The British Columbia chapter of the Society of Graphic Designers (GDC) have partnered with Hemlock Printers Ltd. to establish the Jim Rimmer Community Scholarship for Design.

Jim Rimmer passed away last week at that age of 76. Over his 50-year career in design, book design and typography, Rimmer became one of Canada’s most important typographers and was revered within the local and international graphic arts industry.

The scholarship was actually announced in November 2009 at an annual GDC/BC event called Practivism, which Rimmer could not attend because of his battle with cancer.

"We are very proud to support the next generation of designers in our community, and feel it's fitting to honour Jim Rimmer's contributions to the field with this scholarship,” said Dick Kouwenhoven, President and CEO of Burnaby-based Hemlock Printers.

The Jim Rimmer Community Scholarship for Design will be awarded annually to two students “who demonstrate the use of design thinking to benefit their community, and have used print to effectively communicate a message, effect action, or promote change.”

Applications for the two $1,000 scholarships are due at the end of September and will be judged by representatives of Hemlock Printers and GDC/BC. Recipients will be announced each November at Practivism.

“Jim Rimmer is an icon of Canadian design, craftsmanship and ingenuity. This scholarship is a reminder to the new generation of design thinkers that we need to retain the principles of our craft,” said Marga Lopez, MGDC, President of GDC/BC.

Read Remembering Jim Rimmer

Jim Rimmer, famed Canadian typographer and designer, passed away last Friday after a battle with cancer. He was 76.

Rimmer founded Vancouver-based Pie Tree Press after retiring from a career as a linetype operator at the North Shore Citizen.

"I didn't quit just because I was 65. It was just good timing. I was living as an illustrator and letterer and that kind of work just completely disappeared," Rimmer told PrintAction in a story about him in September 2003. "The trade was beginning to evaporate. So I left letterpress as a trade but continued to practice it as a craft."

At Pie Tree Press and Rimmer Type Foundry in his home city of New Westminster, BC, Rimmer was able to express his talents in letterpress and design at a time when the craft hit a resurgence in the art community. Despite an initial mistrust of computer technologies, late in his career he embraced it and started designing typography digitally.

Rimmer was responsible for the typeface Stern, the first font to be created in metal and digital formats at the same time. In his career as a type designer, he has created over 200 typefaces. In 2006, Rimmer wrote an autobiography Leaves from the Pie Tree, which features all of this fonts as well as his design philosophy.

Read the September 2003 story on Rimmer and letterpress printing.

In a confusing move by Transport Canada, new regulations regarding what can be brought into the cabin during air travel could exclude printed materials such as books and magazines. The National Post reported yesterday that Transport Canada, in response to the Christmas Day attempt by Umar Farouk to blow up a passenger plane, has far-reaching restrictions which only exclude a small number of items.
According to the National Post, the carry-on ban includes everything except for: medication, medical devices, small purses, cameras, coats, items for care of infants, laptop computers, crutches, canes, walkers, containers carrying life-sustaining items, special-needs items, musical instruments, or diplomatic or consular bags.
Because newspapers, magazines and books are not on Transport Canada’s list of exceptions, news organizations across the country are asking if these printed items, and others, are effectively banned from flights. The National Post story quotes Transport Canada spokesperson Melanie Quesnel stating that the ban is to stay in effect “until further notice."
Read National Post story:

The Enterprise Print Services division of Xerox Canada signed a $40-million, 6-year deal with the University of British Columbia, which is to include Xerox building a “near-site document production facility for high-volume print requirements.”

Xerox Canada estimates the 6-year deal, focusing on document and print services across all University of British Columbia (UBC) campuses, will save the school about $8 million – based on a Six Sigma operational approach. UBC has a student population of 50,000 on two major campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna.

"[The contract] involves nearly every aspect of the document lifecycle including printing, copying, scanning, faxing, design and delivery of print materials as well as electronic storage and retrieval,” said Pierre Ouillet, UBC’s VP of Finance, Resources and Operations. “The move means printing and document management campus-wide will be consistent, affordable and reliable."

According to a Xerox press release, the deal also involves Xerox building a high-volume printing facility for the university, which is to be located off-campus.

The National Post is reporting an elaborate case of fraud has been uncovered which traces back to a small Toronto-based printer. The alleged fraud centers around Tzvi Erez, the print shop owner of E Graphix Ltd.

According to the Post, the scam involved 76 high-profile investors from Toronto's Jewish community, who lost more than $27 million. Erez is alleged to have claimed to be brokering large print jobs for blue-chip clients, and then asked the alleged victims for cash advances on large printing orders, claiming a return on original investment plus 30 percent per annum on delivery. There were no large orders, and money was diverted to attract more alleged victims.

