April 2007 Issue


A Cut Above

Once a year, one outstanding pressman is selected for the H. Howard Flint II Pressroom Manager of the Year Award. This year, the award went to Steve Richardson, pressroom manager at Courier Kendallville, in Indiana. The award, named after Flint following his death in 2005, honors a web offset pressroom manager or supervisor who has excelled in his profession. A 35-year veteran in the printing industry, Richardson is a cut above the rest. He began his printing career in 1971 and has progressed through the ranks from entry level, to journeyman operator, to shift supervisor. In 1996, Richardson joined Courier Kendallville as a press operator.

ACROSS the nation

Five-Color Press Expands Business SUN VALLEY, CA—ColorFX Inc., a full-service trade printer, has purchased a five-color, 40˝ Komori Lithrone S40 with coater. The company also recently added an online ordering system to accept work from clients all across the country. One DI Press Not Enough DORAL, FL—City Colors, a trade printer based here, was so successful with its first Presstek 52DI digital offset press after 30 days on the floor, its management decided to purchase and install a second one. City Colors’ DI operation primarily produces gang runs of business cards and postcards for other printers. CALIFORNIA OXNARD—Ventura Printing, which recently acquired the Business Mailing

Bartash Printing — From the Ground Up

FROM NEWSPAPER publisher to newspaper printer, Bartash Printing has been around the block. And, considering its location—Philadelphia—that block is pretty historic. Philadelphia is the home of America’s first and foremost printer: Ben Franklin. And, like Franklin, who started out with very little, local printer Joe Bartash started out small before hitting it big. Bartash Printing, one of the largest cold web printing companies in the Philadelphia region, was started 55 years ago by Bartash to print his weekly newspaper, the Southwest Globe Times. In 1962, Joe’s son-in-law, Sidney Simon, joined the company. During the next 45 years, Simon and his son, Michael, built the

BINDERY matters

IADD/FSEA Odyssey Slated for May MILWAUKEE—Postpress will be the name of the game during the 2007 IADD/FSEA Odyssey, to be held here May 2-4 at the Midwest Airlines Center. Sponsored by the International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking (IADD) and the Foil Stamping and Embossing Association (FSEA), the Odyssey will be packed with targeted information to assist printers in expanding their operations into the world of postpress converting. Odyssey will present classroom sessions, on-press educational sessions on the TechShop floor and a trade fair exhibition with more than 100 postpress suppliers. The IADD-sponsored sessions include “Getting the Best Impression on Your Creases,” which is targeted for

Conferences Measure Industry’s Pulse

CHANDLER, AZ—The highest attendee turnout of the decade marked the PIA/GATF Presidents Conference at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass & Resort here March 4-8. More than 300 people attended the five-day affair, which featured the theme, “Printing Industry at the Crossroads,” and it marked the conference’s largest number of newcomers. Among the highlights of the event was a silent auction, titled “Road Rally,” that helped raise $17,000 for the association’s political action committee, PrintPAC. Another topical subject was a look at private equity partners in the printing industry. The NAPL’s Top Management Conference got underway March 8 in Santa Barbara, CA, with NAPL Vice President and

DIGITAL digest

Open House Event Touts By-the-Book Production HAUPPAUGE, NY—Muller Martini and Nipson recently teamed up to host an open house at Muller Martini’s headquarters on Long Island. The theme for the day was short-run book production using the latest on-demand digital printing and finishing technology. “We see 2007 as a transitional year for digital print manufacturing, during which the industry will fully realize what on-demand technologies are capable of,” noted Robert Stabler, of Nipson America. “The short-run book market will grow very strongly.” According to Stabler, book publishers gain a number of benefits from being able to print lower quantities with digital technology. These include

Extraordinary Vision

EVERY SUCCESSFUL company can trace its roots to a visionary leader, an individual who embodies a strong work ethic, respect for others and keen decision-making abilities. Rémi Marcoux has surely portrayed those qualities over his lengthy career and, in recognition of his accomplishments, will be awarded the 2007 Harry V. Quadracci VISION Award by the Web Offset Association duing its annual conference. Marcoux founded Transcontinental in 1976 and guided its daily progress until March 2004, when Luc Desjardins became president and CEO. As executive chairman of the board, Marcoux continues to participate in major decisions related to the corporation’s strategic evolution and keeps close

First Data — Making a Statement

AT FIRST DATA, there is no question the future of customer messaging is viable and vibrant. The giant firm ($6.5 billion in sales in 2005) recently completed the spin-off of its profitable, but non-core, money transfer unit, which is enabling the Omaha-based company to focus more attention and resources on its fundamental credit card processing and customer messaging capabilities. Those activities are substantial. The firm sits atop the pinnacle of the steadily growing credit card processing world, handling the transactions of more than 415 million card accounts on behalf of 1,500 institutions and retailers. Its presence in the customer messaging industry is equally impressive.

