Business Development

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?”
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.
This is the fourth instalment in my series, The top 5 ways to talk yourself out of a sale. Today’s topic is Making it all about price — which you hopefully don’t do. I hear many complaints from print salespeople that buyers who only care about price. Sadly, some of the blame lies with the salespeople and printing companies. One of my early sales trainers had a favourite expression, that he or she who mentions price first, loses. In my experience, too many printing salespeople are guilty of that selling sin.
This is the third instalment in my series on The top 5 ways to talk yourself out of a sale. The topic for today is Pitching versus Storytelling. The official rules of baseball describe a pitch as a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher. In North American slang though, we often refer to the words a salesperson uses to try to get someone to buy something as a sales pitch, and it is usually not considered a complimentary term.
In my last column, I started a series on The top 5 ways to talk yourself out of a sale. As you may remember, they are:
With the ability to shape our thoughts, emotions and behaviours, our sense of smell is one of the most primitive ways humans make sense of and perceive the world. In an age where it’s becoming more difficult to be distinctive, brand owners are striving to capture the attention – and noses – of today’s consumers with powerful, memorable experiences.
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.
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.
Earlier this year Amarula Cream Liqueur released a special edition bottle collection with its well-known elephant branding individualized by HP Indigo digital printing. The first stage of the ‘Name Them, Save Them’ campaign raised awareness of the African elephant as an endangered species by letting consumers visit a virtual African savannah where they could design and name a one-of-a-kind African elephant. In turn, these consumer-produced designs were used to decorate individualized labels on 400,000 Amarula bottles — one bottle for every African elephant still surviving in the wild.
Print plays a big role in today’s higher education marketing campaigns. Why? Because it works.
The Netherlands-based parent company of Vistaprint has changed its name to Cimpress N.V. In conjunction with the rebrand, Cimpress plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years to build what it calls a shared mass customization platform. The Cimpress mass customization platform (MCP), combining proprietary software and production technology, will aggregate the printing infrastructure of the Cimpress portfolio of brands. It will also bring the company’s growing portfolio of purchased assets under the same fold, including well-known Web-to-print names like Vistaprint, Drukwerkdeal, AlbelliOpens and Pixartprinting. The company states the MCP will increase its ability to mass customize personalized and unique physical products in small quantities at an affordable price. “We have a two decade history during which we have started a major market transformation, yet the next 20 years promise to be even more exciting,” said Robert Keane, President and CEO, Cimpress. “Businesses and consumers are still too often forced to choose between the ease and flexibility of digital communications and a more enduring tangible connection with their audience. We are changing that…” Founded as Vistaprint by Keane in January 1995, Cimpress and its subsidiaries have focused on redefining the online purchase of printed apparel, marketing products and photo merchandise. The company states its foundation is based on the belief that software and production technology can be harnessed to aggregate enormous numbers of small orders into a high-volume production flow. Cimpress today employs over 400 software and manufacturing engineers and more than 5,300 total employees in 16 countries. Cimpress claims that every year since 1999 it has invested at least 10 percent of its revenues into technology and development, including $176 million in its last fiscal year. Over the past decade, the company states it has invested over $1.3 billion in technology, development and capital investments. The company also announced that it has named Don Nelson as COO for Cimpress. In this role, Nelson will be directly responsible for building and advancing the mass customization platform. “The future of mass customization is very promising for those companies that can combine world class capabilities in software and manufacturing,” stated Nelson. “The key is to have massive scale, yet produce in small quantities. The old paradigm of job-shop production of orders one at a time simply is not able to compete with technology-driven mass customization.”
Despite being a traditionally male-dominated industry, the print world is not shy of successful women.
“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.
At Kicking Horse Coffee in Invermere, B.C., new team members – affectionately known as ‘Green Beans’ – are set up with a different lunch buddy every day of their first week so they can connect with different colleagues.
Results from a Statistics Canada health study, the Hearing loss of Canadians, 2012 and 2013, offer disturbing findings regarding adult hearing loss. Could you or your co-workers be among the one in five adults aged 19 to 79 who have mild hearing loss or more in at least one ear?
While manufacturers around the world have reached new heights in technology adoption and equipment innovation, there are still many pain points that hinder optimization, efficiency and even safety on the plant floor.
There is no single “true path” for innovation. In fact, there are as many ways to innovate as there are problems that need solving.
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.
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.
A new report on the global paper, packaging and forest products industry compiled by Moody’s Investor Service says the outlook for next year has been changed to stable from positive, based on lower-than-expected earnings.
Value in the world inkjet market will rise at 9.4 percent across the next five years according to the latest research from Smithers Pira. This will push a market worth US$69.6 billion (all figures in U.S. dollars) globally in 2018, to a value of $109 billion in 2023. The volume of work on inkjet presses will rise from 748.7 billion A4 prints to 1.42 trillion across the same period.
RISI, an information provider for the global forest products industry, announced today its parent company, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, has acquired Random Lengths, a price reporting agency for the wood products industry.
Consumers are increasingly putting pressure on manufacturers to improve the impact that packaging has on the environment, with ethical packaging now becoming a ‘must have’ quality when purchasing a product, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.
The middle of March is the time when the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA)’s Annual Technical Conference takes place. This year the conference was held in Minneapolis, Minn., from March 17 to 20.
