Archive for March, 2015

  • Issue 693 – 1 April 2015

    Statistics are wonderful, they can usually be framed in a way to prove anything you like. The latest drupa global trends survey is a remarkable document, thorough, in-depth and ostensibly objective. It surveys the whole world, which is fair for a show of drupa’s ambition. But some of the conclusions will leave Australian printers scratching their heads. How did we become the poster pinups of press utilisation?

    You are one of more than 7000 industry professionals across Australia and New Zealand reading Print21.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor

  • Aussie printers win in global utilisation

    Australian printers enjoyed the best press utilisation rates in the world last year, according to the drupa global trend report.

    In a somewhat surprising claim, the report said that 56% of local printers reported improved utilisation, compared to a falling global average of 44%:

    Regionally North America and the Middle East reported broadly similar results to last year and Australia even reported better conditions (56% improved utilisation compared with 41% last year). But South & Central America and Asia reported worsening conditions.

    However, the news was not so good for Australian suppliers, with Australia/Oceania reporting the worst international supplier revenue figures of any region for the year – down 14%:

    Supplier revenues and margins are a mixed picture.  The regional pattern for supplier revenues is very mixed with an overall net positive balance. Those reporting revenues up are North America (+21%) and Asia (+11%), both S/C America and Africa are neutral at 0% and there is bad news for the Middle East (-5%), Europe (-4%) and Australia/Oceania (-14%).

    The Drupa report warned that while the financial health of printers is dependent on increasing utilisation to counteract a drop in prices, Australia/Oceania showed “great weakness reflecting the fragile economic performance in those regions.”

    Printer revenues rise with greater utilisation despite price and margin falls.  It is clear that the financial health of printers worldwide is dependent on ever-increasing utilisation to counteract a universal drop in prices and margins. Strikingly in every case all measures have slipped backwards in 2014, sometimes by just a little and sometimes by a lot, except paper prices where the reduction in price increases has slowed (a price increase is treated as negative in this measure).  Europe and Australia/Oceania show great weakness reflecting the fragile economic performance in those regions while the softening of economic prospects for Asia and South/Central America are reflected in poor overall measures.

    The study concluded that the printing industry is showing sustained recovery from the global recession, with 48% of service providers expecting their company’s economic situation to improve in the coming year.

    Werner Matthias Dornscheidt

    “The generally upbeat picture reported by the expert panel surprised us,” said Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, Chairman of Messe Düsseldorf, the company that organised of the report.
    “Both the print service providers and the international supplier industry gave a positive evaluation of the economic situation of their own companies,” said Dornscheidt.  “Even more surprising, however, was that the print and supplier industry is heading into 2015 with a very positive outlook.”

    But results from individual performance measures revealed “a much more mixed picture,” according to the report:

    Sales for print service providers continue to rise – but are less pronounced. 39 % of print service providers report an increase, whereas 22 % show a drop in sales. This positive balance of 17 % is well below the positive net balance of 27 % from the first survey.

    The margins for print service providers continue to fall.  Almost half (43 %) of the print service providers surveyed report falling margins, while just 16 % succeeded in increasing margins. Positive exceptions here are the markets of North America and the Middle East, where 29 and 28 % reported increased margins.

    Digital print is growing fast but is still a small percentage of turnover for most printers. As quickly as the share of digital printing in the overall print technology mix continues to rise, most turnover continues to be generated from traditional print. Only ten percent of the print service providers surveyed achieved more than 25 % of their 2014 sales in digital printing (2013: 8 %).

    Print service providers are not turning to services outside the print sector. Often recommended as a new business area – but not yet realised in practice: just 27 % of the print providers surveyed achieved more than ten percent of their sales with services outside the print sector (e.g. asset management for customers, updating databases, etc.).

    The entire version of the Drupa report is available in English and other languages for a price of EUR 249.00 at www.drupa.com.  The Executive Summary is available as a free download.

    (The word drupa is a portmanteau of the German words druck and papier; print and paper respectively.)

     

  • Printers set the ball rolling in WA

    A Printer’s Ball and the inauguration of a Printer’s Hall of Fame will light up the western state as it retains its reputation of innovation in celebrating print.

    The new event will be staged later in the year,  replacing the former PICA presentation dinner traditionally held in late August.

