Archive for April, 2018

  • Issue 1004 – April 27, 2018

    It’s good to see that Nourish was rescued following the collapse of publisher Blitz Publications. Though not as huge as magazines like Woman’s Day or New Idea, smaller niche publications like Nourish (not to mention Print21) nonetheless form a vital part of Australia’s media landscape – to say nothing of the jobs they provide to thousands of journalists, graphic artists, printers and many more across the country.

    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information service for the Australian and New Zealand printing industry.

    Jake Nelson
    Editor – Labels and Industrial Print

  • Avon Graphics buys Bob Minto’s Rotoflex Coatings

    Keeping up with industry changes: Tate Hone (right) with Rotoflex GM Chris Cummins.

    Tate Hone continues to expand his family’s specialist print trade supplier and embellishment company, Avon Graphics, with a buyout of high-profile Sydney print finisher as part of his strategy to grow through acquisition and investment.

    Buoyant and confident in the future of printing and print embellishing, Hone confirms the latest takeover and points towards further acquisitions. He tells of significant investment in high-end heavy metal equipment with a delivery already on the water.

    “We’ve invested in heavy metal, buying equipment that ten years ago we thought we’d never buy again. The commercial sector is changing and we’re finding it very interesting at present. Packaging is a growth market for us,” he said.

    “It’s amazing how the growth of Australian-made goods for China is increasing demand. The arrival of overseas supermarket chains here is also increasing the demand for high-quality packaging for locally sourced products.”

    The Avon Graphics buyout of the Silverwater-based Rotoflex Coatings gives added impetus to industry consolidation in the print-finishing sector. The two companies are close neighbours in the Sydney suburb and while owner Bob Minto is retiring, Chris Cummins, general manager, is staying on to run the business. All staff will remain and according to Hone, it’s “business as usual.”

    “Some of the equipment we’ll take across and eventually consolidate the two sites. Other stuff will go to our interstate operations. It’s good for us and it’s good for the industry,” said Hone.

    The buyout takes Avon Graphics to over 100 people across the country with further growth anticipated across its traditional print finishing and embellishment complemented with a burgeoning digital wide-format business.

    Other developments in the sector sees a sale of Alan Goulburn’s Sydney-based All Kotes in February. This follows his divestment of the Melbourne division to Protectaprint last year.



  • State of Indigo – NSW leads by a nose

    With two weeks left in Currie Group’s State of Indigo competition, the Blues are one win away from wrapping up the series – but if the Maroons take next week, a nailbiting tie-breaker will be in store.

    NSW leads 4-3 in the nine-week competition, meaning the next round could decide the contest for the Premier State – but Queensland can’t be counted out yet, with a great opportunity next week to square the board and put the Maroons back into contention for an epic grand finale.

    MVPs so far are:

    • Week 1: CMYKhub (NSW) & Cornerstone Press (QLD)
    • Week 2: Super Labels (QLD) & RFID n Print (NSW)
    • Week 3: Assta Label House (NSW) & Ultra Labels (QLD)
    • Week 4: CMYKhub (NSW) & Cornerstone Press (QLD) (the same as week 1)
    • Week 5: CCL Sydney (NSW) & Nova Press (QLD)
    • Week 6: Emerald Press (NSW) & Label Power (QLD)
    • Week 7: Allclear Print + Signs (QLD) & Graphic Packaging (NSW)

    The competition is based on the weekly Print Beat scores of HP Indigo printers. Adjustments are made to ensure a level playing field – mostly through factoring in week-over-week improvement percentages. The state that has the best combined Print Beat results on their HP Indigo printers for March and April will be crowned the winners at the end of the competition.

    PrintOS Print Beat is a cloud-based print optimisation solution that delivers historical and near real-time data for better, faster decision-making and improved print operations, making day-to-day print operations more efficient, productive and enjoyable.

    The top two companies from the winning state will win two tickets to join Currie Group and HP at Game One being held at the MCG in Melbourne with return air fares and a night’s accommodation.