FleishmanHillard HighRoad recently released Tech Trends 2019: The Fads. The Fears. The Future., a new report offering insights and predictions for the technology industry with an analysis of one billion tech-focused consumer conversations on Twitter between 2017 and 2018, along with insights from more than 25 technology thought leaders from around the world.
BillerudKorsnäs and researchers at Uppsala University say they have taken an important step toward the future’s paper batteries – taking basic research based on pure cellulose from algae and developed it to work with the same type of fibre that BillerudKorsnäs usually uses to manufacture packaging material, opening up for inexpensive and eco-friendly batteries. The long-term aim is to enable large-scale production and the future use of paper batteries for applications in areas such as smart packaging.
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an organization that aims to accelerate the adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), today announced the Smart Printing Factory Testbed. Led by Fujifilm and supported by IIC members Fujitsu, IBM, RTI and Toshiba, the testbed automates print production and predictive maintenance for factory-based printing equipment.
During the premier event for research in North American print, five keynotes address industry progress (originally published in PrintAction's May 2016 issue). The middle of March is a time of year when researchers and technology evangelists from the printing world gather at the annual Technical Association of the Graphic Arts  (TAGA) conference, held this year in Memphis, Tennessee. An unusual aspect of this year’s TAGA conference was that there were five keynote addresses, instead of the traditional four, addressing the future of technology. The first keynote presented by Mike D’Angelo, Managing Director Americas for Goss International, focused on why offset printing remains today’s dominant printing process around the world. D’Angelo pointed to a key trends affecting the current print market, including: Many magazines are still being printed, the book market is stable, the newspaper decline has stopped, and packaging is a growth business. Commercial printing seems to have turned a corner, according to D’Angelo, but there is no doubt the run lengths are shorter, less pages per job are printed, more localized versions are produced, and the use of automation has increased. Newspaper printing needs a new business model, according to D’Angelo, with smaller, more agile presses. This in turn will translate into printing localized content to help stabilize newspaper sectors. The packaging market sees increased competition and more versions of the same product are being printed. Web offset printing also offers some price and speed advantages in comparison to sheetfed offset. Offset plates are cheaper to make than flexo plates and web offset printing offers a unique speed advantage, not only in press terms, but also in the number of times materials need to be handled and stored.The second keynote was given by Liz Logue, Senior Director Corporate Business Development with EFI, speaking about printing on textiles and ceramics with inkjet technology. Logue stressed a little-known fact that 50 percent of ceramic tiles and 40 percent of display graphics are digitally printed. Digital textile printing is gaining traction and currently only five percent of all textiles are digitally printed.Rotary screen printing is still the dominant print technology for textile printing. Inkjet inks are adapted for textile printing and fast fashion turnover provides digital-printing textile opportunities. New digital designs enable new profits. Increases in print speed and resolution for digital textile printing helps with the transition from conventional to digital print technologies. From an environmental standpoint, Logue explains digital printing is also less water polluting than conventional print methods.The next keynote speaker was Kevin Berisso from the University of Memphis, who talked about The Internet of Things (IoT) and posed an intriguing question to the crowd by referencing The Terminator movie series: Are we building Skynet? In truth, Berisso was really asking what exactly is IoT, because there are now so many definitions out there about this critical movement in business processes.Berisso explains IoT is based on physical devices that are networked, collect data and make automatic decisions. An IoT solution needs to combine hardware and software, has to interconnected, and must interact with its environment.  The fourth keynote was given by Janos Verres, Program Manager at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), speaking about the next generation of Printed Electronics. First, Verres give a brief historical overview of PARC and some of the many innovations made there that are now part of everyday live, such as the Graphical User Interface, ethernet connection and laser printing. Verres also talked about how energy will be democratized and why the future will be personalized. He explained how this future will be driven by smart devices, smart analytics and smart infrastructure. In the future, electronics will have any form, any shape and will reach new levels of complexity. Yet, they still need to be easy to fabricate using flexible printed and hybrid electronics. IoT will change from Internet of Things to Internet of Everything. This will lead to ubiquitous intelligence and computing. Printing technologies will help shape the Internet of Everything, with integrated printing platforms that will be part of multi-process printing workflows. Simple electronics will be printed with very small memory capacity, which will be printed.The fifth keynote was given by Don Schroeder, Director of Solutions Development at Fujifilm North America, speaking about key trends in inkjet printing. The use of inkjet technology is growing fast based on new print heads even as more paper products must be adapted to work well with inkjet inks. Although the use of inkjet printing is growing, Schroeder explains it still is only 0.5 percent of global print production volume.High-speed inkjet printing is gaining traction beyond its current primary use for transactional printing. Its main challenges remain paper quality, costs and availability, in addition to capital costs and printing speed. Inkjet presses have become more expensive and people shy away from the risk of buying a new, expensive inkjet press that might become superseded in two years time. The amortization period is too short.Schroeder also pointed to inkjet printing benefits: Less set up time, less waste, quick turnaround, variable data printing, low volume reprints, less consumables and less maintenance. Inkjet printing also offers a larger gamut than offset printing, as it makes inroads into the packaging and label markets. Looking at folding cartons, for example, the new Heidelberg Primefire 106 will be shown at drupa 2016 running with Fujifilm’s inkjet technology, reaching speeds of 2,000 sheets per hour.The remaining TAGA program outlined critical technology progress, including a presentation on expanded gamut printing and, importantly, asking what is the correct colour sequence of CMYK plus OGV (seven colours) to find the best combination to achieve maximum gamut.Another presentation showed how the FOGRA 51 dataset and resulting ICC profile was put together before its public release. Other key topics printers should investigate included: Cross-media communications, PDF X/4, the influence of optical brighteners, new colour management tools for digital printing, shorter product cycles for packaging, print quality of 3D objects, printable films based on hemicellulose, inline direct-mail automation, on-press control of metallic inks using M3 measurement condition, CxF/X4, lamination for consumer packaging, spectral colour control, resistive gravure inks made with soy protein, print gloss, and how to extract capacitors out of recycled printed electronics.TAGA once again delivered the message that innovation remains a key driver of the printing industry and that its proprietors must embrace change.
