Archive for June, 2016

  • Fuji Xerox names Sunil Gupta as new MD

    'We must now look forward and redefine who we are': Sunil Gupta, MD, Fuji Xerox Australia

    Fuji Xerox has appointed Malaysian-based Sunil Gupta as managing director of Fuji Xerox Australia to replace Neil Whittaker, who left the job suddenly last month after an audit by Singapore HQ.

    US-educated Gupta transferred to Malaysia in 2012 as president of Fuji Xerox Malaysia and chairman of the Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific Advisory Board.

    Mr Gupta is an accomplished leader of global enterprises with experience across the United States and Asia, said Fuji Xerox in a statement.  He brings to the company a wealth of experience in building world-class teams and helping organisations through complex transformations.

    Mr Gupta commenced his career with Xerox Corporation in 1979 and has held senior positions including President and CEO of Xerox International Partners based out of Palo Alto, California, President of FX Asia Pacific Malaysia Operations and board positions in related businesses.

    He joins Fuji Xerox in Australia to lead the business toward the next stage of growth and support Australian businesses through their digital transformation journey.  

    “I am honoured to accept this new opportunity to lead the team in Australia and look forward to showing Australian customers the value that we can provide them,” said Gupta.  “We must now look forward and redefine who we are both internally and externally. I am impressed by the talent throughout the organisation and am focused on getting back to basics to create a company that is easy for our valued customers to do business with, foster a winning and engaged culture internally and continue to carve out market share across all industries by delivering greater value.”

    Gupta starts his job in July 2016, taking over from acting MD Masashi Honda – President, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific – who flew in to steady the ship in the weeks following the abrupt departure of Whittaker.



  • News Corp launches new Sunday magazine

    News Corp Australia says it will spend $6 million on a multi-channel marketing campaign to launch a new Sunday magazine titled Stellar, which will replace Sunday Style.

    'Unashamed backer of print': Damian Eales, MD metro and regional publishing, News Corp

    Stellar will be inserted into NSW’s The Sunday Telegraph, Victoria’s Sunday Herald Sun and Queensland’s The Sunday Mail, providing a combined weekly reach of upwards of 2.9 million Australians.

    The new magazine will cover entertainment, lifestyle and food and feature contributors including celebrity chef Matt Preston and fashion guru Marina Afonina.

    “From an advertiser’s perspective, there are very few other times during week where you have an audience that’s more engaged, more relaxed and more forward-focused in terms of the week ahead,” said Damian Eales, News’ managing director of metro and regional publishing.

    News was an unashamed backer of print, as well as digital, and would continue to look for opportunities to grow the print market, he said. “Despite what you might read elsewhere, the reality is a very large proportion of Australian population, both young and old, are consuming our printed products on a daily basis.”

    Sarrah Le Marquand has been appointed editor-in-chief of Stellar and will commence her new role on Monday, July 4. Le Marquand is a columnist, editor of opinion site RendezView and a former features and opinion editor of The Daily Telegraph.

    “Stellar will have a unique mix of both flair and substance, but with an edge, and readers can expect the unexpected every Sunday,” she said. “Our content will deliver an entertaining mix of news, celebrity features and lifestyle content,” she said.

    Stellar will launch on Sunday, August 28, replacing Sunday Style which will be retired the week before.




  • EFI partners OKI Data on C900 printers

    An OKI C900

    EFI has teamed up with OKI Data on a new EFI™ Fiery® digital front end (DFE) to drive OKI’s C900 Series digital production color printers for the graphic arts and specialty printing markets.

    The new Fiery C9 Server drives six models from the C900 Series Multimedia Production Platform. These OKI printers provide a low cost of entry and deliver high value output for graphic designers and print shops seeking to expand print applications across a wide variety of media sizes, types and thicknesses.

    Customers can now take advantage of an industry-leading Fiery-powered workflow that delivers advanced job and color management capabilities and outstanding performance.

    The Fiery C9 DFE also includes support for OKI’s clear and white toners found in the C941 and white toner found in the C942, leveraging these printers’ unmatched capabilities to:

    • Apply clear toner to selected design elements to make them pop, or coat the entire page for a high-gloss finish
    • Produce print jobs that incorporate crisp white toner, as a spot color, or intelligently apply white under CMYK to create captivating high-contrast color graphics on dark media
    • Leverage robust variable-data support, combined with Fiery specialty color features, to apply white or clear toner to envelopes to affordably create sophisticated, attention-demanding mailings
    • Produce high-impact prints using an unprecedented range of specialized media types such as colored media, transparent film, magnetic media, synthetic substrates, extra-heavy card stock, and more
    • Offer a wide range of higher-value printed products varying from 3″ x 5″ cards all the way to 13″ x 52″ banners.

    Fiery technology is known for its many industry-leading capabilities, including:

    • Consistent job management across all Fiery Driven™ printing devices using the latest version of EFI Fiery Command WorkStation®, the powerful, intuitive job management interface that lets users manage their printers locally or remotely from a single user interface.
    • Best-in-class color management tools with Fiery Spot-On™ for reproducing and adjusting critical must-match spot colors and Image Enhance Visual Editor for providing time-saving image corrections within print jobs, such as red-eye, sharpness, contrast, saturation without the need to go back to edit the original document.
    • Advanced color and file processing functionality with the optional Fiery Graphic Arts Package, Premium Edition that provides powerful prepress features to print the job right the first time. Users can also produce color-critical jobs with confidence and achieve consistent color precision with the optional Fiery Color Profiler Suite and ES-2000 spectrophotometer.
    • Workflow automation tools such as Fiery Hot Folders, Virtual Printers and server presets that come standard with the Fiery C9 Server and increase operational efficiency by automating a variety of processes and creating custom workflows.
    • Short-run, personalized printing, a high-demand service that the new Fiery C9 Server facilitates through its support of leading variable-data printing (VDP) industry standards, with additional, included capabilities such as Fiery FreeForm™, an entry-level VDP product that does not require specialized software applications.

