Technology Guide: Trade suppliers

CJ King

CJ King, based on the Gold Coast in Queensland and in Perth, has secured the exclusive agency for Metalize Me in the Australian marketplace. Previously only available overseas, Metalize Me is a new embellishment process that transforms standard printing into an attention-grabbing metallic finished product. With a gloss or matt laminate, gold, bronze and silver colours are now easier to achieve than ever before.

Metalize Me is an alternative to the traditional foil stamping process. And according to CJ King’s Justin Cranna, the process provides customers with a point of difference in a competitive marketplace, and is priced to be cost-effective. Importantly, it doesn’t complicate file set-ups; all CJ King requires is a standard PDF. Metalize Me is available in 256 colours. The company is currently offering this finish for business cards, promo cards, stickers, magnets, book covers, postcards, bookmarks, posters, point of sale and packaging.

CJ King also offers a “super fast” turnaround time of 24–48 hours plus delivery for most products, due to the unique production process.

With production facilities in Western Australia and Queensland, CJ King offers Metalize Me to every business in Australia.




Over the past eight years, CMYKhub has invested in trade printing hubs in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Its trade-only business model is critical in building trusted relationships. The company has invested heavily in technology so its customers can compete with larger printing businesses or trade suppliers that also sell direct.

The company prides itself on trusted relationships together with offset and digital equipment, free webstores and rapid delivery into all states through its national network of print hubs.

CMYKhub’s Crystal Devenish points out: “We are keen to discuss how we can work with printers to develop additional sales and markets. This partnership approach is vital to building sustainable growth. Working with you to build your business is what we are all about.”

CMYKhub offers web-to-print services, free online print management, and is strictly trade only.

The company launched an internally developed webstore at PacPrint. The webstore is free and can be built in five minutes, says CMYKhub founder Clive Denholm. A similar system would cost printers more than $100,000 to build, as well as $500 in monthly hosting fees, he adds.

The web-to-print service received more than 150 registrations at the trade show, Denholm says.

“The barriers in cost and technology [for starting a web-to-print service] are huge. It’s our pleasure to be able to assist our customers to have the ability to compete with larger businesses. Even our smallest customers can have web-to-print, and without website skills they can edit and control the look and feel of the site via a simple interface. The average print business in Australia has only six people. Our business model is focused on supporting these businesses to be relevant and competitive.”




National trade printer IBS, founded in 1996, says its clients are enjoying more time and the opportunity to make more money as a result of its new website, which was launched in September and offers a range of new services. 

As part of an overhaul of its website, IBS has not only streamlined the online ordering process to make it faster and easier, but it has also introduced new shortcuts and tools that allow clients to concentrate on producing more orders.

One feature already being praised is the ability to create own-branded invoices in PDF format, which can be sent directly to the end customer. IBS general manager Michael Culverwell says this feature was designed with the clients’ needs in mind.

“We’ve recognised that the key sore spot for our clients is not having enough time, which impacts on their bottom line. Tools such as a real-time production status log and a production schedule, so our clients can easily ascertain if customers’ deadlines can be met, help our clients on a daily basis,” says Culverwell.

Innovative shortcuts designed to save time during the online ordering process include an address book to save alternate delivery addresses for easy access and a Favourites tool for most commonly ordered products.

Culverwell believes these recent additions to IBS’s online ordering system set it apart and demonstrate the company’s commitment to being an invisible partner in print for its clients.

There have also been some changes and improvements internally, with new stocks being added to IBS’s product range, a web-to-print storefront product called Edit & Print now available, and a minimum quantity of only 100 for business cards.

Feedback from clients has been positive, says Culverwell. Loyal client Mark O’Donnell from Red Heeler Business Essentials says that IBS is his first choice.

“IBS continues to deliver everything I need from a printer: fast service with its next-day dispatch and high-quality offset print at good prices,” says O’Donnell.

“I love their new retail quote option, where IBS quotes the job and I set the markup I want, add varying quantities for my client and save within seconds. Best of all, I can create a PDF of the quote including my set retail price on my own letterhead.

