Archive for July, 2008

  • Starleaton shows off new Epson GS6000

    The Starleaton Digital Solutions’ booth is set to shine at this week’s Image Expo in Perth where it will run the new Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 for the first time in Australia.

    "We are rapt to be the first company to publicly show the Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 in Australia," said Gary Smith, Starleaton director.

    Running with the same Rip controller that Epson featured at drupa, the Color Gate Production Server 5, Starleaton will be printing live from the show for all of Perth to see.

    "It [the GS6000] is due for release in our spring but we will be printing away with it at Image Expo in Perth," Smith said.

    The ColorGate’s Production Server 5 is a scalable Rip that can work with most large format printers and produce impressive results, Smith said.

    "The ColorGate Production Server with the new Stylus Pro GS6000 and our range of Neschen solvent media makes durable UV-resistant signage production as clean and easy as water-based wide format inkjet," he said.

    "We welcome all signage producers to our booth at Image Expo Perth to see for themselves."

  • Library moves Australian newspapers online

    Sixteen national newspapers dating as far back as 1803 will all be available online by 2010 as part of an initiative by the Australian National Library.

    So far the library has made 50,000 newspaper pages available via a beta site that it hopes to launch officially in two year’s time as part of a free online service that will see 3.6 million pages digitised.

    Cathy Pilgrim, director of the Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program said that it would allows readers to access newspapers without needing to visit the library, or even leave home.

    "The primary driver for the digitisation program is to allow people anywhere in the world to have access to Australian newspapers," she said.

    "Access to Australian newspapers has not been great and we saw an opportunity to change this."

    Once the national newspapers have been digitised, the Australian National Library will then begin looking at including regional newspapers. "This will make our project unique from others around the world," Pilgrim said.

    Already, national libraries in Singapore, New Zealand and the Netherlands have undertaken similar projects, and Pilgrim believes that Australia will now be able to offer a similar service.

    "The digitisation of newspapers will become a routine activity in the library and over time it will develop in volume and into a robust process," she said.

  • Fairfax print centre closure leaves Tasmanians stranded

    Fairfax rationalisation triggers exodus for Tasmanian printers.

    After its merger with Rural Press last year, Fairfax has ended ongoing speculation by closing The Advocate newspaper’s Harris printing centre in Burnie, resulting in the loss of 30 full-time jobs and 30 casual positions.

    Harris printing will produce its last issue of The Advocate on Saturday 23 August and the plant will officially close on 24 August. From then on the paper will be printed in Fairfax’s Launceston site, where many employees have been encouraged to apply.

    But sources close to the Burnie plant say that many staff are saddened and angered by the news and that most will not transfer to Launceston.

    Donna Sargent, AMWU organiser said that the closure has had a devastating effect on staff.

    "Employees are shocked," she said. "The majority of permanent staff have been there for over ten years, some have remained for as long as 30 years."

    Sargent rejected claims that transferring to other Fairfax printing plants was a viable option.

    "The likelihood of these people finding more printing work in Tasmania has been significantly diminished and some have mentioned total career changes which is a life-altering decision to make," she said.

    Sargent also pointed to that fact that The Advocate is produced on web presses, and not all printing staff were trained in sheetfed. "Some staff have very limited experience in sheetfed [which limits their employment options in commercial printing] but to use web presses they would have to travel to Launceston or Hobart."

    One employee said that he was considering the option of working overseas, while another claimed that this closure reflected the bleak state of the printing industry in Australia.

    A spokesman from Fairfax was unable to comment as to whether there would be further closures to printing plants across Australia.

    Sargent said that the AMWU are currently looking at vacancies for printers both in Tasmania and around the country.

  • Web power group to tour Australia and New Zealand

    Best practice seminars on web offset production bring together an international team of experts on heatset and coldset printing.

    The Web Offset Champion Group, a leading authority on all aspects of offset web printing, is about to bring its highly regarded seminars to local printers. Set up by a diverse group of suppliers, the local tour will feature high-profile industry identity, Nigel Wells, along with an impressive array of international experts, on its swing through Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland this month.

    Committed to enhancing productivity in web printing, the WOCG tour is being hosted by international and local member companies. It is targeted at senior executives, managers and supervisions staff working in web offset commercial heatset and newspaper coldset.

    According to organiser Meredith Darke, the invitation-only tour has already provoked great interest with places filling up fast. “It’s not often the local industry can access this level of expertise in best practice. The line-up of speakers is as good as I’ve ever seen in one seminar. It’s got all the signs of being a seminal event for industry practices in the region,” she said.

    The seminar is focused on generic best practice — not limited to a specific product, brand or geographical area. The expert speakers will systematically work through the key issues and share their international experience.

    The programme is based on the WOCG’s best practice series of publications. The seventh guide, Total AM process colour control & alternative screening technologies will be launched at the seminar. In addition, research findings from some PrintCity projects will be presented. Attendees will receive high value reports and best practice guides.