    OKI Data Australia is headquartered in Sydney and also has an office in Melbourne.





  • Priceless antique papers to be digitised

    From the Zonghi collection

    A treasure trove of antique papers dating back to the 13th century has been acquired by the Italian-based Gianfranco Fedrigoni Foundation ISTOCARTA, which plans to digitally scan the collection for online study.

    The foundation says it has fulfilled its longstanding wish to acquire the priceless collection of antique papers assembled by filigranologist Augusto Zonghi (1840-1916) thanks to “the remarkable generosity of a sustaining board member.” The collection was also being sought by the US Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and the Labarre Foundation of the Netherlands.

    The Zonghi collection consists in of ten large archival cases containing 198 folders holding original fragments and whole sheets of historic paper samples from Fabriano – the earliest of which date from the thirteenth century – and the album of tracings of the “Watermarks from the historic mills of Fabriano,” organized in 134 tables, with 1887 watermarks traced from 3,372 paper samples examined by Zonghi.

    In a statement, the foundation said: The Gianfranco Fedrigoni Foundation ISTOCARTA intends to initiate the digital scanning of the papers in the collection, enabling them to be eventually added to the existing European network of paper sample collections with reference to the project Bernstein ‘Memory of Paper’, supported by the European Commission.  The project aims at creating a European network online for the study of antique papers and the simultaneous consultation of the databases.  In addition, the Foundation aims to support Fabriano as a center for historical paper studies.


    The Zonghi collection has long been held in high regard by researchers and paper historians around the world, and was exhibited as early as 1900 at the Universal International Exposition of Paris, where it was pronounced ‘unique in the world’ by the Judiciary Committee and acknowledged as a valuable reference source for the study of paper made in the Fabriano area, one of the most historically important papermaking centres of Europe.

    Upon Augusto’s death in 1916, his collection came into the possession of the Colombo Baravelli family of Fabriano, who preserved it until the present day.

    After several mid-20th century attempts to purchase the Zonghi papers and take them out of the country, Adriano Casciola, then-director of the Fabriano city library, persuaded the Ministry of Public Education to declare the collection of ‘significant historical and cultural importance’ and issue a decree preventing their sale outside of Italy.

    The decree was officially signed by the Ministry on September 17, 1951, thereby preventing any national or international entity from removing the  collection to a location outside of Italy.  After publication of the limited edition volume Zonghi’s Watermarks by the Paper Publications Society of Hilversum, Holland in 1953, interest in the collection by librarians, scholars and historians continued to grow. Organizations such as the Labarre Foundation of the Netherlands, the Library of Congress of Washington D.C. in the USA, and the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro e la Conservazione del Patrimonio Archivistico e Librario (ICRCPAL) of Rome all communicated the importance of accessibility of the collection of original papers to interested researchers from all over the world.

    Recently, the Gianfranco Fedrigoni Foundation ISTOCARTA made an offer to acquire the collection from its present owners, and a 60-day waiting period transpired while the right of first refusal by the competent authorities was in effect.  Upon completion of this step, the announcement was made that the path was clear for the acquisition of the collection by the non-profit organization ISTOCARTA.


    The Augusto Zonghi Collection consists of ten large archival cases containing 198 folders holding original paper samples which date from the thirteenth century.  The samples were collected by Prof. Augusto from local archival documents and illustrated by his brother Can. Aurelio Zonghi, a celebrated figure of Fabriano. The papers have since been kept in a custom antique wooden chest (pictured).

    An album of tracings of the “Watermarks from the historic mills of Fabriano” collected by Professor Augusto Zonghi accompanies the collection.  Zonghi carefully reproduced 1887 watermarks in outline form organizing the images in 134 Tables.  The watermarks were traced from 3,372 paper samples examined and manually described by Zonghi in a register, where he recorded the following information: catalogue number, date of the document, description of the watermark design, number of chain lines present in the sheet, dimensions of the whole sheet, and provenance and reference information regarding the source of the fragment or full sheet.  This data establishes essential parameters for the individual watermarks (when present) and the historical and technical characteristics of the individual paper sheets.

    The collection is of inestimable value for paper historians, librarians, conservators, collectors and other interested scholars, that will only increase in importance with the additional information certain to be revealed by further study from numerous perspectives: historical, technical and scientific.

    More info here.



  • oOh!media acquires Junkee Media

    oOh!media's RAC billboard

    ASX-listed outdoor advertiser oOh!media has paid $11 million for an 85% stake in youth publisher Junkee Media as part of its digital and data strategy.

    “Junkee Media has superior online real estate, a track-record in connecting with the desirable millennial audience, is among the best in the business when it comes to developing native content that works and has proven its ability to amplify advertisers messages through social channels,” said oOh! Chief Executive Brendon Cook.

    Junkee Media is one of Australia’s fastest growing media companies and its youth-focused titles include Junkee, music sites inthemix and FasterLouder, and native content platforms AWOL and The Cusp. Junkee engages with more than 1.25 million unique visitors a month and 5.5 million millennials through social channels every week.

    Under the deal, oOh!media will acquire 85% of Junkee Media for $11.05m, with a right to acquire the remaining 15% of shares from three remaining Junkee shareholders.

    Cook said oOh! has been acquiring assets that not only provide advertisers with more targeted audiences but also build on its content capabilities as part of its digital and data strategy.

