As the executive director of the Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council for the past 28 years, John Mullinder has heard his share of (mis)information about forestry and paper practices in Canada – namely, that the clear cutting used in the industry is the cause of widespread deforestation.
PDI Group has been a fixture of Quebec’s complex printing industry since Phipps Dickson and Integria merged in 2007. After introducing the PDI branding in 2008, the company has grown to encompass pre-media, offset and digital print production, web-to-print, as well as fulfilment, warehousing and direct mail services. Last fall its subsidiary, PDI Large Format Solutions, became the first business in the country to install both the flatbed/roll-fed EFI VUTEk h3 superwide-format LED printer and the new EFI VUTEk 3r+ roll-to-roll LED printer. It also installed an EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340i soft signage printer. PrintAction spoke to Jamie Barbieri, President of PDI Group, to discuss the Quebec landscape.
Since installing Canada’s first Xerox Iridesse production press in June 2018, PrintPro Digital & Offset Printing has been finding success with its new printing capabilities. Developed to digitally print metallic gold or silver dry ink, CMYK and clear dry ink in a single pass, the new press is expected to help the Winnipeg family-owned and -run company enter new markets, such as packaging. PrintAction spoke with Bhadresh Bhatt about PrintPro’s achievements after installing the Iridesse and the opportunities to come.
From its establishment in 1989, flexible packaging manufacturer Alpha Poly has focused its business on its commitment to customer service and quality, plus the use of up-to-date HD technology. A push for strategic investing led Alpha Poly to install a large 8-colour Miraflex AM from Windmöller & Hölscher in 2013.Then in December 2018, Alpha Poly ushered in a new wave of strategic investment with the installation of a Windmöller & Hölscher Miraflex II 10-colour press. PrintAction spoke with Patrick Kerrigan, President of Alpha Poly and successor to the business’ founder, his father Paul, to discuss this newest installation, his thoughts on the industry and the company’s strategic investment plan.
An integral component of the Canadian Printing Awards is the dedication, expertise and keen eye of the esteemed judging panel. PrintAction spoke with Emily Wong, Associate Analyst, Consumer & Digital Marketing at Penguin Random House Canada and judge for the past six years, for her thoughts on the relevancy of print in an increasingly digital world.
Now in its 15th year of operation, Mi5 Print & Digital has grown into one of Canada’s largest privately owned commercial printing operations and has been recognized as one of Canada’s fastest growing companies nine years in a row on the Profit 500.
In October 2018, Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) launched a newly restructured printing industry association in Canada. Proposed by its Board of Directors and ratified by its membership this past March, the CPIA intends to operate under a new membership structure to help unify the industry.
In August 2018, Mississauga, Ont., full-service label manufacturer and print agency PRX Print announced it had installed the Mark Andy Digital One, an investment it says will result in 50-percent growth. PRX Print Owner and Co-founder Debbie Gilbert researched a variety of digital label printing technologies and product offerings, and her search led her to the recently launched Mark Andy Digital One hybrid label press.
In July 2018, Jason Lisi was appointed the new Chair of Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM), a leading graphic communications school with 640 full-time students and 30 full- and part-time faculty and staff.
Toronto, Ontario-based Significans Automation Inc., a newly formed global professional services company that formerly operated as Myrpress Consulting Inc., has launched its prepress custom workflowautomation solutions.
Domtar has been present in the Canadian pulp-and-paper market for more than 150 years, producing such iconic brands as Windsor Offset, Plainfield Opaque, Cornwall Coated Card, and Luna Coated and in more recent years Cougar, Lynx, Husky and EarthChoice.
Karl Belafi Jr. / Vice President / KBR Graphics Canada / Laval, QuébecKBR Graphics in mid-2016 moved its primary operations into a new modern facility in Laval, Quebec. The move came as the company was celebrating its 40th year in business, as one of Canada’s most respected and important technology distributors.
EyeC has extended the range of its scanner-based inspection systems for half-size formats of 915 x 635 mm (36 x 25 inches) with the EyeC Proofiler 900 DT, making print sample testing possible on all types of printed products, such as leaflets, flexible packaging and the printed sheets of folding boxes, it says.
Eastman Kodak Company this month introduced its Kodacolor Fabric Inks, saying that they leverage proprietary ink dispersion technology with a 20-year history of ink development and manufacturing. 
PrintFactory has launched Linux compatibility for its workflow software suite, saying it is the first software provider to offer a fully supported workflow solution across the three main operating systems: Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Toray Graphics’ new Imprima LJ waterless offset printing plate delivers a printing resolution up to 175 lpi. Described as being 200 percent more durable than comparable waterless offset printing plates, the Imprima LJ thermal negative CTP printing plate uses a standard imaging wavelength of 830 nanometres and is ideal for label production but can also be used for a range of other applications, including CD/DVDs, loyalty cards, metal decoration, and printing on non-absorbent substrates.