    MVPs Week 1 and 4

    Picture 1 of 7

    Week 1 and Week 4 MVPs: CMYKhub (NSW) & Cornerstone Press (QLD)

  • Blitz liquidator makes a deal for Nourish

    NSW publisher Lovatts Media has bought Nourish magazine, following last month’s collapse of Melbourne publisher Blitz Publications and its printing division, Graphic Impressions.

    Blitz – now in the hands of liquidators PKF Melbourne – published a total of nine brands, including Nourish, Women’s Health and Fitness, Natural Health, Ironman Health & Fitness and Natural Vegan.

    ‘Defying the trend’: Rachael Northey, CEO Lovatts Media.

    Lovatts Media CEO Rachael Northey says “the last-minute deal” with ensure the popular title continues to be published in Australia. Northey believes the demand for high-quality niche magazines is growing rather than declining.

    “Against the backdrop of many publishers closing titles, our magazines are defying the trend and performing very strongly,” she says. “One of our core beliefs is that magazines should be filled with content worth paying for, rather than being heavily diluted with ads. This commitment allows us to create magazines that draw a passionate audience of loyal readers. It also gives us the ability to carefully choose the brands we partner with – creating value for our readers and advertisers alike.”

    Privately-owned Lovatts Media, based at Terrigal Beach on the NSW Central Coast, produces 24 print titles in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, as well as a range of B2C and B2B websites, digital properties, and syndicated content. The company is a crossword magazine pioneer and publishes Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles, and

    Lovatts last year bought a beachfront office on Terrigal Esplanade for $6.1 million and launched new mindfulness titles Breathe, Teen Breathe and Audrey Daybook.

    Nourish will undergo a redesign with a focus on sustainability and plant-based living, with an editor yet to be appointed. The magazine was first published by Blitz in March 2013, aimed at women seeking recipes, nutritional content and eating plans.

    Former Blitz CEO Silvio Morelli welcomed the news. “I am delighted that Nourish has found a new home with Lovatts Media, who I’m sure will take the title to a whole new level. I wish the Lovatts team all the best with this beautiful title. The Blitz team are so proud to see how far it has come and look forward to seeing its further evolution with the new design on the shelves in a few months.”

    Nourish will be published monthly, both in print and online. It will be available in retailers nationally, including newsagents, Coles and Woolworths, and via subscription.

  • CanPrint wins $8.3m ATO contract

    CanPrint’s 24-production facility at Nyrang Street, Fyshwick, ACT.

    ACT-based CanPrint Communications has signed a four-year deal with the Australian Tax Office worth $8,306,037.11 for the supply of Material packing and handling.

    The contract, just published on the Federal Government’s AusTender site, runs from 1 Feb 2018 to 31 Mar 2021.

    CanPrint – a division of Hong Kong-controlled Opus Group – is a long-term government printer with two locations in the ACT – at Fyshwick and Hume.

    Earlier this year, CanPrint updated a six-year, $5.6 million contract with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) for the provision of Printing, Mailhouse and Fulfilment Services.

    Meanwhile, office supplies business Complete Office Supplies (COS), based at Lidcombe in Sydney, has signed a new $5.79m contract with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for the supply of Stationery. The deal runs from 3 April, 2018 until 3 December, 2020.

    IVE Group has updated a $990,000 agreement with the AEC for the supply of Ballot Papers for the House of Representatives (Victoria). The contract period now runs until December 2019.

  • Winds of change: APN Outdoor’s new strategy guru

    Jeremy Howe, APN Outdoor.

    APN Outdoor has appointed Jeremy Howe as its new chief strategy and innovation officer, reporting to CEO James Warburton. Howe comes to APN Outdoor from Telstra, where he most recently served as director of product innovation for retail.

    According to Warburton, Howe’s appointment is part of APN Outdoor’s growth strategy and a push for competitive advantage. “We have a clear strategy, focused on transformation, innovation and the evolution of APN Outdoor in the broader media eco-system. With a strong balance sheet, successful operations in Australia and New Zealand, and growing revenue and earnings, APN Outdoor is well positioned for the future,” he said.

