Google+ …A plus for small businesses?

If you weren’t already overwhelmed with the number of online networking platforms floating around on the Web, Google has just launched a new social media tool called Google . In hopes of competing with Facebook (after previous attempts at social networking by Google have gone the way of the Dodo) this service is looking like it might actually stick around. Though it is still in its early days and not everyone has access yet, the positive buzz around Google can’t be ignored.

For the record: Grace Gao

This month I had the opportunity to talk with Grace Gao, general manager of Hans Gronhi Canada. I wanted to find out how the recent Print World show fared for the company, and learn about the challenges for a foreign business entering the Canadian marketplace. Read on!

Print World 2010

This year’s Print World show began on a beautiful and sunny Saturday, on the morning of November 20. Toronto’s Direct Energy centre played host to the event that reportedly saw visitors from more than 15 countries around the world. Though the show was noticeably smaller than some were used to, the overall attendance was positive – as were the number of “sold” signs on the equipment!

Featured markets: This month’s topics: Coating and drying

In many cases, a coating is the final touch on a printed piece. Not only is it that lasting effect that really makes the colours “pop,” but it also has added value in protecting the document. Coatings can keep fingerprints, scratches and scuffs at bay, while adding a glossy finish that creates depth to the piece and draws the reader’s eye. There are different types of coating for different applications, including varnish, UV coating, and aqueous coating. Lamination is also an option, but that’s another story for another day.

Featured markets: Printing Plates and Climate Control Systems


Back in the 1800s during the early days of offset lithography, limestone slabs were used as the original “printing plate.” Nowadays, printed images are transferred from a thin plate (usually aluminum or polyester), onto a blanket, and then to the substrate. Plates can also be made of metal, plastic, rubber or even paper, depending on the process used. These plates are attached to a press cylinder and are used to transfer the inked image that will appear on the printed material. In general, metal plates are more expensive, but they usually last longer and have greater accuracy. As run lengths are decreasing, the latest developments in plate-making increasingly revolve around ways to make the process more environmentally-friendly by reducing or eliminating the chemicals used in the imaging process. This section will take a closer look at some of the most recent developments in printing plate technology.

Print World 2010 preview

Print World: The World of Shorter-Run Printing is the biggest show of its kind in North America. Especially with the expanding implementation of digital presses, the shorter-run market is rapidly growing. In 2008, the show welcomed nearly 10,000 attendees. This year, from November 20-22, Print World will be presented at the Direct Energy Centre in downtown Toronto with over 125,000 square feet of exhibition space.

For the record – Frank Romano

This month I had the opportunity to chat with renowned industry expert Frank Romano to discuss the future of printing trade shows, and what opportunities and challenges lie ahead for printers.

What are you most looking forward to seeing at Print World?

Featured markets: Consumables: paper & substrates and digital printers

Consumables: Paper & Substrates

Many people involved in the world of print have a special relationship with paper. Be it the designers, the production coordinators, the printers themselves or the end-user, the selected stock for any job is carefully considered, and inevitably faces tough scrutiny. They will carefully judge its thickness and weight, its brightness and its opacity; they may even smell it and caress it lovingly. I, for one, enjoy stopping by the paper supplier booths at trade shows to see the vast array of colours and textures available, and maybe even snag a sample or two. This passion for paper is well justified though. After all, it is an integral piece in the print puzzle; it is the substrate that carries the printed message.

2010 Graph Expo: A sneak peek

graph expo 2010 a sneak preview

This year’s Graph Expo show at McCormick Place in Chicago promises “four days of comparison shopping, networking, live equipment demonstrations, seminars and critical decision making.” The show floor will be divided tinto four main sections: prepress, press & converting, wide-format, and mailing & fulfillment. To be held from October 3-6, 2010, Graph Expo is the year’s largest display of “live” running equipment in the Americas. With the exception of a few well-known press manufacturers, the show’s exhibitor attendance is looking exciting this year. More than 450 companies are scheduled to show off their stuff in Chicago this year – including most of the “big guys.”