STIXO-Signage Supplies



The two companies have introduced PantoneLIVE, a cloud-based colour service that provides instant access to essential brand colour standards. It delivers colour DNA based on real ink, on real substrates with real printing processes for predictable, repeatable results.

PantoneLIVE is the first service under the Pantone Digital Business Unit, a newly created division of X-Rite that is the byproduct of Pantone’s expertise as the world’s color authority and X-Rite’s color science and technology leadership.

From chocolates and champagne to soda and stilettos, the past year has been wrought with cases of counterfeiting, deception and consumer confusion – all tied to the ubiquitous colours that uniquely identify brands. Cadbury and Veuve Clicquot were involved in high-profile legal battles to own their brand colours, while Christian Louboutin fought to trademark its signature red soles. With colour so critically tied to brand identity, inconsistent brand colour can lead to a lack of consumer confidence and lost sales.

In a recent survey conducted by the Pantone Color Institute*, more than 70 percent of creatives noted that brand colour definitions, accuracy and consistency in creating products or packaging are important to their business, while 42 percent indicated that colour-related challenges have a negative impact on their company. ‘Nearly 50 years ago, Pantone brought consistency and a common language to an industry that lacked standardization. Historically an analogue process, reliant on centuries’ old colour alchemy, printing and production have advanced with technology in the digital age,’ said Ron Potesky, senior vice president and general manager of Pantone. ‘PantoneLIVE digitizes the process, taking it from visual and subjective to consistent and repeatable – significantly reducing production timelines and improving the bottom line.’ 

‘PantoneLIVE represents a transformational change in colour management for brand owners across their entire supply chain,’ explained Tom Vacchiano, president and CEO of X-Rite. ‘Our own Dr Sonia Megert, whose vision for the digital supply chain led to the development of PantoneLIVE, will head the new Pantone Digital Business Unit.’

‘Globally consistent colour standards are essential to brand identity. With supply chains made up of hundreds of different facilities scattered around the world, corporations struggle to control and maintain colour consistency,’ said Dr. Megert. ‘PantoneLIVE is a dynamic ecosystem, open to all supply chain participants, which delivers consistent colour across the entire packaging workflow – from design concept to retail store shelves.’

Brand colour standards are the principal component of PantoneLIVE and are derived from real ink on real substrates using real printing processes. This allows brand owners to predict how corporate spot colours will reproduce on a wide variety of substrates including brown corrugated, clear film and white polypropylene. A brand’s colour assets, analogous to a brand’s colour DNA, are managed and maintained in a secure cloud-based data repository to ensure accurate color communication – to any supplier, around the world.

While accurate colour is important to the brand identity of consumer packaged goods, protecting brand integrity in the pharmaceutical industry is crucial as counterfeit drugs put the health of consumers at risk. Chesapeake (see Accurate Brand Colors Help Stem Drug Counterfeiting case study), a global producer of consumer packaging for many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, turned to PantoneLIVE to increase consistency in its customers’ packaging. When it comes to pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications, even the slightest variation in packaging color can make a product suspect and the brand vulnerable to counterfeiting. 

On one job, for example, Chesapeake was able to reduce colour variation by 84 percent and improve process controls, which led to zero rejections from the print run and 100 percent client approval. PantoneLIVE is creating another positive impact on Chesapeake’s business. The company previously stocked as many as 3,000 different inks in its Leicester, U.K. plant and now stores only 537 without reducing color choices. 

PantoneLIVE is connected to a large portfolio of software, containing real-world colour data for hundreds of thousands of colours, and is supported by the latest colour measurement technology. This is combined with professional services including workflow and colour rationalization audits, and customised operating procedures from Pantone and X-Rite. Custom and bespoke spectral data, as well as metadata, are used to digitize brand colours. Digitised palettes are then expanded to create independent colour standards to allow for accurate colour reproduction on a variety of substrates.

Brand colour data, equivalent to a digital colour swatch, is stored in a secure, cloud-based portal that lets brand owners and other approved members of the supply chain manage digital rights and facilitate colour communication across all materials in the production process. This centralized colour communication process promotes consistency and helps achieve speed to market efficiencies from initial design to final production. The portal also provides direction to suppliers to meet brand requirements related to colour quality.

