Australian Printer March 2024

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LEADING THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 70 YEARS IN PRINT | SPRINTER.COM.AU MARCH 2024 2024 Print Leaders Forum Women in Print: Lily Cendo ASGA events in Brisbane and Melbourne FESPA hosts Sydney Social and Melbourne BBQ

Great work, reliability and quality really help us look good to our customers, meaning you get more work.

Thank you for helping.

Ian - 12/12/23

Thanks for everything. The book is fantastic and is the cumulation of great graphic design and excellent printing!

Thanks to you for all your help which has been more than just doing the basic job.

Jeff - 4/12/23

Thanks also for all the hard work on the split delivery this week. They look great and I know you guys worked so hard to make that happen at your end.

Daniel - 22/11/23

Wow! Thank you for the amazing service! Got my order and the customer service and updates etc. Were all very much appreciated Love them.

Sophie - 21/11/23

Just wanted to send a huge thank you for all your quoting, recommendations, advice and assistance always – I know I throw you a few curve balls sometimes!

Thanks for the quick turnaround, high quality print and professional service.

Leeanne - 21/11/23

Calendars arrived safely yesterday.

I wanted to just say thank you for such a seamless process.

The quality of the product is fantastic. I will definitely be recommending hero print!

Tim - 17/11/23





08 NEWS: Australian Printer’s comprehensive industry news

22 COVER STORY: Experience HP’s digital printing innovation and expertise shaping tomorrow’s printing world at Drupa 2024

26 CASE STUDY: An exclusive look at the first Durst P5 TEX iSub in Australia and New Zealand

28 WOMEN IN PRINT: Lily Cendo, FUJIFILM Graphic Systems

30 VIVAD OPEN HOUSE: Vivad Australia showcases Durst printers in action

32 FESPA MELBOURNE BBQ: Industry gathers for annual FESPA Melbourne BBQ

34 FESPA SYDNEY SOCIAL: Record attendance at FESPA Sydney Social

36 ASGA’S SOCIAL BOWLS: Highlights from ASGA’s inaugural social bowls nights


48 Currie Group ANZ

50 Durst Oceania

52 Ricoh Australia

54 SMARTECH Business Sytems

56 Imagination Graphics

57 OmniGraphics 58 Breen Printing 59 GSP Print 60

CONTENTS ABC Copier Solutions 80 Admag 79 All Work Crane Services 78 Allkotes 80 Bottcher Australia 74 Currie Group OFC, 22-25, 49 Cyber (Aust) OBC D&D Mailing Services 81 Dockets and Forms Australia 82 Drupa 7 Durst Oceania 5, 51 Epson IBC 77 FESPA Australia 75 FUJIFILM Australia 29 Gecko Sticker Signage 78 Halifax Vogel Group 37 Hero Print 2-3 Hilton Laminating 46 JTS Engineering 80 Labelline 76 Lamination System 76 manroland GOSS 11 National Auctions 82 Nichols Printing 76 Penrith Printing Museum 80 Periodical Press 78 POZITIVE 41 ProPrint Awards 44-45 Ricoh Australia 53 Screen GP (Aust) 21 Smartech Business Systems 55 Visual Impact Brisbane 65 Advertiser’s Index To advertise call Carmen on 0410 582 450 or
MARCH 2024
Easy Signs
63 Carbon8
66 Taylor’d
68 Pakko 69 Drupa 70 Visual Media Association 71 Print Media Centr 72 ASSETS AND LIABILITIES: How to detect who is an asset and who is a liability
industry’s biggest marketplace
61 Morgan Printing 62
Global Series
64 Lamont Print
Kwik Kopy Australia
73 SAILING TO SUCCESS: Tips for creating a
offshore team 74
DIARY: A look at what’s on in the printing



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Welcome to the first edition of Australian Printer for 2024 and our annual Print Leaders Forum. The Print Leaders Forum features interviews with those having the biggest impact on the industry – reflecting on the year that was as well as sharing their plans and predictions for the year ahead.

It’s evident from the opinions shared that 2024 won’t be without its challenges, with many predicting to see further market consolidation over the next 12 months, presenting opportunities for diversification and specialisation.

Sustainability remains top of mind, however, many businesses are now looking beyond ‘green’ products and instead, taking a more holistic view of their environmental impact.

We would like to say a big thanks to those who took the time to contribute to the Print Leaders Forum. Whether you are a supplier or trade printer, the report is an essential guide of industry knowledge, and we hope there are some valuable insights for you and your business.

Currie Group and Elitron announce exclusive partnership

Currie Group and Italian robotic cutting and automation specialists Elitron have announced an exclusive channel partnership.

The partnership will see Currie Group supply print service providers in Australia and New Zealand with the Elitron range of cutting systems for digital print, packaging, and textiles.

Paul Whitehead, Currie Group’s business unit manager – sign & display, said the partnership with Elitron is an important move in Currie Group’s continual pursuit of providing the best end-to-end solutions for Sign & Display customers across Australia and New Zealand.

“This new partnership will enable our sign & display and packaging customers to maximise the productivity of their printing devices by delivering unparalleled efficiency in finishing. With an extensive range of table sizes and models, including the fully automated KOMBO TAV-R, we will be able to address the diverse requirements of the entire market.”

Paolo Malatesta, executive director of Elitron, said his company is delighted with the new partnership.

“Elitron’s commitment to best serve all customers can only be achieved by working with the most reliable and efficient partners worldwide and, in Currie Group, we have certainly ticked all the boxes.”

Rob Mesaros, CEO of Currie Group, said the partnership is a strategically important one for both companies, and aligns ‘perfectly’ with Currie Group’s commitment to provide the ANZ market with total solutions across all its market sectors.

“Elitron is an impressive addition to our top-tier technology partnerships, with its demonstrated ability to deliver sophisticated solutions that not only meet today’s requirements but position businesses to respond to the challenges of tomorrow,” he said.

“We are delighted to join Elitron’s strong global network and look forward to working closely with their team across all business areas to ensure wide-format, and packaging printers in Australia and New Zealand have access to the latest and best solutions to support their productivity and profitability with the strong expertise and service that supports their investment.”





NEWS SPRINTER.COM.AU Managing Director James Wells / 02 8586 6101 Managing Editor Claire Hibbit / 0432 796 384
(Top to bottom) Paolo Malatesta (Elitron), Rob Mesaros, Paul Whitehead (Currie Group)
Sales Manager
Ciappara /
0410 582
Production Manager
Sarah Vella / 0406 967 559
/ (02) 9660 2113
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Agfa appoints Smartech as exclusive representative in Australia

Agfa has confirmed Smartech Business Systems will be the exclusive distributor for wide format inkjet printing solutions in Australia.

The deal represents the entire range of Agfa wide format inkjet printing products and is a 100 per cent exclusive arrangement in Australia.

Agfa sales manager, Phillip Burns, said he is very enthusiastic about the collaboration.

“At Agfa, we’re dedicated to providing print service providers with innovative inkjet printing solutions that meet their evolving needs,” Burns said.

“By partnering with Smartech, we are confident that our customers in Australia will have unparalleled access to our wide-format printing portfolio. Smartech’s industry expertise and extensive presence across Australia make them the ideal partner. I look forward to working with them and developing our business together.”

Smartech Business Systems president and CEO, Vincent Nair, said he was enthusiastic about the opportunity for growth.

Durst Oceania confirms arrival of Fluo Glow LED Inks

Printers in Australia and New Zealand can now request samples of the newlyreleased Durst Fluo Glow LED Inks.

According to Durst Oceania managing director, Matt Ashman, the Fluo Glow LED Inks provide printers with another opportunity for differentiation in the marketplace.

“This is another extraordinary addition to the Durst business and enriches our existing ink portfolio for our valued customers,” Ashman told Sprinter.

“This provides printers with an opportunity to transform their work with a vibrant point

“We are excited to announce the extension of our portfolio and represent Agfa’s wide-format inkjet printing solution for the industrial market in Australia. This strategic partnership aligns with our mission to deliver cutting-edge technology to our customers.

“Together, we look forward to helping businesses across Australia achieve their goals. Customers can expect the highest level of quality and reliability that Agfa is known for, with the added benefit of Smartech’s excellent customer support and technical expertise, ensuring unparalleled experience.”

Burns will become the country channel manager for Agfa and liaise between Agfa in Belgium and Smartech locally. He said

of difference. The Durst Fluo Glow LED Inks are now available in yellow and pink and were recently shown at the C!Print event at Lyon in France. They can be mixed endlessly to create red, orange and green tones.

the decision to appoint Smartech became very clear after analysis of competitors in the market.

“We looked at all of the resellers and most of them have a conflict within their range of products – they wholly or partially conflict with our range. Even though Smartech represents other vendors, we feel as though there is very limited crossover at that end of the market with the Agfa product range.

“Agfa is one of the strongest brands in North America and Europe and working with a digital print company like Smartech will mean that we are far more focused in the market. Smartech offers 120 staff and 30 representatives on the road and provides us with exposure to ensure that we will continue to grow,” Burns said.

“We are inviting local printers to request samples now ahead of the major trade fairs in Europe and America this year. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your prints to the next level,” Ashman said.

Phillip Burns (Agfa) and Vincent Nair (Smartech Business Systems) The Durst Fluo Glow LED Inks are now available in yellow and pink Local printers can request samples featuring the new Durst inks

Jet Technologies expands footprint with first Brisbane warehouse

Jet Technologies has opened its first distribution centre in Brisbane.

The new facility marks a significant milestone in the company’s expansion strategy and commitment to meeting the growing demand for its products and services.

The decision to establish a distribution centre in Brisbane comes as Jet Technologies continues to experience strong growth in Queensland and increased demand for its products and services across Australia.

“The opening of our first distribution centre in Brisbane is a testament to our ongoing commitment to delivering excellence and

Smartech Business Systems partners with Canon Production Printing

Expanding on the continued success of the Colorado M Series, Canon Production Printing has partnered with Smartech Business Systems to support its expansion in the large-format graphic industry.

Craig Nethercott, managing director of Canon Production Printing Oceania, said teaming up with Smartech means partnering with a company that measures success on customer and employee loyalty and satisfaction.

Operating globally across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and North America, Smartech’s customer-centric focus is on local, on-the-ground support, technology, and service. In 2023, the Australian Business Council recognised the company as an Employer of Choice.

“We are thrilled to unveil our latest collaboration to support our expansion in the large-format graphic industry,” said Nethercott.

With more than 100 years of relative history in Australia, Smartech Business

exceeding customer expectations,” said Jack Malki, director at Jet Technologies.

“Our investment in Queensland demonstrates to local and national clients our commitment to the region and that we are focused on providing them with the very best service with the convenience of inventory located nearby. This enables our clients to serve their own customers better and the results are positive for everyone.”

Spanning approximately 2,000sqm, the new Brisbane facility will enable Jet

Technologies to stock a wider range of products and accommodate larger inventory volumes.

“We invite our customers, partners, and stakeholders to celebrate this exciting milestone with us and we look forward to welcoming them to an Open House event at the new distribution centre in the near future,” said Malki.

The new facility is located at 45-49 Quilton Place, Crestmead, Queensland.

Systems is an established global industry leader provider of mailing and automation solutions, large-format and print finishing, education, and office solutions.

Vincent Nair, executive chair and CEO of Smartech Business Systems, said the partnership with Canon Production Printing represents a pivotal moment for Smartech, notably for Canon’s innovative gel technology offering, the basis for the new Colorado M-Series.

“As we look to deepen our footprint in the printing industry, Canon’s innovative UV gel technology combined with our extensive network and expertise promises to bring unmatched value to our customers,” Nair said.

“Canon’s proprietary UV gel technology has been hugely successful in both local and overseas markets and produces diverse solutions across multiple industries without compromising quality, cost, or efficiency,” said Nethercott.

Nair said Smartech is excited to integrate Canon’s groundbreaking solutions into its offerings to deliver efficiency and quality.

“Together, we are set to redefine the standards of the large-format graphics market and drive forward with a shared vision of excellence, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. This collaboration is more than a partnership; it’s a leap towards creating lasting impact in how businesses approach printing solutions,’ Nair said.

The new warehouse demonstrates Jet technologies’ commitment to the Queensland market Vincent Nair (Smartech) and Craig Nethercott (Canon Production Printing)

‘Strong future ahead’ says ASGA president Mick Harrold following AGM

The Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA) recently held its annual general meeting in Melbourne, with ASGA president Mick Harrold saying the association was looking forward to a strong future.

The AGM was held at the Melbourne Bowling Club in Windsor, following a day of meetings for the ASGA board and state representatives, and immediately prior to the association’s inaugural Melbourne social bowls event.

Reporting on the year, Harrold told assembled members that challenges continue, but the association is in a good position with a positive outlook for the 2024 year.

“Like all organisations, we have faced considerable challenges over the

Visual Connections announces board, outlines strategy for 2024

Visual Connections has finalised its board for 2024, with the new-look leadership group gathering to formulate the supplier association’s strategy for the next five years.

Board members attended the strategy session, which was convened to set the direction for the supplier association into the medium-term future, guided by its mandate to support a sustainable future for the sector.

Mitch Mulligan, managing director of Böttcher Australia, will lead the board as president, supported by Andrea Trumble, marketing manager of Pozitive Sign & Graphic Supplies, who will assume the vice-presidency. Immediate past president John Wall will take over as treasurer.

The trio will lead a team which represents a broad spectrum of the print, sign, and wider graphic communications sector. This includes long-term board members Russell Cavenagh, managing director of

past three years with our operations considerably impacted by the pandemic and associated restrictions and, at the same time, we have invested heavily in new systems and resources to allow us to deliver the level of service our members rightly expect,” Harrold said.

While this combination has made a predictable dent in operational finances, Harrold said it has placed the association in a strong position going forward.

“These investments were absolutely necessary, and they are now well beddedin, delivering significant efficiencies and enabling us to look forward with confidence to providing an even higher level of service to our members, and plenty

of new initiatives, while remaining in a financially strong position,” he says.

The executive was also confirmed for 2024, with all members re-elected unopposed.

Mick Harrold, Visual Exposure VIC, returns as president with Damian Nielsen, INbrandigo QLD as vice president. Marc Martello from Comcut Group NSW will retain the position of public officer/ treasurer, with Michael Punch, ASGA NSW, acting as secretary.

Regional committees also remain unchanged. Marc Martello heads up NSW, with Mick Harrold and Fran Thorne from Magnum Signs on the Victorian committee.

Queensland is represented by Damian Nielsen and sub-committee members Clay Wells from Bentleigh Group, Nigel Reid, Reid Signage Services, and Rhys Carmody, Status Signs.

In SA the committee is headed by Lisa Michalanney from Signageworld, who is joined by Ashley Read from Read Brothers Signs, Ian Widdop from Ecept, and Julie Rochester, Sign Concepts SA. The executive is completed by Wade French from Complete Projects who represents WA.

Luke Wooldridge will also rejoin the leadership group following his appointment as national product manager for HVG Graphics Media, as well as Mark Canavan, marketing and vendor relations manager at Graphic Art Mart, and Alex McClelland, managing director at ORAFOL Australia.

Mulligan said the association is fortunate to attract such high calibre of people to the board. He also paid tribute to his predecessor, John Wall, who led the board until the end of 2023.

“I would like to thank John in particular for his leadership over his term as president and look forward to continuing to work

with him as he serves as treasurer, and welcome Andrea to the executive, where I know she will deliver some important new insights and fresh ideas,” said Mulligan.

Achievements for the association over the past 12 months included the Visual Impact show held in Sydney, and an expanded 2024 careers program – Sign & Print Career Connections – announced in October. While the careers initiative is locked in, as is the Visual Impact Expo to be held in July in Brisbane, Mulligan said there are also a number of other exciting initiatives on the agenda following the strategy retreat.

“2023 was an exciting year, and we are set to build on that momentum as we deliver even more exciting initiatives in the year to come.”

Mutoh Australia, and Ian Martin, general manager – trade for Ferag.
Mick Harrold L-R: Mitch Mulligan, Andrea Trumble, Luke Wooldridge, Sarah Moore, Mark Canavan, Peter Harper, Russell Cavenagh, John Wall and Ian Martin (Alex McClelland absent)

Road growth drives oOh!media revenue

Cactus Imaging parent company oOh!media has reported revenue growth of 7 per cent to $633.9 million in the year to December, driven by a 14 per cent increase in the road (billboard) division.

“We delivered a solid result which highlights the financial discipline and operational improvements that are positioning oOh! to capitalise on the continued growth of out of home which remains the fastest growing media segment,” said CEO, Cathy O’Connor.

“The group is developing innovative new revenue streams while remaining disciplined on our approach to renewing existing contracts or winning new contracts. This is expected to strongly position oOh! to retain market leadership and build revenue in a rapidly evolving sector,” O’Connor said.

The group delivered a statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) of $34.6 million, up 10 per cent on CY22.

oOh! also launched its new reooh division which focuses on retail or instore signage – a market predicted to be worth $3 billion in Australia by 2027. In its first year of operation reooh secured two long term contracts, with one major Australian retailer signing on for a pilot program in Q1 CY24.

In addition, three new contracts were secured (Sydney Metro, Sydney Metro Martin Place and Woollahra Council) representing approximately $30 million in annualised revenue upside from mid-2024.

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) reports that out of home grew 12 per cent for 2023, or 8 per cent after adjusting for the City of Sydney. Further, out of home continued to outperform other media with 15 per cent growth in agency media spend for the year compared to a 3 per cent decline for total agency media spend.

“Our focus remains on leveraging the structural growth opportunities in out of home to build profitable market share, while also diversifying into new adjacent revenue streams to deliver long-term sustainable earnings growth,” O’Connor said.

The group’s road (billboard) division delivered a strong result compared to the prior year. Revenue increased by 14 per cent to $218.4 million. Momentum continued into the second half with 2H revenue up 16 per cent compared to the prior corresponding half.

Revenue in street furniture and rail increased by 1 per cent to $197.7 million. Revenue increased in the second half, up 4 per cent on the prior corresponding half, following a decline in the first half which was impacted by the previous introduction of a competitor’s significantly expanded City of Sydney offering in September 2022.

Revenue in the retail format increased by 2 per cent to $145.2 million compared to the prior year. oOh! expanded its retail digital footprint by adding 380 new digital panels to more than 44 new and upgraded centres.

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Cathy O’Connor

Heidelberg launches inkjet system Gallus One in Asia Pacific

Heidelberg has launched the company’s first fully digital label press, the Gallus One inkjet press, into the Asia Pacific market following a four-day label printing open house at Heidelberg Indonesia’s showroom in Jakarta.

Heidelberg welcomed 230 delegates from the Asia Pacific region at the open house event, with Dario Urbinati, CEO of the Gallus Group, and Thomas Frank, Heidelberg’s regional director for Asia Pacific, also in attendance.

The open house provided attendees the opportunity to see live demonstrations of the Gallus One inkjet press and the Gallus Labelmaster 440 flexo press.

Gallus One is equipped with a range of automation features, to ensure the most competitive TCO while maintaining the highest print quality, consistency, and reliability. Additionally, with the fully digital printing press, ease of operation is taken to a new level by including a newly developed automated print head cleaning method, eliminating the need for manual cleaning and extending the lifespan of the print heads.

Gallus One can print 70 meters/minute, even with high opacity white of up to 85 per cent. It has a printing width of 340 mm

BJ Ball NZ appoints new CEO

Sustainable paper and packaging solutions business BJ Ball has announced the appointment of its new CEO, former Caspak general manager, Daniel Telfer.

With the recent departure of outgoing CEO, Richard Hislop, Telfer has commenced his new position heading up BJ Ball.

A former customer of BJ Ball for more than 10 years as managing director of Interpac Packaging, Telfer is no stranger to the industry.

During his time at Interpac, prior to its sale to Huhtamaki Foodservice, Telfer was immersed in the print and packaging industry and knows it well.

and is able to print on a wide variety of self-adhesive materials such as papers and plastics as well as unsupported materials.

Gallus One can also be fully integrated into the Prinect workflow from Heidelberg. Developed jointly by Heidelberg and Gallus, the system combines the digital printing and software know-how of Heidelberg with the extensive expertise of Gallus in label printing.