First NPES Industry Summit Explores Optimistic View of Print’s Prospects

Sustained economic growth and smart adoption of technologies to create new value-added services have helped put the U.S. printing industry in its strongest position in many years, speakers concurred at the first NPES Industry Summit, held recently in Chicago. The Summit brought together for the first time the long-standing economic forecasting conference PRINT OUTLOOK®, plus the NPES Spring Board of Directors Meeting and a meeting of PRIMIR, the Print Industries Marketing Information and Research Organization. “These three gatherings gained an impact and value from being held together that greatly exceeded their separate importance, even though each event already enjoyed a high reputation for serving

GCC/Teamsters — New Look, Old Challenges

IT’S SAFE to say that George Tedeschi won’t be winning any popularity contests within the commercial printing industry. Among the rank and file of unionized companies, Tedeschi is the prince of printing. In management circles, “prince” is substituted for less than endearing terms. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, a brief introduction is in order. Tedeschi is president of the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (GCC/Teamsters). The organization, formerly the Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU), merged with the Teamsters on January 1, 2005. It has been an eventful two years since the merger. With consolidations and plant closings taking

GOA Shines In Florida

MIAMI BEACH, FL—Escape from inclement weather in many parts of the country wasn’t the only thing drawing people to trendy South Beach. The 32nd annual Graphics of the Americas-Xplor (GOA) exhibition, held here March 2-4, also contributed to unoccupied hotel rooms being a scarce commodity. Attendance exceeded the previous year by 4 percent, according to show organizers. And, with close to 500 exhibitors this year, new Printing Association of Florida President and CEO George Ryan reported that onsite exhibit space sales for the 2008 exhibition exceeded the previous year by 60 percent. Several new features were introduced this year. These included the XML/PDF Pavilion, which highlighted

House of Representatives Passes ‘Free Choice Act’

The so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” passed in the House of Representatives via a 241-185 vote. Three Republican-offered amendments were considered on the floor, but all three failed. As mentioned last month, the legislation would take away workers’ rights to a federally supervised secret ballot election, when deciding whether or not to join a union. The fear is this would leave workers open to strong-arm tactics during union organizing drives. The PIA issued a “key industry vote card” to every U.S. Representative in advance of the vote, sending the message that the industry would be watching the vote tally of what is considered to be the

Kirkwood Claims Early Court Nod

WILMINGTON, MA—Middlesex Superior Court has denied Globe Direct’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Kirkwood Direct and some employees formerly employed by Globe Direct. Globe Direct had sought to enjoin former employees from calling on clients while representing Kirkwood Direct. But the court ruled that Globe Direct “had failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits.” Globe Direct is a direct marketing subsidiary of the Boston Globe newspaper. “We are gratified, but not surprised, by the court’s ruling,” said Stephan Duncan, president and general manager of Kirkwood Direct, in a release. Globe Direct filed suit, alleging that former employees now with Kirkwood Direct had misappropriated trade

Mailing Rates for Flats Reconsidered

WASHINGTON, DC—Even with postal reform on the horizon, the mailing community is still battling to maintain viable rates. Unfortunately for them, postal reform is still a year away and increase requests by the USPS still threaten to further choke off a communications stream that is dwindling in volume. In a hugely ironic twist, mailers recently found themselves appealing to the USPS for relief—and found satisfaction for catalog mailers. Maybe. Members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) pelted the USPS’ board of governors with letters protesting some of the rates recommended by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for standard flat-shaped mail, rates that could jack up the

Motivating Graphics — Making the Right Calls

PRINTERS WHO hitch their star to a particular vertical market put themselves in a vulnerable position, given that market may experience wholesale changes and leave them holding an antiquated bag. By all rights, Motivating Graphics’ obituary should have been written by now. The Ft. Worth, TX-based company primarily aligned with a single market from its outset in 1976, and that vertical experienced major technological shifts that would have shaken loose many vendors like apples from a tree. But, 30 years later, the Clark family—father Ray Sr., son Ray Jr. and grandsons Chris and Tim—are coming off a year in which they invested more than

New Rules of Engagement —Morgan

FOR DECADES, the printing industry’s “Terms and Conditions for Sale” was a keystone in helping printing companies and their customers work together. Created by the major printer associations, the “Terms and Conditions for Sale” document sought to establish acceptable standards of doing business between printers and their customers. This document was created to establish “rules” to minimize the number of conflicts between printers and their customers, and diminish a printer’s financial liability when a job went awry. These standards were set up by parties that represent printers so, understandably, those terms and conditions were fashioned to primarily protect printers. Over the past several