    “Native advertising is increasing in importance each year in Australia. This reflects trends in the US, where native advertising is growing at 17% per annum. We started this journey with the launch of content platform Q-view and we later added and to deliver advertisers a 360-degree offline and online marketing channel to reach specific audiences. These content platforms have generated new revenue from advertisers, in categories including telco, B2B, travel, tourism and government, who have invested in campaigns that combined Out Of Home advertising with native content running across the social, online and mobile platforms.

    “The acquisition of Junkee Media was the natural next step for oOh! as it is a clear market leader and has set the benchmark for native content engagement in a mobile and social world,” said Cook. “With the rapid growth of short form social mobile video content and Junkee Media’s clear expertise in delivering this content, we are excited about the possibilities of delivering the best content across our market leading digital signage network in environments designed to engage with audiences.”

    Junkee Media CEO Neil Ackland added: “We are very excited to become a part of oOh!, a company that clearly shares our ambition to be at the forefront of digital innovation and content. The media landscape is changing at an incredible pace, and together we are uniquely positioned to benefit from the disruption.”

    oOh!media's giant Audi billboard




  • Schawk and Kayell align on colour

    Schawk Australia, a unit of global brand experts SGK, has joined with GMG and Kayell Australia to standardise local colour proofing capabilities to align with global proofing strategy.

    Kayell Australia is working with Schawk Australia to roll-out new GMG colour management software in four new Epson PSeries proofing devices and at Schawk’s North Sydney headquarters. As part of the GMG implementation, there are several new client onsite facilities setups.

    “We will use the latest version of GMG FlexoProof software on three new Epson PSeries 9070 (44 inch) and one new P7070 (24 inch) proofers, installed and maintained by Kayell,” said Ryan Sharratt, operations manager, Schawk Australia.

    “The ability to calculate the behaviour of overprinting spot colours will save valuable press runs meaning new brand colours can be brought to market quickly, economically and most importantly with insane accuracy,” added Kayell’s director Andreas Johansson. “I believe that once Schawk has implemented the GMG roll out in full, they will see dramatic improvements in many areas. Our key brand owners can be reassured that colour accuracy and consistency will be maintained.”

    Schawk wanted to standardise its global proofing process with a system that would accurately represent colour – no matter the ultimate print process, ink, or substrate used. Schawk’s internal workgroup, the colour Task Force, spent more than a year conducting testing and analysis before deciding to work with GMG’s colour solutions.

  • Print21 plus LIA draw the curtain on drupa 2016

    The latest issue of Print21 magazine is the definitive drupa review with 20-pages of news reports, technology information and Australia and New Zealand industry personalities at the greatest printing show on earth.

    drupa 2016 was a phenomenally successful printing exhibition and technology showcase. The Print21 team of editors and journalists was on the ground in the huge Messe Düsseldorf to report daily on the breaking news and events that defined the iconic exhibition.

    Now the latest issue of Print21 magazine provides the authoritative wrap-up of the show. Packed full of stories and insights into the state of the printing industry in 2016, it’s required reading for everyone who cares about printing.

    Read it online here, or sign up for your own printed copy.

    Karen Goldsmith, general manager Visual Connections congratulated Andy McCourt, editor Print21 on his informative and entertaining presentation.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Lithographic Association of Australia (NSW) held it’s traditional drupa review night at the North Ryde RSL in Sydney. A top line-up of industry personalities and experts reinforced the LIA’s role as the primary organisation for the dissemination of industry knowledge.

    With Warwick Roden as MC contributing his own impressions of the show, Andy McCourt, Print21 editor and industry consultant, kicked off the show with a wide ranging review that identified the key developments that are shaping the industry, from Benny Landa’s new Nanography to hybrid printing, digital finishing to 3D printing. With lot of videos and wry asides he set the light-hearted but informative tone of the evening. He even had pictures of the fire that burned down a drupa hall that was housing refugees.

    Phil Rennell, sales and marketing director, Currie Group was up next with a insightful take on the amazing HP hall and the success of the industry’s largest supplier. As the HP Indigo agent for the local, market Currie Group has elevated Australia and New Zealand to the top rank in the world for installations of the leading digital press. He ranged far and wide over the number of brands and agencies the company represents that were at drupa, including Horizon and Scodix.

    Next up was ‘newbie’ Roger Labrum, a comparative recent addition to Fuji Xerox, who was suffering from being awake for 25 hours with a bad case of jetlag. The solutions marketing manager revealed the long-awaited launch of the iGen5 in Australia is set for August this year. He also talked about the increasing diversity of the Fuji Xerox portfolio with the Durst Tau330 digital label press also coming this way in August. Whether we see the Brenva press and Rialto cutsheet technology in the local market is still undecided.

    Arriving and departing; Roger Labrum Fuji Xerox is still considered a 'newbie' after 12 months, while Paul Whithead, Canon, is heading off tto Venlo, Belgium, to head up Canon's global wide-format marketing.

    Raj Chandiok, general manager graphics, Ricoh gave an overview of its stand, illustrated by more videos. He made the point that Ricoh is looking beyond its own technologies and traditional cut sheet products, taking on board such products as EFI Vutek wide-format and its own developed 3D printing. He gave a rundown on the top of the range Ricoh Pro VC6000 inkjet, which prints at a blistering 150mpm.

    Paul Whitehead, Canon product manager, took the stage after Warwick Roden revealed he’s leaving Australia for a post in Canon HQ Europe in Venlo. Later Paul told me he’s been appointed international marketing manager, wide-format. Congratulations! His take on drupa was candid and informative having been one of the few corporate presenters able to escape from the company stands. Like everyone else he was impressed by the scope of inkjet development, generous in assigning technical ability to all suppliers and speculating on where it’s all going to lead.

    Finally, Wayne Robinson, editor of Australian Printer and ProPrint, took up the challenge of the graveyard shift by giving a wrap up of the trends he sees as defining the recent show. Notably he was sceptical of Benny Landa’s hype, comparing the real with the supposed, like any good journalist.