Frank told attendees label printing is an increasingly important area of focus for the Heidelberg Group in the Asia-Pacific region.

“For this reason, we have opened the new showroom here in Jakarta, right in the centre of our region, in a country where packaging and label production are growing well above the global average,” said Frank.

His latest role was general manager with specialists in sustainable shelf-life extension for food packaging, Caspak Products.

Telfer says he is excited to be involved in the industry again and looks forward to

The launch of the new Gallus digital press in the Asia Pacific market follows successful installations in Europe and the US.

“This is a sound basis for our regional launch here. We have the infrastructure in Asia to handle press hardware, software, and consumables,” said Frank.

Urbinati and Gallus Group head of global sales Thomas Schweizer also discussed the rise of smart, connected printing and the future of the label and packaging industry during the event.

Further extensions to the Gallus One will be displayed during Drupa 2024 – the world’s leading trade fair for print technologies – which takes place in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 28 May to 7 June.

playing a role in diversifying and securing BJ Ball’s future, “allowing it to continue to be a both supplier and employer of choice for customers and people.”

The BJ Ball Group supplies paper and packaging substrates and encompasses a diverse range of business units within the paper and communication media sector. Its operational reach extends from New Zealand to Australia, the Pacific Islands and South East Asia.

Established in Sydney in 1918, BJ Ball has more than 100 years of experience servicing a wide range of customers across many market sectors and is wellpositioned for growth through product and market development.

The team at BJ Ball says it is looking forward to having Telfer on board to lead the business into a successful 2024.

High-speed demonstration of the Gallus Labelmaster 440

Spicers showcases the new Mimaki UCVJ330-160 at open house

Spicers held its first open house for the year at Mimaki’s Melbourne Showroom and the atmosphere was buzzing as customers came to check out the new and improved Mimaki UCVJ330-160.

The key focus printer, the new 330 Series UV machine, upgrades Mimaki’s flagship UV Model for high image quality, production, and application versatility.

Its enhanced features include advanced UV-LED technology, prints and cuts. It also boasts a speed of 1.7 times the rate of the 300 Series. The UV ink prints dry on a wide variety of substrates. Notably, it is also Mimaki’s first roll-to-roll product to support 2.5D printing applications.

Cameron Bongartz, Mimaki’s Victorian sales channel manager, said it is exciting to finally be putting it out there in the market, especially with Spicers. The presentation of the new Mimaki was the main attraction for the open house, and the response was significant.

“The 330 is the upgrade from the 300, and there are a couple of main differences to highlight,” explained Bongartz.

“The first is it runs 1.7 times faster, so we are getting better production speeds from our customers; the next is the dot size has changed from 7 pl to 3.5 pl. So that means less grainy and a lot smoother prints.

Women in Print launches 2024 Breakfast Series

Tickets are now available for the Women in Print 2024 Breakfast Series. The Breakfast Series will be held from 30 April and running over two weeks.

“Women in Print has firmly established the Breakfast as the must-do event in the industry calendar,” said Stephanie Gaddin, chair of Women in Print Australia and editor of Digital Image Magazine.

“The International Women’s Day theme for 2024 is Count her in: Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress, and we invite all companies across our diverse industry to invest in their teams at this year’s breakfast.”

“The dual motor take-up rollers mean it handles bigger print runs, and the chassis is completely redesigned from the ground up for better stability and dot placement,” he said.

Interested parties include big print and signage companies, window decorators and retail sign makers. Bongartz said it fits all aspects of the market, mainly because of its specialist features, such as the white and clear ink to create the clear raised Skodex look.

“The new version has a specialised part that divides the transparent ink into layers, giving a textured feel instead of a straight up and down build. It’s perfect for wallpaper applications and labels such as wine and beer labels. It’s tactile. We call it 2.5D because it’s not quite 3D. It’s not big for signage, but for labels, it’s becoming popular because it’s a point of difference; it grabs attention.”

Bongartz said the other prominent feature is the print and cut and the ‘all in one’ versatility and the flexibility of the UV ink.

The keynote for the 2024 Breakfast Series will be delivered by Christina Bruce, a speaker, author, leader, and sales trainer with extensive corporate experience. Bruce has more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, working with teams in leadership and training capacities throughout her corporate career in Australia and APAC.

“Christina will be delivering a world-class activity-based keynote, with audience

“There’s not a lot of people in the market that have print and cut, white and clear ink all in the one unit, and this 170 Series ink has about a 70 per cent stretch. That flexibility allows versatility because typically UV print is quite rigid.”

Mimaki sold more than 600 of the 300 models in Australia/NZ. To date, it is Mimaki’s biggest-selling unit globally. The supplier hopes the 330 will receive a similar response as it starts to phase out the 300. Bongartz believes the 330 will quickly usurp the sales figures of the 300.

“We’ll get a lot of people upgrading because of that extra speed and print quality.”

The Spicers and Mimaki team, along with representatives from 3M, conducted live demonstrations for customers of the Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX (LED UV Large Flatbed), (C)JV330-160 (Roll to Roll Eco-Solvent), UJF-6042 Series (LED UV Flatbed) along with the new UCJV330160 machine (Print & Cut LED UV).

participation. I invite and welcome all from industry, regardless of gender-identity or expression to attend. The Board of Women in Print invites all of Industry to join the equity, diversity, and inclusion conversation,” said Gaddin.

The Women in Print Breakfast Series 2024 dates and locations are as follows:

• Perth: Tuesday, 30 April 2024

– Pagoda Resort & Spa, Como

• Adelaide: Wednesday, 1 May 2024

– The Lion Hotel, North Adelaide

• Melbourne: Thursday, 2 May 2024

– ParkRoyal Monash, Clayton

• Hobart: Monday, 6 May 2024

– Room for a Pony, Hobart

• Sydney: Tuesday, 7 May 2024

– Waterview in Bicentienniel Park, Sydney Olympic Park

• Brisbane: Wednesday, 8 May 2024

– Venue to be confirmed

Aaron Holder (3M) and Scott Houghton (Spicers) Women in Print Breakfast Melbourne 2023

Ball & Doggett aim to heighten brand awareness around equipment with Roland open house

Ball & Doggett (B&D) and Roland opened Roland’s Melbourne Showroom doors to showcase its current Roland platforms, including its small format, UV, eco-solvent, and resin printers, to show support for its dealers and the Victorian market.

Over the past couple of months, Roland has released its new, small format technology, and the team at Roland and Ball & Doggett wanted to create the opportunity to showcase the new products to customers while creating market awareness around its equipment arm of the business.

Victorian hardware manager for Ball & Doggett Mike Callander said open days are educational opportunities not just for the customer, but for staff as well.

“It’s important to create market awareness for B&D in the equipment space because B&D has been a paper merchant forever, but since the acquisition of Connect Enterprises over 12 months ago, we’re building our name in the equipment space,” said Callander.

Kissel+Wolf Australia ramps up sustainability efforts with EV rollout

Kissel+Wolf Australia is ramping up its sustainability efforts, with the company currently in the process of transitioning its fleet to electric and hybrid models.

Jamie Weller, MD of Kissel+Wolf Australia, said the move to electric aligns with the company’s commitment to sustainability and forms part of its broader sustainability roadmap for 2024.

Kissel+Wolf has undertaken several key commitments, including initiatives to minimise waste, optimise energy consumption, reduce machinery and chemical emissions, and implement eco-friendly practices throughout its operations.

“It’s also an opportunity to bring our B&D staff in to get familiar with the equipment.”

Since the acquisition, Callander said Roland has been a massive part of B&D’s growth.

“Roland is one of our leading equipment brands. This day allows us to bring our customers into their showroom to view the equipment we don’t have in our showroom at our Dandenong South Branch.

“It’s about educating the customer on what (these printers) do. If I can get a customer in

In addition to the new fleet, Weller said the company is “actively exploring new strategies and technology to enhance our eco-friendly practices and contribute positively to the environment throughout the textile and packaging sectors”.

Beyond sustainability, Kissel+Wolf’s main priorities for 2024 will encompass innovation in technology, furthering its customer-centric approach, and expanding its service offerings, with

front of a machine demonstrating it, you’re well and truly on the way,” said Callander.

Models on show were the new Roland BN220, a desktop model with print and cut capabilities for stickers and labels, and the Roland Versa STUDIO BD-8 Desktop UV printer for printing on a wide range of objects and promotional merchandise such as golf balls, USB sticks, and textile applications.

Other printers on show included the Roland AP640 resin printer and the Roland LG UV printer.

Weller, who took up the role as MD in September 2023, noting there are also plans to expand the Kissel+Wolf team.

“Specific roles and service categories are currently under consideration, and we are excited about the prospect of welcoming new talent to our growing family,” said Weller.

“We are enthusiastic about the journey ahead and remain committed to delivering unparalleled solutions to our valued clients. Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we continue to evolve and make strides in the print industry.”

In December, Kissel+Wolf announced the appointment of industry veteran Bruce Caldwell as the new sales manager ANZ for corrugated packaging – sign and display. Caldwell said his focus remains on helping customers find the best solutions for their digital print requirements.

“Our portfolio provides a wide variety of press options for small, medium, or large print providers. Whether their needs are UV or water-based, automated, or hybrid there is a tailored solution available.”

Jestin James from Kissel + Wolf Australia’s technical support team with his EV Mike Callander (Ball & Doggett) and Andrew Poperechny (Roland DG Australia)

Epson global president visits Australia for local subsidiary’s 40th anniversary

Epson CEO and President Yasunori Ogawa recently visited Australia to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary.

Visiting Australia for the first time since 2018 and the first time as president, Ogawa joined more than 150 staff for the anniversary of the formation of Epson Australia in Manly on Sydney’s northern beaches.

In an interview with Ogawa, Australian Printer asked if there was a special message he would like to send to local commercial printing customers.

“We would like our customers in Australia and New Zealand to understand that Epson is extremely focused on sustainability and our technological innovation is what we call – Efficient, Compact and Precise technologies – that is naturally good for the environment. We would like to send this message to our customers in the Oceania region,” he said.

“For Epson, it is not just about sustainability but being able to react to customer needs. We know that companies who introduce our products and use these products will open up new revenue streams as well. This relates to opportunities not just in garment printing or fabrics, but also labels and large format print as well as the reproduction of photography.

“In the large format area – changing analogue printing to digital printing with sustainability in mind. This includes products such as direct to garment printing or fabrics – what this means is again replacing analogue with digital processes which makes it much easier for the customer to use and enables smaller production opportunities. This enables customers to react very quickly and with flexibility.

“In consumer printing we are focusing on phasing out the cartridge models in favour of EcoTank which dramatically reduces the consumable waste and in the office,

we are changing the mainstream laser printers to inkjet that uses significantly less electricity,” Ogawa said.

Over the next two to three years Ogawa said he is looking to increase the applications for Epson’s print heads.

“Until now, we have mainly used our print heads for paper and fabric. We are thinking of expanding that and one area that has already started, is printing the wiring of LCD and OLED panels. Another characteristic of our print heads is that we make a very large number of them, so we have economies of scale and make them at a competitive cost. We sell our print heads to a lot of Chinese manufacturers, who are looking to make low-cost machines, and there are lots of people who buy these products, while Epson targets the higher end performance machines.

As a passionate advocate for environmental circularity, sustainability and with a target to become undergroundresource free, Ogawa shared two innovative technologies that he seeks to commercialise over the next five years.

He said Epson’s PaperLab product that uses ‘Dry Fiber’ technology which de-fibrates paper, and turns waste paper into new paper could be used to make a plastic pulp.

“Using this technology you can make a hard plastic like substance. Recycled plastic is quite weak and expensive to purchase so we don’t use much of it at the moment, however if we can develop our Dry-Fiber technology we can develop a very durable plastic-like substance. It is still under development and we are strongly focused on developing and commercialising it and using it in our products. If we can do this, we can make our products in a circular environment, without using new substances.

“We are also working on metal recycling as we are a manufacturer of semiconductors. Some of our unused silicon wafers can be melted down and we have a company in Japan that makes metal powder that can be used to make electronic components, metal moulds as well as substances for 3D printing. We also want to use this technology to create components for our products and last year we built a factory in Japan to do this.”

As president, Ogawa has focused on creating an open-minded corporate culture in which employees can express opinions and maximise potential. He has said publicly that the company should understand issues faced by its customers and society, and leverage its efficient, compact, and precise technologies to help solve these issues.

Craig Heckenberg, MD, Epson Australia and New Zealand, and Yasunori Ogawa, Epson President and CEO

IVE CEO Matt Aitken shares packaging strategy after half-year results

IVE CEO Matt Aitken has shared the next stage of the company’s packaging strategy after announcing half-year results.

Aitken told Australian Printer IVE intends to build on the recent JacPak acquisition.

“It’s early days with our move into folded carton packaging through the acquisition of JacPak and everything is going well.

“Our near future focus in the packaging space is to fill the available capacity at JacPak and organically build a packaging capability into our Silverwater site in Sydney to complement the JacPak acquisition,” Aitken said.

Speaking about the half-year results, Aitken said it was a “very solid result”.

IVE reported revenue of $506 million, up 0.6 per cent from $502.8 million for the six months to 31 December 2023. The group delivered a solid first half performance with EBITDA and margins up on a strong prior corresponding period (pcp).

More than 90% floorspace booked at Visual Impact Brisbane

Visual Impact Brisbane has 90 per cent of floor space already booked, with online visitor registrations now open. The show, which is owned and organised by Visual Connections, will be the first in the sunshine state for six years.

Supported by Platinum Sponsor Roland DG, and Gold Sponsors Avery Dennison, Epson, Graphic Art Mart, HP, Spicers and Trotec, the show has already attracted a list of exhibitors which represents most of the industry’s leading names, promising comprehensive display of everything from software and workflows to wide-format print, fabrication, illumination, engraving, laser cutting and more.

Visual Connections events manager Charly Blades said there are still stands

EBIT included a non-recurring Ovato (Warwick Farm) loss of $5.6 million, while NPAT was also impacted by higher net finance costs.

“Given the more uncertain economic landscape, I am pleased with the first half result which was up relative to a record prior period that was partly buoyed by the post Covid-19 recovery,” Aitken said.

In October 2023, IVE acquired Melbourne-based folding carton player, JacPak, which currently generates annual revenues of around $45m. The total purchase consideration for JacPak was $35m including $28 million paid on completion, $4 million payable as deferred consideration (subject to 12-month performance hurdles) and the assumption of $3 million of equipment finance leases.

available – but suppliers who want to take advantage of the opportunity will need to be quick.

There will be an educational element to the show, but this year the focus is on delivering maximum value for minimum investment of time, with a program the organisers are calling ‘Expert Connections’.

“We’ve seen excellent attendances at recent shows, with industry businesses keen to see and experience the latest

During the two months since acquisition, JacPak contributed revenue of around $7 million which according to the group, was broadly in line with expectations.

By the end of FY24, IVE expects to unlock annual cost synergies of around $2.4 million across procurement, operational efficiencies, finance, and administration, after which the business is expected to contribute annual EBITDA of around $8.4 million and NPAT of around $3 million. JacPak currently has $15 million of available capacity for potential organic revenue growth. Over the near term, IVE said it is confident of utilising that capacity through new or expanded customer relationships which would increase JacPak’s annual revenue to around $60 million, EBITDA of around $11.9 million and NPAT of around $5.5m.

In addition to organically growing JacPak’s standalone revenues, in FY25 IVE intends leveraging the operational footprint of the group’s Silverwater commercial printing operation (via the addition of new finishing equipment) to support up to $30 million of annual packaging revenues.

Over the medium term, investment in additional equipment would add a further $60 million to capacity resulting in the group achieving its stated ambition of building a packaging business with annual revenues of around $150 million.

technologies and innovations and make major investment decisions after enduring such long breaks during the pandemic, Brisbane is shaping up as no exception to this,” said Blades.

“Visual Impact only runs for three days, and we know that many visitors can only afford limited time away from their businesses to attend, so the sessions in our Connections Centre will be short, snappy and laser-focused on the topic at hand, whether that’s economic or business updates, market trends, expert opinions, or sessions on various technologies and innovations.

“The idea is to make sure visitors can gather plenty of knowledge, insights and ideas, as well as connect with experts who can really deliver value to their business, without taking too much time away from the exhibition itself.”

Visual Impact Brisbane will run from 10am to 5pm on Wednesday 17 July and Thursday 18 July, and from 9am to 4pm on Friday 19 July, at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre at South Bank.

Charly Blades

Graphic Arts Supplies appoints sales manager as WA expansion gathers pace

South Australia-based Graphic Arts Supplies has appointed former Starleaton executive Len Page as state sales manager for Western Australia as the large format supplier continues its expansion.

“Len brings a wealth of knowledge in large format equipment with more than 20 years in this industry and the Perth market,” said Steve Murphy, sales director of Graphic Arts Supplies.

Perth-based Page was previously state manager for Starleaton. Prior to that, he was national service manager. Page has also previously held sales and management roles for DES, Anitech Services, Imagetec Solutions, and BG Australia.

“Graphic Arts Supplies is a leading Epson, Mutoh, and Roland DG Dealer and Len is already well trained in these core brands,” said Murphy.

Konica Minolta appoints new chief marketing officer

Konica Minolta has appointed of Melissa Dempsey as chief marketing officer in Australia and New Zealand.

The appointment is part of the company’s ongoing brand transformation efforts and solidifies Konica Minolta’s market presence in the region.

With more than 20 years of experience in the technology sector, Dempsey brings a wealth of expertise, having led high-performing teams in multinational organisations like Norton LifeLock and Symantec.

In her role, Dempsey will be crucial in supporting the company’s customer experience (CX)-focused transformation.

Her primary focus will be reinforcing Konica Minolta’s leadership in print and imaging technology and establishing the brand as a trusted partner for managed IT services.

Yohei Konaka, managing director of Konica Minolta Australia, said Dempsey’s

Graphic Arts Supplies first launched in WA 18 months and has since significantly increased its stockholding to keep up with customer demand, Murphy said.

“Graphic Arts Supplies’ view is that Perth and the broader WA market is a very important market and one that we take very seriously. While other players may focus on the eastern seaboard, it is Perth that we think has the best potential for growth.

“With the sad downfall of Starleaton, a lot of customers in WA and Perth have been let down and we want to quickly assure the market that we will be there to help and carry good stocks of ink and other consumables. As a result, we have spoken with suppliers regarding our intention to help support this market and give customers choice.”

Murphy, along with his business partner Michael Clarke, acquired Adelaide-based Graphic Arts Supplies six years ago.

Since then, the company has doubled in size and staff, and is anticipating 20-25 per cent revenue growth this year. The Adelaide-based company is also open to acquisitions, with the large format supplier aiming to double its footprint by the end of the year.

strength lies in her ability to understand customers and partners and drive positive transformation.

“Melissa brings a wealth of industry experience and a proven ability to understand our customers and partners, collaborate with global teams, and spearhead positive transformation for the Konica Minolta Australia and New Zealand teams.

“Konica Minolta has been developing new technologies and innovative solutions for over 150 years, and Melissa’s unique skillset will ensure that traditional print customers continue to be supported by a diversified set of solutions and services that

“We’re certainly open to the opportunities of either a joint venture, merger, or acquisition. We are always interested in similar sized businesses in our industry around the country that are looking to sell,” Murphy said.

“There are plans in the pipeline for an acquisition later this year which would see us double in size and give us more national reach.”

address the challenges of a modern work environment, while also bringing Konica Minolta’s services to a new generation of customers,” said Konaka.

Eric Holtsmark, MD of Konica Minolta New Zealand, echoed the sentiment, stating Dempsey’s appointment is fantastic for the company.

Dempsey expressed her excitement about joining Konica Minolta.

“I look forward to working with the executive leadership team to continue to deliver value in a space that is steeped in tradition, while also investing in the future of Konica Minolta Australia and New Zealand by showcasing the new solutions and services that we’re bringing to our existing customer base.

“Strategically placing the customer experience at the core of our business, and expanding our IT portfolio, are critical steps that will strengthen Konica Minolta’s reputation as a business solutions partner, as well as a managed service provider into the future,” said Dempsey.

Konica Minolta will have one of the largest presences at Drupa 2024, which will span six inter-linked areas and two floors.