Nonheatset Printers — Cold Webs Commercial

FOR SOME, it’s a matter of survival and, fortunately, given the state of the newspaper industry, for others, it’s a matter of growth. In either case, newspaper/publication printers running coldset web offset presses are expanding their product ranges or delivering greater value to existing customers. Through increased automation, newer technologies (like UV inks), new presses, new publication configurations, or some combination of these options, printers are offering both internal and external clients production efficiencies and the opportunity to upgrade to color quality levels that have greater appeal to advertisers. Ron Magee, pressroom manager at the Carroll County Times, Westminster, MD, reports that last summer

NPES Government Affairs Update — Mailing & Postage

Mail Moves America Mail Moves America is a recently formed coalition of trade associations and corporations with the mission of educating state and federal government decision-makers on the vital role advertising mail plays in the commerce and economy of the United States. A major component of this mission is monitoring and, when necessary, intervening to block so-called “Do-not-mail” legislation at both the state and federal level. These initiatives are the next extension of efforts spawned by public sentiments that lead to similar efforts to ban or limit unauthorized telephone, fax and e-mail solicitations. NPES is an active participant in the coalition, which currently numbers 48

Offset Technology: Never Say Die

WHAT CAN be said about the future of offset technologies? Well, plenty, and while news and views are mixed, there are many reasons to be optimistic. On the eve of the Web Offset Association’s “Offset and Beyond” 2007 55th Annual Management & Technical Conference, Printing Impressions spoke with a number of leading experts to learn where they think the offset sector is headed over the short and long term, and why. Offset Growth: An Oxymoron? Traditionally, the printing industry has tracked the GDP at a slightly higher rate. With the advent and growing popularity of color reproduction from the late 1980s through the early

One Dead, Three Injured in Shooting

SIGNAL HILL, CA—Angered at a reduction in work hours, an employee of Kenyon Press shot three co-workers on March 5 before taking his own life. The man, reported to be 68-year-old Jose Mendez, used a semi-automatic handgun to shoot three fellow employees, the same people who had helped him obtain employment at the custom design menu printing facility, the Associated Press reported. He walked past a superior en route to shooting the workers before shooting himself, the AP said. Mendez had reportedly been distraught over a reduction in hours that had been implemented six months ago and impacted all employees, but had kept him out of

Opportunity Awaits in Small Commercial and Quick Printers’ Market

Based on PRIMIR’s recently completed study, “Small Commercial and Quick Printer Study 2006-2011,” in which more than 300 small or quick printers were interviewed – a world of opportunity awaits. Revealing their overall optimism, 84% of the surveyed respondents projected their revenues would be higher in 2011, and 72% expected higher profits as well. According to John Zarwan of J. Zarwan Partners and Cary Sherburne of Sherburne & Associates, who conducted this PRIMIR research, the survey reveals good news for a market segment that has seen steep declines in the number of establishments and experienced flat to declining shipments over the last several years.


Open the Mail and Say Ahh There can be such a thing as getting too personal. Tailoring the content of a printed piece to the individual recipient has been seen as a positive, but the risk of a backlash grows as people find more of their lives becoming an open book. Privacy can also become an issue in another way with variable data communications. If sensitive information is included in a database provided to a print provider, that data must be secured, and care used, when incorporating it into the printed piece. The March edition of Printing Impressions included a story on database management

Postal Rate Increase Packs Powerful Punch —Michelson

ALTHOUGH CONGRESS blew a kiss at the printing and mailing communities by passing long-overdue postal reform legislation in the waning hours before both chambers ajourned on December 9, the latest postal rate case has various industry factions worried that the increases could be the kiss of death for some classes of printed products. The hikes are scheduled to take effect next month, excluding a complex rate structure implemented for periodicals, which has been delayed until July 15. Rates will rise as much as 40 percent for catalogers—the hardest hit segment. At press time, however, the Postal Regulatory Commission was re-examining the Standard mail flats


Label Art has enhanced its online ordering capabilities (www.labelart.com). Customers can use this new service to place catalog orders, upload artwork, view proofs and track the status of their orders 24/7, with an automatic notification of shipment when the order is complete. IWCO Direct, a national provider of integrated direct mail solutions, has joined the growing membership of The Print Council. As a member, IWCO adds its support to the alliance of companies dedicated to increasing the market for printed materials. Grand Junction, CO-based Colorado Printing is expanding its presence into Arizona, and it has hired veteran print sales rep Paul Mullen to help

Process Integration — Executing the Triple Play

THERE HAS been a tradition in the printing industry of categorizing work based on the process used to produce it—i.e., sheetfed vs. web offset, and now digital printing. Run length, of course, is the most important distinguishing factor, but process-based characterizations have also been made about color and print quality. As adoption of digital printing continues to grow, more printers are integrating all three levels of output capabilities to meet the long and short of their clients’ needs. Advances in technology, adoption of standards and evolving customer expectations are making it more realistic for such shops to just generically offer printing (high quality, of