    Printing Industries State Manager, Western Australia, Paul Nieuwhof, said that with the re-introduction of direct entry into the National Print Awards and some states electing not to continue their PICA events in tough sponsorship conditions, the west decided to opt for something different.

    Paul Nieuwhof

    The new format will feature fewer protocols, changes to categories and entry conditions, separation of companies by size, a scheduling change and move to a more informal networking and social function.

    “Western Australia prides itself as being the first state to run a PICA from 1978 and it has been a continuing success story,” he said.  “We recognise the difficulties many states have been facing with sponsorship becoming more difficult, probably impacting on them a little sooner than in WA, and so we decided to completely re-think our approach. The result is a new kind of event from 2015.”

    Mr Nieuwhof said changes to entry conditions will limit the number of entries a company can submit per category and also group them according to company size.

    “By making this distinction it is expected that companies will be more likely to enter work into the more highly contested categories because they will be competing with like-sized businesses and not the big end of town,” he said.  “We also decided to move the event to 14 November and this will become the WA Printers Annual Ball. Formalities will be kept to a minimum with only a few business awards and the coveted Best of Category being announced. All winners will be recognised in the Winners’ Hall of Fame, which will be opened for viewing after the night’s formalities.”

    Mr Nieuwhof said it was intended that the Hall of Fame become an event within an event creating opportunities for recognising and congratulating the winners and encouraging attendance from companies who want to attend for networking but not necessarily as contestants.

    “We think that these changes will be successful in attracting more entries and will take the event forward both in the eyes of the sponsors, the contestants and those that come along on the night,” he said.

    Entry information will be available soon.

  • Songbird hits the high notes at NPA

    One of Australia’s leading ladies of song, Wendy Matthews, will head up the entertainment at this year’s Media Super National Print Awards.

    Bookings are now open for the 32nd National Print Awards Presentation Dinner and those intending to be at the celebration are encouraged to download a form from www.nationalprintawards.com.au and return it as soon as possible, or to email organisers on printawards@printnet.com.au

    Susan Heaney, Chair of NPA, said it was a real ‘coup’ to secure Matthews for the industry’s ‘night of nights’, which is already expected to be a sell-out event as it co-incides with the final day of the PrintEx15 exhibition at the nearby Sydney Showground, .

    “Wendy is a wonderful artist and powerful performer, with an extraordinary, crystal-clear voice and soulful style which has not only seen her music chart consistently over her long and illustrious career, but has earned her one of the strongest live followings in Australia,” Heaney said today.

    “We are delighted she is able to join us at this year’s Awards Dinner and would urge anyone who intends to be there to enjoy her performance and celebrate the achievements of our industry to book early as demand for tickets to the industry’s ‘night of nights’ is sure to be strong.”

    Matthews is one of the legends of Australian music, with an unrivalled reputation earned through her time with Models and Absent Friends, as well as her illustrious solo career. She has had numerous singles reach the Top 20 including Token Angels, Let’s Kiss, The Day You Went Away and Friday’s Child, several Top 20 albums, including three which went platinum, and is no stranger to Awards ceremonies, having won no less than seven Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards.

    As well as this first-class entertainment, guests will enjoy a sumptuous dinner and of course witness the presentation of the coveted National Print Awards Gold Medals together with several special awards, including the Media Super Young Executive of the Year, the Media Super Printing Industry Legend, the Currie Group Award for Brilliant Images in Print, the Fuji Xerox Effectiveness Award and the Heidelberg Australia Award for Excellence.

    For more information about the Awards – which will be held at Waterview in Bicentennial Park, on Friday 15 May – or to download a registration form, go to www.nationalprintawards.com.au. Tickets to the event are $125 a person.

     

     

  • Blue Star at the pointy end of POS consolidation

    Sydney-based printer continues its run of acquisitions in the point-of-sale marketing sector with a heads of agreement to take over The POS Collective.

    Lee McClymont, POPAI

    The transaction follows on Blue Star’s acquisition of STI Lilyfield last year and Thompson POS in February. The POS Collective is itself the result of the consolidation of two businesses, OSS Digital and POP Impact. It makes Blue Star into a major player in the space with Lee McClymont, general manager POPAI, the sector association, hailing it as part of a move towards a more sophisticated industry. The POS Collective is a multi-award winner at the POPAI annual competition.