“It’s also great that I can order 24/7 online and leave the rest in their capable hands until it’s delivered to my door. The service IBS provides is second to none,” adds O’Donnell.



Industrial Printing Company

Industrial Printing Company’s (IPC) primary offering is NCR forms, books, pads and sets. In operation since 1966, the Lithgow, NSW-based trade printer says it has long been regarded as a safe and reliable source for single or multi-part NCR work.

NCR with a difference, that is. While sequential numbering is commonplace within carbonless docket books, purchase order pads and any related carbonless products, IPC offers a service that has seen demand increase dramatically in recent times: barcoding.

Not the realm of every printer, barcoding is a service that must be done properly. If a barcode is less than perfect in crispness, density, position and its inherent information, the barcode – and indeed the product itself – can be rendered useless.

IPC recently invested in two Kodak Prosper S5 heads, which are installed over an Edelmann Web Print 485 offset press. The set-up replaces former offline HP heads that required an inefficient double-handing process. This new inline variable-data printing system achieves speeds and output quality previously only dreamed of, according to IPC.

The Kodak heads are superior in every way, says IPC sales and marketing manager Andrew Durnford. Quality, diversity, speed and even the physical width of the print head itself are all factors that have allowed IPC to expand its market in the vicinity of 75%.

In the purchase of carbonless business forms, efficient delivery is often a vital element. Many companies now employ a lean ordering system. Turnaround has dramatically improved with the efficiencies afforded by the new system, meaning clients are receiving their jobs days earlier than in the past. The big bonus is that quality is not sacrificed for speed.



LEP Colour Printers

LEP Colour Printers, founded in 2001, provides trade-only offset and digital printing throughout Australasia. The company prints a wide range of products on different stocks and in quantities from 20 to 100,000. Printing around the clock, it can produce business cards, brochures and flyers, DL flyers and cards, magazines, stationery, presentation folders, posters, postcards and calendars.

LEP Online is the company’s online business shopfront, designed to offer efficiency, ease of use and a choice of options for users to obtain free quotes inclusive of freight and GST, place orders online and take advantage of the job tracking service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.



Large Format Media

New kid of the wide-format block LF Media guarantees it can print on virtually any surface up to 4,500×2,500mm and 50mm thick, and then cut to almost any shape. This service is available exclusively for the trade.

The company prints on high-volume items like coreflute, self-adhesive vinyl, flags, banners and aluminium composite panel. During the election, LF Media produced tens of thousands of coreflute signs in a few weeks.

Some of the more unusual products offered by LF Media include glass panels for splash boards, shaped clear acrylic for reception signs that are spot UV varnished, fabric for wall displays, wallpaper, pine for custom wine boxes, and wooden boomerangs that really fly.

It can even print on footballs, wraps for boats, floor graphics, fit-outs for expos, cut-outs of drinks and burgers for the trade and fencing mesh for sports events.

LF Media has just ordered a new Roland XF-640 Pro to meet growing demand for its trade-only services. The SwissQ Impala is still its main print machine, and a Tekcel CNC looks after all specialised cutting needs.



Whirlwind Print

Demand is hotting up for short-run packaging. However, supply is limited, according to Melbourne- and Sydney-based trade print outfit Whirlwind. Cost of setup, production and turnaround times are all impacting on buyers’ choices and driving up end product price.

Whirlwind is capitalising on its forme cutting expertise to deliver cost-effective, short-run packaging solutions. And the market is very receptive. Forme cutting has always been a great extension of traditional print, with customers becoming more adventurous with knife lines or taking advantage of the company’s free online templates.

Extending this expertise to template-based and custom-designed boxes and packs means that real packaging solutions are available for the first-time purchaser. This new offering is not impacted by short-run requirements and creates much needed flexibility in determining the right packing product option, according to Whirlwind.

Whirlwind has completed packaging solutions for agency and designer customers who need results for their clients in skin care, cosmetic and food companies. This enables runs of 250 units up to 100,000 units to be produced cost-effectively and with a turnaround to match.

This is empowering businesses to place products on the shelf faster without compromising competitive price points, packaging requirements or quality of the finished goods. It’s a win-win for all involved, says the trade supplier.

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