    The stalwarts of the LIA are to be congratulated on the success of the night and the ongoing engagement of the Association and its role in the technical and social activities of the industry. Mitch Mulligan, Grant Churchill and Mike Williams were on hand throughout the evening and Angus Scott gave thanks to the speakers. Without such dedicated industry professionals the printing industry would be a lot poorer.

    Well done the LIA speakers: (from left) Roger Ludrum, Fuji Xerox, Paul Whitehead, Canon, Raj Chanicok, Ricoh, Phil Rennell, Currie Group, Wayne Robinson, Proprint, and Andy McCourt, Print21.


  • Book printing industry could ‘disintegrate’

    Nick Xenophon at Matilda Bookshop in Adelaide

    The viability of the Australian book printing industry is under threat as uncertainty mounts over the impact of government proposals to remove parallel book import restrictions.

    Leading global book publisher HarperCollins – a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp – has warned that its local book production operation could be forced offshore if the federal government goes ahead with a controversial plan to lift international book publishing standards enjoyed by the US and the UK.

    “Innovations in Australian digital print technology and supply methods means we are looking to on-shore as much book production as possible,” said Robyn Fritchley, director, HarperCollins Australian Publishing Operations. “The government’s plan to repeal parallel importation rules (PIRs) would reverse that trend because print runs would become smaller and less economical, forcing us back to overseas supply.”

    Ben Jolly, CEO of Australia’s largest trade book printer, Adelaide’s Griffin Press, added: “There is a very real possibility the whole local publishing and print industry could disintegrate. What is frustrating about the uncertainty that lies ahead is there is no real evidence consumers will pay lower prices for their books nor will availability improve if PIRs are removed.”

    Griffin Press has 105 employees and engages with many other local companies that would also be impacted by the proposed changes.

    “These include Adelaide’s carton (box) makers, cover embellishment and sheetfed printers, plus local digital and conventional printing support engineers,” said Jolly. “The changes would also impact on paper manufacturers in Tasmania.”

    Australian book printers have embraced digital disruption with significant investments in new technology to remain competitive and deliver fast turnarounds demanded by the local book market, according to Books Create Australia, an initiative set up last month by the Australian Publishers’ Association, the Australian Booksellers Association and the Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) to campaign against the government’s plan. With Australians choosing to read 80% of their books off the printed page rather than in digital versions, book printers are a vital part of the $2 billion local book industry ecosystem.

    Senator Nick Xenophon yesterday joined Jolly and Fritchley at a Books Create Australia media event at the Matilda Bookshop in Adelaide, where he called on the federal government to scrap the plan that he says risks 20,000 local jobs.

    “The Turnbull Government keeps talking about ‘jobs and growth’ and innovation yet the overwhelming feedback that I and my team’s candidates have received from authors, publishers, artists and others in the industry is that this plan will hinder creativity and innovation and cost jobs,” he said.

    “PM Turnbull would have us believe there’s never been a more exciting time to be an Australian – yet he won’t invest in the very industries which educate all Australians – and especially our young people,” Xenophon said. “Removing PIRs will mean that rather than reading an Australian childhood classic like Possum Magic, our children will read American and British books instead. And rather than go in to bat for Australian jobs, the Government plans will reward offshore publishers, printers and wholesalers at the expense of local authors, publishers, printers, distributors and booksellers.”

    Over 15,000 Australians have signed a petition to oppose the plan.

    "As a children’s book illustrator, it has taken me 28 long, hard years to build my career to a point where I am able to do what I love. Through my Australian publisher, Hachette Australia, my illustrations bring joy into the lives of young Australian children every day and night, teaching them about our animals, nurturing their imaginations and bringing that bond between a child and parent even closer - it’s not just about reading. It’s not just a book. Like many Australian authors and illustrators, I speak to thousands of school children every year inspiring them to read, draw, create, chase their dreams - promoting literacy. The proposed changes to Copyright Laws and lifting the Parallel Importation Restrictions by the Productivity Commission, threaten to take all this away, and not just from me. This will be a snowball effect to Australia’s most successful creative industry for decades to come. How important is Australian literacy to our government? How important are our school children and the influences they have in those early years? How important is our culture and the need to support our own? It’s not just a book." - Mandy Foot


  • First Massivit 3D printer into NSW site

    The Massivit 1800 giant 3D printer

    POP, sign and display printer Composite Images of Artarmon in Sydney is the first printer in NSW to commit to the giant 3D machine from Israeli-manufacturer Massivit, placing the order on the spot at drupa.

    Victoria-based start-up OMUS has also placed an order for a Massivit.

    “There is nothing else like it,” says Composite CEO Bruce Scott. “We were looking for something to differentiate us from regular wide format roll and flatbed production, and the Massivit 1800 fitted that bill perfectly – so I went shopping.”

    Delivery and installation will be completed in early September and is fully supported by freshly-appointed Massivit distributor Photo Electronic Services, who also represent Durst in Australia.

    Composite Images is one of Australia’s leading sign, display, exhibition and point-of-purchase manufacturers with clients that include Qantas, Australia Post, and The Star. The company currently has several roll and flatbed devices, cutting and finishing capabilities.

    “The possibilities for exciting, vibrant advertising and promotion are endless with this technology,” says Scott, “a beta site in New York tapped into Sony’s launch of the film Angry Birds and created 3D printed bus graphics, blended in with the wrapping and illumination. It can print virtually any concept in 3D, which can then be finished by wrapping, painting, airbrushing or burnishing.”

    Massivit 1800’s size is not limited to the 1.8 H x 1.5D metre platform capability. Larger 3D products can be printed in sections and then joined together.

    “If a 3D production run is longer, then the thermoforming mould can be produced on the Massivit at a fraction of the cost and in less time than current methods,” says Scott.