    The half-day sessions are on:
    Melbourne Tuesday 19 August 2008
    Brisbane Wednesday 20 August 2008
    Sydney Thursday 21 August 2008
    Auckland Tuesday 26 August 2008

    If you would like to book a place contact Meredith Darke.

  • drupa wraps up and winds down in Sydney: James Cryer’s take

    The ‘drupa unwrapped’ roadshow from Printing Industries rolled into Sydney this week for a breakfast presentation. Alliteration addict, James Cryer, was there and came away with a belief that the industry is at a crossroads.

    A grateful gaggle of graphic-arts gurus gathered to hear an octet of orators opine on the outcomes flowing from the recently-concluded drupa 2008.

    As human beings we’re hot-wired to put labels on things and each drupa is neatly packaged with a moniker that is supposed to define its message or signify some signpost for the future direction of the industry. Like economic forecasters, they’re probably about 50 percent accurate, some of the time.

    Most of the speakers agreed this drupa is proving more elusive and no amount of name-calling or ‘nicknaming’  has successfully summarised the event. I feel several speakers got close when they referred to ‘integration’, but not just integration as applied to workflow management.

    I believe the real message was a new-found integration between hitherto opposing suppliers, many of whom now realise the industry requires such complex, multi-level solutions on the factory-floor that it’s impossible for one OEM to be all things to all converters. For the first time we saw the ‘two elephants in the room’ – Heidelberg and Fuji Xerox – not boasting how big theirs was (floor space, that is) but actually sharing the same floor space on the same stand. That would have been unthinkable a year or two ago.

    Many other examples abound – Müller Martini and Océ, Goss and Ferag, Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox, Hunkeler and everybody. All of this is good for the industry as, for the first time, we are confronted with choices of suppliers, rather than the traditional dependence on two or three dominant OEM’s.

    But if I was to define this year’s drupa, I would call it the year our industry came to the crossroads.

    Pictured above: The octet of orators at the Sydney drupa unwrapped breakfast: (l-r) Stuart Shirvington, Geon; Napil Abdel, Tharstern Australia; Steve Dunwell, Currie Group; Brett Maishman, Fuji Xerox; Simon Dodd, Snap Printing; Andy McCourt, McCourt Consult; Garry Muratore, Agfa; Glenn Plummer, Heidelberg; Herbert, Kieleithner, Océ Australia.

    For the first time the proprietor of a traditional sheetfed plant, when faced with the need to buy another press, will be forced to consider more than the Heidelberg/Roland/Komori option. Not only must s/he compare sheetfed presses with each other, s/he must now look outside the square and consider a digital colour press as a viable option. He (or she, sorry) must now look at the relative pay-back on a sheetfed offset press versus the return from a high-end, digital colour device.

    This marks a milestone in our industry’s evolution. It’s not that one press type is better than another, but we’ve arrived at the point where digital fills a legitimate niche in our collective service offering to clients. In fact, it would be very interesting for someone to pose the question: supposing you are a typical, traditional sheetfed printer facing the normal capacity constraints, and you know you’ve got to buy ‘something’, will it be offset or digital?

    The intuitive answer may be misleading. You may be inclined to get another offset press simply because most/all of your work is offset. But the analogy may be like Sydney Airport that lands a jumbo jet one minute and a Cessna the next. The mix may be creating the bottle-necks. Perhaps by syphoning the ‘rats and mice’ offset jobs onto a digital device you’ll be streaming both workflows more efficiently.

    Of course, one of the key determinants of ROAE (return on average equity) for a press is its throughput. Offset presses have historically gone for speed, not width whereas the inkjet brigade have gone the other way. But as we’re seeing, the very process of feeding a sheet is starting to impose limits to growth in potential press speed. I’m no engineer but I suspect we’re approaching the upper-limit of offset sheetfed technology at about 20,000sph. Any faster and you’re likely to send the next sheet through the roof – literally.

    Enter Andy McCourt with the new Goss M-600 Folia press tucked under his arm. What makes the Folia different is its reliance on reel-feed, which gives it an entry-level speed of 30,000sph!

    Glenn Plummer of Heidelberg could rightly claim they have the Cut-Star, which is a serious attempt to bridge the gap between sheet- and reel-feed; it kicks the speed up to around 18,000sph depending on sheet-length. But for whatever reason, the Cut-Star never really took hold here although there are several dozen in the UK and well over 100 sold worldwide.

    The ‘reel’ advantage of a roll, however, as Andy McCourt pointed out, is the much lower paper cost if you can browbeat your customers into taking a standard range, instead of the proliferation of stocks which we currently offer.

    But with digital breathing down offset’s neck in the race for productivity, it is forcing some long-overdue changes, all of which may result in the impossible dream of lower print-prices AND higher margins. Imagine what may be around the corner:

    * more 44-inch wide presses – say, a five percent increase
    * more perfectors – say, a 20 percent increase
    * more reel-fed – say, a 10 percent increase

    This represents a 35 percent increase in productivity without any reduction in margins.