Len Page Melissa Dempsey

Tango Visuals rebrands to Tango Signs

Tango Visuals has rebranded to Tango Signs to reflect the new direction the business is taking in wide-format printing.

The new name also represents the business expanding into larger premises to house larger printing equipment.

Identical twin brothers, David and Andrew Tierney, established their printing business in 2015 after their employer went into liquidation.

David said the move to rebrand represents the company’s growth and service to be all-encompassing.

“Tango Visuals was born from an idea that we just wanted to provide as broad a service as possible. We established Tango Visuals in 2015, but post-COVID, we shifted to more manufacturing because of a strategic staff hire.”

The injection of expertise led to the business producing more in-house

Print industry mourns passing of industry legend John Fisher

The print industry is mourning the loss of John Fisher, one of its much-loved leaders.

Fisher started in printing when he joined the family business, Specialty Pack established by his father Jack in the 1950s.

In the 1960s the company became John Fisher Printing, and John successfully ran the business in Bathurst Street, Sydney, before it moved to Marrickville where it remains today.

Fisher will be remembered as having a magnetic personality and being a great supporter of the industry. He worked tirelessly with PATEFA/PIAA, the Paper Council, as well as the LIA, serving as a past president and a life member of the Association.

He hosted the National Print Awards and was awarded ‘Australian Graphic Arts Person of the Year’ in 2000, a significant achievement. In his spare time, he was

fabrication and illumination work that was previously outsourced.

The brothers invested in new equipment, and the new business moniker Tango Signs better reflected the company’s new offering.

“We still do a lot of soft graphics, and a lot of vehicle wraps and wall graphics, the traditional type stuff, but we thought Tango Signs was a good way to incorporate what we’re capable of these days,” said David.

The move to the new premises also signals new beginnings for Tango Signs, including

secretary and life member of the Manly Rugby Club.

Known for his outgoing, fun-loving attitude, Fisher was a devoted family man and a print industry colleague who took pride in his business. He was fond of his industry colleagues and mentored many in their success.

The Visual Media Association’s CEO Kellie Northwood said, “We sadly report of the recent passing of a great industry leader, John Fisher of John Fisher Printing. Condolences to Tony, the Fisher family,

the purchase of a Canon Arizona from Paul Whitehead, business unit manager –sign & display for Currie Group.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the efficiencies that a machine like that can give us and looking forward to seeing what we can create.”

“Traditionally, we had a major focus in the soft graphics space; however, as we grew, so did the demands of our regular client base.

“This led us into more and more fabrication and illumination, creating some impactful activations in the event space, along with some cool structural, painted and illuminated traditional signage, which is all manufactured from start to finish in-house.

David said the changes mean Tango Signs can enter a new phase of the business with a greater and broader offering for current and future clients. He said they have a strong team of experts that will lead them along this new path of business growth.

“We are lucky to have a team constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve. Combined with an incredibly skilled in-house installation team, it has been the catalyst for our recent growth.”

and the John Fisher Printing team. Vale John Fisher.”

Colleague at Imagination Graphics, Emmanuel Buhagiar, said he met Fisher around 1988, when he called into John Fisher Printing.

“John was a very distinguished businessman, loved and respected by all in the printing industry. He would give everyone the time of day. I remember him saying, “Now what can I do for you young man?”

Buhagiar said John was tall, with a distinctive strong voice and a presence. He would take the time out to sit with you to discuss rugby and other sports and ask about your business.

“Our relationship grew stronger and stronger over the years as John Fisher Printing expanded, securing our business dealings. He knew how to look after his suppliers and workers. His son Tony and nephew Toby have followed in his footsteps continuing to drive the family business. To this day, Imagination Graphics and John Fisher Printing enjoy a healthy working relationship,” Buhagiar said.

“A true gentleman, he will be sorely missed by all in the printing Industry and his family.”

David and Andrew Tierney (Tango Signs) with Paul Whitehead (Currie Group)

A new Horizon for Currie Group as visit strengthens partnership

Currie Group and finishing specialists Horizon have entered a new era of an enduring partnership with a significant visit. Representing a new generation of leadership, the executive director of Horizon, Hideharu Hori, and managing director, Sam Miyazaki, visited Australia, marking a significant moment for both companies.

On a week-long tour, Hori and Miyazaki engaged with Currie Group’s operational team, forging stronger ties between the two businesses.

Hori, the grandson of Horizon’s founder, emphasised the connection between the two companies: “The relationship between Horizon and Currie Group is a long and close one built on similar values and a shared understanding that partnership delivers the best outcomes for everyone,” he said.

“As island nations, Australia and New Zealand are similar to Japan in that the vast majority of work produced here is done for the domestic market. We understand this type of market very well, but our partnership with Currie Group has always been vital to ensure we are up to date with what is going on here and what print service providers in the ANZ region need.”

For Currie Group, the partnership with Horizon is not just about supply but a strategic collaboration integral to their ‘complete solutions’ approach.

VMA and PrintNZ announce ANZ event at Drupa 2024

The Visual Media Association (VMA), in partnership with PrintNZ, invites industry professionals from Australia and New Zealand to attend the official ANZ night at Drupa 2024.

Kicking off at 4pm on Monday, June 3, 2024, at the Drupa Exhibition Hall in Dusseldorf, the ‘after-party’ event sponsored by industry partner Ricoh

According to CEO Rob Mesaros, “Over many years, Currie Group has grown its stable of brands through partnerships with pioneering manufacturers like Horizon – in this case, enabling us to provide innovative, reliable finishing solutions to complement print production.”

“It is more than a supply arrangement. We are close at all levels. We have open access to Horizon’s technical experts and regularly factory-train our service technicians, so that we can continue to meet our commitment to outstanding service and support as markets develop and Horizon technology continues to evolve,” he continued.

Visitors at Drupa can expect an extensive display from Horizon. With more than 1600m2 of exhibition space and 16 systems on display, including at least five new products, Horizon aims to highlight

includes a welcome reception hosted by Drupa organiser, Messe Düsseldorf.

Print NZ and VMA encourage all Australian and New Zealand industry delegates to attend.

highly automated workflows with features such as robotic arms and AGVs taking centre stage.

“You will see our systems and equipment in action, both on our booth and in the booths of our partners. In total, we are bringing over 450 pieces of equipment to Germany,” says Miyazaki.

“Coming together when we’re on the other side of the world builds comradery and networking opportunities that create strong bonds, as well as networking with our international peers who will be included in the event invitation,” said Kellie Northwood, CEO, Visual Media Association.

The VMA welcomes Ricoh’s ongoing industry partnership and support of the ‘after-party’ event.

“Ricoh continues to support our industry and promote collaboration and networking; I thank them again for their partnership with our members across Australia and New Zealand, even all the way over in Germany,” said Northwood.

Marcus Robinson (Currie Group), Hideharu Hori (Horizon), Rob Mesaros (Currie Group), Sam Miyazaki (Horizon), Alan Tam (Currie Group) Marcus Robinson (Currie Group), Hideharu Hori (Horizon), Sam Miyazaki (Horizon), Rob Mesaros (Currie Group), Alan Tam (Currie Group)

Visual Media Association shares industry opportunities with school leavers

The Visual Media Association (VMA) has announced a re-commitment to its School Leavers Program in partnership with The Smith Family. The first round of workshops for Year 10s will kick off at McClelland College in Frankston, Victoria, at The Smith Family ‘Future Talk’ sessions.

The sessions are designed for industry mentors to meet with students via a round-table short workshop approach to share their career journeys, discuss the various roles across the industry, and discuss their job roles to inspire and spark curiosity in the next generation of industry leaders.

Working in small groups of five to eight students at a time, the mentors are asked to share their career journeys with students looking to build their futures.

The VMA has built interactive activities to showcase the breadth and opportunity of print to explore career opportunities from apprentices to cadetships, sales to finance, and more that the print and visual media industry offers.

“This is our third year working with The Smith Family, and the relationship is growing in strength from Perth to Melbourne and now nationally. It is really

PacPrint date and location confirmed for 2025

Visual Connections CEO Peter Harper has confirmed the date and location for the largest exhibition in this region – PacPrint 2025.

Harper told Sprinter the next PacPrint will be held at the Sydney Showgrounds in Homebush from 23-25 May 2025 after meetings took place with the co-owner of the event – Visual Media Association.

Previously known as PrintEx, the decision has been made to reduce the number of exhibition brands and PacPrint will be the brand used by Visual Connections and the Visual Media Association moving forward.

exciting to see how our industry is now building a voice for the next generation,” said Kellie Northwood, CEO, VMA.

“Often, our industry is under-promoted, and bringing the industry directly to these wonderful teens is a terrific opportunity. The best part of the day is watching the ‘ah-ha’ moments when we talk about the role print plays in everyday life. Bringing our members along with the VMA team is also really powerful, and we encourage members to get more involved.”

VMA members are also welcome to attend and share their careers and the future pathways for school leavers across their businesses and industries.

Upcoming event schedule


• Wednesday 24 April – Collingwood College & Fitzroy High School Combined – Future Talk

• Thursday 16 May – Manor Lakes College – Future Talk

“PacPrint will be in Sydney for the first time ever as it has only ever been held under the PrintEx name and it is locked in to be held at the Sydney Showgrounds,” said Harper.

PacPrint has traditionally been held within 12 months of Drupa, making it a real

• Thursday 16 May – Wyndham Central College – Future Talk

• Thursday 23 May – Mount Clear College – Job Jump

• Thursday 18 July – Phoenix P-12 Community College – Sebastopol Campus – Job Jump


• Thursday 30 May – Tullawong State High School – Career Talks

• Wednesday 7 June – Burnside State High School – Trade Focus Ute Day –Maroochydore

South Australia

• Monday 27 May – Playford International College – Career Expo

Western Australia

• Thursday 23 May – Thornlie Senior High School – Career Expo

• New South Wales:

• Tuesday 9 April – Warrawong High School – Mock Interviews

flagship event because we show new technologies and innovations that were released at the international show in Australia for the first time.

“PacPrint next year will be no exception – we expect to see a wide range of Drupa releases on stand, in demonstration and available to order. It is going to be a mustattend event, particularly for the many ANZ businesses who will not be able to make it to Dusseldorf. PacPrint next year will also be co-located with the Visual Impact Show and the Label & Packaging Expo and for the first time at PacPrint – the Fine Arts exhibition.”

PacPrint was last held in 2022 in Melbourne after being delayed from its scheduled date in 2021 due to Covid. More than 7,000 visitors attended the 2022 event and millions of dollars in business were transacted during the show.

The VMA has announced a re-commitment to its School Leavers Program Peter Harper
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Discover the future of printing with HP and Currie Group

Experience HP’s digital printing innovation and expertise shaping tomorrow’s printing world at Drupa 2024.

In the wake of digital transformation, the global commercial printing and publishing sectors are undergoing a significant shift in demand patterns.

Here, HP and Currie Group examine some of the emerging trends shaping future market opportunities as well as the innovations set to be on show at Drupa – the world’s leading trade fair for print technologies.

Print automation and digitalisation to accelerate

Companies across all sizes are prioritising the digitisation and standardisation of

processes to optimise production efficiency and profitability.

Commercial printing is continuing its digital transformation embracing shorter print runs, print-on-demand, and variable data capabilities.

While 2023 saw meaningful progression in automation across finishing and pre-press workflows, we anticipate an even greater push in 2024. Customers especially want to minimise human touchpoints in production to optimise efficiency, capacity, and cost as volumes rebound.

HP is facilitating the drive towards ‘lights out’ manufacturing capabilities. One such example is the HP Site Flow, a manufacturing execution system that is fully integrated with HP Indigo digital presses, available through PrintOS, HP’s cloud-based platform.

This system enables the automation of print workflows and the processing of volume-driven print jobs in an efficient and timely manner, allowing for unattended operation and scalability to handle varying workloads.

Over the next year, data analysis and AI will increasingly help converters

Nac hum Korman, VP, Worldwide Industrial Print GTM and Noam Zilbershtain, VP & GM, HP Indigo and Scitex

improve productivity. However, digital will complement rather than replace conventional technologies in a hybrid approach for years to come.

“Automation and digitalisation are key drivers of growth and efficiency in the printing industry. By embracing these technologies, companies can streamline their operations, reduce costs, and increase productivity. At the same time, they can offer their customers faster turnaround times, greater flexibility, and more customisation options. It’s an exciting time to be in the printing industry, and I’m looking forward to Drupa to showcase how HP Industrial Printing technologies continue to evolve and shape the future of our industry.”

Innovations at Drupa will demonstrate the future of Labels & Packaging

At Drupa 2024, HP’s advances will spearhead the future of Labels & Packaging, expected to be driven by automation, finishing, and sustainability initiatives that together promise new possibilities for print service providers and their customers.

Among the HP innovations set to take centre stage at Drupa is the gamechanging HP Indigo V12 platform. The 15-metre press utilises LEPx technology that the company claims will be ‘industryaltering’ – delivering 120 linear metres per minute with 12 HP ElectroInk stations and 1600dpi image resolution.

The LEPx multi-imaging architecture incorporates six imaging engines – each making its own colour separation on the blanket belt simultaneously. The new LEPx writing heads feature thousands of LEDs to compose an image as an electrostatic field at 1600 dpi.

Also on show will be the new Indigo 200K Digital Press, developed to give digital flexible converters a competitive edge with better productivity, on-demand delivery, no minimum orders, unique designs, reduced energy consumption, and minimal waste. The new press is based on digital technology for digital flexible packaging and a successful install base of over 300 HP Indigo 25K digital presses, series 4, worldwide.

The new series 5, HP Indigo 200K Digital Press, prints up to 56 m/min increasing the

productivity of high-margin, sustainable short runs of digital flexible packaging to be delivered in days. The HP Indigo 200K Digital Press offers a 30 per cent increase in speed and a 45 per cent boost in productivity compared to the HP Indigo 25K.

The HP Indigo 200K also features HP Indigo’s PrintOS software automation capabilities for batching, ganging, and variable data, as well as faster, accurate colour match and workflow. It adds automation tools for operator efficiency, coupled with sustainable production, circular packaging, and food packaging safety.

Sustainability climbing the agenda

Sustainable printing practices continue to climb the consumer and corporate agendas.

As organisations accelerate their sustainability initiatives, print converters will conduct holistic reviews of business and workflow processes to ensure they deliver end-to-end solutions with minimised environmental impact.

Print service providers are expected to prioritise sustainability across their operations. This includes everything from eco-friendly materials and circular packaging standards to energy-efficient production processes. HP presses align with these sustainability goals, offering reduced waste and energy consumption.

Implementing energy-saving solutions can significantly mitigate the challenges of higher energy costs and material prices. Solar panels, UV LED lamps, automated

ink mixing systems, and transitioning from analog flexographic to digital printing deliver measurable impact.

“With important topics such as sustainable packaging and environmental stewardship being top of mind for us all both personally and professionally, we have seen the industry discourse altered by new and compelling narratives. Sustainability discussions led by global leaders have now filtered down into the everyday discussions we are having with our customers and are high on the agenda when considering technology requirements. The emphasis has shifted to technology that demonstrates reduced power consumption and that uses environmentally friendly consumables and ecologically considerate materials. So, the tables are turning on how to lead the sales process, giving digital printing an even bigger competitive advantage.”

Diversification with web-to-print offerings and new business models

Commercial printers are diversifying by expanding offerings for current clients and exploring new business models.

HP Indigo Labels application

Many are installing web-to-print interfaces to not just enable customers to automate ordering, but also upload designs to produce marketing collateral, promotional items, apparel, and more.

Web-to-print platforms drive increased customisation, speed, and an enhanced customer experience within the commercial printing sector.

In fact, Saal Digital, a global supplier of photo products for customers across the US, UK, and Europe deals with approximately 5000 online orders daily. To meet the growing demand for same-day service, it has implemented HP Indigo 15K and HP Indigo 12000 advanced digital presses, seeking its software automation and overall equipment effectiveness.

As printers adapt to changing dynamics, web-to-print allows them to efficiently handle numerous short and customised print runs on demand.

The new packaging landscape

The new packaging landscape involves managing growth, addressing more complex and more demanding packaging formats, overcoming environmental constraints, optimising brand owners’

supply chain, implementing new regulations, attracting new talent to the industry, developing new business models like web-to-pack, and welcoming new entrants from the commercial printing world.

“Industrial engineering teaches us that plant layout, materials handling, quality control and workflow optimisation using robots and software are key pillars in any manufacturing facility. In our world of print, we are looking to HP Indigo and partners such as Horizon to implement robotics, software and new innovations to address the current and future production issues/bottlenecks. By helping customers maximise valueadd activities we can ensure they have a sustainable and profitable business today and tomorrow.”

The labels and packaging industry has continued to enjoy stable and healthy growth. The global label market is also projected to exhibit gradual growth, with an anticipated 3.10 percent CAGR by 2034, surpassing US $671.6 million.

More labels and packaging converters have experienced growth from onshoring as end customers seek more stability, faster turnarounds, and reduced transport expenses.

The labels and packaging industry continues to outgrow the market, driven by trends such as SKU proliferation and the ability to optimise supply chains with on-demand printing and fast turnaround. Customers enjoyed a robust double-digit growth in flexible packaging, particularly folding cartons and premium labels.

Label converters are offering clients ondemand label and package production in ultra-short batches. As runs shrink to 50, 100, or less, fast makeready and changeover are mandatory. HP Indigo’s automated workflows allow cost-efficient short runs, empowering commercial printers to penetrate the lucrative packaging space profitably.

Join HP and Currie Group in Messe Düsseldorf, Hall 17. Meet industry experts and let HP inspire you with its production powerhouse and automation for commercial printing, labels, flexible packaging, folding carton, corrugated packaging, sign, display, and decor industries.

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IVE Group’s Brand Activations installs first Durst P5 TEX iSub in Australia

Australian Printer recently visited IVE Group’s impressive state-of-the-art production facility at Braeside in Melbourne’s south-east, to discuss the installation of the first Durst P5 TEX iSub in Australia and New Zealand.

IVE’s Brand Activations business unit is an integral part of publicly listed IVE Group, specialising in POS displays, exhibition stands and major event signage programs as well as permanent retail solutions and store fit-outs.

Australian Printer recently visited IVE’s impressive state-of-the-art production facility at Braeside in Melbourne’s southeast, to discuss the installation of the first Durst P5 TEX iSub in Australia and New Zealand.

Amongst a number of other IVE business units at Braeside, the Brand Activations site houses full-service design studios and large-scale print production, including wide formats, fabric, hardware manufacturing and fabrication with a national installation network. This is one of two operations for IVE – with the other located at Granville in Western Sydney.

The facility manages designs from idea to delivery, including manufacturing aluminium frames with silicone edged fabrics to installing and testing large

scale LED lightboxes and printing fabric for a range of displays for clients such as Tennis Australia, Myer, LEGO, BlueScope, Pandora, DFO and Officeworks, to name a few.

Upstairs from the factory is where the creative team is based, when we visited, they were working hard on client concepts and designs in Melbourne, with an even bigger creative team located in Sydney.

IVE Executive General Manager Shane Britten said the entire Braeside site is so large that motorised carts are required to get around the entire complex. It takes approximately three and a half hours to tour the facility on foot.

“It’s pretty hard to explain the size of the Braeside site and what we’re really doing here until you see it,” says Britten.

One of the most significant growth areas within IVE’s visual graphics market is in textiles and fabric, including silicon edge graphics. According to Britten this category has replaced the flags

and banners from a decade ago. Now, it’s wide-format graphics cut, shaped, mounted, and laminated that clients are after.

Starting at IVE in 1987, Britten speaks with trade experience and wisdom, witnessing a fundamental shift in the printing game towards digital automation in his time.

One of latest products installed at the Braeside facility is the Durst P5 TEX iSub, which arrived at the beginning of 2023. Britten’s first interaction with the Durst P5 TEX iSub was the delivery of test files which were assessed alongside samples from other machines and manufacturers in the market.

“We had a series of print tests done at the Durst head office in Brixen, but we didn’t fly anyone over – so it was bought sight-unseen. We had some post-COVID shipping delays at the time, which probably put us back two months, but this worked out as we were moving the business from Carrum Downs to here at the time.

