9 December 2009
Quark launches new online service that partners with printers
TORONTO—Denver-based Quark Inc., showing new signs of life under relatively new management, expects to roll out its new web-to-print solution in Canada in the first quarter of 2010, says CEO Ray Schiavone.

Quark CEO Ray Schiavone and new DIA president Mike Millard of Ellis
Packaging at the association's annual holiday luncheon in Toronto

The service, called QuarkPromote.com provides template-based designs (built in QuarkXPress) aimed at small to medium businesses. While Quark offers the online front-end, it will partner with printers across the country to provide the actual print services. The service was recently introduced in the U.S.  

Schiavone made the announcement in Toronto at last week’s annual holiday gathering of the Digital Imaging Association. He says QuarkPromote.com will find its niche in the web-to-print market by providing quality designs and printing for small businesses that feel professional design is inaccessible.  

He made no bones about targeting the service at web-to-print giant Vistaprint. “I’m coming at you,” he said. He added that while Vistaprint has been successful, Quark feels it is serving a small fraction of the overall market.  

Quark also feels that teaming with local printers will improve both quality and delivery times. Schiavone says QuarkPromote is “pretty intuitive. We tested it on my mom.”  

Jim Haggerty, Quark’s chief information officer (a Canadian from Montreal), said the company has already contacted several Canadian printers about providing print services.   Schiavone admitted Quark has gone through rough times due to intense competition from Adobe and the company’s own lack of customer service in those years in which it had a virtually monopoly on page layout software. But he noted other companies such as Apple had gone through tough patches, and now Quark is positioning itself for growth not only with QuarkPromote but also with the company’s enhanced Quark Dynamic Publishing Solution.  

“New business, consumer and technology pressures are driving the next publishing revolution,” the CEO said. He claimed Quark Dynamic Publishing is showing double-digit growth thanks to its ability to automate and customize content creation for both print and online purposes, with XML coding at the heart of the system.  

Last week, Quark also announced the launch of YourOwnDesign.com, a free registry for graphic designers who want to reach out to design buyers.
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