The following article by UK journalist Sean Smyth is part of the drupa Expert Article series to provide industry insight leading up to the drupa tradeshow running from May 31 to June 10, 2016, in Germany.Parents know this refrain well “Are we there yet?” – just as they know the answer, “In a little while.” I spend my working life with printing technology and have heard this for many years. In the case of inkjet, it is a recurring theme. And while we are not there yet, we are getting much closer. Approaching the destinationSome print providers have arrived. A great example is REAL Digital International based in South London. In 2004, the company was founded based on the belief that transactional and direct mail production could be improved using a flexible inkjet solution. They invested heavily in secure premises and powerful workflow with finishing systems to cut, fold, collate and insert almost anything. REAL Digital invented 650-mm-wide high-quality colour duplex web inkjet printing by mounting a pair of single pass inkjet presses on a flexible transport system. Further, the company developed new paper coatings to reach acceptable quality for leading brands, printing personalized carriers, mailers and magazines. The business proved out the belief, winning multiple awards, including the PrintWeek Company of the Year, while inventing new business models as the marketplace matured. They identified inkjet’s potential and went for it, making good money in the process.  REAL Digital’s journey continues by upgrading to a pair of Screen Jet520 duplex lines in 2014, but is not stopping there. They continue to monitor the technology to see what the future holds. “Inkjet technology provided the flexibility enabling us to deliver solutions that address latent customer demand and to drive new demand in areas where we have seen further opportunities,” David Laybourne, REAL Digital’s Managing Director, explains. “The technology continues to evolve, and inks are more flexible with increased colour gamut, reducing the need for special substrates whilst increasing productivity. As the ink manufacturers accept more viable pricing models, the proportion of the marketplace that inkjet solutions are able to address will only increase.”Viable ink costs are keyLaybourne’s opinion about viable ink pricing models is informative. Ink cost makes medium to long runs with high ink coverage uneconomical in inkjet, as compared to analogue print. Suppliers want to maximize profit and this disconnect is holding back adoption of inkjet in commercial print, publishing and packaging applications.Printers using analogue presses think the ink is too expensive. There are several supply models for equipment, service and consumables (mostly ink, but cleaning fluids and replacement heads must be considered). High value recurring consumable revenue is attractive to suppliers, but print service providers are not used to this. They buy a litho press and negotiate for plates, inks and support from the established supply base – although some press manufacturers are competing there. Costly ink is turning some potential customers away from inkjet.Substrates also importantAnother historical barrier to wider adoption of inkjet, especially for commercial printing applications, was the need to use specially treated papers and the inability to effectively print on glossy coated stocks. The latest generation of production inkjet presses is rapidly eroding those barriers. “With the latest system introductions of the ImageStream, the reachable range of applications extends even further, due to the printability of offset coated material for matte, silk and glossy applications,” says Peter Wolff, Director of Commercial Printing Group Canon EMEA “With these new capabilities, additional applications like magazine printing, catalogue printing and others are now doable on inkjet with all the benefits in regards of individualization and customer targeted content without additional cost related to special inkjet treated papers. “This offers commercial printers the opportunity to combine a broad range of applications on one digital press with productivity and quality equivalent to offset.”Books leading the wayIt is important to note that the costing of inkjet production is different from that of analogue print. It has lower prepress and set-up cost, but ink – and until recently, paper – is more expensive, often much more expensive. This means long run, high ink coverage inkjet is not cost effective, so there is little appetite for printers to change. In book production, however, there are advantages in combining inkjet with in-line finishing, delivering finished blocks ready for cover application and final trimming. This is particularly true for monochrome books. Publishers and book printers have gone beyond just comparing print costs to considering the total cost of manufacturing, since inkjet can deliver folded, collated and glued blocks for a simple cover application and final trim for books in any format or pagination with minimal waste. The flexibility of inkjet allows book production to be re-engineered with overall cost and service advantages, enabling book publishers to reduce their stocks and their publishing risk. Colour books are quickly following the mono lead.For other products, the benefits of changing manufacturing processes to inkjet are not so clear yet. Well-established analogue methods are meticulously honed to minimize cost while delivering high quality. This will change as more companies install inkjet equipment, learn the capabilities and exploit new opportunities. New inkjet equipment will provide higher return on investment for many print products.  