Durst Oceania sales manager - large format print and textiles, Julian Lowe and IVE executive general manager Shane Britten.

“We chose the Durst P5 TEX iSub because the quality was better, and the fine point type was easier to read, and barcodes were clearer. The images were more vivid and represented exactly what our clients like. The ink was softer and not as brittle as others, and it felt more flexible once printed. We wrap things around corners and fold them up; you don’t want that to impact the quality and you don’t want it to crease. If you get a solid printed fabric and it’s full colour, and you unwrap it, and it’s got cracks through it, that’s not good.

“We chose the Durst P5 TEX iSub because the quality was better, and the fine point type was easier to read, and barcodes were clearer. The images were more vivid and represented exactly what our clients like.”

“Now, we direct everything to the Durst. It is quicker, consumes less ink and less power, and it’s easier for the guys to load. Only when there is a bottleneck do we direct jobs to other machines,” Britten said.

There were a few technical aspects required to install Australia’s first Durst P5 TEX iSub – particularly the requirement for a temperature-controlled environment.

“This last year has been quite an unusual season in Melbourne. This has been challenging as we have days of 20 degrees, 30 degrees or 35 degrees; and then the next day, it’s 16 degrees. High quality fabric printing machines don’t like temperature variations. You’ve got to remember that this was also the very first Durst P5 TEX iSUB in Australia, so there has been learning on both sides. The optimal temperature for the printer has been around 20-24 degrees and the temperaturecontrolled location has been an important part of the installation process.

Britten said that the Durst P5 TEX iSUB has already started to win work for IVE Group.

“There is a customer we did print tests for and as a result we picked up work purely on the way it reproduced their solid colours – black and yellow in particular,” he said.

“Generally, clothing retailers are very happy with the results they get on the machine – and they are all major brands. You need the iSUB to support the bigger offer, and for fashion retail, that’s the most critical –particularly the windows of some of Australia’s leading fashion brands. It’s all about the face and more importantly the complexion, the look of the garment and the logo. They are three things you must be able to deliver on. You can’t only do two of them. The biggest challenge for

us is that all of these customers’ brands have spring and summer season launch at the same time. And it’s bigger than just the fabric for us – it’s all the other elements as well. They all have to look good. It’s quite multi-faceted. All sorts of bits go into a campaign, and they all try to be different.

“We have found the output from the Durst to be very good. Events and short turnaround work has not been a problem as previously we would have had all the machines running on one job rather than being able to do other people’s jobs on those machines and not have people wait. The other benefit of the Durst P5 TEX iSub has been less rework and we haven’t missed any deadlines for our clients. It consumes less ink and there is greater uptime as well, which is huge. Uptime is a big one for us and the Durst has been very good. It was better than we thought it would be – much better than expected,” Britten said.

Developed four years ago, Durst Oceania managing director, Matt Ashman said the P5 TEX iSub is a game changer for soft

signage and fabrics. It is a dye-sublimation printer with an integrated inline fixation for a one-step direct-to-fabric printing process.

The Durst P5 TEX iSUB contactless fixing technology ensures quality colour consistency and extreme sharpness of images and text, eliminating blurring and bleeding. The printer is not limited to direct printing; transfer papers can be used and processed as usual. In the European and US markets, Durst has experienced strong sales of the P5 TEX iSub, and this is now replicated locally.

“Since the IVE purchase, there have been additional installations in the local market, and I am pleased to confirm that many more machines are ‘on the water’ as we speak and will be installed before the end of 2024.

“This machine proves the fact that textile printing is no longer a niche. It is now mainstream – and is an ideal complementary printing technology solution for businesses looking to expand their offering into an adjacent category.”

IVE Group’s Brand Activations business installed the first Durst P5 TEX iSub in Australia and New Zealand.

Lily Cendo shines as a star in the commercial print industry

In a world where the print industry is largely male-dominated, Lily Cendo is a beacon of resilience, expertise, and leadership.

In a world where the print industry is largely male-dominated, Lily Cendo is a beacon of resilience, expertise, and leadership.

With a background in chemistry, Cendo has not only made significant contributions to the Australian printing sector but has also navigated the challenges of a traditionally male-dominated industry for more than two decades.

As the recently promoted operations manager for the FUJIFILM Graphic Systems business, Cendo manages the inventory and press chemistry consumables and plates division, overseeing a team of 15 at the head office in Campbellfield within a team of 40 nationally.

Cendo’s journey in the print industry began in 1999 at DS Chemport in Campbellfield, where she initially served as an assistant to the chief chemist, Anthony Seric. Her early responsibilities included quality control and assessing raw materials, laying the foundation for her eventual transition to a product development chemist. This shift marked the beginning of Cendo unique perspective and her ability to connect with people, a quality that set her apart in an industry driven by specific formulae for the Australian market.

Completing her MBA at RMIT Business School from 2002 to 2005, Cendo continued her upward trajectory within DS Chemport, eventually becoming the laboratory manager.

“It was at this point that I got married and started a family with my husband, John. I realised, for me, that if I gave 100 per cent when I was in the moment, everything would just fall into place. I realised that I could have both of what I wanted; a family and a career – I did not have to choose one over the other,” she says.

The turning point in Cendo’s career came in 2019 when FUJIFILM acquired DS Chemport, integrating it into the FUJIFILM Graphic Systems business. Reflecting on the integration, Cendo notes that “while it initially felt like a significant change, the core of what they did remained the same. The integration brought about higherlevel systems and processes, challenging the team to become more diversified and proficient in a broader range of equipment and consumables.”

Under Cendo’s leadership, the press chemistry division experienced growth and adapted to meet the changing needs of the market. The integration allowed them to supply a comprehensive range of products, from plates and plate chemistry to water-based and UV coatings. Cendo takes pride in being an Australian manufacturer, emphasising their ability to develop specific press chemistry that meets the unique needs of local businesses.

In this industry, Cendo acknowledges the importance of local manufacturing. She believes that large print and packaging suppliers are drawn to their ability to produce and develop press consumables locally. Despite a decline

in companies offering this service, Cendo’s team within the division has enjoyed organic growth, positioning itself as a reliable and flexible supplier.

Cendo expresses a personal obligation to the industry and the people who have retired. She sees herself as carrying on their legacy, emphasising the importance of local manufacturing and fulfilling orders, both small and large.

“I consider myself fortunate, to have taken on and worked with significant mentors during each chapter of my career, each guiding and pushing me, whilst allowing me to stay true to myself. I believe people are the most important element in everything that we do and my focus on people is reflected in the flexibility and strength of my team. It is their passion for customer service that allows them to deliver tailor-made chemistry from our laboratory quickly, adapting to changing customer requirements.”

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a renewed interest in Australian-made products and onshoring. Lily and her team capitalised on this trend, filling the gap left by import-dependent suppliers affected by supply chain interruptions. Operating on the ‘pay it forward’ principle, they focus on building long-term relationships with customers, prioritising their economic viability over short-term gains.

Within FUJIFILM Graphic Systems, Cendo is recognised as an unsung hero, the go-to person for troubleshooting press chemistry and consumables. The exceptional team, led by Cendo, have proven their ability to find solutions to challenges promptly, ensuring customer satisfaction.

Reflecting on Cendo’s journey and her impact on the print industry, it becomes evident that her story is one of resilience, breaking boundaries, and redefining success in the graphics field and print industry.

Cendo’s advice to her younger self and aspiring women in the industry is clear: build skills, shape your environment, and focus on creating a supportive ecosystem for women in the print industry. Cendo’s journey serves as an inspiration for women looking to make their mark in traditionally male-dominated sectors.

Lily Cendo and Ryuichi Matoba (FFAU CEO) celebrate 25 years Lily Cendo at the FFAU Laboratory Campbellfield Victoria

The Acuity Ultra R2 is a modular system with scalable architecture, meaning it can grow and change as your business evolves.

Multi-roll capability maximises productivity for smaller jobs

Auto media thickness and position measurement

Our Acuity Range is known for its excellent high quality, productivity and reliability on a massive industrial scale. Engineered with the operator in mind, LED configurations work in harmony with specialist inks to support the printing of exceptional near-photographic interior graphics and the high speed printing of banners and PVC signage.

With a throughput of over 600 m² per hour, the machine has the potential to produce huge volumes of work when printing on three rolls simultaneously, as well as printing superwide format graphics up to five metres in width.

The Acuity Ultra R2 is equipped with a media detector mounted on the carriage. This is used to determine the position and thickness of the media.

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FUJIFILM and FUJIFILM Value for Innovation are trademarks of FUJIFILM Corporation. ©2023 FUJIFILM Corporation. All rights reserved.

Vivad Open House showcases cutting-edge Durst technology

More than 100 industry members came from all over the country to check out Vivad Australia’s impressive array of Durst printers in action at the Vivad Australia Open House in Melbourne.

Ewen Donaldson, founder and owner of Vivad Australia in Melbourne’s Campbellfield opened his doors to more than 100 industry members to showcase his latest Durst printing technology.

Co-hosted by Durst Oceania, the open house allowed printing businesses to see Durst printers in action and learn of their many applications.

A loyal Durst customer of 13 years, Donaldson purchased his first Durst in 2011, including the P5 Tex iSub dye sublimation printer and the P5 350 HS hybrid printer, two of Durst’s latest printers installed in the last three months.

In an address to guests, Donaldson said it is a great privilege to be involved in such a vibrant and dynamic industry that has experienced incredible growth, and also talked about Vivad’s sustainable efforts and credentials and specialisation in large-format digital print. Moreover,

Donaldson emphasised the proliferation of large-format digital print with applications such as exhibitions, events, displays, point of sale, packaging, apparel, architecture and furnishings, providing livelihoods of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people globally.

The Durst effect

Vivad’s relationship with Durst was the event’s focus, and Donaldson spoke of his journey with Durst as a supplier before they were operational in the Australian market.

“Circa 2011, we were looking at our first Durst machine. Paul Taylor from PES, who is sadly no longer with us, had organised for Matt to take me to a company, Service Graphics in London, to demo the Durst. And I liked what I saw,” he told attendees.

“You will see this machine (Durst Rho 500R) running today after 13 years of service, which is a testament to the

reliability and the durability of Durst equipment,” added Donaldson.

Matt Ashman, managing director of Durst Oceania, said he was proud of Durst’s association with Vivad, a successful 13-year relationship.

“We’re a family company. We’ve been around for over 90 years. The 500R was the first printer I sold in Australia to Ewen before I lived here. Thirteen years that’s been running, and still running every day, producing saleable work.”

Vivad also ran guided tours around the factory including the frame making department, the lightbox department as well as the banner making department with more than 20 different aluminium extrusions Vivad has developed over the years to deliver a number of solutions for silicone-edge graphics.

One of the open house participants –Brad Parker-Hill from Premier Signage in

Julian Lowe providing an overview of the Durst equipment at Vivad

Greensborough won a $2000 Vivad print voucher. Parker-Hill won the prize after he was drawn out of a hat as one of the visitors who signed up to join the Vivtrack web-to-print printing portal.

A huge success

Post-event, Ashman expressed how fortunate Durst is as a business to have Donaldson generously share the expertise Vivad has gained over many years building his business.

“The open house at Vivad was incredible and was attended by so many key industry players,” said Matt Ashman, managing director of Durst Oceania.

“And to have FESPA participate as an industry organisation was the icing on the cake.

“There were six Durst printers on display at the Vivad open house – with the oldest being 13 years old and still running every day and supported by our service

team. This is where we like to have that partnership with our customers. If you’re successful, we’re successful,” concluded Ashman.

Donaldson said the event went beyond his expectation with more than 100 members of the industry in attendance.

“Overall, it was very well received, and we had a lot of positive feedback about the tours and I think we have forged some new friendships in the industry.”

Tyson Goldsworthy and Jessica Varey from Print Intelligence Bianca Martin (IVE) and Ben Templeton (Durst Oceania) Daniel Watts (Coritex) and Vinnie Vitetta (Vivad) Jeremy Brew (HP) and Mariano Imbrioscia (Vivad) Denholm Swann (All About Graphics) and Julian Lowe (Durst Oceania) Tyson Goldsworthy (Printing Intelligence), Madison Dunford (Printing Intelligence), Jessica Varey (Printing Intelligence), Ewen Donaldson (Vivad), Ric Daikin (Printing Intelligence) Matt Ashman (Durst Oceania), Alan Nankervis (CMYKhub) and Dayne Nankervis (CMYKhub) Alasdair Wilson (Colourtech), Bianca Martin (IVE Group) and Kim Wilson (Colourtech)

FESPA achieves record attendance at annual event in Melbourne

More than 120 members of Australia’s wide format printing industry attended the FESPA Australia BBQ – making it the largest ever Melbourne-based event in the association’s 30-year history

More than 120 members of Australia’s wide format printing industry attended the FESPA Australia BBQ at The Richmond Rowing Club Boathouse in Melbourne on Thursday 15 February.

FESPA Australia is the leading industry association representing specialty print and signage in Australia.

Attendees were welcomed by FESPA Australia president Nigel Davies, who thanked members and sponsors of the event.

Davies presented alongside Troy Cavanagh, sales director at ImageBox Group, and winner of the inaugural FESPA Future Leaders Program, who encouraged members to participate in the 2024 FESPA Future Leaders Program.

“The support of our members and sponsors makes it possible for us as an association

to be able to do the things that we care about, and one thing that FESPA cares about is developing young talent in the industry,” Davies told attendees.

Davies said that the Melbourne BBQ has been the largest in the association’s 30year history.

“This event has been going for 30 years and tonight has the biggest turn out we’ve ever had by at least 30 people. It’s been great to see people from all parts of the industry come together.”

“This event has been going for 30 years and tonight has the biggest turn out we’ve ever had by at least 30 people.

“It’s been great to see people from all parts of the industry come together,” said Davies.

“FESPA is a voluntary organisation, so we can only do the things that matter if we get the support from the industry, which we have tonight from both our members and sponsors,” he said.

“On every level, tonight’s event has been a great success. The support shown tonight allows us to go forward into this year with a great deal of confidence that we can do the things that we want to do for the industry,” Davies said.

“As an industry, we all face the same challenges, such as the shortages of talent coming through to the industry. Our talent is poached by other industries and people don’t necessarily see the industry as an attractive one but there’s no other industry that’s like it.

“Bringing people together like this allows us to share ideas and more importantly, allows us to start working towards overcoming these challenges.”

FESPA Australia president Nigel Davies presents alongside Troy Cavanagh (ImageBox Group) and former winner of the inaugural FESPA Future Leaders Program
Jeremy Brew (HP), Wayne McIntrye (Celmac) and Phil Rennell (Kornit) Nig el Davies, FESPA Australia president, addresses the record crowd Ben Templeton, Sean Ashman, Jaden Perumal from Durst Oceania Steven Lane (Accent) and Nigel Spicer (Cactus Imaging) John Wallace (Gale Pacific) Nigel Spicer (Cactus Imaging), John Hendry (Gale Pacific) Sha ne Britten (IVE) and Keith Ferrel (Cactus Imaging) Adam Parnell (Easy Signs), Matt Ashman (Durst Oceania), Keith Ferrel (Cactus Imaging), Andy Fryer (Easy Signs) Ame rico Blanco (Carr Group), Kai Hennig (Carr Group) and Kim Wilson (Colourtech) Julian Lowe (Durst), Alasdair Wilson (Colourtech) and Mark Brooks (Ancyn Screen Printing) Mic hael Gallagher (Spicers), Dean Wright (ADS Australia) and David Asker (Image Box) Arnie Roy (IVE), Stuart Gittus (IVE) and Brett Addison (EFI) Mic hael Clare, Roger Labrum, Troy Neighbour, Justin Kirkland and Glenn Conyers from FUJIFILM Graphic Systems

FESPA Sydney Social draws record crowd

The third annual FESPA Sydney Social attracted a crowd of more than 100 attendees from the printing industry

Off the back of the highly successful FESPA Melbourne BBQ, the third annual FESPA Sydney Social attracted a crowd of more than 100 attendees from the printing industry – the largest ever attended event in Sydney for the association.

Attendees were welcomed by FESPA Australia president Nigel Davies, who thanked members and sponsors of the event.

Speaking to Sprinter, Davies said this year’s Sydney Social, which was held at the Sydney Rowing Club in Abbotsford, has been the largest in the event’s threeyear history.

“The FESPA Sydney Social started with about 70 people and tonight we’ve had more than 100 attendees, which is a fantastic turnout. The event is only getting

bigger year on year, and we’re extremely pleased with the support of the industry, our members, and sponsors.”

Matt Ashman, managing director of Durst Oceania, said he was thrilled to see manufacturers and printers join forces once again in support of the industry.

“It’s always great to see everyone come together at events such as these to show their support for the industry.”

Jane Docherty, membership and communications at FESPA Australia, said the turnout highlights the increasing collaborative nature of the industry.

Tony Bertrand (Ball & Doggett) and Roger Corby (Mimaki) Bre tt Wark (Smartech) and Brett Addison (EFI) Rus sel Cavanagh (Mutoh), Matt Ashman (Durst), Enda Kavanagh (XMPie), Claire Hibbit (Printer Media Group), Neil Brener (JC Decaux), Jane Docherty (Fespa), Andrew Archer (IVE Brand Activations), Carmen Ciappara (Printer Media Group), Jonny Rumney (Celmac), Glenn Conyers (Fujifilm), Michael Boogaard (Celmac) and Michael Smith (Orafol)
Ric hard Lucas (HVG), Matt Ashman (Durst) and Graham Blackall (Durst) Bruce Caldwell (Kissel + Wolf), Mitch Mulligan (Böttcher) and Jeremy Brew (HP) Tat jana Ferguson (Ball & Doggett), Carmen Ciappara (Printer Media Group), Keith Ferrel (Cactus Imaging) and Claire Hibbit (Printer Media Group) And y Fryer (Easy Signs) and Andrew Hall (Factory One) Mic hael Boogaard (Celmac) and Michael Smith (Orafol) Rus sel Cavanagh (Mutoh), Romano Bacci (Epson), Mitch Mulligan (Böttcher) and Ryan Warburton (Epson) Gar y Di-Losa (Select Textiles), Dan Mantel (Durst), Glenn Coleman (Coleman Group) Dan Mantel (Durst), Alfred David (Pozitive) Adam Parnell (Easy Signs) Paul Cripps (EFI), Brett Addison (EFI) and Paul Whitehead (Currie Group) Nigel Davies (FESPA) addresses the crowd Chr is Bowden (HP), Paul Cripps (EFI), Paul Wilcockson (JC Decaux), Brett Addison (EFI) and Dan Mantel (Durst) Mat t Ashman (Durst), Keith Ferrel (Cactus Imaging) and Dayne Nankervis (CMYKhub) Ter ry Crawford and Masami Kasajima (Epson) Steven Badger and Andy McPhail (Canon Production Printing) Jane Docherty (FESPA) and Carmen Ciappara (Printer Media Group)

ASGA hosts inaugural social bowls nights in Melbourne and Brisbane

The Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA) held its inaugural social bowls night in Melbourne and Brisbane, with the association confident both networking events will become features of the annual industry calendar.

The bowls nights are part of a series of networking events to be hosted around the country following a successful pilot by ASGA’s South Australian Committee over the past couple of years.

“This is an idea we have had for some time and have successfully piloted in South Australia, and it’s great to be finally rolling the program out nationally this year,” said Mick Harrold, ASGA president.

“While our golf days are always popular events, we know that not everyone is partial to a round of golf, nor can everyone spare a day away from work to participate. These bowls events are designed to be a more informal way to network with colleagues after work on a Friday night, with a fun round of social bowls thrown in for entertainment.”

The ASGA Victorian Bowls Event was held at the Melbourne Bowling Club in Windsor, with more than 30 industry members in attendance. More than 40 bowlers registered for the Brisbane bowls night, which was held at one of Brisbane’s favourite barefoot bowling venues, the BOO.

Damian Nielsen, ASGA vice-president, said the bowls competition at the BOO provided a great icebreaker and a bit of fun.

“The friendly competition took second place to the socialising and networking, with everyone who came along appreciating the chance to catch up with their industry colleagues.”