    Now some might say, this is unrealistic, because much of the current throughput doesn’t suit a ‘big iron’ offset press. Quiet true, but I’m assuming that the unsuitable offset jobs have been streamed onto the in-house digital device, which allows the offset press to do what it does best.

    In fairness, some of the above may be fanciful. I return to my point that this drupa represents our industry ‘at the crossroads’. For the first time ever, we’re confronted with choices and options that we’ve never had before. We should view an offset press and a digital device simply as tools to do different job – just as a carpenter has a range of different equipment in his toolbag.

    I can’t help one final observation: at no stage did I hear any supplier boasting about his presses’ abilities when it comes to ‘quality’. Many other adjectives were used – flexibility, quick make-ready, more in-line functions – but no mention of the dreaded Q word. I think that’s a good sign.

    Finally, credit must go to Steve Dunwell for a rare glimpse of his true talent as a comedian with his suggestion that the recent birth of the Packers’ new child is the first case ever of a kid being named after a digital printing press. And if I ever find myself hurtling down the digital super-highway I hope to have something Napil Abdel described as a ‘dynamic dashboard’!

    Congratulations to Valerie Alderman from Agfa, who won Andy McCourt’s coveted drupa thong. That’s one mean feat – Ed.

  • Press Release Almanac: 31 July 2008

    Keep up-to-date with the latest releases and news. This week includes: Fuji Xerox, OPTI-Flex and Spicers Paper.

    Fuji Xerox Australia launches Colour Managed Workflow Solution
    OPTI-Flex and Flint Group Flexographic Products join forces in Australia
    Spicers Paper innovation gives designers greater Respect

    Fuji Xerox Australia announces its new Colour Managed Workflow Solution (CMWS), a combined software and hardware solution enabling colour matching across multiple print output devices, and the production of print to international standards such as SWOP, GRACoL and FOGRA.

    Fuji Xerox Australia’s CMWS is for print providers requiring high quality, colour accurate, standardised print jobs, across single or multiple sites. It provides colour management between offset presses, digital presses, inkjet proofing devices and other colour output devices.

    "The advanced colour management capabilities of the ORIS Press Matcher software is at the heart of the solution and delivers highly accurate and repeatable results," said Henryk Kraszewski, production colour marketing manager, Fuji Xerox Australia.

    There are two solutions on offer: standard and professional.

    The Standard Solution is intended for print providers with a single output device (such as a Xerox DocuColor 260 digital press) and the need to produce proofs or print to international standards. 

    The Professional Solution extends the benefit of printing to international standards, allowing print providers to also manage colour across a number of colour output devices – either all on the same site or across multiple sites.

    "For businesses with the requirement to produce contract proofs on inkjet printers, Fuji Xerox Australia can also supply the ORIS Color Tuner software for hard-copy proofing on inkjets.  User Licences are available for small inkjets (A3++), medium-size inkjets (A1-size), and large format (those larger than A1)," added Kraszewski.

    Users firstly create a device-specific colour profile using a three-step, iterative colour transformation process.

    "This measurement and calculation cycle typically requires three iterations to optimise results. The output device – be it a digital, offset or large format printer – then can accurately print the file within the desired colour space, such as FOGRA," said Kraszewski. 

    This iterative process produces a device-specific profile that is added to a hot folder, and colour management is applied to all files sent through the hot folder to the RIP of the output device.  ORIS Press Matcher creates a colour-matched file, having analysed the output native colour, and optimises the file to print within the target colour space.  Hot folders can be configured to handle the colour requirements of a specific RIP or colour output device.

    "ORIS Press Matcher can colour manage files from multiple presses and multiple production engines, either at a single site or across multiple sites," said Kraszewski.

    Following colour matching, users can utilise the ORIS Certified Proof in Fuji Xerox Australia’s CMWS for quality control of hard-copy proofs. 

    "Rather than using visual checks – which are subjective and error-prone – ORIS Certified Proof provides factual verification on adherence to international print standards," said Kraszewski.

    Using the supplied i1 spectrophotometer, users read the test strip (such as FOGRA) and the ORIS Certified Proof compares the measurements against stored values. 

    "It instantly gives a pass/fail indication on the screen. Users can then print a label of the key parameters, using the Dymo label printer supplied, and attach it to the proof. All measurements are stored on the colour server, with detailed reports, including a trend analysis over time, available," said Kraszewski.

    He added: "Fuji Xerox CMWS, with ORIS Press Matcher and ORIS Certified Proof, takes the guesswork out of colour management and proofing. This solution will boost print productivity and enables you to achieve great results."


