News Archives
August 2000
August 29, 2000
Printer and Canada Post refuse image for personalized stamps
MISSISSAUGA — Ashton Potter Canada became suspicious when a customer brought in an image for its Picture Postage service, a joint venture launched in April by Ashton Potter, the security printer, and Canada Post. In early August, a customer brought Ashton Potter what looked like an image printed from a Web site or taken from a magazine. When there is a concern, the printer alerts Canada Post, which then decides if an image should run or not. After a cursory check, Canada Post determined the image was of a “controversial gentleman;” a man named Velupillai Prabhakaran, says Tim McGurrin, a spokesperson for Canada Post. While Canada Post will not identify him as a terrorist, it is believed he is the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, what the U.S. considers a terrorist group. No stamps with his image were produced.

Research new equipment online
TORONTO — A new Web site launched in July promises to help buyers of industrial equipment research and compare before they contact the manufacturer. Called Industry Depots ( the site was created by Fred Oille, president of Inventory Depot Inc. Printers can log onto the site, click on the printing and graphics section and a listing of products—from prepress to press to bindery—comes up. Products are hyperlinked to manufacturers’ Web sites. The site went live in July, but is still under construction. Oille expects it to be complete in two to three months.

August 25, 2000
Cenosis acquires prepress operation
MONTREAL — Cenosis Inc., a workflow software producer for print media and publishers, just acquired StanMont Inc., a digital prepress agency serving the advertising, packaging and printing markets, from its parent company Schawk Inc. The deal was finalized in mid-August. Cenosis president and CEO, Richard Corbo, says they acquired the assets of StanMont in a deal worth Cdn$2.4 million in cash, Cdn$1.1 million in accounts receivable and a Cdn$1 million convertible debenture. Schawk received over 67,000 common shares of Cenosis in the transaction. Corbo says the acquisition is all part of Cenosis’ business strategy to expand and penetrate its target markets.

OPIA’s committee responds to new bylaw
TORONTO — The OPIA's Environment, Health & Safety Committee says it endorses the new Sewer-Use Bylaw which the city passed in early July. Roslyn Wright, chair of the committee, says the new bylaw does set some tough targets. “They’re not looking at it to go hand in hand with reducing, recycling,” she says, “it is pollution elimination. So that is going to be difficult, but we’re willing to do it.” The OPIA says the new bylaw will affect about 600 printers. Representatives from the Committee do plan to meet with city officials in September to clarify some of the definitions in the bylaw. The OPIA also plans to work with the city to produce a template of a P2 plan to aid printers with compliance.

Going, going...still there
DES PLAINES, Ill. — The Internet site,, began auctioning off 375 printing-related domain names in July.
The results? Carlos Tabora, site creator and president, said no names had been sold. The auction closed in early August. “It was extremely disappointing, but I think I might be a little early in terms of this industry,” he says. Some of the names will be relisted and up for bid on the site in September.

August 22, 2000
Bindery to auction equipment
TORONTO — All the equipment from Cosgrove-Moore, the trade bindery that went bankrupt in early June, is to be auctioned off. The public auction will take place Sept. 6 in Scarborough and is being conducted by Markham, Ont.-based Century Services. Staff at Cosgrove-Moore would not comment yesterday. Among the equipment to be auctioned off are folders, saddle stitchers, cutters, collators, mailing equipment, joggers, stackers, a Heidelberg T offset press and an AM Multigraphics 1250 two-colour press.

St. Joseph awarded U.S. contract
CONCORD, Ont. — St. Joseph Printing was awarded a two year contract by Columbia House U.S. worth about Cdn$4 million per year. Tony Gagliano, CEO and executive chairman of St. Joseph Corporation said yesterday that between the last five and six years the company has been printing catalogues for Columbia House Canada. “The Canadian relationship bridged us to the U.S. and we’d been knocking on the U.S. door really for the last couple of years, so it was an opportunity for us to take a piece of the business away and be competitive on it,” he said. The contract was awarded two months ago and production began late August. St. Joseph will be printing 20 million full-colour, glossy, digest-sized catalogues over the two years. The catalogues are direct mail pieces to be distributed through the U.S. postal service.

