For the record: Lawrence Robinson

As well as printing solutions, Agfa is also an industry leader in imaging and proofing systems, consumables and workflow software, to name a few. Which areas does Agfa feel were most successful in 2010 and why?

The year 2010 showed a significant growth and market share gain in offset plates and wide-format inkjet. We’re seeing renewed interest and creativity in the printing industry in many different ways. Commercial printers are finding products that their customers are having success with, so we see interest in our various plates and wide-format printing systems. Additionally, in 2010, for example, Agfa announced the availability of the new :Azura V Chemistry-free Plates for violet systems. The plates are built on technology similar to our market-leading :Azura chemistry-free thermal plates. Commercial printers are looking forward and welcoming the economic challenges.

Marketing 101

Marketing is about understanding and satisfying customer needs within a target market. Marketing is not just a one-time event (such as an in-store promotional campaign) but is a continuous process of researching, promoting, selling and distributing the product or service in a unique way to compete in a marketplace.

For your print information: Paper making

Paper is an important part of print production, and it is usually the most expensive material used in the job. It is surprising then that the process of how paper is made is not something that is commonly known.

Commercial paper used in print production is made through several steps. The first step in paper manufacturing is known as pulping. Pulping can be accomplished through mechanical or chemical processes. The mechanical process requires that the wood bark be stripped and the stripped trees are treated by a constant grinding action while water is simultaneously sprayed onto the trees and a grindstone. The debarked trees are pressed against the grind stone, which causes the individual fibres to be crushed, scored, pressed, torn off and sheared.

Product profile: Eco-friendly products

We have all heard of third-party environmental certifications (like FSC, SFI and AFF), which are very important in maintaining ecological accountability in the printing industry, but what if we could all do more?

The following will document two Canadian printing companies who are forging ahead to the next generation of what it means to be environmentally sustainable. Hemlock Printers Ltd. and Metro Label Group Inc. have both committed to their eco-mandates and used outside-of-the-box strategies to lighten their environmental impact, including making decisions to use eco-friendly products.

CHILI publish

CHILI publish is new and it is not like any other online publishing product on the block. Think of it as a platform you control on your own server. A webserver to brand as many sites in as many ways as you want. A system that provides control over what your users see and access.

Magic or interactive print?

Print has long held the responsibility of disseminating information. At the Digital Imaging Association meeting on January 19, 2011 attendees participated in a special technology evening demonstrating how marketers are using print as an entry point to launch consumers into immersive online experiences.

Is it magic or the reality of technology? Both are an illusion. DIA attendees saw a Smartphone synch a printed label to an online message and watched a piece of paper launch a video game. Welcome to the future!

How to block the competition

In today’s business climate, virtually every company has more competition than they did a few years ago. And many of these competitors are beating at YOUR customers’ doors in an effort to get their business. Some of these competitors will be more aggressive than you are and will succeed in getting your client’s attention. If that happens, there’s a good chance you could lose that customer.

Ryerson GCM’s Colloquium event

On Thursday, February 17, the School of Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University hosted a very successful colloquium. This is a yearly event that brings together students and industry professionals to discuss relevant topics in print.

So you want to be in the mailing business?

Somebody once said, stick to what you know; do it right and do it well. I suppose that could be said of many things. In business, it’s probably good advice. However, someone else said that change is constant. So with that in mind, how do you address this seeming paradox?

Sustaining a sustainable business

As we head toward spring, we hope you enjoy our yearly “green” issue of GAM. As the tradition for the yearly issue continues, it also evolves. This year, Gail Nickel-Kailing guides you to a better-rounded interpretation of “green” and explains how to be more sustainable. There are different types of sustainability: economic, environmental and social, to name a few. Sustainability is a concept that is a critical part of every business. To be successfully sustainable means to have longevity, to offer quality products at a profit, while improving the community and not harming the environment. That is a long and challenging list of goals. Gail focuses on the environmental aspects of becoming sustainable, urging you to move beyond just compliance.