Designed to help digital printers leverage the press for jobs once dominated by offset printing, the Ultra Lightweight Stock Printing Kit for Xerox Nuvera Production Systems is now available worldwide.
SAi has introduced Flexi 19, describing it as a more powerful and feature-rich update of its flagship signmaking software, engineered to meet the design and production challenges of sign and display, and large-format print providers.
At Dscoop Edge in March, HP Inc. announced the expansion of HP PrintOS Marketplace, an ideas store designed to inspire HP print service providers to collaborate and innovate, while implementing Industry 4.0 for automated printing.
INX International Ink Co. (booth 5362) will display its entire product line, including INXhrc natural-based and Triangle brand digital inks, when it exhibits for the first time at Graphics Canada in Toronto.
Sign-making software provider Easy Cut Studio has launched Easy Cut Studio version 4.1.0.6, describing it as a user-friendly cutting plotter application that creates vinyl letterings, decals and general signs with vinyl plotters.
Sappi North America, a producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and dissolving wood pulp, said Tuesday its Proto and Spectro paperboard products are available globally for commercial orders in all calipers.
The latest update to the Esko software platform includes ArtPro 64-bit and full plug-in compatibility with Adobe Creative Cloud 2019, including Studio, DeskPack, and Dynamic Content.
Web Design Primer is a new open-source eBook published by the Ryerson University Library by authors Richard Adams, Associate Professor in the School of Graphic Communications Management, and Ahmed Sagarwala, Manager of Industry Relations in the Digital Media Zone (DMZ). The book explains the basics of the HTML and CSS codes used to create web pages, and related technologies including JavaScript, jQuery, audio, video and animation.
Mimaki USA in April announced the new JFX200-2513 EX UV-LED flatbed printer, which it says has adopted a new draft mode that enables a maximum print speed of up to 12 boards per hour. Its three staggered printheads also allow for simultaneous printing without sacrificing speed, even when using white and clear inks. This model offers faster mechanical motors and a vacuum foot pedal that gives the user the ability to load or unload various substrates quicker and more effectivity.
Durst has launched the P5 350 and P5 210 new printing systems for large-format specialists based on the P5 technology platform.
Karibu, swissQprint’s first roll-to-roll printer, made its public debut at FESPA 2019. Available internationally beginning September 2019, the UV inkjet printer delivers a maximum print width of 3.4 metres and features a lightbox next to the printing area for on-the-spot inspection of backlit prints. Four beacon-like status indicators are affixed to the print beam, informing the operator about machine status and printing progress. For users who regularly print in parallel, swissQprint offers a dual roll option capable of handling two rolls each up to 1.6 metres wide, doubling Karibu’s productivity. The roll holders are split into two sections with each half of the shaft driven individually, which swissQprint says will help ensure optimum web tension on both rolls.
A new Vastex International LittleRed X3D-78 infrared conveyor dryer with a 2-metre wide conveyor belt can cure 185 garments/h DTG printed with digital white ink, 1080/h screen printed with plastisol ink, and 555/h screen printed with water-based ink or discharge.
Sun Automation Group featured the new smaller, modular design of its CorrStream technology at FESPA 2019 this month. Calling it the first single pass digital printer built for the corrugated industry, the CorrStream features aqueous inks for low cost of operation and food safety compatibility, an operational speed up to 75 mpm, and includes a complete front-end workflow including colour management, RIP and screening.
Today at FESPA 2019, HP introduced HP Stitch S1000, a superwide dye-sub production printer for interior décor and soft signage that aims to enable fast speeds, high uptime and unattended shifts.
HP has announced the new HP Stitch S Printer series, a portfolio of digital printers designed to bring precise colour-matching, less waste and simplified management processes  to the textile industry.
Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is expanding its packaging portfolio for takeaway food with the Bio Container, an addition to its Foopak suite that will be available in Canada by the end of the year.
Tetra Pak has launched its connected packaging platform, designed to transform milk and juice cartons into interactive information channels, full-scale data carriers and digital tools.​
Xeikon says it has developed a digital printing solution for pouches that will result in reduced lead times, while also increasing the number of SKUs to better meet the demand from brand owners.
Kornit Digital Americas recently debuted the Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro, calling it the industry’s first digital direct-to-garment system built specifically for polyester and poly-blend substrates, a market that has seen increased popularity due to non-cotton sportswear and athleisure apparel.
