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Kodak employees on July 12 celebrated their founder, George Eastman, on his 163rd birthday, with an event supporting his philosophy and philanthropy through the company’s Print for Good program. The July 12 event was organized to benefit high-needs neighbourhoods and schools in the Rochester community.

Kodak’s Print for Good program, however, is a global initiative to support communities throughout America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East with book drives, book donations, and the printing of materials and supplies in an effort to increase literacy worldwide through print.

The Rochester event is part of a month-long book drive where Kodak employees and Eastman Business Park tenants have been asked to donate new or gently used books in support of local literacy programs. This year’s contributions will be donated to the Urban League of Rochester and the Scott Spino Foundation.

“Print for Good is about ensuring that print is around for the long term, that it’s driving value, and that it’s doing good in the world,” said Brad Kruchten, President of Print Systems Division and SVP, Kodak. “Literacy is a venue for us to talk about the value of print in a very tangible way, while partnering with some of our most important printers to address this huge issue across the globe.

“In middle-class communities, there is an estimated 15 books per child. However, in underdeveloped or impoverished areas, there’s only about one book per 300 children,” continued Kruchten. “An investment in literacy is an investment in the future; and every dollar that’s spent on adult literacy provides society with a return of $7.14, enabling individuals to help themselves, their families and their communities. We feel that print is and will continue to be a critical piece of that solution.”

Some of Kodak’s recent Print for Good activities worldwide include:   

Vancouver, BC – Kodak team will be hosting a spelling bee and bake sale to raise money to donate to a local organization.

Houston, TX – Kodak partnered with its customer DiscPro to host a book drive. In addition, Kodak purchased and donated books by Tad Carpenter (host of Kodak’s Press On video series and children’s book author) to benefit high-needs Houston schools and communities, as well as an orphanage in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Tel Aviv, Israel – Kodak partnered with a local printer, Emanuel Print, to publish over 1,000 booklets, donated to La’Sova, a local non-profit providing food for those in need, and added those booklets to food packages distributed during the Passover holiday.

Dayton, OH – Kodak employees completed a book drive in support of a local organization, Hannah’s Treasure Chest.

Mumbai, India – Kodak is working with Youth for People to support a tribal region on the outskirts of Mumbai (Mokhada, Palghar) with a supply of 5,000 school notebooks printed by Kodak’s partner Navneet Publications.

Memphis, TN – Kodak donated 1,000 books authored by Tad Carpenter to the Books from Birth Foundation. This donation will support two local initiatives including the Reach Out and Read Program at Le Bonheur’s Outpatient Center and the LENA Start program.

Columbus, GA – Kodak is supporting the RiverCenter Readers program. Several activities are planned including a book collection this week with the local Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals group.

Watford, United Kingdom – Plans are underway for a Kodak employee book donation and a book signing day by best-selling children’s illustrator.
LSC Communications, the Chicago-based printing entity spun off from RR Donnelley in October 2016, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Creel Printing, a privately owned offset and digital printing company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The acquisition would bring together two of North America’s largest printing companies, including LSC which holds two of its 49 facilities in Canada – Mississauga and Newmarket.

“The alignment with LSC will create tremendous value for both companies, our employees and our loyal customers. I personally am incredibly excited about the future of Creel and LSC,” said Creel’s CEO, Allan Creel. Creel’s capabilities include full-colour web and sheetfed printing, variable digital production, large-format printing, and integrated digital solutions. Creel’s history dates back to the 1950s. The company runs a 250,000-square-foot facility in Las Vegas and four digital facilities, including a plant in France.

According to U.S.-based trade magazine Printing Impressions, Creel has approximately 700 employees operating out of six facilities across the country and – based on the magazine’s annual 400 listing – is ranked among the Top 10 largest publication and the Top 50 commercial printers in the country. The Printing Impressions 400 listing indicated Creel generated sales of US$130.1 million in its most recent fiscal year.

Led by Chairman and CEO Thomas Quinlan III, LSC ranked No. 3 on the latest Printing Impressions 400, reporting 2016 revenues of US$3.65 billion with 49 manufacturing plants and approximately 20,000 employees. LSC has facilities in the United States, Poland, Mexico and Canada.