    The Massivit 1800 uses a special hardening gel rather than plastic filament to print in 3D, one reason why it is faster than most other offerings, and definitely bigger in output. It was developed by people who know wide-format intimately as they were involved with Idanit, Scitex and HP.

    “The hard part will be keeping our operators and customers away from wanting to 3D print new creations!” beamed Bruce Scott, “Probably me as well.”

    Ordered on the spot at drupa: Composite Images CEO Bruce Scott with Massivit VP of Marketing Lilach Sapir





  • Brexit is all for the best – James Cryer

    It has little or nothing to do with the printing industry in Australia and NZ, but Brexit is top topic for public bar and coffee table talk. Who better than the industry’s gadlfy, James Cryer, to give a definitive – if fairly lengthy encouragement – to those who want to see Britannia rule again.

    Do not be in any doubt: Britain has made the right decision. Not since Henny Penny claimed the sky was falling in has there been so much blatant scare-mongering and mis-truths about the so-called negative effects of Britain’s withdrawal.

    Let’s start with a premise: all so-called free-trade agreements or common markets are a false dawn. For every so-called benefit, e.g. a guaranteed market because you can trade with your neighbour, there are equal or worse negatives, e.g. you’re denied the right to buy from someone else, who may have a better, cheaper product.

    The idea, however, of a free-trade zone is very seductive – so much so we all fall for it. Anything with the word free in it momentarily deadens the brain’s analytical powers and we just accept what comes next in blind faith. (I’m tempted to try the phrase ‘free love’ to test this assertion, but you get my point.) Whoever dreamed up the phrase ‘free-trade zone’ should be given a prize for ‘Most Misleading Term’, as a better description would be ‘restricted-trade zone’.

    The idea of asking countries to sign their life away and give preferential treatment to another country – not because it makes better tractors, but because it shares its borders with you, is perhaps the most idiotic perversion of free-market economics that one can think of. And yet grown-up, adult countries – like Britain and Australia fall for it every time.

    We’ve just been conned into signing-up to join the Pan-Pacific Free-trade zone. Great if you want to ship more Ozzie apricots to mainland China, who would probably have bought them anyway, if they’re any good! But now we discover China is shipping in plane-loads of illiterate Chinese workers to build infrastructure here, and is allowed to take away local jobs. Why? Because it says they must enjoy ‘reciprocal rights’ under our new free-trade agreement!

    The EU has about 27 members and needed a complex free-trade agreement to make them all trade harmoniously together. America has 50 members, called states, and they seem to quite happy to trade and compete among themselves without forming alliances and expensive, blood-sucking bureaucracies!

    So let’s agree – all free-trade zones by whatever name are a con. If Country ‘A’ builds better tractors, or even just good ones, people will beat a path to their door. This highlights the problem. Life has become so unnecessarily complex there are now two layers or levels of markets. The primary or physical one, and the secondary or financial one. Unfortunately all the rich guys these days don’t actually make anything, they simply manipulate financial markets, currency exchange-rates, bank rates, venture capital/private equity, CFDs and a host of other financial instruments, all based on speculation but which contribute nothing to the real economy. Most of us have no clues about things like ‘dark pools’ but they’re all just a form of legalised – the likes of which George Soros, not forgetting Gordon Gekko, turned into an art-form.

    It is these to people, that a huge trading bloc represents a giant money-making machine – just look at the obscene diplomatic/financial-regulatory-compliance/merchant-banking bureaucracies that have sprung up like cancerous lesions all round Brussells and The Hague. They are happy to tell other countries how they should manage their financial affairs, how to produce products which conformed to arbitrary Euro-friendly rules, where, and to whom, to sell your apples or beef or cheese –  recall the famous sausage case – and probably at what price and on what terms. To me, this sounds more like a return to Russia’s command economy of the 1920s than an enlightened, open market economy of the 21st Century.

    There is probably an army of pen-pushers in Belgium who have done nothing of value all their lives – but who have grown fat and rich and corrupt on the levies and taxes and royalties that Britain has been forced to pay for the last 40-odd years. For what? For being told that you must buy from this bunch of countries, that you can’t buy from another country, that you must allow cheap immigrants from Bulgaria or Romania to enter your country and leach off your welfare systems, because Britain – of all the EU countries, offers the most desirable lifestyle and English – which is the passport to international acceptance.

    I don’t hear Switzerland hammering at the gates to be let in, or railing at the injustice of not being a member! When we were there, we didn’t see too many signs of starvation or poverty or despair or the sky falling in, that surely would be the fate that would befall anyone who wasn’t in the EU.

    In fairness, Europe is such a mix of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ that it’s almost impossible to produce a level-playing ground that does not drag the better-performing economies down to the lowest-common denominator. We’ve seen that with the Eurozone and the misguided idea of locking Greece and Portugal in with the likes of France and Germany – it had to result in tears. By taking away the idea of allowing a country’s currency to reflect if it was doing well or not, a fixed exchange-rate virtually became a reward for bad behaviour. It’d be like buying a new house for a bunch of tenants who had destroyed the first one.

    But it’s against this conflicted backdrop that Britain – probably against its better judgement [Prime Minister Edward Heath made the call in 1973 _ed] – got suckered into joining the EU. If it had been with the top-tier countries only; Germany, France, Sweden and Denmark,  it may have worked, bolstered by all enjoying similar standards of living and lifestyles. But someone got too greedy, or unrealistic or just plain stupid, by thinking you could throw the gates open to virtually every tin-pot principality that happens to share its borders with you.

    That’s as silly as saying our kids should only marry people who live in our street! What happened to the fundamental idea of if you want to join our club, you must attain certain minimum standards first! That would have given the EU some cache, some status, something to make other countries become better economic managers before they could join. That way you really would have strong bargaining power to act as an economic bloc, if you wished to.

