October 2006 Issue


A Letterpress Renaissance?

Time magazine recently reported that letterpress is making a comeback. Used letterpresses (the only kind you can get, since they haven’t been manufactured in decades) are now fetching $6,000, compared to $1,000 four years ago, according to the article. Printers, most of them small operations, are reportedly scooping up old machines and making tidy profits printing cards, wedding invitations and personal stationery for customers who crave that sculptured, three-dimensional letterpress look. Designers are reportedly drawn to letterpress because it lets them use paper they can’t use in commercial printing jobs—sheets with uneven surfaces interwoven with bits of leaves or flowers. And customers are willing to

Advanced Features Vitalize the Latest Folders/Inserters

DESPITE THE growth of electronic communications, mail is still considered the most direct and effective communications vehicle for reaching customers and prospects. Direct mail use continues to rise. What some might not realize is just how much the choice of folding and inserting equipment can impact the effectiveness and integrity of a mail piece. The folding and inserting function can make or break how a customer perceives your organization. When identifying the appropriate folding and inserting systems for your in-plant, first determine the volume you need to process. Typically, low- to mid-range tabletop inserters produce about 4,000 to 60,000 finished pieces per month

Digital Press Beefs up Business in Boulder

Sometimes, when you add a digital press, work just walks in off the street. Like the 2,700 newsletters the geology department sent to Imaging Services one day at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “They heard we got some new color press, and they just said, ‘Oh, we’ve been sending this out. Would you try to do it?’” says Al Goranson, operations manager. That color press is an HP Indigo 3050, which arrived at the shop in June. Since then it’s opened a few doors for the in-plant. “There’s just no way we could have even touched that [job] with two-color offset or with our digital

From England to ‘Ole Miss’

WORLDWIDE PRINTING experience is not something many mangers can put on their resumes. Tony Seaman can, though. Now director of the Publishing Center at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, Seaman was born and raised in Binbrook, England. He took an early interest in printing because of his father, who was a lithographer for 50 years. In 1961, Seaman started as an apprentice camera operator at W. Heffer & Sons, in Cambridge. He spent seven years doing rule and paste work and converting line art and pictures into film. He graduated from the London College of Printing in 1967, and went on to be a

From the Road

I’m in Rochester, N.Y., as I write this, attending the National Government Publishing Association conference. This being my 11th NGPA conference, I know most of the government in-plant managers here, and have enjoyed catching up with them and finding out about changes in their operations. (I did so much talking the first evening I lost my voice and have been doing a lot of whispering since then.) By holding the conference in Rochester, the headquarters of Kodak, Xerox and the Rochester Institute of Technology, NGPA is taking advantage of the expertise of the Big Three. The group is visiting one of them each day

Graph Expo 06 Preview

Here is a sampling of just some of the many products that will be shown at GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO 2006. Gämmerler will launch the BL 408 bindery stacker for use behind saddlestitchers, perfect binders, folders and inserters. Features wide format range, two-stage stacking system and a low copy drop height. The infeed is equipped with four top belts and eight bottom belts. Visit Booth Number 3004 Van Son Holland Ink will exhibit its Quickson line of offset printing inks: Quickson PRO, Vs3 and Vs5 series. Quickson PRO works on any size press and application, and provides excellent rub resistance. Vs3

Leaving A Digital Legacy at the University of Tennessee

AS FALLING leaves carpet the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus, so has the autumn of Gary Williford’s career arrived. After 34 years at the university—30 of them in the in-plant—Williford plans to retire in a few months from his role as manager of the school’s Graphic Arts Service department. But while others might view their final days as an opportunity to kick back and coast to an easy farewell, Williford has insisted on pushing forward, preparing his 55-employee operation for the days after his departure. “I owe this organization. It’s been good to me. It’s a part of my life,” he explains. “I want

New Name, New Gear at Ohio State

So much is happening at Ohio State University these days that it might be easier to ask “what’s not new?” The 71-employee operation has consolidated several departments under a new name, upgraded its digital printing equipment and added a state-of-the-art print management system. Under the new name UniPrint, the Columbus, Ohio-based in-plant has brought together printing services, copying, document imaging/addressing and the copier lease program. Copying has been moved into the offset facility, and its old space is now a customer service center. “We gained a synergy by having all of our production in one location,” notes Jeff Dible, assistant director. Those production capabilities have been enhanced

Offset: If It Ain’t Broke...