“This acquisition will expand the capabilities of LSC’s offset and digital production platform and bring enhanced technologies to support our clients’ evolving needs, specifically in the magazine media and retail marketing industries,” said Quinlan. “With one of the most advanced digital platforms in the U.S., plus a strong west coast presence, Creel is an excellent fit for LSC.”
Manufacturers will continue to be targets of cyberattacks and it is critical to develop a process to lessen risk

The introduction of advanced technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to the plant floor has created new challenges for Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) professionals. What were once physical-only systems, managed and maintained by OT staff, are now connected by an IT network to an enterprise system. Securing these new cyber-physical systems should be a priority for manufacturers as they begin their digital transformation, but leaders often underestimate the importance of cybersecurity on the plant floor. It is believed the risk of attack is low, and thus securing cyber-physical systems can be overlooked.

For example, PLANT magazine’s 2017 Outlook report revealed that 17 percent of Canadian manufacturers have not taken any steps to defend against cyberattacks. In addition, when you consider that 78 percent rated their concern of a cyberattack affecting them as ‘low’ or ‘medium,’ why would they? Clearly, the industry believes other organizations are much more suitable targets.

The Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report, released in January, showed that Canadian organizations rank second-to-last in security capability maturity. Nearly half (48 percent) of our businesses have ‘low’ or ‘lower-middle’ maturity. Across all industries, our organizations are not nearly prepared to deal with dynamic cybersecurity threats.

Add to this the complexity of digitally securing a production facility or shop floor, and it is easy to understand why Canadian manufacturers want to believe cyberattacks are not a significant threat. But the truth is that, compared to other industries, manufacturers operate some of the most high-risk applications over their networks. Any threat to those applications — due to cyberattacks, poor maintenance or otherwise — must be addressed and mitigated. And for the record, manufacturers have been, and will continue to be, the target of cyberattacks. That will not change.

The good news for Canadian manufacturers is that securing their plant floor does not need to be complicated. In fact, when done right, keeping a plant secure in the IIoT era can be as simple as 1, 2, 3: prepare, assess, build.

Prepare
It is important for manufacturers to develop a security framework that helps them align and prioritize business and security needs. The first step in building that framework is to ask specific questions about their physical and cybersecurity capabilities. For example, IT and OT leaders could ask the following:

• Have we outlined who has access to which machines and devices?
• Do we have centralized control of both OT and IT network security?
• Can our network quickly provision and securely adapt to new connections?
• Have we assessed, ranked and prioritized our most critical assets?

By understanding capabilities and potential gaps in security processes, technologies and practices, manufacturers can better understand what cybersecurity solutions they require.

Assess
Although there is no silver bullet to cybersecurity for manufacturers, there are trusted partners who can help. These partners can review the organization’s current infrastructure and make recommendations to help achieve its security goals. Many technology and cybersecurity vendors provide these reviews, often called security assessments. My advice is to evaluate the assessments offered by several vendors, then decide which has the right combination of security expertise, best-in-class products and industry knowledge for your organization.

Build
It is vital that, prior to implementing a new cybersecurity solution, manufacturers work with their selected vendor to build a security strategy and plan. This plan should include both cybersecurity and technology elements — such as whether to leverage virtualization to back up important systems — as well as physical security processes and best practices. Most importantly, a plan provides a roadmap for manufacturers and vendors to follow to ensure projects have measureable goals, outline expected Return on Investment (ROI) and stay on time and budget.

For Canadian manufacturers who aren’t ready for the process above, there are other ways to keep their plant floor secure. I encourage all manufacturing leaders to take the following steps in their production facility to increase cybersecurity readiness:

• Ensure single-use computers are actually single-use,
• Change default passwords on IIoT-enables devices,
• Implement change control,
• Use secure protocols where possible, and
• Use manufacturers’ recommended secure settings.

When it comes to cybersecurity on the plant floor, doing nothing is no longer an option for Canadian manufacturers. The convergence of IT and operational networks through the IIoT has highlighted the risks of legacy control systems that were never designed with cybersecurity as a priority. Although stopping all attacks may not be possible, manufacturers can minimize both the risk and the impact of these threats by working with a trusted partner who can evaluate their current systems.