    But at the end of the day, I keep coming back to ‘What are/were the benefits of EU membership?’ I can’t see any. All I see is that member countries could not buy agricultural products from South America or cars from Asia, or beer from Oz, or butter from NZ – we better not forget our Kiwi cousins – unless there was a higher import duty.

    Well, at least now Britain can start smart shopping globally – she can deal with whomever she wants, to get the best deal from whomever she chooses! When you think about it, it’s a crazy premise to use border proximity, which could mean we share a river, rather than cultural similarity. It could be argued the UK has more in common with NZ than Romania, but she was forced to trade with the latter and not the former, because one was closer. Hasn’t the EU heard about the internet – it’s easier to buy stuff from anywhere – not just from your neighbour. This is crazy stuff – as someone said, the EU was a 1950s attempt to solve a 1940s problem. I’d go one further and say forming alliances are a uniquely European thing, which may have worked during the height of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but which are hardly relevant in the 21st Century!

    Some doomsdayers are seeing this as England pulling the covers up and hiding from global realities, retreating behind a wall of denial. Not at all; I think she’ll get a kick-start of confidence that will scare the living daylights out of silly old France and Holland who must already be thinking: what were we thinking of when we signed our life away – and their sovereignty over border-control – and the ability to manage the harmonious blend of their population.

    If you could put a cost on social disruption and disintegration and dysfunctionality creeping in to Western European countries, this whole EU has been a monstrously bad idea that has probably set back British society rather than enhanced it. The genius’s who draw up the EU plans never foresaw that once you create a common realm it attracts the disadvantaged and less well off, who naturally gravitate to wealthier states where they can get a free ride; access to better food, clothing, education, health care, etc. – a sort of arbitrage where there is a momentary imbalance that can be exploited.

    But when they conceived the EU what nobody seemed to understand was that there’s an island plonked just off the coast that was a glittering prize – a light burning more more brightly than Germany or even France. The UK, home of the world’s most desirable language, a virtual passport to earning money. When you add that to Britain’s other – generous housing, health and social welfare – you turn England into a virtual flashing beacon on the horizon, saying, in effect trample across Europe, just do whatever it takes: end-goal the UK!

    You should never have signed on the dotted line! You signed your own death warrant.

    Control over one’s borders is a fraught topic because it’s easy to be turned into a racist argument. And certainly the shooting of a politician doesn’t help. But wanting to preserve one’s own society is a perfectly valid response, every country does it. We should all be humane and allow genuine refugees and other immigrants into our countries. But as soon as we feel we’ve lost control,  some primeval response kicks in, possibly based in the instinct to defend our own cave from the other caveman! ‘I got here first – now p–s off!’ Yes, it’s crude, unseemly, possibly un-Christian and maybe even unfair –where’s the fairness in ‘I got here first?’ – but it’s deeply ingrained in our human psyche and any politician who ignores it will suffer accordingly. Think David Cameron.

    Another notion closely allied is that of ‘sovereignty’, the idea that what goes on inside one’s own borders is not  being manipulated by some faceless outsiders. Rightly or wrongly – and sovereignty is only a benign form of the more insidious nationalism – pollies tread into dangerous territory when they sell off their own country’s right to make their own determinations as to how they run their own country. I can’t imagine America giving away any concessions that allowed a foreign country, or bunch of faceless bureaucrats, to interfere in their own daily lives. That was where Britain made its gravest error, which has now been rectified!

    Where to from here? I believe England should take a bow at being the first country to have the guts to say ‘We’ve had enough!’ The sky won’t fall in, your  Underground will continue to work like clockwork, your beer will still be flat and tasteless, your politicians will continue to be as stupid as ours, but you’ve gained self-respect, a new sense of purpose. Let’s be honest, you’ve impressed the backside out of half of Europe who secretly envy you thumbing your nose at a bunch of un-elected apparatchiks making ludicrous decisions.

    Britain – and Scotland take note – you should be thankful you weren’t caught up in the Eurozone currency disaster and didn’t have to bail out the profligate PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain!).

    In conclusion, one of the take-home lessons we’ve learned from all this is that we don’t really have democracy in Westminster or in Canberra or Washington. We have a very flawed system of representation, that doesn’t really represent the true wishes of the people. Switzerland may come closer with its referendums, which are the purest form of democracy. There is now a strong case that our Westminster system should allow more referendums on such critical issues as this. Sadly, it sends the message that the people have a better feel for running the country than their elected pollies who seem driven by self-interest.

    Anyway there’s always silver lining behind every cloud: at last bloody Poms will be able to drink decent beer from Oz, lap up tasty butter from NZ and guzzle the world’s best whisk – it was an international judging panel – Nant, from Tasmania. So bring on the revolution  – go the Poms, you’ve shown the world you can act assertively,  you’ve kicked sand in the face of the bully.

    It’s all upside from here.

  • Issue 818 – June 29, 2016

    Not everyone in the printing industry can take the time, or afford the money, to go to drupa. Yet, the iconic trade show in Düsseldorf is where the future of printing is on display and it’s important for every professional to be aware of what’s happening. The latest issue of Print21 magazine is a definitive resource for those wanting to keep up to speed with the technology trends and industry developments that are affecting all of us. Attending the LIA (NSW) drupa review night is another excellent way of staying in touch. The pity is more, especially young, professionals are not engaged with the industry associations. They are not doing themselves any favours. Printing may no longer be a craft but learning from those with experience is still an important path forward. Come on, get in touch!

    Welcome to the latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information resource for the printing industry across Australia and New Zealand.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor

  • Macaulay pushes PIAA restructure

    (l-r) Mary Jo Fisher, Membership Services Director, PIAA; Andrew Terrell, Terrell Print Finishing (Adelaide); Andrew Macaulay, CEO, PIAA.