Pantone and X-Rite are continuing to work with leading vendors to integrate and enhance their solutions with PantoneLIVE. This approach will offer customers real value in the colour management and color communications process, while leaving much of their current investments in place.

X-Rite is distributed by: ANTALIS SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD (+27 11) 688 6000 

Pantone is distributed by:



To celebrate the opening of its Durban office, Graphix Supply World hosted an open house event on 12 March. VIP visitor, Ryutaro Horiguchi from the Mimaki Headquarters in Japan, was present to officially open the new Durban office, and offer his expertise on the new Mimaki technology.

Visitors saw the latest machines from Mimaki, including:

– UJF-3042FX A3 Desktop UV Printer
The desktop LED UV inkjet printer has a new maximum height for printing materials up to 150mm thick. 6-colour printing is now possible, with the new addition of two ink slots and white and clear. The MCT ‘Mimaki Circulation Technology’ is a newly developed white ink circulation system that prevents pigment sedimentation and reduces ink waste.

– The TS34-1800A dye sublimation printer  
This printer specifically for the sublimation transfer market, with two newly developed, staggered print heads for high quality printing up to 32sqm/hr. This improved productivity through unattended continuous printing makes this the best value for money textile printer on the market.     

Mimaki launched numerous new machines at FESPA Barcelona 2012 last month.
Among them was the revolutionary Mimaki latex printer  JV400-130/160LX, and the JV400-130/160SUV printer.

Horiguchi was available to answer questions on these new ground-breaking printers, and show print samples. The Mimaki Latex printer JV400-130/160LX has newly developed environmentally friendly latex ink and superior technology, making it the most competitive printer in its class.

Horiguchi joined the GSW team in Durban after visiting the Graphix Supply Africa team in Lubumbashi, Congo. Graphix Supply Africa successfully exhibited a range of  Mimaki print and cut solutions at the Grand Karavia hotel in Lubumbashi on 8 March 2012. Attendees came from Congo, Zambia and Angola to see the Mimaki machines. This event formed part of the GSW Road Show, which is stopping next in Maputo, Mozambique on 3 April 2012.

The new GSW Durban office is at Unit 2, 65 Marshall Drive, Mount Edgecombe, Durban



GSIG (Graphics Specialty Interest Group, a chapter of PIFSA) is to host colour management workshops where experts in this field will take you through the FOGRA system. GSIG has endorsed FOGRA as the preferred Colour Management certification system within South Africa.

The advantages of using this system in ensuring consistent high quality and reliable colour matching cannot be over emphasised. The workshop will be presented by John Panton of Digital Distributors and Laura Minter of Digital View. Both Laura and John are FOGRA accredited consultants.

If you have an interest in or a need for Colour Standard Management in your business when it comes to Lithographic and Digital Print, then these workshops are not to be missed.

Workshop Content:
• Overview of Colour Management and FOGRA
• Introduction to Standards and their benefits
• Aims and Tolerances
• FOGRA PSO (Process Standard Offset) for offset printers
• FOGRA PSD (Process Standard Digital) for digital printers.

Cost per Delegate:
PIFSA Members : R450.00 (Excl Vat)  R513 (Incl Vat)
Non Members     : R900.00  (Excl Vat)   R1026 (Incl Vat)
The cost includes tea and coffee and a light finger lunch.

Date : 26th March 2012
Time : 09h00 – 13h00
Venue : 3M South Africa, 146a Kelvin Drive, Woodmead

Payments are to be made payable to the Printing Industries Federation of South Africa by direct deposit. Please fax/email a copy of the deposit slip or EFT transaction to +27 (0) 86 508 1350 or

Banking details are as follows:
Standard Bank
Branch: Northcliff
Branch code: 006 305
Account number: 200 573 381
Account type: Current

Date: 27 March 2012
Time: 09h00 – 13h00
Venue: Kelvin Grove: Palmyra Room

Payments are to be made payable to the Printing Industries Federation of South Africa by direct deposit. Please fax/email a copy of the deposit slip or EFT transaction to 021 595 1376 or

