Warshall retires, sells Nulab

Award winning photo printer Michael Warshall has retired, selling his Nulab Group – which he founded in 1980 – to rival Victorian photo printing company HC Pro.

Warshall bows out at the peak of his prowess, winning top awards across America, Australia, and highly commended in Israel over the past year. Nulab Group has shot to prominence as the most awarded digital printer of the past decade at the National Print Awards, and through his work with HP Indigo.

Nulab Group has been printing for professional photographers for the best part of four decades, Warshall originally set the businesss up after failing to find a printer that could meet his own expectations as a photographer.

Nulab says, “After 45 years of business our director Michael Warshall has decided to retire. The Nulab business has been sold to HC Pro and will continue to operate with business as usual. Over the Christmas break operations will be moved to our new Horsham location.”

Bruce Wilson, owner, HC Pro says, "Michael has been indicating he was looking to require, it is a perfect set for our business, so we are able to come to an arrangement. We are the two biggest in Victoria, it made sense to go down that path.

“Now we can produce acrylics, which we have not previously done. We have used metal print. Acrylic is something that we have been contemplating, this is accelerating the process. Everything else we had capabilities for.

“We will continue operating under the Nulab brand. Michael has established a strong brand, the marketing has been good. If anything we are more likely to add to that brand rather than take away from it.

“All the production is being relocated to Horsham, we are working in collaboration. There is potentially a role for the album printing from Nulab. For general print production we are well staffed.

“There is an opportunity for some Nulab staff to find employment in Melbourne, at The Edge, another photographic lab in Melbourne. We have established close ties with them. We do a lot of work together, and that will give us flexibility for localised print within Melbourne. We outsource work to them.

“Unfortunately most will have to find new homes, jobs, as it is a big move to leave Melbourne city for a location so far away.

“I have owned HC Pro for a bit over four years, and bought it from Brian Murray, who I had worked with since 2000.

“We have 42 full and part time positions, sometimes more depending on the time of the year.

"I want to congratulate Michael, he has been at the forefront of promoting photographic print for a long time."

In recent years Warshall became known for his pioneering work with HP Indigo, in a world first for photographic printing, his company became the first photo lab to switch from silver halide to HP Indigo digital printing technology, and developed its new Enviropix media products.

Nulab created Enviropix after 20 months working with physicists and colour scientists from Israel, they have finally perfected the technology. Nulab offered the new solution to its customers, and will eventually sell Enviropix around the globe.

Warshall says he is the only printer in the world currently capable of producing the prints. For the past 150 years, silver halide has been the standard technology used in photographic print.

The company has been working directly with physicists at HP for the past two years to create its own inks capable of competing with silver halide, the photographic standard of the past 150 years. Printing on a seven-colour HP Indigo, Warshall believes he has finally reached that level of quality, and the 13 awards between the US and Australia give credit to the claim.

Subsequently the Nulab Group cleaned out the American Premier Print Awards, winning eight prizes from eight categories, including a prestigious Benny, for best digital printer.

Nulab also won five awards at the local National Print Awards, and a special award for high commendation in digital printing, with its digital limited-edition book said to be ‘an example of print in its finest’ by the judges.

In the past decade Nulab Group has been the most awarded digital printer at the National Print Awards, which Michael Warshall, executive director, Nulab Group says inspired the company to see how its print work compares globally.

“We started entering Asia Pacific print awards four years ago, and have taken out most of the awards there. The American Premier Print Awards has printers from all around the world, with 2,200 entries this year.

“We entered in eight categories and got eight awards, including the Benny for digital printing and novelty books,” says Nulab.

The American judges noted that: “There were 2,200 entries, and this was chosen as it exemplifies the highest standards in the printing industry. The Benny goes to those firms who create a visual masterpiece.”

Warshall says, “Alon Bar-Shany, the vice president and general manager of HP Indigo, told me our reputation has now become global, and that we have set a benchmark for what can be achieved with an Indigo.”

Warshall notes that there were struggles in getting here.

“When we first converted to digital print people said we could never get that same image. We had staff leaving over unacceptable prints, with key staff saying that HP will never fix it.

“I just said they need to invent it.

“I was lucky enough to meet Bar-Shany in Israel, as VP he had the power to put me in touch with the physicists, and colour technicians. I spent time talking to them, and working together they produced batches of ink for me. It took five versions before I got the results I wanted.

“HP will have the ink available in their new devices. A general printer will not use it, as the ink is done in small batches and will be too expensive, but for professional photographers it is different.”

“As a printer and photographer, I want to make sure people’s memories are printed to the best possible standards, so they can enjoy it, and their children’s children can. With the technology we are using now, printed products can expect to last 200 years, far beyond what digital versions of files could offer,” says Warshall.

HC Pro is a professional photography company, which, like Nulab, offers digital and traditional silver halide prints.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@sprinter.com.au.  

Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.