Archive for May, 2009

  • National Print Awards complete list of winners

    Here they are in all their glory, the winners of the 26th NPA, the Best of the Best. Check it out to see if any of your peers and collaborators have taken a prize. More importantly, have any of your competitors?


    Sponsor Awards:

    • Heidelberg Award for Excellence in Craft – Printpoint Australia
    • The PaperlinX Award, for Outstanding Excellence –  Manark Printing
    • Currie Group Award for the Most Innovative use of Imaging in Printing –  Peachy Print

    Gold Winners:

    • Adams Print – Booklets, catalogues and magazines bound by any method but saddle-stitching
    • Armstrong Miller & McLaren – Self promotion
    • Armstrong Miller McLaren, The Digital Centre – Digital printing inkjet
    • Avon Graphics – Embellishment
    • Bambra Press – Leaflet and folders
    • Bambra Press – Booklets, catalogues and magazines saddle-stitched
    • Bambra Press – Digital printing electrophotographic
    • D & D Colour Printing – Stationery
    • Eastern Press – Limited editions
    • Energi Print – Security printing
    • Finsbury Green – Commercial posters, showcards, card constructions and mobiles
    • Geon Group Melbourne – Die-cut presentation folders.
    • Hannanprint NSW – Web offset publications with a cover price.
    • Hannanprint Victoria – Web offset coated stock press finished.
    • Kingfisher Cutler Brands – Screen printing.
    • Labelmakers – Labels
    • Lilyfield Printing – Calendars
    • Manark Printing – Multi-piece productions and campaigns (including direct mail)
    • Newstyle Printing – Specialty or “special” printing
    • Offset Alpine Printing – Web offset un-coated stock.
    • Peachy Print – Small printing business awards les than 10 staff
    • Pettaras Press – Annual reports
    • Pettaras Press – Packaging
    • Pilpel Print – Postcards and greeting cards
    • PMP Print – Web offset coated stock off-line finished.
    • Printpoint Australia – Book printing
    • Studio Labels – Flexographic printing on any substrate.
    • Toth Bienk – One, two or three colour printing

    Silver Winners:

    • Aperio Finewrap Division (Oakleigh) – Flexographic printing on any substrate.
    • Avon Graphics – Embellishment
    • Bayfield Printing – Postcards and greeting cards
    • Blue Star Print NSW – Booklets, catalogues and magazines saddle-stitched
    • Cadillac Printing (Text) & Graphic Print Group (Cover) – Web offset publications with a cover price.
    • Courtney – Commercial posters, showcards, card constructions and mobiles
    • Craft Inprint Brisbane – Web offset coated stock off-line finished.
    • Finsbury Green – One, two or three colour printing
    • Finsbury Green – Booklets, catalogues and magazines bound by any method but saddle-stitching
    • Finsbury Green – Annual reports
    • Finsbury Green – Packaging
    • Fireworks Digital – Specialty or “special” printing
    • GEON Advance – PressStationery
    • Graphic Print Group – Calendars
    • Hannanprint Victoria – Web offset un-coated stock.
    • Hyde Park Press – Multi-piece productions and campaigns (including direct mail)
    • Illustrations – Digital printing inkjet
    • Imatec (WA) – Digital printing electrophotographic
    • Paragon Printers – Book printing
    • Pettaras Press – Book printing
    • Picton Press – Leaflet and folders
    • Platypus Graphics – Embellishment
    • PMP Print – Web offset coated stock press finished.
    • Redlabels – Labels
    • Scott Print – Die-cut presentation folders.
    • Scott Print – Self promotion
    • Spectra Litho – Small printing business awards les than 10 staff
    • Sydney Allen Printers – Limited editions
    • The Works Printing Group – Screen printing.

    Bronze Winners: 

    • Bambra Press – Book printing
    • Cadillac Printing – Web offset un-coated stock.
    • Clear Image Labels – Labels
    • Colorcorp – Screen printing.
    • ColourWise Reproductions – Digital printing electrophotographic
    • CPX Printing & Logistics – Embellishment
    • Digital Press – Self promotion
    • Finsbury Green – Postcards and greeting cards
    • Finsbury Green – Packaging
    • Fireworks Digital – Specialty or “special” printing
    • Foot & Playsted – One, two or three colour printing
    • GEON Advance Press – Booklets, catalogues and magazines saddle-stitched
    • GEON Advance Press – Annual reports
    • GEON Tasmania – Leaflet and folders aneys Performers in Print
    • Die-cut presentation folders.
    • Kwik Kopy Norwood – Digital printing inkjet
    • Picton Press – Multi-piece productions and campaigns (including direct mail)
    • Platypus Graphics – Commercial posters, showcards, card constructions and mobiles
    • Platypus Graphics – Booklets, catalogues and magazines bound by any method but saddle-stitching
    • PMP Print – Web offset publications with a cover price.
    • Printskill – Small printing business awards les than 10 staff
    • Screen Offset – Calendars
    • Screencheck Australia – Security printing
    • Toth Bienk – Stationery
    • Webster – Web offset coated stock off-line finished.


  • State of the industry: Andy Vels Jensen tells it straight at the NPA National Print

    Each year, Andy Vels Jensen, (or as he now likes to be known, Rock Bottom), managing director of Heidelberg Australia New Zealand, uses the printing awards to offer his insights into the state-of-the-nation. 2009 National Print Awards was no exception. Pithy and to the point, with trademark humour here is what he said.

    Good evening. My name is Andy Jensen and I work for a non-profit organisation.