    “It’s good news for the sector and part of the trend towards consolidation as companies look to acquire more capabilities. Clients are looking for integration from companies able to handle multiple complex campaigns,” she said.

    According to Blue Star, the deal forms part of an ongoing growth strategy to create a formidable and unique offering for retailers and marketers in the retail marketing space in Australia. The business will be integrated with Blue Star’s existing retail display facility in Padstow, with the combined business operating under the Blue Star brand.

    Along with further enhancing Blue Star’s existing production capability in Padstow, this acquisition will also add a well-established offshore supply chain through a dedicated sourcing and procurement team in Asia. The majority of existing POS Collective employees will be offered employment with Blue Star as part of the integration, which brings additional talent into the Blue Star business.

    Blue Star STI General Manager Guy Watson will lead the combined business, with Ashay Sharma and James Camilleri assuming senior roles within the business. Greg Edkins and Zac Bank will support the business through the initial transition phase.

    Matt Aitken, Blue Star’s COO said there will be benefits from the acquisition for all customers. “In addition to The POS Collective and the recent Thompson acquisitions, Blue Star will continue to invest heavily in this area with our strategy focused on the growth and expansion of our value proposition in the retail marketing space.”

    The alignment in growth strategy for both The POS Collective and Blue Star makes this acquisition a good fit for both businesses  “We are genuinely excited about providing our client base with both local and offshore manufacturing options moving forward,” said Ashay Sharma, director, The POS Collective.

  • On the road with Paper and Print

    Printing industry initiative Two Sides Australia is launching a national tour to promote the power of print.

    The Value of Paper and Print (VoPP) National Roadshow will run throughout April and May and visit Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

    Kellie Northwood, executive director of Two Sides Australia and head of VoPP, will talk to marketers, media buyers and industry stakeholders about new Australian research that highlight’s the role of print in multi-channel campaigns.

    Kellie Northwood

    Northwood will also present case studies of brands that are using print successfully.

    All of the events are free and you can register attendance via this link
http://www.printnet.com.au/vopp-roadshow.html

    DATES AND VENUES ARE:

    Tue 21 Apr – Adelaide – (10.30am – 12 noon)
The Hackney Hotel, 95 Hackney Road, Hackney

    Wed 22 Apr – Perth (7.30am – 9.00am)
Metro Hotel, 61 Canning Highway, South Perth

    Thu 23 Apr – Melbourne (8am – 9.30am)
Trunk Restaurant, 275 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

    Wed 6 May – Sydney (8am – 9.30am)
Blacksmith Cafe, 116 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills

    Thu 7 May – Brisbane (8am – 9.30am)
Northshore Riverside Cafe, 297 MacArthur Avenue, Eagle Farm

    The VoPP Roadshow is sponsored by the Printing Industries Association of Australia and Media Super.

     

  • How consumer laws affect printing companies

    Printing Industries’ Legal Advisor Michelle Blewett

    The impact of consumer laws on printing companies will be examined in Printing Industries next free web seminar on Wednesday 8 April.

    The 30-minute webinar, which begins at 1pm AEST, will provide an overview of consumer laws for Australian printers, focussing on their responsibilities, liabilities and proposed future changes.

    Topics include:

    • Consumer guarantees
    • Obligations and liabilities for business
    • Warranties
    • Unfair contract terms
    • Misleading and deceptive conduct
    • Sales practices
    • Future reform possibilities

    Guest presenter, Printing Industries’ Legal Advisor, Michelle Blewett, said printing businesses were no different to any other business in the application of consumer law.

    “In fact, because repetitive copies of printed ‘goods’ are sold in volume, there is a greater risk to the business that owners need to be aware of,” she said.  “Areas of challenge from customers under consumer laws can include what is deemed to be acceptable quality, and whether it is fit for specified purpose.  Another area of high risk is consequential loss – how you can be held responsible if your actions, for example late delivery, cause a commercial loss to your client.”

    Ms Blewett said warranties are legally binding on companies and can include a verbal promise to do something.

    “There are many existing and some new legislative changes that affect the way printing companies do business and we encourage management at all levels to make themselves aware of these by attending this webinar,” she said.

    A 15 minute Q&A session will be held at the end of the webinar.