Nedbank Banking details are as follows:
Branch: Southern Peninsula
Branch Code: 12320900
Current Account No: 1014624274

Date : 28th March 2012
Time     : 09h00 – 13h00
Venue : Independent Newspapers Greyville: Embizweni Room

Payments are to be made payable to the Printing Industries Federation of South Africa by direct deposit. Please fax/email a copy of the deposit slip or EFT transaction to (+27 31) 7054408 or

Banking details are as follows:  
First National Bank Beach Branch
A/C No 50881387367
Branch Code 220126

Payment is to be made prior to the workshop. No shows and late cancellations will be invoiced and no refunds will be given for cancellations within five working days of the workshop. 



The company has strengthened its leadership in the digital finishing market with the introduction of the Kongsberg XN finishing table, which it plans to showcase at drupa 2012. With an upgrade of i-cut Suite including the i-cut Automate, the company will demonstrate its digital finishing solutions at the expo.
‘Our Kongsberg finishing tables have always offered cost-effective digital finishing without the expense of conventional die-cutting tools and equipment,’ explained Steve Bennett, Esko Vice President, Digital Finishing Business. ‘As people will see at drupa, Esko continues to define the ‘cutting edge’ standards in short run productivity and versatility. Combined with our integrated i-cut Suite software, we offer digital finishing solutions for every process, material and application.’
The Kongsberg XN is the most versatile, highest performing finishing table available in the mid-range market. Capable of handling the broadest variety of materials, the new table serves all markets from packaging to sign making and displays. In addition, the Kongsberg XN can be used for cutting plates as part of the Esko Digital Flexo Suite and can handle the heavy materials used for protective packaging.
A choice of four tool heads and a full assortment of insert tools guarantee unmatched versatility. Newly developed tools include a solid board v-notching insert, a corrugated paper-core board v-notching insert and a Braille tool insert. Options that increase productivity and quality for every application are available. Whether one needs software to help with registration, such as i-cut Vision Pro, tool heads and tool inserts to extend flexibility, productivity add-ons like a material conveyor, an AutoFeeder or a Roll-Off unit – Kongsberg has a proven solution.
The cutting table can be equipped with a more powerful milling spindle, called the MultiCUT- HP. With this new high-powered MultiCUT-HP tool head, the Kongsberg XN offers up to three times more milling productivity. Even when processing the most challenging materials, it keeps a productive, consistent speed. And thanks to the power-saving variable vacuum hold-down technology, it consumes less energy.
The contemporary-looking Kongsberg XN has a modular tabletop industrial design and is available in different sizes; from the smallest 1680 x 1270mm (66” x 50”) Kongsberg XN20 up to the largest 2210 x 6550mm (87” x 258”) Kongsberg XN48.The enlarged work area allows full Y-axis reach of all tools and the length of the XN24 and XN44 models has been extended to 3200mm (126”) for larger digital print materials.
With the launch of the XN platform, Esko has extended its’ product range on offer to its customers allowing them to grow in both productivity and versatility as their needs grow: the Kongsberg XN suites the mid-range market while the XP platform addresses the highest needs in productivity and automation. Both platforms come with a solid set of standard tools that can be extended with a growing range of exchangeable tools for a wide variety of digital finishing applications.
i-cut Automate 12: workflow automation software for sign and display shops
i-cut Suite is the first collection of workflow software targeted specifically at users of large format digital printers and/or digital finishing systems. Customers will enjoy the benefits of the optimized print sheet layout for odd shaped designs with material savings often running in excess of 20%.
Now, with i-cut Automate 12, based on Automation Engine 12 technology, interactive features like the creation of cutting paths, adding bleeds and setting nesting parameters can all be automated. In a short run production environment, automatic creation of the most optimal print sheet layout is a clear way to increase capacity, reduce the risk for errors and reduce expensive substrate waste. By removing repetitive work from operators, more time is available for higher value operations, creative input and customer service — along with a faster delivery to customers and improved order to cash.
Most complete range of digital finishing tables on display at drupa 2012
During drupa, four Kongsberg tables will be on display at the Esko stand, including the:
– Kongsberg i-XN24 for a wide variety of digital finishing applications
– Kongsberg XE10 Auto offering automated short run production on a wide range of materials
– Kongsberg XP24/c for finishing commercial digital printed materials from and short run packaging
– Kongsberg XP-44A, the biggest Kongsberg configuration ever exposed on a tradeshow, featuring a fully automated packaging and display production

