Your perfect connection to the printing, graphic arts, sign and packaging industries
September 2020 | Volume 23 | No. 7 | $7.95
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Contents September 2020 | Volume 23 | No. 7 Your perfect connection to the printing, graphic arts, sign and packaging industries
Emerging trends in digital textile & décor print A look at digital transformation and what drives these trends Alec Couckuyt
10 Convincing clients to be more innovative
September 2020 | Volume 23 | No. 7 | $7.95
Five ways to persuade clients to be bolder with their print Silas Amos
13 COVID-19 update Basic reopening guidance for employers Staff writers
DIGITAL TEXTILE & DECOR PRINTING THE in ESSENTIAL 5: HEALTH & SAFETY RESOURCES Emerging trends digital textile & décor print
16 Mi5 Intelligent Service advertorial How an industry leader continues to grow in tough times Staff writers
17 Blockchain technology for print Its impact on data protection and transaction synchronization Wally Vogel
18 Virtual tradeshows and conferences The new normal for online events and COVID-19 disruptors Caterina Valentino
20 The Essential 5: Health & Safety Five helpful resources – including COVID-19 information Diana Varma
24 Graphic design for the faint of heart and wallet Software options, free resources, automation and more Olivia Parker
26 Five reasons to use printed newsletters Why they’re an excellent option to promote your business Staff writers
30 Get 40% – 60% of your research investment back The Essential 5: Health & Safety
Good news for those doing R&D in Canada Frank Golden
34 Wide-format innovation A case study in re-invention Joanne Gore
In every issue
Blockchain technology for print
Virtual tradeshows and conferences
14 22 23 32 33
Print industry news Installations New products List of advertisers Classified
View from the publisher
Graphic Arts Magazine 2.0 Thanks for checking in. Since last month, the graphic arts and communications sectors and their professionals have continued to learn, adjust and succeed in the new methods of pandemic operations. In this issue, Graphic Arts Magazine is proud to announce new stories, tactics and guidelines that aim to provide resources and information to use in your daily operations. This month’s lead feature focuses on highlights within the rapidly advancing sector of digital printing, and its crucial role in the textile industry. Technological advancements in dye-sublimation printers, direct-to-fabric (DTF) printers and hybrid printers have all greatly improved, and allow shorter runs, faster turnaround times, and thus increased profitability. Things are certainly shaking up, so be sure to check out Alec Couckuyt’s feature on pages 9, 10 and 12. I would also like to welcome Buskro as a new advertiser to Graphic Arts Magazine. Based out of Pickering Ontario, Buskro is a leader in high speed, variable data imaging solutions. We are very excited to share their package personalization offerings with you, so be sure to learn more on page 29. Huge congratulations must go out to OEMs and operators for their press purchases over the summer months. Bellwyck Packaging Solutions of Toronto, Owen Sound, ON and Boucherville, PQ installed a Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102, and a Mark
Andy Digital Series HD Hybrid label press, while Flora Graphics of Brampton installed Ontario’s first Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 190 digital label press. You can check out details behind these purchases on page 22. Some housekeeping notes to share also include the launch of Graphic Arts Magazine 2.0. Over the last few months, our team has been listening to the needs of the market, and is excited to announce that we will now be re-launching www.graphicartsmagazine.com! Our original site was built in 2004 (pre-gmail!), so we are very excited to share the redeveloped layout with you. We are introducing a brand new digital engagement platform, which includes live product broadcasting, virtual 360 degree press room tours and visitor forum capabilities. We are excited about our improved custom educational resources, and further extending the reach of our content, so that we can better inform print leaders of the leading solutions that are available to their business needs. The new site will go live soon, and we are really looking forward to you checking it out! All the best to your success,
10,671 industry professionals are using Graphic Arts Magazine as their perfect online connection to the printing, graphic arts, sign, and packaging industries of Canada. So if you have something to say, join the conversation today!
GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE
is published ten times per year by B.K.L.K Inc. 17-17817 Leslie St. Newmarket, ON L3Y 8C6 Phone: 905-473-9111 Fax: 905-830-9345 Outside Toronto: 1-877-513-3999 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.graphicartsmag.com Ad submission deadlines are as follows: September 14 for October 2020 October 16 for November 2020 Publications Mail Agreement No. 40029380 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Graphic Arts Magazine 17-17817 Leslie St Newmarket ON L3Y 8C6 email: email@example.com Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily intended to reflect those of this publisher. Graphic Arts Magazine accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported on or advertised in this issue. Graphic Arts Magazine also reserves the right to limit liability for omissions and errors to a printed correction in the next issue. SUBSCRIBER’S NOTICE: From time to time we may rent our mailing list (names and addresses only) to select third parties whose products or services may be of interest to our readers. Please contact us should you wish to be excluded from these mailings using the contact information at the top.
GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE would like to thank our contributing writers: Alec Couckuyt • Caterina Valentino • Diana Varma Frank Golden • Joanne Gore • Olivia Parker Silas Amos • Tony Curcio • Wally Vogel
RYAN MULCAHY, Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
@graphicarts /graphicartsmagazine /company/graphic-arts-magazine 2020 ADVISORY BOARD STEVEN APRILE
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Sign Association of Canada We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation.
4 | September 2020 | GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE
WARREN WERBITT CMCA AUDITED
Taylor Printing Group
My three “wow” moments from the pandemic so far Or, when our industry shines and stupidity is a pre-existing condition! This pandemic has brought out the good, the bad and the really, really dumb when it comes to our species. Here’s my three most recent OMG moments. 1. The good. Industry organizations have stepped up to the plate, posting information, videos, timely suggestions and other free resources on their websites to help printing companies restart safely – in addition to printers and tradeonly printers launching bold new products. Plus, Canada is continuing to flatten the “curve” while other industrialized nations who’ve politicized the science, or disregarded it altogether, are continuing to see deaths mount. 2. The bad. With the ink barely dry on the so-called “new” NAFTA agreement, the Trump administration has re-imposed a 10% tariff on imported Canadian aluminum. The tariff was suspended in 2019. At press time, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada would impose countermeasures on a “dollar-for-dollar” basis. Ontario Premier Doug Ford added: “We will come back swinging like they’ve never seen before.” Another trade war with the U.S. in the midst of COVID-19 is the last thing we need. This is bad news for printers and printing plate manufacturers across North America as we all struggle.
3. The really, really dumb. Like petulant toddlers, I saw grown men and women ranting about wearing a mask, as if it were a pre-existing health condition. Two that stood out: one woman declared “I don't wear a mask for the same reason I don’t wear underwear. I need to breathe.” (Guess I missed that one in anatomy class). The second added: “They want to throw God’s breathing system out the door.” (Hallejulah, Hallejulah!). Perhaps these folks should inform surgeons and nurses before their next hospital visit, that they don’t have to bother wearing masks while treating them. As my best friend constantly reminds me, the mask issue all about mutual respect. “Tony, you wear a mask to protect others, to protect yourself, and in your particular case, because you’re really, really ugly!” Gotta love it! Until next time, always remember that we’re here to help.
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6 | September 2020 | GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE
Emerging trends in the textile and décor print segments We are all familiar with the impact of digital printing on the commercial printing, packaging, wide-format, label and converting market segments. Over the last several years we have seen dramatic changes in digital printing technology, increased overall quality levels and decreasing cost structures, which fundamentally changed the business models in the graphic arts industry. Add to this the latest geopolitical changes and the current impact of COVID-19, and we are noticing an increasing adoption rate of digital print technologies, which in turn is accelerating the consolidation and convergence trends in the above-mentioned market segments. The key drivers behind these shifts are the increasing demands for: (1) shorter run lengths (including versioning and personalization); (2) faster turnaround times (print products need to fit within the other tighter media communication cycles); and (3) cost efficiencies (supplychain benefits and inventory elimination/ reduction advantages). Digital printing is now an integral part of the printing industry, co-existing with conventional printing – but growing at a much faster pace. This feature will take a closer look at the impact of digital printing technology on the textile and décor printing business, looking for similarities and/or differences. First off, some numbers. A June 8, 2020 report by Research and Markets, titled Textile Printing – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics estimates that by 2027, the Global Textile Market will reach 34.9 billion square meters, growing at a CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) of 3.6%. Of that number, screen printing will account for 31.1 billion square meters, projecting a CAGR of 2.8%. Digital printing will account for 3.8 billion square meters with a CAGR of 14.2% over the 7-year period. Digital textile printing will make up 11% of the total volume of textile printing, growing at a double-digit pace. The study does take into consideration the implications
of the current pandemic and its “induced economic crisis.” One interesting side note in the study is the notion that the current significant political and economic challenges confronting China, are creating an economic ‘decoupling’ and distancing push with other geographies, which in turn will change the competitive dynamics. But that might be a topic for another day.