Production inkjet: a growth opportunityIn 2015, there are many inkjet early adopters and profitable users. Ricoh is at the forefront of quality with the high speed Pro VC60000 press launched in 2014. It has several early adopters, including HansaPrint in Finland, a €70m turnover firm specializing in retail and publishing. “Prior to experiencing the Ricoh Pro VC60000, I did not believe that there would be a major shift from offset printing to inkjet. But the new press has changed my mind,” says Jukka Saariluoma, HansaPrint Business Unit Director. “Our clients are very excited by the new level in quality and the increased flexibility offered and are moving significant amounts of their work from offset to inkjet.”The print world is certainly changing. All the key analyst organizations predict very high growth continuing for inkjet print volumes and values. Smithers Pira forecasts that the value of inkjet printing output for graphics and packaging more than trebles over 10 years, from €23 billion in 2010 to more than €70 billion in 2020 (in current values), with CAGR forecast of 12.7 percent between 2015 to 2020. HP alone reports that its customers have produced more than 100-billion inkjet pages since its first installation of a production inkjet press in 2009, a clear indicator of overall market trends, with other inkjet press manufacturers reporting rapidly growing volumes as well.Beyond traditional printThe applications for inkjet are many. There is coding and marking, addressing, security numbering and coding, photo-printing, wide-format (sheet, roll-fed and hybrid), flatbed imprinting systems, narrow web, tube and irregular shapes, high-speed wide web and sheetfed, to name a few. Outside of traditional printing and graphics, inkjet has revolutionized ceramic tile printing and it is growing very strongly in textiles and other industrial decoration applications – from pens and memory sticks to architectural glass and laminated decor.“Inkjet has become the preferred decoration process for ceramics and other decorative materials,” explains Jon Harper Smith, Fujifilm Specialty Ink Systems Business Development Manager.Thus, inkjet offers opportunities for expansion into related areas that may not normally be considered by traditional print providers. “Not too long ago, inkjet was praised as an alternative to conventional systems for its ability to offer single-off sheets, short runs and personalized prints. In the meanwhile, the technology is challenged to offer higher speeds and higher volumes to replace some of the conventional systems,” says Paul Adriaensen, Agfa Graphics PR Manager. “But the technology is also introduced in new areas never related to the printing industry before. This creates interesting dynamics in the industry.”Mimaki and other manufacturers are bringing innovative digital inkjet solutions on the market delivering higher speed and productivity to meet demands of the booming textile market.From a technical perspective, inkjet has a major advantage over all other print processes because it is the only non-contact, high quality, high performance process. The advances are primarily in new and better control of print heads, better inks and a much wider selection of readily available and more affordable inkjet treated papers.  New applications are developing almost daily. For example, Canon has installed lines in Nigeria to print election ballot papers.  Think inkInk manufacturers spend lots of money on developing new inks that perform well in the heads and provide excellent print quality. Such research is not cheap. But the result is that ink properties have improved, with higher density levels that result in more offset-like quality with lower coverage. There are also now more substrates that perform well with inkjet, aided by colour management improvements. There are many routes to market for inkjet inks. Some equipment manufacturers formulate and manufacture their inks; others sell ink that is made under license by ink specialists. In low-end wide-format inkjet, there are independent third-party ink suppliers competing with the OEM. That is probably the healthiest part of the market for end users, with thousands of machines sold each year consuming millions of litres of inks. This is not the case for high performance systems, where the equipment supplier typically provides the ink tailored to optimize performance within the overall system. There are indications, however, that this is changing. Collins Inkjet is an independent inkjet ink manufacturer who sells a range of inkjet inks, innovating in many applications including new electron beam curing. It makes water-based inks for many of the high speed single pass presses. It remains to be seen how effective this company and others will be in establishing itself as a third-party ink provider, in competition – or partnership – with OEMs.“Low consumables costs promote growth and easier adoption. When customers see competitive pricing for the more efficient inkjet technology, it is easier to switch, and they are more willing to change,” says Chris Rogers, Collins’ VP of Sales & Marketing. “Our business model is a traditional ink company; our manufacturing scale allows us to price inks at lower profit margins. This long-term strategy has proven successful over 25 years and it seems that OEMs are now starting to agree. They realize the easiest way to grow market share is to price their consumables fairly and we can help them with that."Driving new market opportunitiesInkjet has been around for some time. Today, a huge amount of money is being spent developing print heads, inks, substrates, control software, transport, drying and turnkey print systems. While these investments have forced changes on the world of print, it is nothing compared to what we expect to occur over the next few years. The inkjet markets today are largely new. As productivity grows, inkjet is becoming greedy, with suppliers now turning toward siphoning volume from analogue print markets for additional growth and offering directly competing solutions. The productivity, quality and economics are pushing inkjet firmly against sheetfed litho and narrow web flexo, and it has larger format flexo and web offset in its sights. While a few inkjet suppliers may be guilty of hyperbole (sorry, they are very guilty of it in some instances!), it is good to see users and customers voting with their feet and their wallets. That being said, we will continue to see enhancements to productivity and boosts to the cost performance of inkjet. Some totally new formats and systems are coming to market. At least a couple of these will be on show at drupa, in new formats and markets. What is also new is that these will be firmly aimed at the heartland of offset and flexo printing. Choice of printing methods changes because of one or more reasons: to reduce cost, to improve quality, to achieve greater levels of service, or to do new things. Inkjet allows printers to do all four – and no doubt there will be other new reasons going forward. Flexibility. Agility. Power.  In addition to graphics and packaging, inkjet is making rapid progress in textile printing, ceramics and industrial/architectural decoration. Then there is the new arena of 3D printing, where inkjet is an important enabler. These have the potential of opening huge new opportunities for companies that are smart enough and brave enough to explore the potential and exploit new markets. In technology terms, inkjet is state of the art. In business terms, inkjet is being used to re-engineer supply chains, making money. That certainly is not fiction.
