Sign business

sign business

What applications of printing can’t be replaced by a computer screen?

People often point to packaging as an area that still requires ink on paper. Another growth area where ink can’t be beat is signs and banners, and a host of other applications of large-format inkjet printing.

Sharing on social networks

My friend and I regularly share files. Can we use a USB stick or is there something else we can use so that we don’t burn CDs? He’s on a PC and I’m on a Mac.

Yes, you certainly could use a USB stick, or thumb drives. They’re usually formatted for use on Windows PCs, which means your friend can also read and write on it using a Mac. Using “file transfer” services is often the most cost-effective and convenient method. Lately, I’ve been recommending that users check out Dropbox. All you need to do is create an account on and you’ll get 2 GB of free storage space. Once you’ve got your account set up, you create a folder and invite your friend to share the folder. Your friend will also get 2 GB of free storage and he can invite his friends to share, and so on, and so on.

For the record: Jeff Ekstein

This month, I spoke with Jeff Ekstein who has a unique perspective on the Canadian printing industry. He is President and CEO of Willow Printing Group, headquartered in Concord, Ontario; Co-Chair of CPISC (Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council); Director of CPIA (Canadian Printing Industries Association); and, more recently, Jeff was appointed Secretary of the Printing Industries of America (PIA). And, he has no shortage of opinions on our industry, what we need to do to survive and thrive, and what the immediate future holds.

Product Profile: Large-format Digital

As businesses become progressively more advertising-reliant (including signage for every imaginable product and service on the market) and companies drive to customize this advertising to an increasingly focused audience, large-format digital printers will be at the forefront of production for short-run needs. Digital flatbed and roll-to-roll systems allow printing houses to provide efficient schedules and produce as few as one copy to satisfy increasing customer expectations. Increasing use of vibrant colours and detailed graphics demand high-quality equipment that will please even the toughest client’s critical eye. Below are seven large-format digital devices that will print everything from signage, to vehicle wraps, to fabrics.

Folding vs creasing

Creasing versus Scoring

There are several methods of scoring paper or card substrates. However, we will focus on the two most common processes today – rotary scoring and creasing.

Management 101

Welcome to the first of Graphic Arts Magazine’s 101 series (the “non-print-related” column for the print professional)! The intent of this article is to provide you with some basic groundwork into proactive management techniques and offer you links to books and electronic resources to learn more for yourself.

“Management” is often defined as the process of dealing with or controlling things or people. As with any activity involving human interaction, there are variables involved that can make or break a successful manager. It is important to remember that employees seldom quit companies. Rather, employees quit their managers in the form of leaving the company.

For your print information: Ink viscosity

Welcome to a new column dedicated to helping you understand the science behind printing. Before the topic of ink viscosity is addressed, let us begin with a background of your team of authors. RYETAGA (Ryerson Technical Association of the Graphic Arts) is Ryerson University’s official Student Chapter of TAGA (Technical Association of the Graphic Arts). As Canada’s only TAGA student chapter, RYETAGA student members take part in every aspect of our journal production. We will be submitting our student journal publication to the competition at the TAGA Annual Technical Conference in March 2011. The TAGA conference provides industry and student members the opportunity to learn about the latest research and technology in the graphic arts industry, through conference presentations, seminars and networking opportunities. RYETAGA’s student journal publication will be competing against student chapters from other universities to keep the grand prize for best overall student technical journal, the Helmut Kipphan Cup, and the Harvey Levenson prize for the undergraduate research paper at Ryerson University. Dr. Martin Habekost, professor at the Graphic Communications Management School, advises the team. To learn more, visit our website: We hope you enjoy learning about print.

Use peak season analysis to improve workflow

Now that the busy season is over, it’s the perfect time to analyze the results to make improvements for the next year. Looking back on the busy season, problems always cropped up, one or two customers didn’t get the best service and everyone worked extra hours to get everything out the door. Use this time after the rush to gather data for budgeting, hiring and upgrading for the new year.

The world of 3D printing expands to build a house

In April of last year, we reported on the rapid growth of 3D design technology in product development and online consumer 3D print services, as well as the growing adoption of 3D software in architecture, interior design and manufacturing, resulting in a strong demand for 3D printers to produce these prototypes. As of lately, we have had announcements from an Italian inventor, Enrico Dini, chairman of the company Monolite UK Ltd., who has developed a huge three-dimensional printer called D-Shape that can print entire buildings out of sand and an inorganic binder.

Looking forward to 2011

So it’s 2011! Hopefully, as we enter into February you are recovered from the holidays. I like to think that with each year that passes we get older and wiser.

At GAM, we have made some editorial improvements that we hope you will enjoy. Let’s begin by navigating this issue through our three new columns. The focus of the new columns is to stay fresh and make you a more rounded reader all in one place. For starters, we have our For Your Print Information (FYPI) series starting this year. Each month will feature a different topic related to graphic arts processes that will help you understand how things work. The column is authored by Toronto’s own TAGA (Technical Association for the Graphic Arts) student chapter. This is an award-winning group of students led by Professor Martin Habekost at Ryerson University.

View from the publisher – February 2011

Welcome to a challenging new year and, hopefully, one with more positive news than we had in 2010.

Jeff Ekstein, president and CEO of the Willow Printing Group, co-chair of CPISC, CPIA director and PIA secretary, has a unique perspective of what lies ahead as well as some timely and sound advice in this month’s “For the record” feature. I echo his opinions, especially when it comes to the importance of getting together and becoming more involved in the good work done by our industry organizations. I also strongly agree that you should always insist on a fair price for the quality work you produce.