The takeaway from these numbers is that digital printing will have a CAGR of five (yes five) times that of screen printing. Clearly, digital printing will drive profound changes in the textile printing industry. Before we go into detail of what those changes might be, let us focus on the basic types of textile printing technologies.
Ricoh Ri6000 DTG Printer
GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE | September 2020 | 7
Emerging trends in the textile and décor print segments
Epson SureColor F10070
Textile printing technologies 1. Conventional textile printing. Conventional rotary screen printing and flatbed screen printing presses are for textile printers, what lithographic offset presses are for commercial printers, focusing on high volume, static printing. As mentioned earlier, screen printing accounts for the lion’s share of textile print production. Most of these highvolume industrial screen printers are operating in the Asian market, close to where the fabrics are actually produced. Major vendors in this roll-to-roll space that come to mind are EFI (with their Reggiani Traditional Industrial Printer line) and SPFPrint. Screen printing is also predominantly used for DTG (DirectTo-Garment) applications. There are a multitude of equipment manufacturers in that space, ranging from tabletop
screen printers to sophisticated multistation, multi-colour-unit screen printers. M&R is one of them. 2. Digital textile printing. As mentioned, digital printing is rapidly gaining in importance in the textile printing space. There are three types of digital printers for textiles – dye-sublimation printers, direct-to-fabric printers and hybrid printers. A. Dye-sublimation printers. This process creates the most ideal chemistry for printing on polyester, which is one of the most popular textiles used for soft signage at tradeshows, airports, and malls. Sports apparel and home décor (such as tapestries and shower curtains) are also best printed using this process. This process transfers the dye from an intermediate substrate (treated paper) and gasses the
dye into the fabric (by using heat and pressure), without liquifying it, making for more vibrant colours. Major manufacturers in this space are Agfa, Durst, Epson, Mimaki, Mutoh and Roland. They offer a wide range of equipment ranging in speed, size, and print quality. B. Direct-to-fabric (DTF) printers. When it comes to cotton, silk, nylon and all other (non-polyester) fibres, the dye-sublimation paper transfer process will not work. That is where the evolution of different ink formulations comes in. Specialty inks for silk and nylon, and the newer generations of pigment inks, have opened a world of possibilities to print on a much wider range of textiles. Major advancements in printing technology, including transport mechanisms and inkjet print heads, combined with the introduction of various types of ink, have not only broadened the range
Durst Alpha 5 Digital Textile Printer
8 | September 2020 | GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE
of fabrics one can print on, but have also substantially increased the productivity of digital presses. For example, singlepass printers are capable of printing upwards of 90 linear meters per minute. In the last several years, we have seen a barrage of new digital DTF printers entering the market. Some of the major players in this space are Mimaki, Mutoh, Epson, Kornit Digital and Ricoh in the small to mid-size market – and Kornit Digital, Durst, SPGPrints, Konica Minolta and EFI in the larger industrial printing market. C. Hybrid Printers. Hybrid industrial inkjet printers combine the best of both worlds. They can print on both transfer paper and directly to the fabric. The choice depends on the type of application. For example, one might choose to print directly to fabric when the application is used for backlit displays. In this case, the ink penetrates deeper into the fabric, showing denser colours when backlit. Some major players in this sector include HP, Mimaki and Roland.
Digital printing is transforming the textile printing industry Innovative technologies in high-speed digital textile production and printing solutions have had (and are having) a profound impact on businesses. Add to this changing buying behaviours for consumers of apparel and accessories (who shop both in brick-and-mortar stores as well as increasingly through online retailers), and one can understand how the textile industry must adjust its business models to fit these changing trends. It is remarkable to see the similarities of the impact of digital printing on both textile printing and commercial printing. Here are some of the common trends. A. Shorter run lengths. In an article, published on May 26, 2020, Jos Notermans, SPGPrints B.V., referred to what he calls “Fast Fashion” by which brands now bring out new collections every couple of weeks. He stated that “people feel the urge for more individual choice, not wanting to run the risk of buying exactly the same as their friends or neighbours. Brands are now bringing
new designs to market in a shorter period of time, which in turn leads to shorter run lengths.” B. Faster turnaround times. “Fast Fashion” implies not only shorter time to market, but also multiple variations. No longer do we have long seasonal fashion variations. We are now seeing mid-seasonal fashion variations, creating a need for more rapid responses. ‘Just-in-time manufacturing’ helps in getting products off the shelf in days or weeks, rather than months. C. Improved sustainability. For generations, textile manufacturers have been considered large polluters. There are two major aspects to the pollution with textile manufacturers. On the one hand textile printers are considered as one of the highest wastewater producers, and on the other hand many unsold apparel and accessories end up in landfills, further exacerbating pollution. Textile printing equipment manufacturers are now focusing heavily on reducing the environmental impact of their equipment. And digital textile printing is a driving factor in optimizing the supply chain. Productivity improvements make it possible to adapt to more flexible production schedules – adjusting to demands, sharply reducing overstocked items and/or unsellable inventory – while minimizing environmental impact.
pigmented ink solutions, are driving factors behind the textile printing industry responding to these three trends: (1) shorter runs, (2) faster turnaround times and (3) improved sustainability. Mike indicated that North America and Western Europe have recently seen an accelerated uptake of pigment-based textile printer installations. This in turn has driven the creation of what he calls “micro factories,” which are able to indeed print on demand, and broaden the notion of variable printing. In addition, this creates a sustainable “greener” print solution, avoiding the ecological impact of wastewater. Durst has built its advanced pigment ink solution into its Alpha Series 5 Digital Textile Printer. It is striking to see how the textile printing industry is adapting to the technological changes that have been driving major changes in the commercial printing and graphic arts industries. Digital printing and workflow automation are quickly becoming integral parts of the textile printing industry too. Current geopolitical changes, and the economic impact of COVID-19, are just two key factors accelerating the digital printing adoption process in the textile printing industry – just as they are in commercial print. Alec Couckuyt is an experienced printing executive who held key roles at Canon Canada, Agfa Graphics (Belgium, Canada, Germany), Transcontinental Printing, Symcor, and U.S.-based EDS. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Antwerp in Belgium, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
In talking with Mike Svverson, Textile Manager, North America for Durst Image Technology, he made the point that the recent evolution of digital printing in general, and the advancement with
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GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE | September 2020 | 9
Five ways to persuade clients to be bold and innovative with their print Here, Silas Amos, founder of leading UK-based creative agency Silas Amos Design, brings his 30 years of experience to bear in this edited feature – part of the drupa 2021 Essentials of Print series. Once you understand their big ‘problem’ and their big ‘I wonder’ questions, you can then figure out if the innovation you’re championing is a potentially smart solution. The principle is simple – look for the ‘win-win’ and be passionate. You won’t convince others if you’re not convinced yourself.
2. Lead by example
I’m a designer and design strategist. Much of the media I work with is packaging and my clients are typically marketing leaders and brand managers for big brands. Getting busy people on board to ‘try something new’ can be hard work. Here are some common sense suggestions based on my own experience of trying to persuade my clients to be bold and to try something new.
1. Find the right opportunities The first task is to find among your contacts those who get inspired by trying something different. The ideal candidate is someone young enough to want to make their reputation, but senior enough to make their own decisions. They also need to be passionate, to genuinely want to make it better, not just more efficient. Having found this rare person, you now need to understand two things: what is it that keeps them awake at night, and what is it that would make them jump excitedly out of bed?
10 | September 2020 | GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE
As Henry Ford put it: “You can’t build a reputation on what you propose to do.” To ignite interest, you’ll need to show successful applications of the technology you’re championing. The reality is that getting to these first concrete examples often comes from the first work being ‘given away’ to prove its worth. In blunt terms, you must ‘put some skin in the game’ – on your own time and using your own energy.
