Archive for December, 2011

  • CSG walks from acquisition deal

    Takeover target CSG has walked away from any further acquisition offers after it became clear that the courting process would not pay off for its shareholders.

    After months of speculation, including an offer worth $340 million from an unnamed buyer, the Darwin-based print and technology company, decided to call time on the increasingly expensive acquisition process when it became clear that the sale share price it wanted would not result in a substantial offer.

    In an announcement released this week, CSG’s company secretary, Kim Clark (pictured), said that the increasingly lengthy acquisition process was becoming a financial burden to the business, and was not in the best interests of its shareholders.

    “The initial unsolicited proposal to acquire all the shares of CSG led to initiation of a process of engaging with all interested parties in the CSG businesses,” said Clark. “This process has been costly, and despite best efforts, disruptive to both management and staff and created uncertainty with CSG’s customers.

    “The board has concluded that the current process will not result in a transaction which is in the best interests of CSG shareholders.”

    The company claims that the decision to abandon the acquisition process will allow it to fully focus on continuing the expansion of its services in Australia and New Zealand.

    In November, CSG, announced it would introduce is production printing sales and service business into the Australian market next year – a move that will see the business expanding its role in commercial printing on both sides of the Tasman.

  • Scrooge McPrint refused to pay Christmas wages

    Former Beaver Press owner, Robert Francis, has copped an $8,000 Federal court fine after deliberately underpaying five long-term print-production employees $55,145 two years ago, before the company went bust.

    In a prosecution brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman, Francis was castigated by the magistrate as showing no remorse for the financial hardship of his employees and being in denial about his culpability for the failure of the company. Federal Magistrate Smith accepted the evidence of a former Beaver Press employee of over 20 years, about a conversation in the company carpark about two weeks prior to Christmas 2009.

    According to a report by the Fair Work Ombudsman, the long-term employee had begged Francis for his back wages, claiming the money was needed for his kids Christmas presents, “Or they’re not going to have a Christmas morning.” To which Francis replied: “Well I’m not getting any Christmas presents either you know. If you don’t like it, then leave.”

    The Court also heard that a month earlier, in November, 2009, Francis had addressed a staff meeting at the factory, telling workers words to the effect: “People owe me money. I’m waiting on cheques to come in. Once that’s happened, I’ll pay a couple of people their wages a week until we’re caught up. If you don’t like that, you can leave.”

    In his judgment, Federal Magistrate Smith says that in the months before Francis took his company into administration, “wage payments appear to have been staggered, with the intent of saving the company necessary wages-expenses while seeking to benefit from the unpaid labour of some of its employees.

    “The non-payments were deliberate, as was a refusal to pay them in arrears.”

    Further, Federal Magistrate Smith said: “I infer that Francis had the intention of keeping the company operating with an appearance of solvency to external creditors, notwithstanding that he was unable to pay employee entitlements, which deserved prompt and priority consideration.

    “I am not satisfied that he has any acceptable excuse for conducting the financial affairs of his company so that they were unable to meet its statutory obligations to employees when they arose, or even in the course of insolvency administration,” Federal Magistrate Smith found.

    “Francis has had the opportunity, which he has declined to take, to appear before me in person or through a representative to establish external causes for his contravening conduct.

    Francis owed one employee over $16,000 in back pay when he put Beaver Press into voluntary administration in April 2010. A year from Beaver Press’ administration, Francis placed his following printing company Goodcrowd Printing into liquidation as of March 2011.

    Trade continues under a new name, Goodcrowd Integrated Print Communications, helmed by Francis’ son David who has carried his role of general manager from Beaver to its current evolution. Francis is the sole director and majority owner.

    Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the Court ruling reinforces the fact that deliberate underpayment of staff is a serious matter. “It is important for us to take action against those companies and individuals who show little regard for employees’ lawful workplace rights,” says Wilson.

  • HP T400 in town at McPherson’s

    McPherson’s Printing Group will be installing its first HP T400 colour inkjet web press within the next month, whether or not the proposed demerger from its parent company goes ahead.

    The HP press (pictured), which was launched in the US in March this year, has already touched down on Australian soil and will be installed over several weeks, according to McPherson’s Printing CEO, Alan Fahy. It is expected the machine will be installed at the company’s Maryborough site in Victoria.

    “The machine’s installation will be happening over the next few weeks,” said Fahy. “It’s already in the country, but it will take several weeks to install.”

    The news comes as McPherson’s Limited shareholders received their prospectus and notice of meeting for the proposed demerger and public listing of its printing business in the mail.

    The prospectus, sent on 16 December, included an independent report by valuation firm, Lonergan & Associates, suggesting that the demerger would allow the printing business and the parent company to be strengthened within their respective industries.

    The report said that, “the proposed demerger will allow both distinct businesses to be rated against their direct peers…it appears that there is scope for the Consumer Products business of MCP to be re-rated over time following implementation of the proposed demerger.”

    The prospectus was sent out to investors only days after the company announced plans to acquire OPUS Group, in a move that would effectively be a reverse takeover, allowing the privately-owned business services and communication group to float a listing on the ASX in partnership with McPherson’s Printing Group.