    “Jeremy has excellent strategic skills, a proven track record in driving innovation and a depth of product innovation experience across the telecommunications and media sectors. I am delighted that he will be part of the APN Outdoor executive management team.”

    Howe said he was ‘thrilled’ to be joining APN Outdoor at such a transformative time, and looks forward to his new role. “I am excited by the business’ appetite for creativity and innovation, and am very much looking forward to developing longer-term strategies and initiatives that will result in profitable returns for APN Outdoor,” he said.

    Howe is the latest appointee among a number of high-profile positions at APN Outdoor, including Philip Knox as chief financial officer and Charlotte Valente as general manager for marketing. Warburton is also a recent appointment, having left V8 Supercars for APN Outdoor last october.

  • Moving to the beat of success – Print21 Magazine

    “We like to give our customers full confidence”: Deni Boyd (right) with Peter Smith, digital press operator, Dashing.

    From a small five-man operation 15 years ago, Dashing Group has grown into a powerhouse printer employing more than 130 people in Sydney and Melbourne. Jake Nelson went along to Dashing’s production facility in Lane Cove to learn more about this company on the go.

    For the full story, including how HP’s PrintOS Print Beat software has helped Dashing streamline its business; the titanic HP Indigo 10000 press on the factory floor; and the wondrous HP Indigo ’76 Billion’, check out the latest issue of Print21 magazine.

  • Exelprint hits ‘next level’ with new Truepress

    (l-r) ExelPrint MD Jason Kiekebosch and operations manager Damien Gray with the new Screen Truepress Jet L350UV.

    ExelPrint of Rowville, Melbourne has become the third Victorian site for Screen’s Truepress Jet L350UV digital label press, supplied through Jet Technologies.

    ExelPrint is part of the growing ExelNetwork and specialises in the printing of safety, testing, asset and identification tags, and the new device will help the company diversify into new areas.

    “The addition of the Screen L350UV from Jet Technologies enables us to go to the next level of tag and label production as we implement our ‘2020 Vision’ strategy,” says Exel MD Jason Kiekebosch. “We are a niche player and will remain specialists in what we do but, there are logical opportunities we will now pursue. For us, every job is a variable data job with numbers, barcodes, QR codes and so on.

    “Both Jet Technologies and Screen have been terrific in their support and responsiveness and we look forward to partnering with them further as we develop more innovations for our customers.”

    Kiekebosch started the business as Appliance Testing Supplies and today the business comprises three divisions: ExelPrint, ExelTest and ExelTrain. Headquartered in Rowville, Melbourne and with sales offices in Perth and Auckland, the company services the sectors of electrical testing, industrial safety training and printing of the tags and labels needed to ensure compliance, safety and tracking.

    ExelNetwork at Rowville, Melbourne.

    ExelPrint adopted digital production in 2013 when it became the first Australian site for Heidelberg’s Linoprint-L inkjet label press, now discontinued and unsupported.

    “It’s been a great machine for us but, we’ve been mostly unsupported and fending for ourselves,” says Kiekebosch. “Also, we had reached the stage where we needed more colour, ability to print on wider and different stocks and importantly, white ink. We conducted extensive research and testing, particularly at Jet Technologies’ Sydney demonstration suite – and decided that the Screen L350UV was the best path forward.”

    Exel has also ordered an additional finishing line that will arrive soon, made in Australia by Rotary Engineering and offering unwind, varnishing, flexo, laminating, cold foil, semi-rotary die-cutting, slitting and rewinding. Operation management is under the control of Damien Gray and a team of about 30 – of who 11 are engaged in ExelPrint.

    Peter Scott, MD of Screen GP Australia said: “Together with Jet Technologies, we are delighted to have been able to partner with ExelPrint on their digital label production needs. Jason and his team are real professionals and a pleasure to work with. Our support structure is largely what won them over and we intend to prove that, with Screen equipment, you can depend on long-term after sales support.”

    ExelPrint manufactures both packaged ‘off the shelf’ and custom labels of all kinds.