    The 2008 world of print was not at all enjoyable. In fact it was downright unpleasant and one I could have done without. But then again maybe not, as it resulted in some positive changes within Heidelberg; one change being that I have asked my team to in future address me by my wrestling name: Rock Bottom.

    I keep hearing that there’s no money in print: until last year, you could have fooled me. It seems someone forgot to tell VistaPrint in the USA:

    •    Quarter to December revenue of $139 million (up 32 per cent)
    •    Gross margin of 65 per cent and net income of $ 18.5 million (up 66 per cent)
    •    CAPEX of $ 27.3 million (almost 20 per cent of revenue) and
    •    $111 million cash in the bank.

    And yes, they are in print, but they offer a value proposition beyond print and they understand operational excellence. So, even in times of a recession companies involved in print are achieving success.

    This tells me that it’s not print which will become obsolete,  rather it’s some of the printers and owners, should they fail to create new business models around print. You can’t avoid the recession but depression is definitely optional.

    Recessions are unpleasant and they always bring big changes. We believe that over the next 15 months the number of printers in ANZ will be reduced by at least 15 per cent from where we are today.
    The number of suppliers will equally reduce. But, don’t be concerned, it’s not you; it’s always someone else …

    However, one could be forgiven for thinking that these days the only bank willing to do business with our industry on reasonable terms is the blood bank and the sperm bank.

    The make-up of our market has changed dramatically over the years and it’s not slowing down any time soon. Printers from ANZ will invest in Asia Pacific and overseas groups will move into our market.

    A few new print groups will emerge, while others will grow even bigger and some may disappear. If you intend putting up the For Sale sign, keep in mind the old advice:

    “Beware on which toes you step, as the toes may be carried by legs, which are supporting an ass that you may have to kiss tomorrow.”

    The good news is that the printers still standing a year from now will have managed the difficult task of evolving from the recession and market changes, more profitable, stronger and better positioned than before.

    Getting big isn’t necessarily the only great gig in town. There are plenty of opportunities for small-to medium-sized companies to prosper, even in times of a recession; in fact fantastic opportunities. Especially if you are flexible, maintain personal customer relationships, provide service and pursue new innovative ways in which to provide communication alternatives and print to customers. In other words, strive towards operational excellence.

    And a great industry it is. A recent survey by Print21 Online reports it’s a clean industry. Few printers do drugs. No need, the printers say; they get almost the same affect by just working in the industry.

    Speaking of addictions, a common challenge in our industry has been for printers to increase their prices. We are told that print-selling prices have gone down 33 consecutive quarters. That’s eight years! A worrying sign given that the cost to produce has only increased.

    One problem we have is that there are still printers out there who believe that by continuously lowering their prices they must, eventually, find enough ignorant buyers so as to create some real sales volume. What’s the point? It’s like kamikaze pilots wearing helmets!

    These ignorant buyers can only afford paying very little if they don’t have to pay on time or pay at all. So, it can come as no surprise to anyone that a few print brokers recently went bust, owing printers and suppliers millions of dollars.

    Not only did these print brokers eat the lunch of printers, they actually managed to charge them for the lunch too. Maybe printers in future should find a print broker they don’t like, pay them money upfront and never print the job … At least they save the paper and can promote themselves as being a waterless, inkless, and paperless green environmentally friendly printer.
    The message being, you can’t sell yourself out of your trouble and if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

    And yes, I hear you snickering at the back and I admit it, Heidelberg also managed to stuff up this year.

    Increasing price has never been easy but it has to be top priority for any company wanting to survive. It goes without saying that any demand for a price increase will fall on deaf ears if your customer believes you have excessive costs and you have done nothing to respond to the economic crisis and shifting customer needs.

    Why should buyers pay for your inefficiencies or inability to improve?You need to understand the dynamics of your own business and in light of the changed market conditions; you need to make the hard calls. As a minimum you need to understand what it costs you to produce.

    Your customer has chosen print to communicate with an audience and it is your responsibility, as a printer, as a business person and as an industry member, to prove to your buyer that the decision to use print was the correct choice.

    At PacPrint the suppliers to this industry have tried to put on display not only hardware and software that can help you achieve operational excellence, but also tools that will help you drive efficiency improvements on your factory floor and in your people.

    Ultimately, it’s the people who excite the interest of customers in companies. It’s the people who extract the productivity from technology. And those who succeed in tough times are the companies who employ innovative people that identify with the company and who are capable of reacting swiftly to market changes and customer requirements.

    Of course, you don’t have to come to PacPrint for this advice, the easiest thing is to call up consultants and bring them into your business. But as you know, consultants are known to borrow your watch to tell you the time.

    Our aim at PacPrint has been to take your watch and ask you to describe it, after which we try to present you with your options, leaving you to tell us the time. Unlike the consultants, we are a soft bunch and just like you, we offer our services at amazingly low prices and may even not charge you!
    So why not take advantage of this at PacPrint?

    Move too slowly and you will miss the opportunity to be different and the chance to make a move on your competition. Indecision is definitely not the key to flexibility and although it may seem new to you, don’t worry, it only seems kinky the first time!

    Not only is print the most reliable and honest medium to convey images, messages and ideas, print creates awareness, print sells and is the most environmental friendly way of communication known to man-kind.

    Our industry has been king hit and the industry is shedding jobs at a very high rate and Canberra doesn’t know, don’t listen or don’t care. Last year Canberra’s response to the crisis was to cut their ad spend in half, saving taxpayers $ 100 million!

