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.

The rise of short run & variable data printing

In recent years, there has been a significant industry-wide shift towards short run digital and variable data printing (VDP) as technological advancements have increased quality, speed and integration into existing workflows. Projects that were once manufactured using traditional offset equipment in large volumes can now be cost-effectively printed in smaller batches, reducing waste and upfront expenditures.

Novelty printing

When you hear the term “novelty printing,” you probably think of corporate logos on pens and “World’s Best Boss” mugs. Yes, it is true that lots of promotional products are considered to be “novelty printing”, but this category can be so much more creative than that. I am pleased to set the record straight and show you examples of clever and innovative novelty printed products. Many of these products do not only cater to one’s sense of sight, but to all five senses: sight, touch, taste, smell and sound. Let’s explore five examples of novelty printed products that interact with each of the senses.

Entrepreneurship 101

Entrepreneurship is an exciting adventure that I have recently leapt into. The idea of creating your brand, signing your first customer, the smell of fresh ink on your business card… this is the stuff dreams are made of!  Once you have your great idea, the next big question is:  “What do I do now?”  Here are some insights that I appreciated learning during my start-up and now I want to pass them on to you.

Product profile: This month’s topic: Prepress software

Xanté Xanté’s iQueue 5.0 prepress workflow is a comprehensive system for Xanté’s digital print solutions and it has the ability to manage multiple jobs across multiple Xanté devices, employ advanced screening options to reduce waste, monitor consumables across multiple devices, estimate job costs, provide imposition templates and much more. Xanté’s iQueue 5.0 enables the operator … Read more →

Product profile: This month’s topic: Digital presses

Digital press technology is becoming increasingly prevalent and valuable in today’s printing environment. Versatility, cost effective short run capabilities, decreased makeready and reduced waste are just some of the factors enabling digital press technology to out perform traditional offset processes.

Another huge benefit to digital press technology is the opportunity for reduced obsolescence and printing only what is required, when it is required. This reduces associated storage and overall waste without sacrificing quality.

Succession planning 101

What is succession planning and why is it important for every business?

Succession planning is the preparation for giving over control of an organization. It helps answer the “what if” questions and outlines the necessary steps to successfully transition the company from one leader to the next with minimal disruption.

Human resources 101

Human Resources Management (HRM) encompasses a range of activities to manage human capital, which is a company’s most important asset. Managing human resources encompasses everything from hiring to performance management and legal boundaries. HR professionals must wear a number of hats throughout their day including wellness expert, strategic decision maker and mediator.

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.