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.
Geography has made Friesens, one of North America’s leading book, yearbook and packaging manufacturers, especially creative at recruiting new candidates for the printing workforce.
Independent consulting firm Wohlers Associates has entered into a partnership with Québec Industrial Research Centre (CRIQ) to offer three days of intensive training on design for additive manufacturing (DfAM).The course is targeted at designers, engineers and managers wanting to learn how to design parts that fully benefit from additive manufacturing.
Trish Witkowski of Foldfactory, a PrintAction columnist best known for her regular educational videos series 60-Second Super Cool Fold of the Week, has launched her first online course, called Direct Mail Strategy, on Lynda.com. The course consists of eight chapters and 46 movies, each covering what Witkowski describes as a vital direct mail strategy or concept. She continues to state the goal of the course is to give direct marketers, designers, print professionals and small businesses the tools and strategies needed to get powerful results from mail.
“I’m so proud of how the Direct Mail Strategy course turned out,” says Witkowski. “Mail is a fascinating topic and a powerful marketing medium, but you can’t just send mail and expect results. There’s a strategy and a process involved, and I’m sharing it with everyone.” The Direct Mail Strategy course covers mailing lists, marketing strategies, writing offers, engagement techniques, format options, testing, tracking and measuring results. It provides registrants with downloadable exercise materials. Lynda.com provides a free preview of seven of the 46 videos in the Direct Mail Strategy course.

“We’re thrilled that Trish Witkowski is contributing course content to the Lynda.com library, joining hundreds of other industry experts,” stated Kristin Ellison, content manager for the design segment at lynda.com, which provides thousands of online training courses on a range of subjects. “Her insight on direct mail is invaluable and her passion is infectious. I know our members will find her course instrumental in helping make sure their next mail piece is both effective and on budget.”
Esko North America executives were in Toronto yesterday to celebrate what Ryerson University describes as a major technology gift, from Esko, for the school’s Graphic Communications Management program.Sheldon Levy, President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University, was also on hand for the ribbon-cutting donation ceremony, which included naming a portion of Ryerson’s dedicated Graphic Communications Management (GCM) building as the Esko Premedia Wing. The Esko donation itself includes a range of hardware and software, such as packaging workflow tools for design, visualization, proofing and production, as well as a CDI flexo plate imaging system.“Esko is very active in the Toronto packaging market and it’s seldom that we have a customer or client who isn’t connected to Ryerson University in some way,” stated Larry Moore, Esko’s Director of Software Services in North America. “Considering this, and the fact that Ryerson’s School of Graphic Communications Management is a leader in educating those in the packaging industry, donating this gift to Ryerson was a natural choice for us.” The Esko technology is to be used by GCM students within related program courses, as well as by faculty engaged in packaging research projects. Ryerson states such research, while not yet determined, could involve areas like flexo plate quality, package design, and the printability of stochastic and other specialty dot shape data. Headquartered in Gent, Belgium, Esko is widely regarded as one of the world’s most-powerful technology companies focused on packaging applications, while also developing products for sign and display finishing, commercial printing and professional publishing.
“Students in [GCM] will benefit tremendously from this strengthening of our partnership with Esko,” stated Ian Baitz, Chair of the School of Graphic Communications Management. “This major donation will allow our 500 GCM students to learn Esko’s industry-leading packaging design and prepress systems. We are thrilled to begin using Esko job management and automation modules, including tools such as DeskPack and ArtiosCAD. Our new Esko CDI Spark imagesetter will become a very important piece of equipment in our new prepress flexography workflow.”

A portion of the donation is earmarked for GCM's premedia platemaking lab for flexographic platemaking. The Esko CDI Spark flexo has been installed to make plates for flexography, which will help students to learn and practice platemaking processes using the Esko workflow system. All third-year GCM students will produce flexo plates on the new CDI. “We have focused on offset and digital printing for many years,” stated Baitz. "We added a flexo press three years ago, but our missing pieces were a packaging workflow and method to create plates. Cooperating companies in the Toronto area were kind enough to make plates for us, but we wanted students to see the workflow and platemaking process for themselves. Now we have access to the tools and students can evaluate their own plates for quality.”Ryerson also intends to employ Esko-donated technologies within GCM’s robust extracurricular clubs, including the RyePack initiative. RyeTAGA, an official student chapter of the TAGA organization, with over 60 members, will also use the new Esko equipment for research papers and the production of its annual TAGA student journal. The annual production of RyeTAGA’s student journal has historically resulted in numerous awards for Canadian printing students when matched against others from around the world.“Our students are very open to packaging and flexo printing,” stated Bates. “It speaks to our students. They are touching packaging every day. Packaging involves marketing, branding, and consumer decision-making processes. It is a challenging, evolving technology and the tools they use are on the cutting edge. We are grateful to Esko for its contribution and support, and hope that this program is a positive influence for our students, Esko, and the local industry base in the Toronto areas, as well.”