    This makes no sense when, at the same time, 17 of the top 25 advertisers increased their ad spend.

    It seems the only headline we as an industry make is when a printer hires Chinese immigrants and underpays them or when a Heidelberg press is featured in a Hollywood movie (Milk). Is it because Canberra and others can’t hear us?

    And if they can hear us, is it because they are getting different and sometimes conflicting messages from the many organisations we have today in our fragmented industry?

    Maybe we need to moan more, some may say less; however, the key has to be that we moan in concert so as to be truly heard. Drastic times calls for drastic measures so as to be heard.

    Short of inviting a Cronulla star player to attend a Women in Print function, my call for 2009 would be one industry organisation, representing the total industry and backed by all 100,000-plus industry members.

    The Print Media Association of Australia sounds like a fitting name … just to make sure we don’t upset anyone!

  • David Currie steps up for the National Print Awards

    The largest privately owned graphics supply company in the region, Currie Group, celebrates its 60th anniversary by becoming an NPA sponsor.

    In an emotional inaugural speech to the 800 guests at the Palladium in Crown Casino, David Curie expressed his pride in being in the postion to support the industry awards. He made reference to his father, company-founder William (Bill) Currie, sure that he too would be proud of how far the company has come.
    “The journey my father started 60 years ago still continues and I’m sure if he were with us today he would see this as one of the major milestones.”
    Reflecting on the changes he has witnessed in his own 40 years in the industry, he pointed out that although major players may come and go, “the game remains the same – dedicated people producing quality printing ever faster and ever less expensively. Or so it seems.

    “Although we are a much smaller industry now, the volume of print remans relatively stable. Technology has allowed fewer players to produce more and varied products. Some of these products, such as variable imaging and quality personalisation, were not possible in the past, but now allow us to add value back into printing.”

    Looking to the future he expressed his confidence in the ongoing viability of printing and the industry. “Giant companies such as HP are committing enormous resources for the long term to the development and promotion of ink on paper, and not just for the paperless office.”

    The arrival of the Currie Group as a sponsor of the NPA is a significant bellwether of the shifting terms of trade and the commercial relativities of the supply side of the industry. It is not an inexpensive commitment for any company to make, especially in these tough times and it should be gratifying to all that a locally-owned enterprise is able to step up to the mark.

  • Currie and HP Indigo go back to school at RMIT

    The gift of a new HP Indigo and a four-colour Shinohara press almost bowled over Robert Black, principal of the graphic arts college.

    It’s not every day that a school gets over a million dollars worth of the latest printing technology but David Currie took the opportunity at PacPrint. Celebrating his company’s 60th anniversary and its long-term association with the printing college, he put together a special gift to mark the occasion.

    Leaving it to Steve Donegal, HP Indigo Asia Pacific, and Phil Rennell, digital manager Currie Group to do the honours, he has made it possible for RMIT to remain at the cutting edge of technology. The ceremony in front of a large audience came after a marvellous set by songster, Russell Morris, from the back of the Currie Colour Express truck.

    Illustrating all that is best and generous in the industry, the donation is the latest in a long tradition of equipment and consumables support that the family-owned supplier has contributed over its 60 years. It is a tradition that Donegal (pictured on left with Robert Black and Phil Rennell) was pleased to join in on behalf of the IT giant.

    He said it was an investment in the future of the industry, highlighting how important it is for large corporations to play their part in ensuring the continuing supply of well educated graphic arts professionals.

    As far as Robert Black was concerned the magnitude of the gift was almost overwhelming. He made the point that RMIT could only exist through the support of industry suppliers such as Currie Group and HP.
    He was effusive in his thanks to David Currie for his personal involvement over the years.

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 3 June 2009

    There’s a flood of letters this week: one reader laments the loss of more jobs at PMP, another raises questions over the training of prepress courses while Andy McCourt’s letter to Reed Exhibitions earns him considerable praise.

    I operate a recruitment agency in the printing industry and have been going for more than 22 years. I notice that you haven’t mentioned anywhere in the latest issue of Print21online (or maybe you were unaware) that despite all the good news coming out of PacPrint that Australia’s largest print group, PMP, has just shed another 25 jobs.

    I was contacted by one of the retrenched staff – a planner /estimator who has been with them for a number of years. He said that they had been advised after the last round of sackings that their jobs were secure – apparently not so!

    The good news is that my agency has placed some good salespeople in the last month into very good positions with both large and small printers, and I am in the process of filling a couple of others – so it is not all doom-and- gloom.

    Darryl Calderwood
    Calderwood Print Recruitment

    Re: Prepress training
    In NSW there are five private training institutes so far accredited with several others under consideration. This is in addition to at least 16 in Victoria, six in South Australia, plus others similar in number in Western Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory. This could provide an overall potential number of prepress operatives graduates of around 7,000.
    One must seriously question the rationale in delivering so many prepress graduates onto the streets, when severe consolidation of the industry has occurred which has dramatically reduced the number of people that the industry can today absorb. The reality is that the industry overall has dramatically slowed output, and with the impact of computer driven technologies, the old industry dynamics have changed. The result is, while the industry is still recruiting, the needs are for people with greater skill sets, but fewer in number.
    In NSW, the industry has only employed single digit number of apprentices this year with similar trends around the country. The numerous private providers threatening to pour such an excess of graduates onto the street must indeed be questioned.
    In NSW there is a potential for around 1000 graduates from the private providers this year alone. This translates as approximately I industry position per 142 students. Nation wide this would be an estimated average of 60 students per position in industry.
    Of particular concern is the training delivery environment provided by the new Registered Training Organisations (RTO). The Graphic Arts Industry Training Package sets out the rules for training and assessment. It also identifies the material resources needed for training.
    To assist, a detailed training plan is required to be negotiated between the RTO and the enterprise. This forms a stark contrast with the new RTO’s, where the training is conducted almost entirely as an institution classroom based program deficient of any meaningful industry workflow engagement.

