The Vancouver Sun has profiled one of the oldest printing companies still operating in Vancouver, Ho Sun Hing Printing, founded in 1910 by an early Chinese immigrant, a former cook for the Canadian Pacific railway.

Mutoh, a seller of wide-format printers, is celebrating its 60th business in business. The Tokyo-based corporation was founded in 1952 and at that time manufactured and distributed drafting products.

"Celebrating 60 years is very gratifying," shares Brian Phipps, General Manager of Mutoh America, Inc. "The teamwork of Mutoh employees combined with exceptional products and a focus on customer satisfaction is the key to our success. I am looking forward to the response of future cutting-edge products that Mutoh will release in the years to come. Everyone at Mutoh would like to thank our loyal customers who have brought Mutoh to its 60th and beyond."

Mutoh expanded to the North American market with the establishment of Mutoh America in 1963. Beyond drafting products, Mutoh Industries became a pioneer in CAD plotters in the 1980s and soon expanded into wide-format inkjet devices. It has since established manufacturing and distribution centres in Singapore, Germany, Belgium, China, and Australia.

Denver-based Quark Inc. is celebrating its 30th year in business. Founded with only $2,000 by Tim Gill and Mark Pope in 1981, the company has grown to be one of the powerhouses of prepress and the desktop publishing era.

“For 30 years Quark has been dedicated to driving innovation in publishing. Our team is proud today to continue our work to improve the entire publishing process – from content creation to delivery across any channel,” said Ray Schiavone, Quark CEO. “We are happy to thank the Quark community of designers, enterprise organizations, education establishments, government agencies, and many others who have been an integral part of our longevity.”

Among its accomplishments, Quark claims the following as its most significant contributions to the industry:

First to incorporate WYSIWYG postscript into desktop publishing software which replaced manual layout processes and served as the catalyst for a revolution in publishing.

First to bring to market colour separations and trapping which streamlined the process of preparing layouts for press and created an immediate return on investment.

First to offer very granular and precise control over typography, first to introduce the accurate placement of geometries – down to a hundredth of a millimeter, and first to offer multi-ink – the ability to specify a colour based on a combination of ink and apply it as a single colour.

First to integrate vector illustration tools into page layout software, allowing designers to create shaped boxes.

The first desktop publishing software vendor to allow for third-party extensibility, allowing software developers to create XTensions for QuarkXPress based on specific use cases and sell that software independently.

First to allow designers to create content for print, Web, interactive, and digital media from one application and with the advanced functionality of layout spaces, synchronized text, Job Jackets, and composition zones.

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the company is offering its users a free download if iDropper, an XTension which allows designers to add colours from any graphic on screen or to choose from 9,500 colours offered by Quark. The company is also offering 30 percent off its ProPack of XTensions until the end of the year.

Toronto-based Sydney Stone, formerly known as Sydney R. Stone & Co. Ltd., is celebrating its 60th anniversary in November of this year. The company will mark the 60-year milestone at the upcoming Graphics Canada trade show with a Saturday 1:00 pm cake cutting.

Established in 1951 by Sydney R. Stone, the company was purchased in 2008 (from previous owner David Marsh) by Dylan Westgate and Michael Steele, who continue to drive their technology and service focus on small-format bindery equipment, including lamination, paper cutting and folding machines.

“We find it very interesting; the printing industry is always evolving,” said Westgate. “As a company with 60 years of roots, we are proud of the accomplishments of our predecessors and look forward to being a part of the future of Sydney Stone. “

Below is a historical description, provided by the company, of Sydney Stone’s evolution over the past 60 years of Canadian printing:

Sydney R Stone founded the company in 1951. He started his career at the age of 14 at a Toronto Stationary printer. Sydney Stone operated one of the first Canadian Heidelberg presses, which later landed him a job as a demonstrator and installer. After serving six years in the military during World War II, he moved to selling binders, cutters and even small format presses and established what was then known as Sydney R. Stone & Co. Limited.

