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Friday, November 30, 2012

Your purchase of greeting cards from Phoenix Print Shop changes young lives

No one who attended last night’s Canadian Printing Awards Gala could help but notice what an admirable job the young people from Phoenix Print Shop’s Foundations of Print Training Program did to assist event organizers.

Now in its 11th year of operation in Toronto, the Phoenix Print Shop provides homeless and at-risk youth with printing and graphic arts skills training, a full-time job, and long-term support.  In June 2010 the shop moved from its initial location in an 800-square-foot space into an expanded production facility measuring close to 7,000 square feet.

Phoenix Print Shop is part of Eva’s Phoenix, an organization that provides housing for 50 youth, aged 16 to 24 years, for up to a full year, and enrolls up to 160 youth annually in employment and apprenticeship programs providing both vocational and life skills.

You can share in their life-changing work by purchasing the 2012 greeting cards that Phoenix Print Shop is now offering for sale.  The cards are designed through an annual competition for at-risk youth across Canada (one impressive sample by artist James Lee is shown above) and are available on-line at:

More information on Phoenix Print Shop at:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Toronto’s printer Mayor Rob Ford will fight court ruling to remove him from office

Toronto’s printer Mayor Rob Ford says he will appeal yesterday’s verdict by Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland to remove Mr. Ford from office. The judge ruled that the mayor of two years violated the Municipal Conflict-of-Interest Act by speaking and voting in city council on a motion that recommended Mr. Ford repay $3,150 he improperly solicited from city hall lobbyists for his private football foundation.  In anticipation of potential disruptions to both Toronto’s civic government and the judicial system, Mr. Justice Hackland put his ruling on hold for 14 days to go into effect December 10th.

In response, Mr. Ford (left centre) says that besides appealing the decision, he will also seek a stay from Divisional Court to keep him in office beyond December 10th until the appeal process is finished.  He also says that, if he loses the appeal, he will run again in the by-election to fill the office he has vacated pending the general election of 2014.

Rob Ford and his family are owners of Deco Labels and Tags (Toronto, Chicago, and New Jersey).

As you can see from the sampling of Web links below, journalists and bloggers are having a field day of speculation as they consider possible interpretations and future results of these latest events.

HarperCollins launches new imprint aimed @ converting teenagers to e-books

Next week HarperCollins launches HarperTeen Impulse, a new imprint of low-priced, short-length, digital-only content for teens. The move is aimed @ converting teenagers who have been slower than other age demographics in switching to e-books.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Three sound business reasons to attend the Canadian Printing Awards Gala

Even if your company didn’t submit an entry to the Canadian Printing Awards, you can still gain valuable benefits in the areas of networking, human resources management, and market intelligence by attending the Awards Gala. 

Benefits of attendance include:

1.              Prestigious networking opportunities – Awards competitions and ceremonies attract the best companies and prominent business leaders.  By connecting with other guests in person at the gala and later by phone, e-mail, or social media, you can build your professional relationships and a prestigious new pool of contacts. 

2.              Staff development, morale, and retention – With a celebrity host and fine dining, the Awards Gala provides a night out that is both scintillating and educational for your management team and staff.  By supplying them with tickets, you can boost their knowledge base, their regard for you as an employer, their morale, and therefore their productivity and longevity with your company, all in one shot.

3.              A measure of your performance you can’t find anywhere else – On display at the gala will be the best of Canadian printing achievements.  Independent experts representing different aspects of the printing industry have singled out these prizewinning entries to receive 24 awards in diverse categories.
(PrintAction's Associate Editor Clive Chan took the wonderful shot at left of some of the 2012 contest judges during their deliberations.) 

But there's no substitute for conducting your own first-hand review of the prizewinning pieces at the gala. It gives you an unparalleled opportunity to assess the strengths of your own company’s products and performance by comparison, as well as to identify any areas that need improvement.  You might even pick up a few new ideas for advanced innovations to try in your own business.

As of yesterday afternoon, tickets to the Awards Gala were still available at:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Remembering Glen Chiasson and Mike Grasso

This week I’m sad to mourn the passing of two of my former colleagues:  Glen Chiasson, former manager of the Graphics Canada trade show (Toronto, Ontario; left) and Michael Grasso, Director - Professional Placement at PrintLink (Rochester, New York; right.)  I remember them both for their exceptional kindness, for the warmth of their families, and for helping me to learn a great deal about the world of printing at stages of my career when I knew considerably less than I do now.  I hope that as a business editor and writer I am continuing to do their legacy proud.

New York resident explains how printed newspaper provided a lifeline after Hurricane Sandy

RISI, Inc., a commercial organization that bills itself on line as “The Leading Information Provider For the Global Forest Products Industry”, has published a list of seven reasons why printing proved its value in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. 

All seven reasons were collected from comments submitted on line by residents of the mid-Atlantic United States.  Although some of the reasons seem to conflate “news” with “newspaper” conceptually or overlook the obvious fact that electrical power is necessary to produce print, I really liked reason number five, consisting of the following testimonial from New York:
When I awoke to what looked like a war zone Tuesday [Oct. 30], I thought I was completely cut off from the outside world - no power, no Internet, no phone, no battery-operated or hand-cranked radio (since rectified). But when I ventured outside my apartment building, I spotted a newspaper box with an amazing sight: that day's edition of the New York Daily News. It had obviously ‘gone to bed' too early the previous evening to have all the news of the storm, but I eagerly dug in. At that moment print was clearly the superior technology for conveying news.

If interested, you can find the whole list of seven reasons at:

The list was originally published in Dead Tree Edition, a blog by a magazine-industry manager who goes by the pseudonym D. Eadward Tree.  Mr. Tree describes his blog as “Insights, analysis, practical advice, and smart-aleck comments related to the production and distribution of publications, such as magazines and catalogs, in the United States.”