    There is also the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). This sets out the intellectual standards required for formal training from the RTO and what should be expected from the enterprise. The Training Package and the AQF therefore combine to ensure the skills development meets industry standards and importantly at the end of training, the Certificate III graduate is indeed “work ready” i.e. employable. 

    A crucial aspect of the training agenda in the manufacturing sector is the need for skill development to occur in close engagement with RTO. This has been the enduring beneficial outcome of a training process that engages its workforce via apprenticeships and traineeships. The printing industry has successfully practiced this throughout its long history. The success of the process overall can be attributed to the importance of the workplace component for skills development.
    The nature of the technology used in the modern industry is costly and therefore almost entirely impossible for the RTO to either replicate or at best simulate. The workplace / work experience intentions of some providers can therefore also be reasonably and justly questioned. This in itself raises serious questions regarding the motives of some of the RTO participants.
    It would seem that various RTOs compliance with the AQF and the Graphic Arts Training Package is at best poor. There is little evidence to date to suggest industry needs are understood or appreciated by the new RTOs.
    It seems the system is being misused. Is it therefore not unreasonable to consider the motive for training maybe to provide access to immigration points, in which to enter Australia.
    It should be made clear that an important ongoing role of Industry Training Advisory Body (ITAB) is to provide industry intelligence to the NSW Department of Education and Training, regarding market influences. This includes new trends in technologies, skills shortages, and excesses wherever they appear and advise accordingly.
    The NSW Department of Education and Training should critically examine the entire training agenda’s of the RTO’s, in the interests of both the RTO and the student seeking to embark on a long term career in the industry, no matter if that is here or overseas.

    Name withheld


    Re: Open Letter to Reed Exhibitions from Andy McCourt

    Well done and well said Andy.

    Having also attended every drupa and Ipex and many other shows over the past 30 years – I couldn’t agree more – and Reed Exhibitions should give themselves a wakeup call in the midst of the worst global financial crisis since the second World War. Otherwise, as you quite rightly say, there won’t be another PacPrint – well, at least not a PacPrint organised by Reed, which has displayed it is only interested in selling square metres of concrete with very little additional interest or support.

    Good luck.

    Mike Hilton
    Editor and Publisher Graphic Repro On-line

    Right on Andy, you hit the nail right on the head. We need the entertainment aspect as all the fun has been drained out of our trade with this recession and we are sick of doom-and-gloom.

    The convention organisers need to be email bombed with our discord and all unite behind the entertainers in our trade.

    Phil Jones

    Congratulations to Andy McCourt on his letter regarding the security incident with Oce. Very well put together and could not agree more with his presentation and representation.

    Let’s hope the message gets to the parties concerned.
    Bob Burgoyne

    All should be in total agreement with Andy McCourt. I spent 4.5 hours at PacPrint on the opening day and finally obtained a round-cornering cutter that I had hoped to get from the last PacPrint, but the company concerned never followed through with my enquiry.

    I thought that this PacPrint was (will be) a very successful event.

    Geoff Dean



    Re: Investment starts to flow at PacPrint

    The word “punter” used in the heading of this article is very unfortunate. It would imply someone taking a gamble.
    Business, in this climate or even a bullish economic climate can be considered a gamble. Many businesses do fail for a variety of reasons, but we professionals prefer to call these people who buy our products or services “customers”.
    But maybe you were differentiating people who have purchased products at the exhibit from those who have not, or even do not intend to buy. These people who do not intend to buy are often called “tyre kickers”.
    Michael Turvey

  • Canon blasts back with new imagepress range

    Canon’s new imagePRESS 1135 makes its debut at PacPrint.

    For Canon’s managing director, Kenji Kobayashi, the eagerly-awaited release is a personal milestone as he has followed the project through from the very beginning.

    “The imagePRESS 1135 is my personal dream, and today it’s come true,” he said.

    The new Canon imagePRESS 1135 printer (also awarded a Print 21 Hot Pick) has been designed to revolutionise digital black and white printing. It is one of the extraordinary monochrome production presses that are capable of delivering high quality image and text prints without any compromise. Capable of 1200 x 1200 dpi output with 256 tonal gradations the imagePRESS 1135 can print up to 8100 impressions per hour.

    Dreams do come true, says Kenji Kobayashi with the imagePRESS 1135.

    Aimed at commercial, print-for-pay and in-plant print businesses, the imagePRESS 1135 is specifically designed for larger commercial printers.
    “The needs of the market have very much driven the design of these presses,” said Steve Brown, production printing systems marketing manager at Canon. “Whether it’s lower cost of entry, manageable running costs or new revenue streams through differentiation, this technology and the service we’re backing it up with gives print owners freedom to be innovative and profitable.”

    Other major launches for Canon included: new imagePRESS C1+ digital press; a colour device with clear toner for the light production and proofing markets; the imagePRESS 1110; Helix Production Workflow, an advanced print management solution that enables print providers to streamline production and offer flexible web-to-print services and the new imagePRESS Digital Front-End Controller, powered by Creo Color Server technology.

