December 21, 2005
Gifts that keep on printing
In the early 20th century, gifts were wrapped in plain brown paper or tissue called gift dressing. Just before the Christmas of 1917, the Hall brothers, founders of Hallmark, sold out of their white, red and green tissue in their Kansas City, MO, store. To make due, they offered decorative printed envelope lining papers imported from France to customers for 10 cents a sheet. The papers sold out quickly and within a few years Hallmark began designing and printing its own gift wrap. Today Hallmark offers more than 1,000 designs of wrapping paper. According to the American Greetings websiteanother U.S. greeting card and gift wrap companythe average buyer will purchase three rolls of gift wrap this holiday season. And more than one half of those buyers will wait until two weeks before the holidays to make their purchases. Plus Mark, an American Greetings subsidiary, says it makes enough wrapping paper in a year to circle the Earth more than 23 times. That’s a lot of ink on paper!
Season’s Greetings from PrintCAN! Look for more print industry news in the New Year.
December 20, 2005
Robert Young signs on with Transcontinental
MONTREALTranscontinental has appointed Robert Young president of Transcontinental Direct in Pennsylvania. Young was previously president of commercial Envelope for Cenveo, formerly Mail-Well, in which he was responsible for 14 U.S. envelope locations with annual sales of approximately $375 million. Prior to that he was executive vice president, commercial segment at Cenveo. Before joining Cenveo in 2002, Young worked for Pareto Corp., St. Joseph Printing and Quebecor World.
Cape Breton shop stays on cutting edge
SYDNEY, NSCity Printers Ltd. is in the midst of a major expansion and upgrade. The full-service commercial shop recently added 4,600 sq. ft. to its floor space, installed a Heidelberg SM 74, four-colour press with coater and has thrown the switch on CTP with a new Kodak Lotem 400. Co-owner Blair Oake says the shop also plans to install a Xerox DocuColor 5252 digital press to increase its digital production. “We have a marketplace that we would not hang on to without keeping up with the competition,” says Oake. City Printers was established in 1973 and has 22 employees.
December 16, 2005
Transcontinental ends year with revenue growth
MONTREALTranscontinental has released its year-end results and reports an 8% increase in annual revenues, which climbed to $2.2 billion. The report attributes the growth mainly to acquisitions and organic growth in the company’s three operating sectors. Net income rose 8% to $139 million from $129 million in 2004. Transcontinental invested $155 million in property, plant and equipment this year, as well incurring expenses in the reorganization of its sales and brand development. It expects to see positive results of these investments in the second half of fiscal 2006 and 2007. The $155 million investment includes the first part of a two-year $53 million project that involves acquiring three presses to print magazines, catalogues and books, and an additional $20 million to build a new book-printing plant in Louiseville, QC. Next year the company plans to invest about $125 million in property, plant and equipment and about $10 million in strategic expenses.
Thermo Trade & Litho closes
MISSISSAUGA, ONThermo Trade & Litho recently closed its doors. Former co-owner and vice president Azim Chagani says debt was a contributing factor to the closure but there’s still a possibility buyers may take the business over. The shop was a family run business that had been in operation since 1987. It had specialized in thermography for business cards, stationery and announcements.
December 13, 2005
Dr. Joe Webb makes first speech in Canada
TORONTOWell-known U.S. printing industry analyst Joe Webb delivered his first-ever presentation in Canada to printers and suppliers at the Digital Imaging Association’s Christmas luncheon. A group of about 100 listened to Webb’s economic outlook for the Canadian print industry, which Webb says is following trends in the U.S. Webb used statistics and charts to illustrate how the U.S. printing industry stopped keeping up with the American GDP about five years before the Canadian print industry fell below it’s own GNP. He said that China has become Canada’s biggest competitor for manufacturing exports, and forecasts that China’s and India’s economy will each be larger than the U.S. economy in 30 years. Webb said that to keep up, Canadian printers need to look at making their businesses global. Reflecting on the effect that the Internet had on the U.S. printing industry, he urged Canadian printers not to fall victim to the same attitudes of denial that American printers had toward new media. He encouraged printers to hire staff with varied age diversity and hire people with different levels of Internet, software experience, and knowledge in their shops. Webb also urged rethinking sales commission plans and suggested appointing a salaried business development manager to spend time with new prospects and learn their business. Some other clever words of advice from Webb: “Call up your own print shop with an order and see what’s it like to deal with you.”
