Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.

Printers who inspire

This issue begins a new feature profiling printers of distinction; those unique individuals who quietly go about their business, day in and day out, and continue to thrive in these tough economic times. They are our industry’s unheralded role models. We salute them!

It’s showtime! GRAPH EXPO preview

The 2011 version of GRAPH EXPO, the printing industry’s annual showcase for the Americas, is set for Sunday, September 11 to Wednesday, September 14 at Chicago’s world-class McCormick Place. Trust me – you’ll need more than the entire four days to visit the over 450 exhibitors and special feature areas, and take in some of the more than 34 co-located conferences, user groups and special events – not to mention the over 50 seminars covering just about every conceivable aspect of printing and graphic arts. Those “in the know” will come one day earlier, on September 10, to attend the always-popular EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK conference where the 2011 MUST SEE’em technologies and products – the best of the “Best in Show”— will first be revealed.

Canada Post wars

Controversy and some common-sense strategies for your survival

So while some of the best U.S. thinkers gathered at the Postal Vision 2020 Conference June 15 to offer workable strategies to rescue their postal service, what did we do afterwards here in Canada? We endured another strike! As a result, many printers and related service providers lost income – even though postal workers were legislated back to work in a relatively short time.

For the record: Don Gain

I recently chatted with Donald N. Gain, President of Harmony Printing in Etobicoke, Ontario who has seen a lot evolve in his more than four decades in this industry.

You purchased Harmony Printing in 1988 and have guided it from a small shop to one of the most successful and respected mid-sized printers in the industry. What were some of the key turning points?

Grafik’Art review

The Grafik’Art Show April 14–16 at Place Bonaventure in Montreal attracted about 6,000 visitors who walked its 120,000 square feet of floor space exploring 87 booths – compared to 82 exhibitors in 2009. There was everything from small specialty printers to large press and pre-press equipment to finishing to sales and marketing solutions. However, as with all similar shows I’ve attended, I was impressed not only with the high level of technology, but even more so with seeing long-established companies survive and thrive in this current troubled ecomomy.

For the record: Richard Armstrong

Richard Armstrong, president of Heidelberg Canada, gives us some valuable insights in this month’s For The Record.

What do you view as your strengths and where do you feel you need to improve?

Our broad product range of equipment and consumables allows us to bundle solutions. This is a strategic advantage for Heidelberg and can be a competitive advantage for our customers.

UV coating vs lamination


UV coating is a process whereby a polymer resin changes from a liquid to a solid with the help of an ultraviolet light source. UV coating can be a direct replacement for lamination and provides a protective covering that adds value to any document, increasing the vibrancy and richness of its colours (as well as protection from scratching and fingerprints). UV coating may be applied as a gloss, semi-gloss, matte, high-gloss, or in some cases with a special roller as a textured finish to many common applications – such as books covers, brochures, menus, postcards and calendars.

For the record: Bob Elliott

With the flat economy still adversely affecting the graphic arts sector, key industry organizations have ramped-up their activities to promote and advance the causes of Canadian printers. I spoke to Bob Elliott, President of the Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA), to get an update on what his organization is doing.

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.

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.