  • Entries open for 27th ACA awards

    Entries are open for the Australasian Catalogue Association’s (ACA) 27th Annual Awards and this year’s event will feature new categories with an increased focus on effective retail marketing.

    The ever-growing International Awards Program last year reached over 740 entries and attracted 750 attendees.

    “This year we have worked through our community stakeholder feedback and offer some new award categories – we are thrilled to include a new Point of Sale and In-Store category as well as a stronger focus on Custom Publishing and Magalogues sector,” said Kellie Northwood, CEO, ACA.

    “Over the past quarter, we have met with 127 stakeholders across the retail and agency community, it was very clear that point of sale is strongly linked to other retail campaigns, including catalogues and magalogues. From this we have developed the category and added Point of Sale.

    “Year after year, the Awards continue to be a celebration of a vibrant and growing industry,” said Northwood. “Last year we saw many more commercial printers entering for their retail work and we welcome the industry to select their best retail work and enter – new TSA Member entrants receive a discount on their entries so we look forward to including all retail print marketing campaigns.”

    The awards night will be held at MCEC on Friday 7th September, with Melbourne funny-man Dave O’Neil as Master of Ceremonies.

    From Home to Fashion, Cosmetics and Pharmacy to Recreation and Leisure, B2C to Retailers, Digital to Direct Mail there is a category for your retail and letterbox marketing campaign. Annual rivalries between the big retailers continues with Myer and David Jones, Kathmandu and BCF, Big W and Kmart, Dan Murphy’s and Vintage Cellars, Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, Harvey Norman and Freedom all competing to be the best within their sector. Boutique Retailers stomp their hard-earnt territory demonstrating retail marketing strategy and brand positioning is not limited to the big players alone. Each entry is judged based on the merits of effectiveness and campaign success. Judges range from Senior Creatives, Retail Marketers and Industry Stakeholders all bringing together their respective expertise to determine Finalists and ultimate Winners.

    Award entries close 5pm, Friday 8th June, 2018. Judging in Melbourne will take place from 25th to 28th June, in Sydney from 2nd to 4th July and in Auckland on 6th July.

    For more information visit

  • Out with the old and in with the new

    ‘Superior quality’: Peter Hogan (right) and Mark Hogan, Hogan Print, with the new Foliant Mercury 530SF 4×4 laminator from Currie Group.

    When the laminator at Sydney’s Hogan Print finally wore out after years of hard work, the owners knew exactly where to turn: Currie Group, who had supplied them with equipment for five years. Now their new laminator and folder are both up and running, and Hogan Print staff couldn’t be happier with the results.

    Hogan Print is located in the busy industrial area of Artarmon, on Sydney’s lower North Shore. The family-owned business, run by director Peter Hogan and his three brothers and cousins, performs a wide range of digital and offset jobs, including point of sale, brochures and cartons.

    Its two most recent acquisitions, a Foliant Mercury 530SF 4×4 laminator and a Horizon AFV-566/TV 564 folder, both from Currie Group, were installed last September and November respectively. According to Peter Hogan, the new laminator was a much-needed step up from Hogan Print’s existing machine. “We’ve laminated in-house for a very long time, and we literally wore out our previous laminator from the work we put through it, so we were due for an upgrade,” he said.

    At PacPrint in May last year, Hogan viewed and demonstrated a variety of laminators from different suppliers, and found that the Foliant Mercury was the one best suited to the company’s needs. “We were impressed with this machine for its speed, its superior quality, and its capacity for coating both sides of the sheet at once, which has increased our productivity,” said Hogan.

    Hogan Print also picked up its new Horizon folder after viewing it at last year’s expo. The company already owned two Horizon stitchers plus a creaser/folder, and staff had always loved the quality and ease of use Horizon machines provided. That made the AFV-566/TV 564 folder a natural fit, said Hogan. “Going to PacPrint, we were quite keen to see the folders Horizon had to offer, and we were incredibly impressed by the machine. It was so easy to use, with minimal make-ready due to its automation, and the fact that it could do such complex folds with so little difficulty was just amazing,” he said.

