Diana Varma is an Instructor at the School of Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University and the Owner of ON-SITE First Aid & CPR Training Group, a health & safety company that provides training to the Graphic Arts Industry.

Event planning 101

You’ve made a list. You’ve checked it twice…now let the fun begin!

Whether an event has 50, 500 or 5000 attendees, its success ultimately relies on the planner’s ability to view the event both through a telescope and through a microscope. They must be able to see the big picture and at the same time focus on the most minute details. In addition, they must be able to harness the use of their right-brain creativity, often working with a “beer budget” to put on a “champagne” event, as well as their left-brain analytical skills, to ensure the event is “in the black” at the end of the day.

Product profile: This month’s topic: bindery & finishing

This month’s Product Profile is all about bindery and finishing equipment; more specifically, short-run book binding equipment. In the uncertainty of today’s publishing environment, trending shows that fewer books are being printed on the first run, and in many cases, fewer books are being printed overall. In light of this, many publishers are opting for printing on digital equipment, as opposed to traditional offset equipment. Additionally, the quality of digitally printed books continues to rise and a greater number of printers are offering digital book printing services. According to Xerox, 80 percent of digitally printed books have print runs of less than 500 copies and 25 percent are less than 100 copies. Digital books have an average page extent of approximately 300 pages and therefore usually require perfect binding.

Product profile: This month’s topic: Substrates

Automation is the process of using technology to make repetitive tasks easier and to reduce human intervention to a minimum. Increased technological advancements enable enhanced levels of productivity in our everyday lives, from automated home appliances to alarm clocks that wake us up when we want, to cars that automatically regulate the internal temperature of the vehicle. We all experience automation daily in our personal lives, and we can also experience automation in our printing lives, too. From front-end processes, to the pressroom floor, to bindery and post-bindery, the automated options for our industry are growing at a steady pace.

Financing 101

So you have a great business idea and you’re ready to move forward with it, but how do you secure the necessary capital to build your dream? There are a number of options available, which will be discussed in brief and additional insights will be left up to the financial pros in the “Resources” section.

Research and development 101

A strong research and development (R&D) focus allows individuals, businesses, industries and the world to rise up against mediocrity and achieve greatness. Technological advancements happen because of R&D efforts, and without the numerous innovators throughout history who believed that the printing press could be improved, we may still be printing on converted wine presses.

Product profile: automation

Automation is the process of using technology to make repetitive tasks easier and to reduce human intervention to a minimum. Increased technological advancements enable enhanced levels of productivity in our everyday lives, from automated home appliances to alarm clocks that wake us up when we want, to cars that automatically regulate the internal temperature of the vehicle. We all experience automation daily in our personal lives, and we can also experience automation in our printing lives, too. From front-end processes, to the pressroom floor, to bindery and post-bindery, the automated options for our industry are growing at a steady pace.

Product Profile: Inks

Most ink technologies have remained largely unmodified in the recent decades. Not much has changed in the many years of applying ink on paper or film or plastic. What’s new and different, however, is conductive ink technology. By taking existing printing equipment and coupling it with the desire to solve a unique problem, conductive ink is changing the traditional role of printing and expanding its applications. Conductive ink is, therefore, an example of an ink technology that has broadened the scope of printing, paving the way for the future of what it means to “print.”

Graphic Design 101

There is a fine line between good design and great design. There is also a fine line between the design work you choose to complete yourself and the design work you hire a professional to conceptualize and create for you. Below you will find numerous resources to produce a design yourself, as well as the resources available to hire the right designer.

Education and training 101

As our economy is more dependent than ever upon intellectual capital (versus physical buildings or machines), the role of continuous education and training is all the more relevant and necessary to succeed in today’s business world.

Product Profile: This month’s topic: MIS systems

Welcome to the (sometimes complex and intimidating) world of Management Information Systems (MIS) for the graphic arts industry! With so many options to choose from (and so much techo-babble to wade through), it can be difficult to narrow down the features and benefits of each system’s offerings. Today’s examination of four MIS providers includes HIFLEX, Avanti, EFI and Prism. This is meant to be a brief overview of each company’s product and their capabilities. The focus is on the products’ unique position in the marketplace, and not a comprehensive examination of each system. Although I can provide a concise explanation of each solution, I cannot do any company justice in one article. Therefore, there is a web address beside each explanation where you can find a great deal more information about all of the solutions available.

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.