Renowned rap artist Snoop Dogg has released a new book of his lyrics, printed using non-toxic inks and on paper designed to be smokable. The book helps promote the rapper's new line of "King Size Slim Rolling Papers."

Rolling Words: A Smokable Songbook, is made from a hemp material, the cover made out of ,twine and contains perforated rolling-paper pages. The spine of the book also contains a strikable surface to light matches.

Says Snoop Dogg: "I made this book so people can always remember, you can roll with an expert, you can roll with Snoop."

The book contains classic Snoop Dogg lyrics from songs such as "Drop it Like its Hot" and "Still a G Thang."

Snoop Dogg describes the book in a YouTube video below:

The venerable Encyclopedia Britannica will go online only for future editions. Its last edition, produced in 2010, spanned 32 volumes and weighed 129 pounds. The company says it has no plans to sell another print edition after its current stock runs out.

Often considered the most scholarly of encyclopedias, Britannica was founded in 1768 in Scotland and has been in print continuously ever since.

"The end of the print set is something we’ve foreseen for some time," said Jorge Cauz, President of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. "It’s the latest step in our evolution from the print publisher we were, to the creator of digital learning products we are today."

The company began exploring digital publishing in the 1970s, creating the first digital encyclopedia for LexisNexis users in 1981. It produced a version on CD-ROM in 1989 and was the first encyclopedia on the Internet in 1994.

"We’re digital, we’re mobile, and we’re social," said Cauz. "We’re a very different company from 20 or 30 years ago."

Competing encyclopedia such as Colliers has not been in print since 1998; the Encyclopedia Americana was last published in 2006.

Quebecor Media-owned Sun Media announced it will be launching four new weekly papers in Ontario. They will focus on the Windsor, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Ottawa markets and serve 400,000 households.

“The expansion of our community newspaper network is a bold statement of our commitment to the newspaper industry,” said Julia Kamula, Sun Media’s executive Vice President for Central Canada. “It also responds directly to the needs of our valued advertising partners, delivering access to an even stronger flyer distribution footprint in highly desirable Ontario markets.”

The new publications will be:

Ottawa Capital City News
K-W Review
Windsor This Week
Guelph Review

The papers will have original editorial content and will encourage community participation. The Smart Shopper publications already in those communities will cease publication, with its resources transferred to the above new titles.

The Society for News Design (SND), has named its winners for Best Designed Newspapers for 2012. Among the winners this year are the National Post and The Grid, both Toronto-based newspapers. The full list of winners are:

Excelsior (Mexico City)

National Post (Toronto, Canada)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (Frankfruit am Main, Germany)

The Grid (Toronto, Canada)

Politiken (Copenhagen, Denmark)

"The five publications we selected for World's Best are very different from one another typographically and stylistically," writes the judges. "Excelsior uses a bold color palette and a multiple photographs on virtually every page to give it vigor and urgency. FAS and Politiken use sophisticated typography, masterful illustrations and wide broadsheet display to give them an authoritative look. The National Post revels in its narrow page width and tells stories visually as well as any newspaper in the world. The Grid has the feel of an underground paper minus most of the political coverage, but there are engaging story forms on every page that make its readers laugh or shake their head. The Grid’s journalists know their audience and they reach it brilliantly."

The judges for this year's competition were:

Bill Gaspard, China Daily, Beijing
Scott Goldman, The Indianapolis Star and
Rhonda Prast, Missouri School of Journalism
Søren Nyeland, Politiken, Copenhagen, Denmark
Bob Unger, The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Mass. 

The Society for Newspaper Design was founded in the United States in 1979 and today includes more than 1,500 members worldwide. Click here to see the winning designs and read the full judges' statement. 


Cascades is selling a limited run of Christmas trees made from 100 percent recycled cardboard. 

Standing as high as six-and-a-half feet tall, the Cascades Massimo tree features LED lights and a bottle of fir tree scent. The Massimo trees are being sold for $99 and are fully reusable and recyclable.

Three thousand copies of the Massimo trees will be produced and smaller versions are also available.

Cascades also makes other products out of its recycled cardboard, including picnic coolers, children's furniture and pet houses. The Boutique division also offers non-cardboard recycled goods such as recycled outdoor furniture and recycled wrapping paper.

See below for a video of a Cascades cardboard tree being assembled.

Montreal-based Pazazz Printing has won an award in Xerox's Best-of-the-Best Program under the Books category. They are the sole Canadian company to win an award in this year's contest.

The award was presented for the Canadian Architecture Edition Catalogue, which was produced on Pazazz's Xerox iGen4 press, powered by a CX Print Server from Creo. The project was produced on Xerox Digital Colour Supreme Gloss 12 pt stock for the cover and Gusto Gloss 160gsm for the inner pages. Only 200 copies were commissioned, which explained the choice of Pazazz's toner-based equipment over its offset workflow.

Xerox accepted submissions from around the world from its Premier Partners Global Network. The seven categories were: Books, Collateral, Digital & Offset, Digital Packaging, Direct Marketing, Photo Publishing and Transpromo. This year's competition saw the addition of a Digital Trailblazer Award, which went to Keiger Direct of Winston-Salem, North Carolina for a cross-media campaign to drive enrollment at Salem College.