Cober Evolving Solutions of Kitchener, Ontario, which recently expanded into a 80,000-square-foot facility, continued its growth with the installation of a new HP Indigo 7500 press.Cober has long been seen as one of Canada’s most-innovative commercial printing operations in the field of Web-to-print programs, while also pushing new applications rooted in traditional lithography. The company also offers large-format printing, mailing, fulfillment and bindery services, as well as providing a range marketing solutions to clients. By combining its various areas of expertise, Cober became one of North America’s first firms to offer proprietary Web-to-fulfillment solutions.
“Our Web-to-print programs drives pages to the HP Indigo printer, easing the printing process for customers while ensuring high-quality output,” says Peter Cober of Cober Evolving Solutions, who leads the operation with son, Todd Cober. Founded 96 years ago, Cober Evolving Solutions is now a fourth generation printing operation.“One large advantage of the HP Indigo 7500 printer is its ability to manage colour,” continues Peter Cober. “The printer proactively watches and makes adjustments to colour shift, ensuring high-quality output at a fast speed, every time.”
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.
Canadian printing companies The Printing House and Mitchell Press are two of the three most forest-friendly printers in the 2018 Blueline Ranking, a comprehensive assessment of the environmental performance of North American printers published by Canopy, a global environmental not-for-profit.
Mitchell Press has achieved Climate Smart Certification, having completed its first Greenhouse Emissions (GHG) Inventory, audited and verified by Climate Smart.
Canadian commercial printer Solisco has partnered with PrintReleaf, enabling its clients to select reforestation equivalent to the paper used on their projects.
Brett Martin, a U.K.-based manufacturer of polycarbonate, foam pvc and PETg plastic sheets for the signage and graphics industry, looks to benefit from a combination of renewable supply sources.
The International Cooperation of Integration of the Process in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) published the Spring 2011 edition of its JDF Marketplace book. The publication is 162 pages and includes 151 detailed product and service listings. The last edition was released in May last year for the IPEX show.“For printers looking to integrate systems and manage an automation program, this is a ‘must have’ reference,” said CIP4 Education and Marketing Officer, Tim Daisy of Prism. “It is one of our most popular downloads from the website.”In addition to the basic listings, the JDF Marketplace includes JDF/integration support information for many manufacturers, as well as an eight-page, plain-English introduction to JDF. The publication can be downloaded here.
Patrick Bolan, President and CEO of Toronto-based Avanti Computer Systems, joins the advisory board of the CIP4 organization, which oversees development of the JDF and JMF interoperability protocols.  “Avanti has been very active in CIP4, JDF and print automation educational programs in the U.S. and Canada,” said CIP4 executive director, Jim Harvey. “Patrick has personally participated in many programs and shared valuable ideas. I know that Patrick will be a great addition to CIP4's leadership.”Bolan was also recently appointed to the Advisory Council of Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program. He also sits on Xerox Corporation's Business Partner Advisory Board.“I want to help CIP4 increase awareness and acceptance of the JDF standard,” said Bolan. “It will take our collective efforts to show print shop owners the immediate ROI that automation in general, and JDF in particular, can offer to increase profitability and competitiveness in today's marketplace. The ROI is there, and CIP4 has the data to back it up.”
Following an internal election, Henny van Esch becomes the new CEO of the CIP4 organization, which primarily looks after the development of JDF and JMF protocols. As the Director of Optimus Group, van Esch succeeds CIP4's previous 2-term CEO, Margaret Motamed of EFI. "I look forward to, along with the rest of the board, leading CIP4 into the coming years," said van Esch, who is a long-time CIP4 member and active working group Chair and Technical Steering Committee member. "Following in the footsteps of my illustrious predecessors Martin Bailey and Margaret Motamed, my aim will be to take CIP4 into the next phase of development and adoption of JDF."The other new, elected CIP4 officers include: Education and Marketing OfficerTim Daisy, QTMS Sales and Marketing, Prism Group HoldingsFinancial Officer and TreasurerJay Farr, General Manager, EFI Pace, EFIMembership OfficerMark Wilton, President of Wilton & Partners ConsultingTechnology OfficerDr. Rainer Prosi, Senior Workflow Architect, Heidelberg
X-Rite has announced a new measurement standard for the graphic communications industry which is designed to "take advantage of advances in colour science and new international standards." The new standard stems from the merger of the former GretagMacbeth and X-Rite."The former X-Rite and the former GretagMacbeth each had, for historical reasons, different calibration standards for graphic arts instrumentation.  While it was important to ensure both standards were maintained to guarantee continuity for both companies' customers, our goal with XGRA is to eliminate systematic discrepancies between instruments so that all measurements taken for the same color sample should be the same, regardless of the system used," explains Francis Lamy, X-Rite's Chief Technology Officer.According to X-Rite, the new XRGA standard rises from a detailed study to determine the differences in systems between the two former rivals. Based on those results, XGRA achives the following goals:- Is applicable to all 0/45 and 45/0 instruments.  - Incorporates improved methods for calibration- Maintains traceability to the American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)- Offers best implementation with respect to existing international ISO standards Improves inter-model agreement for existing instruments- Preserves good agreement among former X-Rite instruments and former GretagMacbeth instruments- Provides a single standard for all future graphic arts instruments to be delivered by X-Rite- Improves data exchangeA small number of X-Rite devices already conform to the XRGA standard: the ColorMunki Photo, ColorMunki Design and EasyTrax. The company notes that former X-Rite instruments are already very close to the new standard and switching will yield "very small differences in measurement."Current users can check the upgrade potential of their existing machines by visiting xrite.com/xrga/support
The Ricoh Pro C900, using the EFI Fiery server and Tecco CS130 semi-matte media, has achieved Fogra certification in conformance with the ISO/NWIP 12647-8 standard. While this methodology is primarily used in Europe, the ISO standard is internationally recognized and speaks to the colour-management consistency of the toner-based press."We are pleased with this important recognition from the international community," said Peter Williams, Head Ricoh Production Printing Business Group, in a press release. "Fogra VPS certification for the Ricoh Pro C900 and Pro C900 E-80 gives our customers full confidence that these products are ideally suited to meet their most stringent colour requirements.”