    Both the folder and the laminator have given Hogan Print a boost to its business since going in late last year. The folder has reduced the company’s make-ready times and delivered a consistent high quality of output, while the laminator has increased the number of sheets that can be produced per day, meaning the vast majority of Hogan Print’s laminating work can now stay in-house.

    Hogan is very pleased with the service and the quality of products that Currie Group has to offer, as well as the level of training provided. “They have access to some of the best products and brands on the market, and their salespeople and installation technicians are very helpful and know their products very well. Our installations were very smooth, and our staff were taught every aspect of the machines in a quick and easy fashion,” he said.

    Hogan believes that Currie Group’s status as a distributor rather than a manufacturer gives it an edge in providing high-quality equipment. “They’ve been able to hand-pick some of the best brands in the printing industry – they’re not constrained by being a manufacturer who’d have to sell their own products,” he said.

    Richard Watson, Currie Group.

    Richard Watson, NSW/ACT state manager at Currie Group, says Hogan Print has been a pleasure to deal with over his four years in the role. “Hogan Print were one of the first businesses I dealt with. They had bought an HP Indigo press prior to my arrival.

    “In recent years, we’ve had the opportunity to expand our partnership – among other things, upgrading their Indigo. They are very nice people, a multi-generational family business, who are well regarded in the industry,” he said.

  • Issue 1003 – April 24, 2018

    ‘History is bunk’ according to Henry Ford, but tradition runs deep and informs the present. Anzac Day may not have the mythic power it once had over the Australian and New Zealand psyche, but it’s still a significant day in the calendar. The ANZAC alliance and its culture of mateship are enduring legacies worth preserving.

    It’s as well to mourn the dead and honour the sacrifice of the many in the service of their country. We’d all be much poorer if we lose that desire and ability.

    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information service for the Australian and New Zealand printing industry.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor

  • Australians who flew for Bomber Command honoured in UK

    James Cryer (r) with wireless operator Tony Adams, 94, at the opening of the International Bomber Command memorial.

    Britain has acknowledged the role Australian personnel played in Bomber Command during the last war. On a windswept hill in Lincolnshire, there now stands a memorial and research centre that houses a massive database containing the personal stories of the brave airmen and women, who fought for the defence of freedom. 

    A contingent of 17 Australian veterans who served in Bomber Command were flown over by the Australian Government for the opening ceremony. Printing industry identity, James Cryer, was invited to attend to honour his father, Sydney printer, Walter ‘Wal’ Cryer, who piloted Lancasters during the war.


    The tingling sensation in my ears was telling me the air temperature on a bleak hill just outside of Lincoln was around two degrees C. This was nothing compared to the numbing cold experienced by the tail-gunner in a Lancaster hurtling through the dead of night somewhere over Germany – when the outside temperature would hit minus 20 degrees C. Locked in a flying tomb for up to nine hours and scanning the deep void for enemy aircraft, even your own urine would freeze solid and the chocolate biscuits so kindly provided by the young WAAF orderly would turn to blocks of concrete.

    But at least I didn’t have Germans firing ack-ack guns at me when I took my place on this windswept hill overlooking Lincoln, along with several thousand others, to help celebrate Bomber Command’s role during the last war.

    Bomber Command has occupied a somewhat ambivalent position in Britain’s psyche over the past 60-odd years, as it has drifted in and out of favour, depending on which way the winds of political correctness were blowing. By its nature, it conducted its operations in a clandestine manner – taking-off in the dead of night, out of sight/out of mind of ordinary Brits. By contrast, Spitfire pilots conducted their operations in full view of an adoring public, in broad daylight – and almost overhead if you lived in Kent! Never the less, the ‘bomber boys’ managed to win 19 Victoria Crosses for their efforts.

    But none of this seemed to count, as accusations of indiscriminate bombing, of killing civilians and of taking resources away from other wartime priorities were easy to make and difficult to refute. The then leader of Bomber Command, ‘Bomber’ Harris probably didn’t help, with his single-minded, obsessive preoccupation with obliterating non-military, as well as military targets. He master-minded the attack on Cologne in March ’42 involving 1,042 aircraft as a show of strength and to demonstrate to the likes of Churchill, and other sceptics, that Bomber Command could deliver a deadly blow from the heavens above.

