printing at Rural Press is recognised as one of the most accomplished pressmen in the industry. Since his former boss, Brian McCarthy is now running the newspaper and magazine side of Fairfax, it was always likely he would get the job of extracting the efficiencies that must flow from the merger.

    The difficulty of the task should not be underestimated as the pay rates and the industrial culture of the two groups are very different. The Fairfax printers have a much more militant history than the Rural workers, with the most recent stop work incident taking place at Ricoh brightens up the lives of the Sunnyfield Association

    The donation is the latest in a string of long-standing support which has stretched over the course of the last ten years, accumulating to $750 000 in total. Ricoh’s latest donation is directed to the Ricoh Trust. Established in February 2006, the trust will help fund a five-year development program plan that aims to improve the lives of those living with a disability. The trust will specifically support the ‘Integrated Living Program’ which focuses on purchasing and modifying housing properties to meet the diverse needs of individuals so that they can live near their community and place of employment.

    When it came to choosing a charity, Ricoh were impressed by the services that the Sunnyfield Association provided for those with intellectual disabilities. “By the mid-90s, Ricoh was well established on Sydney’s northern beaches and decided to support a charity based in the local area,” said Nigel Shepherd, managing director of Ricoh. “Sunnyfield offered a unique opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the lives of people with an intellectual disability by encouraging their independence through work and by establishing group residences in neighbouring suburbs.”

    Part of the work that Sunnyfield residents do is also intertwined with the printing industry, where they undertake training on collating, packaging and mailing systems. Ricoh has in turn used them to complete some of its work in direct mail, which according to Norman Koslowski, marketing manager, provides positive experiences in the workforce.

    Shepherd said that the establishment of the Ricoh Trust continued a ten-year partnership with the Sunnyfield Association. “Looking forward, Ricoh is proud to be a strong supporter of the Sunnyfield Association’s exciting plans for its Integrated Living Program,” he said.

    Pictured: Ricoh managing director Nigel Shepherd hands a cheque to Sunnyfield chairman Len Thompson, with two Sunnyfield residents.

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