3. Explain the value The value the innovation often needs to hit several targets. In cost and speed, it should be competitive or provide an affordable alternative to typical processes. In output, it should produce something of equal or greater quality to typical alternatives. In application terms, it should enable the client to do something they simply couldn’t do before. This is the key question: how can you creatively ‘up the game’ with the final product? Will people pay more for it, love it, buy more of it and notice it (when before they were blind to it)? Will it make your clients’ competition look average by comparison? If you can offer comparative evidence against these basic points, you’ll be in an excellent position to tailor your pitches to your clients.
4. Reduce the risk Only the reckless would bet their career, core business or brand on an untested new approach. There are two magic words that can unlock the proposed project – Pilot Scheme. Start small and think of the first steps as a low-risk experiment. If it fails, the only thing it’s really cost is some time and energy. But if it works, the process can be reviewed, streamlined and expanded for larger and larger projects. Build trust and learn on the job – and there’s a good chance more work will develop organically from the process.
5. Join forces Learn to play ball with other key suppliers or teams and you’re more likely to get to bigger and bolder solutions that can be truly game-changing. My analogy here is the stained-glass window – arguably the world’s first example of mass communication. Engineers figured out how to put big holes in load-bearing walls using flying buttresses. Craftsmen figured out how to colour glass and work it into images. And the ‘marketing department’ had a whole story to tell about ‘I am the light.’ Put them all together and the Sunday worshippers got to see the world of their faith in an entirely new way. In conclusion, success in promoting any radical leap in technology relies on very simple human values. Have passion, be positive, embrace new technologies, be open for partnerships and teamwork, and care genuinely about resolving your client’s challenges. You’ll be better positioned to pick up new business – and have some fun along the way!
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Basic reopening guidance for employers As we slowly, safely start to reopen our businesses, we compiled this basic planning guide, condensed from information found on federal and provincial government websites. The four basic steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among your employees, customers and the public are: Basic re-opening strategies • Reduce exposure. Physical distancing is the most effective method of mitigating the spreading of COVID-19. Examples include providing online services and virtual meetings, cancelling group events, closing or limiting use of shared spaces, and ensuring people remain at least two metres apart. • Engineering controls. Structural modifications to your workspace or equipment can minimize contact among people. This includes using additional rooms, partitions as barriers, and removing or re-arranging furniture. • Administrative controls. These modifications to business processes and behaviours reduce the number of contacts or contact intensity (distance or duration) among people. Examples include working in shifts, using curbside pick-up, and utilizing verbal or visual cues instead of close contact. • Safe work hygiene practices are on-thejob activities that reduce the potential for exposure. Providing training in hand hygiene and reminding staff and customers to stay home if they’re ill are two of the most important. • Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as facemasks, clear plastic face shields, rubber gloves, etc. can reduce exposure but must be used properly to be effective – and should complement, not replace, other prevention strategies.
Other common sense suggestions • Establish clear policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace
and make sure these are communicated and fully understood by all workers. • Tell staffers and clients about the measures you’re taking to reduce the spread. • Post signs asking ill customers to stay away from your workplace. • Post signs encouraging good respiratory hygiene, frequent hand washing, social distancing and other healthy practices. • Adjust procedures to reduce social contact – such as teleworking, more flexible hours, staggered employee start times, use of email, teleconferencing, etc. • Cancel or postpone all non-essential meetings or travel. • Evaluate workplace areas where people have frequent contact with each other and share spaces and/or objects. Then increase the frequency of cleaning in these areas. • Consider ways that employees can practice physical distancing – such as increasing distance between desks, people in line-ups and workstations. • Limit the number of customers permitted in your print shop. Ideally, a two metre separation should be maintained, unless there’s a physical barrier present such as a cubicle, partition or Plexiglas window. • Provide the necessary facilities and cleaning products to maintain a clean and safe workplace so employees can clean and disinfect their workspaces. • Put hand-sanitizing dispensers in easyto-access locations. • Disinfect high-traffic work areas or frequently touched surfaces more often.
1. Stay informed about how COVID-19 spreads
2. Assess the risks of spread in your workplace
3. Modify your workplace to lower that risk 4. Seek advice from healthcare experts or government agencies as needed
• Provide staff with PPE and train them to use it correctly. • Consider relaxing sick-leave policies, including not requiring notes from a doctor to return to work. • If employees use public transportation to come to and from work, consider flexible hours to allow them to avoid peak travel periods. • Have a plan in place to return employees home without using public transit if they develop symptoms at work. • Prepare for increases in absenteeism due to illness among employees and their families, as well as possible school closures. • Non-essential travel should not occur. If essential travel across borders is necessary, you must self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to Canada.
Latest employee assistance packages After the federal government announced that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended into late September (bringing the maximum payment period to 28 weeks), on September 27, recipients still out of work can transition to the employment insurance (EI) program – or three new benefit programs for (1) self-employed workers not eligible for EI, (2) those who are ill or self-isolating due to COVID-19, and (3) those caring for a child, dependent or family member because schools, daycares or care facilities are closed. For payments details affecting your employees’ specific situation, please ask them to visit the CERB website.
GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE | September 2020 | 13
Print Industry News
RMGT launches 970 Series Offset Press RMGT (Placentia, CA) has unveiled its new RMGT 970 Offset Press, a new 8-up+ (25” x 38”) press that would have debuted at drupa. “Growing our sheet size to the popular 25” x 38” format and adding RMGT’s new ASAP system will set the 970 apart from other players in this market segment,” said Kian Hemmen, RMGT Director of Sales for Print & Finishing Solutions. With its new ASAP (Automated Smart Assist Printing) system, the press operator touches one button and the entire printing process – from ink and paper presetting, blanket and impression cleaning, and plate changing through verification of test printing, register adjustment, ink density adjustment, and full sheet inspection – are all autonomously processed without pulling a sheet. Within the new system, once CCD scanners verify that all print quality control parameters have been met, the RMGT 970 flags the first ok’d sheet and begins the production run at up to 16,000 sph. This enables more profitable production of continuous short-run printing with frequent job changeovers. Rollout is expected in Q1 of 2021. RMGT 970 Offset Press
Konica Minolta expands scanning services with Digital Day 1 Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada (Mississauga, ON) is now offering a new document scanning and management service called Digital Day 1. Its aim is to help businesses future-proof their documents in a fast, efficient and costeffective way. Digital Day 1 is an all-inclusive program that consists of hardware, software and services that allow users to rapidly scan and digitize their documents and store them in a cloud-based document management system. With the use of IoT-based scanners, businesses can quickly connect to the cloud and start scanning with minimal or no IT support. In short, Digital Day 1 is the OEM’s answer to simplifying digital transformation. Norm Bussolaro, Senior Director of Marketing, added: “Digital Day 1 will dramatically change the way businesses look at digital transformation. To most, it’s a costly, labour-intensive endeavour. With Digital Day 1, we made the first step cost-effective, easy-to-use, quick and efficient. Norm Bussolaro
Key North American appointments Hazen pioneers two-sided sub-micron custom holography Hazen Paper (Holyoke, MA) has created a stunning, two-sided promotion to demonstrate cutting-edge holographic technology. Hazen’s team designed the artwork on both sides to showcase specific visual effects with nano-holography that delivers even more dramatic 3D effects than lenticular printing. The front features a fire-breathing dragon with minutely detailed glittering scales. The effect of a blast of moving flames was achieved with registered, custom colour-motion and multichannel holography. On the back, a shimless random repeat custom hologram “random burst” creates a moving, 3D flash backdrop for a flock of butterflies. Originated entirely within Hazen’s holographic lab, the promotion was created on Hazen Envirofoil. It was offset-printed by AM Lithography of Chicopee, MA using UV-cure inks. Perhaps its most unusual aspect is that it’s two-sided custom holography, transfer-metallized on both sides. “It hasn’t been done before,” said President John Hazen. “The ability to transfer-metallize a lightweight stock on two sides with custom holography opens up the potential for use in many applications where consumer impact is key.” Side 1 of Hazen’s holography promotion
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• Canon Canada (Brampton, ON) has appointed Naoki “Mike” Sannomiya to Senior VP and GM for its Business Information Communications Group. He brings extensive knowledge in marketing, direct sales and solutions planning to Naoki Sannomiya the OEM’s business imaging products. • Industry veteran Steve Lynn will now lead the label and specialty packaging business for Durst North America (Rochester, NY). As Durst expands its product lines in the digital label market with the new Durst Tau RSC series, Lynn will help the Durst Label Sales Team focus Steve Lynn on sales strategies to ensure growth. • Leading OEM Domino (Gurnee, Ill) has welcomed Lloyd Kent as Senior Sales Manager for Corrugated and Digital Printing in North America. Kent brings over 30 years of industry experience, including roles as sales development manager, national and regional sales manager, and regional market director. Lloyd Kent • Xaar (Cambridge, UK) has announced that Chuck Pemble has joined the company as Business Development Manager for the Americas. Based near Boston, he’ll be responsible for building and growing OEM and integration channels that deliver digital solutions leveraging Chuck Pemble Xaar’s piezo print head technology.