The IIoT is creating incredible business opportunities for manufacturers by decreasing downtime, increasing sustainability and providing real-time visibility across the plant floor. The right IIoT partner will ensure your network, and everything connected to it, is secure.
Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) is set to host the 92nd annual Graphic Communications Education Association (GCEA) Conference, running this year under the theme of Women in Print. Conference sessions begin this Monday at GCM’s downtown Toronto campus, following an evening reception on Sunday night.

Day one of the conference kicks off with a 30-minute session by April Burke, VP, Operations and Technology, The Lowe-Martin Group, discussing production of Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary stamp set. This presentation will explore the security issues, hidden UV marking, and what to do with the make-ready waste. Every attendee will receive a First Day cover of William Shatner as Captain Kirk.

Among a range of sessions, other highlights of the 4-day conference, ending July 20, include a panel discussion called Initiatives, Opportunities and History, with Erin Nuss, SGIA, Judith Durham, GAERF, and Gillian Mothersill, Ryerson. The will discuss issues around the role of women in the printing industry, including the activities of SGIA’s Women in Print Alliance.

Kim Latreille, Ryerson University will discuss Magazine Publishing in a Digital Era, covering areas like handling cross-platform advertisements to ensure proper colour, as well as automating ad production.

Nancy Sobhy, Marketing Program Manager, Veritiv Corporation, will lead a session called Managing and Management Styles in Multinational Corporations. She will share experiences from her management roles in divisions spanning large-format to paper sales.

Dr. Renmei Xu of Ball State University will run a session called Hands-On 3D Printing, in which attendees will use 3D software to create a small model with their name and then print it using one of the 20 different printers in Ryerson’s state-of-the-art Digital Fabrication Lab.

Julie Bauer, Senior Application Sales Manager, Esko, wwill use an iMac computer lab to work through packaging projects showing applications like shrink sleeves, dynamic bar code generation, QR code generation, metallic effects, crimping on a package edge, spot colours, visualization in an airport or supermarket shelf.

Tuesday’s will also feature three plant tours, including Holland & Crosby, which specializes in Point Of Purchase retail-based signage programs; Webcom, which will highlight its more than $30 million investment in new web inkjet presses; and Konica Minolta’s new headquarters.

For a full review of the GCEA 2017 program, registration, schedules and speakers visit the conference’s Website.
Equipment supplier Bobst and Radex, a startup company owned by multiple stakeholders with a track record in DOD inkjet printing, have launched Mouvent, a new company dedicated to developing digital printing technologies, primarily for the textile and label markets.

The joint venture Mouvent, which is comprised of 80 employees in Switzerland, is to become the digital printing provider of Bobst. Central to the development at Mouvent, explains Bobst, is digital printing technology developed by Radex, which is based on an integrated cluster and compact design. The company states this technology represents a “quantum leap for the industry.” This Radex technology will be the centerpiece of new machines developed by Mouvent for a variety of markets such as textile, labels, corrugated board, flexible packaging and folding carton.

“We truly believe this is a watershed moment for the future of digital printing independent of the industry or market,” said Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of BOBST Group SA. “Current industry trends – including high demand for digitalization, short runs, fast availability, promotion and versioning, personalized and seasonal products, and increasing sensitivity towards cost and environment – are driving demand for high quality and affordable digital printing machines.

“Through Mouvent we aim to initiate a quantum leap in this area, ultimately providing the market with what it needs most; highly reliable industrial digital printing on different substrates at a competitive cost.”

Mouvent explains that it provides integrated, complete solutions based on its internal development of the Mouvent Cluster. It writes the software around the printers, develops inks and coatings for various substrates, as well as providing a full servicing offering.

Its first machine launched is a digital printer for textiles, which prints with up to eight colours, with what the company describes as a full product pipeline to follow. The Mouvent Cluster design is the base building block for all systems, current and in development.

“Our radical new approach is to use a base cluster which is arranged in a modular, scalable matrix instead of having different print bars for different applications and different print width,” said Piero Pierantozzi, Co-Founder of Mouvent. “The Mouvent Cluster is the key technology behind the Mouvent machines, resulting in high optical resolution for a crisp, colorful, very high printing quality, as well as a never-seen-before flexibility and possibilities in terms of machine development. Simplicity is our engineering philosophy.”

