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.”
NorQuest College’s Centre for Excellence in Print Media finished up a series of five lean manufacturing seminars across Western Canada, based on $77,500 in funding provided by the National Research Council Canada.
Hosted by NorQuest’s Centre for Excellence in Print Media (CEPM), the one-day Lean Learn-and-Do seminar series was facilitated by CEPM Principal Josh Ramsbottom and printing-industry expert Dr. Ken Macro. Having previously spent two months with NorQuest’s printing program as a visiting professor, Macro co-authored the book Lean Printing: Pathways to Success.
The series made stops at post-secondary institutions and provincial associations in the key Canadian cities of Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Because of the government funding, CEPM was able to charge printers just $79 (including breakfast and lunch) to attend the workshops, designed to help small- and medium-sized printers engage in lean manufacturing. The workshops specifically focused on three key steps that an average printer can easily implement with little to no cost to their company.
More than 70 printing professionals from 35 companies attended the seminars, which Ramsbottom says indicates a strong interest level in lean principles from the Canadian print industry. “It was great to see the number of printing companies that recognize the value of the programs we support,” said Ramsbottom. “We look forward to offering more training and informational seminars in the future.”
“I’ve studied various efficiency models and flavour-of-the-month business systems over the years, but none of those experiences came close to delivering the practical tools we were exposed to in CEPM’s lean seminar,” said Rick Kroeker, President of Calgary’s Little Rock Document Services Ltd. “I particularly appreciated how we can define and solve one small problem at a time. It helps keep tasks easily managed.”
Dan Matthys, Sales and Business Development Manager of Capital Printing and Forms in Edmonton, also found the workshop worthwhile. “It was an eye opener and very motivating,” said Matthys. “The CEPM provided information on the evolution of the print communications industry and how it compares with the manufacturing sector as a whole.”
As a follow up to the workshops, the CEPM will be working with three selected print companies in Western Canada on three-day onsite planning sessions. Both the seminars and the planning sessions are supported by National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.
“Offering this level of education directly to industry would not be possible without the NRC’s generous support,” said Ramsbottom. “It demonstrates the government’s commitment to our industry. We hope more printers in Western Canada take advantage of these resources and the programs the CEPM brings to market.”
On the fourth day of drupa 2012, 14 students from Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program, along with four faculty members, arrived in Düsseldorf, Germany to attend the world’s largest printing trade show.
The Graphic Communications Management (GCM) students began their tour of more than 14 exhibition halls with a 45-minute presentation at press maker Heidelberg, followed shortly after by a visit to postpress equipment manufacturer Muller Martini.
“It is very important for the students because it gives them an international view, that printing is more than what is going on in Canada,” says Gillian Mothersill, Associate Dean at Ryerson’s Faculty of Communications and Design, who joins four GCM faculty members overseeing the tour. “It also gives them a great view of where Canada stands in the global print market. I really think it increases their enthusiasm for going back, finishing their degree and finding their place in the industry.”
Twelve of the 14 GCM students at drupa traveled from their home base in Toronto, while two were already in Germany as part of an exchange program with Stuttgart’s Hochschule der Medien printing program. The students visited the school before their drupa arrival.
“The relationship between the Hochschule and Ryerson has existed for over a decade but our official relationship, in terms of sending over exchange students, has been for about two years now,” says Mothersill.
Students from Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program continued to shine a bright light on the school after their 2012 Journal won three top awards at last week’s TAGA Conference in Jacksonville, Florida.
Post-secondary printing programs from across North America, as part of a TAGA Student Chapter initiative established in 1985, compete in a journal competition hosted at the annual conference of the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts. In addition to compiling and preparing some of its research, students are involved in every aspect of the journal’s production.
RyeTAGA’s 2012 Journal, while missing out on the coveted Kipphan Cup for best overall publication, won key awards for Best in Publication Design, Best in Production Quality, and Best in Overall Quality.
According to a statement by RyeTAGA’s Executive Team, “This year every student chapter came to the TAGA conference with their publications with the Kipphan Cup in their sights. Every school had a contending journal with unique qualities that could of earned them the top prize… we ended up seeing everything from metallic-based inks, thermochromic inks, stone-based substrates, near field communication, e-publications, and more.”
Ryerson’s Graphic Communications Management program has won the Kipphan Cup twice over the past five years and remains as one of the competition’s most-awarded schools. “We may have not won the Cup this year, but the journey that we have taken to get where we are has been an amazing experience. This just means that next year we will come back fighting with new innovative ideas,” wrote the student executive team. “This year's journal could not have been made possible without the involvement of our members. This is our journal and we should all be proud of our work.”
This March, based on new $77,500 in funding from the National Research Council Canada, NorQuest’s Centre for Excellence in Print Media (CEPM) is scheduled to begin a five-city lean-manufacturing tour across Western Canada, including stops in Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, and a potential April event in Vancouver.
Because of the government funding, CEPM is able to charge printers just $79 (including breakfast and lunch) to attend the daylong workshops, which are designed to help small- and medium-sized printers engage in lean manufacturing. The workshops specifically focus on three key steps an average printer can easily implement with little to no cost to their company.