    New PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay is pushing ahead with plans to decentralise the peak industry association by moving some management roles out of Sydney and setting up state-based standing committees.

    Macaulay announced the changes following a national roadshow to meet association members after his appointment to the job early in May.

    “Following meetings with members in all States, PIAA has implemented a small but significant restructure,” he said. “The purpose of this is to re-focus the ethos of the organisation on member service and communication. One element of this will be to decentralise the senior management of the association, stationing senior expertise around the country, in the various State offices.

    “The position of General Manager, Sales & Marketing, based in Sydney, no longer exists,” said Macaulay. “This role will be replaced by two roles, a Membership Services Director and a Marketing and Communications Manager. Many members will know Mary Jo Fisher, who is stationed in Adelaide. Mary Jo has been appointed to the newly created role of Membership Services Director. Mary Jo will join the PIAA management team, will remain based in Adelaide, and will lead the Membership Services staff nationally. She will have additional roles in assisting me with lobbying, and her IR expertise will remain available to PIAA for significant test cases. We have commenced recruitment to replace Mary Jo in her current role. Depending on candidates, it is envisaged that this role will be stationed in Adelaide or Perth.”

    Macaulay will be on the road again during July, as the PIAA holds a Standing Committee meeting in each state/territory.

    “In every state, we’ll be holding member-only forums to discuss issues within the state and the industry,” he said.

    The association also announced that Sandrine Dart – former GM, Sales & Marketing – who joined the PIAA during former CEO Jason Allen’s time at the helm, has now left to pursue other opportunities. “We thank Sandrine for her efforts and wish her well with her future endeavours,” said Macaulay.

    (l-r) Diana Frankcom, Adelaide Digital Reflex Printing, with Andrew Macaulay, PIAA.

    The team at PIAA headquarters, Chatswood, NSW





  • Southern’s ‘crazy stamp’ receives top award

    (l-r): Pride In Print judge convener Symon Yendoll, Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull and Southern Colour Print managing director Sean McMahon

    Dunedin mayor Dave Cull presented New Zealand’s premier print industry award to local company Southern Colour Print at a ceremony at the The Octagon in the city centre.

    Southern Colour won the coveted Supreme Award at the 2016 New Zealand Pride In Print Awards held last month for New Zealand Post stamps printed on the fabric used in the Adidas jerseys worn by the Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks in 2015.

    Using rugby jersey fabric for a stamp that is useable for postage is an industry first and has been praised by postal authorities, stamp enthusiasts and Adidas.

    The award-winning stamps

    In front of an audience of Pride In Print patrons and sponsors, Otago printing industry stalwarts and representatives from New Zealand Post, Mayor Cull congratulated Southern Colour Print for showing how an Otago company can successfully compete on the international stage.

    “Dunedin is renowned for leading the way in business creativity, innovation and excellence,” he said. “Southern Colour Print’s achievement in winning this coveted award exemplifies these qualities and reinforces Dunedin’s reputation as one of the world’s great small cities – an internationally competitive and growing knowledge centre.”

    Simon Allison, Head of Stamps and Coins at New Zealand Post, says the national carrier was proud to work in partnership with Southern Colour to deliver the innovative stamp. “The ‘can do’ attitude displayed by Southern Colour Print enabled this seemingly-crazy stamp idea to become a reality,” he said.

    Pride In Print Awards Manager Sue Archibald said the entry had been a perfect showcase for the quality and ingenuity of the New Zealand printing industry.

    “The stamps also won the Industry Development Category of the Awards, which is the platform to present innovative and avant-garde techniques. This is ground-breaking technology – the judges asked ‘what is it?’ when they first picked up them up. Closer inspection showed the stamps featured mini cut-outs of the World Cup-winning jersey.

    “The out-of-the-box thinking in using the materials worn by Richie McCaw, Ben Smith, Kieran Reid and company simply stunned the judging panel. Stamp production will never be the same again after this.”

    Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull with the Southern Colour Print team

    (l-r) Pride in Print Awards manager Sue Archibald, Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull, Southern Colour Print MD Sean McMahon, Pride In Print judge convener Symon Yendoll and PrintNZ GM Ruth Cobb


  • Colour Graphic adds offset upgrader Printflow

    (l-r) David Crowther, Colour Graphic Services, Bran Sulla, Printflow

    Colour Graphic Services has boosted its arsenal with Printflow – a software/hardware combination that upgrades offset presses of any age and brings them up to CIP3 standards with automated, closed loop ink control.

    “There are still hundreds of presses in the Australian market with manual ink key adjustment,” says David Crowther of Colour Graphic Services. “There are two basic Printflow products: Printflow DIPS – Digital Ink Preset System – links prepress workflows to press consoles, thereby automatically programming ink key settings for each job; and Printflow DC delivers the whole process complete with press-side bar scanning. The hardware and software is quick to install and learn and works will almost all offset presses – even newer ones where Printflow can be more economical than OEM ink setting automation.”

    Crowther confirmed his company’s appointment at drupa with Printflow VP Bran Sulla, who looks forward to his first visit to Australia for PacPrint next year.

    “We have over 2,000 Printflow systems installed around the world, mostly in North America and they have proven to be a reliable investment for printers, with a very fast ROI in time, accuracy and ink usage,” says Sulla. “The oldest press we have retrofitted is from 1986 and the newest, 2015. We look forward to working with David and his team in the Australian market.”

    Crowther adds: “Printflow is an ideal fit to our existing process control products from Techkon, Just Normlicht and Mellow Colour. The benefits are huge, with presses achieving correct colour more quickly and then holding that colour throughout the run. We can retrofit to most presses and bring printers closed-loop colour control in 2-3 days – it’s all benefits with no downside. Printflow DIPS, DC and Inkflow are profit-accretive from the first job onwards.”