Given the positive response, Nielsen also confirmed that the events are likely to become a regular on the Australian Sign & Graphics Association calendar for both states, and more social bowls nights are expected to be announced later in the year for other states.

More than 30 industry professionals gathered for the event in Melbourne Ben Kemp (Signs Effects Wodonga) and Damian Nielsen (ASGA) Kim Kennedy (Bounce LED) Brock Reddacliff (ORAFOL), and Damian Nielsen (ASGA) Pet er Scalzo (ORAFOL), Michael Punch (ASGA), Rik Price (Sign Manager), Peter McCabe (Kemsigns), and Daniel Buerker (Signs Manager) Cameron Garrett (TAFE) Andrew Shinto (Brisbane Signs and Engraving) Mic k Harrold (Visual Exposure), and Rob Skene (Hexis) The CSI Installation team Wade French (Complete Projects WA), Kim Kennedy (Bounce LED), Steph Gaddin (Women in Print), and Barbara Hadfield (KJAM Signage) Team Colourcorp
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Konica Minolta GM explains ‘Kankei’ at AccurioShine 3600 open house showcase

In a presentation held in Sydney to launch the AccurioShine 3600, Konica Minolta’s Andy Cocker shared one of the core values of the business - the definition of ‘Kankei’.

In a presentation held in Sydney to launch the AccurioShine 3600, Konica Minolta general manager of production and industrial print, Andy Cocker, provided an insight into the key values of the company – including the meaning of the Japanese word ‘Kankei’.

“At Konica Minolta, our philosophy and approach to sales and any customer dealings is the philosophy of Kankeiwhich is loosely translated from Japanese to mean partnership,” Cocker said.

“Kankei is a team of two people or in this case two organisations working together for a mutually beneficial outcome. It acknowledges that the world has changed – and it certainly has over the most recent years - but also in the world of print and production print.

“Our focus of change has four key areas: innovation, digital transformation, sustainability, and collaboration.

“Innovation and technical expertise is our heritage. We continue to challenge and to develop technology and solutions that address the changing world and the changing market.

“With digital transformation – we acknowledge that print is becoming more frequent and with less volume as we move into a print-on-demand environment. We are developing streamlined workflow solutions with less touchpoints in the process to turn around jobs faster and deliver better value for customers or clients.

“Like many organisations, we put a high level of focus and attention on sustainability and corporate responsibility. I have heard the term cradle to grave for the entire process and lifecycle of our technology – these values are always at the forefront of our mind and our business and we also support the United Nations sustainability and development goals moving forward.

“We believe in the power of collaboration of partnership and people – our Kankei approach of how we work with you and how we consult with you and understand your business to drive any solution that is put on the table that meets your growing needs and demands for the future. At the same time, we continue to invest internally within our own people to ensure that we are at the forefront of our own game and technology to better understand and advise you as well as support you.

“You may not be aware but Konica Minolta is 150 years young, and we celebrated our 150th birthday last year. We operate in over 150 countries, and we have more than 43,000 employees globally and more than two million customers.

“I am very lucky to have a great team around me and we like to work collaboratively with our customers who I would like to thank for their continued support.“

Andy Cocker (Konica Minolta)
Alan Todd presenting Paul Bartolo (Ball & Doggett) and Ash Harrigan (Snap Franchising) Andrew and Ben Lewy (Neon Dynamic Print Solutions) and Luke Mortlock (Konica Minolta) Adam Todd (Konica Minolta) and Sandra Camargo (TMA Group) Flora Zhao (Skyline Print & Design), Yohei Konaka (Konica Minolta) Emmanuel Buhagiar (Imagination Graphics) Sue Threlfo and Carmen Ciappara (Printer Media Group) Wade Marriner and Gavin Akers (Konica Minolta) George Fryer and Wade Marriner (Konica Minolta) James Rolland demonstrates the AccurioShine 3600 to John MacLulich from Pure Colours Digital Imaging James Rolland demonstrates AccurioShine 3600 to Wade Marriner (KM NZ) and Ash Harrigan (Snap Franchising) Darren Massey, Gavin Bennett and Gavin Akers (Konica Minolta) James Rolland (Konica Minolta) presenting Andy Cocker and Yohei Kanaka (Konica Minolta) George Maniatis (Konica Minolta), Perry Garofani (Worldwide Botany) and Ian Arcamo (Worldwide Botany)

Pozitive open house celebrates Summa technology applications

Pozitive’s first Melbourne open house was not only a celebration of the company’s successful landing in the market, but a showcase of its Summa technology.

Pozitive Sign and Graphics Supplies has operated its base in Melbourne for two years, but local demand for its services has meant it had no time to celebrate until now.

Managing director Phil Trumble said Pozitive’s first Melbourne open house was an opportunity to promote its successful landing in the Melbourne market and showcase the capabilities of its Summa technology.

Pozitive is the exclusive Australian supplier of Summa across the whole range, whether it’s laser, roll cutter, or flatbed. The open house showcased the Summa F Series 1612 roll-to-roll and the Summa F1 and F3.

But it wasn’t your typical open house. National equipment sales manager Warren Davey reworked Pozitive’s open house to showcase systems practically instead of talking about the standard speeds and feeds. The result was Pozitive’s Ink and Bean Café concept.

Pozitive’s application technician, David Screeche-Powell, went to work over a series of sessions printing and cutting branded coasters, stickers, floor decals, pull-up banners and more for the pop-up café on the Summa F Series 1612. Coffee was brewing, and the Ink and Bean Café was resplendent in the fruits of Pozitive’s printing and cutting systems.

“We tried to mockup a coffee shop as best we could. In less than an hour, we produced everything you see here: the tent cards, coasters, boxes, and pull-up banners. We are showing solutions,” said Davey.

“We’re not talking about speeds and feeds. We’re not talking about anything like that. Here it is look at how simple and efficient it is. That’s it.”

Trumble said another focus for the day was Pozitive’s finishing solutions.

“I wanted to bring everybody in and say, look, we know that you’ve all got printers, but what are you doing about finishing, and how are you making that efficient?” he said.

“We felt like that was something we could show differently and make it more valuable for clients. Rather than just saying here’s the machine. We wanted to show applications. We wanted to show our clients, who have this equipment, what it can do.”

The open house was a launch pad for the new Summa S3 roll cutter, and its full suite of applications was in action for customers to experience its efficiencies.

Trumble believes it is essential to convey the message of efficiency and speed to customers and to see more of this kind of manufacturing stay in Australia.

“At the end of the day, our job is to make our clients more efficient and reduce production costs. By leveraging technology, we can make businesses more efficient and more able to compete. And the more we produce in Australia, the better for our economy and us,” Trumble said.

Pozitive’s Melbourne presence has allowed the team to demonstrate equipment to the local market and streamline the customer service offering. Having the technology at hand in the Melbourne office enables the team to increase support and service levels by troubleshooting and identifying issues.

“Being able to service our guys faster is the real benefit for us because, at the end of the day, it’s a small company, and we have to offer attention to service.”

Trumble first discovered Summa at his first printing job as a 16-year-old. It was the first cutter he ever saw. Now, he says Summa is the benchmark for roll-cutting machines.

“What really sets us apart and that we love about Summa is that it only produces cutting technology. Summa is 100 per cent focused on cutting, whether with knives, lasers, or tools like routers. It’s all about cutting.

“When it comes to Summa, we’re very fortunate to partner with such a great company,” said Trumble.

Phil Trumble (Pozitive) and Christian Hanna (Newsigns) David Screeche-Powell, Warren Davey, and Phil Trumble (Pozitive)

Imagination Graphics celebrates 25 years of Budgie’s networking BBQs

Emmanuel ‘Budgie’ Buhagiar from Imagination Graphics is celebrating 25 years of his regular BBQ networking events.

Every two months, Marrickville-based printer Imagination Graphics hosts a large BBQ at its premises on a Friday afternoon for staff, customers, and suppliers.

“We have been hosting these BBQs for 25 years. They are mainly for the staff, but I also invite suppliers to come along, and I also invite our end-customers to come along as well,” said Imagination Graphics founder and owner, Emmanuel Buhagiar.

“Sometimes a customer brings a mate and then it leads to something else. It’s nothing fancy – just come along, eat and drink something, say hello.”

Located in an industrial estate in the inner west of Sydney, nestled between the most popular craft breweries in Sydney, Imagination Graphics offers a variety of services including digital printing, offset printing, graphic design and web design.

“We have built our business on friendships and relationships at the end of the day – we are an easy-going family-owned business and not a high-pressure sales environment because we thrive on service.”

Utilising the flagship Konica Minolta KM-1, Imagination Graphics produces a wide range of print from annual reports, hardcover books, brochures, magazines,

posters as well as short-run work for a large number of major businesses. According to Buhagiar, the focus this year is to continue to grow the business.

“We have built our business on friendships and relationships at the end of the day – we are an easy-going family-owned business and not a high-pressure sales environment because we thrive on service,” Buhagiar said.

“Recently I have slowed down a bit and taught my staff members Todd and Carolyn how to do more of the sales and the accounts tasks and they are going great. Of the 10 staff we have here working on the equipment – every one of them knows each other’s jobs and how to operate all of the equipment which I think is very important.”

Carolyn Mangini, Jessica Mejia (Imagination Graphics), Carmen Ciappara (Printer Media Group), Colleen Buhagiar, Sharon Tria (Imagination Graphics)
James Rolland, Gavin Bennett, Mark Bayford (Konica Minolta) Sharon Tria (Imagination Graphics) and Carmen Ciappara (Printer Media Group) Tod d Singles and Emmanuel ‘Budgie’ Bugahiar (Imagination Graphics) Chr is Jardine and Jessica Mejia (Imagination Graphics) Tony Fisher (John Fisher Printing), Emmanuel ‘Budgie’ Bugahiar (Imagination Graphics) and Toby Friend (John Fisher Printing) Har ry Singh and Jimmy Nguyen (Smartech) Paul Bartolo (Ball & Doggett), Brad Sly (Imagination Graphics) and James Merhab (Ball & Doggett) Nong Bongkotsopit, Emmanuel ‘Budgie’ Bugahiar and Iain Murrell (Imagination Graphics)


This will be BIGGER and BETTER than 2023!



6.45pm, Shangri-La Sydney

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Currie Group had an action-packed year in 2023 supporting our customers to meet the challenges of an ever-changing market. This year, we go forward with a renewed sense of purpose, grounded in our clear mission to help our customers realise their full potential by bringing to market the world’s best solutions, underpinned by our trusted service coverage.

For most print service providers, suppliers and the overall print sector, business input costs and deterioration in confidence were hot topics last year, with the major business trends and themes in 2023 centred around dealing with inflationary pressure. In this climate, some businesses have struggled. In particular, organisations which failed to diversify, and found themselves caught in declining market segments, have battled to stay afloat. We have all witnessed the consequences, with continued consolidation in the market over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, the strong are getting stronger, with market leaders investing in growth and acquisition. Many of our high-performing customers, particularly those who continue to take calculated risks and invest in the future, have come through 2023 with momentum and optimism. Throughout, our aim has been to support all these businesses to increase the strength of their existing offerings, explore potential new revenue streams, and build for the future with efficient, profitable, end-to-end solutions. This was evidenced by important new partnerships with Canon Production Printing and B&R Moll. In 2024, the industry can expect to see Currie Group continue to invest in our portfolio of partnerships.

In our Sign & Display business unit, we already have EFI and Canon Production Printing as complementary

Harnessing the power of partnerships

print vendors and we have secured a world-class partner for finishing with the announcement of an exclusive distribution agreement with Elitron for the supply of their advanced robotic cutting and automation solutions in Australia and New Zealand. Next, we need to look seriously at media.

HP Indigo also continues to innovate, and we are looking forward to bringing the revolutionary HP Indigo V12 and 200K to market in 2024. The 200K is an evolution from the HP Indigo 20000 and 25K, adding additional speed and automation, increasing the digital sweet spot for flexible packaging. The new V12 brings HP’s revolutionary LEPx platform to market, promising improved economics and speed that has never been seen in digital before. To showcase these, and other solutions, to the market, we will continue to host our successful By Appointment events.

In 2024, the program has already started with an ABG By Appointment event at the Currie Group headquarters in March. The event was an opportunity for business owners and key decision makers to consult directly with the experts and explore solutions to suit their business needs. Complementing these in-house events is our involvement in other key local and international events.

Regardless of market segment, there is continuous customer pressure to improve turnaround time. Speed to market, and general efficiency, are the focus for all customers looking to maximise productivity and profitability. As we know all too well, your workflow is only as productive as your weakest links and we often hear about one key area, such as finishing, being the bottleneck that impedes optimal business performance.

Automated materials handling and moving to low-touch, end-to-end workflows is fast becoming the key battle ground for the print industry. Other than faster and more productive machines, we expect automation and robotics which facilitate these improvements in overall productivity to be key themes at Drupa.

For Currie Group, the focus will be to continue to invest and stay true to our core strengths. As we’ve seen, the trusted partnerships we have continue to pay dividends, and investing in those longterm, mutually rewarding relationships will continue to be critical for us in 2024 and beyond. You will see us announce even more strategic technology partnerships in 2024. In addition, we will also continue to scan the market for sensible acquisition options that help us bring our mission to life.

We will also continue to invest heavily in our service capability and coverage, particularly as we bring on new vendors and enter adjacent market segments. My predictions for the industry over the next 12 months; AI, robotics, and automation will become bigger talking points than ever before. I foresee a heightened sense of action and focus on sustainability and environmental awareness. We must unite and drive aggressively towards our goals, doing everything possible to achieve cleaner, more environmentally sound outcomes.

Will there be challenges ahead? Of course! I believe we will continue to see industry consolidation – it’s inevitable. For the emerging leaders, my advice is to be bold, take calculated risks, but don’t bite off too much. As 2023 demonstrated, those who make sound decisions, strong partnerships and stay focused on the future, will flourish, in 2024 and beyond.


2023 was a huge year in the large format market and our business grew exponentially. Once again, we achieved triple digit growth year on year which clearly shows that Durst is continuing to listen to the market and deliver equipment, software, and solutions that the industry needs and wants.

Durst is committed to manufacturing and will continue to invest heavily into research and development driving innovation for years to come providing reassurance for our existing and future customers as we not only focus on our strengths with new products, while also supporting existing products. We are not a company that seeks to divest our products or outsource research and development to other businesses as we seek to grow our proprietary technology. We never seek to dilute our product offering or dispose of technological platforms.

This point was proven at the recent Durst open house where a local business was operating not one, but two brand new Durst products featuring our latest technology alongside a 13 year-old Durst machine – that still produces print every day. We will continue to support these products, regardless of age, for the foreseeable future and I am very proud to be able to support our long-standing customers.

In 2024, businesses are purchasing products based on who they can trust and who will be able to support them, rather than the old paradigm of speeds and feeds. Over the last 12 months within the Australian market, there have been some unfortunate business casualties which are

Adopting a growth mindset for 2024

always disappointing to see. The good news is that the vast majority of printing companies are showing strong growth and sharing plans with us for their reinvestment in digital equipment. These companies are exploiting the opportunities presented to them by the rationalisation in the market and they are guaranteeing their growth for years to come.

This industry relies on competition and when there is consolidation from suppliers – this can only be negative for end users. For customers – it is always better to have more choice – less choice is never good, and it would be a shame to see fewer options in the space for printers to choose from.

Printers are continuing to face pressure to deliver shorter run lengths and faster turnaround for customers. Durst customers are already well-placed to meet this challenge with on-demand digital inkjet printing delivering short runs and long runs with unattended operation and a lower barrier to entry which means such equipment has never been more attractive.

For Durst, Drupa will be a packaging show. We will demonstrate a number of solutions for printers to safely enter the packaging category with confidence, whether that be primary or secondary packaging, as digitally delivered packaging is now the current global trend.

Globally, we are observing the breakdown of category demarcation, and all businesses are now looking to new areas to grow their business and harness new opportunities – and become the ‘one-stopshop’. Large format printers are adopting

flexible packaging and label converters are adopting folding carton printing. This will manifest itself into many exciting solutions – and Durst is perfectly placed to deliver these solutions to the market.

Software continues to be a booming business within the Durst portfolio as we continue to innovate and see huge success with our software solutions globally as well as in the Australian market. We were latecomers to the software area – but that has enabled us to create cutting edge software that is completely agnostic using the latest technology to deliver solutions that make a real difference to businesses in the printing space from RIPs to workflow solutions and online technology through to full business management, ERP and MIS solutions. These software solutions are backed by the Durst Group and its world class support as well as considerable ongoing investment into research and development.

With our acquisition of Aleph, textiles continues to be an area of growth. Durst has always been strong in soft signage, high end apparel and home furnishings, but now having the cutting-edge technology developed by Aleph, we have solutions to fill the mid-range tier. The latest report from the Australian Fashion Council supports this showing that domestic fashion and textiles is a growth industry within Australia.

We look forward to seeing many existing friends and future friends at Drupa. We will be showing exciting solutions that have to be seen to be believed. Join us for an espresso or macchiato in the morning and a beer or aperitivo in the evening – you can always be assured of a warm welcome at Durst.

Matt Ashman Managing Director Durst Oceania
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Post COVID-19, the digital transformation of the print industry continues unabated. Higher volumes of shorter run jobs have become the norm, and digital print volumes continued to climb. Leading print providers continued to invest in digital print technology to meet these higher demands.

For Ricoh, the highlight of 2023 was seeing more of Australia’s leading printers investing in Ricoh for the first time – as well as others reinvesting in Ricoh technology. Having built digital businesses with other suppliers, new customers saw the value and support Ricoh technology and partnership could bring to their business. Another highlight for Ricoh in 2023 was the launch of the Pro C7500 and Pro C9500 colour cut-sheet presses. Built on the success of their market-leading predecessors – and with key customer feedback – the new models offer even better image quality, broader media capability, enhanced productivity, and provided improved operator efficiency.

Ricoh has a well-established and highly regarded colour cut sheet portfolio, having just brought the new Pro C7500 and Pro C9500 to market. The focus for us in 2024 is to bring to Australia our market-leading inkjet solutions, including the world’s only B2-size aqueous auto-perfecting cutsheet press – the Pro Z75 – and the next generation of Ricoh’s high-speed colour continuous feed presses, the Pro VC80000. To help print providers operate more efficiently, Ricoh will be launching a range of new services and solutions that will boost productivity and optimise operations.

2024 is all about Drupa. Drupa will bring a level of excitement that has been missing from the print industry for the last eight years. With the uncertainty of COVID-19

Showcasing innovation in action at Drupa

behind us, hundreds of Australian printers will be heading to Drupa to see the very latest in print, finishing and workflow technology. Unlike local trade shows, print providers will be able to see the entire portfolio of Ricoh solutions in action.

We will be running pre-Drupa events, hosting customers on the Ricoh stand during the show, supporting other events in Düsseldorf during Drupa, providing a livefeed event to customers back in Australia unable to attend Drupa in person, and be involved in post-Drupa events. The importance of Drupa to Ricoh is that it provides customers with the opportunity to see the entire portfolio of print and workflow solutions in action at the one time in the one place – a portfolio that includes technology operating in Australia at present or that will be available for installation within the next 12 months. Everything on display on the Ricoh stand is technology that is available to customers right now.

Drupa will also be the only opportunity to see a B2 inkjet sheetfed press (Pro Z75) and high-speed continuous feed engine (Pro VC80000) in operation until Drupa rolls around again in 2028. Other key planned events in 2024 are in partnership with the Visual Media Association (VMA) to support the print industry, including the Power of Print webinar series and Industry Metrics roadshow.

In 2024, print providers need to have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by their customers. This will help enable the print providers to better identify new opportunities and new applications that will help the customer. Print providers also need to be able to articulate how their print offerings complement today’s digital world. Personalised communications,

geo-marketing, interactive print, and printed pieces that appeal to the senses of the intended audience (striking visuals and colours, smell, and touch). They also need to invest in systems that streamline the print business. Jobs today must be turned around as quickly and accurately as possible with minimal human intervention. With the enormous growth in self-service interactions, print providers need to improve customer service to meet buyers demands for convenience.