    To register for the webinar, click here

  • Horizon booklet maker from Currie Group

    Automated booklet maker is top of the class for Tony Wouters of SchoolPix

    Another HP Indigo press installed late last year meant Victorian school photography company, SchoolPix, had to upgrade its finishing line to keep pace.

    Tony Wouters is the founder and owner of the growing photographic and printing business that harnesses the ability of digital technology to produce personalised photo albums and posters for schools. Along with his wife Mandy, the professional photographer has created a unique enterprise that blends personal service with high technology imaging.

    He runs a team of photographers that spreads out across the state to photographically document school and preschool students individually and in classes every year. The digital files are then carefully processed back at Hallam into a varied range of photographic products, all of them personalised and unique, all of them capturing a precious moment in the childrens’ development.

    With the business growing strongly Wouters put in a second HP Indigo digital press following it up with a highly automated near-line Horizon booklet maker. Since then he’s been impressed by the increase in productivity in the operation.

    “It’s doing everything we were expecting and everything we hoped for and everything we want it to,” said Wouters.  “We installed the new Horizon just before Christmas and it’s been up and running since we returned from the holiday break.  We’ve seen a major, dramatic improvement in lead time, improved output and reduced costs.”

    On a business growth path: Mandy and Tony Wouters.

    Wouters says the business has been growing steadily since SchoolPix first introduced booklets for children several years ago, and the new HOF-400/SPF-200L/FC-200L booklet maker is helping to cope with demand.

    “The new Horizon also allows for different covers and different internal content.  We’re able to produce booklets of many different sizes and we’re also producing a memory book for preschoolers and kindergarten children.  We now employ about 20 photographers, and seven or eight teams are out on the road every day in Melbourne and country Victoria.

    Wouters has seen some dramatic changes in the school photography market since he started out 34 years ago.

    “From film to digital, obviously, but things are just much more personalised now.  We offer many different kinds of booklets and photo packages to choose from and we’re careful to back that up with an unmatched level of customer service.”

    Wouters paid tribute to the Currie Group, distributor of the Horizon booklet makers.

    “I take my hat off to them.  Currie is a great company to work with in terms of service and support and supply.”

     

     

  • Any horse so long as it’s near the door: Brunner

    Environmental management is something all businesses should bother with, but it’s such a wooly term. In a way it has to be vague because it means running your business to have the least negative environmental impact possible, and how do you define that?

    If you’re in the mining business your challenges will be rather different than if you are a florist. The graphic arts industry has equivalent extremes, from gravure printing that has to deal with very nasty chemicals, to digitally printing documents on demand, the producers of which give chemicals and their disposal barely a second thought. Environmental management in all cases is necessary and useful. Fortunately there are only two options we consider relevant for all graphic arts situations.
    These are the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), developed by the European Commission and ISO 14001, the Environmental Management System standard. In many ways they are similar but both are established and recognised, with uptake across all manner of industries.

    EMAS has been around for several years and is designed to help companies go beyond the bare minimum of legal compliance. It has much in common with ISO 14001, but has additional focus on legal compliance and getting people involved in environmental performance improvement. Like ISO 14001 it requires external validation of a company’s management system, however because ISO 14001 is an ISO standard, it tends to have more international credibility than EMAS.

    Environmental management is increasingly important in many industries, although it has to be said that printing and publishing companies aren’t a big part of this cohort. But for printers especially, it’s a mistake to overlook the benefits environmental management systems can bring. Not least is the business efficiency improvements that come out of improved resource management. There is also the benefit of having a coherent environmental impact management structure for customer relations and supply chain management.

    Choosing EMAS or ISO 14001 is a matter of what works best for the business. ISO 14001 is considered a stepping stone for EMAS so that there is no duplication of effort, if you already have ISO 14001 and want to gain EMAS certification. The main difference between the two is that EMAS tends to go a bit further in some areas such as legal compliance. There is also a heavier emphasis on performance improvement which is evaluated with an annual performance audit.

    ISO 14001 is more concerned to see improvements to the system itself, and that the company complies with the law but there is no specific legal compliance audit. Also ISO 14001 doesn’t include anything about public dialogue, unlike EMAS which requires open dialogue. The question isn’t really which of the two to choose, but when to make your choice. Sooner is better than later.