    Since the beginning of July, pre-press and on-press service provider OPTI-Flex has been distributing Flint Group Flexographic Products in Australia.  This includes the market leading range of proprietory Flint plates and ancillaries – Nyloflex, Nyloprint and Nylosolv, as well as the Rotec Sleeve brand – which has been recently acquired by the Flint Group.

    OPTI-Flex is already familiar with Flint plates and Rotec sleeves, having promoted the range in New Zealand (and Rotec sleeves in Australia) for the past 10 years. 

    "We are very pleased to be finally distributing the Flint Group’s flexographic products in Australia," says OPTI-Flex Managing Director Jeff Hogg. "It gives us an opportunity to offer our trans-Tasman clients the benefits of an integrated technical and commercial solution – rather than a fragmented range of products.  In other words, a value proposition rather than an invoice."

    OPTI-Flex is already responsible for selling and marketing other reputable global brands such as Comexi and Apex in both Australia and New Zealand.

    However, Jeff acknowledges that there remains a lot of hard work to be done.  "This portfolio demands a lot of pre-sales, sales and post-sales support.  We’re conscious that our clients must benefit from what we deliver – and that requires attention to detail and a full understanding of our products.  We need to be sure that we continue to deliver to clients’ expectations."

    That also requires keeping abreast of new innovations in the industry.  Jeff and Australian partner Geoff Bastin recently travelled to DRUPA in Germany.  "It’s quite staggering the changes that are occurring in the flexographic industry," says Geoff.

    "Taking in drupa as well as the global headquarters of the Flint Group in Germany has enabled us to come back to Australia with a real appreciation of industry trends we can share with our clients."


    Following the huge success of last year’s initiative Respect the Spec, Spicers Paper is once again running the designer-friendly promotion in 2008, only bigger, better and more rewarding.

    Spicers Paper understands that specifying the correct paper is an integral part of a designer’s job-and their passion-to bring a concept to life. They know what they want and Respect the Spec is the ideal mechanism to ensure they get it, while improving integrity, quality, and accountability in the industry.

    Respect the Spec involves a designer or specifier registering with the Respect the Spec website and entering the details of their job’s paper specifications. The website automatically generates an RTS (Respect the Spec) number which the designer then gives to their printer with their order.

    When a job is registered on the site, the studio earns RTS points, which can later be redeemed for a wide range of design-oriented prizes to be put to good use in their studio, including digital cameras, a Macbook Air and even an all-important coffee machine. As point levels and prizes vary, both small and large studios can benefit.

    Eligible stocks for the 2008 promotion are two of Australia’s most trusted and popular paper brands, namely the Monza Recycled range of Satin, Gloss and Digital, as well as Splendorgel, and Splendorgel Digital. The promotion has been timed to coincide with one of the busiest times of the year for these stocks, the annual report season, so designers have plenty of opportunities to specify them, earn points and redeem some very desirable prizes for their studio.

    Respect the Spec will be supported by a range of creative posters, print and web advertising using the line "I’m a designer, and I know what I want." The promotion covers all jobs printed from 1 July to 31 December 2008.

    To find out more about Respect the Spec, go to  or


  • Top 50 paper people, but where’s our Tom? asks Andy McCourt

    There are some decidedly odd inclusions in the latest list of the top 50 people who influence the paper industry around the world.  The good, the bad and the ugly all get a look in but there’s no sign of Tom Park, CEO of PaperlinX, the world’s largest paper merchant. What’s going on?

    Tough guy, Teguh Ganda Wijaya, CEO of Asia Pulp & Paper takes out top spot as the world’s most powerful paper baron, according to the annual RISI survey.

    In fact, five of the top ten in the powerful paper people list are from Asia. Paper tigers? Hardly, given their reach, and top-of-the-pile APP’s Teguh Ganda Wijaya has certainly been surrounded by controversy over the past few years. APP is owned by Sinar Mas – a company heavily criticized for leveling the rainforests of Sumatra so they can plant palm oil trees, destroying wildlife habitats, villages and entire eco-systems along the way. Other parts of Indonesia and elsewhere have been similarly ravaged. The ABC Four Corners programme investigated this in 2001

    Five years ago, APP products were boycotted in the UK and Australia following concerted protests from groups such as Friends of the Earth.

    But, along with April paper whose chief AJ Devanesan appears at number 8, APP appears to have changed its tune, and maybe its practices, and is shifting to managed plantation timber for its pulp feedstock, particularly in China.

    Many other big names in pulp and paper make the list; from Stora Enso, Metso, International Paper, UPM, Bowater, Domtar etc. But where is the world’s largest paper merchant? You know, the one that shipped over 4.5 million tones of paper last year for a sales turnover of $7.8 billion? The one that operates in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania? The one known here in Australia and New Zealand by its Dalton, Spicers and Winpac divisions?

    The one with fantastic environmental credentials including the world’s first carbon-neutral paper, ENVI, certified under ISO 14001 by the Australian Department of Climate Change?