An area of growth is provided by the changing nature of applications. The days of mass-printed collateral, DM and publications are fast disappearing. Instead, developing versioned, personalised communications that are truly relevant to their recipients – combined with an emotional appeal to the senses – can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Print applications need to complement today’s digital world. ‘One to one’ communication becomes more effective by combining use of print and digital media, delivering high-impact campaigns with greater ROI than either print or digital communications alone.

Sustainability is essential to integrate into business strategies. Many businsses are focusing on sustainability to reduce pollution, conserve resources, and minimise waste. For print providers, minimising waste can mean using digital print technology to print only what’s needed when it’s needed. This not only reduces energy consumption but conserves resources. While these measures are crucial, sustainability encompasses more than just environmental considerations Sustainability is a comprehensive concept that includes social and economic factors. Sustainability has been at the core of Ricoh since its foundation.

Yasu Takahashi Managing Director Ricoh Australia


In Japanese, HENKAKU means transformational innovation – and at Ricoh, it means everything to us.

But to truly unlock the power of HENKAKU, we need to work with you our partners and ‘Co-innovate’ –taking on your real world challenges and finding solutions, together.

At drupa 2024, join us to discover what Co-innovation could mean for you and the future of your business.

We’ll be unveiling our latest inkjet technology, alongside our incredible sheetfed and software developments.

You’ll also be able to enter The House of HENKAKU and experience an immersive theatrical show that will bring the spirit – the magic – of Co-innovation to life.

May 28 – June 7, 2024

Düsseldorf, Germany


Financially, 2023 was a very solid year for SMARTECH Business Systems despite the fragility of the global economy. We were also very proud to be awarded Employer of Choice at the 2023 Australian Business Awards. It was a great privilege for us to be recognised as one of the best employers in the country.

2024 is shaping up to be a significant year for us. We recently announced our partnership with Agfa, a global leader in the industrial printing sector, as its exclusive representative in the Oceania region. Well-known for manufacturing both analogue and digital imaging products and software-based systems, Agfa brings unparalleled expertise to the table. We believe this strategic partnership presents us with tremendous opportunity in the market. Additionally, our newly announced partnership with Canon Production Printing represents a pivotal moment for SMARTECH, notably for Canon’s innovative gel technology offering, the basis for the new Colorado M-Series as we look to deepen our footprint in the printing industry.

Moreover, we will continue to grow our partnership with HP as the largest mid-range sign and display reseller in Australia, with a particular focus on Latex printers, ensuring that we continue to provide cutting-edge solutions tailored to our customers’ evolving needs.

A priority for us this year is to continue to execute our business mission and support our talent. In January of 2021, we introduced our three pillars of

Winning the war for talent

change, Transparency, Accountability, and Inclusion. Being transparent with employees with respect to strategic or operational discussions impacting them, holding ourselves accountable for the work we do, and including all employees in discussions relating to matters that involve them so they would feel strongly that they are part of the company.

We have also focused on investing in our people and our leadership team – ensuring we have the right leadership in the right parts of the business. In fact, in the last two and half years we have promoted 33 per cent of our staff, which is a clear demonstration of that belief that we have in our talent. Our executive leadership team today comprises a significant number of individuals who have been promoted internally, reflecting a broader inclusion of talent within the ELT. We are proud to announce that the results of our recent SMARTECH’s employee satisfaction have skyrocketed, with satisfaction rate of 96 per cent and a compliance rate of 95 per cent.

Unlike the common view about the challenges of finding and retaining talent in the industry, I find that if you spend your time creating a beautiful garden, the butterflies will come to you. However, if you spend your time chasing butterflies, they will fly away.

We have also placed a lot of investment in our services and will continue to do so this year. Eighteen months ago, we restructured our service delivery organisation. We changed our KPIs, to include first call fix rate, response times, restore times, and

customer satisfaction surveys to track how customers felt about us. Our service levels and response times today are now well above 80 per cent. Once you get the service side right, and the employees right, then you’re selling improves and your topline becomes responsive.

Looking ahead this year, I believe that we will see further market consolidation. The larger players will continue to acquire the smaller ones because it’s very, very challenging to function as a small business in Australia in today’s fragile economy.

I think one of the main opportunities for the industry is having the right digital strategy. A lot of companies in this industry are yet to embrace digital technology. Over the past two years, we have focused on optimising business growth, and efficiency through substantial investments. Our focus has been on improving customer access to our supplies and consumables. To achieve this, we introduced our online store with the aim of enhancing the shopping experience, making it more convenient and user-friendly for our customers, ensuring hassle-free transactions.

My advice to young leaders in the industry is to set clear goals and commit to continual improvement. It’s very important to commit to improvement, as a business leader, you can’t be afraid of failure. If you have hired someone then you must back that person 150 per cent. The same applies for a business unit, supplier, or customer – you can’t be in two minds about them. In order to succeed, the desire for success must always be greater than your fear of failure.



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Looking back over the past 12 months, wide format printing has come to the fore. There are many more new wide format printers on the market and the technology is just amazing – you can print on just about any substrate! The label industry also had a resurgence in 2023, especially in the digital and short run area. The new digital technology has enabled printers to affordably get into that market with success.

One of the highlights for Imagination last year was that we were able to meet the demands of our clients without too much stress and drama. We moved more of our clients to an automated online ordering system, helping us to consolidate our partnerships moving forward, and will continue to covert more customers throughout 2024.

This year, our main priority is to grow our business and see the extras we can provide our customers that we have not been doing. We want to convert more of our clients to our online ordering system, as well as secure stronger partnerships with our existing customers. We also plan to offer a lot more services in 2024, with signage being one of them. In the last few years, we have seen significant growth in signage and believe that this growth will only continue for us throughout 2024. Not only that, but we also feel that with the right formula this can be handled in a more professional way. Therefore, forming partnerships with other signage companies is a must. We want to become a one stop shop that offers web/graphic design, digital/offset printing, and signage.

Service still the key to good business

2024 is a Drupa year and we are excited to be attending. Events such as Drupa provide better insights into new products and innovations on a more personal level. I believe Drupa will open the industry to a whole lot of innovation in all aspects of the trade, with digital printing to really shine. Software will also be huge, and systems that make it easier for clients to order and manage their printing online. Can’t wait to get there – the Disneyland of printing!

To adapt to the ever-changing needs of customers, you must make life easier for them. Customers want their products looking good with a minimum of fuss. Online ordering is a great way to secure and lock in your customers, especially larger clients who order on a regular basis. You also need to communicate and introduce new ideas and innovations to them that will make it easier for them to order. Good service is still the key to a good business!

I think this year the opportunities for the industry will be mergers and partnerships. With the right merger, a company can offer more products and services. You may find some of your customers will be happy that you have merged, and that they can still deal with you. I think there will be an increasing opportunity in the market to purchase other printing companies that are finding it a little difficult to keep up with new trends and innovations.

My advice to the industry to improve itself over the next 12 months is to look, listen, and learn. I am always wanting

to see what is out there and what other companies are doing and offering. If you sit on your hands and don’t change, even a little each year, then that’s a recipe for disaster. In this digital age you must be part of it, or you will not survive. Technology will leave you behind and it is not stopping for anyone.

When it comes to sustainability, I think we are doing the best we can with what we have here at Imagination Graphics, including solar panels and recycling paper, toner, inks, and cloths. All of our pre-press and plate making films, plates, and chemistry is recycled. We will look soon to see if we can utilise our solar panels a little more or even install a few more. We try and use sustainable products when we can and try and steer our clients in that direction when we can.

My prediction for the industry over the next 12 months is that there will be mergers and sales of printing businesses. 2024 is going to be a very tough year and if you don’t look to consolidate, or introduce new technology and digital products, then you will fall by the wayside.

To all emerging leaders out there my advice is to learn your trade well, be always ready to listen, and get your hands dirty. Communicate well and do the hard work when no one is looking, the studying and the extra hours you put in at work, will help you become a good leader. Understand and listen to the needs of others not just your own – this will also make you a good leader.

Emmanuel Buhagiar Director Imagination Graphics

Championing sustainability

2023 was a significant year for us following the acquisition of Omnigraphics and MMTB from QMS Media in June 2023. Since then, both operations have continued to achieve solid growth, servicing new and existing clients in their respective areas while also being able to assist each other in delivering national campaigns and customer orientated solutions. Our capacity in our two production facilities in Melbourne and Brisbane has allowed us to provide unmatched speed to market while delivering cost effective solutions nationwide. Not only that, but it has also presented us with growth opportunities and new clients in both markets. New equipment has also presented new opportunities for growth, with the inclusion of six new printers across the two sites, Fujifilm Acuity Ultra R2 5m and two Epson S80600Ls in Melbourne as well as two Fujifilm Acuity flatbeds and an EFI 30F flatbed in Shailer Park. We have also expanded our finishing capabilities at MMT with new mounting tables and laminators.

The priority for us this year is further growth in our existing markets as well as expanding our presence in the retail/point of sale market, as well as in the exhibition space and sport signage. Expansion through acquisition in the soft signage space is also on the radar for us in 202425. An established business in Brisbane or Melbourne that is the right fit for our group would be a good inclusion. We will also look to restructure our team into national roles to better service national based campaigns and improve our output with

a new internal system allowing for better management of workflows.

Another focus for us is sustainability and will hopefully be bringing some exciting news in the signage recycling space in 2024. We are in the process of developing a sustainable solution for clients to supplement the signage we provide. We’re currently undergoing the accreditation process with third-party auditors. With this accreditation it will allow us to supply transparent and reportable data on our production processes as well as data on potential recycling projects.

We’re also in the process of accrediting ourselves as a Tier 1 supplier, with a target of being able to support clients looking for a Tier 1 supplier for any of their sustainability commitments across both Omnigraphics and MMTB. This will enable us to report back to our clients on improvements such as using sustainable energy and offering more sustainable or recyclable products. With this not only offering a recyclable product but a pathway for that product to be recycled.

We have seen significant growth in the out of home space over the past year, proving that while the digital era has transformed the marketing landscape, print materials is still holding its own. Despite the replacement of print to digital, there’s solid growth in the static space in regional areas and the innovation that we are seeing is allowing us to complement digital advertising with static advertising alongside it, which is exciting for us as

a business and also for the wider print industry. With investigations into static rotations aligning closer with digital periods it may mean more OOH static change overs. Some customers are also looking at share of space on digital and not wanting to share that time, static is a great media which offers 100 per cent share of space and can deliver messaging to everyone that views it 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Economic factors will continue to be a challenge this year. Advertising and marketing spend is always the first budget to be cut during challenging economic times but hopefully we will continue to see low inflation rates and interest rates come down which will help drive some growth in our sector. There was some shrinkage in the market over the past 12 months, which saw several significant players fall over. I think this consolidation is likely to continue and bring some competitiveness to the market.

My advice for emerging leaders is to know your product and understand your client base. Having a knowledgeable team around you is important but as the leader you need understand the requirements of your clients. This industry is so diverse, you can go from doing a print job for a local panel beater to an ASX-listed company the next, and therefore understanding the requirements and governance of each client is key. My other piece of advice is to never overextend – make the right investment in the right equipment at the right time, understand your exposure and manage risk vs reward prudently.


In 2023 the industry looked to our younger generation as the future leaders who will keep it thriving. Apprenticeship support grants were successfully lobbied for and addressing the vocational training issues making it difficult to support new talent, came under review. At industry events there was a notable increase of emerging talent in attendance, who were supported by their industry peers. This included several rising stars at ProPrint Awards and Women in Print’s Print and Prosecco evenings where apprentices and graduates participated through sponsorship. It was a great opportunity to network with the next generation in print. I consider this demonstration of support to be crucial for retaining new talent in our industry.

For Breen Printing, we made a concentrated effort to support our emerging team and hired our first offset printing apprentice Liam Hyde-Brody in 2023. We were honoured to have our team members Jacinta (Jaz) Allen and Justin Tout receive emerging talent awards with the Pro Print Awards and the Real Media Awards.

2023 was year of celebration. Our business turned 50 and we focused on sharing our knowledge and passion for print with the wider community and industry. Our story is an example of how you can remain relevant and have success in a changing environment after 50 years.

The priority at Breen Printing this year is to work on the business, shifting away from working solely in the business. Since taking ownership of Breen Printing in 2020 with my husband Luke, we have been faced

Investing in the next generation

with challenges that have made it difficult to focus on growth. Whilst we have been able to make some significant changes to our small business during this time. We are now in the mindset that our efforts need to be on expansion and future proofing our business. As we move forward and continue to grow, our focus remains on people, establishing strong partnerships, and prioritising sustainability.

Paper-based solutions are on the rise and the myth that paper is destroying the environment is slowly being busted. A common request we receive from clients is asking for a recycled and compostable accredited solution to their printed needs. In Australia, we have a limited supply of available products and suitable accreditation that will satisfy this demand. IP limitations restrict us from getting data on ink, toner, and glue which have an impact on the viability of sustainable products. Clients have considered piggybacking off international accreditations to meet their consumers’ demands, but that comes with greenwashing and dishonesty. Collaboration and information sharing create opportunity and is key to finding solutions to this commonly occurring expectation. If we don’t adopt accreditation solutions locally soon to meet the supply demands, work will continue to leak out of the country.

An industry focus in the next 12 months should be continuing to support our emerging talent. As a hands-on industry, people are a fundamental element in its operation and flow. An ageing workforce is contributing significantly to the loss of key skilled people. As I’ve witnessed in the past five years within

my own walls, our industry is about to lose a wealth of knowledge and skills. Putting efforts toward attracting the next generation and retaining them is key to maintaining longevity.

Our sustainable approach this year will be front of mind adding efficient practices to our solar powered site. The demand is growing, and consumers are starting to understand the value of recycled products and sustainable practices. We are working full circle as the producer with client and supplier to achieve the common goal of building sustainable solutions for the future for our planet. Major targets for Breen Printing in 2024 include preparing for full ISO 14001 accreditation, and developing an education strategy for clients and consumers that will support sustainably informed decisions surrounding their printing needs.

It is difficult to predict what is to come in the next 12 months as it is filled with both uncertainty and promise. The recent wave of business liquidations is concerning, highlighting a decline in leadership and industry stability. However, by embracing resilience and fostering innovation, we could shift our focus towards opportunities and uplifting the people who will keep this industry thriving.

My advice to future leaders would be to discover your niche and consistently offer your unique perspective. Embracing diverse ideas is invaluable in our industry, and there is genuine interest in hearing new voices. We’re witnessing a transition away from outdated representations of the past, and collectively, we can work towards future-proofing our industry.

Kirsty Woodhead Managing Director Breen Printing

Leading the charge for sustainability

In 2023, a pivotal industry trend emerged as suppliers and print manufacturers collectively pursued Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) solutions within the print domain. This shared objective is poised to bring transformative changes to the sector, reflecting a concerted effort towards environmental, social, and governance considerations in the field of printing.

A standout moment for both JCDecaux and the industry in 2023 was the successful creation and launch of the Eco Banner. This non-PVC banner product represents a closed-loop solution, allowing infinite recycling of the product. This development aligns seamlessly with our company’s ESG strategy, ushering in a paradigm shift for both the industry and the environment.

In 2024, our foremost priorities encompass developing growth and cultivating a versatile workforce. Emphasis will be placed on fleet rationalisation, ensuring an unparalleled client experience by integrating state-of-theart technologies. Our commitment extends to providing environmentally sustainable solutions, aligning with our dedication to both cutting-edge service and responsible business practices.

The paramount event of the year is undoubtedly Drupa. Additionally, FESPA stands out as a significant industry event, alongside others such as Printing United and Dscoop, which foster global collaboration within the printing community.

I foresee Drupa unveiling the next frontier in sustainable printing solutions and substrates. This heralds a transformative era for one of the world’s fastest industries

to embrace new technologies, reaching unprecedented heights. The event is poised to set new industry-leading standards, fostering global participation in ESG strategies. Drupa 2024 is expected to catalyse economic scalability, enabling all print manufacturers to contribute to a unified global sustainable vision.

“Our focus lies in pioneering automation and asserting leadership in both conventional and ESG-centric technology offering.”

In 2024, adapting and innovating to meet evolving customer needs demands a multifaceted strategy. Identifying pivotal industry trends underscores our commitment to ESG solutions. Our initiatives encompass automation and thought leadership, addressing diverse customer expectations. Participation in key industry events is pivotal for introducing transformative solutions, setting new standards in response to evolving customer needs.

To enhance the industry over the next 12 months, creating increased collaboration is paramount. Strengthening partnerships with both peers and vendors can catalyse innovation and knowledge-sharing. By creating a more interconnected network, we can collectively navigate challenges, share insights, and accelerate the adoption of transformative technologies. This collaborative approach not only enriches industry discourse but also paves the way for more robust solutions and advancements that benefit all stakeholders.

Our business is committed to advancing sustainability initiatives. We aim to further implement our closed-loop recycling solution for the Eco Banner, emphasising circular practices. Additionally, we are dedicated to consumer education, actively communicating the array of sustainable closed and open-loop offerings. This commitment aligns with our strategy to not only enhance our environmental impact but also raise awareness among consumers, fostering a collective responsibility towards sustainable choices in the printing industry.

A notable prediction for the industry is a trend towards streamlining. I foresee a strategic consolidation, with a focus on offering fewer products per provider. This concentration aims to optimise efficiency, enhance specialisation, and streamline the production process. This shift may result in a more refined and competitive landscape, where print providers prioritise delivering high-quality, specialised offerings. As a consequence, the industry could witness a transformation that values precision and expertise, ultimately reshaping the dynamics of product offerings and the number of providers in the market.

For emerging leaders in the commercial printing industry, my advice is to invest in continual learning and absorb as much information as possible. Research upcoming trends in technologies and sustainable solutions that drive the ongoing transformation of the print industry. Having been in the industry for more than 35 years, I can attest to the value of lifelong learning. Embrace the passion for the industry and stay curious – it’s the key to sustained success and innovation.

Paul Wilcockson Production Director GSP PRINT

In 2023 we observed continued diversification in product ranges by a number of companies in the printing industry. Historically dedicated to either wide format, cut sheet, labels, or packaging, these worlds are continuing to come together as companies look for more growth opportunities.

Key highlights for Easy Signs in 2023 included completing the first full calendar year of manufacturing in the USA, which saw huge growth in line with our projections. Another amazing and humbling highlight was taking out top place in the Printer 50 category in the 2023 ProPrint Awards, alongside Easy Signs co-founder Adam Parnell. We were absolutely shocked and honoured to have received this recognition by our peers in the industry.

The main priority for our company this year is to continue to find new products we can plug into our business model. We are also excited to establish our second manufacturing facility in the USA to allow us to get our products into our customers hands faster on the west coast. We are continually looking to find custom made products that currently take five days or more to produce, that we can bring into our 24-hour production model.

Events are a key part of the industry. FESPA is always a worthwhile show for us with its focus on wide format. We are also hoping Printing United in Las Vegas later this year will be worthwhile for our team in the USA. The networking opportunities at these shows have always proven

Always question the status quo

to be highly beneficial, from friendly conversations with competitors through to discussing equipment challenges directly with the product engineers.

“The main priority for our company this year is to continue to find new products we can plug into our business model. We are also excited to establish our second manufacturing facility in the USA to allow us to get our products into our customers’ hands faster on the west coast.”

We are really looking forward to Drupa this year. Drupa 2016 was a highlight of my time in printing. The ideas we generated at that show set the path for our growth over the following years. I hope this year’s event brings a display of innovation that can inspire us and give us ideas for new product areas we can expand into.

We are always looking at new ways to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of today’s customers. For us, key to our business is having a passion for innovation and continual improvement. If you can manage to create a culture of customer-centricity and innovation inside your organisation, you will quickly find that there are opportunities everywhere in this rapidly evolving industry.

As digital technologies continue to evolve there are huge opportunities for early adopters. Through equipment and

software there are so many ways to continually do things cheaper and faster if people invest in innovation.

Our main sustainability goals are around the products we sell. We have battled for years with the challenge of selling more sustainable products while the cost is higher than the alternatives. This year we are pushing ahead with a range of sustainable options to hopefully increase volumes to a point where economies of scale will turn the table and bring pricing much closer to the alternatives.