The workshops are to be co-hosted by Cal-Poly State professor Dr. Ken Macro and NorQuest’s Josh Ramsbottom. Macro, who previously spent two months with NorQuest’s printing program as a visiting professor, co-authored the book Lean Printing: Pathways to Success. “I am excited to take the lean message out to printers throughout Western Canada,” says Macro. “What differentiates this program from others is that we will provide participants with tangible tools and takeaways they can execute at their plants immediately. It is a terrific opportunity for NorQuest and the graphic communication industry.”
As part of the program, the CEPM is also providing three to four companies with the opportunity to participate in a focused 3-day Lean Implementation Planning session. To be considered for the 3-day sessions, a printer must attend one of the single-day workshops, detailed below with registration links.
March 16, 2012
NorQuest College, CEPM
To register, visit www.edmontonleanseminar.eventbrite.ca
March 19, 2012
To register, visit www.calgaryleanseminar.eventbrite.ca
March 22, 2012
SIAST Wascana Campus
To register, visit www.reginaleanseminar.eventbrite.ca
April 20, 2012
Manitoba Print Industry Association
To register, visit www.winnipegleanseminar.eventbrite.ca
To Be Determined
Toronto-based Eva's Phoenix has been profiled in today's edition of The Globe and Mail. Margaret Wente, in an editorial titled "Working hard for your money", gave praise to the organization for being one of the few charities able to provide effective help to homeless youth.
The Eva's Phoenix program not only gets youth off the streets, but provides vocational and life skills. The Phoenix Print Shop, associated with the program, trains youth for the graphic arts field and is supported by numerous companies in the industry. The program was founded in 2000. Eva’s Phoenix provides housing for 50 youth, aged 16 to 24 years, for up to a full year, and since 2002 has also allowed up to 160 youth each year, aged 16 to 29 years, to participate in its employment and pre-apprenticeship programs.
The Eva's Initiatives program has been named as one of the top 33 charities of the year by Charity Intelligence, a watchdog organization which promotes transparency in how charity funding is spent.
Click here to read the full Globe editorial.
Samantha MacKenzie, a 22-year-old employee of a Kwik Kopy franchise based in Nova Scotia, recently represented Canada at the 8th annual International Abilympics in Seoul, South Korea.
MacKenzie won her spot on Team Canada after capturing a Gold Medal in poster design at the 2011 Nova Scotia Skills Competition, held in April. It is the third time she has won Gold in the completion, having also reached the mark in 2010 and 2009.
With success in the 2011 competition, however, MacKenzie was destined for the International Abilympics in Seoul, because it takes place every four years. The Abilympics is a competition to showcase the vocational skills of people with disabilities. MacKenzie suffers from agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder that made her afraid of being outside or in a situation from which it feels difficult to escape.
In Seoul during late September, MacKenzie competed in the poster design competition against 25 other people from around the globe and took home 7th place.
“It was an amazing experience. I was the youngest in my area of competition but I just went in there and did my best – I’m happy with my result,” said MacKenzie. “I got to compete against people from Korea, China, Japan, Iran, Macau, Sri Lanka, Thailand, France, Taipei, Slovakia and Austria. How many people can say that?”
This was Canada’s first appearance at the Abilympics, which in 2011 welcome over 1,500 competitors from 52 countries.
Press operators from Japan, Finland, Belgium and Germany shone at the 41st WorldSkills competition, which took place in London, UK, from October 5 to 8. The event featured more than 1,000 participants from 51 countries competing in 46 different disciplines.
In the offset printing category, for the first time, both gold and silver medals went to woman: 22-year-old Makiko Ito of Japan received the Gold Medal, while Susanna Virtanen from Finland received Silver. Olivier Deloge from Belgium finished third, while fourth place went to German national champion Sascha Epp, an employee at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.
Ito has been employed by the Asia Printing Corporation in Japan since 2008 and, in 2010, she won Japan's national championship in the printing category. Silver Medal winner Susanna Virtanen works at a print shop that forms part of the training institute in Turku, Finland, which is equipped with a Printmaster PM 52 four-colour press. Alongside her job as a printer, Susanna is a college student in the Finnish town of Jyväskylä.
Bernhard Nahm, a member of the management team at the Print Media Center in Heidelberg, was one of the judges assessing the performance of the young printers in London. He was delighted at the success of the female contestants. "Heidelberg has had an impressively high proportion of female printing trainees for some years now. We are currently training ten young people to become printers and four of these are highly motivated young women. The next WorldSkills competition will return to Germany for the first time in 40 years - and perhaps one of our trainees will once again be a finalist in Leipzig in 2013," he said.
Heidelberg sponsored the offset printing category by loaning two Speedmaster SM 52 five-colour presses for the competition. The machines were then sold to British customers at the end of the event.
At the last WorldSkills Competition in Calgary in 2009, Canada's Simon Beauchamp finished with a Bronze Medal.