Stone made large contributions and worked closely with Challenge Machinery, providing the original concept and construction of the well-known Paddy Wagon. He retired in 1980 and passed away one year later, dedicating over 50 years of his life to the print finishing industry.

After Sydney Stone’s death, employees Shirley MacKay and Harry Day purchased the company from Sydney Stone’s widow in 1983. In 1989 the decision to sell was clear when David Marsh (former international marketing manager of Computerized Cutters) showed signs in purchasing Sydney Stone. According to Day, “I’m very happy about Dave being the new person because he seems to be the type of person to carry on in the Stone tradition.”

David Marsh led Sydney Stone into a new technological era focusing on programmable technology and digital print. Securing major brands such as Duplo, Morgana, Triumph MBM and EBA, Marsh was well known for his ability to see the future. He received numerous awards for securing Sydney Stone as one of the leading print finishing distributors in Canada from Challenge, EBA and Triumph MBM.

In 2008, Marsh sold the company to two of his employees Dylan Westgate and Michael Steele after serving 40 years in the industry. The current co-owners made expansive changes in re-branding, revamping the Website to support 24/hour sales, re-building a new service team (with technical skill and fast response time) and relocation to a larger head office.

Nova Scotia-based Farnell Packaging Ltd., which primarily serves as a converter of flexible films and pressure-sensitive labels across North America, marks its 50-year anniversary this September.

The September celebrations are also marked by Farnell recently receiving the Burnside News “Business of the Year” Award, as determined by the Burnside Industrial Park community, which is described as the largest business park north of Boston and east of Montreal – with over 1,500 enterprises and 15,000 employees.

“Take a stroll down any grocery aisle and you will see Farnell’s work,” said David Stanfield, VP of Sales & Marketing at Farnell Packaging, located in Dartmouth. Nearly two-thirds of Farnell’s packaging is used in the food industry with the balance used in markets for textile, tissue, diapers, paper, industrial and promotions.

“The key to our success over the years can be attributed to personalized service enhanced by recognized quality systems, investment in the latest technology and our committed staff,” said Stanfield. “We continually focus on improvement and ways to optimize our value proposition. This serves both our firm and our customers as well.”

In June 2011, the company was recognized as an environmental leader by the Eco-Efficiency Centre at the 12th annual Environmental Excellence in Business Awards in Halifax. Farnell was one of only seven area companies to receive the “leaders of the pack” designation.

KBA's production facility in Frankenthal, Germany celebrated its 150th year on August 18. Founded by Andreas Albert, a master craftsman who qualified under Friedrich Koenig and Andras Bauer, the plant was established as Schnellpressenfabrik Albert & Hamm in Frankenthal.

Albert died in 1882 and the business was continued by his sons Aloys and Hubert Albert and then included platen, lithographic, letterpress, collotype, metal decorating and publication cylinder presses. The company grew to be known for its rotogravure press line, the Albertina and the Super-Albertina.

KBA bought a minor interest in the company in 1978, purchasing a 49.9 per cent interest from the Rhineland-Palatinate regional government during a period of international press maker consolidation. The stake was increased to 74.99 percent in 1988 eventually forming the Koenig & Bauer-Albert group in 1990.

Frankenthal grew until the mid-2000s, at its peak, it was installing as many as ten big gravure press lines a year. The plant also drove web-offset and folder technology such as the Compacta line of web presses.

With declining orders, KBA sold its rotogravure business to Italian manufacturer Cerutti in 2007. Since 2002 the workforce at Frankenthal has seen some of the deepest cuts, dropping from 1,361 to 656. In June of this year, KBA announced plans to divide Frankenthal into two limited companies: an engineering entity, which will remain attached to the parent, and a manufacturing entity, which would be independent and be allowed to bid for non-press-related contracts.