Mouvent states its printers are the smallest digital printers in their category – closer to desktop printing than to traditional analogic printers like flexo – making them very compact, light-weighted and easily accessible. The compact system is designed to allow for easier settings and start-up with less fine adjustments required.

“We are very excited to start rolling out the pipeline in the months ahead,” said Simon Rothen, CEO of Mouvent. “Today is the announcement of an exciting journey of bringing large-scale digital printing to various industries. The digital printing solutions offered by Mouvent will present new opportunities for all sorts of companies, bringing more flexibility, unmatched productivity, shorter time to market and infinite variation, all with a very compact and energy efficient design. This will revolutionize the digital printing world.”
Print The Future, described as an omni-channel 3D printing company that allows clients to print ideas on demand, plans to file an Initial Public Offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Once approved by the SEC, Print The Future will offer 2,000,000 shares of Print The Future common stock at US$10.00 per share, with a minimum investment of 50 shares.

Print The Future explains its public offering will allow designers, engineers, architects, and other interested parties the opportunity to participate in the increasingly growing 3D printing market. The company states it plans to open 200 brick and mortar stores around the globe. In these stores, both amateur and professional designers will be able to design and print unique objects to fit their spaces.

“We are at the forefront of the 3D printing space and have an ambitious vision for the future of our company as well as the industry. What Starbucks is to coffee, Print The Future will be to 3D printing; synonymous with its product,” said Neil Patel, Founder and CEO of Print The Future, who is based in Vancouver, BC. “The goal is to make 3D printing technology and design as experience-focused and expansive as the coffee chain.”

Print The Future describes itself as the world’s first ubiquitous 3D printing store, where someone can think up an idea on the spot and walk out with it. Print The Future will allow consumers around the world affordable, local access to large-scale 3D printing.
The C.J. Group of Companies has purchased Clixx, one of the top mailing facilities in Canada, from WestRock Company. WestRock had owned Clixx for a little more than a year after reaching an agreement in December 2015 to acquire six Cenveo Packaging facilities, including Clixx.

Clixx is now added to C.J. Group’s roster of 30 companies, which are to be housed in the company’s new 230,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ontario. After taking possession of the facility in May 2017, C.J. Group is scheduled to move its opeartions in by October 2017. Sherwin Abrazaldo, a Clixx veteran, will head up the new C.J. Group Clixx division and lead the move to its new Mississauga home on 560 Hensall Circle.

“This acquisition [of Clixx] is a great fit for our ever-expanding group of companies,” said Jay Mandarino, President & CEO, C.J. Group. “There is a lot of synergy between our two organizations. Quality and workmanship with exceptional service are paramount at both [C.J. Group] and Clixx.”

The acquisition adds a host of equipment and services to the C.J. Group’s existing resources, while also increasing the company’s overall versatility. Clixx offers a full line of direct-mail services like variable data printing and binding, in-house data and postal technologies, pick and pack, kitting and fulfillment, inserting, tipping, and many other related mailing services. Clixx began in 1986 as A&T Mailing Services and soon established itself as a premier mail house for charities, fundraisers and large corporations.

“With direct mail increasing each year this will be a great addition and was the last missing link to having all solutions under one roof to better serve our clients,” said Mandarino.
Transcontinental Printing has broken ground for its future printing facility that will print the daily newspaper La Presse. Expected to be fully operational by the fall of 2003, the Point-aux-Trembles plant will measure 125,000 square feet and produce work estimated to be worth $60 million.

Transcontinental secured a 15-year contract to print La Presse before moving ahead with the project. The company announced that two huge Heidelberg Harris Mainstream 80 presses are to be the backbone of the facility. This same press is currently being employed to print England’s largest daily, London’s Daily Telegraph, which has a circulation of 1.2 million copies per day. La Presse is published seven days a week and has a readership of 880,000. [PrintAction July 2002]
Cenveo Inc. has launched of Kadena 2.0 as a cloud-based platform focused on the performance of print and mail communications, fulfillment and supply chain management for mid- to large-sized enterprises.