    PaperlinX. The greatest success story in paper merchanting this century and headed by managing director and CEO Tom Park – and his team of course. Now we know that some of our American friends think Australia is a small country bordered by Germany, Switzerland and Italy, where they ski like demons and drink schnapps, but just because PaperlinX in fact hails from a country that is the last stop before Antarctica where there are no trees, does not justify its being ignored.

    The good folks at RISI acknowledge that: "Our aim is to give recognition not just to the CEOs and company leaders, but also to people in all areas of the business who have a significant impact on shaping the global pulp and paper industry today," says Rhiannon James-van Beuningen, Senior Vice President, Media Products, RISI.

    "We recognize that with any listing of this kind there are no doubt people that we’ve forgotten or people that you think should or should not be included. Our aim with the Power List is to open a dialog with our readers and to find out what you think of the people we’ve picked. Yes, some of them are controversial."

    So we can look forward to a revision maybe in next year’s Paper Power top 50 list. 

    But in this list it is imaginative and refreshing to see author JK Rowling in there at number 47 – a worthy acknowledgement of the power of content-creators in promulgating paper-based information as a fine pathway to learning, knowledge, pleasure and entertainment.

    A bouquet of roses too for getting Mikael Nillson, print buyer at IKEA in there at number 50:- anyone who buys 150,000 tonnes on paper a year and orders 191 million catalogues in 27 languages is a print and paper hero in my book.

    Further up the list at number 9, Heiko Leideker, creator of the FSC certification programme that is doing so much to show how carbon-neutral our industry is, is another apposite inclusion. As are two other NGO chiefs, Richard Brooks of Greenpeace (#14) and Ben Gunnenberg of PEFC (#33) – an alternative certification system to FSC.

    Even a politician; the President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev is there at number 24. He presides over a country with 20% of the world’s forestry reserves and has a past career in pulp and paper with Russia’s largest pulp concern. He would be well aware of the illegal logging going on in the beautiful Taiga region of Siberia and Russia’s Far East and appears determined to stop it by imposing tariffs on roundwood exports so Russia’s pulp industry can be managed and developed to return dividends to his nation for this otherwise exploited precious resource

    In the meantime, here is Print21‘s own one-person ‘most influential in the pulp and paper industry’ listing – Tom Park, CEO of PaperlinX!

    Where’s Tom? Right here!

    For a look at the complete list go to:

    PS: How about suggestions for a ‘top 50 influential people’ list in the Australia-New Zealand Pulp, Paper and Printing Industries combined? Send your nominations, and why, to



  • Jobs of the week: Client Service Representative – Estimator, Port Melbourne

    Blueprint is a progressive modern offset printing operation based in Port Melbourne.  Due to our growth including the acquisition of GT Graphics we are looking for an experienced client service professional to work within our sales team.  The role encompasses:

    • Account Management of the companies house clients.

    • Assisting the Sales Representatives in servicing their clients.

    • Preparation of quotations and estimates.

    • Producing job ticketing and prepress requests

    The successful applicant will have experience utilising Printers Choice software or a similar package.  The role will suit an individual that enjoys working with clients and being part of a vibrant and successful sales team.

    An attractive salary package will be negotiated that reflects your experience and ability to contribute positively and achieve successful outcomes for the business.

    Please organize an interview by calling Chris Terry on (03) 9645 2722 or emailing

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 31 July 08

    Readers are still talking about Drago Zorec’s shock exit from the printing world.

    Re: Australia’s most internationally awarded printer, Drago Zorec, closes up shop

    At the risk of re-inflaming passions, are there any lessons we may learn from the so-called "train wreck" that was D&D Global?

    The vehemence of some of the recent spleen-venting suggests there was an element of … there, but for the grace of God, go I. But such shallow name-calling does not reflect well on our maturity as an industry and our capacity to see the ying and yang of life. Nobody is suggesting D&D was perfect in every way, but it was a fervent well-spring of innovation – something that should be admired in our industry, not mocked.

    We are an industry full of contradictions: we’re infatuated with awards, but when someone wins a few they get criticised for "chasing glory … just for the sake of some feather preening", according to one correspondent, last week.

    Another expert from that well-known citadel of marketing know-how, Bandicoot Printing, condemmed Drago for "constantly spruiking the benefits of quality over price" Hello? Am I missing something? Have we got it all wrong when we strive to offer value-adding benefits, instead of trying to flog printing at the lowest possible price?

    Sure enough, the view of your esteemed expert – that we should sell only on price and forget quality – was immediately contradicted by another correspondent, who accused the new Sydney start-up, Image Solutions, of under-quoting – and suggested in no uncertain terms they should increase their prices.

    So there you have it – on the one hand it’s better just to sell on price and forget about quality, but when you do sell on price you get into trouble from your peers.

    My point is, there will always be a variety of views on any subject – even the relative contribution that D&D may have made. But before we stomp all over the coffin in glee that yet another printing company, aka as The Competitor has gone, let us ask: what were the lessons leaned?