    In a document released last week, McPherson said that the demerger of MPG from its parent company is to go ahead whether or not investors vote in favour of the OPUS acquisition – which will be voted on in March.

    Additionally, it has been announced that McPherson’s former chairman has been appointed as the new chairman of the company’s printing business.

  • Roland DG extends Creative Awards deadline

    Roland DG customers around the world have been given an extra four weeks to submit their entries to the company’s Creative Awards contest, and be in the running to win a Roland machine or a trip to Japan for two.

    The extension, announced today, will give Roland DG users until the end of January, 2012 to submit up to four examples of their most creative and visually stunning Roland machine-produced work.

    Since the contest was launched in September this year, the company has received over 570 entries, many of which came from Australian Roland users. The entries will be judged on their creativity, innovation and execution.

    According to Roland DG Australia’s sales director, John Wall (pictured), the competition has received a surprisingly varied range of submitted work. “We are getting such a wide variety of entries, from wall murals to vehicle wraps and even Lego figurine decals produced on the new VersaStudio BN-20, and each entry is so imaginative,” he said.

    The competition’s grand prize will go to the global winner, who will be awarded with the choice of one of four Roland machines – the VersaCAMM VS printer/cutter, an EGX-360 engraver, JWX-30 jewellery model maker or an MDX-40A milling machine.

    In addition, each of Roland DG’s 14 regional winners will receive a trip for two to Japan, while the contest’s monthly ‘People’s Choice’ award recipients will be given a $500 Roland DG gift certificate.

    The Creative Awards are part of the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations and also, according to the Roland DG Australia’s Anthony McAusland, a vehicle for re-connecting with its customer base.

    “It’s our way of touching base with our end users and collating the great things they have been able to produce on the machines,” he said.

    The Creative Awards submission will be open until 29 January. To enter or vote, click here.

  • 2011 – That Was The Year That Was

    What a year 21011 was – tough times no doubt. This may be the beginning of the ‘New Normal.’ Many printing companies hit the wall, some disappeared, some merged with others. On the other hand, some printers expanded, bought new equipment, extended their foot print. It’s an era of change and innovation and as always Print21 was there to record the changes. 2011 – these were your Hot Spots!


    Plummeting sales sends Shinohara into bankruptcy protection

    Major Japanese press manufacturer admits $94 million debt while seeking protection under the Japanese Civil Rehabilitation Law.

    BJ Ball rolls up CPI in paper industry shakeup
    Andrew Bull leads New Zealand-based PagePack Group bid to become the second largest paper merchant in the region.

    Queensland crisis spells make or break for printers
    Natural disaster in Queensland could contribute to further downsizing of the printing industry.

    Print Media Group keeps Wodonga closure quiet
    Wodonga workers dealt another blow in the latest saga at South Pacific Print Group – formerly Paragon Printing, as management announce closure of the business that has been a lifeline to many locals.

    Moore closes the door on Wodonga
    Wodonga warehouse set to close as Moore Australasia reports $3.4 million loss.
    Finsbury Green grabs Vic government print contract
    Major win for environmental printer, Finsbury Green, which has entered into a long-term Enterprise Print Management contract with the Victorian Government.

    Salmat wins Woolworths distribution contract?
    Communications giant, Salmat, set to deliver Woolworths catalogues for another three years, while printing stays with rival, PMP.

    NZ private equity takes over CPI next week?.
    Shareholders support PagePack’s acquisition of CPI Group with 99.48 per cent of votes in favour of the deal.

    Healey new head of Printing Industries
    Change of the guard at Printing Industries as association man, Bill Healey, takes on the role of CEO.

    Cassell calls its quits from CPI
    Private equity takeover of CPI leads to long-standing managing director, Bernard Cassell, leaving the company.

    Blue Star wins $10.8m print contract with NZ Govt
    Continuing its print service arrangement with the NZ government, Blue Star Group NZ secures a three-year $10.8 million print contract with eight government agencies.

    Bruce Peddlesden makes his inkjet move?.
    The largest digital printer in Australia recognises the oncoming inkjet wave and is ready to position his company

    $53m French buyout of local finishing firm?.
    Expanding operations of its new regional headquarters in Singapore, French mailing supplier Neopost has scooped up GBC Australia for AU$53 million.

    Sole Aussie ISO finds like-minded standards
    Long awaited ISO standards for the local printing industry have finally been approved for adoption by Standards Australia.

    Final chapter for book distributor Scribo
    PMP scraps its book distribution business with the loss of 50 jobs as online sales eats into local book buying.

    IPMG to close Alexandria – move to Warwick Farm
    Hannanprint, packs up its Alexandria operations after 25 years at the site to settle in a new $90 million facility in Warwick Farm.

    Fairfax recrowned newspaper king
    Melbourne broadsheet The Age knocks its Sydney Morning Herald sibling from a two-year winning streak for newspaper of the year at the 2011 Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Association (PANPA) awards.


    Snap on a new CEO
    Ending a ten-year reign as the head of one of Australia’s largest print franchises, Grant Vernon will be stepping down as CEO to make room for his planned successor, Stephen Edwards.