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Amid a recession and now a pandemic, Mi5 continues to thrive, expand and give back to the community Starting in an industrial garage 19 years ago with a unique prepress and colour management system and one 5-colour press, Mi5 Print & Digital soon became Canada’s ﬁrst all-digital hub and spoke prepress shop and printer. Today, it has further evolved into Canada’s fastest growing commercial printer and a member of the Proﬁt 100 Companies for nine consecutive years! It has led a revolution of technology innovation, service intelligence and manufacturing excellence. But above all, it’s been a leader in helping our healthcare workers and institutions during COVID-19. For over a decade, Mi5 has been a quiet, unheralded Canadian success story. It’s been an industry leader in prepress, best-in-class litho, digital and wide-format printing, R&D, colour management, POS, targeted marketing solutions, direct mail, publications, kitting, fulfillment and distribution – and especially custom product development. Today, the company remains strong, has no debt, owns its 180,000+ square-foot production facility in Mississauga, ON, and has offices in Ottawa, Vancouver and New York. And, as shown recently and in the past, it can weather any economic storm. In fact, Mi5 doubled in size during the 2008 recession! Mi5 is looking to further expand by acquiring companies which have good leadership and complementary technology, in addition to print professionals who might be displaced due to the economic downturn. Giving back to the community. During the current pandemic, Mi5 has continued to thrive and serve clients while manufacturing much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE). It made face shields for healthcare workers at up to 1,000 per day, as well as flat-pack corrugated, easy-to-deploy emergency field beds
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Steve Tahk, Mi5 EVP & GM (left) with President Derek McGeachie, in front of their Scodix Ultra Pro Foil Digital Enhancement Press.
for use in hospitals and shelters across Canada and worldwide. “We adapted our technology to allow employees to work from home easily when the pandemic struck,” said Steve Tahk, EVP & GM. “We quickly tasked our team to come up with ways to help Canadians fight COVID-19. In fact, one of our employees who was fighting cancer, designed a face shield that sold over 100,000 units. In addition to beds and face shields, we also designed and donated or sold barriers, floor graphics, signs, sanitizer stands and much more.” Redefining how a print company works. Mi5’s rapid growth and success is tied to redefining how a print company actually operates. This includes using technology that allows almost instant quoting, remote access to all facets of production, and a more personal and engaging project management approach that’s redefined the print-buying experience for its customers. The company has many long-term, loyal clients who buy almost exclusively from Mi5 because of this unique approach – in addition to its cutting-edge technology represented by a multi-million-dollar repertoire of the latest printing and
finishing equipment. Mi5 President Derek McGeachie has been laser-focused on developing products that maximize this technology. Experience our back cover. One example is Mi5’s Scodix Ultra Pro Foil Digital Enhancement Press. The technology has expanded the company’s product portfolio with brilliant, multiple digital foil colour effects that their customers love. Scodix applications are designed to enhance any CMYK sheet, including folding cartons. “We’ve not only used the Scodix foil and raised digital coating to attract new business and build loyalty with existing clients,” McGeachie pointed out, “we’ve also worked to bring new subtle but powerful enhancements for more refined print projects – such as matte raised or matte textured coatings.” You can experience the special visual and tactile effects of Mi5’s Scodix print-enhancement technology for yourself, as it was used to print the back cover of this month’s magazine! For more information on Mi5 Print & Digital, Canada’s fastest growing printer, please visit www.mi5print.com or call toll-free 1-877-602-3737.
Practical applications: Blockchain technology for print You may already know that blockchain technology provides a secure and immutable shared ledger – a “single version of truth”. How it does this is described later in this article, but first let’s look at why it matters to the print industry.
never be transferred or stored unencrypted on the recipient’s server, and modification would not be possible without immediate detection.
Much of the initial hype around blockchain has settled down, which is probably a good thing. This is an appropriate time to consider the future potential for practical applications built on blockchain technology. Since the printing industry is primarily about communicating information, and so much information is variable and transactional, the concept of an immutable and secure shared ledger to hold that information has a place in the industry.
Think about the nature of the data in a transaction between two businesses. Each party keeps their own accounting records, and printed documents travel between them including quotes, sales orders, invoices, shipping documents, and financial statements. These are essentially notes exchanged with the intent to keep records synchronized.
The greatest potential impact is in two areas – protection of data, and synchronization of transactions.
Protection of data When considering how to protect print data from modification and exfiltration, traditional file transfer between servers can be challenging. Consider the security audits that need to be conducted and time spent validating the systems and servers that will house that data, yet there is no guarantee that a server will not be hacked in the future resulting in a data breach. What if the data was stored in a blockchain and each party could only access the specific parts of the records required for each step in the creation, printing and delivery process? This would effectively be a serverless “pull” of a subset of the data based on the requirements of a specific role. The full dataset would
Synchronization of transactions
Consider this process in terms of the analogy of betting on a hockey game. Imagine you were at a hockey game and you had a wager based on a number of factors - goals, points. and penalties. Now imagine there is no scoreboard. You and the party you are betting against each keep score independently and occasionally pass notes back and forth. Then at the end of the month you exchange statements. What is the likelihood that they will match, and how much work will be involved in reconciling discrepancies at that point? Of course, in a real game there is a scoreboard. A single version of truth that is visible to both parties. If there is a dispute over what the scoreboard says it is detected immediately. There is no need to pass notes. Currently business has no such scoreboard, which results in a lack of synchronization. With blockchain technology, could the printing industry make the shift from ”passing notes” to providing this scoreboard?
How a blockchain works A blockchain is a chain of blocks, each representing a record or transaction in a shared ledger. These blocks are interlinked through a cryptographic hash calculated based on the data in the block, so that once a block has been added to the chain (or ledger) it is validated by the hash. The blockchain forms a shared ledger on a peer to peer network. The ledger is decentralized or distributed such that every peer has a copy, and new transactions are added in "blocks" to the ledger by consensus. The multiple copies of the ledger mean it is virtually impossible to change the data later - making it immutable.
The blockchain concept started in print Years before the first fully digital blockchain emerged in 2008, a timestamping service called Surety provided a way to timestamp digital documents using a cryptograph hash. They did not use a peer to peer network to store the resulting chain though. Rather than adding the hashes to a digital shared ledger they published the hash weekly in the New York Times classified section. This effectively made the data tamper-proof since there would be no way to modify the hash after it had been printed and distributed in every copy of the paper.
Blockchain’s future in print It’s always difficult to predict the future, so it’s hard to say what specific implementations of blockchain technology will be adopted and when. However, given that the print industry is in the business of communicating information, and blockchain is a shared ledger that stores information with a single version of the truth, we can confidently predict that there will be a place for blockchain in the future of the print industry. Wally Vogel is a Certified Engineering Technologist and a Certified Blockchain Professional. He has founded multiple software companies specializing in transaction processing for government entities and business enterprises and is currently serving as a director for Sparcblock, a Canadian company helping businesses streamline B2B transactions. E-mail: email@example.com
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Virtual tradeshows and conferences: be in the know By the time Kimberly Charters, Coordinator of Convention Exhibits, closed the doors on the 88th Prospectors & Developers Association Convention, 23,144 delegates had tramped their way around the Toronto Convention Centre, networking, checking out equipment, and wheeling and dealing. Little did Kimberly know that the world of tradeshows and conferences was about to pivot. Sixteen days later, on March 17, the Government of Ontario declared a state of emergency and the province was shuttered. COVID-19 had arrived. A pandemic declared. The world and Canada ordered its citizens to shelter in place. Tradeshows and conferences were cancelled immediately and indefinitely. The 2020 PDAC Convention is probably the last totally face-to-face convention come tradeshow to happen in Canada for the foreseeable future. The business of tradeshows appears to have ended, at least for the time being.