    – Laurel Brunner

     

    Laurel Brunner

    Verdigris acknowledges its supporters Agfa Graphics, Digital Dots, drupa, EFI, Fespa, Kodak, Mondi, Pragati Offset, Ricoh, Shimizu Printing, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

  • PaperlinX gets time out from stock trading

    Extending last week’s trading halt in its shares into a voluntary suspension from being quoted on the Australian Stock Exchange, gives the paper merchant an opportunity to reach an agreement with its European financiers.

    In a brief statement to the ASX the company said …

    PaperlinX Limited (ASX: PPX) (the  Company ) requests that  a  voluntary suspension be granted by the ASX from the commencement of trading on  30 March 2015 until the commencement of trading  on  Wednesday, 8 April 2015 with respect  to the Company’s fully paid ordinary shares.  

    For the purposes of ASX Listing Rule 17. 2 , the Company provides the following information:

    (a) the  voluntary suspension is necessary as  a  subsidiary of the Company  is  still  in discussions with  one of its European financiers in relation to  a likely breach  of  a  banking covenant and accordingly, the Company is not yet in a position to make an  announcement regarding this matter.  The Company considers it appropriate that it enters into voluntary suspension so that it can  manage its continuous disclosure  obligations and to avoid the market trading in  PPX securities  happening on a basis that is not reasonably informed ;

    (b) the Company requests that the  voluntary suspension continues until the earlier of  the Company making an announcement regarding the matter above and the  commencement of trading on  Wednesday, 8 April 2015 ;

    and (c) the Company is not aware of any reason why the  voluntary suspension should not be  granted or  of any other information necessary to inform the market about the  voluntary suspension.

    The request for a suspension would appear to indicate that the negotiations with the Europeans are difficult. It is pointless to speculate as to what the sticking points are, but a fire sale of assets would be a very bad outcome.

     

  • Cash crunch for PaperlinX in Europe triggers trading halt on ASX

    Paper company is in talks with European financiers about the likely breach of a banking agreement by one of its subsidiaries.

    The cash flow problem was flagged in the company’s Interim report in February when PaperlinX Chairman, Robert Kaye, warned that a fall in European sales led to pressure being placed on our European lending covenants.  The European business, a long-time drag on the company’s otherwise relatively buoyant Asia Pacific operations, reported a loss of Aus$20.7 million (Euro154.9 M) for the six months to the end of December.

    Despite continuing cost cutting that saw trading expenses down by 8.5%, the business continues to bleed cash triggering a potential crisis. PaperlinX successfully sold its Spicers Canada business and maintains the ensuing liquidity gives it sufficient time to continue a Strategic Review to decide the best way forward.

    In the interim report Kaye said, “This is a disappointing result out of Europe. In December when we announced the Strategic Review the Board flagged it was taking a more cautious stance on the outlook for the European business and we had no choice but to consider the position regarding non-ANZA assets.

     “The sale of Spicers Canada provides liquidity into the Group to ensure the Strategic Review can continue and ultimately can deliver the best outcomes for shareholders.  The Review is progressing and we remain positive about the prospects of securing transactions with one or more interested parties in relation to our European businesses.”

    The sale of the European assets is likely to be adversely affected if the company is in breach of its banking agreements. A firesale approach will obviously not be good for the bottom line. The disappointing result comes after many months of effort in Europe by former CEO, Andrew Price, who left suddenly earlier this year.

    The trading halt is in force until start of business on Monday 30 March, or until PaperlinX makes an announcement to the market. New CEO, Andy Preece, is ever more likely to be running a smaller, more Australian/NZ-centric business in the near future.

    This is no bad thing for the industry, if not all that good for shareholders. The local Spicers, our largest paper merchant, is well-run, profitable, with a diverse range of products, expanding outside its traditional paper sales. Once free of its entanglements in Europe it is likely to take off where it left off before being distracted by international ambition.

  • Issue 692 – 27 March 2015

    Over the past decade, PaperlinX invested its shareholders money in becoming the world’s largest paper merchanting company. As a business ambition it was always difficult to see the value of having international reach in a market where price margins are razor sharp anyway. While the North American businesses did OK, the European ventures proved a disaster. Now the birds, mostly vultures, are coming home to roost. Expect an announcement in the near future of the disposal of some, if not most, of PaperlinX Europe subsidiaries as the company puts a trading halt on its share trading.