    Bull punts the BJ Ball top job
    Australasia’s largest paper merchant will soon lose the man behind its push to prominence when Andrew Bull steps down as CEO in October.

    200 million digital labels per month – new record

    Worldwide users of HP Indigo’s WS6000 press collectively surpassed 200 million impressions in August, raising the bar on monthly production of labels and packaging.

    Australian Forest Standard draws Green fire
    After seven years of one-way communication, environmental lobby group, MyEnvironment has taken itself out of any new Australian Paper stakeholder engagements and wants PEFC to revoke the company’s AFS certification until a resolution has been made.

    Australia Post gets open slather on prices
    The government has officially removed ACCC oversight from all of Australia Post’s pricing, with the exception of reserved mail, the so-called ‘grannie mail’.

    Plain tobacco packaging passes – to a legal fire fight
    Big Tobacco’s bid to block the legislation went up in smoke, igniting a billion-dollar compensation lawsuit threat from British American Tobacco Australia.

    Manroland credit injection leaves IPMG and PMP press orders hanging
    Teetering German press manufacturer manroland has been pulled back from the brink with €55 million (A$72m) in mass credit, that allows it to fulfil orders placed since it filed for insolvency.



  • It’s time to get on with it – Harry Brelsford

    The printing industry has been down in the dumps for so long that it’s forgotten how to look up. Well, enough is enough, says Harry Brelsford. As the end of another tough year draws to a close, now is the time to put a positive foot forward and regain our passion for print.

    There is no denying that our industry has been overwhelmed by gloom and doom over the past few years. It seems that every day some printing establishment or other is closing its doors or there are claims of how new media is taking over the printed page, bookstores are closing, or the anti-paper lobby is gaining ground. This all takes a toll on our passion for the industry.

    When a printing business shuts down it causes untold hardship, especially for long-term employees, and often devastation, loss of residence and even marriage break-up for the owner.

    The harsh reality though is that, for the survivors, it means fewer competitors. It means the work that the closed business was doing for their customers now has to be done by some other printer. The market evens out and becomes sustainable again even though it may not be highly profitable until such time as the economy starts to grow again.

    I believe that there are indications, based on our own experiences at Varsity Graphics on the Gold Coast, that the industry is coming back into balance even though it will never be the same as prior to the GFC. In stating this I am aware that unemployment levels in our town are higher than average, tourism is down and, according to the amount of plan printing we now do compared to prior to 2008, the construction industry is dead. But other sectors in our business are doing OK and we recently upgraded some of our equipment.

    So we have confidence in the future and that was before we learned about the Gold Coast winning the bid to host the 2118 Commonwealth Games. Hopefully this will add some new projects into the works over the next few years. If nothing else it will help build confidence with our clients. And we all know that confidence is the single most critical ingredient necessary for turning our economy around.

    I believe it is now time to get on with it, get some passion back into what we do and make our businesses grow and prosper. Here are three aspects to consider in order to start growing and improving our businesses.

    Raise your prices

    Impossible, I hear you say? The market is now price-driven and once loyal customers now simply shop for the lowest price. Yes, and most of those printers who bowed totally to customer demands for lower prices over the past few years are now in some other industry.

    Pricing is crucial as we claw our way back to prosperity and whilst we may think it is almost impossible to raise prices it is something we have to face. We have to start thinking about how we are going to do it. Growth and security only come from running a viable business. Our industry is notorious for low margins and low profitability compared to other sectors. We are not a greedy industry, most of us simply want to make a decent living.

    Raising prices has a lot to do with our confidence as business owners, managers or sales people. If we stand firm and unwavering when the price issue comes up we have a far better chance of winning the order at our quoted price than if we start to waver and show weakness when presenting the quote. Don’t ask for the opportunity to meet lower quotes.

    Back in the mid 90s we had a construction company that ordered around $4,000 worth of plan printing per month, which is a nice account in our town. Our prices were competitive but one day they called to advise that due to the amount spent with us they were looking at installing their own plan printer, unless we could lower our prices. I made an appointment to see them.

    A couple of months earlier I had attended a printing conference in the US with one of the sessions featuring Larry Steinmetz, famous for teaching business owners ‘How to sell at margins higher than your competitors’. I had bought a set of his tapes which I was listening to in the car at the time when the issue with our plan printing customer came up, and I decided to put what I was learning into practice.

    I drew up a chart on how much it costs to buy and operate a plan printer which I took to the meeting. There were three tough construction industry veterans at the table who seemed quite accustomed to pressuring their suppliers. I went in with the attitude that we had lost the customer so nothing to lose. I ran over the numbers on my chart with my major card being that they would need to employ someone full time to operate the machine. We carried on and then I brought silence to the room when I told them that through me doing this calculation I had come to realise that we were actually undercharging and, unfortunately, from now on we had to raise our prices by 10 per cent.

    They still used us for another few years at the raised prices until they went out of business due to a collapse in their industry.

    Yes, this is the exception, not the rule, but the point is if we have the confidence to stand our ground, argue our case, especially when offering a reliable service and a good product then we have a much better chance of winning the order at our price.