August 18, 2000
Paper prices to rise
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — International Paper and Atlanta, Ga.-based Georgia-Pacific Papers announced price increases on uncoated freesheet—that includes offset, copy and opaques—in mid-August. Neither company would grant interviews, but an employee with one of their merchants said yesterday the increase is between 7% and 8%. Other mills are also expected to follow with price increases. The announcement is still so new that price sheets have not yet been released; temporary sheets will be issued next week. This price increase, said the source, follows a period of declining prices. The last hike was announced last spring. The new prices will take effect in early September and, according to a spokesperson with International Paper, will be US$60 per ton.

The state of e-commerce in Canada
TORONTO — Should printers rush to set up e-commerce sites? According to Statistics Canada, one out of every 10 companies used the Internet to sell goods and services last year. But that exposure translated into only 0.2% of their total economic activity. The survey results, released in mid-August, showed each sector could attribute between .5% and 1.5% of its sales to the Internet.

Winners! Winners!
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Printing Industries Association of America (PIA) has released the names of all winners in its 50th Annual Premier Print Awards. Canadian winners include: Ideal Printing of Calgary; Intermedia Press, Metropolitan Fine Printers and Quebecor World-B.C. of Vancouver; Friesens Corporation of Altona, Man.; Barney Printing, Colour Technologies, Commercial Printcraft, Data Business Forms, Grenville Management and Printing, Harmony Printing, Herzig Somerville, Kingsweb, Lowe-Martin Group, Quebecor/Matthews, Ingham & Lake and Webcom of Ontario; Imprimerie Quebecor Magog and Quebecor World-QC of Quebec; and PrintWest Communications of Saskatoon.

August 15, 2000
Variable printing is growing slowly
TORONTO — A study completed by Kubas Consultants for the Graphic Arts Marketing Information Service (GAMIS) found direct mail pieces will continue to grow but at a slower rate. According to the study entitled The Status and Future of Direct Mail completed earlier this year, direct mail is projected to grow at 4% per year through to 2003 and at about half that rate in subsequent years. The study adds that business-to-business direct mail is growing faster than business-to-consumer.

Study shows reading it on paper is effective
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Ohio State University study discovered that students found articles posted on a Web site more difficult to understand than the same articles on paper. P. Karen Murphy, a professor in educational psychology said yesterday in an interview that “we also found that [students] found the arguments to be somewhat more persuasive if they read it on paper and that the text they found to be interesting if they read it on paper.” The study examined 131 students who were given newspaper and magazine articles to read. The results were presented at a conference in Washington earlier this month.

August 11, 2000
Be sure to read it first
WILLOWDALE, Ont. — For $25.52,Yellow Business will list businesses from across Canada on its online directory. The ads the four-month-old company has been using to solicit customers, however, look much like Bell Canada’s phone bills. In recent weeks, printers in Mississauga have also been targeted with the ads. Victor Black, co-owner of Yellow Business, says they’re not misleading “if people read them.” If they mistakenly pay the “bill,” he adds, Yellow Business will refund them their money. He would not reveal the name of the printer, but did say the company has printed 50,000 copies of the ad. Michelle MacCrimmon, customer service representative at Bell ActiMedia in Toronto—Bell’s publishing arm—says Bell took legal action when Yellow Business first issued the ads. A spokesperson at Bell ActiMedia said they are legal because they are “different enough” from Bell’s phone bills.

Binderies in Canada can’t keep up?
VANCOUVER — Raincoast Books, the publishers of the Harry Potter series, is using an offshore supplier to keep up with demand for the books. Printers, says Sharon Bailey, production manager and associate art director at Raincoast, aren't the problem, it’s the binderies. “The binderies do exist (in Canada), but they do not have the capacity to be able to run at the speed we need them and actually keep their clients at the same time,” she explains. Raincoast is printing and binding up to 400,000 copies of the latest in the series in the UK and sent the work out in late July. Another 500,000 copies are being printed and bound by Friesens Corporation in Altona, Man. Bailey says binderies in Canada end up “farming” out the work “when you try to ask for special turnaround” times. According to Bailey, the printer/bindery in the UK can turn the work around four times faster than in Canada.

One of the big winners is a Canadian printer
BURNABY, B.C. — Hemlock Printers won 48 awards in the Printing Industries of America’s (PIA) Premier Print Awards. The PIA received 5,400 entries. One of the awards for Hemlock was the Benny or Best of Category for Stochastic Printing.