    First, I should declare a vested interest. I was the one who got young Jeremy Owens his job at D&D some eight years ago. (Jeremy wrote on this topic two weeks ago, and got his head bitten off.) Jeremy recalls working for D&D as an enriching and beneficial experience, largely due to the personal mentoring by Drago, which included the offer of tertiary education – and other training – to a young man who showed some promise.

    So what are the lessons we can learn from D&D’s demise?

    • it is bad to take a personal interest in the welfare and careers of your staffthere is no point in pioneering exciting innovations such as stochastic-screening or multi-colour printing"
    • it’s a silly idea to promote value-adding options and benefits over price
    • it is wrong to be passionate about print and to regard it as a creative process in its own right
    • there is no point trying to integrate print into other media so as to provide a "total solution" to your clients, and …
    • it’s a worthless exercise to promote the Australian printing industry on the international stage, as equal to, or better than, its overseas peers

    If that’s all D&D did, they deserve to swept into the dustbin of history and forgotten – so we may resume our normal way of doing business.

    But before we do that – quirky, idiosyncratic and occasionally exasperating as Drago was – is his model of innovation and striving for excellence any worse than going down the soulless path of commoditisation that may be the alternative? 

    W James Cryer,


    Re: University of Sydney print centre threatened with closure


    The NIPPA Committee of Manangement (CoM) read your article about the threat of closure at Sydney University and your treatment of NIPPA’s comments – we believe it is a distortion of what was actually submitted.

    There was nothing ‘muted’ about our response – or wouldn’t have been if you had published the entire comment. You ‘muted’ the comment by only publishing half of it and thereby denying the reader a full understanding of NIPPA’s position. Not once did our statement contain the word ‘Outsourcing" and yet you attributed that connotation to our statement through the use of brackets. The business model is a Print Management (Brokerage service) model which is what we actually said.

    As for "conditions of anonymity" – yet again a distortion. We asked that the comment be attributed to "a spokesman for the Network of In-house Print Professionals Australasia (NIPPA)" – ironically the same treatment you afforded the CPSU. Comments come from and on behalf of the Association through the CoM – something you still don’t understand. The last two times you have run articles on NIPPA you have misrepresented what and who made the comments.

    NIPPA is and has always been prepared to make comment – a fact you very well know. We make these in good faith, trusting that Print 21 will present them in a professional and accurate manner. Media outlets like yours rely on industry comments from time to time. It appears Print 21 leans towards negative stories about our industry sector. When Chisholm Institute in Victoria brought their service back in house we noticed you didn’t canvass any industry comments then.

    Your editing of the statement was a gross misrepresentation of our view, our words and our commitment to our member organisation. We feel an apology and acknowledgement, in the same forum as the misrepresentation took place, is in order.

    David Harrison
    President – NIPPA
    Murdoch University

    From the editor:

    One of the tasks of an editor is to preserve readers from having to wade through verbiage. The NIPAA statement was cut, but the missing portion is included here below so that readers may judge for themselves if they missed out on any relevant comment:

    There is nothing particularly innovative, imaginative in this business model and it is not without considerable financial, social and environmental risks. It’s a model that looks great in a ‘desk top’ review but doesn’t necessarily provide the savings and efficiencies first assumed. The actual resources required to manage numerous contracts, contractors and Service Levels Agreements should be critically evaluated and costed. To think the only cost is the salary of the person(s) managing the brokerage service is naive.


  • Jobs of the week: Account Management Print – Sales Development, Sydney

    One of Australia’s largest companies providing a wide range of print and business services to the corporate and government markets has an opportunity for an Account Manager to join the organisation due to the continued success and growth.

    You will be responsible for managing a high-profile client relationship and will need to demonstrate a strong focus on customer service and business development.  You will have the ability to develop account strategies and identify and capitalise on opportunities with a focus on growing relationships within this new account. 

    Your success will be measured by your ability to develop this client relationship ensuring all print work on the client site is managed through you.

    To be considered you will need to have a background in the commercial print market with a good working knowledge of the diverse range of print services. You will have strong communication and presentation skills. 

    You will ideally have a knowledge of corporate and government markets.

    In return you will join an organisation with a focus on people and career development.

    If you are keen to take the next step email your details to or for a confidential discussion please call Tracey O’Brien on 0419251298.



  • Jobs of the week: Branch Manager, Townsville

    Looking for a sea change?

    Townsville – you have the Great Barrier Reef right on your doorstep, no more cold winters! Long sunny days and short travelling distances, more time to spend with your family or fishing!

    Lotsa Printing is based in North Queensland, with branches in Cairns, Townsville and Atherton, fed from the centralised production facility in Port Douglas. We are a privately owned business with modern print and finishing equipment, the largest print operation in regional Queensland with 42 staff on the team.