“This is the technology innovation the market has been waiting for,” said Michael Burton, Cenveo's Chief Operating Officer. “By offering a unique set of expert applications within a single platform, Kadena transforms inefficient business processes and creates significant new value from our customers' print and fulfillment communications programs.”

The power of Kadena is in its collection of expert modules, offering plug-and-play flexibility, so solutions can be quickly deployed from as many or as few modules as needed to fit customers’ exact business requirements.

At the core of Kadena is K-Center, a SaaS-based e-Commerce hub that acts as a control centre for initiating, tracking and coordinating print, fulfillment and sourcing projects across the supply chain. Other Kadena modules include:

K-List, a list processor for optimizing direct mail campaign performance,
K-Compose, a templating application for design personalization,
K-Proof, a virtual proofing tool for shortening review cycles,
K-DAM, a digital asset manager for flexible control of content assets, and
K-Source, a marketplace sourcing environment.

Cenveo plans to officially release K-Insight – a data analytics module – within the coming weeks. With it, users can optimize programs by identifying performance anomalies, analyzing trends and patterns and combining diverse data sets to generate new business insights.

“The Kadena platform is a direct response to customer needs to innovate customers' supply chains to be more responsive and deliver better ROI,” said John Egan, Chief Product Officer with Cenveo.  “At its core Kadena resolves two big issues for customers – supply chain fragmentation that results in inefficiencies and hidden costs and the need for agile technologies to help adapt to an increasingly digital marketplace and provide greater transparency across the chain.”

Kadena currently supports over 4,000 registered users, over 2,000 products and has processed over 6,000 projects since it was launched last year.  Customers have come from a range of market segments including travel & leisure, food services, retail apparel, consumer software and utilities.
More than 100 printing professionals attended PrintForum West, held last week at the Delta Chelsea in Burnaby, BC. The day began with an hour-long panel discussion featuring three of Canada’s youngest printing leaders: Nikos Kallas, President, MET Fine Printers, Richard Kouwenhoven, President, Hemlock Printers, and James Rowley, Vice President, Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging.

Neva Murtha and Catherine Stewart, both Senior Corporate Campaigner with Vancouver-based Canopy, discussed the need for transparency in making environmental production claims. They also provided attendees with a sneak peak of The Blueline Ranking 2017 to be released this July. The annual report analyzes and ranks the environmental progress driving some of North America’s top performing printers, which includes several Canadian companies in the top 10, such as Hemlock Printers, MET Fine Printers and The Lowe-Martin Group.

After lunch, two of Kodak’s technology leaders, based in the company’s nearby facility in Burnaby, which continues to make CTP devices and provide innovation, discussed technical advancements for improved profitability. William Li, Color Technology Manager for Kodak and Co-Chair of International Color Consortium, focused on the impact of colour technologies and standards in relation to how printers can find and then maintain new business. Patrick Kerr, Product Manager, Unified Workflow Solutions, Kodak, then focused on how printing companies can leverage cloud computing.

Andy Rae, who was appointed as Global Head of Marketing, Heidelberg AG, in April 2017, discussed the impact of Big Data and Industry 4.0 in printing, including the concept of The Smart Print Shop, which relates to leveraging print and media workflows to facilitate the complete automation of production processes. Rae also discussed Heidelberg’s Push to Stop operating philosophy for print manufacturing.

The day concluded with a panel discussion on the state of production inkjet, featuring four of Canada’s technology leader, including: Alec Couckuyt, Senior Director, Canon Canada, Professional Printing Solutions Group; Brad King, Vice President, Graphics Communications, Xerox Canada; Ray Fagan, Sheefed Product Manager, Heidelberg Canada; and Edward Robeznieks, Vice President Sales, Ricoh Canada.
Asia Pulp & Paper Canada has expanded its sales network to provide paper and packaging products to printers, publishers and paper converters in Eastern Canada.
 
“The market for paper products, especially for food and other packaging, continues to grow at a global rate of approximately 4.3 percent,” said David Chin, President of Asia Pulp & Paper Canada (APP Canada). “But some of the smaller markets, that traditionally had less demand, were still not being serviced to the same level as larger centres and had a hard time procuring cost-effective products.”
 