    I won’t deny that there are many customers who will simply buy at the lowest price but these are not the customers we want. If your order book is filled with these bargain basement shoppers then you need to start weening yourself off them and find customers who appreciate your quality and service and are prepared to pay a fair price for it. Remember, a customer you win on price, you will lose on price.

    Recently another extremely price-sensitive customer called me for a quote on some large format prints. He told me outright that my price was always too high whilst I said we couldn’t go any lower or we wouldn’t be here next month. I argued we could do the job quickly and that our quality was good. He said he knew our quality was good but the price was too high, and put the phone down. An hour later he called back with the order. I am not saying we can do this all the time but there is no point giving a discount to picky customers who also often seem to be the ones who take the longest time to pay.

    I well remember the one question Larry Steinmetz put to us at his presentation in the US. He asked who in the room was wearing the cheapest shirt they could buy. Nobody raised their hand. The fact is some people are happy to take their kids to school in a Toyota Corolla, others need to be seen in a Range Rover. The point is not everybody buys on price and it is often the printing business owner or sales rep who is more obsessed with price than the buyer who is looking for a solution to his or her problem.

    Whilst building your client base with these more reasonable, appreciative customers will take some time, it should be a major long-term goal. Go to Larry Steinmetze’s website and order his book, How to sell at margins higher than your competitors, and leave it on your desk as a reminder of what you should be doing. Also consider his $235 DVD called Raising prices and making them stick. Go to . You will get your money back many times over the same as I have over the years.

    Be more confident

    Our economy is in better shape than just about every other country yet, according to a NAB survey, our business confidence is lower than even the USA where conditions are much worse than ours. Their housing market is a disaster, the US government has overspent the taxpayers credit card by $15 trillion whilst their postal service is on the brink of bankruptcy. I could go on. So why is our confidence lower than the US? We base our decisions and our outlook on the information we receive and if the whole country is down in the dumps then perhaps the answer is to turn off or tune out the news, especially TV news. In your car, turn off the radio and listen to music or motivational CDs.

    It’s all bad news and it is not going to stop. If it isn’t the collapse of Greece or the fall of Rome, it will be Spain or another war looming in the Middle East. If there is not enough bad news from Europe or the USA they will tell us about China having problems. Closer to home we can’t seem to get away from the fear of rising oceans and rising taxes that are going to devastate our economy. Most of it is opinion, not fact.

    Consider all the catastrophic predictions over the last decade or so, yet not a lot has changed. The bird and swine flu pandemics never materialised, the ozone hole seems to have gone away, there is increasing evidence to suggest that man-made CO2 is not warming the planet. The nuclear power station damaged by the tsunami in Japan got no end of coverage expecting the worst yet there was not a single fatality from radiation. At the same time, in another story, E.coli-infected organically-grown vegetables in Europe killed 45 and sickened 3,000 people. Go figure.

    Ironically the GFC which dramatically affected our lives was not predicted; most experts were saying everything was just fine. This means there is no real benefit from watching the news; turn it off. From what I hear, there is a growing trend to turn off the news, especially by those who strive to live a positive life. The important news still gets through and your outlook on the future will improve as will your confidence to stand your ground and argue your case for quality, price and dependable service.

    Be faster, more remarkable, more human

    According to best selling author, blogger and agent of change, Seth Godin, that is what we need to do in order to survive and prosper into the future. His book, Linchpin, is worth reading.

    Becoming faster is simply a customer expectancy of the printing industry and it is unlikely this is going to change anytime soon. When you are able to produce the customers’ needs faster than your competition you gain an advantage because the customer starts working to your new shorter timeframe which nobody else can meet.

    You may argue that those customers who want things in a hurry are more likely to be unhappy with their printing or delay payment or simply don’t come back after you make a special effort. And yes, there is a percentage who spoil it for your other customers, but you need to have a system that allows for urgent jobs to be completed ahead of larger production jobs. When you can produce the rabbit out of the hat when really needed you are regarded as more remarkable and word spreads.

    And it may sound like a contradiction, but to become more human, to be better able to serve the needs of your good customers, you need to fire some of your troublesome customers. These are the ones who cause you to treat the next customer poorly. According to Seth Godin, a customer should be fired when they distract you and your staff from delighting customers who are reasonable.

    Being more human also means taking a greater interest in what your customer is trying to achieve with their printing. There may not be much opportunity for this when the customer re-orders 20,000 DL flyers by email, but when you and your staff do get the opportunity then asking what they are trying to achieve with their printing, in order that you may be able to offer them the benefit of your experience in getting a higher return or presenting a better image, has to be seen as a benefit. And one of the most basic things, keeping your customer regularly informed of the status of their jobs, especially when there are problems, will still set you above many of your competitors.

    So now is the time to get on with it. The printing industry is battered and bruised but there is still a lot of printing being done and some printing that was moved to new media has not worked and a percentage will no doubt revert to printing. The industry is still one of the country’s largest and we should be proud to be a part of it. And I was encouraged recently when hearing a young person who had grown up reading from a computer screen saying, “It is not real until it is printed”.