    The position in Townsville is Branch Manager. The current team is 4 staff; this will grow to 7 to 8 staff as sales continue to grow in this booming city. Doubling of sales in 2 years will be easily achieved with an energetic person to lead the team.

    The ideal candidate will be:

    • From the print industry, knowledgeable in sheet fed products, both offset and digital, (we can train the digital if need be).

    • Able to work in a busy environment and handle many jobs simultaneously.

    • An organised methodical approach to paperwork – good with detail.

    • Comfortable dealing with clients face to face.

    • Have a keen sense of urgency to process quotes and jobs very quickly.

    • A good team leader.

    • Skilled in MIS systems, excel and general pre-press programs such as Acrobat.

    For a person who has not held a management role before we are happy to train the right person in the role. We have a very successful operating formula that works and it requires a keen, high energy person to capitalise on it and keep the branch growing.

    Remuneration is open to discussion and will be above industry standards.

    The successful candidate, once established, would join our senior management team and then take on responsibility for new branches in other regional centres.

    Please email your application to Peter Martin at or call (07) 4099 3364.



  • Stream Solutions conference kicks on again

    Stream Solution’s suppliers get ready to head to the Gold Coast for its annual conference, 8-10 August.

    According to Geoff Brennan, manager of strategic solutions, more than 170 attendees are expected on Friday’s strategy day which features speakers from Canon, Printing Industries, ANZ, Westpac, GASAA and Mission Australia.

    Saturday’s conference is anticipated to attract 130 members, and, Brennan is pleased to report, more companies will be attending this year.

    "There are fifteen new companies coming on board," he said. "I am sure that it will be successful for everyone."

    Compared to previous years, the formula for 2008’s conference does not differ greatly and, like 2007, sustainability and colour management will once again feature strongly.

    "The environment, sustainability and colour management are all very important to us," Brennan said.

    Suppliers will also have the chance to talk with paper merchants and GASAA during breakout sessions before the conference concludes with the Stream Supplier of the Year Awards.

    Print 21 journalist, Mitchell Jordan, is attending this year’s conference and will provide an exclusive account of the event.

  • Jobs of the week: Administration & Service Coordinator, Sydney

    • Currie Group, a leading & established supplier of a full range of printing equipment & consumables
    • Respected quality product lines
    • Challenging & varied role

    An excellent opportunity exists to join our service team, based in St Leonards, as our new Administration & Service Coordinator.

    We are currently seeking a well-organised, professional individual, who has the ability to multi-task & juggle priorities, in the busy & varied role.

    You will be working within our Service Team and will be responsible for coordination of our service engineers, liaising & updating our customers to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, ordering & following-up on spare parts, logging & monitoring service calls, coordinating installations of new equipment, invoicing customers and general service administration duties.

    The successful applicant will need to have the following:

    • Customer focused & have advanced communication skills

    • Excellent organizational skills, ability to set priorities & co-ordinate available time & resources for maximum effectiveness

    • Sound knowledge of Microsoft office

    To apply for this position, please fax your resume, to: Steve Dunwell, State Manager, on (02) 8425 7425 or email to:


  • EFI gets connected at user conference

    EFI gets up close and personal with its customers from around the world at a four-day Las Vegas innovative print management networking event.

    The Ready, Set, Connect User Conference opened on Tuesday, 29 July at the Wynn Las Vegas and runs until tomorrow, 1 August.

    Hundreds of customers gathered at the event for the chance to test the latest EFI products, voice their opinions during user group meetings, discuss industry trends and network.

    "In today’s challenging economy, printers need to find every opportunity to save money and grow sales … Connect is a great four-day boot camp on how to make your business more profitable," said Marc Olin, general manager, EFI Advanced Project Print Software.

    The conference also features exhibits of the latest technologies from companies such as Canon, which is hosting a break-out session very apposite for Las vegas called: Where’s the money? Adding measurable business results to customers’ document applications with digital printing.

    Now in its ninth year, Connect has not deviated too far from its original vision, Olin said. "Connect 2008 goes back to its roots with a focus on print management solutions and related tools, while continuing to educate attendees on EFI’s other powerful offerings such as wide-format and digital label printing," he said.

    "As our theme promises, attendees will have more opportunities to discover, innovate, integrate and thrive."

  • Australian Tenders of the Week, 29 July 2008

    ATM ID: RFQ-2690022
    Agency:  Department of Defence – DSG
    Category:  82121500 – Printing
    Close Date & Time:  1-Aug-2008 12:00 pm (ACT Local time)
    Show close time for other time zones
    Publish Date:  4-Jul-2008
    Location:  NSW
    ATM Type     Request for Tender

    Qty 3000 Ea – 7540-66-156-8653 – Form printed AD729 blank certificate, goatskin

    Contact Officer: Gina Gauci
    Phone Number:  03 9282-5484
    Email Address:


    ATM ID:  RFT 15/0708
    Agency: Therapeutic Goods Administration
    Category: 45100000 – Printing and publishing equipment
    Close Date & Time: 7-Aug-2008 2:00 pm (ACT Local time)
    Show close time for other time zones
    Publish Date: 20-Jun-2008
    ATM Type     Request for Tender

    The TGA currently is requesting Tenders for the supply, delivery and installation of approximately 30 Multi-Function Devices covering four differing specifications.

