Remembering Fred Simper

Jon Robinson
November 26, 2009

Fred Simper passed away on November 20 at the age of 87, after decades of bringing cutting-edge prepress technologies into the Canadian printing market through his 18 years of service with VariTyper Corp. and ultimately his own company.

By the time desktop publishing began to impact the marketplace in the late-1980s, Simper had become one of the most-knowledgeable prepress experts in the Canadian marketplace, often traveling to Hanover, New Jersey, to consult with VariTyper. His last job title at VariTyper was Phototypesetting and Software Systems Coordinator.

Simper tested his entrepreneurial spirit in 1979 and, in May 1982, incorporated a firm called International Phototypesetter Exchange, which eventually evolved into Fred Simper Graphic Arts Equipment (FSGA). Based in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, the company initially focused on the rebuilding and marketing of phototypesetting machines.

By 1986, FSGA moved into Cathode Ray Tube-based phototypesetters and then, in 1992, Simper started to broker imagesetters and drum recorders. By 1994, FSGA specialized in the rebuilding of Linotronic and Agfa imagesetters, which remained a focus into the 2000s – in addition to Raster Image Processors.

Simper was also a regular feature writer for PrintAction magazine. He began writing for industry magazines in 1977, focusing on typesetting and electronic publishing topics. Some of his article titles included: The History of RIPs; Which do you need: An Imagesetter or a Large Format Laser Printer?; Advantages of a Drum Recorder, When Compared with a Capstan Imagesetter; How to Buy a Used Imagesetter; Comparison of Drum Recorders and Light Sources; and Everything’s Going Digital.

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