The ISO 12647 standard sets measurable process criteria for different printing processes such as sheetfed and web offset, coldset (newsprint), flexographic and toner-based printing. The FograCert Validation Printing System (VPS) defines exactly what "validation prints" must look like.“The Fogra certification process is an intensive 2-day evaluation of a wide range of printer capabilities, including substrate colour and gloss, permanence and light-fastness, fading, rub resistance and colour accuracy based on a number of stringent tests,” said Andy Kraushaar of Fogra. “With the tested system Ricoh has entered the top league in the area of single copy validation printing systems.”The Ricoh Pro C900 runs at 90 pages per minute at 1,200-dpi print resolution. Ricoh, has operations in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, China and Japan, and over 108,500 employees worldwide.
After receiving the first-ever GRACoL certification for toner-based production presses, specifically for validating the proofing process on HP Indigo machines, CGS Publishing’s ORIS Press Matcher Pro has now achieved FOGRA Certification in conjunction with HP Indigo 7000 and 5500 presses. The third ingredient in this FograCert Validation Printing System Certification is the ORIS PearlDIGITAL specialty media.While FOGRA itself is a colour management test suite used primarily in Europe, the accomplishment speaks to CGS’ commitment to developing standardized proofing systems for various commercial printing environments, particularly for those companies providing work outside of North America. "Now HP Indigo users around the world can be assured that their digital printing solution meets internationally recognized standards," said Trevor Haworth, CEO of CGS Publishing Technologies, who adds the wizard-based, calibration process of ORIS Press Matcher Pro can be applied in “three simple steps.”CGS Publishing’s GRACoL certification with toner-based presses was announced in mid-2009. GRACoL is the proofing certification that is often confuse with the non-certified G7 methodology for calibrating presses, which can then be employed within a GRACoL-enabled proofing environment.
Seeking the latest advances in scientific research and technical innovation from the graphic communications industry, the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA) has opened the call for papers for its 2019 Annual Technical Conference in Minneapolis, Minn., taking place March 17 to 20.
The Newspaper Association of America, to better reflect “the news media industry’s evolution to multi-platform, digitally-savvy businesses and premium content providers,” has changed its name to News Media Alliance and launched a new website, newsmediaalliance.org. The association explains this new focus aligns with its membership, approximately 2,000 news organizations, and the new website visually depicts this expansion of news media into digital and mobile formats. The approach focuses on what it means to be a news media organization today, explains the association: communicating in real-time across multiple platforms. “Our transformation efforts are designed to show the positive trajectory of the industry and to share the innovation and growth taking place, especially in the digital space,” said News Media Alliance Vice President of Innovation Michael MaLoon. “There are so many great things happening in our industry right now, and our job is to tell those stories.”In addition, for the first time the association is broadening its membership requirements to allow digital-first and digital-only news organizations publishing original content to become members. The association states it has a number of new tools and resources it will be making available to members in the coming months that reflect the digital focus of its membership, including:ideaXchange, a new online community for News Media Alliance members launching this fall, which is to provide a platform that will make sharing, brainstorming and learning from one another easier than ever.metricsXchange, a new digital benchmarking tool exclusively for members, that will allow comparisons between markets and publications, providing new insights into the news media industry’s digital business efforts. The Alliance will also provide analyses and highlight newsworthy trends mined from the tool.mediaXchange, the News Media Alliance’s major annual event, will take a reimagined approach. Taking place in New Orleans in 2017, the event will focus on the future of the news media industry. “The news media industry should be optimistic. All evidence shows that people of all ages want and consume more news than ever,” stated News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern. “We need to focus on new ways to address the needs of audience and advertisers. Advertising on news media digital and print platforms continues to be one of the most effective ways for advertisers to reach important audiences. Publishers are working to adapt advertising across all platforms, make ads less intrusive and increase consumer engagement.”
