Konica Minolta partners with Ryerson and Belmont Press to augment classroom learning via breakthrough digital finishing

Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Canada) has partnered with Toronto’s Ryerson University, donating both time and money to inspire the next generation of Ryerson Graphic Communications Management (GCM) students – while also supporting the Canadian printing industry in its mission to attract the best possible talent. In doing so, Konica Minolta has exposed students to some of the most groundbreaking technologies on the market today. The company has made a $10,000 scholarship commitment over the next 5 years to the university to improve student skill sets and better prepare them for the job market. The OEM is also assisting printers who’ve invested in its breakthrough MGI JETvarnish digital embellishment and finishing system by educating students about the revolutionary technology. This provides printers with a growing talent pool of pre-trained workers available for hire. Ryerson’s GCM offers Canada’s only four-year, degree program for the printing and graphic communications industry. This specialized type of training provides students with opportunities that often lead to management careers. Throughout the program, students network with potential employers and gain practical experience through formal internships or part-time work. These programs have been supported not only by Canada’s leading commercial printers, but also by corporate sponsors such as Konica Minolta.

Awards, creativity and more. On October 6, 2017, a team of Konica Minolta experts visited the university and introduced 135 fourth-year GCM students to the latest printing technologies, educating them on how to design specifically for digital embellishment applications. It was an eye-opening experience for students. They were assigned a project to design the front and back cover for Ryerson’s November 7, 2017, GCM Awards Night program booklet. The annual event was held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens). The process involved creating layered CMYK files for later enhancements using varnish or foil. Each submission was printed by Konica Minolta Canada and then finished by Belmont Press in Markham, Ontario, on its MGI JETvarnish 3D Evolution. All entries were judged by Ryerson’s GCM faculty.

GCM student Mia Cyrwus (3rd from left) won the design competition and a $1,000 cash prize. The other 134 students who participated received the embellished version of their digital creation.
GCM student Mia Cyrwus (3rd from left) won the design competition and $1,000. The other 134 students who participated received the prined version of their creation.

During the awards gala, Konica Minolta Canada was there again to present in two new award categories. In the end, GCM student Mia Cyrwus won the design competition and a $1,000 cash prize. The other 134 students who participated were also winners – especially when it came to creativity. Every student received the embellished version of their digital work printed by Belmont Press – and Belmont even hired a Ryerson graduate to operate its new MGI JETvarnish 3D Evolution! All in all, it was a win-win-win for the over 200 attendees. Over $50,000 in scholarships were awarded. “To our award winners, congratulations on aiming high, thinking boldly, and working brilliantly together on projects that define the best of our ambition. Ryerson is honoured by your accomplishments,” said Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi.

Groundbreaking digital finishing technology. Konica Minolta’s MGI technology is genuinely disruptive and has been featured recently on the covers of several industry publications. In fact, the list of applications for Konica Minolta’s MGI JETvarnish 3DS and iFoil technology will grow exponentially as the analogue foil and varnish market converts to digital. Basically, the JETvarnish takes advanced finishing to the next level by providing digital spot UV coating in plain 2D and 3D formats, plus embossed and foil textured effects – all in a single pass. Moreover, the digital spot UV coating is 100% variable-data capable – including barcode reader options enabling custom spot varnished prints with unique graphics, text and numeric data for runs from one to thousands of sheets. This is an exciting new technology that both students and the printing industry are currently embracing.

Click here to watch an informative and inspiring 4-minute video of the highlights of the project and the winning design, as well as more news on digitally embellished print. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogmuGHyv6gM&feature=youtu.be




Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.