    Kobayashi has high hopes for Canon at this year’s show. “PacPrint is an important event for Canon,” he said. “We have some innovative new technology on display, which is attracting a lot of interest.”

  • DES goes even wider with EFI

    DES has consolidated its relationship with EFI with the addition of the distributorship for VUTEk wide format digital printers.

    DES already distributes the Jetrion UV digital label press and the Rastek UV flatbed printers from EFI. The addition of the VUTEk range will add the super-wide format market to the DES portfolio with models such as the 3.2 metre wide QS3200 printer on display at PacPrint (already sold to an unknown Sydney printshop).

    Terry Crawford, EFI’s sales development manager for wide format solutions in Australia and New Zealand said the decision to go with DES was based on DES’s ability to offer EFI’s vision of integrated solutions, superior colour knowledge and the organisation’s national sales and service coverage.

    “DES supplies a wide range of EFI integrated solutions including digital contract proofing, web-to-print, Rastek and now VUTEk products that serve the sign and display market. Their recent commitment to a regional innovation centre in Australia designed to showcase EFI products from the start to end of workflow makes DES an ideal sales partner,” said Crawford.

    EFI has reassured existing VUTEk customers that they will receive an uninterrupted supply of consumables via the DES national sales and service network.

    “The new VUTEk distribution agreement with EFI further strengthens our long-standing relationship,” said DES managing director Ian Clare. (Pictured on right with Ramin Kazemi, EFI managing director Asia-Pacific).“Building on our working partnership of ten years, this expansion of our product and service line is a timely step forward in promoting our commitment to innovation, bringing additional value to customers.”

    “DES shares our vision of adding value and they have a strong history of successfully introducing and supporting digital technology into the graphic arts markets,” said EFI’s managing director for the Asia-Pacific region, Ramin Kazemi. “We are very pleased to be expanding this partnership of our world class digital printing and UV printer solutions.”

  • Ladies tee off at Heidelberg Women in Print

    It isn’t quite the Breakfast Club, but that didn’t stop 100 women across Australia and New Zealand from getting up early to attend the Heidelberg Women in Print morning at PacPrint.

    Following on from the successful Women in Print functions held throughout the year, this morning’s breakfast represented a rare opportunity to unite women from all over the trans-Tasman in one central location.

    According to Angeline Wyatt, business development coordinator, Heidelberg, the catalyst for today’s breakfast came in response to feedback from previous Women in Print events.

    “Attendees all said that they wanted the opportunity to hear from more women in the industry,” she said. “People travel from all over Australia and New Zealand to attend PacPrint so we were able to secure a good cross-section of speakers and audience.”

    The five guest speakers included Sarah Thomas, Collotype Labels and previous LIA Graduate of the Year; Susan Heaney; Anne Read, general manager, Litho Print; Belinda Baker from Dalton and Helen Woods of Capital Fine Print.

    Pictured: Sisters in arms (l-r), Karen Goldsmith; Helen Woods; Sarah Thomas and Belinda Baker.

    Printing is known for being a social industry; but Baker believes this is often restricted to men. “The guys in the paper and print circles often catch up at football or gold, but women don’t really get the chance,” she said.

    If this morning’s event was anything to go by, the Women in Print breakfast attendees were all good sports. “It was like being at the golf,” said Print NZ CEO, Joan Grace.

    It is no surprise to anyone that the number of men employed in the printing industry far outweighs the women. Each of the speakers encouraged the crowd that it does not have to be this way.

    Helen Woods believes that women share certain qualities that make them an important addition to the industry. “Our willingness to share, nurture and communicate openly are key factors … because the key will open the door to this male-dominated world where you as women can make a different,” she said.

    As the youngest speaker on the panel, Sarah Thomas is a positive indication of the future of women in the printing industry. “I’m often one of the very few, and sometimes the only female that attends LIA and Printing Industries events so it’s a breath of fresh air to have the Women in Print organisation,” she said.

    “With the fabulous functions and great networking opportunities, these events support the females of the industry and hopefully by the 2011 census, the stats can show a higher number of women to men in the industry.”

  • PacPrint Showtime… tips, rumours and extra news

    The aisles of PacPrint show are abuzz with information and news. Everyone has a take, most have an angle and everyone wants to know if it’s true. Drop us a line with what you heard. It could be the story of the show.

    Rock’n’roll lives on

    You can’t stop the music at PacPrint it seems. Following the kerfuffle over the exhibition organisers pulling the plug on the Océ rock band on Wednesday, the Currie Group stole the show last night with Russell Morris and his band on the back of the Currie Colour Express. As the giant exhibiion centre emptied out the sweet notes of the wings of an eagle echoed around the vastness.

    Then it was across the road to the event of the show. The Konica Minolta bash with Mental As Anything. Can 400 rock’n’rolling printers be wrong? And if you ever wondered why these acts have such long careers …  it’s because they are great musicians.

    And then, to finish it off the Océ band powered up again on Friday night, just to showthat the music never dies. My, that Servio Notermans can blow a mean sax.


    Every PacPrint is a milestone in the industry with some signalling the beginning of a new technology, others the end of an era. This show is the swansong of MIS industry notables, Judy and Dave Bell, founders and creative force behind Quote & Print. They’ve passed the company on to Shanti Kuhmar, who has his eyes set on expanding the software into Asia.
    Judy and Dave have left a parting gift… the first MIS to incorporate a reckoning of a job’s carbon footprint. Although dressed in red, it’s their green legacy to the industry.
    There’s a big farewell dinner with all the Q&P resellers who are at the show and then it’s … Goodbye!