Erez's lawyer claims the money was lost gambling in an effort to repay investors, which, according to the newspaper article, casino records seem to collaborate at least in part.  A bankruptcy order has been issued to Erez and all of his companies. A criminal investigation is currently underway by the Toronto Police Services' Fraud Squad, with police asking for victims to step forward.

Read the full story here.

Warner TenKate, owner of Accell Graphics, suddenly passed away on December 14 at the young age of 48.

Accell GraphicsAccell Graphics was founded in London, Ontario, in 1985, and now employs over 35 staff members. Over the past few years, TenKate had been driving his company to become one of Canada’s most environmentally progressive commercial printers. In 2007, KenKate received the inaugural Agfa Environmental Recognition Award. More recently, Accell was named as one of the official printing suppliers for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Beyond its environmental push, Accell Graphics is a highly respected company within Southern Ontario’s tight-knit printing community, as TenKate was also an early adopter of technologies for variable-data and large-format printing. In addition to the Accell’s offset base, the company also holds a large bindery and in-house design. 

Warner TenKate service details

Friends will be received at the Bieman Funeral Home, Dorchester, on Thursday between the hours of 7:00 and 9:00 pm.

A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 377 Oakland Ave. at Dundas St., London on Friday, December 18, 2009 at 10:30 am.

Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses USA, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced that the parent corporation plans to establish a new company which will be focused on printing and paper converting machinery, starting July 1, 2010.

The new entity will be formed by the merger of MHI Paper & Printing Machinery Division and Printing & Paper Converting Machinery Sales Co. New Mitsubishi printing presses sold in North America, Central America and Mexico by MLP U.S.A. all originate from the Paper & Printing Machinery Division.

The new company will handle all business activities associated with Mitsubishi sheetfed, commercial web and newspaper presses, as well as paper converting and box-making machinery. It will be responsible for design, manufacturing, procurement, marketing, quality assurance and after-sales service.

The company explains the change as "an opportunity to implement even more dynamic strategies for product development and localized marketing. By dedicating resources to this area of business, the new company will be able to respond precisely to today's diversified customer need and expand the Mitsubishi brand to emerging markets."

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

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

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

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

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

Avery Venis, Chairman of Graphic Printing Roller Ltd., passed away suddenly last week, after a long and distinguished career in Canada’s printing industry. Markham-based Graphic Printing Roller has been in operation for over 50 years.

Venis was very active in supporting the Mackenzie Printery Museum, based in the Niagara Falls region. He helped to museum source rollers for its historical presses, including one system that was last used in daily operation over 100 years ago – Whitlock Newspaper Press (1894), Baltimorean no 3 (1880), Kelsey (1930), Golding Official (1885), and the Golding Pearl 3 (1890) press.

Specializing in the manufacture of printing rollers, supplies and service to companies around the globe, Graphic Printing Roller also has a sales office in St. Leonard, Quebec.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released a preliminary determination to proceed with a full investigation of the practices surrounding coated-paper imports from China and Indonesia. The planned action was passed in unanimous vote on November 6.

Complaints about coated-paper dumping and unfair subsidies from Asia were first filed by Appleton, NewPage, Sappi, and the United Steelworkers union on September 23, 2009. The U.S. Commerce Department then supported the complaintants with its own October 13 decision to begin an investigation.

The paper products covered by the petitions include coated paper with a GE brightness rating of 80 or higher, and weighing up to 340 grams per square metre.

In their petitions, the company’s estimate that total imports of covered coated paper increased by nearly 40 percent during the first six months of 2009 compared with a similar period of time in 2008. The companies continue to state that shipments their own shipments are estimated to have declined by approximately 38 percent, adding that China and Indonesia together almost doubled their share of the U.S. market over the same period and now are believed to account for nearly 30 percent of the U.S. market.

“Today’s vote is an important step in our quest to restore a level playing field,” said Mark Gardner, CEO of Sappi Fine Paper North America. “Fair competition requires all companies, both domestic and international, to abide by the trade laws and to make investments in sustainable practices.”

Met Printers OlympicsGeorge Kallas, President of Vancouver-based Metropolitan Fine Printers, is part of the Governor General of Canada’s delegation that traveled to Greece for the official handover of the Olympic flame.

The Olympic flame was lit on Thursday in Olympia, Greece, signalling the beginning of the flame's long journey to open The 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Journalist Jeff Lee described the ceremony in the Montreal Gazette: “At exactly 12:39 p.m. local time, a strong sun showed up, allowing high priestess Maria Napfliotou to light the flame in the Temple of Hera, and kick off the start of the longest national torch relay in Olympic history.”