    Printflow DC delivers complete closed-loop colour control. Printflow DC can include a Techkon bar scanning spectrophotometer/densitometer which feeds the measured colour bar values to the DC display, and the ink key adjustments needed to hit colour targets. If a printer already owns a Techkon or X-Rite scanning unit, Printflow DC works seamlessly with the existing scanning software The correction data is automatically fed to the print console and ink fountain keys are automatically adjusted.

    Printflow’s drupa stand was busy with printers seeking to bring their presses up to modern CIP3 automated and colour standards




  • Merger and move for NZ’s Fisher Print

    A Komori machine arriving at the new building

    Over 100 years in business and still evolving a�� Fisher Print is a stalwart of the New Zealand printing industry. Founded in 1897 in Feilding, Fisher Print has moved site four times due to growth, before its recent relocation to Palmerston North. This follows a merger with Wickliffe Palmerston North, formerly K&M Print – also over 100 years young.

    With 50 staff covering the mid-lower North Island, Fisher Print offers a full range of digital, wide-format, offset and finishing services. They also have an integrated customer ordering portal. Fisher Print are proud of their in-house specialist print finishing department which provides foiling, embossing and die-cutting services.

    Komori in the house

    From business stationery to full colour marketing collateral, magazines and annual reports, Fisher Printa��s web based ordering system makes it easier for client to order reprints and check job progress.

    Site manager Arjen Spekking says producing a quality product is of utmost importance.

    a�?We treat all orders as equally important no matter if it is a receipt book, envelope or a corporate profile. When a product leaves our doors, it has been through a strict quality control system so we can guarantee it is of the highest quality.a�?

    Fisher Print serves a wide range of industries, with local and nationwide clients. Having outgrown their site in Feilding, it made sense to move to K&Ma��s bigger building to enable future growth, further investment in new technologies and to help increase workplace efficiencies.

    Fisher Print have joined many print businesses in investing in more environmentally friendly equipment.

    a�?No chemicals are used in pre-press, ita��s all environmentally friendly now,a�? Arjen says. a�?Progress on all jobs can also be immediately checked with a barcode system. On average we have 350+ jobs on the go and we are only growing.a�?

    Having been through an apprenticeship himself, both Arjen and Fisher Print are firm supporters of on-job training.

    a�?It is very important to have skilled staff – they are the backbone of your company – without them you cana��t survive. With workplace training you can pass on knowledge to the younger ones. This is the best form of training – hands on, learn while you work. Training apprentices is an important issue for the whole printing trade. We need more apprentices and now and we are keen to be part of this for our business.a�?

    Arjen enjoys the variety that working in the print industry provides.

    a�?Every day is another challenge and no printed job is the same. Every day you learn something new. You might think you have seen everything but there is always something you havena��t come across, particularly with technology changing so quicklya�?

    Arjen says having positive and motivated staff is critical to business success.

    a�?It is said that people are your most valuable asset. This encompasses both clients and staff alike. Look after them all and they will look after you.a�?

    As for the future, Fisher Print intend to maintain their strong focus on quality and investment in modern equipment in order to produce the best possible outcome for their clients.

    Colour check printer Craig Evans and print team leader Hamish Finlayson of Fisher Print


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  • Media Super helps printers with SuperStream

    Most printing companies are small-to-medium businesses with less than 20 employees. Meeting regulatory requirements can often present these companies with challenges, especially when it comes to superannuation.

    For small employers with less than 20 employees, the deadline for becoming SuperStream compliant was 30 June 2016 and all contributions must now be made electronically with linked data and payments.

    MediaSuper’s clearing house, MercerSpectrum, is now available to any printing employer, no matter how big or small, making it easier for you to meet your employer obligations. And the best thing? It’s FREE for you to use*.

    On the other hand, if you are a medium to large employer with 20 or more employees, the ATO announced that from 1 November last year they are focusing on employers who have been identified as non-compliant with SuperStream.

    If you still haven’t made the transition, don’t leave it any longer – call 1300 721 408 and a dedicated project manager will assist you in becoming SuperStream compliant today. 

    Make the switch now

    With two easy-to-use payment options to choose from, you have the flexibility to select a system that suits your business.

    1. MercerSpectrum – for businesses making payments to multiple funds.
    2. Employer Online – for businesses with less than 20 employees and no Choice of Fund members.

    You can register for MercerSpectrum today, or alternatively call 1300 721 408 to get started or to learn more about Employer Online. If you are currently using a third-party clearing house or Media Super’s Employee online and wish to switch to MercerSpectrum, you can register in three easy steps using the online employer self-registration portal at Or you can call our team on 1800 640 886.

    Further information on the different payment options is available at

    *Mercer reserves the right to charge employers for this service where the number of choice members exceeds the number of default members.

    This article provides general information only, and does not take into consideration your personal objectives, situation or needs. Before making any financial decisions you should first determine whether the information is appropriate for you by reading the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and/or by consulting a qualified financial adviser. Issued by Media Super Limited (ABN 30 059 502 948, AFSL 230254) as Trustee of Media Super (ABN 42 574 421 650).

  • BJ Ball’s More than Paper arrives in Sydney

    Paper merchant BJ Ball’s national tour More than Paper for creatives and printers arrives in Sydney tomorrow, Thursday 30 June.

    The event at Aura Creative Space, 7 Hudson St, Redfern, will run from 11am to 5pm and feature innovative wide format applications, foils, varnishes and inks, as well as packaging and labels solutions.

    BJ Ball More Than Paper National Tour
    Students welcome!
    11am – 5pm
    Aura Creative Space
    7 Hudson Street