    Contact Officer: Pat Travers
    Phone Number: 02 6232 8274
    Email Address:


    ATM ID: RFT 02/0809
    Agency: Therapeutic Goods Administration
    Category: 45100000 – Printing and publishing equipment
    Close Date & Time: 11-Aug-2008 2:00 pm (ACT Local time)
    Show close time for other time zones
    Publish Date: 15-Jul-2008
    Location:  ACT, NSW, VIC – Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne
    ATM Type     Request for Tender

    The Australian government has initiated scoping studies to determine the feasibility of coordinated procurement contracts for major office machines (such as photocopiers, printers and multi-function devices), accounting services and desktop computers. Given this initiative the TGA has issued this Request for Tender and draft contract.

    Contact Officer     Pat Travers
    Phone Number     02 6232 8274
    Email Address


    Tender Title: Binding Services
    Tender No: SLVT044
    Tender Type: Request for Tender (RFT)
    Opening Date: 04/09/2008
    Closing Date: 05/08/2008
    Closing Time : 02:00 PM
    Status: Open
    Category: Paper Materials and Products

    The State Library of Victoria is requesting quotations for its external binding program for a three-year period from July 2008 to June 2010.  Library binding comprises three categories, including; current serial volumes, monograph rebinding and the casting of prepared text blocks (for mongraphs).  The Library requires an experienced contractor that can provide the full range of binding products and services.

    Contact Details
    Contact Person: Shelley Jamieson
    Telephone Number: 8664 7357
    E-mail Address:
    Reference No: SLVT044

  • Global glory for WA printers

    Two Western Australia companies – Scott Print and Prism Grafix – bag top awards in the United States.

    Success is sweet for Scott Print, which scored a Benny in the Diaries and Desk Calendars category at the PIA (USA) awards. The Benny was awarded for its calendar, ‘Food of the Gods’, which traces the history of chocolate over twelve months.

    "Every year we do a promotional calendar, but this is the first time we’ve ever won a Benny for one," said Andrew Neale, sales manager.

    The award will be presented in Chicago during October; while Neil is not sure whether he will make the trip to receive the Benny, it is a great honour for all those at Scott Print.

    "It’s very pleasing for a small business like ours to produce something with such a high level of quality in both the print and design," he said.

    Neale knows quality when he sees it and was not all together surprised to learn that ‘Food of the Gods’ (pictured below) had won a Benny.

    "The calendar won bronze at this year’s Sappi awards and I knew it fitted the category very well," he said. "But to say that you’ve won a Benny is a great achievement."

    Fellow WA company, Prism Grafix, also stepped into the limelight, taking out product of excellence in self promotion along with an award of recognition for foiling and embossing in the Binding Industries Association 2008 Product of Excellence Awards.

    Raj Vaswani, managing director, was ecstatic and wasted no time in congratulating his staff on their efforts.

    "The team at Prism Grafix was thrilled to be honoured and recognised by their peers on an international level," he said.

    The calendar, which won product of excellence in self-promotion, also serves as a brochure for Prism Grafix, and has taken on a whole new meaning after earning gold.

    "The thought process took a little while but the actual production of the calendar went off smoothly," Vaswani said.

  • Esquire mag turns a new digital page

    Electronic paper might seem like a contradiction, but American men’s magazine, Esquire, has made it work.

    To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the cover of Esquire magazine will feature electronic paper display (EDP) technologies. Ford will also feature its Ford Flex on the inside cover, utilising the same E ink Vizplex flexible display technology, in a double-page advertisement. There is a catch … the cover and inside pages will only remain electronically active for 90 days, after which they’ll revert to static artwork.

    "This cover is both a breakthrough for magazines and an expression of the theme of our anniversary issue," said editor-in-chief, David Granger. "The entire issue is devoted to exploring the ideas, people and issues that will be the foundation of the 21st century.

    "Magazines have basically looked the same for 150 years,” Mr. Granger said in an interview with the New York Times. “I have been frustrated with the lack of forward movement in the magazine industry. The possibilities of print have just begun. In two years, I hope this looks like cellphones did in 1982, or car phones.”

    The issue was 16 months in the making, and required extensive consultation between Esquire and E Ink in developing a version of its electronic paper technology that could be used in a magazine. During 2008, E Ink and Esquire‘s parent company, Hearst, worked together through a number of challenges so that when the magazine hits the newsstands later this year, words and images will scroll across the flexible electronic paper display.

    100,000 issues of Esquire will be printed and distributed. The anniversary issue of  is available in September.