Printing Industries of America (PIA) released the election results to name its 2016 Officers and Board of Directors, which took place on November 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Canadians joining the 2016 Board of Directors include Richard Kouwenhoven of Hemlock Printers, who is representing the British Columbia Printing Industries Association, and David Potje of Twin City Dwyer Printing Co. Ltd., who is representing the Ontario Printing Industries Association.Bradley Thompson of Inland Press in Detroit, Michigan, becomes Chairman of the Board. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Government Affairs and Labor Policy Committee of PIA and a former Chairman of Printing Industries of Michigan. Thompson, a fifth-generation printer, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Press Association and serves as Government Affairs Chair of the American Court and Commercial Newspaper Association. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Clements Library at the University of Michigan.  Curt Kreisler of Gold Star Printers in Miami Beach, Florida, becomes First Vice Chairman for the PIA. He has served on PIA’s Board of Directors since 2009. He is currently the Association Relations Committee Chairman and a member of its Finance and Investment Committees. Bryan Hall of Graphic Visual Solutions in Greensboro, North Carolina, becomes Second Vice Chairman. He served on Printing Industries of America’s Board of Directors for a number of years as Chairman of the Education Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee. Hall also served on the Board of Directors of his local affiliate – Printing Industry of the Carolinas – for nearly 10 years. Michael Wurst of Henry Wurst in Kansas City, MO, becomes Secretary to the Board/Treasurer. He has served many years as a PIA Association Relations Committee member. Wurst is also actively involved in his local affiliate, Printing & Imaging Association of MidAmerica, serving on the Executive Committee for four years, including one year as Chair. He is the CEO of Henry Wurst, Inc., a 75-year-old family-owned commercial printing company. David Olberding of Phototype in Columbus, Ohio, becomes Immediate Past Chair.He was appointed as the association representative to PIA in 2006. He has served PIA as Chairman of the Board, First Vice Chairman, Second Vice Chairman, Executive Finance Committee member, Secretary to the Board, and as Marketing Committee Chairman. Olberding served as Chairman of the Board, Treasurer, and Chair of the Education Committee of Printing Industries of Ohio and Northern Kentucky.Also joining the Board of Directors in 2016 are: Peter Jacobson, Daily Printing, representing Printing Industry Midwest; Timothy R. Suraud, Print Media Association, representing the affiliate managers; Adam G. Avrick, Design Distributors, Inc., representing Printing Industries Alliance; David Wigfield, Xerox, representing the vendor community; Richard Kouwenhoven, Hemlock Printers, representing BCPIA; Norm Pegram, representing Printing Industries of the Gulf Coast; Justin Pallis, DS Graphics, representing PINE; and Dave Potje, Twin City Dwyer Printing Co. Ltd., representing OPIA.
One year ago, three North American printing associations, Association of Marketing Service Providers, National Association for Printing Leadership, and National Association of Quick Printers, merged under a convoluted name using their acronyms, AMSP/NAPL/NAQP. The group, during yesterday’s Executive Leadership Summit at The Wynn Las Vegas, announced is to now be called Epicomm, following a survey – by a third-party organization – of more than 200 members from all industry segments.  “AMSP, NAPL, and NAQP have a long and distinguished history of service to the printing and mailing industry, but that industry is changing and we recognize that, if we are to serve our members’ evolving needs at the highest level, our association must change as well,” said Tom Duchene, Chairman of the association’s Board of Trustees. Duchene continued to say the not-for-profit group is launching a new organization with its name change to Epicomm, which is “representative of the epic communications industry we serve.” Ken Garner, who was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined organization in October 2014, indicated Epicomm plans to launch new member-focused initiatives, including an in-depth member survey that will be used to find what issues matter most. Garner continued to explain Epicomm is also using a new tagline, Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services.
A new association focused on printable electronics has started operations out of Ottawa, Ontario. The new group called the Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA) is to be led by Executive Director Peter Kallai. The CPEIA states its mandate is to bring together key Canadian and international players in industry, academia and government to build a strong domestic printable electronics (PE) sector. The association plans to facilitate growth through networking, stimulate R&D and investment, build a strong PE supply chain and drive the broad adoption of PE by end customers. CPEIA states close to 50 Canadian companies have expressed a business interest in PE, following an effort that began three years ago by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), which created a PE research program. It also led the creation of the PE Consortium with 14 industry partners. The CPEIA is joining and promoting a delegation of Canadian companies with the NRC that will be exhibiting at Printed Electronics USA 2014. This conference, the largest of its kind dedicated to PE, runs November 19 and 20, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, CA. “A few years ago, many PE applications would have been considered science fiction,” said Kallai, who is billed as a former senior high-tech executive and management consultant that has worked with more than 100 government organizations and growth-stage companies across Canada. “But not anymore. Government organizations, startups, OEMs and systems integrators around the world are investing billions of dollars in R&D to revolutionize existing products and create new ones with PE. It’s time for Canada to step up and stake its claim in this exciting emerging market.” According to research firm IDTechEx, the global market for printed and potentially printable electronics will rise from around $24 billion in 2014 to $340 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 40 percent. The Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association also launched a Website www.cpeia-acei.ca.
The Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF) is awarding $52,500 in scholarships to post-secondary students pursuing graphic communications education for the current school year. A total of $15,000 was awarded to nine new students enrolled in the first year of an approved course of study. A further $37,500 was provided to 30 continuing students already enrolled in the scholarship program. The majority of each annual scholarship is $1,250, while the $5,000 Warren Wilkins Prestige Scholarship has been awarded to Samantha Tully, who is attending Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management program. “Every year the Board of Trustees is challenged to select the best and brightest as recipients of our scholarships and this year was no exception,” said Don Gain, Chairman of the fund. “We are pleased to be able to support 39 students in their pursuit of a career in the graphic communications industry.” CPISTF was initiated in 1971 and has since generated over a million dollars of funding.

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