    In order to grow and prosper over the next few years, the bottom line requires that we build our immunity to bad news. We also need to regain some of our passion for printing and get on with it. I am not saying blind yourself to reality but making progress, growing our businesses or departments requires a totally positive attitude and mental toughness. Start raising your prices, start selling the benefits of your printing, make your customers look and feel good. Start saying, ‘I wish we could lower our prices but we just can’t, but you know your job will be done right and on time and it will project your image the way you want it’.

    Harry Brelsford runs Varsity Graphics on the Gold Coast with his daughter, Sharon, and a young team which is passionate about printing.

  • A quarter-century for Ascent Partners business sales

    One of Australia’s premier business sales service providers to the printing industry has this week notched up its 25th Australian printing business sale to date, and the sixth for this year.

    This year has been the busiest year on record for the quarter-century sales scoring Ascent Partners, but the company’s director, Richard Rasmussen, points out that the heavy selling has predominantly not been in response to turbulent economic factors.

    “Many people will be surprised that most of these business sales are not forced sales,” says Rasmussen (pictured). “It’s usually an event or the realisation that they and their business have run out puff that brings them to us”.

    Some of the trigger-points that might spark a business sale include a key staff member leaving, loss of a major client, the end of a lease, discontinuity of a family-run business. Events such as these tend force a decision that can often lead to the sale of a business. In Rasmussen’s experience, some printing businesses also reach the point of sale because of the simple reason that the owner has reached retirement age.

    However, while some businesses in the market may struggling to meet profit margins, growth targets and maintenance costs, forcing their owners to consider selling, Rasmussen suggests that most businesses, in fact, have latent value and, under the right circumstances, can be financially successful.

    “There are a lot of people out there who are successfully chasing extra sales and perhaps looking for a means to update plant and equipment,” says Rasmussen. “And there are those that are chasing good quality businesses, and market niches. It’s certainly not all doom and gloom.”

    Rasmussen believes there will be a continued consolidation in the industry in the coming year, and this trend will enable many businesses in the industry to thrive.

    “There’s no doubt consolidation will continue,” he says. “There is simply such a capacity and too many printing businesses to think otherwise. Those who choose to do nothing will suffer, especially if they don’t have a means to differentiate themselves in the market place”.

    Ascent Partners will continue offering its appraisal, business sales and consultancy services to the industry into the new year. It will also keep the industry abreast of the latest market movements and major equipment installations through its monthly Market Watch bulletin at:

  • Doggett does doggie magazines for Christmas calendar

    This year’s K.W. Doggett calendar has arrived, and this one is a doggie calendar indeed, featuring a different faux magazine cover with a dog-inspired twist for each month.

    The calendar not only showcases the company’s range of fine papers, but also the range of skills offered by the visual arts and design students from the University of South Australia who designed the series of doggie magazine covers.

    This is the first time in 25 years the K.W. Doggett calendar brief was commissioned in South Australia, and the director of the university of SA design studio matchstudio, Jane Andrews, said the brief was a creative and professional outlet for the students.

    “Working with Doggett enabled the students to demonstrate their conceptual and technical skills by working on a client focused project as well as develop skills in studio based collaboration,” said Andrews.

    Additionally, the students had top materials to work with for the finished product. The calendar makes use of several of K.W. Dogget’s finest paper stocks, and it was printed and bound by Finsbury Green in South Australia.

  • Transitioning to cleaner printing technology – a must attend event!

    Ways in which printing companies can transition to cleaner printing technology will be revealed in a national seminar program Printing Industries will run in April 2012.

    The three-hour workshop program will be free of charge following Federal Government funding approval for the program this week by Enterprise Connect under its Workshops, Industry Intelligence and Networking (WIIN) initiative.

    Brisbane will be the first city to host the program on Tuesday 17 April 2012 and Perth the final city on Friday 4 May 2012.

    Printing Industries CEO Bill Healey welcomed the WIIN funding and said it provided an opportunity to help position the industry to face the expected energy related challenges from 2012 and beyond.

    "From 1 July 2012 the Carbon Tax will be introduced and while that will cause costs to increase across the printing industry value chain, energy prices are likely to continue increasing independent of the Carbon Tax," he said.

    "This is why it is critical that in our role as the peak industry body that we develop a comprehensive framework addressing the energy cost challenge being faced by our industry."

    Mr Healey said that in addition to the seminar program, Printing Industries has entered into a partnership with a group buying exchange, EMSquared, which will explore cheaper electricity purchase for companies as one of its first priorities to achieve cost savings for members across key areas of business expense.

    "Our preliminary research involving a mid-sized printing operation in Sydney has identified an 11 per cent saving off their current electricity bill," he said.

    Printing Industries
    National Manager for Policy and Government Affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian, said a goal of the workshop program was to deliver useful and practical information to help the industry effectively manage energy costs.

    "Being conscious of the fact that business operators are time poor we have ensured that the three hour seminars will target the improvement areas for printing companies," he said.

    "They will go further than just raising awareness and will demonstrate how companies can establish energy efficiency objectives and targets.