    You’re one of more than 7000 industry professionals across Australia and New Zealand reading Print21.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor

     

  • New chapter for printed books

    Sales of printed books in Australia have bounced back over the past two years after a period of steady decline in the face of booming e-reader sales.

    Over the past five years book sales have fallen steadily but last year’s sales proved a turnaround with revenues picking up to $937 million, up from $918 million in 2013.  The increase is largely due to the popularity of children and young adult fiction books and high-profile titles, such as Matthew Riley’s thrillers.

    Local book printers, such as Opus, PMP and SOS are all reporting a lift in sales, with an increase in the number of titles coming back onshore as print runs tumble and delivery times shorten. Digital presses are now accounting for most of the titles printed in Australia.

    Australian author Don Watson, winner of this year’s Indie Book of the Year prize on Wednesday night with his book, The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia, reckons that much of the bounce back is due to the resilience of small local bookstores. In his acceptance speech he thanked the “little book stores all over the continent that keep the book and many hearts and minds alive.

    Don Watson

    “Writers and readers and publishers, suburbs, towns and communities, from toddlers to old-age pensioners, the whole country is blessed by them.  They have fought off the monopolising tendencies of capitalism, the internet, mobile phones, and ipads. They have defied the general trend to instant gratification, fads, fashion and ignorance itself,” said Watson.

    HIs book won both the non-fiction prize and the Indie book of the year in the awards chosen by Australia’s 170-plus independent booksellers.  Melbourne writer Sonya Hartnett won the fiction award for her novel Golden Boys.  The debut fiction prize went to Maxine Beneba Clarke for Foreign Soil.  The children’s and young adult book of the year was Withering-by-Sea by Melbourne writer Judith Rossell.

    Nielsen BookScan in Australia collects data at the point of sale directly from all of the major book retailers.

    According to Nielson’s latest figures, collected from retailers nationwide for the four weeks ending 24/1/2015, these were the top best-selling books in Australia:

    1. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Vintage)
    2. The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney (Puffin)
    3. Family Food by Pete Evans (Plum)
    4. American Sniper (film tie-in) by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen & Jim DeFelice (HarperCollins)
    5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Hachette)
    6. The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (Pan)
    7. Private Vegas by James Patterson (Century)
    8. Gone Girl (film tie-in) by Gillian Flynn (Hachette)
    9. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (Puffin)
    10. The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly (Macmillan).

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Snap marketing rebrand delivers revenue boost

    An ambitious rebranding strategy by Snap Franchising, one of the largest print providers in the country, is already producing results.

    The ‘transformation’ program has been months in the making and follows extensive customer research. The new branding and centre design rollout aims to position Snap as an all-in-one destination for small business print, design and online marketing services needs.
    “Our first new model in Pyrmont has already exceeded our initial revenue forecast and we have seen several walk-ins responding to the website marketing,” said Snap CEO Stephen Edwards.

    Stephen Edwards, CEO, Snap

    “The new model centres have a strong sales and marketing approach which is based on partnering with our clients and includes our new ‘Ideas Centre’, which helps clients put their ideas to work. The new centres are being more prominently located with a dynamic image and fit-out and we are focused on providing great client experiences. Our Snap brand provides comfort to our clients that we continue to be the experts in print, but now we can offer the essential marketing ‘must haves’ for our clients,” said Edwards.

    After more than 100 years in operation, the transformation of Snap’s physical footprint represents “a significant milestone for the company, its franchisees and their clients,” according to a company press release.

    Australian small businesses are no longer behind-the-curve when it comes to marketing, and are reaching a ‘tipping point’ that will see them become globally competitive. Changing customer behavior and increasing marketing sophistication among small businesses has been substantiated and validated by specially commissioned research from local firm 10 Thousand Feet.
    The research investigated the perceptions, behaviours and preferences of Australian small business owners in relation to marketing services. The study’s findings highlight that Australian businesses increasingly demand a wider range of print, design and online services to market their business, as well as greater levels of customisation and more personalised approaches from suppliers.

    “The common theme is based upon high-level client experiences that have a laser focus around helping businesses launch, refresh, promote and grow,” said Edwards. “Through multiple research programs with Snap clients and non-Snap clients, the company is now more focused on solutions for time-poor SMEs. They need a partner in one place that can manage their brand on their behalf and can help them grow their business with the ‘must have’ products and services that they can afford. The SMEs are also keen to know what marketing is best for their industry type and we are able to help them understand which products and services could work best for them.”