Six months after the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan’s printing and imaging community comes together at the International Graphic Arts Show (IGAS) 2011 to push the industry forward.
Held in Tokyo every four years, IGAS is expected to host 100,000 visitors from several countries during the 7-day tradeshow, which concludes tomorrow. During the first six days of the tradeshow, some 66,980 printing professionals had attended the exhibition, with more than 5,000 people coming from overseas.
“The Great East Japan Earthquake gave a great damage at the scale which we have never experienced before and had a significant impact on the entire industries in Japan,” wrote Yoshiharu Komori in a welcoming letter for IGAS.
Komori is President of the Japan Graphic Arts Suppliers Committee, which directs IGAS. He also serves as CEO, President, and Chairman of Japan’s largest press manufacturer, Komori Corporation.
“There are still many who have been forced to live in evacuation shelters for more than six months in the affected areas,” continues Komori. “We would like to express our heartful gratitude to heart warming support by many people all over the world. "
The theme of the current IGAS show is “Print your future! Printing evolves with environment.” More than 330 companies are participating in this year's printing exhibition, which comprises 2,740 booths spread across more than 41,000 m² of space. Thirty-two of the exhibiting companies are from foreign countries.
The Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF) has awarded $83,750 in funding to 61 printing students across Canada, including two recipients of the Warren Wilkins Prestige Scholarship.
The CPISTF Board of Trustees has provided a total of $50,000 to 34 new printing students enrolled in the first year of an approved program, while $33,750 was provided to 27 continuing students already enrolled in the scholarship program. This is the highest total funding level awarded by the CPISTF since 2003.
“There was an exceptional group of applicants once again this year and we are very pleased to be able to support 61 dedicated students in their pursuit of a career in the graphic communications industry,” said Don Gain, Chairman of CPISTF. “We are especially happy to be able to assist two very deserving and excellent students with Warren Wilkins Prestige Scholarships.”
Christine MacCallum of Mississauga and Jessica Klein of Hanover, Ontario, both receive $5,000 in funding having won the Warren Wilkins Prestige Scholarship. The remaining annual scholarships have a value of $1,250. Both MacCallum and Klein are attending Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management this September.
The Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund was initiated in 1971. The current members of the Board of Trustees include: Don Gain (Chairman), Harmony Printing; Warren Wilkins (Past Chairman); Wayne Burroughs (Treasurer); Richard Armstrong, Heidelberg Canada; Jeff Taylor, Hemlock Printers; Michael Hill; Violet Storto, Algonquin College; Mary Black, Mary Black Recruiting; Bruce Bond; Bob Cockerill, Schawk Canada; Tom Blockberger; and Sean Murray, Advocate Printing and Publishing.
The Alberta Rural Development Network is providing NorQuest College with eight $1,000 subsidies to be used for its 4-day Executive Forum, which begins on September 28 at the Banff Centre.
The subsidies are available to any printing company located in rural Alberta, which excludes operations located within the corporate limits of Edmonton or Calgary. They will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and remitted to participants when the workshop is complete. The total cost of the workshop is $1,390 before September 2 and then $1,690 after the early-bird rate.
“[Alberta Rural Development Network] recognizes the value of having printers within Alberta’s rural communities and this is their way to support companies in those communities to take part in a world-class educational event,” said Josh Ramsbottom, Principal of NorQuest’s Centre for Excellence in Print Media, which is organizing the event. “ARDN, I believe, has recognized the importance print has within Alberta and I am very thankful of their support of the industry.”
NorQuest’s Executive Forum is to be led by Heidelberg’s Print Media Academy (PMA). The 4-day PMA workshop in Banff is not centered around Heidelberg technologies, but rather on professional development for owners and managers in the print industry.
The Alberta Rural Development Network is a non-profit partnership of Alberta’s 21 publicly funded and governed colleges, universities, and technical institutes, which aims to support and enhance rural development in the province.
More information about the subsidies is available by contacting NorQuest’s Michelle Braun at 780-644-6480 or by email
Students from Ryerson's School of Graphic Communications Management took home two of the top prizes at the recent Walmart Sustainable Packaging Conference this year.
Ryerson fielded two teams in the Sustainable Packaging Student Design Competition. The challenge was to redesign the primary package as well as a retail-ready package for Knorr Sidekicks, a line of ready-to-serve soups and frozen entrees. The Ryerson students proceeded through to the final round of judging, which required the students to deliver presentations to a panel of executives from Unilever, Walmart, and The Packaging Association.
Andrew Wong (team leader), Lee Jones, Liam Maddock, and Dusan Sigulinski are first-place winners, receiving an award of $3,000. Babak Amoozgar (team leader), Faris Abu-Kwiek, Emily Wong and Karley Wu were third-place winners, receiving $1,000. The second place prize went to Christian Thomas from Humber College.
Ryerson's Graphic Communications Management program is also founding a new student group called RyePAC, which will focus on the packaging segment of printing and will have first-place team leader Andrew Wong as elected President of the group. Assistant professor Natalia Gilewicz, who lead the students in the competition, will also oversee the RyePAC group.
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