    "Information on developments in printing press technology covering both conventional and digital printing will also be provided."

    Mr Tchamkertenian said the participation of technology suppliers would help provide a holistic solution to the energy challenge faced by the industry.

    "While most improvements can be achieved without investment in new technology, the enabling role of new technology associated with a lower carbon footprint should not be overlooked," he said.

    "We will also be incorporating components of the Sustainable Green Print (SGP) program, the Australian printing industry’s standard and accredited environmental certification program, to address energy and water efficiency issues and principles of Competitive (or Lean) Manufacturing."

    The seminars offer industry participants a unique opportunity to be briefed about energy management related issues to enable them to effectively manage them.

    "While energy may not be the highest single cost faced by printing businesses, the fact remains that energy costs are increasing in significance and they are forecast to keep on increasing over the next decade or two.

    "The reality is that a failure to effectively manage energy related costs equates to lower profit margins" Mr Tchamkertenian said.

    Dates for the national Transitioning to Cleaner Printing Technology seminars are below. Information on venue details will be released early in the New Year.

    Brisbane           Tuesday          17 April 8.00 am – 11.00 am
    Sydney             Wednesday     18 April 8.00 am – 11.00 am
    Canberra          Thursday         19 April 8.00 am – 11.00 am
    Melbourne        Tuesday          1 May 8.00 am – 11.00 am
    Hobart              Wednesday     2 May 8.00 am – 11.00 am
    Adelaide           Thursday        3 May 8.00 am – 11.00 am
    Perth                 Friday            4 May 8.00 am – 11.00 am

  • Two new standards for Australian printers

    The Australian printing industry will receive two new quality-based standards after the Australian standards body this week accepted two existing ISO standards for inclusion in the local market.

    Of the two new standards, one is designed to bring any latent variation of colour and transparency of offset inks into line nationally, and the other is designed to standardise the quality of electronic lighting in proof and press viewing conditions.

    Chairman of Australia’s TC 130/ISO AU standards committee, Luke Wooldridge (pictured), says the setting of a standard for lighting in critical viewing conditions will alleviate the burden placed on printers to expend time and resources on correcting perceived colour variations that occur under different lighting conditions.

    “The colour of that light is going to affect the colour of the product,” says Wooldridge. “The print and proof can match under one condition, but not under another – without the correct lighting, it won’t match the proof. That can cost the printer money to correct a job.”

    The decision by Standards Australia to accept these two ISO standards has brought the total number of local industry ISO standards to six.

    Now that the standards have been added to the growing list of Australian ISO standards in the local industry, they will need to go through the local standards voting process, which could take up to two years to reach completion.

    “Nothing happens fast in the world of standards,” says Wooldridge.

    The complete names of the two ISO standards that will be directly adopted by Standards Australia are:

    ISO 2846-1:2006
    Graphic technology – Colour and transparency of printing ink sets for four-colour printing – part 1: Sheet fed and heat-set web offset lithographic printing.

    ISO 3664:2009 Graphic technology and photography – viewing conditions.

  • Business for Sale – Has the potential to merge into another offset printing operation

    Are you looking for a printing business to merge into your existing printing operation? If you are, we have a newly listed small offset printing business on our books that may be what you are after.

    Located in Sydney’s south western suburbs, this printing business has been trading for close to twenty years. It has A3 offset presses and a good selection of bindery equipment, enabling most jobs to be completed on-site.
    This business currently outsources around $70k of four-colour and finishing work. A new owner may be able to boost profitability by bringing this work in-house.

    Sales for the twelve months to November 2011 were $405,000. These sales are spread across a broad list of repeat customers.
    The enterprise could also be a good starting point for a printer wishing to run their own operation.
    This business is being offered for sale at $110,000.
    Act soon to secure this opportunity as businesses such as these are in strong demand.

    You can view our other print and graphics listings (plus advice on buying or selling a business) at
    If the above business sounds of interest, please contact:
    David Ferraz on 0425 329 765 for a confidential discussion.
    (David Ferraz is a licensed business agent at Cornerstone Business Sales and Valuations. He specialises in the sale of printing and graphics businesses).

  • Time to talk for Heidelberg Women in Print

    Women involved in the Australian printing industry will have the opportunity to meet with high profile barrister and author, Judith Fordham, at next year’s series of Heidelberg Women in Print social and networking events.

    Fordham (pictured), whose book Life, Law and Not Enough Shoes recounts her experiences as a prominent criminal lawyer, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the five Women in Print events planned for 2012.

    Held in five states around Australia, the Heidelberg Women in Print initiative dinner events are designed to provide women in the industry a forum to socialise and network with other women in the traditionally male-dominated printing industry.

    “The printing industry is quite male dominated,” says Heidelberg’s Women in Print coordinator, Diandra Gavillucci, “and this is about celebrating women within this industry. Throughout the year there are so many events that recognise other people in the industry, and to have one that recognises women is important and necessary.”

    Gavillucci says that the initiative organisers settled on Fordham as the series keynote speaker because of her professional success. “Women in the industry…want a woman who is successful in her own right, who can give a presentation that is humorous and that all women can relate to,” she says.