When the flame arrives in Victoria on October 30, 2009, it will begin the longest domestic Torch Relay in Olympic history, reaching 1,030 communities on a 106-day journey across the country – 45,000 kilometres.

Kallas will take part in several ceremonies over the next week as the delegates and Governor General Michaëlle Jean prepare for the official Olympic flame handover ceremony on October 29 at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. Metropolitan Fine Printers, founded by Kallas in 1977, is one of the official printing suppliers to The Games. Met is one of the few printers in the world to print UV with 10-micron Staccato, using a 10-unit manroland 700 press.

Read Jeff Lee’s article from the Montreal Gazette

ECRM founder Dr. William F. Schreiber passed away suddenly in late September at the age of 84. His work helped usher in a new generation of graphic communications technology, both in print and on screen.

Dr. Schreiber, along with Melvin J. Fennell from the Associated Press and fellow MIT professors Samuel J. Mason and Donald E. Troxel, developed one of the first commercially successful optical character recognition machines in 1969. ECRM (Electronic Character Recognition Machinery) was founded the same year.

Dr. Schreiber's professional interest was imager processing systems, including printing, facsimile and television.

In his lifetime, he was awarded the Honors Award from the Technical Association for the Graphic Arts (TAGA), the David Sarnoff Gold Medal from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the Gold Medal of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), and is a four-time recipient of the Journal Award of SMPTE. He was a devoted member of TAGA, an active member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as SPIE, and a fellow of IEEE and SMPTE.

"2009 marked ECRM's 40th year of service to the business communications industry and thousands of our customers which span the globe. Yet none of it would have become possible without the direct involvement of Dr. Schreiber," said current ECRM President Rick Black.  "His passion and tireless dedication to electrical engineering and digital communications have elevated theories to concepts, and concepts to realities. We will never fully appreciate the impact Dr. Schreiber has had on the technological advancements realized in the last 50 years. And his influence is further appreciated in the tens of thousands of colleagues, educators, and students who will carry forth his teachings and ideas for decades to come. We've all benefitted from Dr. Schreiber's work and yet we will never fully understand and appreciate how much."

Bruce Kenworthy of Rhino Printing recently spoke to members of the Alberta Graphics Arts Industry Network about the WorldSkills Calgary printing competition. Marvin Calderon, a journalism student at SAIT, reports on the meeting and why Kenworthy feels WorldSkills had such a positive impact on the industry. The October issue of PrintAction magazine includes a feature story written by Simon Beauchamp about his experiences at WorldSkills.


By Marvin Calderon
The past year of economic doom and gloom has many in printing worried about the security of their careers, but some are optimistic about the new wave of challenges and opportunities facing the industry. With a rising generation of professionals who are adaptable, resourceful and skillful, the sector is making a strong move forward in imprinting a positive outlook for the future of printing.

On Thursday September 24, 2009, members of the Alberta Graphics Arts Industry Network (aGAIN) heard from Bruce Kenworthy of Rhino Printing Solutions how the future of the print industry in Canada was in good hands.  

“Printing is going to be around for a long time,” said Kenworthy. “It’s sustainable, it’s renewable and we’re damn lucky to do what we do.”

Kenworthy was a guest speaker inside the historic Lougheed House in Calgary, Alberta, and was invited by aGAIN to share his take on the recent WorldSkills Calgary 2009 event in which he was a workshop supervisor for the offset printing competition, a volunteer position he was offered last minute. He told the audience of 26 people – compromised of industry leaders, educators and students – how WorldSkills had a positive impact on the industry.

The event, held over the first week of September, showcased the talent of hundreds of international competitors in their respective trades to approximately 151,000 visitors and revealed the versatility of the competitors.

He explained competitors in the printing competition were scored on five tasks: Printing with Sheetfed Offset Training Simulators (SHOTS) from Sinapse Print Simulators; print job (CMYK and one mixed colour) on Heidelberg SM-52 press; cutting of products; digital printing; and density measurements.

“This was the first time in the short history of offset printing in WorldSkills that we used print simulators,” he said – the event has only been in the competition for three years.

He recounted how some competitors found it difficult to work the simulators because they had no previous experience using them. Canadian bronze-medalist Simon Beauchamp had some experience on such systems, he said, and skillfully adapted to the unforeseen situation. As a result, he received a perfect score in the task.

Development and training
Willem Sijpheer, academic chair for the Journalism and Digital Graphics Communication (DGC) programs at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Polytechnic, reinforces that it is absolutely vital for new workers in the printing industry to have access to the training needed to manage evolving products and services.