ANTALIS SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD (+27 11) 688 6000



The Sign Africa sponsor showcased various films for the graphics arts industry at the Sign Africa RoadShow in Durban, from 14-15 March at the Durban ICC.

The following products were showcased:


This specialty cast vinyl film designed to create a tattoo effect on the application surface. The film is transparent, with some black pigment and some metal flakes showing a dark shade on light substrates and light shade on darker substrates. 

The product boasts excellent performance on flat surfaces and simply curved surfaces; excellent layflatness and stability during cutting and weeding and excellent dimensional stability during use and application.


This is premium quality cast vinyl film for use in the vehicle market where high quality film finish and cost effective wrapping is required. The adhesive with Easy Apply RSTM Technology features an easy application mechanism which allows faster positioning and air-bubble free film application, as well as long term removability after the intended period of use. 


This is a high quality calendered film designed for use in fleetmarking and corporate identification applications providing enhanced ease-of-use during application. Entrapped air can easily be removed without the need to punch the film face – this feature offers the benefits of faster wrapping of vehicles.

MPI 1900 

This product offers perfection for temporary applications. It is a versatile, conformable, durable self-adhesive film specially designed for digital print. It can be printed wide-and super-wide-format inkjet with solvent or eco-solvent inks, and delivers an extensive colour gamut at high print speeds.


When ‘close’ isn’t close enough, Avery Dennison’s Colour Match Service guarantees you the best conformable film available, matched to that special colour your customers needs. The super-conformable Avery® 900SC film is available in a wide range of stand colours.  Additionally, the company can offer over 1000 Pantone® colours through our licence agreement with Pantone®.  And if none of these can give you the right colour to fit your customer’s needs, the company can offer an even greater choice through our Avery Dennison’s Colour Match service.


This is written assurance that the company’s products perform how they should from product through application and for the life of the graphic.  That’s why Avery’s range of innovative, high performance products are backed with a warranty you can trust. The ICS Performance combines its films with other qualified components to form a system which is guaranteed to be compatible and provide superior performance. You choose the application, production method, qualified printer, ink and application tape, coupled with our films, and we provide the warranty. 

To register online and for more information on the Africa Print RoadShow in Durban, visit:

Forthcoming Africa Print RoadShows include:

-Bloemfontein: 30 May 2012 at Kiepersolrant

-Cape Town: 20-21 June 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre 



The company showcased 3M™ DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes – Carbon Films at the Sign Africa RoadShow in Durban, from 14-15 March at the Durban ICC.
The films are durable, cleanable, flexible PVC films with 3M’s Comply™ Adhesive air release channels for fast, easy and virtually bubble?free application. Use DI-NOC film in place of or to enhance natural materials. These films have excellent adhesion and flexibility, allowing them to be used indoors or outdoors on flat or complex curved substrates, walls, furniture and fixtures.

To register online and for more information on the Africa Print RoadShow in Durban, visit:

Forthcoming Africa Print RoadShows include:

-Bloemfontein: 30 May 2012 at Kiepersolrant

-Cape Town: 20-21 June 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre 



The Fespa Hall of Fame results are in. The Hall of Fame received 6 000 votes for more than 400 printers in 40 countries and the winner and Top 5 for have now been confirmed. The FESPA Hall of Fame is the international award which recognises the leading lights of the wide format print community.