    This raid may be seen as a metaphor, or template, for the role of Bomber Command generally: the raid was a great success, but, delivered at enormous cost (in this case, 41 aircraft). By war’s end, however, the overall cost was that almost half of all aircrew would be either: killed in action, injured or taken prisoner, and the average age at time of death would be a staggering 23 years of age! This pattern – dramatic success versus a horrific mortality rate – was to dog Bomber Command for the rest of the war. Sadly its ‘successes’ were always going to be tinged with the spectre of civilian casualties. Whether they were innocent civilians or actually part of the German war effort would be one of those imponderables which always left Bomber Command vulnerable to attack.

    The Spire, part of the newly-opened Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln. Able to be seen for miles around, like a welcoming beacon at a wartime aerodrome, it is 31m in height – the same length as a Lancaster’s wingspan.

    Us humans can’t, or don’t want to, differentiate between over-zealous or bad decisions made by military leaders, and the men who have to bravely ‘do their duty’. And we should remember, the 1940s was still very much the era of the white picket-fence and of unswerving duty to King and country: servicemen did not query or challenge orders, they just did what they had to do.

    Dresden didn’t help the PR story either, even though its detractors easily forget that the German attack on civilian Coventry was probably the catalyst for that ghastly game of tit-for-tat.

    But that was the whole point behind the creation of this international centre, high on a hill overlooking Lincoln. Not to create yet another static museum – in fact it has very few ‘exhibits’. Set on 10 acres, it is essentially a research centre and a digital archive, bringing together stories of airmen from the 62 countries who participated in Bomber Command during the war – and to record in one place forever, the names of nearly 58,000 … those who never returned. There are several peace gardens reflecting the native flora from all five continents – but at heart, its role is in bringing about reconciliation: ironically, not only with the enemy, but with the British public, who for over 60 years have wanted some form of acceptance of Bomber Command’s role, but who have been thwarted by timorous British politicians who have kowtowed to the bleeding-heart minority.

    This, sadly, is a familiar refrain, as Australia’s own Minister for Veterans’ Affairs had to be shamed into providing government funds to send our 17 remaining Bomber Command veterans to this very symbolic ceremony. It seems to be a failing of democracy these days, just how out of touch our politicians are with their electors.

    But I also noted there was not one member of the Royal Family in attendance. Were they all so busy attending cocktail parties that none of them, not even a distant cousin or relative, could show up? I took it as a snub that not one member of the royal household could attend an event which goes so deeply to the heart of the British nation.

    The newly-opened Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln.

    But as the Centre itself states: Reconciliation implies that those who were once divided by conflict are prepared to put the past behind them and co-exist … It is also about acknowledging that not everything done by the winners of the war was just or right. Reconciliation is not about triumphalism … it is about our common humanity [and hopefully will encourage debate] about the bombing war which, all these decades on, is capable of arousing strong emotion.

    That, I think, is a pretty frank and fair admission that we, as humans, don’t always do everything right, and that such brutal honesty is a pretty good starting point for reconciliation. I think Australia’s very own Vietnam vets, who were coerced into going in the first place and who got short shrift from a government upon their return, could relate to these sentiments.

    Ironically, as a side note: during the ceremony, no mention was made of ‘Bomber’ Harris who is still considered a divisive figure – the  Centre’s main building is named the Chadwick Centre after the designer of the iconic Lancaster bomber – reminding us that some things are still a bit too raw.

    Over 10,000 Aussies participated in Bomber Command’s war effort and they were all volunteers. I was here, on this windswept hill, to represent my late father, Wal Cryer, DFC, a bomber pilot himself – before returning to run the family printing business in Sydney – and to accompany a sprightly nonagenarian, Tony Adams, who was my father’s wireless operator (WOP) on their many sorties over Germany. They, and the rest of their crew, were among the lucky ones.