The business of tradeshows Tradeshows are multi-million dollar events that bring together under one-roof manufacturers, buyers and intermediaries for mutually beneficial financial gain, networking and education. They are the bread-and butter revenue engine for trade associations, hotels, restaurants, municipal commerce and industry supply chains. For associations, tradeshow revenues keep membership fees reasonable and offset costs by providing member benefits such as professional development and networking. They provide opportunities for media coverage and the opportunity to recognize industry leaders.
the COVID pivot will remain for the foreseeable future.
COVID Pivot Disruptor Two - you don't just show up
The COVID pivot - disruptors
Manoeuvring through a video conferencing platform requires a new set of skills, knowledge and awareness. When one shows up unprepared, event time is squandered away by downloading, installing and testing the application, checking compatibility and troubleshooting. Deciding how to turn off one’s video and mute one’s microphone can take even more valuable time.
The COVID pivot forced many manufacturers to shift production to personal protective equipment and its ancillary products. Physicians moved to virtual care, restaurants shifted to curb side pick-up, and tradeshow and conference business went virtual. Zoom, Teams, GoToMeeting and WebEx, and other digital platforms, saw an exponential spike in their usage. With free admission and easy registration conference goers quickly found their calendars chock-a-block with webinars. Time strapped, even skipping events didn’t make a difference. Within hours inboxes became clogged with links to missed sessions ready to be clicked on and viewed at a later date. COVID Pivot Disruptor One – time cannot be inventoried If one can’t spare the time to view a conference session when scheduled, the likelihood of viewing it in the future is slim to zero. That’s the law of diminishing marginal returns. An executive’s fixed resource is time. If one keeps adding more sessions (a variable resource) into the fixed resource, there comes a point when the gain of attending one more session produces no or very little return in knowledge acquisition. Time is a fixed resource. It can’t be created, destroyed or placed in inventory. It’s instantaneously perishable.
Take the opportunity to test the streaming system beforehand. Otherwise, you may end up unable to join the presentation – a very frustrating experience. COVID Pivot Disruptor Three – how deep is the footprint A footprint consists of a collection of unobtrusive measures that can be aggregated and analyzed to provide useful intelligence on buying behaviour – digital marketing, Even before COVID-19, attending a shoes-on-the ground event left a footprint. At registration personal data were collected. During the event covert observations and data collection such as tracking the use of one’s mobile devices to access vendor promotions and information, deepened one’s footprint. At a virtual conference with each click of the mouse data are collected and stored behind the conference’s backroom door. Aggregated this information provides insight into buyer’s behaviour and how sellers can better serve their client needs. That’s digital marketing.
Judy Healey, an instructor at Ryerson University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism, describes tradeshows as tactile. It’s about the excitement, the buzz and the hype on the tradeshow floor. As long as the COVID situation remains fluid and unstable it’s a sure bet that
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Feature Digital marketing and avatar behaviour Digital marketing is marketing that exists online. The analytics collected provide insight into how sellers can better support and meet the needs of their current and potential clients. Avatars are bits of code. As one slides and pushes one’s avatar or digital marker around the trade floor, information accumulates in the tradeshow’s backroom. Through the science of data analytics these terabytes of raw data can be quantified and organized into dashboards of useful intelligence – intelligence that can be used to predict buyer behaviour. It’s the power of data analytics to outline the behaviours of an individual and a community with respect to a product. Well-planned, virtual booths educate and pull visitors in, to engage with the product. In the virtual environment, the depth and detail of the data collected produces fodder for data analytics that allow markets to target with pinpoint accuracy multiple focused product advertisements. There’s no hiding behind a pillar in the virtual environment.
Privacy The need to achieve a competitive advantage and what might appear to be opportunistic behaviour created by data marketing is a fine balancing act. On 1 April 2020, Zoom addressed privacy concerns and removed the attendee attention tracker feature and permanently removed the LinkedIn Sales Navigator application. Participants must shoulder the responsibility of reading the fine print when registering for events. Carefully reviewing consent forms that outline how participant data is collected, used and shared is the best way to control and protect one’s privacy.
Conference pivoting - LeadingPRINT Summit When APTEch realized that its premier one- day educational conference, LeadingPRINT Summit, was a no go, APTEch pivoted. The focus was educational not tactile,
and the presenters remained committed even in a virtual environment. And while there were pros and cons regarding the digital environment, the ability to reach a wider audience was a compelling advantage.
auditoriums booked for educational sessions. Vendors have access to their booth’s backroom and analytics. Who visits the booth, and how long they stay can be determined.
A cursory examination of Zoom’s backroom usage reports (analytics) indicated that the vast majority of the participants were present for the entire program. The decision to add short, ten-minute stretch/coffee breaks between the speakers worked well.
Your next tradeshow: the new normal
The lack of backroom technical assistance limited the engagement features (i.e., break-out rooms, polls) of the platform that could be used. But, APTech sees the potential of the virtual event as a standalone or complement to a face-toface conference.
The real-time interfacing and flexibility of digital platforms coupled with their ability to accommodate enhanced security measures has transformed them into sustainable substitutes for face-to-face events and day-to-day communications. It’s become the new normal – perhaps.
Virtual platforms are not free. There are costs associated with backroom technical assistance and platform subscription fees. What is free now in the age of COVID, will soon come with a price tag.
... the decision was made to cancel in favour of being bigger, better and together in 2021. Tradeshow pivoting – Printing Expo. Wayne Beckett and Chris Watson of Resolve Business Management (RBM) leveraged their technical knowledge and experience from running cloudbased products and pivoted the Printing Expo to a virtual platform. Beckett and Watson believe a virtual Printing Expo has the potential to be the reference point for new developments and technology for the print industry for 2020. Beckett and Watson felt virtual conferencing is sustainable and accessible. Keystrokes or an avatar can be used to navigate the tradeshow floor. One can bypass booths or visit them selectively. There’s a standard floor plan and a 3D view that gives the impression of being within the tradeshow. Printing Expo will be open 24/7, 365 days for one year. Manufacturers can customize and change their booths. Videos can be shown, and virtual
The Palais des congrès de Montréal in early July announced its ready to open its doors for the new normal touchless interaction. And, as much as PRINTING United Alliance was encouraged by the support it received to take its 2020 PrintEvent virtual, the decision was made to cancel in favour of being bigger, better and together in 2021. Kimberly Charters, Coordinator of Convention Exhibits Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada says for 2021 PDAC is exploring different options in the virtual event world. Welcome to the new normal of tradeshows and conventions. Caterina Valentino, PhD, is an Instructor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University and the Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Essential 5: Health & Safety Health and safety has never been a more important topic than it is right now. The novel coronavirus has changed the ways in which we operate in our personal and professional lives, practically overnight. Today’s five resources cover the spectrum of health and safety, including information specific to COVID-19, first aid training, mental health and well-being awareness. 1. Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace [website] https://www. ontario.ca/page/resources-preventcovid-19-workplace - This website contains relevant information surrounding COVID-19 in the workplace. Information is changing rapidly, so it’s reassuring to find a government resource that contains current standards for companies, as well as links to daily updates surrounding the pandemic. Included within this website are ‘guidance notes’ and ‘tip sheets’ for various sectors, including manufacturing. There’s also free printable posters for employers and employees to help with daily reminders around cleaning and use of equipment. 2. The Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Health and Safety [website] https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/ hs/ - I’ll admit that this is isn’t the most glamorous resource, but it’s the most important one of the five from a legal standpoint. Some of the most valuable information for printing companies include: what to expect when a health and safety inspector visits your workplace, information regarding the working at heights training program, and information regarding the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) training. Not sure where to find a trainer? On this website you can access direct links to companies who are approved to deliver this training. Additionally, this website details the exact steps that must be taken to report workplace incidents, including if someone is killed or critically injured on the job, if one of your workers has an occupational illness, or if there’s an accident, explosion or fire, or an incident of workplace violence. If you have no
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idea where to start or who to contact, this website gives you everything you need to know, step-by-step.