All award winners and their perspective case studies can be viewed on Xerox's Website.

St. Joseph Communications has announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Canadian Geographic to oversee production, circulation, and promotion of the magazine.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Canadian Geographic," says Tony Gagliano, Executive Chairman and CEO of St. Joseph Communications. "Bringing together capabilities from our media and print platforms, we are providing a unique publishing solution to one of Canada's most iconic brands."

Effective October 1, 2011, the agreement will see all the roles outside of editorial and art for Canadian Geographic and Canadian Geographic Travel be allocated to St. Joseph's Toronto office. Canadian Geographic is published six times a year.
"We are looking forward to working with St. Joseph Communications' team of seasoned professionals in the years to come as we continue to expand our publishing activities," says André Préfontaine, Executive Director of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and President and Publisher of Canadian Geographic Enterprises.

Canadian Geographic was first published in May 1930 and is the official publication of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. The Society's mission is to make Canadians more geographically literate.  

The Printing House has launched its 2011 Charitable Greeting Card Campaign, 100 percent of whose proceeds will benefit five food programs aimed at assisting hungry children.

The program was conceived in 1990 and has raised more $500,000 to support 43 registered Canadian charities.

For the 2011 program, the proceeds will go to

- YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth
- Ottawa Food Bank
- Blessings in a Backpack (Toronto)
- NeighbourLink Calgary
- Blessings in a Backpack (Vancouver)

Card prices start at $1.70 and can include a personalized greeting, company name, logo, and digital signature. They can be ordered at any TPH location in Canada or online at

A new series of Canadian currency will debut starting in November. Unlike the cotton-paper money previously released by the Bank of Canada, the new series will be printed on a plastic polymer.

As reported by PrintAction in March of last year, the new series of bills contain heightened security features which make them more difficult to counterfeit, yet easier to check, most prominent of which are two transparent areas on the bill.

“The Bank’s objective with every new series is to produce a bank note that Canadians can use with the highest confidence,” said Governor Mark Carney. "The Bank is combining innovative technologies from around the world with Canadian ingenuity to create a unique series of bank notes that is more secure, economic and better for the environment."

The first bill of this new series will be the $100 note, which will feature Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada between 1911 and 1920, as well as images of Canadian innovations in the field of medicine. The bill was shown to the public for the first time this week.

“These bank notes evoke the country’s spirit of innovation, and their designs celebrate Canada’s achievements at home, around the world and in space,” said Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty. “Bank notes are cultural touchstones that reflect and celebrate our Canadian experience."

The $50 bill will feature the Canadian Coast Gard Ship Amundsen in the Arctic as well as William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada's longest-serving Prime Minister. The $20 note will feature the Vimy Memorial in France to signify Canada's sacrifices in military conflict, with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The $10 bill celebrates Canada's railroad heritage, with a portrait of Sir. John A. Macdonald. Finally, the $5 bill will have the Canadarm2 and Dextre to symbolize the country's contributions to space exploration. It will feature a portrait of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

The $50 note will be issued in March of next year, followed by the $20 note at the end of 2012. The series will be complete with the $10 and $5 bills in 2013. The bills are expected to last 2.5 times as long as the current bills, saving the government at least $200 million over the bill's eight-year lifespan.

Quebecor Media has signed a 5-year deal with Montreal-based Jean Coutu Group, a retail pharmacy industry chain, to print its promotional material, including a weekly flyer. The deal is worth $50 million and represents roughly 150-million impressions per year.

"This partnership with The Jean Coutu Group was made possible by our highly innovative approach in terms of integrated solutions; it is the perfect example of the huge potential of the new business model we implemented; it clearly demonstrates that advertisers value the complementary synergies that we built between various Quebecor Media components, thanks to, among other things, a $125-million investment in Quebec to modernize our commercial printing facilities and equip them with the latest technology," said Pierre Karl Peladeau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quebecor. "To meet the ever more sophisticated needs of our business partners, we must offer unique and complete solutions that provide maximum impact to their campaigns."

The Jean Coutu chain has more than 40 years of history in Quebec. In 2007, it merged with the U.S-based Rite Aid chain of pharmacies. Today, it operates 389 locations throughout Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.

Quebecor Media owns Osprey Media and Sun Media Corporation, which produces newspapers Canada-wide; Vidéotron, Quebec's largest TV and internet provider; as well as Group TVA, which owns numerous broadcasting channels.

UK-based Domino Printing Sciences is buying a 15 percent stake in a new company focused on the egg industry. Domino and NewMarket Impressions will supply technology which mark trace codes which will allow eggs to be traced from harvest to table. Domino's stake is worth US$50 million.

Printing directly on eggs is not new; in the European Union, organic or free-range eggs have been marked with the method of production, best-before date and country of origin since 2004. Domino has been providing printing products for food and food packaging for over 30 years. The offering by NewMarket Impressions goes beyond the simple printing of a date on the egg.