    And lady luck was at her best, or worst, during those sorties. Tony recalls an incident flying at tree-top level over France while attempting to drop badly needed supplies to the French underground resistance movement. With only visual navigation to guide them on this moonlit night, they were rapidly approaching the drop-zone deep in the forest when his radio cut out. Frantically whacking it (in a technical manner, of course) it refused to cooperate until a few minutes – probably seconds – later, it spluttered back into life only to tell them: “Return to base! Return to base!” The Germans had intercepted the hide-out and instead of a welcoming committee of grateful French citizens there would have been a hail of bullets from the Oerlikon sub-machine guns lurking in the forest clearing.

    Why had that radio suddenly burst back into life? Was it destiny? Was fate? Was it kismet? – or just a faulty valve having fun? Who knows, but these are the sort of imponderables that war leaves trailing in its wake.

    My father (who hardly ever spoke about the war) used to remark that during these flights over France, they flew at such frighteningly low levels that the vibrations from their Rolls-Royce Merlin engines would probably smash all the windows and crockery of the very citizens they were trying to help!


    The Centre itself is a giant experiment, as it’s possibly the first in the world to adopt the ‘reconciliation and research’ approach as opposed to just being another war museum. It is to its eternal credit that it and hundreds of volunteers have persevered for over nine years – often against daunting odds and a lack of political support – and have demonstrated a vision not shared by politicians.

    But even though Lincoln’s bitter cold tried to do what the Germans couldn’t, Tony was here, larger than life – a sprightly 94-year old enjoying his new career as a media tart, having been interviewed by multiple outlets including the BBC evening news and Australia’s Channel 7. The following day he was going to give a talk to the ladies auxiliary at Methwold, a tiny village in Norfolk, where he and my father’s crew were stationed during the war. I said to Tony, if he plays his cards right, he could even get a mention in Print21

    There are now only a few hundred vets still alive and kicking around the world, but the Centre is keen to collect stories from anyone who has any association with Bomber Command during those dark days.

    I know we Aussies love to bag the Brits (and they richly deserve it), but to their their great credit they have done an outstanding job – with little thanks to the government – in creating this on-going testament to the ordinary, everyday men and women who put their lives on the line for us.

    If you have a relative who contributed to Bomber Command – who you know of someone who did, get onto the website, they’d love to hear from you.

    Visit – or even better, visit Lincoln and see it for yourself.

    Tony Adams featured in a BBC report about the International Bomber Command memorial:

  • Kolbus exits ‘sunset’ bookbinding industry

    Kai Büntemeyer, managing partner of Kolbus, explained the company’s decision in January to sell its gluer binders and bookline business to Müller Martini, saying the market for bookbinding equipment is stagnating.

    Kai Büntemeyer, Kolbus.

    The manufacturer will now focus on packaging machinery, expanding its components business and relinquishing bookbinding to Müller Martini. According to Büntemeyer, Kolbus Group’s turnover, more than 135 million euro ($216.7 million AUD) in 2017, is expected to fall by about 15 percent following the sale – but there is little future in bookbinding, which he describes as a saturated ‘sunset industry’. “In contrast, we foresee double-digit growth rates in manufacturing custom machines for packaging, which is why in future we want to concentrate vigorously on packaging made of cardboard and paper – specifically on luxury packaging,” he said.

    Büntemeyer is not optimistic about the future of paper and print technology, and believes cost pressures on manufacturers are less ‘hair-raising’ in the packaging industry. “It isn’t that we see no future for printing and paper technology but the growth forecasts are, to put it mildly, modest,” he said. “Market volume will remain huge and ensure good business in the future but I see a problem for us machine manufacturers in that the printing industry will continue to rationalise and will need to massively boost its productivity.”

    Kolbus’ existing casemakers will form the ‘backbone’ of its new packaging range, but according to Büntemeyer, the company is still venturing into uncharted territory and will need to hit the ground running. “The packaging sector will feel like a start-up for the next three to four years. We will need to set up a product range quickly, act creatively and grow dynamically,” he said.

