View from the publisher

Digital colour printing is always a hot topic of conversation, and John Zarwan tackles it head on in our feature on page 18. As we’ve said many times in these pages, offset and digital are complementary technologies, and many of those who are slow to adopt digital presses may only be hindered by a lack … Read more →

You’ve never seen it like this

What can variable do for me? If you’re in the printing industry, I’m sure its a question you’ve asked yourself—perhaps you’ve even answered it by building up a variable data portion of your business to add value for your customers. The widespread adaption of digital means that variable is becoming a larger part of many … Read more →

Digital colour for profitability

While digital colour was a novelty five or ten years ago, most Canadian printers today have some digital colour capability; more than half offer colour copying and printing, while a substantial number – some research indicates approaching 20%—have digital “presses” with speeds of 45 ppm or higher. Research that we conducted for PRIMIR ( indicates … Read more →

Should you sell your business?

These are trying times for printing companies.  Competition has strained pricing and profitability.  More than a few competitors are offering prices that have little relationship to the actual cost of production.  Printing companies also have to keep up their investment in new technologies to remain cost competitive and on the leading edge of new product … Read more →

International price assassins

International competitors are killing many Canadian printing businesses: companies in China can often offer jobs at prices less than the Canadian cost of materials. While changing Chinese prices isn’t possible, printers can educate their clients about the limitations of international printing alternatives. Customers are demanding shorter and shorter turnarounds on jobs, and the time from … Read more →

BDI: Bigger, better, best

Markham’s Beyond Digital Imaging (BDI) adds Hewlett-Packard Scitex TJ8500 to its huge, growing inventory of equipment, solidifying its position as an industry leader in large-format printing. Headquartered in Markham, Ontario,  Beyond Digital Imaging has been a Canadian success story in taking large-format printing to the next level. In 2003, they turned industry heads with massive, … Read more →

Wide-format multi-function inkjet printers

Wide-format multi-function printers (MFP) have gone from rare to ubiquitous in the past ten years. Steve Blanken, director of sales for Contex USA, notes that “ten years ago, Canon introduced large format bubblejet inkjet MFP units priced well above $125,000” and only larger companies were able to justify the cost. “But now, you can get … Read more →

Graphic Arts IT Guy Q & A

Q. I am having trouble with my email in Windows Vista. There is a message stuck in my Outbox that will not go away. I’ve called my ISP and they can offer no help. What can I do? A. Welcome to “Windows Mail”, Microsoft’s replacement for Outlook Express (the free email program that came with … Read more →

Transparency Tricks You Can Use Today

Transparency is used in every file these days.  From drop shadows and glow effects to type and gradients, designers have a complete set of transparency tools at their fingertips. Despite their name, the tools’ functions are often less than transparent, so following are some tricks to overcome common transparency problems. Problem: You have a PDF … Read more →

GRACoL for offset consistency

What is GRACoL? Most simply, it stands for “General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography”. To elaborate a bit more, it deals with the ability to have consistency in offset Lithography. This consistency is the result of being able to establish some common ground amongst a somewhat volatile printing arena. The goal is to … Read more →

Characteristics of great sales negotiators

Virtually everyone in sales must negotiate, but most sales people are not as effective at negotiating as they could be. However, I do come across great sales negotiators from time-to-time and have noticed that they typically have a few things in common. Following are the characteristics they usually possess. Understanding of the negotiating process. Highly … Read more →

Plan for profit at Graph Expo 2007

Imagine you are looking for a new product or service that will make your business more productive and profitable. Where do you start? You could check the Internet, let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages or attend Graph Expo 2007. If you are like 18 – 20 thousand other Graphic Arts professionals … Read more →