APP’s new sales network began to directly ship to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Prince Edward Island in June 2017. Its line of paper and paperboard products from Indonesia and China include wood-free coated and uncoated text and cover, opaque printing paper, gloss and silk paper, copy papers, and packaging boards for all types of printing and packaging needs.

“Customers have come to expect quality paper products that perform well during the printing process but that also exceed the environmental standards demanded by the end user,” said Chin. “The type of businesses from which we will see the biggest business opportunity, are the ones that cannot forgo the white and bright paper that comes from virgin fibre but want a biodegradable product to stand apart from their competition.”

APP Canada carries the ProPrint, Inspira, Enova, Paperline and Zenith brands. This distribution expansion to Canada’s east coast comes on the heels of another recent announcement by the company about a sales network expansion to Saskatchewan. Currently, the company has offices and warehousing facilities in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Manitoba.
 
APP Canada is part of the APP group which is an importer/distributor of printing papers from APP’s mills in Indonesia and China. The company serves the Canadian printing industry with warehouse inventories of coated, uncoated and opaque stocks in sheet and roll form, C1S and C2S board, photocopy paper and cut size stock.
CET Color, a manufacturer of wide-format UV flatbed and hybrid printers, has added Nustream Group to its dealer channel to look after Quebec and Eastern Canada. Located in Montreal, Nustream provides technological distribution and services to commercial, label and packaging, photographic and art reproduction printers.
New innovations in printed designs for Canadian AEC firms provide opportunity

The demise of printed designs in the Canadian architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry may have been greatly exaggerated. With the sector rather stagnant, increasing numbers of AEC firms are now looking to print for its potential value to their businesses as opposed to a troublesome cost centre that needs to be reduced or eliminated. Indeed, a recent ARC Document Solutions study found that only 38 percent of AEC firms plan to go paperless.

What’s behind the surprising fondness for hard copy design drawings? It turns out that recent large-format printing innovations are making it possible for AEC firms in Canada – especially SMBs – to efficiently and cost-effectively churn out high-quality printed materials that differentiate them in the market. At the same time, these new innovations are bringing the costs down when those firms turn to their local print service providers.

In fact, according to the recently released 2015-2020 Wide Format Forecast from InfoTrends, media revenue in North America is now growing at a compound annual rate of 12.8 percent compared to 10.1 percent for the rest of the world.

There are some key reasons why many smaller Canadian AEC firms are turning to large format printers. While larger enterprises have entire departments responsible for managing and maintaining large-format printers, many smaller and midsized AEC shops haven’t traditionally been able to afford that. The costs of acquiring printers, maintaining them and training staffs would simply be too high – especially where colour was involved.

Smaller firms often leaned on print shops for every single geographic information systems (GIS) map, drawings and rendering they needed to produce.

Today, however, more options are available. Prices for large-format printers have dropped considerably, making them much more affordable options for the average AEC firm looking to reduce their outsourcing spend. At the same time, savvy large-format print shops are enabling AEC companies to produce high-quality black-and-white and colour jobs at a faster speed from a single printer. Previously, companies had to buy both monochrome and colour printers to accomplish the same task or work with a print shop that had multiple devices.

And this capability is particularly important to AEC firms today as many Canadian municipalities require design drawings to be submitted in colour. These regulatory requirements underscore where the industry is headed, as AEC firms are designing in colour. Keeping these details and documentation in colour lets designers move this knowledge through colour coding from their screens right into the field. We’re seeing AEC firms across the globe purchasing wide-format colour multi-function printers over monochrome-only solutions and Canada is certainly no exception.

Another key reason for the AEC adoption of large-format is simply for faster turnaround times. Canadian AEC companies are increasingly required to turn around designs and blueprints on the fly – both at their offices and on job sites. Modern wide-format printers are faster than previous generations – up to 60 percent faster in some cases – and are suitable for use in the field and office.