  • Paper prices to rise again: IndustryEdge

    Prices for coated paper are expected to go up at least once more during 2018, according to industry guru Tim Woods of Pulp and Paper Edge, who warns that European paper manufacturers are likely to announce another hike around July.

    Tim Woods.

    Writing in the latest issue of Pulp and Paper Edge, Woods said prices for most grades of paper have been in decline, but this won’t last. “The sector is about to experience what will effectively be three successive quarterly price increases, seeing average coated paper prices rise between AUD150 and AUD200 per tonne in less than a year,” he wrote. “That will still not make up for the real price declines of the last decade, but it will be a shock to buyers whose decade long experience of prices has been almost exclusively down.”

    Woods blames several factors for the price hikes, including an increase in global demand; upward pressure from shipping and freight costs; and rising costs of pulp, woodchips and logs. Pulp prices are often cited by paper merchants as a key driver for price hikes – Chinese import prices for bleached hardwood and softwood kraft have risen by upwards of 50 percent since March 2016.

    One factor in the pulp price has been the impact of ‘peak recovery’: developed countries like Australia and New Zealand have now reached the peak amount of paper they can recover and ship (about 75 to 80 percent), with little further increase possible. “Most of the additional fibre demand must now be met by virgin fibre pulp, without the assistance of increased supplies of recovered paper, for the first time in twenty years,” said Woods.

    Spicers announced last month that it would increase prices between three to seven percent across the board from May 1, with Direct Paper and Ball and Doggett expected to follow suit. This will be the second price rise this year from Australia’s three largest paper merchants.

  • APN Outdoor signs key contract renewals

    Out-of-home advertiser APN Outdoor has secured three key contract renewals for Transport for Brisbane, Transdev Melbourne and Adelaide & Parafield Airports.

    ‘Far-reaching impact’: James Warburton, CEO APN Outdoor

    CEO and managing director James Warburton announced the multi-year contracts at the company’s annual general meeting.

    “These contracts represent an important part of our advertising offering,” Warburton told the AGM. “The far-reaching impact they provide delivers a compelling proposition and cements our commitment to the development of our transit and billboard product offering.

    “We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with all partners and look forward to driving innovation in all that we do, delivering greater cut-through and effectiveness for advertisers.”

    The Transport for Brisbane deal – which APN Outdoor has held for more than 30 years – covers advertising rights for 4,000 panels across about 1,200 vehicles in metropolitan Brisbane. Brisbane City Council is the largest council area in Australia, with a transit fleet that reaches 85 percent of Brisbane’s residents each week.

    Transdev is APN Outdoor’s largest bus contract in Melbourne and covers about 500 buses, with 1,800 panels. The Adelaide & Parafield Airports update includes nine large format roadside billboards on airport land.

    Warburton said the contract extensions place the company in a strong position to focus on acquisitions in the year ahead. “As a business, we can now focus on acquiring new key contracts and further developing the offering we provide to our clients.”

  • 300m sq. metres of liner waste – Print21 Magazine

    The pressure-sensitive label industry is not without its challenges, and one major concern is environmental: as label liners have moved from paper to PET, they’ve become harder to dispose of. For the past decade, the majority of Australia’s liner waste was sent to China but the Chinese government banned what it called ‘foreign garbage’ last year.

    Currently, close to 300 million square metres of liner enters unsustainable landfills in Oceania each year, mostly made up of PET film, glassine paper, and polypropylene products. 

    As Jake Nelson reports in the latest issue of Print21 magazine, sorting out the problem is easier said than done.


  • 100 issues of print moments – Print21 Magazine

    For 17 years, Print21 has been the magazine of record for the graphic arts industry in Australia and New Zealand. To celebrate our 100th issue, we’ve compiled a list of some of the greatest moments we’ve covered since we launched in 2002.

    From our first trade show, IPEX 2002 in Birmingham, through the rise and fall of print empires, the explosive growth of digital, the global financial crisis and more, Print21 has seen it all. Take a look back through the history of 21st-century printing in the 100th issue of Print21!