3. Canadian Red Cross’ First Aid App [application] - This app is a resource that I recommend to all of my first aid trainees. Whether you’re an experienced first aider or you’ve never taken a course, this is an important app to have on your phone. It lists the most common first aid emergencies and details how to treat them. Although this app doesn’t replace the need for first aid and CPR training and invaluable hands-on practice, I recommend looking at this app every couple of months to refresh your knowledge. Learning first aid and CPR is like a language: if you’re not using it all the time (which I hope you’re not!) then you tend to forget it, no matter how clear or straightforward it seemed during the training. The app is free and available on the App Store and Google Play. I can’t recommend it enough. 4. CultureAmp’s Culture First [podcast] - CultureAmp is “The People & Culture Platform.” This software company helps assess and improve employee engagement and I really admire the work that they do, as they would say, to put culture first. When I heard that
CultureAmp recently launched a podcast, I was intrigued… and it doesn’t disappoint! While the Culture First podcast is not specific to mental health awareness, many themes throughout the first 10 episodes touch upon well-being at work. For example, episodes six and seven focus on empathy and compassion in the workplace. Furthermore, episode nine deals with the hugely important conversation regarding activism at work and empowering employees to bring their whole selves to work. 5. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor, 2020 [book] - I’ll admit that this seems like an odd choice, but it’s an interesting and excellent read. Through the lens of scientific research, mixed with cultural and spiritual references, the author argues that as natural as breathing may be, most of us could be doing it better. He provides specific examples and exercises to improve your breathing, to make anyone working to achieve a healthy, active lifestyle that much healthier. There you have it: five helpful resources to navigate today’s challenging health and safety landscape. Although there are new norms, life looks a lot different today than it did just a few months ago, and we’re not out of the woods yet, I hope that these resources make it a little easier to face challenges head-on. From me to you, here’s an essential high five! Diana Varma is an Instructor at the School of Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University and the Owner of ON-SITE First Aid & CPR Training Group, a health & safety company that provides training to the Graphic Arts Industry.
Global Strength. Local Solutions One of Canada’s largest providers of paper, board and packaging products since 1998. APP Canada is part of one of the world’s largest integrated pulp and paper manufacturers with operations in over 65 countries.
Extensive line of products We offer solutions ranging from coated and uncoated text and cover papers; custom boards for standard and specialty printing; product packaging for a variety of applications, including food and pharmaceuticals; to high quality bonds and digital paper products for commercial and personal printing jobs.
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Nationwide APP has strategically located national presence – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and the Maritimes – with the ability to meet your “just-in-time” needs from our large warehouse inventories.
For more information, please contact your local merchant or visit us at www.appcanada.com
Bellwyck adds two first-ever presses in Canada to provide custom printed packaging Bellwyck Packaging Solutions (Toronto, Owen Sound, ON and Boucherville, QC) has installed the longest Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102 press in Canada, complementing its existing 7-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102 installed in 2019 at its Toronto location. The press provides 9-colour printing, including two coating units each fitted with flexo kits, offering virtually “endless opportunities” for luxury brand packaging. This includes special effects such as glitters and colour-shift coatings, as well as eco-friendly coatings to replace lamination – all in one pass. “Our company is known for our commitment to innovation, quality and customer excellence,” said John McVeigh, President of Premium and Pharma/Healthcare Packaging Solutions at Bellwyck. “From helping drive efficiencies and quality, to eco-friendly solutions and smart packaging options, our core focus is to meet and exceed the rigorous standards of our clients, while continually finding new ways to help them stand out in the marketplace.” Bellwyck’s other first is its acquisition of a Mark Andy Digital Series HD Hybrid label press, featuring true one-pass Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102 Press
hybrid printing with four flexo units and an expanded digital colour gamut. The press offers virtually unlimited colours and exceptional image definition, and provides a resolution of 1,200 x 600 dpi with a huge array of cutting-edge features – including “the most opaque white” in the industry. “Mark Andy’s unique hybrid press will allow Bellwyck to provide its clients with the highest quality digital/flexo printing technology in the world,” said Clark Mansur, Senior Product Support Engineer at Mark Andy. “The press’s revolutionary ink set allows clients to hit the most accurate special and corporate colours available.”
Mark Andy Digital Series HD Hybrid label press
Flora Graphics installs first Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 190 Digital label press in Ontario Flora Graphics (Brampton, ON) specializes in graphic design, web development, branding, digital and offset printing, magazines, books, large-format printing (posters, and banners) and more. It also recently earned a solid reputation for its digital signage services. The company serves primarily the restaurant and food industries with brochures, flyers and all types of printed materials – including digitally printed menus and interior/ exterior signage. The recent installation of a Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 190 label press, along with a Scorpio 3500 Label Finisher, will help Flora Graphics meet the growing demand for various label products, which has increased recently by a huge 40%. The AccurioLabel 190, designed specifically for narrowweb applications, will enable the shop to produce up to 200,000 labels per day at 1,200 dpi in full colour with 256 rich gradations. Fine lines and small type can be printed clearly. The press supports a wide variety of substrates including coated and uncoated paper, film, BOPP, PET and Estate Label. Newly developed digital toner yields excellent adhesion to substrates for maximum durability. Image density control technology ensures consistency in applied CMYK toner throughout each label run, while advanced colour
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management tools such as ICC profile creation and spotcolour matching, provides accuracy in achieving colour matches. The press is also an ideal option as a first step into the digital label business for commercial printers looking to expand into new markets, for convertors stepping into digital technology, or for brand owners seeking to create a competitive advantage by changing how they source label technology.
From left are Flora Graphics’ Indy Flora (President), Amanprit Flora (Account Manager), and Sahib Nanrhe (Production Manager).
A cleaning module to reduce newspaper maintenance A lower-production-cost digital flexible packaging press Agfa’s new Attiro Cleaning Module for violet newspaper printing plates significantly reduces prepress maintenance, giving newspapers the freedom to clean their Attiro clean-out unit after 12,000 m² of plates. This reduces the workload for most presses to three to four full cleaning interventions per year. The module further streamlines the ease of use of Agfa’s violet platemaking technology. “Prepress staff of newspaper printers worldwide appreciate Agfa’s Attiro cascade clean-out unit, which is characterized by a minimal use of clean-out fluid, easy maintenance and limited energy consumption,” said Rainer Kirschke, Market Manager of Newspapers for Agfa. German newspaper printer Main-Post, an early adopter, added: “The results of the automated cleaning process are excellent,” said Thomas Gabel, Production Manager. “The Attiro Cleaning Module enables us to expand the cleaning cycle from 8,000 m² to 12,000 m². This reduces our workload and costs, as well as products needed to clean the processor. The two automated intermediate cleanings can be executed with a simple push on the Attiro COU Display.” Agfa Attiro Cleaning Module
A faster, higher resolution continuous-feed inkjet printer Canon’s new ProStream 1800 Continuous-Feed Inkjet Printer features increased speeds of up to 436 feet per minute and “the highest resolution and print quality of any digital printing press at that speed,” said the OEM. Combining new inkjet innovations with proven offset printing techniques, the press “strikes a unique balance” between high productivity, superior print quality, flexibility and media versatility. It can produce up to 115,000 letter-size or 210,000 6” x 9” impressions per hour while accommodating a huge range of media – including standard offset coated, uncoated and inkjet-optimized papers from 40 gsm to 300 gsm. Users can print calendars, posters and POS applications up to 22” wide and 60” long. The technology also eliminates the need to stop production to switch between different format lengths. By not coming into contact with the paper, the system ensures optimal print results and better preserves the gloss and paper surface. Artificial intelligence linked to a sensor continuously makes adjustments to the drying system during the print run. Canon ProStream 1800 Inkjet Printer
Characterized by Kodak as “the first digital packaging press to match the productivity of flexo and the quality of gravure,” the new Sapphire EVO W is the first flexible packaging press using Kodak’s latest continuous inkjet technology. With a print width of 49.2”, it can inkjet-print at speeds up to 500 fpm on flexible plastic films, paper and more, in full-colour at 600 x 1,800 dpi. The new press combines Kodak Ultrastream CIJ (Continuous InkJet) technology with Uteco’s rugged press design, gravure priming unit, flexo-white and post coating. Its water-based inks have minimal environmental impact while maintaining indirect-contact compliance for food packaging. Advanced solutions for material transport and drying are built in. Press configurations can be customized to the specific end application. With running costs that are “half the leading digital competitor,” printers can boost profits on higher-value digital jobs. Users can print on paper, PP, BOPP, PE, PET, PETG, PVdC PET, OPA, PVC and more.