My advice for emerging leaders would be to always question the status quo. We are in an exciting industry that is evolving so quickly, you should always lean into change and never simply accept things being done a certain way because it’s how they have always been done.

Andy Fryer Co-Founder Easy Signs Adam Parnell and Andy Fryer

Future-proofing talent for a more resilient workforce

One of the most significant trends that we saw across the industry last year was the resurgence in using paper, particularly in the packaging space. Businesses have shifted their focus from plastics to paper-based packaging materials, a trend notably embraced by numerous small-scale businesses, with larger corporations subsequently following suit. Noteworthy among these initiatives was Apple’s establishment of a closedloop supply chain dedicated to employing paper in its packaging solutions, the stock sourced for their packaging adheres to responsible forest management practices, and the packaging itself is fully recyclable.

Looking more broadly at the sector, I believe that small to medium businesses within the industry are still in the process of recovering from the upheaval of 20202022, compounded by the economic challenges of 2023. Looking ahead to 2024, I hope to witness stability and growth within this sector of our industry.

Throughout 2023, the diversity of our client base continued to broaden which is something we are very proud of. We had the privilege of serving large corporations while also fostering meaningful partnerships with small businesses. Furthermore, 2023 marked a significant milestone as we celebrated a decade of stewardship over Morgan Printing – a journey filled with growth, innovation, and success.

This year, our paramount commitment remains the production of printed materials of unparalleled excellence and quality. We persistently strive to comprehend

and anticipate the unique requirements of our clients, fostering enduring business partnerships in the process. We recently published our projected trends for the printing industry in 2024. Among some of the key trends that we believe will shape the industry include the combined use of print and digital through the use of augmented reality (AR) and QR codes, customisation, as well as brands creating more tactile experience in response to ‘digital fatigue’ by consumers.

We are convinced that the manifestation of these trends will underscore the remarkable efficacy of print as a tool for marketing, communication, and storytelling. Our objective is to leverage these methodologies and trends to assist our clients in achieving their objectives.

Across the country and all industries, sustainability must be a priority focus for manufacturers. The Visual Media Association (VMA) from board level and throughout is committed to strengthening our already strong track record across environmental and sustainable manufacturing practices. The Sustainable Green Print (SGP) program has been running for over a decade, however in 2024 it will receive investment to independent auditing, improved technology, and increased awareness throughout government. This sort of leadership is exactly what our peak body should be working on for a united industry standard.

Throughout 2021-2023, Morgan Printing dedicated significant effort to ensure the sustainability and low environmental impact

of our business operations, and we take pride in our accomplishments in this area. As we move into 2024, our focus shifts to effectively communicating accurate information about the sustainability of print communication and marketing. Our goal is to educate businesses about the impressive credentials of our industry and the proactive measures printing businesses have taken to become leaders in environmentally sustainable communication methods.

I believe that as an industry we also need to focus on developing talent. Investing in promoting printing as a career pathway for young people presents a compelling opportunity to address the skilled labour shortage in our industry. We are fortunate to have a pool of highly experienced and respected individuals who have dedicated their careers to this field.

Facilitating the transfer of knowledge from these seasoned professionals to the next generation is essential for ensuring the longevity and continued success of our industry. By nurturing and empowering young talents, we not only address the current shortage but also pave the way for a vibrant and sustainable future for the printing industry.

For young and emerging leaders in the industry, my advice would be to remember the roots of the printing industry and its traditional applications while also being future-focused on the possibilities this communication method can offer. I consider it important for leaders to actively support, advocate and champion the industry as a whole.

Holly Masters Director Morgan Printing

Automation, sustainability, and digital transformation have all been important industry trends across the labels, flexible packaging, and folding carton sectors in the last 12 months.

The use of automation has meant streamlining production processes, improving efficiency, waste reduction, increased uptime, and reduced need for manual intervention – increasingly important as the industry’s recruitment difficulties showed no signs of easing.

Looking at sustainability, label substrates are evolving rapidly to meet the growing number of legislative and brand mandates for the circular materials economy. This has meant diverting packaging from landfill and towards recovery and clean separation of materials, which then become feedstock for new labels and packaging products.

Our Labelexpo events in 2023 - including Mexico, Europe, and Asia – all showed how the labels sector is becoming increasingly integrated into the broader package printing industry.

At Labelexpo Europe 2023, this included short run added value flexible packaging, with more label converters adding flexible packaging to their product offering to become a one-stop shop. This was shown through a Flexible Packaging Trail which took in both digital and conventional press technologies, flexpack material constructions, coating, laminating, ink and curing requirements, in-line and near-line decoration options, QC, and migration testing.

Labelexpo Asia 2023 showcased China’s increasingly sophisticated conventional press technology suppliers. There has been a major shift in the last 10 years

Driving growth through diversification

from narrow web letterpress to intermittent offset technology, and today those offset manufacturers are diversifying into inline flexo presses. This move into flexo is strongly supported by the Chinese government as an alternative to solventbased print technologies.

Our key 2024 events are Labelexpo shows in North America, India, and South China and our Latin America Label Summit in Colombia. These shows will all feature dedicated zones to showcase short run flexible packaging applications alongside our core label technologies. In addition, we will introduce a range of educational initiatives including masterclasses, RFID, and smart label zones and a ‘Labels 101’ introductory course for those new to the labels industry.

The key market trends are towards shorter runs and compliance with legislative and brand sustainability mandates. This will require package print converters to become more efficient at rapid job changeovers with minimum waste, and to automate as much as possible job processing and factory management. Compliance with sustainability mandates will require measuring and cutting carbon emissions and helping brands ensure all packaging placed on the market is returnable, reusable, or recoverable depending upon the packaging format.

We will see automation, diversification (the ‘one-stop-shop’) and sustainability being key focus areas for the labels and package printing industry in the years ahead. Automation means not only automated setup, but also integration of the press and finishing equipment into the wider factory network. Diversification means the ability to handle a wide range of unsupported materials including primary packaging formats alongside core pressure-sensitive

materials. Labelexpo Europe 2023 presented a real watershed here, with demonstrations of paper and filmic stand-up pouch production, shrink sleeves and wraparound labels alongside core pressure-sensitive labels.

Continue along the path of automation, reducing the amount of manual intervention at all stages of the label and package approval, pre-press, production, and warehousing steps. Automation applies to information gathering from the shop floor and all production processes. This is not only essential to increase efficiency by identifying production bottlenecks, but it will also help prepare converters for making a range of data automatically available to other partners in the supply chain – for example, energy usage and carbon footprint.

At all our Labelexpo shows, we expect sustainability to be a key topic. Emerging trends for 2024 will focus on how the label can help the entire packaging chain become more efficient at recovering or recirculating container materials – for example, by releasing labels cleanly from one-trip PET bottles and reusable glass containers. On the same theme, we see linerless primary labels finally coming of age, with more brands recognising the sustainability benefits already realised in the industrial/VIP segment.

My piece of advice for emerging leaders is that they should take advantage of the networking and educational opportunities from attending our key events throughout the year, as well as becoming active in their local and regional label and packaging associations. This is the best way to learn from experienced industry leaders as well as to gain inspiration and insights into future industry trends, which is key to sound investment planning.

Jade Grace Managing Director Labelexpo Global Series

Makers, thinkers, creators.

2023 finally represented the end of the Covid hangover by way of work volume, however there is certainly a new world order that requires an even tighter laser-like focus to maintain profitability. It is very confronting to hear companies heading into administration with some companies at the end of generation, while others just can’t make the numbers work anymore who possibly made the wrong decisions with equipment or simply overcommitted and under-estimated the market. Despite this the demand for print being potentially less overall, there is still a mountain of work out there and less companies providing it – so there is an opportunity for businesses who are prepared to evolve and diversify – and listen.

At the beginning of 2023, we had a number of irons in the fire that were slow to ignite and then after the first quarter – it just exploded. All of our existing clients as well as new business – flooded in. I don’t know what the tipping point was – it felt like the right time for people to reset and they also realised the need for delivering high value and tangible points of difference back into the market.

For Carbon8 – that fell into our lap because our credibility, capability and experience were rediscovered again by those that knew us and new clients that couldn’t get it anywhere else under one roof. We have never considered ourselves just printers – and have continued to evolved further to become an invaluable resource for creative clients that have to have it. What is it? It is a like-minded relationship. If you and your client are not on the same page business is just not going to work or flourish. For our customers, we initially conceptualise and collaborate on ideas as well as execute and deliver a product that can be manufactured beyond one dimension – communication pieces

that elicit an emotional response and tangible value that can vary by client and the recipient. This can involve inspiration, design, mock-ups, problem solving in conjunction with creatives, marketers or high-end clients that may have previously outsourced this work to an agency. We are retaining the architect-builder process – but we are now doing this directly. Carbon8 has evolved and we are ready for more. Our new tagline – makers, thinkers, creators – means we are now far more than a printing company.

The common theme of Carbon8 remains –we supply multiple industries with multiple products and services. We are always focused on that extra level of creativity and service as well as a genuine commitment to make sure that product – whatever it is and to whoever it is – has real value – and we don’t undersell it.

We discovered that volume doesn’t mean profit – but for certain cost centres or product lines volume is essential otherwise to make money. Cashflow is now absolutely critical for our business. Our mantra is ‘beyond expectation’ – but because we are such a labour intensive and staff heavy operation – with bespoke high end product lines and capability – yes we have to charge more for that. However for the simpler less touch point items we are still very competitive, and we continue to add that extra care and strive to make it memorable.

For us the holy grail is to value our knowledge and IP that in our industry has not always been charged to the client. We now work more and more with like-minded customers who value the time and effort required to produce a beautiful piece of work such as a bespoke brand presenter or influencer pack for a premium luxury brand that includes multi-faceted structural elements for an unboxing experience,

and we apply that same philosophy for a client wanting a set of beautiful flyers or business cards that is just as important and meaningful for their brand.

Creative engineering is not about taking an image from Etsy and making it – it is about scoping and researching a project before it is costed – but also charging the time and resources for this part of the project. The printing industry has traditionally put the least value on this component of work and as a result customers have been used to getting blood from a printer – and it is completely anachronistic. A lot of printers have studios, and this makes sense, however you can’t specialise in being everything to everybody – otherwise you will be average at all of it. What you can do is know what you are brilliant at and deliver things you can do that others maybe can’t. Define that arm of your business where you can promote a service to your clients.

We achieved our highest revenues of all time in 2023 and again in the first quarter of 2024 without necessarily a larger structure. It is the platform we built prior to Covid and we are now reaching our targets and exceeding them.

This year will be my first time at Drupa and I am not sure what to expect. Is there something new as a structure of how equipment can be sold? Machines with a previous end of life of two decades is now less than five years. Where is the ROI? You have to continue to buy the best possible machine that suits your operation that you can afford and that doesn’t mean buying a new machine or choosing one single brand no matter how big they are or longstanding in the industry. This industry needs innovation around so much more from providers than ‘how can we sell these guys the next machine’ process, and we are looking further afield.


When we look back at 2023 in the commercial printing industry, we see some important trends.

Firstly, there’s been a big move towards using digital tools and automating tasks. This has made work more efficient for everyone involved. Also, there’s been a stronger focus on using eco-friendly materials and practices. These trends show us that we need to keep adapting and coming up with new ideas in the printing world.

During the past year, there were some significant events and achievements for both our company and the industry as a whole. We saw exciting advancements in technology, like adding augmented reality to printed materials. This showed how innovative the industry can be. Plus, working together with other companies has helped us all grow and stay competitive.

Looking forward to 2024, our main goal is to make our teams stronger and more adaptable. We want to connect better with our clients, going beyond just giving them products and building lasting relationships based on trust and value. This will help us grow steadily in a changing market.

A stronger, more adaptable workforce

In terms of what we’ll offer this year, we’re focused on making it easier for clients to communicate with us. We plan to continue to transition our clients onto portals that give them quick access to quotes and speed up the printing and delivery process. Our aim is to provide top-notch service while keeping our standards high.

“Looking forward to 2024, our main goal is to make our teams stronger and more adaptable. We want to connect better with our clients, going beyond just giving them products and building lasting relationships based on trust and value. This will help us grow steadily in a changing market.”

Events such as FESPA in Amsterdam and the upcoming Drupa exhibition in Düsseldorf are great chances for us to meet others in the industry, learn new things, and explore the latest technologies. We’re especially interested in how artificial intelligence and automation can help us improve our work.

To meet the changing needs of our clients, we need to be fast, efficient, and adaptable. We’ll keep fine-tuning our

processes to make sure we’re giving them the best service possible.

There are some exciting opportunities ahead, especially in industries like mining, where there’s a growing need for signage and safety products. By keeping an eye on what’s happening in the market and listening to what our clients want, we can keep growing and offering new things.

Sustainability is important to us, so we’re committed to reducing our environmental impact and promoting eco-friendly practices in everything we do.

Looking ahead, we’re sure that technology will keep evolving and changing how we do things in the printing industry. We need to be ready to adapt and use new tools to stay ahead.

For new leaders in the commercial printing industry, we’d say: Embrace change and innovation, stay flexible in a fast-paced market, and focus on building strong relationships with your clients and partners.

By keeping up with trends, using technology wisely, and fostering a culture of teamwork and learning, you can lead your company to success in the years ahead.


Brisbane 2024

17-19 July, 2024

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

Connect With Success

Australia’s leading exhibition for sign, display, wide-format print, engraving, vinyl applications, textiles, digital print, routing and laser cutting.

sponsored by PLATINUM GOLD

Diversification was key for many businesses in the industry last year. However, we came to the end of 2023 and re-evaluated our offering and our structure. What we had imagined for our company didn’t quite come to fruition and we have had to make sacrifices.

James [Taylor, owner of Taylor’d Press] and I are at the helm of production of our business again and incredibly devoted to returning it to its success. We move forward into 2024 with more information about our capabilities and learn from our previous year to regain and thrive in our business again.

Taylor’d Press is all about craft. We continue to pay homage to the industry with the traditional printing methods and, with a little help from our SpeedMasterSM52, continue to bring ideas to fruition and produce iconic pieces of print in collaboration with our clients. We also remain committed to raising the profile of the industry as well as educating the next generation of talent on processes of print.

One way we continue to do this is by inviting students to visit our premises. James and I are very passionate about educating those entering the industry. We recently hosted design students from TAFE, which we love as it helps explain the print process of their own work. We also recently had trade school apprentices visit. These students are studying a wide range of roles in the industry, from pre-press to print and in all different areas of print manufacturing (screen printing, bank note printing, web

Turning challenges into opportunities

print, plastic card printing... the list goes on!). They are always curious about the different aspects of our industry and despite being a different process of craft again, it gives them a greater knowledge of our industry. Giving them the knowledge is our greatest gift. Making the time to share our craft is an important part of our business. Most recently, RMIT design students visited and worked on a job they designed and created to then see how it was produced. That was such a great learning experience.

“We move forward into 2024 with more information about our capabilities and learn from our previous year to regain and thrive in our business again.”

This year, everyone will be looking for growth coming out of the past few years. Business will not be easy for some, and we need to take responsibly for where we are at and how we move forward respectfully with positivity and honesty. Areas that had major growth such as signage, labels and packaging will hopefully continue their momentum but with a difficult economy it may be hard for businesses with speciality print to sustain growth.

We need to continue to raise the profile of the industry as well as highlight the importance of print in our society. The print industry is one of the largest in manufacturing and education, therefore the possibilities need to be heard. We need to

work together to drive awareness, foster new and emerging talent, and showcase our capabilities. Social media is a gift in this department. Showcasing the talents of our industry and exposing others to the variety of work we can produce is the easiest thing we can do. Retaining talent is all about the leadership they experience inside of their businesses. Making the time to develop their skills, investing in their future (because really, it’s your future when you come down to it) and offering them a sound place to grow and develop is important. We must be mindful that the very skilled operators are at the end of their career in print, and we need to nurture the incoming ones to make it a place they too want to stay.

One the biggest learnings I have taken from the past 12 months is that you can’t be complacent. I hate that I have to say that, but we learnt a lot about our business over the last year and we have had to strategically change it to keep up. There were sacrifices and I have been very mindful to tell myself that these are not failures but lessons. I’ve always been passionate about collaboration in industry. Understanding others in our industry can make us such compassionate leaders and working with others is far more productive than working against.

My message to emerging leaders is to find the right part of the industry for you. Our industry is so diverse, there are so many different aspects to print. Creativity is such a gift. Engage in networking, find mentors, follow industry leaders, and stay true to yourself. And always be curious.

Kirsten Taylor Creative Print Director Taylor’d Press

Reshaping the perception of print

In 2023, the commercial printing industry witnessed continued growth in the wide format category due to the demand from online brands. With the help of AI integration in content development and design, creation of marketing collaterals was streamlined, emphasising efficiency for smaller and more frequent jobs. Kwik Kopy experienced a remarkable 45 per cent increase in the wide format category, achieving unprecedented growth. The return to traditional demand patterns, especially during December and January, marked a shift towards pre-COVID conditions in the B2B purchasing sector.

Our focus in 2024 is on enhancing productivity, people development, and implementing growth systems. Modernising AI technology is a priority, aiming for sustainable growth. We aspire to increase our average revenue per centre by 30 per cent. Building on our signage category, Kwik Kopy is set to launch an industry-leading system in print and signage this year. Our extensive product range, including merchandise and digital products, reflects our commitment to bringing ideas to life and meeting customer desires. Our goal this year is that Kwik Kopy will be viewed as a major influencer, reshaping the perception of the print industry. Our diligent growth plans will lead the business and industry sector onward and upward.

I believe one of the biggest opportunities for the industry this year lies in tapping into everyone’s increased ability to design beautiful things. Platforms like Canva

have democratised design, making it easy and accessible to everyone. Levelling up in design makes you look versatile and professional. To improve over the next 12 months, the industry must become more appealing to younger people. Marketing efforts should highlight the print industry’s dynamic, creative, and fulfilling aspects to attract new talent.

“To improve over the next 12 months, the industry must become more appealing to younger people. Marketing efforts should highlight the print industry’s dynamic, creative, and fulfilling aspects to attract new talent.”

In the realm of sustainability for 2024, our vision extends beyond trends; it’s a collective dream. We aspire to witness ongoing innovation from material suppliers, particularly in areas like stickers, labels, and the wide format domain. We earnestly hope these creative minds develop sustainable alternatives, propelling us closer to the 100 per cent sustainability goal.

As we look ahead, sustainability will permeate every facet of our operations, reinforcing our commitment to elevate environmental consciousness in all our endeavours. In fact, there are several key sustainability commitments that we have made as a business for 2024. Currently, 70 per cent of our centres voluntarily engage with SGP level 1. Our goal for

2024 is to highly encourage the remaining 30 per cent to support this initiative without being forced. Kellie Northwood, CEO of the Visual Media Association, will attend our conference this April to reignite excitement and drive toward level 2 and beyond, as we also progress toward our 2030 sustainability goals.

For me, leadership is about fostering my team’s growth and flourishing. Success hinges on individuals thriving within the organisation. I strive to create conducive work conditions that nurture an environment where individuals can grow, learn, and collaborate seamlessly. My role is that of a guide, cultivating an atmosphere where our team collectively reaches new heights. My commitment as a leader is to coach each member toward their untapped potential and provide a guiding light into the future. With that in mind, my advice for emerging leaders in the industry is to find what makes you feel great about your day. Seek out the aspects that fulfil your being and align with that feeling to drive your success in the commercial printing industry.

Finally, my message to the industry is this: Let’s take pride in the creativity and vast opportunities our industry unfurls. We are the architects of fulfilling and stimulating experiences, providing daily opportunities for personal and professional growth. It’s time to stand tall, be proud, and shout about the wonders our industry brings to people’s lives. As we continue to reach for the stars, let our collective efforts propel us to new heights of innovation and inspiration.


In 2023, the industry experienced remarkable growth driven by technological advancements, including a notable shift towards digital production and increased automation. This trend reflects a broader movement within industries to leverage technology to enhance operational efficiency, reduce errors, and optimise production timelines.

Pakko’s Interactive Design Platform (IDP) and ES (Estimating System), along with the development of our AI chatbot, Vira, are prime examples of how we are embracing digital solutions to streamline processes and improve our customer experience.