    The events will be kicking off in March in Melbourne, and will continue with further events in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. The Heidelberg Women in Print initiative is jointly sponsored by Heidelberg, GEON, Bluestar Print Group, and PMP.

    The event dates are:

    Melbourne Thursday 22 March
    Leonda by the Yarra
    2 Wallen Road, Hawthorn

    Adelaide Friday 23 March
    Ayers House,
    Ballroom 288 North Terrace, Adelaide

    Sydney Tuesday 27 March
    Establishment Hotel, Room II & III,
    320 – 330 George Street, Sydney

    Brisbane Wednesday 28 March
    Emporium Hotel
    1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley

    Perth Friday 30 March
    The Aviary
    140 William Street, Perth

    Book here.

  • Time to celebrate printing – Letter from the Publisher

    Let’s be clear at the beginning, the exhibition Handwritten: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Treasures currently at the National Library in Canberra is not about printing. As the title states, the documents are Handwritten.

    On loan from Germany’s largest library, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, there are 100 manuscripts illustrating the creative, historical and scientific achievements of the past millennium. Among them are a handwritten epistle from Michelangelo, a letter from Napoleon written in the midst of battle, the copyist’s original notation of Mozart’s opera Marriage of Figaro, and written calculations by Albert Einstein. These are obviously unique; as I said, this is not printing, which is about making reproductions from an original. But they are documents that have stood the test of time, that have survived wars, revolutions and natural catastrophes.

    In this they amply demonstrate one of the main strengths of the process of committing information to paper. Documents, hand-written or printed, are permanent, they are what they are, unalterable, a record of thoughts, imaginings and transactions. This permanency is the defining characteristic of printing, and one that is becoming ever more important in the internet age.
    I’m reminded that in the 20th century, when film defined the global consciousness and became not only the most significant art form but also an invaluable record of history in the making, much of the original material is lost forever. Canisters of decayed nitrate film are often found, their contents crumbled and unusable. A frantic dash by cinema enthusiasts has saved a lot of Hollywood’s production but so much is gone forever. I would suggest we have a more complete record of 19th century novels than of 20th century films, both the primary art forms of their day.

    Who among us has not lost masses of digital files from computers? Photographs and emails, personal and business letters all gone due to a glitch, a crashed hard drive, a mishap in storage. Lots of it does not matter and we are better off without it but if you want to make sure of the family photos, better to print them out than leave them on your computer. When people dash back into fire-threatened homes they are not running to save the hard drive; they are after the irreplaceable prints.

    Not only but also
    There are many advantages of the printed form other than security and the defiance of time passing. Not least are the potential aesthetic qualities that can be an integral part of any document. I draw your attention back to the cover of this ∗issue∗ of Print21 where the addition of foil and embossing transforms the production. Add to that the unique quality of the amazingly fine RendezVous paper and it is not difficult to see how printed volumes become collectors’ items as much for their appearance as for their content.

    Printing has the ability to embody a wide range of production values from bog-standard commonplace to enhanced and entrancing embellishments. In this issue, Alison Stieven-Taylor (see pp 46) explores the role of wedding stationery. This is almost ceremonial communication, the invitation itself embodying the hopes, aspirations and, yes, status of the couple and their families.

    In recent times I received a wedding invitation that was a positive work of art; glossed, embossed, filigreed, with lace and diamantine attached, the whole boxed and tied with ribbon. It was an amazing artefact, reminding me that, some years ago, I was invited to judge HP’s digital print awards in Singapore. The Indian wedding albums in the competition were quite the most amazing volumes I’ve ever seen, miniature Taj Mahals with leather and brass bindings, created to outlast eternity.

    So it is with this end of year issue of Print21 we have consciously made the decision to celebrate printing with its many unique and remarkable virtues. We report of the PICA Awards around the country, the state-based printing competitions that are such an integral underpinning of the industry’s sense of self. Browsing the many photographs of the winners and sponsors makes it obvious that the industry is in good hands and in good shape.

    In these hard times it is essential to recognise and celebrate the strengths of our industry. The shallow triumphalism of some in the electronic media that would consign printing to the dustbin of history must be refuted. Apart from the fact that history is likely only to be known if there are still books of record, printing’s utility and value will not only ensure its survival but its place as an essential communication medium.

    On behalf of the Print21 team I wish you all the joys of the season. I hope you take time out, celebrate with the family, lie on a beach, climb a mountain, travel a desert and return in 2012 a better, fitter and happier person, ready for the fray.
    See you then.

    Patrick Howard

    ∗∗ If do do not receive a copy of Print21 magazine, all this won’t make much sense. If you wish to be added to our complimentary subscription list and you are a working graphic arts professional in Australia and NZ, simply contact the Publisher here.

  • Print DNA in new Adstream workflow

    The workflow specialist now offers advertisers a complete solution from initial brief right through to delivery with its new web-based application, Printpath.

    According to Peter Miller, managing director of Adstream Australia, the new solution allows the company to support print management in the same way it handles advertising, “independently and transparently.”