August 9, 2000
Scarborough plant closes
TORONTO — Herzig Somerville Ltd.’s pressroom was closed and all equipment put up for sale as of the end of July. According to president Mark Quesnelle, the pressroom was shut down on Friday, July 28 and through the weekend the prepress operations were moved to Schawk Canada Inc.—Herzig’s parent company. Of the 90 staff, 19 were laid off and the rest have work at the new location. Quesnelle said Herzig will still offer printing services through an alliance with a Toronto-area printer. “We’ll still be able to offer [printing] as a service because as a matter of fact some of the people who we’re talking to have picked up some of our people,” he said. The company is still in negotiations with the yet-to-be named printer. Herzig’s printing operation consisted of two presses, a 40”, six-colour Heidelberg and a 40”, four-colour Komori, and a small format Heidelberg DI.

PAC buys consumables distributor
MISSISSAUGA — PAC (Prepress Automation Company), a prepress supplier, has acquired Marathon Graphics Supply Inc. PAC president Jay Fieger said in an interview yesterday that he had pursued the 15-year-old company for about two years before the final acquisition in late July. Fieger would not disclose the transaction’s worth, but did say Marathon has revenues in the “several million dollar” range. Marathon’s offices, including inventory and six employees, have now moved to PAC’s 6,500 sq.-ft. site in Mississauga. It will continue to operate under the Marathon name. PAC sells prepress equipment from software to hardware, has 18 employees, and was established in 1995.

August 4, 2000
Hollinger sells largest printer on Prince Edward Island
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — When CanWest Global Communications Corp. signed the $3.5 billion deal with Hollinger Inc. in late July, it also acquired two commercial printing operations. Williams & Crue Printing and Irwin Printing fall under Hollinger’s The Summerside Group. General manager David Heckbert says Williams & Crue is the largest facility on the island. It includes a satellite quick-print office, Irwin Printing, in Charlottetown. Heckbert says Williams & Crue handles high-quality, full-colour sheetfed work. Williams & Crue has five Heidelberg presses and two Hamada duplicators. It also has prepress, bindery and finishing capabilities. Both Williams and Irwin were established in 1900 and combined have 29 employees.

Gandalf acquires printing operation
TORONTO — Gandalf Graphics Ltd., a full prepress operation, acquired The Bryant Press Ltd., a book manufacturer and large-format printer, in late July. President and CEO, Larry Downey, says Gandalf had been acting as The Bryant Press’ prepress division for two years. “I was getting the feeling that our customers wanted to see the operation as one entity as opposed to two separate entities,” he said. In 1999, Downey approached John Weld, the retired owner of Bryant, to see if he would sell. The Bryant Press was established in 1897 and has been owned by the same family since 1903. It has a staff of 80 and Downey would not say if there would be any layoffs. Gandalf employs 30 and was formed in 1979. The two companies combined have net sales of $20 million. A new name for the company will be announced.

August 1, 2000
Chapters’ late payments begin to affect book printers
TORONTO — Two book printers say Chapters Inc.’s late payments to publishers has affected their accounts receivables. Altona, Man.-based Friesens Corporation and Toronto’s Transcontinental Book Group, which includes Transcontinental Printing Best Book in Peterborough, Ont. and Transcontinental Printing Gagne Division in Louiseville, Que., say payments are between 30 to 60 days late. Both book printers say the late payments have not yet posed a problem, but as Frank Friesen, general sales manager at Friesens says “we’ve got bills to pay too.” Both printers also say runs have not declined, but Jack Stoddart, chairman and CEO at Stoddart Publishing, predicts they will. “[Chapters] is buying less up front, doing a faster re-supply through their distribution centre and then trying to run at a lower return rate,” says Stoddart. “So from a printing point of view, I would anticipate the numbers will be down this fall and if that’s the case, the publishers will probably come back for faster reprints, but in smaller numbers.”

International Paper says Fine Papers division is up for sale
EAST GRANBY, Conn. — International Paper announced in July that it will sell its Fine Papers division, which includes five facilities, the Beckett and Strathmore brands and some of the Hammermill Premium products. Christa Allen, a spokesperson for International Paper, said in an interview yesterday that the company would be “divesting US$3 billion worth of assets that were non-core.” The facilities include mills and converting centres. No buyer has yet been announced.
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