    Word rushed around the show yesterday that Kodak has closed its Sydney office. How can that be? Seeking the good oil we checked with Kodak people on the sand. Yes, the North Ryde office is closing, but that’s because the lease has expired. The people and business are moving west to Greystanes. Where?
    OK it’s a little further towards the mountains, but then so are a lot of printers.


    The night rock’n’roll died. The Océ Colour and the Waves rock band with Servio Notermans, managing director blowing a mean sax behind lead singer Mike Boyle, kicked up a storm on Wednesday arvo. But only for a few short minutes before the exhibition management pulled the plug.
    What’s that about? It’s supposed to be show?
    Anyone know the real story?


    We’re still waiting on the offical press announcement to wend its way through the torturous official channels of EFI worldwide, but the word is that DES is the main channel partner n this part of the world. Ian Clare, managing director, DES is known as a man who rarely puts a foot wrong and this latest tie-up shifts the company nicely into the wide-format space. He is establishing an EFI centre of excellence at the Rhodes site.
    But that’s not official, yet.


    Spotted a familiar face in the aisles as used machinery guru, Paul Carthew, went by. Usually a recession is a bonanza for the used machinery sector but this time around he doesn’t have a stand. Told a downbeat tale of the Federal Government’s equipment tax break pulling the rug from beneath the second-hand market. The concession only applies to new equipment. He reckons the business fell off the cliff in January and won’t recover until next year.
    And it’s not that printers who would buy used kit are switching to new presses. According to Paul they’re not buying printing equipment at all.
    “I’m from the Government. I’m here to help.”



  • Open Letter to Reed Exhibitions from Andy McCourt

    My name is Andy McCourt. My first PacPrint was 1984 and I have visited and reported on just about every International Graphic Arts trade show in the world, including the ones run by Reed Exhibitions such as the UK’s Ipex. I have served on the marketing committees of two Ipexes and a Pacprint, plus numerous industry initiatives over the years.

    Last night, 20 minutes before show close, your security people confronted, challenged, intimidated and generally behaved unacceptably toward a paying exhibitor – Océ Australia – who had the good grace to provide an entertaining end-of day music interlude on their stand. The crowd loved it and there were even fellow exhibitors enjoying it. I understand another exhibitor – Curries is hosting a similar on-stand concert so good on them too for having the imagination and creativity to add ambience to the event.

    What we don’t need is a repeat of the plain rude attitude of your people. Trade shows are about show business too, or don’t you know that? Despite billing Reed as the ‘World’s largest exhibition organiser.’ I don’t care what you are – you were out of line last night. Exhibitors have invested huge sums to be here under challenging circumstances and musical entertainment is a consistent feature of all great trade shows from Ooompah bands at Drupa to blues bands at Print Chicago and rock bands at IPEX.

    This PacPrint has just about taken place in the most challenging commercial environment in living history. If nothing else, by marching onto stands with live music and attempting to stop it, you are also depriving visitors of enjoyment, camaraderie and a great wind-down to a busy day.

    This is Australia, a place where basic freedoms are very much treasured. Your behaviour last night was not in accordance with this, nor with commercial pleasantries, nor common decency but the thing you demonstrated most profoundly was a complete lack of respect, sense of fun and enjoyment.

    Keep this up and there will not be another Pacprint – suppliers will just take their budgets and do something where they are treated with more respect. Change, adapt and be reasonable and there might be.

    Lighten up Reed. And to Curries and the band Colour and the Waves; crank up the volume and rock on baby! We can entertain our way out of recession!

    Andy McCourt
    Disclaimer: The is the opinion of Andy McCourt and in no way reflects the opinions or views of the publisher or the companies mentioned, including Oce, with whom the writer is employed.

  • Day Three: plenty of equipment sales off the stands at PacPrint

    Everything from offset presses to digital finishing found willing buyers as crowd numbers kept up.

    The recession seems to have little effect on the attitude of printers looking for new equipment on day three of PacPrint. Exhibitors of all sizes and sectors reported good interest and signed orders. The impetus to invest is gathering pace as printers recognise that their peers and competitors are upgrading and following through on strategic plans.

    Heidelberg, for one, said it was well on its way to making and breaking targets at this half way point of the show. Interest ranged across presses and postpress. Tom Szabo, of Sydney-based Green-Loch Reprographics bought a press that included the one thousandth A2 printing unit in the country.

    Another Heidelberg sale went to Clive Denholm and Trent Nankervis of CMYKhub. They bought the five-colour Anicolor off the stand for Trent’s printing hub in Melbourne. They are also supposedly in the market for a Ryobi. Clive has plans to extend his ‘for trade only’ web-enabled print franchise to Sydney in the near future.

    Up the aisle David Currie reported two HP Indigo presses sold today with a number of firm commitments in the pipeline. “We could always use a little more,” he said.

    Plenty of companies, including DES and GBC, had SOLD signs on different pieces of kit, with shy buyers trying to keep their investment strategies a secret.