Additionally, a broad range of applications and technological innovations that expedite workflow are now available for use in conjunction with the wide-format printers. New workflow software for managing the print process from end to end makes large-format printing much more efficient. For example, such software allows AEC shops to spontaneously detect and correct corrupted PDFs, automatically switch between small- and large-format pages, and enable on-screen document proofing. Coupled with the speed of the new printers, this can significantly enhance efficiency.

This improved efficiency also contributes to a lowered cost, which is an increasingly important factor for the many AEC firms operating in slowed down economies such as Alberta’s oil sector, for example.

In terms of quality, large-format printing is not the same as making office copies. Control over quality is key because the large-format documents that an AEC firm must produce are mission-critical.

For example, customers often assume they’ll be able to receive brilliant, colourful printed materials because powerful computer-aided design (CAD) software has made that so commonplace. These designs are also incredibly complex. For AEC firms to compete in this environment, they must have the ability to deliver on that expectation.

Fortunately, an emerging generation of large-format printers excel at producing colour documents with crisp lines, fine detail and smooth grayscales that are arguably superior to LED prints. Newer pigments also provide dark blacks, vivid colours, and moisture and fade resistance – even on uncoated bond paper at high speeds.

For Canadian AEC firms to compete in these challenging economic times, they need to be focused on producing the highest quality printed materials as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. The ability to do that has never been greater.

Small and midsized AEC firms no longer have to invest in huge fleets of printers to keep pace with larger competitors. So, paper lives on as an important instrument in their tool belts – now and for the foreseeable future.
A new consulting group, Graphic Communication Advisors, has been formed to bridge what the group describes as the gap left by association mergers, downsizing, or elimination.

Graphic Communication Advisors (GCA) explains that in the past, printing, publishing, and imaging companies would turn to national or local industry associations for services when needing assistance in the way of troubleshooting, problem-solving, technical auditing, training, environmental and safety compliance, or overall company assessments for improving methods, techniques, equipment, and personnel. GCA explains, however, with the downsizing or elimination of many associations, the availability of such services has been greatly reduced.

The Directory of Graphic Communication Advisors is the “brainchild” of industry guru Raymond Prince, who reached out to some of the most experienced experts in the field for all facets of the printing, publishing, and imaging industries. This includes print service providers, OEMs, software developers, as well as graphic communication companies already into, or wanting to develop services in, non-print digital imaging.

The founding Graphic Communication Advisors, include: Sid Chadwick, Gary G. Field, Laura Gale, Raymond Hartman, Hal Hinderliter, Nelson Ho, John E. Hyde, Frank Kanonik, Malcolm Keif, Harvey R. Levenson, William J. McLauchlan, Michael Murphy, Ray Prince, Frank Romano, Peter A. Schlosser, Steve Suffoletto, John P. Sweeney, Robert C. Tapella, Janet Treer, Richard D. Warner, and William F. Woods, Jr.
Vistaprint has opened its first ever bricks and mortar retail space in downtown Toronto, giving business owners direct access to its existing marketing products as well as new in-store offerings. These include free design services, the ability to touch and feel products, and to get face-to-face help by the store’s VP Coaches.

A recent survey of the company's North American customer base found that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of business owners want more 1:1 in-person support when designing their new marketing materials.

“We've listened to and worked with our customers along the way to provide the best of both worlds in Vistaprint Studio – the efficiency and convenience of the online world with the engaging, personalized experience in-store,” said Trynka Shineman, CEO of Vistaprint. “At Vistaprint Studio we are offering exclusive services you can't find anywhere else, including free graphic design – services we heard our customers want and which solidify our investment in the success of their businesses, now and in the future.”

Vistaprint explains it has purposefully designed the retail space as a flexible environment to continuously tailor the experience to the needs of the local business owners. As mentioned, Vistaprint Studio also features complimentary one-on-one design services — services Vistaprint explains that business owners would have to pay upwards of $100 per hour elsewhere. The new retail Vistaprint also provides free shipping to the store and new technologies for creating marketing materials such as an interactive touchscreen logo maker.

Vistaprint Studio is located at 720 King St. West and operates six days a week, Monday to Saturday. The company will offer unique workshops throughout the year in the Studio.

Vistaprint is a global e-commerce brand that has worked with more than 17 million micro business owners to promote their business with printed and digital marketing products.

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