Steve Jobs once said, “Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story.” Anyone who has purchased an Apple device knows the products are presented in the most premium way. There’s a sense of gravitas to the first opening of the box. While Jobs is correct in noting packaging’s role in the brand experience, it’s also expected to serve functional requirements. Protector, marketer, salesman, environmental steward and, increasingly, digital beacon: The humble package will play a key role in all retail channels going forward.
At FESPA 2019, Intec introduced the new ColorCut FB8000PRO auto sheet-feeding flatbed cutter.
With the goal of providing sign and display producers with more flexibility, efficiency and accuracy in operations, Esko will present two new hardware solutions at FESPA 2019: the new motorized roll feeder for soft signage applications and the Kongsberg C Edge, the upgradable digital cutting table released earlier this year. The latest version of its integrated software range Esko Software Platform 18.1 will also be on show.
Xante says it is making the preparation and printing of mail jobs “more powerful, simpler and much more economical” with iQueue 13, its flagship Adobe PostScript PDF workflow software.
Scodix has announced the commercial launch of the Scodix Ultra 101 and the Scodix Ultra 202 digital enhancement presses.
Rollem describes the Champion SS as the industry’s “top choice” to kiss-cut labels and pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) materials. Able of slitting liner stocks with “100-percent accuracy” at speeds up to 26,000 sph, the system boasts a simple setup that doesn’t require skilled labour.
At Hunkeler Innovationdays 2019, Hunkeler Systems AG will present three new developments: the cutting modules SSM-570, the HDDS 20 as well as the compact suction system HKU 2000-N.
Intec Printing Solutions has introduced the ColorFlare CF350 and CF750 as part of the ColorFlare range of lamination and foiling equipment. Recently unveiled at The Print Show UK and Print 18, the ColorFlare CF350 and CF750 are scheduled to begin shipping this month.
Colter & Peterson says it has created a safe, online resource for customers to browse and purchase paper cutting systems, called CutterMart. 
Harris & Bruno International has announced Remote Support is now a standard feature on every ExcelCoat offline/inline coater for UV & AQ.
Millennials are being hailed by marketers as the largest consumer generation in history. There are roughly 9.8 million of them in Canada, and they make 33 percent of our online purchases, according to 2017 Canada Post research.
Designed to add creativity and enhanced functionality to direct mail marketing applications, Mactac Distributor Products has introduced MacMail.
Ontario-based Rotoflex has debuted the Rotoflex DF3, a configurable offline digital finishing and converting solution designed to complement digital, non-hybrid label presses without inline converting functionality. As well, the DF3 intends to eliminate the need for single-application embellishment units.
Despite being a traditionally male-dominated industry, the print world is not shy of successful women.
The global print industry is in stable condition overall, according to the 6th drupa Global Trends Report, released by Messe Düsseldorf last month. Based on two separate surveys conducted by Printfuture and Wissler & Partner last fall, one each to more than 700 printers and 200 suppliers, the report finds global figures remain positive. However political and economic concerns for the future appear to be dampening otherwise positive prospects for the majority of respondents.
Are you looking for ways to boost response for your print campaigns and achieve a better ROI? Innovations in digital printing have made it easier than ever to personalize your marketing and reach your target audience more effectively. Here’s how variable data printing can help you get there.
I had an interesting exchange of emails recently with a new sales hire at a commercial printing company. “What title should I have on my business card?” he asked. “My boss wants it to be sales representative, but that’s not how I want to be seen. What do you think about print satisfaction specialist?”
For one day only, BuzzFeed pivoted to print publishing. On March 6, the digital media company – known for its quirky ‘listicles,’ pop culture quizzes and investigative reporting – went retro and handed out 20,000 newspapers at Union Square, Penn Station and Herald Square in New York.
When I was a kid, you must need glasses, was a pretty common insult. I remember saying it to other kids, and once to a Little League Baseball umpire. That got me thrown out of the game. It turns out, though, that printing salespeople do need glasses. Specifically, they need rose-coloured bifocals, because success in the modern marketplace requires good near vision, far vision, and a fair share of optimism.
This is the last instalment in my series on The top 5 ways to talk yourself out of a sale. We have covered too much talk/too little listen, too many features/too little benefits, pitching versus storytelling, and making it all about price. Today, the topic is persistence, which is generally considered to be a positive attribute for a print salesperson.
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in,” Arianna Huffington, co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, writes in her book, Thrive: The third metric to redefining success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder.
Nestled in downtown Toronto, Ont., Eva’s Phoenix – one of three locations operated by Eva’s Initiatives For Homeless Youth – provides transitional housing for 50 youth, aged 16 to 24 years, for up to a full year. It also houses Eva’s Print Shop, a commercial printer and social enterprise that provides print and graphic arts training and life skills to youth experiencing and at risk of homelessness.