  • Three world-first debuts for Agfa

    Agfa uses PacPrint as centre stage to launch its new :Anapurna M2, N92vcf and Advantage N.
    The release of the N92vcf is the next step in Agfa’s plans to continue dominating the chemical-free plate sector. The machine also signified Agfa’s first step in its introduction of violet chemical-free technology to the Australian and New Zealand markets.
    The :Anapurna M2 (awarded a Print 21 Hot Pick) claims to be the fastest printer in its segment with many automation enhancements. The new release from Agfa includes the first implementation of six new double-sized print heads, each with 1024 nozzles and a unique vacuum strength-control system for smooth substrate transport at high speeds.
    Along with launching the three new products, Agfa is also busy preparing to move to new headquarters in Scoresby, Victoria. Scheduled for October this year, the move away from current Burwood premises puts Agfa in the heart of Melbourne’s print mecca, according to Frederik Dehing, president of the Oceania region.
    “In Burwood our identity is not as strong,” he said. “We have now signed a five-year lease so that we are closer to the geographic centre of the Melbourne printing industry.”
    This is Dehing’s first PacPrint, after joining the company from Belgium in 2007. Many have questioned the importance or relevance of the show, but Dehing has high hopes that it will prove successful and worthwhile for Agfa.
    “This is the perfect time for a show like PacPrint,” he said. “We have just had China Print and so far the number of visitors and buying interest is positive.”
    Dehing believes that this is due to the importance of businesses maintaining and updating their equipment. “Recession is one thing, but when it comes to buying equipment a lot of people will wait for PacPrint to do this,” he said.
  • Learn to navigate your way out of financial turmoil: Printing Industries workshops

    Printing Industries is running a national workshop program to deal with the current economic downturn. Titled Managing Your Firm Through the Global Financial Crisis the workshops have received funding from the Federal Government’s Enterprise Connect initiative and as a result all workshops are free to attendees.

    The workshop schedule and venues are below:

    Workshop Date RSVP Duration Location
    Melbourne Tuesday 9 June 2 June 8am-noon Novotel Melbourne
    285 Springvale Road
    Glen Waverley, Melbourne
    Canberra Wednesday 10 June 9 June 8am-noon Rydges Lakeside Hotel
    London Circuit
    Canberra City
    Sydney Thursday 11 June 4 June 8am-noon Bays 6 & 7
    Australian Technology Park
    Garden Street, Eveleigh, Sydney
    Brisbane Friday 12 June 5 June 8am-noon Victoria Park Golf Complex
    Herston Road
    Herston, Brisbane
    Adelaide Wednesday 17 June 12 June 8am-noon 202-204 Halifax Street, Adelaide
    Perth Thursday 18 June 11 June 8am-noon 111-113 Burswood Road
    Burswood, Perth
    Hobart Tuesday 23 June 16 June 8am-noon Wrest Point
    410 Sandy Bay Road
    Sandy Bay, Hobart

    The workshops are being delivered by HLB Mann Judd Consulting who have a long and trusted association with the printing industry.

    The workshops which are specific to the printing industry will cover practical yet critical issues that participants in the printing and associated industries need to focus on and successfully implement.
    Some of the topics that will be covered by the workshops include:

        * The credit crisis and its impact on the printing industry
        * The ramifications to your business of inaction
        * Effective cashflow management principles
        * Debt recovery strategies
        * Managing relationships with key stakeholders
        * Types of business risks facing your business
        * Risk management strategies
        * Tips for identifying and making most of business opportunities

    Workshop participants will also receive a copy of A practical guide to surviving and thriving in a downturn  comprising of a series of five business guides to assist with managing a business in difficult economic times.
    To register for a workshop in your region please contact the following Printing Industries offices or download the workshop registration form by clicking the link below. To register, click here.

    Workshop Contact number Email
    Melbourne and Hobart (03) 8541 7333
    Sydney (02) 8789 7300
    Canberra (02) 6251 0673
    Brisbane (07) 3356 0022
    Adelaide (08) 8223 7391
    Perth (08) 9361 4625

    Attention Sydney Workshop Attendees. Fuji Xerox has offered to provide complimentary lunch at the conclusion of the workshop which will enable workshop attendees to see the Fuji Xerox Epicenter. When registering for the Sydney workshop, please also indicate whether you will be staying for lunch.

    About Enterprise Connect
    Enterprise Connect is a $271 million program that aims to help Australian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), acquire the knowledge, tools, and expertise to help them become more innovative, efficient and competitive.
    The first level of service offered through Enterprise Connect is a comprehensive Business Review. The Business Review is a thorough analysis of a firm, carried out on site, by skilled and experiences Enterprise Connect Business Advisers. It examines aspects such as:

        * the strengths and weaknesses of the firm;
        * strategic business issues;
        * potential areas for business improvement; and
        * potential areas for growth.

    This is provided at no financial cost to the firm.

    Firms can also apply for up to $20,000 in matched funding to implement the findings of the Business Review through the Tailored Advisory Service.
    For more information, contact the Enterprise Connect hotline on 131 791 or visit the website at

    For more information visit the Printing Industries homepage here.

  • Investment starts to flow at PacPrint

    Day two of the trade show picks up with many more punters and welcome reports of equipment buying off the stands.

    Following an opening day that saw visitors numbers down 20 per cent from last year at 2,503, nervous suppliers were buoyed by the increase in attendance at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on the second day. Some estimate there are double the numbers today with sale staff on the stands kept busy as customers queued for demonstrations.

    Having one of the largest investments in the Heidelberg stand Alistair Hadley, (pictured) Heidelberg Executive and chairman of PacPrint, said he was happy with the numbers. “PacPrint is a sales and marketing exercise and anyone who has opted not to be here is shooting themselves in the foot. There are just as many companies visiting the show this time around, but perhaps with less people.”

    He made the point that nearly 22 per cent of the visitors were the CEO or owner of their businesses, reinforcing the perception of PacPrint as the "decision makers’ show."