    “We have learned a great deal about print management from brand owners, agencies and printers who use our print and broadcast advertising services.

    “We’ve been talking to printers and advertising agencies throughout the development, and there are elements of their DNA within this application. It’s something new for us but we are playing to our strengths, which is streamlining processes,” he says.

    Miller (pictured) sees the application being adopted by major procurers of advertising and is also promoting it to Adstream’s current client base.

    “This application is taking us ahead of the Quickcut moment, offering our clients two tool sets from which they can manage a print project up to point of approval and past that to quality assurance.

    “Printpath provides one environment where key stakeholders can bring to bear all the experience and key learning’s of past archived jobs on their next project. It’s all about optimisation,” he says.

    Designed and powered by workflow applications specialist Automaton, Printpath allows corporates and agencies to achieve quality print outcomes within budget.

    “We are also launching a digital solution in the New Year, as the commercial print management market approaches that space and we weren’t in it,” he adds.

    Pictured: Screenshot of Printpath in action

    Printpath features an archive of all briefed work, providing users with the ability to manage print specifications within a customisable interface that also holds quotes, comments and attachments.

  • New newspaper MD for News in Australia

    News Limited continues its management restructure as Jerry Harris follows Kim Williams up the ladder to become the new managing director for group newspapers and digital products.

    According to Williams, News’ recently installed new chief executive, the two will be working together to ensure a required management focus is achieved within the newspaper group. “At the same time, we will be accelerating the roll-out of premium digital content by each masthead across online, mobile, and other emerging platforms,” he says.

    Currently the managing director of News Queensland, Harris will be expanding his masthead domain from The Courier-Mail, Sunday Mail and regional titles to encompass all titles that fly under the News Ltd flag.

    Reporting directly to Williams, Harris will to take on the new role in Sydney from 16 January 2012. His successor at News Queensland will be announced in the New Year.

    “Jerry brings the experience, drive and commitment needed to ensure we continue to produce the most compelling content and the most commercially successful media assets in the industry,” says Williams.

    With 30 years of associated News experience under his belt, Harris has steadily climbed the ranks since his first job at News International in 1981. He began as a classified sales executive at Times Newspapers in London.

    Harris (pictured) says he feels honoured to answer Williams’ call by returning to Sydney and taking on a broader role across all of News newspapers and respective websites.

    “The deep connections our news brands have with their communities across Australia, is a powerful platform from which to grow our business during this time of great challenge and opportunity,” Harris adds.

    This appointment follows the departure of chief operating officer Peter Macourt, who has ended a 28-year career within News.

  • Brand strategy tops the list at Dscoop Conference

    Continuing its drive to connect printing industry players with direct marketing agencies, Dscoop announced this week it would focus on educating members on brand strategy for their DM customers at next year’s Dscoop7 annual conference in Washington D.C.

    With many big print service providers in a position to liaise directly with creative or marketing directors at client companies, the HP Indigo users’ collective wants to advise members on how best to meet their customers’ range of marketing needs – from direct mail to signage and packaging.

    “As print becomes commoditized, today’s economy demands that print service providers evolve and add more value,” said Eric Hawkinson, executive director of Dscoop. “Whereas our members might have focused on one channel in the past, Dscoop7 will enable them to see the bigger picture as well as give them tools and share the latest trends to take back to their customers.”

    David Minnett (pictured), chairman of Dscoop’s Asia-Pacific Steering Committee and managing director of Group Momentum said that, with local companies such as Salmat and PMP including digital multi-channel marketing services on top of their core DM printing services, the time is ripe for HP Indigo users to diversify their services.

    “They’re looking to diversify their business. Everyone’s developing a more sophisticated business model where you’re doing more than just putting ink on paper. We aren’t just producing print DM for clients, we’re also running email campaigns.” said the Sydney-based Minnett, who will be attending the conference.

    “We’re trying to move away from just talking about print-related activities to having our members educated about a general marketing base, and helping printing guys connect with agencies,” he said.

    The Dscoop international annual conference will be held on 22-24 March.

  • Craft leaves no mark on Inprint

    IPMG’s rationalisation of Craft Inprint sees all mention of Craft scrubbed from the company’s website.

    According to Stephen Anstice, CEO of IPMG, discussions of Craft’s future are still ongoing as the newly single Inprint brand begins to be marketed on its own. The Craft printing site in Alexandria continues to operate under the Hannanprint banner, while two aging web presses have been decommissioned resulting in the loss of 23 staff.

    “Both presses are about 30 years old. There is not enough work for them, and they weren’t a material part of our operation. We have always attempted to redeploy people where we can, but in this market we don’t have any open positions within IPMG,” says Anstice.

    The website redesign and press/staff redundancies follows the decision to split the high-profile printing brand. To streamline its eastern seaboard commercial print profile IPMG has merged Inprint’s Sydney management team, including Lindsay Hannan, into Offset Alpine’s facilities at Lidcombe.

    Hannanprint’s managing director, Tony Dedda continues to oversee Craft’s viability and integration options within IPMG’s new $90 million Warwick Farm facility.