A significant shift towards sustainability was observed, marking it as a key focus area within the industry. This trend was not limited to the adoption of eco-friendly materials but also extended to the implementation of sustainable practices across operations. The rapid adoption of biodegradable packaging and recyclable materials, underscores the industry’s commitment to minimising environmental impact.

Businesses also increasingly moved towards reshoring their production to local settings, driven by concerns over cost and production timelines. This trend highlights a shift in strategy for many companies within the labels and packaging industry, aiming to improve supply chain resilience and reduce dependencies on international suppliers. By focusing on local production, companies like Pakko are better positioned to respond to market demands quickly and efficiently.

Pakko’s priorities for 2024 revolve around advancing digital transformation,

A customer-centric approach to innovation

leading in sustainability, enhancing local production and supply chain resilience, addressing skilled labour shortages, driving product innovation and market expansion, and forging strategic partnerships for customer-centric innovation.

Continuing to leverage digital production technologies will be crucial. This includes further enhancing the flexibility in design and production capabilities to quickly adapt to market changes and consumer demands. Emphasising the automation of processes to enhance operational efficiency, reduce manual errors, and shorten production timelines will also remain a key focus.

Building on the momentum from 2023, a significant priority will be to innovate further in developing environmentally friendly packaging solutions. This involves not only using biodegradable materials but also processes that minimise waste and energy consumption.

We will also focus on strengthening local production capabilities to mitigate supply chain risks. This involves not just localising production but also building a robust supply chain that can quickly adapt to changes and disruptions. Given the predicted challenges in skilled labour, we will continue to prioritise investment in training and development. Exploring new technologies to offset labour shortages and enhance productivity will be critical. This includes adopting innovative solutions in digital printing, smart packaging, and sustainable materials.

In 2024, companies should continue to invest in digital technologies that enhance

flexibility, efficiency, and customisation. This includes adopting digital printing for shorter runs and personalisation, utilising data analytics to predict customer trends, and integrating digital platforms for seamless customer interactions.

Incorporating technology into packaging, such as IoT devices, QR codes, and NFC tags, can also add value for consumers by enhancing product safety, providing traceability, and offering interactive experiences. This can improve customer engagement and loyalty. To foster growth and improvement in the next 12 months, I believe the labels and packaging industry should focus on several key strategies:

• Embrace digital transformation: Continuously invest in and adopt digital technologies for production.

• Innovate in sustainable practices: Given the increasing consumer and regulatory emphasis on sustainability, the industry should focus on developing and using environmentally friendly materials.

• Focus on customer-centric innovation: Stay attuned to changing customer needs and preferences.

• Build strategic partnerships: Collaborate with technology providers, material suppliers, and other stakeholders to drive innovation.

My advice to emerging leaders in the industry is to forge ahead by championing innovation, embracing sustainability, and harnessing digital advancements. Cultivate partnerships and nurture talent within your team to lead the way into a dynamic and sustainable future.

Nina Nguyen Founder Pakko

Focused on the future

The digitisation of traditional processes has become increasingly important, leading to greater efficiency and automation while meeting growing expectations from the customer’s side. This includes the rising benefit of artificial intelligence, self-learning machinery, and maintenance. Furthermore, global megatrends such as platform economy and connectivity – driven by e-commerce, impacted our industry strongly and all these aspects relate to the further development of industry 4.0.

The trade fairs in our global Drupa portfolio held successfully in 2023 gave us a preview of Drupa. Print & Digital Convention in Düsseldorf, Pack Print International, and CorruTec Asia in Bangkok, Pack Print Plas Philippines in Manila and All in Print China in Shanghai have all shown the dynamics in our industry and how much the global community is looking forward to reconnecting face-to-face at trade fairs.

Our top priority is without a doubt to enable a unique, relevant, and highly successful Drupa 2024. Our commitment and dedication are completely focused on this goal. Our agenda includes visionary-oriented topics, dealing with global megatrends such as digitalisation, sustainability, circular economy, artificial intelligence, and many more in order to master current and future challenges for our customers in the best possible way –all key factors for the entire industry.

To meet customer demands, the printing industry can adapt and innovate in various ways. Embracing digital technologies allows for more personalised and

efficient printing solutions. Sustainability is increasingly important, so adopting ecofriendly practices such as using recycled materials and energy-efficient processes can attract environmentally conscious customers. Providing value-added services such as graphic design and marketing consultation adds another dimension to the printer’s offerings. Personalisation through data analytics and variable data printing addresses individual customer preferences. Prioritising customer experience with responsive service and streamlined ordering processes ensures satisfaction. Staying up to date on industry trends keeps printers competitive and positioned for success in meeting evolving customer needs.

Drupa currently occupies 18 halls which is the entire Düsseldorf fairgrounds and more than 1500 exhibitors from 50 nations have registered. The show’s return after an eight-year hiatus adds to the global community’s anticipation and excitement for Drupa 2024. The industry is looking forward to groundbreaking technologies and product launches, making Drupa the most important event of the year for the global printing and packaging industry.

The printing industry is evolving, offering ample opportunities for growth and innovation. Key prospects include tailored creations, where advanced digital printing technologies enable printers to provide customised print solutions tailored to individual client needs, from personalised packaging to bespoke marketing materials. With the rise of e-commerce, there’s a demand for functional, visually appealing, and eco-friendly packaging solutions. Printers can lead the way in developing sustainable packaging designs

and interactive experiences. Digital printing has transformed the industry, enabling short print runs, on-demand services, and variable data printing with unmatched efficiency. This flexibility caters to niche markets and tight deadlines.

After meeting with so many print and packaging professionals on our Drupa world tour, we are very optimistic about the future. The findings from the 9th Drupa Global Trends Report also confirm this positive outlook. Covid brought with it a drop in investment but according to the report, that decline is now in reverse and both printers and suppliers plan to increase investment in 2024. And if the excitement in the run-up to Drupa is any indication, we are looking forward to a successful year from the industry.

My advice for emerging leaders is that staying informed and adaptable is paramount. Prioritise understanding and meeting customer needs, not just in product quality but also in-service excellence. Embrace innovation, whether through new printing techniques or sustainability practices, to stay competitive. Developing strong leadership skills is essential for guiding teams through challenges and fostering a positive work environment. Cultivate relationships with clients and industry partners, emphasising trust and collaboration. Encourage continuous learning among employees. Stay resilient in the face of challenges, learning from setbacks, and maintaining focus on long-term goals. Through these practices, emerging leaders can navigate the complexities of the printing industry and position themselves for success. And most importantly, don’t miss Drupa!

Sabine Geldermann Director Drupa Portfolio Print Technologies

As we step into 2024 with strategic focus, there are some acknowledgements to the achievements of the Visual Media Association (VMA) throughout 2023. Representing the print and visual media industry, our association has experienced remarkable growth and success throughout the past year, setting the stage for an even more promising future in 2024.

One of the most notable achievements of 2023 was the substantial increase in revenue, marking an impressive 18.30 per cent rise from our commercial print membership. Simultaneously, our membership numbers by company increased, reaching more than 900 member companies by the end of the year, reflecting a strong 31.2 per cent increase. This growth is a testament to the new focus and deliverables across the association and has buoyed the team to continue building and delivering projects the membership has called for.

Our strategic partnerships and projects played a pivotal role in our success story throughout 2023. The collaboration with Australia Post, working with government, together collaborating to build a tripartite approach to the successful modernisation of the postal service sector for Australia long into the future. A committed partnership with Australia Post and industry to invest in the promotion of the essential mail and letterbox sector highlighting print as a key marketing channel with the highest reach for all Australians. This initiative not only showcased the effectiveness of print but also solidified our commitment to advancing the interests of our members in a stabilising digital landscape.

The Real Media Awards (RMAs) program, despite facing challenges during the

Building a strong foundation for success

pandemic, rebounded well in 2023. With a 20.7 per cent increase in funding, the RMAs are now well-positioned to reinvest in crucial research and print effectiveness data, ensuring our industry remains at the forefront of innovation and customer engagement.

In 2023, we successfully launched the VMA brand, resonating strongly with our membership and the broader industry. The VMA website, introduced in October 2023, has become a hub for information and resources, with specific pages receiving overwhelming success.

Our launch coincided with the week after the P.o.P (Power of Print) Summit, reinforcing user interest in summit content post event with a total of nearly 200 views downloading the videos via our new YouTube page. It is wonderful to see content engagement and we commit to continuing the development of videos for you.

As we venture into the future, the VMA is committed to building on our accomplishments. Key projects on the horizon include a focus on expanding our membership base to encompass all facets of the industry, a review of the National Print Awards and an audit into the Sustainable Green Print program and an IR/HR Health Check program tailored for our members. Additionally, we are enhancing our Better Business Tools, ensuring our memberships deliver commercial value to improve their businesses.

This year’s P.o.P Summit will cover topics such as HR/IR legislative changes, the importance of mental wellbeing in the workforce, packaging, cyber security, carbon mapping, sustainability, and more. Each webinar will be a one-hour educational deep-dive, with a series of class notes to

be available for participants with all the key facts from each individual webinar.

VMA in partnership with PrintNZ, will also host ANZ night at Drupa 2024. Kicking off at 4pm on Monday, June 3, 2024, at the Drupa Exhibition Hall in Dusseldorf, the ‘after-party’ event sponsored by industry partner Ricoh will include a welcome reception hosted by Drupa organiser, Messe Düsseldorf. Print NZ and VMA encourage all Australian and New Zealand industry delegates to attend.

Coming together when we’re on the other side of the world builds comradery and networking opportunities that create strong bonds, as well as networking with our international peers who will be included in the event invitation.

Following the merger in 2022/23, the commitment to progression continues with our new board elected to steer VMA’s strategic plan for all members. We again welcome Tony Bertrand, Ball & Doggett, Holly Masters, Morgan Printing and Kirsty Woodhead, Breen Printing to the board and look forward to bringing more updates to the members throughout the year.

Our commitment remains unwavering – we aim to empower our members to become the most successful businesses in the industry. By providing effective tools and services, the VMA is dedicated to supporting your journey towards prosperity and excellence.

I express my gratitude to our members, partners, and the entire industry. Together, we are shaping the future of visual media, and I am confident the VMA will continue to be a beacon of innovation, collaboration, and success in the years to come.

Kellie Northwood CEO Visual Media Association

Take risks to reap the rewards

The print businesses that invested (and continue to invest) in their workflow and online presence had the best 2023. Their margins were mighty, and they were able to remain flexible and competitive with fluctuating prices in the supply chain. They were able to take on more work with fewer people, say yes more than no, and continue to make investments in equipment, goods, and services.

The 2023 print industry news was filled with obituaries, business closings, revenue losses, and great concern over a recession that never came – at least in the US. Plans were put on back-burners. Risk/reward considerations were overtaken by keeping with the status quo, getting through the year with the least amount of damage, and hoping things would get better.

Many print businesses were acquired or changed hands in 2023. Some were shut down for client lists and equipment, some were merged into the purchasing business, and some were kept as is and/or treated as additional locations of the purchasing business. This group had a lot of movement combined with big decisions that will impact most of their decisions in 2024.

Print volumes are shrinking, and they will continue to do so. That doesn’t mean print is not an effective medium for communication, sales, and marketing. It means fewer people on this planet look to print first, and more companies will reinvest their dedicated print dollars in a multi and omni-channel approach.

As you reflect upon 2023 and plan for the rest of 2024 think strategically about getting yourself into the best position for the future. If you own the printing company focus on gathering or acquiring partners who can help you deliver on multi and

omni-channel marketing. If you work at a printing company that isn’t making those investments, find one that is or is already established and jump ship. If you can’t change jobs, invest in yourself, and learn everything you can about print and digital marketing and print and artificial intelligence. Use that knowledge to help your company and customers the best you can, for as long as you can.

The road ahead for the printing industry is not paved with gold. It won’t be navigable by those who aren’t ready, willing, and able to put in the hard work to transform and evolve with the digital media landscape in the most effective and efficient ways.

As I wrote in my 2024 CMYK Manifesto posted at, taking anything for granted this year is a dangerous path. Call your customers, whether they ordered two jobs in 2023 or 2000. Re-establish your relationship. Let them know from you – not through an email, newsletter, social post, or postcard – about anything/everything new. Equipment isn’t the only thing to discuss. So many print businesses have invested in workflow over the past few years. If you have optimised, upgraded, or revamped your internal processes explain the specific workflow benefit that helps that customer, for each customer you speak with.

Re-establishing your customer relationships isn’t a one-way street. Your customers may have new needs they aren’t talking to you about. They may be more focused on reaching new clients, or more focused on retaining and maintaining current ones. They may want to enter a new vertical for new business development. They may even have questions about products and services you don’t offer. Make 2024 the year

you rewind, re-establish, and strengthen your customer relationships, serve their evolving needs, and elevate yourself to a collaborative consultant in the process.

2024 is all about Drupa and the year is divided into pre- and post-Drupa. Pre, watch for launch announcements and technology trends. Post, see how all of that manifested at Messe Dusseldorf, and read the followup articles from industry journalists and analysts. During Drupa follow #drupa2024 and everyone sharing news from the show if you can’t be there. Stay informed so you can make smart, strategic decisions about your next move, or purchase.

One thing that can be done for the industry to improve itself over the next 12 months is to stop talking about sustainability in unrealistic terms. Don’t allow the urge to ‘market’ sustainability and how sustainable you are to overtake facts. Don’t use ink and foil/ varnish coverage math to market the use of embellishments. Stay very informed and stay sceptical towards every industry claim you see/hear until you have proof it’s true.

This topic is way beyond paper now. If you don’t have solar panels on your roof electric company vehicles, reclaimed or repurposed equipment, a green office environment, and offset your carbon to the last particle for example, then how sustainable are you, really? It’s a slippery slope that will have major consequences for print businesses and the industry if we don’t stay within practical sustainability lines. Good news, we have them. You just need to look with a broader lens.

I see great reward for those who risk leaving their comfort zone and plan their future by looking at the world through rose-coloured, metaverse glasses. The destiny of print is there.

Deborah Corn Intergalactic Ambassador Print Media Centr

Assets and liabilities

Every member of your team is either helping you to move forward or holding you back. Here’s how to detect who is an asset and who is a liability.

Let’s talk about assets and liabilities. Specifically, let’s talk about which of your employees are assets and which are liabilities. Every member of your team is either helping you to move forward or holding you back. Wait, you may say, that’s not completely fair. I have good people. Maybe not perfect, but still a solid team.

Okay then, let’s talk about a few points on a range: liability, good, better, perfect. And let’s reflect that on a 10-point scale. Five or below is a liability. Six is good. Eight is better. 10 is perfect.

Now give each of your employees an overall performance rating on that 10-point scale. Feel free to use intermediate numbers, for example, nine for someone on the high side of better, but still not perfect.

Now let’s drill a little deeper. What are some of the specific criteria that led to your overall rating? I’d like to suggest these as a starting point.

1. Job skills

2. Initiative

3. Loyalty

4. Time management/organisation

5. Work ethic

6. Likeability

7. Trustworthiness

8. Potential for advancement

9. Communication skills: Verbal

10. Communication skills: Listening

As noted, these are meant as a starting point. You may feel that you can list several items under job skills alone.

The idea is to flesh out your overall rating with some specifics. The next step is to give each employee that same 1-10 rating on each of your individual criteria.

The goal of all of this? To identify specific areas for improvement. And that, I think, is your greatest opportunity in 2024 and beyond – to strengthen your human resources.

Sure, you can make meaningful investments in equipment, software, facilities, etc., but the greatest bang for your buck can probably be found in your people.

“Sure, you can make meaningful investments in equipment, software, facilities, etc., but the greatest bang for your buck can probably be found in your people.”

Turning a six into an eight can have real impact on your business. So can terminating a four and replacing them with someone who has real potential to become an eight.

One final note. I have done this exercise many times with my clients, and I always add one element to the process. I add up all the specific ratings and divide by the number of criteria.

For example, a total of 74 points spread across the 10 specifics listed above would yield an average of 7.4. More often than not, the owner or manager would have given that employee an overall rating of right or above. The point is, you’re probably not as happy with most of your employees as you think you are. But learning that –and learning why! – is the starting point for creating some improvement.

Dave Fellman is the president of David Fellman & Associates, a consulting firm serving the graphic arts industry. Visit his website at

Sailing to success: Offshore tips and tricks with finesse

In the globalised world of business, offshore teams have become an indispensable asset for organisations seeking to leverage international talent and expand their reach.

Among the leading countries in offshore, the Philippines stands out as a top choice for businesses due to its skilled workforce, cost-effective solutions, and English proficiency. However, managing offshore teams can present unique challenges. Let’s explore valuable tips and tricks to optimise productivity, foster seamless collaboration, and create a successful offshore team.

Communication restrictions in contracts

When entering contracts with employment partners in the Philippines, it’s essential to carefully review the terms and conditions, especially concerning communication after contract termination. Some contracts may include clauses that limit or restrict communication with the offshore team if the partnership is terminated. Ensure that communication channels remain open for a smooth transition or knowledge transfer, even if the collaboration ends.

Verify contractor roles and tax compliance

If you engage with contractors in the Philippines, exercise caution and verify their roles to avoid potential legal and tax complications. Contractors should meet the criteria set by the Philippine labour laws to avoid misclassification issues. Request proof of tax paid to ensure compliance and protect your business from any legal liabilities related to improper tax treatment.

Ensure reliable work location infrastructure

Reliable power and internet connectivity are vital for seamless offshore operations. Before finalising any partnership, thoroughly assess the work location infrastructure of your offshore team. Backup power sources, robust internet connections, and contingency plans for emergencies ensure uninterrupted

workflow and prevent disruptions caused by power outages or connectivity issues.

Comprehensive talent acquisition

The first step to building a successful offshore team in the Philippines is to invest time and effort in comprehensive talent acquisition. Work closely with reputable recruitment agencies or conduct thorough assessments to identify the right candidates who possess the necessary skills, cultural fit, and language proficiency.

Align public holiday schedule and time zone

To maintain seamless collaboration with offshore teams, align the public holiday schedules and work hours to your local time zone at the recruitment stage. This helps minimise downtime and ensures that both onshore and offshore teams can work together efficiently.

Cultural awareness training

Cultural diversity can be both an asset and a challenge in offshore teams. To harness the strengths of diverse perspectives, provide cultural awareness training to all team members. Encourage an open and inclusive environment where differences are celebrated, and communication barriers are overcome. Understanding and respecting cultural nuances lead to better collaboration, reduced misunderstandings, and enhanced productivity.

Foster a positive team culture

Cultivating a positive team culture is vital in maintaining motivation and loyalty among offshore team members. Organise virtual team-building activities, recognise outstanding contributions, and celebrate milestones. Encourage regular virtual meetings, not just focused on work but also on team bonding to foster a strong sense of camaraderie and shared purpose

Set clear goals and expectations

Clearly defined goals and expectations are the backbone of a successful offshore team. Ensure that all team members are aware of their roles, responsibilities, and project objectives from the outset. Regularly communicate progress updates and provide feedback on performance. A shared understanding of the team’s purpose and individual contributions fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.

Encourage skills development

Promote a culture of continuous learning and skill development within the offshore team. Offer opportunities for training, certifications, and workshops to enhance team members’ expertise. Investing in employee growth not only improves the quality of output but also increases job satisfaction, reducing turnover rates and strengthening team loyalty.

Regular performance evaluation

Conduct regular performance evaluations and provide constructive feedback to team members. Celebrate successes and address areas for improvement. Performance evaluations help identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth, enabling the team to continually evolve and deliver exceptional results.

Building and managing offshore teams in the Philippines present a host of opportunities and challenges. Comprehensive talent acquisition, effective communication, embracing technology, and fostering a positive team culture are among the essential factors that lead to a productive and harmonious offshore collaboration. With the right approach and a commitment to continuous improvement, offshore teams in the Philippines can become invaluable assets for businesses seeking global expansion and competitive advantage.

Rodney Frost is CEO of Integrated OS. He can be contacted at


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March 20-22, 2024

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PrintTech & Signage Expo 2024

March 28-31, 2024

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30 April 2024


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1 May 2024


Women in Print Breakfast Series

2 May 2024


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6 May 2024


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