"The simple "best before" date is no longer an adequate protection," said Nigel Bond, Domino's Managing Director. "Today full traceability of products from source to the point of consumption are increasingly required. In partnering with NMI I believe Domino has a unique opportunity to deliver full compliance systems and as a result to increase significantly our market share of laser and ink jet coders."

According to Domino, in the U.S. alone, 500 million out of the 6 billion eggs produced are recalled annually due to salmonella.

Game manualsPrinted game manuals, once elaborate and a fundamental aspect of a software package, are being cut from new releases from Electronic Arts and other video game publishers in the name of environmental friendliness.

According to video-game blog Kotaku, EA will began this new trend with its latest release in its Fight Night series. Whereas previous releases often carried a DVD-sized manual (often in English and French versions to comply with Canadian language laws), all instructions will now be provided within the game.

At its height and most famously in 1998, Falcon 4.0, a flight simulation game, shipped with a complete 300+ page flight manual in a binder. Since then, however, the video game world has faced a downsizing of printed materials when PC-based games switched to a more compact, standardized package in 2000. Today, many major titles see simutaneous digital download releases, further reducing package and manual printing. Console-based games have also seen reduced printing, but have always shipped with DVD or CD jewel-case formats, will now ship with only a disc and a printed DVD cover.

In April of last year, major game publisher Ubisoft also announced it will do away with printed manuals: "Ubisoft is often recognized for making great games, but it's a special privilege to be the industry leader at saving trees," said Laurent Detoc, President of Ubisoft North America. "Eco-friendly initiatives are important to the global community and introducing in-game digital manuals on Xbox 360 and PS3 is just the latest example of Ubisoft's ongoing commitment to being a more environmentally conscious company."

The video game sector is estimated to be more than US$60 billion in size, and sales are looking to overtake that of the music industry, reaching an estimated US$70 billion, in 2015.

Océ claims a world-first based on inkjet production of colour newspapers through its partnership with Stroma Ltd. of the United Kingdom.

An Océ Jetstream 1000 at Stroma's London facility will produce titles such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald for the local market.

Steve Brown, Managing Director of Stroma, says: "In these testing times for newspapers, digital colour is a real expansion opportunity for the industry. This is something the publishers have been wanting for a long time, and will now be realized. With the Océ JetStream 1000 production press, we have the solution for the future growth of Stroma. Additional publishers are waiting to start printing in London now colour is available. I know Océ extremely well and trust totally. This is a true partnership on a long but mutually beneficial journey."

Stroma has been in operation since January 2001 and has been a member of Océ's Digital Newspaper Network for nearly as long. The new machine will allow Stroma to produce in excess of 1,000 copies of a 36-page newspaper per hour, each potentially being a unique copy due to the variable-print options inherent to the inkjet process.

Océ launched its digital newspaper market a decade ago with its Digital Newspaper Network. The company claims around 30-million newspaper copies have been produced globally through this network since 2001.

Baseball great Ferguson Jenkins spent his 68th birthday touring The Lowe-Martin Group during the press run of his new stamp to be issued by Canada Post on the first day of February.

Considered by many to be the greatest Canadian baseball player of all time, Jenkins was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. He remains the only Canadian to be a member of the Hall. 

Over his 19-year pitching career from 1965 to 1983 (primarily with the Chicago Cubs), Jenkins was a three-time All-Star and the 1971 NL Cy Young winner. He earned 49 career shutouts and holds the 12th highest strikeout total in Major League Baseball history (3,192).

The Fergie Jenkins postage stamp is to be issued on February 1, 2011, as part of Canada Post’s Black History Month series. Lowe-Martin produced the stamp in its Ottawa-based facility within a 7-colour (plus varnish) process. Canada Post will issue 4-million Jenkins stamps, as well as another 1.4-million stamps featuring writer Carrie Best, in the Black History Month series.

Describing the stamps, designer Lara Minja of Victoria-based Lime Design, notes: “The determination, strength, integrity and pride of Fergie Jenkins and Carrie Best are the attributes I aspired to bring to these stamps. The design balances a more recent depiction with an image from the past.

"A photograph of a more mature Jenkins is overlapped by an image of him on the pitcher’s mound. Carrie Best smiles warmly in her portrait, sitting opposite an image of herself reading the newspaper she established. Both stamps incorporate Order of Canada icons, as well as the names and signatures of Jenkins and Best to personalize the design.”

A printing error for U.S. $100 bills have resulted in 1-billion bills to be kept out of circulation.

According to a story by Eamon Javers of CNBC, upwards of 30 percent of the $100 bills coming off the press had a defect. "After they were printed, officials discovered that some of the new bills have a vertical crease that, when the sides of the bill are pulled, unfolds and reveals a blank space on the face of the bill. At first glance, the bills appear completely printed, but they are not."

Upwards of a decade was spent redesigning the new U.S. $100 bill, which includes numerous security features. Until the cause of the problem is found and rectified, the U.S. Government will reprint the older edition to ensure that the supply is uninterrupted. Approximately 6.6-billion $100 bills are in circulation at any given time and new bills must be constantly circulated to replace deteriorating copies.

The defective bills are currently being stored at Fort Worth, Texas, and Washington D.C. The bills were originally scheduled to start circulating in February 2011.

Read the full story here.
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