Two Canadian magazines aim to improve print
TORONTOFollowing in the book publishing industry’s footsteps, explore, an outdoor lifestyle magazine published in Toronto, is the first magazine in Canada to be printed on Ancient Forest Friendly glossy paper that is 100% post-consumer recycled and Forest Stewardship Certified. The magazine worked with St. Joseph printing to source and trial a number of printing options. The move to forest-friendly paper was a collaboration with Markets Initiative, the Vancouver-based company that spearheaded the campaign for Harry Potter to be printed on recycled paper. The organization states that more than 140 Canadian magazine and book publishers have committed to change. In other magazine news, Sposa, a consumer magazine targeted at the wedding industry, has launched a digital edition on iPagez, a digital publication provider. The magazine’s web presence will use digital teasers to give readers a sneak peek at upcoming issues in the print magazine and drive newsstand sales. Part of iPagez’s mandate is helping companies capitalize on the huge shift of print audiences to online media.
December 9, 2005
Well-known Ginger Howle passed away
SCARBOROUGH, ONGinger Howle, well-known in the print industry as an estimator and customer service representative in binding and finishing, died from lung cancer at the age of 52, on Saturday, December 3 at East General Hospital. She had been diagnosed with the disease in June, 2004. Howle most recently worked in the estimating department at Eastend Bindery for the last five years. She had spent about 25 years in the business at various finishing shops, such as Accurate Bindery Service, Follet’s Trade Bindery and Cosgrove Moore. Sam Civello, her colleague at Eastend Bindery, says she was known among printers for her astute knowledge of the industry and her generosity. “She had a fabulous sense of humour and she was a fanastic worker, the best anyone could ask for,” says Civello.
December 6, 2005
Teldon changes ownership
VANCOUVERTeldon Print Media has undergone a management buyout from former owner Volker Wagner, who remains a major shareholder. Fifty-five employees, who already had partial ownership, have now increased their shares. CEO Michael McAdam, who has been running the company for the last four years, says all managers are staying on at the company. Teldon has been operating since 1969. In 2003, it acquired three Vancouver-based companies to form Teldon Print Media. The full-service commercial shop with web, sheetfed and digital operations employs 290 people in its peak season. In 2002, Wagner began buying up small- to medium-sized printing companies in Sydney, Australia and consolidated five into Sydney-based Teldon Print Media Group. However, cash flow problems caused the conglomerate to close down in 2004.
Quebecor World sells five U.S. facilities
MONTREALQuebecor World has sold five U.S. facilities in Massachusetts, Florida, Rhode Island, Missouri, and Michigan to the newly formed Matlet Group, for US$70 million, in a management buy-out. The company was formed by Gary Stiffler, former executive vice president of Quebecor World’s commercial group, along with two private investors. The facilities specialize in commercial printing and packaging as well as fulfillment and pre-media services. The Matlet Group has annual revenue of about US$135 million and more than 600 employees.
December 2, 2005
Personalized media growing, Dow tells OPIA audience
Another Canadian paper mill to close
CORNWALL, ONHot on the heels of last week’s Thunder Bay mill closure announcement from Cascades, Domtar has announced that it will be closing its Cornwall paper mill and shutting down two of its three paper machines at its Gatineau facility, both effective at the end of March. The Cornwall closure will take 265,000 tonnes of uncoated and coated printing grades and 160,000 tonnes of pulp from the market and result in 910 staff losing their jobs. The Gatineau machine closure will take 65,000 tonnes of paper capacity off the market and eliminate 185 jobs. Gatineau’s remaining machine produces specialty paper products such as envelopes and wallpaper. Domtar says it will also close two saw mills in Quebec and sell its mill in Vancouver, as well as eliminate 200 operational positions at its remaining mills, 100 management positions and consolidate North American administrative offices in Montreal and Cincinnati. The company has blamed the closures on rise of the Canadian dollar, challenging market conditions and a decline in demand for its products.