Kodak-Uteco Sapphire EVO W Packaging Press
A desktop colour label printer with digital die-cutting Primera Technology’s LX610 Color Label Printer/Cutter is “the only inkjet desktop colour label printer in the world to combine high-resolution colour label printing with digital die-cutting.” Images can be printed at up to 4,800 dpi onto a variety of label materials, then cut to the desired size and shape with a high-precision, carbide-steel knife blade. The printer comes with easy-to-use software for laying out print-and-cut files. In addition, standard pre-die-cut labels and tags can also be fed through the LX610 similar to any other colour label printer. The new printer is ideal for producing samples, prototypes, short runs for client approval, or test marketing before ordering expensive hard-tooled or flexible dies. Dye-based ink prints bright and vibrant colours that are ideal for prime label applications, and pigment-based ink prints labels that stand up to sunlight and water for extended periods of time. Substrates can include gloss and matte paper, PVC, polyester, polypropylene and more. Primera LX610 Color Label Printer/Cutter
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Graphic design for the faint of heart and wallet Over the past few years, I’ve written a series of articles discussing some workarounds for individuals who are learning about or not confident in graphic design. The beauty of the trade is that there is always something new to learn, including ways to be more efficient. Let’s consider this article a spiritual successor where I summarize software alternatives, free resources, automation, and the pursuit of curiosity and improvement as ways to help you design on a budget.
and Pixlr. Although these options lack some of the professional software’s advanced features they are serviceable alternatives for anyone on budget. 3. Hustle Tier: If a designer knows what they’re doing almost any software will work. Word and Pages are taught to many students who only need to go as far as basic document publishing on a desktop printer. I’ve seen PowerPoint used for educational poster design as it is intuitive for lecturers who already use it to create their slides. Another popular option is Canva, which is an online design tool that is fairly robust for a novice designer who needs to produce both print and web assets.
ways to solve problems I encounter during my design process (and for inspiration); it’s amazing what a few specific search terms bring to light. Online learning platforms like SkillShare, LinkedIn Learning, or even YouTube offer tons of tutorials to help hone your creative design skills in any program you wish to master. You’re also welcome to pursue avenues that provide more practice. Using freelance platforms like Fiverr or just working on personal projects challenges you in new and interesting ways. Whatever you create, you can contribute to the resource sites listed above, which allows others to share and use your work while concurrently building your portfolio.
Software There’s a retiree, Tatsuo Horiuchi, who wanted to be an artist but instead of spending money on supplies he figured out how to “paint” with Excel. Just as Tatsuo was able to produce art in Excel the same goes for graphic design software. Ultimately, as a designer, you need to create a print-ready PDF; how you arrive there is irrelevant. I like to divide graphic design software into three categories: 1. Professional Tier: Here you find Adobe Creative Cloud, the cornerstone of media design. As the golden standard of the industry it’s used near ubiquitously. However, other options exist. While lesser known, Affinity by Serif Labs is a new collection of professional creative software. And smaller competitors persist in their niche markets such as Quark, CorelDRAW and Microsoft Publisher. 2. Freemium Tier: There is an entire subset of free, open-source software, including GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus, Gravit, Sketchbook, Krita, PicMonkey,
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I’m a big proponent of working smarter, not harder. There are a ton of sources online where you can access free, legal content for your design. Many of these sites use creative common licenses, so make sure to review the license placed on the item before using it. For public domain photos and videos check out Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash. Sites like Freepik / Flaticon, Noun Project, and Vecteezy provide editable vector files for commercial use where you only need to include an attribution in the final work. Utilizing these resources can be a huge timesaver as someone else has done the legwork.
Education & Curiosity Strive to be constantly learning. It is impossible to know everything about these rapidly changing pieces of software. I frequently use Google to learn new
Final Thoughts Graphic design is a skill that can be nurtured without having to step foot in a classroom. Like any skill, it is one that can be taught formally or pursued as a personal interest. You don’t have to be a master in order to produce fantastic work; you just need to know where to look to find the best information and get the biggest bang for your buck. Olivia Parker, B.Tech, MPC completed her Masters of Professional Communication in 2014 to complement her Bachelor of Technology (2013) from Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson. She presently is the Innovation & Support Specialist at Taylor Printing Group Inc. in Fredericton.
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• GAM provides details and speciﬁcations for your new product demonstration / promotion campaign. • You provide the information used in the live webcast presentation. • GAM’s education team manages the webcast recording using a speciﬁcally designed platform and hosts the recordings. • Your presentation is broadcast live. It is also recorded for distribution online via all of GAM’s channels. • Marketing initiatives will drive printers to your new product promotion. • Lead inquiries will be directed to your designated contact.
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• 360 Degree Video Tour of your Facilities (If based in GTA/Golden Horseshoe) • Hosted on GAM’s YouTube channel • Posted on GAM’s Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook Pages • Hosted / posted on the newly launched www.graphicartsmag.com • Posted on GAM’s LinkedIn page • Included in one GAM’s e-news update to entice the community to engage.
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Five reasons to use printed newsletters to promote your business In our crowded online world – a world where our inboxes are often full to the point of being exhausting – printed direct mail is still one of the most refreshing, creative and effective ways of engaging potential customers. According to online searches, e-newsletters can average click-through rates from .5% up to 1.6%. However, a printed direct-mail newsletter can generate a 3% to 5% response rate. To give you another comparison, Mailchimp pegs the average click-through rate for all emails across all industries at 2.62%. Plus, according to Canada Post, marketing campaigns that integrate direct mail with digital elements elicit 39% more attention (i.e. time spent) than digital campaigns alone. Today, most companies realize that they need to incorporate direct mail into their promotional campaigns to be successful. Here are more reasons to use printed direct mail, especially printed newsletters, to promote your shop.
1. A huge purchase rate Studies show that about 66% of consumers here and in the U.S. have purchased a product because of direct mail. Printed newsletters are no exception. Today, successful business owners are revisiting this powerful and tangible marketing tool. Plus, with their more informative and entertaining style, newsletters can dominate when it comes to better engaging with customers and potential clients.
3. Stay ahead of your competition by acting now In any crisis, marketing is usually the first budget to be slashed. But most marketing experts agree that continuing to communicate with customers and potential clients – especially during difficult times – is vital. Printers are no exception, especially when they can showcase their creativity and product range in the very piece they create! Let your informative and engaging direct mail ‘masterpiece’ reflect your shop’s professionalism. “The best time to market to people is when others are not,” said Robin Sumner, Managing Director of UK marketing agency Romax. “After the initial panic subsides and society accepts the ‘new normal’, then business will return swiftly – and those that have continued to promote during that time will be well ahead of the curve.”
4. Boost your response rates with variable data Consumers today have come to expect a higher level of personalized messaging during their buying journey. One of the best ways to meet those expectations is by using variable-data printing. For example, instead of sending 500 identical
flyers to customers and potential clients, use variable-data printing to create 500 customized flyers in the same amount of time – which substantially raises your response rate. This customization can include recipient names, body text, special offers, images and more. Do you have a mailing list of current and potential customers? Now is the time to use it as businesses slowly re-open and consumers emerge from self-quarantine. Bottom line: personalized print (depending on the audience and the degree of personalization) can elicit response rates up to six times more than a general mail drop.
5. Spend your marketing dollars wisely This pandemic has put financial pressure on just about every business At the end of the day, you need to balance the inexpensive nature of e-newsletters (i.e. no printing needed) with the many advantages of a printed format – not the least of which is showcasing your shop’s creativity and exceptional print quality. Our suggestion? Why not use both? Finally, if you feel you don't have the time or the staff to create a professionally designed and engaging newsletter each month, we can definitely help. Please be sure to read the next page.