Results are as follows:

WINNER: Rich Thompson, AdGraphics, (USA)

2nd Kishore Musale, Classic Stripes, (India)

3rd Birol Fedai, Sistem Printing, (Turkey)

4th Keith Ferrel, Cactus Imaging, (Australia)

5th Simon Pless, Erler & Pless, (Germany)

Duncan MacOwan, Head of Events and New Media for FESPA commented:

‘The FESPA Hall of Fame can be hailed as an unbelievable success. The number of nominations and votes far exceeded our expectations as printers voted in their droves from countries all over the world. It goes to prove once again the international audience that FESPA commands, and how valued these excellent printers are to our industry. The winner of this award must be very proud as this is an amazing accolade voted for by their peers.’



In addition to the latest industry news, the latest issue of Practical Sign and Digital Graphics features two exciting new sections.

In our new ‘Homegrown Heros’ section, we look at the locally manufactured and designed Ezee Applicator MINI and get an outline of the advantages and challenges of manufacturing equipment locally. With our ‘Green Light’ section, we take a look at how Grosvenor Branding Solutions helped a client reduce their carbon footprint with eco-friendly Re-board.

We also have a Fespa review, which features all the highlights from Fespa Digital in Barcelona, which Sign Africa organisers Practical Publishing attended – bringing you the latest news firsthand.

To view the latest edition, visit the link below:



Sign-Tronic demonstrated its UV flexible ink at the Sign Africa Durban Roadshow, taking place from 14-15 March at the ICC Durban. Printing and vacuum forming with solvent ink was developed and patented by Adrian Wolman of Sign-Tronic in 2002.

Sign-Tronic has now developed high resolution UV ink, that is manufactured in South Africa for high resolution printers that can print on any flat substrate without having to treat the substrate. ‘Normally the ink can not bend, it cracks. Our UV ink is flexible and can be applied to any substrate,’ said Adrian Wolman.

With this world-first you will now be able to print on self-adhesive vinyl which is flexible enough to be applied to vehicles. Other properties of the Sign-Tronic UV flexible ink include: adhesion to perspex, bendabilty without cracking, excellent colour gamut, vacuum formability and excellent outdoor durability (a minimum of three years).

Get to the Sign Africa Durban Roadshow to see this world-first technology in action and take home a sample.

To register online and for more information on the Sign Africa RoadShow in Nelspruit, visit:

Forthcoming Sign Africa RoadShows include:

-Bloemfontein: 30 May 2012 at Kiepersolrant

-Cape Town: 20-21 June 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre



Midcomp hosted a highly successful flatbed printing and finishing presentation at their Demonstration Facility in Randburg today. The meticulously planned event brought together all aspects of flatbed printing, digital cutting, software solutions and substrates with a healthy mix of great applications examples.

International and local guest speakers conducted short presentations, followed by equipment demonstrations  (Océ 550XT Flatbed Printer, the Zünd G3 L2500 Digital Cutter, PackZ 3D Design Software and Polytech Vacuum forming equipment)  outlining the production of a variety of finished items on show.

From  POP standees and displays using Xanita, fluted board packaging boxes, lenticular  and 3D film prints and eye-catching displays on substrates like Plexiglas Mirror and Gold Satinice, everything was produced from scratch before the live audience of over 65 delegates.

‘Why an event of this nature?’ we asked Rob Makinson from Midcomp.  ‘It’s simple, to showcase the endless opportunities a combination of printing and finishing offer. Businesses are often conservative about capital equipment purchases and unsure of the ROI. With this function we introduced them to applications from the basics to the more unique products where they can truly differentiate themselves and increase profits.’

Each company received a sample pack containing a selection of display samples, neatly packaged in a Xanita X-Board carry case that was produced on-site. Even the cocktail tables, brochure folders, desk display give-away’s and the pizza boxes that freshly baked pizzas where served in, were printed and finished by the Midcomp team. Very little used on the day was not produced internally.

‘Certainly seems like a winning recipe…  Take a flatbed printer, add a digital cutter and some brilliant design software, mix in a selection of versatile substrates and presto… profits in the making,’ added Makinson.
Midcomp wishes to extend a big thank you to the following suppliers for their support and for making this event possible.

•    Océ – Display Graphics
•    Zünd  UK – Swiss Digital Cutting Systems 
•    Evonik – Plexiglas
•    Maizey Plastics
•    Xanita
•    Polytech

You can make an appointment to visit the Midcomp Demo Centre.

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