    In addition to the thronging aisles, a number of exhibitors reported sales from the show. MAN Ferrostaal cemented its position as the postpress supplier with a sale on the stand of the Bobst Evoline 102-E die-cutter to Sydney-based Labelcraft. According to Terry Rowney, director, Labelcraft is not participating in the recession In fact, he has a banner posted up in the Leichardt factory to that effect. The Bobst is part of the company’s strategy to increase customer service and bring work back onshore from Asia.

    Also on the MAN Ferrostaal stand, David Rogers of The Laminating Company walked around his latest acquisition, a VisionFoil 104, the first installation of the machine in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Pictured: the Labelcraft team with Carsten Wendler, MAN Ferrostaal, (from left; Evan Atkins, Ian Dixon, and (far right) Terry Rowney.

    “Now’s a good time to get into it,” he said. “It’s a long-term investment decision. The way I think of it is if you’re going to have a swing, have a big swing at it.”

    On the DES stand the company celebrated its new relationship with EFI by posting the Sold sign on the first EFI Rastek T660UV flatbed inkjet went to Briter Australasia in Melbourne. This is the first time the machine, which was launched at FESPA two weeks ago, is available to the local market.

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 28 May 2009

    One long-time PacPrint attendee wishes he was in Melbourne right now, while the debate over education and training continues.

    Re: 10 reasons why you should go to PacPrint: Print 21 magazine article

    Very much to my regret, the first reason I cannot go to PacPrint is my health and age. It will be the first time that I will not be going. I am 84 years old now and have a few health problems, and bad circulation in both my legs, which make walking difficult.

    I will follow it all in the daily bulletin. I wish all the participants much success.

    Pieter Eveleens

    Where’s the chicks? Don’t wanna see a bunch of old, overweight balding printers.

    Michael Jones

    If the industry is serious about the training standards, employers should tell the so called fringe training institutions that that absolutely no employment will be offered to their students unless the qualifications meet or exceed that offered by RMIT and the other state’s equivalent institutions.
    Companies that espouse professionalism and high quality to their clients, peers and the community should apply the same rules in their employment practices.

    Well-trained people earn money for the company simply by virtue of their qualifications, poorly trained staff cost money. No rocket surgery there!

    Now is not the time to gamble with your business.

    Fred Mayer


    “We should have a category of who made the most out of a printed job or who was the most useful to a client with how he can best produce a campaign and both sides make money that would be nice.
    Phil Jones.”
    Phil, There already is an award for this: staying in business, to do the government administration and continue the training of the graphic design graduates.
    Print N’ Run

  • Oce lets the good times roll

    It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll, and the Oce team certainly know how to do that.

    Taking to the stage on their PacPrint stand, the company band belted out a number of tunes, including songs by the Violet Femmes. Not just limited to those on the factory floor, the band also includes Oce’s managing director himself, Servio Notermans, who in only three months has managed the art of the saxophone.

    "We have practiced every day for the past three months," he said. "After all, if you don’t sell anything at a trade show, you can at least have some music!"

    The band is led by Mike Boyle and has played at company events before. PacPrint 09 was the band’s first public performance. For those who missed out, you can see them again on Friday afternoon.

    Pictured: Members of the Oce band: Servio Notermans, centre, saxophone.

  • Print CEOs positive of industry future

    Management from GEON, OPUS Print Group and Bambra Press share their visions for the future at PacPrint Forums.

    The three businesses each cater to different needs and markets, but their managers (Graham Morgan, Cliff Brigstocke and John Wanless respectively) all maintain an undeniable optimism for the printing industry as a whole.

    Focusing on the economic climate and its effects on printing, guest speaker Professor Neville Norman, associate professor of economics at the University of Melbourne, declared that after a period of further job losses and bad news this year, the latter half of 2009 will see things begin to pick up. He believes that Tasmania, Queensland and South Ausralia have held up better than any other states, while the labels, cheques, cartons and newspaper markets have been the worst affected.

    Offering their own insights, the three managers spoke positively of the future that is, according to Professor Norman, “not the majority view.”

    Graham Morgan, CEO of GEON cannot see any point in dwelling on how bad things are, or will be, and instead sees the future as a way to “It is very easy for everybody to talk themselves into a downturn; that won’t get us anywhere,” he said. “Printing has a very strong future but there are a lot more channels clients want as they become more sophisticated.”

    Think positive thoughts: (l-r) John Wanless, Bambra Press; Cliff Brigstocke, OPUS Print Group and Graham Morgan, GEON.

    Talk that print is dying or on its way to extinction is way off the mark, in Morgan’s view. “We’re in an industry that has been around a long time and has survived for thousands of years – that’s no accident,” he said. “Technology drives change and will continue to do so. We need to work together closely in partnerships and help each other out.”

    Morgan warned managers that they must “look forwards, not backwards”, and be cautious when it comes to cost-cutting. “We must not cut back on marketing and other spends like apprentices,” he said.

    As the only independent printer on the panel, John Wanless, manager of Bambra Press, has not post-poned investments in new technology. He sees this as key to his company’s longevity. “Clients want better equipment and new technology,” he said.

    Cliff Brigstocke, CEO of trans-Tasman group OPUS, recently announced at this month’s CEO Forum, that he thinks printing will be one of the first industries to recover from the economic crisis; he still holds firm to this belief.

    “It’s always easier to come out of a crisis,” he said. “We should be preparing for growth. Printing was probably first to enter the recession and will hopefully be the first one out.”