2. Showcase your shop’s print quality Give your prospects a colourful printed newsletter that they can physically hold, peruse, and above all, enjoy. Impress them with the print quality and creativity of your mailer. Printed newsletters also reflect your professionalism and a commitment to your clients and potential customers that’s almost impossible to convey with e-newsletters on a computer screen.
26 | September 2020 | GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE
Direct Mail Made Easy! Simply...
Are you too busy taking care of your customers’ printed marketing needs that you’re neglecting your own? Make it easier on yourself with monthly, ready-to-print direct mail content made exclusively for Canadian print shops by Graphic Arts Magazine.
Features and Benefits • Fully Customizable and Ready-To-Print • Engaging and Relevant Content Created by a Professional Copywriter • Four Page, Full-Colour Newsletter Format • Allows You to Connect with your Key Customers Every Month Spend more time selling print and less time in production by promoting your products and services with these helpful, engaging, professionally designed, written, and easily customizable direct marketing newsletters.
Visit our website at www.graphicartsmag.com/dm.html to learn more about this helpful new service, available from Graphic Arts Magazine in 2020.
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Get more productivity out of your staff Do you have a creative employee who is always coming up with “outside the box” ideas but when it comes to writing a report, reading copy or spelling they fall short? This may be a sign of a learning challenge. The government funds programs for employers who are willing to send their employee for training to improve their skills. If you would like to hear more about this program call us today at 905-853-3363 Let’s make everyone more productive to enhance your bottom line!
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Are you doing R&D in Canada? Get 40% – 60% of your research investment back! Are you involved in searching for investors instead of producing the printed ‘masterpieces’ that are your passion? Looking for continuous research and development (R&D) funding is a common challenge and can often become quite stressful. But imagine the freedom of being able to take your initial investment and get between 40% to 60% of it back – which, if you like, you can reinvest, and then get 40% to 60% back again the next year! The Canadian government offers great financial incentives for research that leads to a new product, process improvement, software or an app. The federal government’s SR&ED (Scientific Research & Experimental Development) program allows small to medium-size companies to get significant tax refunds and credits every year. Plus, all Canadian businesses conducting experimental development can apply to the program. Unfortunately (and not surprisingly), you can imagine that applying is not as easy or as straightforward as we would like. The Felix SR&ED team of professionals are experts at working with the federal government and the CRA (who administer the SR&ED financial incentive program) to help businesses navigate this process. Our expertise began in 2010 when three PhD graduates with 20 years’ experience as academic scientists, launched a company with a mandate to work with universities and industries to develop technological solutions to address new research and production challenges. Early on, Felix Technology learned of the SR&ED program, and spent considerable time and effort learning how to write a clear problem definition, and to develop efficient, accurate proposals that met government guidelines. Because of this learned expertise, many Felix Technology projects were financially supported for the most part by reinvesting the funds returned through the SR&ED Program. Having become successful at preparing and filing the required financial and
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technical documentation, in 2015 Felix SR&ED was launched to help other companies navigate the lucrative R&D tax-incentive program and raise capital quickly for their own research projects. Fast-forward to 2020, and we continue to meet with businesses who are wondering if they too are eligible for a large cash subsidy. We also meet many others who don’t even know about these opportunities. Some industries we’ve already helped to navigate this lucrative R&D tax incentive program to raise capital quickly include: • Digital printing • Manufacturing • Biotech and pharma • Food • IT and nanotechnology If you’re wondering if the research and development you’re doing or are planning to do qualifies, please contact me to see if you’re eligible. Felix SR&ED offer a free introductory phone call to assess your project's eligibility and estimate the amount of tax refunds and credits we believe you’ll receive. I can help you: • Confirm if your research project is eligible • Do all the background checking for you • Make sure you apply for the maximum eligible amount • Accurately complete all required documentation and file your application To learn more about how I can help your business if you’re currently conducting, or plan to conduct, Scientific Research & Experimental Development initiatives, please visit http://www.felixsred.ca/ or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (416) 802-8708. Since immigrating to Canada from Ireland in 1970, Frank Golden has been focused on making sure each and every one of his clients is well taken care of. He embodies Zig Ziglar’s quote: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
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32 | July / August 2020 | GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE
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Printing Company For Sale Established in 1991, this established company is located in Northern BC. It serves its loyal client base by offering both offset and digital services. Business has low overhead and a huge potential for growth. Only reason for sale is due to the death of a part owner. For serious inquiries, please give us a call at 250-261-2469.
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GRAPHIC ARTS MAGAZINE | September 2020 | 33
Wide-format innovation: A case study in re-invention Wide format printing has grown up since it debuted in the early 1990s, when the Iris Graphics 3047 inkjet printer was the only machine being used for digital fine art photography. It was expensive to buy and expensive to maintain – and it could only produce short-lasting proofs.
large-format print providers helping businesses open safely and in accordance with new social distancing guidelines. They’re producing face shields, protective barriers, floor graphics, signage and more – and re-inventing themselves to attack new markets - and new revenue streams.
Photographers and artists like rock icon Graham Nash, who saw the potential in this new technology, started looking for ways to make the prints long-lasting. Graham, along with his manager Mac Holbert, opened Nash Editions, which in 1999 became a beta testing site for the Epson Stylus Pro 9500, a groundbreaking large-format printer capable of producing long-lasting prints on a variety of materials. By 2002, the quality and appearance issues associated with pigmented inks were being resolved by Epson and other industry leaders, like HP. With the final barriers to adoption – cost and quality – all but removed, the wide-format print segment took off for textiles, packaging, home decor, and vehicle wrapping.
One such company is Pennsylvania-based Ace Designs. Prior to the pandemic, they specialized in visual merchandising, picture framing, and display needs. When they were declared an essential service, the entire company went to work manufacturing and donating over 10,000 face shields to local hospitals, nursing homes and frontline workers. Even furloughed employees gave up their time to lend a hand. Their goal: to help everyone they can at this time.
In its July 2020 report, amid the COVID-19 crisis, ReportLinker forecast the global wide-format printers market will reach $4 billion by 2027 – up from original projections of $3.4 billion. What began as a need to offset a shortage of critical medical PPE, has led to
If you visit their website today, you will not see production equipment, printing presses, or anything that even remotely resembles a print shop. Instead, you’ll see statements like: “Do good!”; “Be Well!”; and “Together we can do anything!”. The company’s VP of Awesome, Sheri Roberts, shared how they made the shift from being 95% retail-focused, to being safety-focused – with a line of social distancing solutions spanning curbside pickup graphics, glove & mask disposal boxes, and custom printed plexi faces (ears optional). She admits the company recognized quickly that they needed to take a step
back, look at what they did really well, and use that as a foundation to re-invent themselves. After they re-tooled their manufacturing equipment to produce essential PPE, they did what they do best: they looked for ways to break it. Sheri had learned that pushing equipment to the max is like red-lining a car – it’s the only way to see just how far you can go. Then they revamped their homepage and began building solutions that not only served a purpose, but provided relief from the “icky virus graphics” that everyone else was doing. The company continues to innovate creative solutions that keep people safe and healthy. They produced 4,000 lawn signs for graduations and discovered ways to make cost-effective, custom one-offs. Coupled with the success of their new line of safety solutions, the company is getting ready to launch a direct to consumer line of business – complete with a revamped e-commerce website. When I asked Sheri what advice she’d give other printers in the space she put it simply: “Get out of your head.” Other tips include: • Look for strategic partnerships with smaller shops • Look for areas being underserved – particularly places in the middle of nowhere • Look for creative ways to meet – from ZOOM to a socially distanced meeting outside • Look for ways to show how your solutions are helping businesses open and stay safe Armed with innovation, re-invention and creativity (seasonal floor graphics anyone?) wide-format printers can keep the revenue taps flowing – and tap into a 4 billion dollar market opportunity. Joanne Gore is a B2B marketer who’s passionate about print and has spent the last three decades helping companies maximize their marketing and communications efforts. Founder of Joanne Gore Communications, she helps companies tell their story to a new generation of print and business buyers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow her on Twitter: @joannegore121
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