Mitchell Press is the only Canadian printing company out of 13 winners recognized in the 2018 Kodak Sonora Plate Green Leaf Award. The program, now in its sixth year, celebrates print service providers that adopt sustainable practices and offer their customers eco-friendly options for their printing needs.
Thunderbird Press of Richmond, B.C., has switched to chemistry-free Azura plates in a move to achieve greener outcomes as part of Agfa Graphics GreenWorks, a program that accredits environmentally sustainable North American print service providers.
HP today unveiled its framework, The Personalization Pinwheel, to help brand owners tap into the growing personalization market. Informed by insights from more than 45 million online conversations across the globe, the framework hones in on what motivates consumers to personalize – from photo books to magazine covers to consumer packaged goods – and how brands can capitalize on those motivations.
Epochal comedian George Carlin once discussed how the English language had expanded to create pointless new vocabulary. Carlin recounted how during the First World War, many servicemen suffered from shell-shock. During the second Great War, this morphed into battle fatigue. Finally after the first Gulf war, a newly penned description was wrestled out of dictionaries and we now refer to it as PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. The argument was why bother? Shell-shock provided a clear straight-forward description of mental suffering afflicting many who fought wars or experienced horrific events — and it’s a whole lot shorter. Who needs yet another acronym? Sometimes you need to step back and keep it simple.
Decades ago our company represented Brandtjen & Kluge stampers and embossing presses in Canada. The Kluge platen press, based on patents dating back to 1860, has managed to outlast everyone, including original inventors George Gordon and Chandler & Price. During the 1960s as letterpress quickly disappeared from printing plants, Kluge, who made its name in 1919 with an automatic platen feeder device, refused to go quietly and embarked on a road of re-engineering the iconic Gordon platen and re-emerged in the specialty segment long utilized but starving for a better and easier way of production — hot foil stamping and embossing.
In the sleepy Ohio town of Niles, brothers Alfred and Charles Harris owned a small jewellery store. The year was 1890 and after several blunders, including an ill-fated attempt inventing an automatic nail-feeder, both swore off any more financial fiascos. The 1972 book The Harris Story tells us what happened next. It seems Charles couldn’t help himself when he got to talking to the next-door neighbour — the owner of the Niles Independent newspaper. Mr. Smith boasted he had just purchased a new state-of-the-art cylinder printing press that was still fed by a boy.
Sharing stories is one of the most – if not the most – innate forms of communication; the retelling of experiences and narratives as a means of inspiring thought-provoking perspectives, teaching life lessons and connecting people.
2018 wrapped up great for industrial markets — process, discrete and hybrids. While growth will be strong in pockets, my personal advice for companies would be to prepare for an overall soft 2019. This is primarily driven by factors such as geopolitical uncertainty, market volatility, widening skill gaps, and dynamic shifts in demand models.
“Humans build culture – and, by extension, brands – primarily through telling stories. That’s how we make sense of the world and of ourselves: Storytelling. It’s innate. And since the dawn of capitalism, we’ve been telling stories to sell ourselves and our brands too,” said Peter Grossman of Quora in an August 2018 interview with Forbes.
Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 bestseller Outliers garnered worldwide attention, posing the argument that successful people needed more than brains, ambition, hustle and hard work to reach the top. Gladwell reasoned they also needed luck. Using various examples such as Bill Gates’ access to a university computer or the Beatles 10,000+ hours of practice, Gladwell postulated that luck combined with serendipity played a key role in one’s success.
Digital printing’s introduction sparked colossal change, but it is a drop in the big blue ocean compared to what’s on the horizon. Digital graphics printing, functional printing, and 3D structural printing are the future of printing – covering everything from smart packaging to on-demand manufacturing – and the benefits will be felt across our society.
If you take a drive west from the city of Quebec and cross the St. Lawrence River, you come across an unusual site. Two bridges come into view. The Quebec Bridge (Pont de Quebec) is starkly dissonant from its neighbour only 200 metres to the east. Completed in 1919, it’s a massive steel truss structure with a tragic past. Today it remains the largest cantilever bridge in the world.
It’s true that the digital age has transformed many of our daily tasks and with the proliferation of smartphone apps and voice-activated assistants, it’s easy to think that print is becoming obsolete. However, those working in the industry know the opposite is true and early-movers across Canada are already reaping the benefits.
Standing on the platform of the Stuttgart main station – hair matted against my forehead from the long flight and following train ride, sleep in my eyes, and clutching a packet of papers bearing the familiar red stripes of the Hochschule der Medien logo – I knew things were different.
According to a 2018 Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends survey, 70 percent of consumers choose to receive their most essential communications, such as statements and bills, in print. Contrary to popular belief, in today’s hyper-digital age, the printing industry is still active.

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