Tassos Siriopoulos founded Tower Litho Co. in 1971 with a single-colour press and 750 square feet on The Danforth. Now led by his sons, Dino and Paul, the trade-only shop runs three 40-inch Heidelbergs, a 28-inch perfector and full finishing.

“Growing up with a craftsman and perfectionist was a challenging experience at times,” writes Dino Siriopoulos, in a document describing Tower’s 40-year rise in Toronto's printing market. “I remember working the summers at Tower Litho when I was 13 years old. Indeed, it was not the most pleasing memory considering all my friends were playing outside and I was inside making boxes and sweeping floors.” 

Paraphrasing his father’s advice from those early days, Dino Siriopoulos then describes what he refers to as valuable lessons in both life and character: “Work and do your best and the rewards will come, without taking any shortcuts. Don’t look for the rewards, just look to do a good job.”

Tower Litho has been a referral-based business for the past 40 years, which is why the Siriopoulos brothers are still comfortable in describing their operation as trade-only despite the blurring customer lines of today’s marketplace.

The company is now housed in a 25,000-square-foot facility, which Tassos moved into back in 1989. Tower actually only reached a maximum employee level of nine, including five family members, over its first 20 years. Paul and Dino joined the company soon after university and have been instrumental in Tower’s growth for the past two decades. 

“We all worked and considered the company as our company, not my dad’s job,” writes Dino Siriopoulos.

The company now employs over 40 people and lists several clients who have been bringing Tower work for more than 20 years. Today, Tower is fully colour managed and runs a significant amount of its work at 400-lpi, based on Heidelberg’s hybrid-screening technology. The company’s finishing department holds over 10 pieces of machinery, including a 4-pocket Muller Martini saddle stitcher, a 6-pocket Heidelberg ST-100 stitcher, three Stahl folders, and Polar and Lawson cutters.

“Our father still comes in the shop every day and the three of us have lunch together and discuss Tower Litho, amongst other topics,” writes Dino, who recalls the times he boarded a bus with his mother to bring Tassos dinner after the shop first opened. “The family atmosphere still and always will prevail.”

The infamous Linotype Type Casting Machine made its debut in July of 1886 in New York City and radically changed the world of print production. The machine, invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler, will be getting some well-deserved recognition with a new feature-length documentary by filmmaker Doug Wilson.

According to the film's website:
This film is about a machine from the past, but that does not mean this is a sentimental fact-film lamenting the loss of a technology. We are compelled to dig deeper, and find what the Linotype has to say about the present and future.

A trailer for the film can be seen below. Linotype: The Film is due for release this Fall.

The Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum of Queenston, Ontario has a working example of the Linotype, along with printing equipment dating back well over 200 years. The museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm until September 5th.

In addition to celebrating its 65th year of business, with more than 200 guests, Markham, Ontario-based Parker Pad & Printing introduced several key staff appointments to support its growth. 

After more than 10 months of campaigning, voters of Toronto have spoken and printer Rob Ford has been named to lead the city for the next four years. Ford handily beat rival George Smitherman by a margin of 11 percent, winning 47 percent of the vote.

"Toronto now is open to business, ladies and gentlemen," announced Ford at last night's celebration at the Toronto Congress Centre. "But this is just not my victory, but a victory for every single person who lives and works in this great city of Toronto."

Rob Ford has been city councilor for the past 10 years and is known widely for his stances on fiscal responsibility and small government. Ford's campaign largely centered around these issues, going against the policies of Toronto's current mayor, David Miller.

Rob's brother Doug was also voted into office, taking Rob's former seat in Ward 2, Etobicoke North. He won more than 74 percent of the vote.

Ford will take office on December 1 and will become the third mayor of Toronto since amalgamation in 1998.

Read the July 2010 story about the Ford family by Victoria Gaitskell.

Flash Reproductions celebrated its 40th anniversary, which also marked the retirement of founder, Carl Pauptit, who drove commercial-printing excellence into the Toronto market, and the future of new owners Rich Pauptit and David Gallant.


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