OFFSET PRESSES continue to pull their weight amidst the flashy digital printers that have been popping up in offices nationwide. These digital newcomers might be great for short-run work, but for big projects they still must step aside and let ye olde offset workhorses do their thing. Don’t think being called “old” is an insult, though. The longevity of these machines is impressive and can easily add up to decades. Jim VanderWal, production manager at CRC Product Services in Grand Rapids, Mich., says that his shop’s four-color Heidelberg SM102 was purchased in 1989 and the two-color Heidelberg SM72 dates back to 1975. Over

Perseverance Pays Off at Folsom Cordova USD

For years the two-person in-plant at Folsom Cordova Unified School District toiled to produce the district’s worksheets, curriculum materials, tests and yearbooks with a six-year-old Xerox DocuTech 6115 and a DocuColor 12. Requests for new equipment fell on deaf ears—not surprising considering the years of budget cutbacks that California schools have endured. Then, unexpectedly, something changed. “California revenues have really turned around, so the governor increased the education budget,” says Doug Parrish, lead printer at the FCUSD Printing Department. That, in turn, prompted the district to spring for three printers: • A Xerox DocuTech 6135 with a Freeflow front end, an interposer and a bookletmaker. •

Revitalizing IPMA

WITH MY laptop balanced precariously on a tray table I’m gazing down at the farm fields and small towns of the Midwest as I write this, my elbow battling with that of the large fellow next to me for space on the arm rest. Las Vegas has faded into the distance, but the IPMA conference that brought me there is still sharp in my mind. The sessions and discussions at the three-day event were certainly timely, covering such crucial issues as online job submission, variable data printing, chargeback systems, PDF workflows and computer-to-plate. I did my part by giving a presentation on trends

Successful Open House

Auburn University’s CopyCat operation held a successful week-long open house recently to promote its services to both staff and students. To get staff interested, the in-plant sent out messages in a bottle describing what CopyCat does and inviting them to the shop to claim a prize. “If they brought us a job, they got to register for a grand prize,” says Glenda Miley, manager. “We actually had people go back to their office to bring us something to print so they could enter.” During this event, the shop also held a Welcome Student Day and gave away promotional products like note pads, pens, pencils and

The ACUP Bond

I just returned from the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) conference in Boston, and what a terrific event it was. About 135 managers from all over the world—including Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.—were there, and I enjoyed mingling with them and hearing their stories. What made ACUP so great was not just its interesting sessions—though Steve Dimond and his staff at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology did an excellent job organizing them, along with a nice vendor exhibit and some enjoyable evening activities. What made ACUP stand out was the constant interaction of the attendees. At every opportunity managers from

The Burden of PROOF

DESPITE ALL the talk in the industry of virtual proofing, Ken Johnson still thinks customers prefer a proof they can hold in their hands. “Their eyes gloss over [when proofing] on the computer screen,” says Johnson, director of Printing Services at Ball State University, in Muncie, Ind. His in-plant uses Kodak’s MatchPrint ProofPro software along with Screen USA’s Trueflow workflow. Proofs are printed on a MatchPrint ProofPro 2610 ink-jet printer. But out at Western Growers, in Irvine, Calif., Robert Delgado feels much differently. His in-plant e-mails PDF proofs to customers, and he says they have been satisfied with the arrangement. Proofs always match the

The IPMA Six

The In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) has appointed six regional coordinators to provide the organization with information on in-plant activities and opportunities in different parts of the country. The coordinators are: • Susan Aschim, supervisor of Graphic Services and Mail Services at Mt. Hood Community College, in Gresham, Ore. • Margaret M. Kling, Graphic and Production supervisor with EMC Insurance Companies, in Des Moines, Iowa. • Debbie Pavletich, manager of Graphic Services at Briggs & Stratton, in Milwaukee, Wis. • Bob Wamsher, printing manager at the Hershey Co., in Hershey, Pa. • Tonya Demerson, manager of Reprographics for the City of Denton, Texas. • Glenda Miley, manager of