    Snap Pyrmont in Sydney was the first store to rollout the company’s new strategy, while two new destinations have opened in Victoria and another is scheduled to open in Perth in the next few months.  There are a total of 150 owner-operated Snap centres in Australia and another 35 centres in China, New Zealand and Ireland.

  • Christchurch printing climbs back after earthquake.

    Bruce Bascand, managing director of Christchurch print and design firm Caxton, was determined to save the business after its iconic CBD factory was destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 2011.

    “Our building was in the red zone so we were immediately locked out.  But on the second day a couple of us managed to get inside the building and we pulled out all of our servers,” Bascand told Print21.  “We were forced to run the company out of our sales manager’s house for a while, and we ran the art shop out of my house.  Then 33 of us were crammed into a tiny temporary location for a couple of years but we just had to make the most of it.

    Bruce Bascand

    Caxton, formerly The Caxton Press, this month opened its new custom-built NZ$4.8m building in Wigram, Christchurch, just over four years since the quake.  The original stained glass windows and front door from the old building have been incorporated into the new premises.

    “It’s been a stressful time and a real battle but the new building is fantastic and three times the size of the old building.  It gives us greater capacity and allows us to deliver a higher level of service to our customers.  While the quake was devastating to the whole city, it gave us a chance to relocate and build Caxton’s base.  It was also a chance to rebrand and refresh with an eye on the future and we look forward to exciting times ahead,” said Bascand.

    Meanwhile, across town in Linwood, offset UV printing specialist Permanent Press says its sales have finally returned to pre-earthquake levels.  The company’s headquarters suffered serious damage in the quake when an internal wall collapsed over machinery.  “We were just lucky that no staff were injured,” co-owner Mark Feldwick told PrintNZ.

    Permanent Press relocated to new premises in March 2014 and the old building was demolished.  Feldwick thanked his staff for the recovery of business.  “Having loyal staff is the key to success in any business.  22 February 2011 is a day we will never forget.”

     

  • In the face of continued market dominance by sites such as Amazon, we have decided to discontinue offering graphic arts and printing industry books to our readers.

    What stock we had over of Trish Witkowski’s Fold manuals are available without charge to colleges and TAFEs on application to the Publisher. For those of you wanting to know more about Trish’s excellent industry resource click The Fold Factory.

  • Brilliant images in print recognised by Currie Award

    The Currie Group Award at the Media Super National Print Awards is created to recognise those print jobs that use imagery in an innovative and effective way.

    The Award is judged by a panel of representatives appointed by the Currie Group from all appropriate National Print Awards entries. Phillip Rennell, Sales & Marketing Director of the Currie Group, says imagery is so critical to the vast majority of printed pieces that it deserves its own award.

    "We all understand the power of images," Phil Rennell.

    “Currie Group has a long history in print in Australia and we are delighted to continue our support of the industry by once again being a Gold Sponsor of the National Print Awards,” Rennell says. “We all understand the power of images and their ability to communicate but the clever and considered use of imagery can do so much more – it can generate emotion, influence perceptions and create a powerful connection with the viewer.

    “Today, with images captured and shared more than ever across an enormous variety of channels, images in print must work harder than ever to achieve cut through and influence the viewer – and that’s what we’re looking for in our winner.”

    The judging criteria for the Currie Group Award is deliberately broad, says Rennell, as reflected in the variety of printed pieces which have won over the years, but the winners have all shared the ability to use brilliant images to connect with the viewer in a powerful and effective way.

    “As long as print has existed, brilliant images, perfectly reproduced and used in an innovative way to enhance the effectiveness of a printed piece has been a kind of ‘holy grail’,” he explains. “We not only look at the quality of the reproduction, which of course is a prerequisite for all Awards presented at the National Print Awards, but also consider the purpose of the printed piece, the choice of images to help support that purpose, and the way they are used to enhance the overall job.”

    The Currie Group Award for Brilliant Images in Print will be presented at the Media Super National Print Awards Presentation Dinner on Friday, 15 May at Waterview in Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park. Further information about the event can be found at www.nationalprintawards.com.au