For this reason, according to Sijpheer, SAIT acquired a new Heidelberg press to use in instructing its future students. He explains that Heidelberg has been very supportive in helping the DGC program acquire up-to-date technologies because they understand that future SAIT grads might become major decision makers in the future.  

“The new press will give SAIT that recognition for many years to come in the printing and graphic arts industry,” says Sijpheer, “and will ensure SAIT graduates are well prepared for many employment opportunities.”   

According to Kevin Henderson, a WorldSkills ambassador, many former industry workers who attended the event were surprised by the advancement of technology in the industry. These were people who came out of school over 20 years ago, he said, and sought out jobs in the oil industry because that was were the money was. 

“But they still had an anchor to the print industry to come back and see what technology is doing to the industry, and anyone I talked with had their eyes opened that it’s certainly changed.”

Emerging youth in printing
aGAIN members also heard from Kenworthy about the other competitors’ training in their home countries, and the remarkable skill level of these young industry workers. One competitor stood out from the rest with his incredibly trained eyes, said Kenworthy.

When it came to mixing the ink in their second task, the competitor from Japan “just looked at the colour in his Pantone book and never used anything else after that,” he said.  

“He mixed everything by eye.” 

He said his colour was one of the closest matches of all the colour tests. 

Kenworthy said, above everything, he’s learned that “after seeing the quality of the competitors from around the world, there’s good printers all throughout this world and the industry is in good hands. 

“Not only here in Canada, from what I saw from what we were doing, but [also] around the world.”

The United Steelworkers (USW) joined with NewPage Corp., Appleton Coated LLC and Sappi Fine Paper North America in filing trade petitions, for antidumping and anti-subsidy duties, against Chinese and Indonesian imports of certain types of coated paper.

USW, which represents about 6,000 production workers at paper mills operated by the previously mentioned three companies (in nine American states), claims the unfair trade practices carried out by paper producers in China and Indonesia  “have eliminated thousands of domestic jobs." Over 130,000 workers are represented by the USW in the paper and forestry products industry. The union claims to have measured a loss of more than 60,000 jobs across this sector since 2002.

The new petitions focus on job cuts over the past five years. According a USW statement, “The petitions estimate an increase of 40 percent from total imports of coated paper have flooded into the U.S. market – jumping from 131,687 tonnes in the first six months of 2008 to 185,422 tonnes in the first six months of 2009.  Imports from the two countries [China and Indonesia] together account for nearly 30 percent of the domestic market.”

The petitions were filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, DC.

Ampersand CIPPIGuelph-based Ampersand Printing, using press technology from Mitsubishi, Kodak Prinergy and Hiflex MIS software, and cutting equipment from Heidelberg, won first place in the annual CIPPI awards, which celebrate world-class JDF integration.

Ampersand received its recognition, officially presented under the Jürgen Schönhut Memorial CIP4 International Print Production Innovation (CIPPI) Awards, in the category of Best Process Automation Implementation, North America. CIP4 names its winners based on the most-compelling case-study submission across three topical categories and four regions.

Under the leadership of Damian and Mike McDonald, Ampersand has won a CIPPI award for the past four years: Automating prepress and MIS in 2006; extending JDF automation to postpress in 2007; and extending JDF automation to press operations in 2008. In May 2008, the 17-employee printing company installed a new 40-inch, 6-colour Mitsubishi DIAMOND press.

Key results from Ampersand’s current win include a 34-minute, average time reduction in “first-signature preparation”– to 16 minutes from 50 minutes. The company also reduced its “following signatures” prep from 30 minutes to eight, while it also cut an average of 400 sheets of waste per reprint signature.

The full list of winners, as decided by a panel of five international judges, includes:

Best cost/benefit realization and improvement in efficiency as a result of process automation implementation
First Place: Druckerei Bauer GmbH of Pfedelbach, Germany
Second Place: Sirivatana Interprint Public Company Limited, of Bankok, Thialand

Biggest improvement in quality production & customer responsiveness as a result of process automation
First Place: C. Maurer Druck und Verlag GmbH of Geislingen/Steige, Germany  
Second Place: Druckerei Bauer GmbH of Pfedelbach, Germany

Most innovative use of process automation technology in an implementation
Shinkosha Printing Company of Tokyo, Japan

Small Business Process Automation Implementation of the Year
5Sept Etiquette of Courthézon, France

Best Process Automation Implementation, Asia/Pacific
Shinkosha Printing Company of Tokyo, Japan

Best Process Automation Implementation, Europe
Cloître Imprimeurs of Saint-Thonan, France

Best Process Automation Implementation, North America
Ampersand Printing of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Best Process Automation Implementation, Emerging Markets
Emirates Printing Press of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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