It was a full house on November 18 as close to 100 Hemlock clients and friends gathered for a pint (or two) and to share stories and insights on packaging design trends, the design process itself and a fascinating array of real-world applications. Co-sponsored with Spicers and Neenah, guest speakers included David Walker from St. Bernadine Mission in Vancouver, Brian Dougherty of Celery Design in San Francisco and Beth Corbett of Neenah in Seattle.
After some quick work by the staff at V to get our screen and projector up and running, we were set for the presentations. David kicked things off with a very insightful look into the world of design for packaging – some great examples of their work and one particular case study for their client Original 16. Brian continued on this theme, showcasing how the package itself can define the customer experience with their Rakafuki Friends. Beth closed things off with a fast-paced look at the various ways Neenah packaging papers are being used for a huge variety of consumer products.
A lucky winner was announced for the hand-drawn beer label coaster contest, and many of the guests stuck around to chat after the engaging presentations.
Be sure to watch out for Hemlock’s next Print and a Pint event in the spring so you can join in on the insights and fun! Thank you again to our excellent presenters for helping make this event a great success.
Have a suggestion for what we should talk about next time? Let us know in the comments?
We are excited to present our 2012 Sustainability Report. It’s safe to say the project was larger than we ever anticipated and our team learned a few hard lessons along the way. At the same time, in researching and writing it, we were able to really clarify important or “material” issues for our business and how we are addressing and advancing on these issues.
This is our first time reporting using the widely adopted Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting framework. The global non-profit organization provides a very thorough and continually evolving framework that can be adapted to businesses of all types. GRI also challenges businesses to report with full transparency on a wide range of topics and we applaud all businesses that are pursuing this method of reporting. We have found the process very beneficial for our business and are proud to finally share our work with Hemlock’s stakeholders: our staff, our clients, our suppliers and other members of the community.
To see our report, you can browse the pages online or better yet, request a hard copy. Should you have any questions about our report or are thinking of doing something like this for your organization, don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re happy to share our experiences.
Here’s a behind the scenes video of the production process for this report, which was created for us by Invision Creative:
Our 8th annual dumpster dive took place on the morning of Thursday May 30th with a small team gathered at the shipping dock for some fun, but dirty, work of sorting through one week of Hemlock garbage.
This practice began years ago as a method to analyze how well we are diverting our waste into its proper streams. Through our ongoing efforts to reduce our waste, it has become clear that with extremely good practices within our building, a zero (or near zero) waste environment is achievable!
After suiting up in our white diver suits, we formed into 3 groups of 2, with Maria directing our activities. Our teams were assigned to different bags, which had been removed from the bin, and we undertook emptying and sorting the contents of each into 12 categories. Here are the results:
As our waste pickups are on Tuesday and Friday mornings, we choose a Thursday this year to have a strong cross-section of waste. Of the 88 pounds of waste we went through, we were disappointed to discover that 77% was either recyclable or compostable. Our Sustainability Committee is currently working on ways to improve our employee practices so that this number is much smaller in our 2014 Dive.
When we began Dumpster Diving in 2006, Hemlock had daily pick ups of a full size (8 yard) waste bin. Now we are down to a twice a week pick up of a half size (4 yard) waste bin. So while we still have room for improvement, we are proud of how far we have come.
Do you monitor the waste diversions at your work? How to you ensure your household and community are reducing, reusing and recycling?
2012 marked the third full year of our Carbon Neutral Printing Program, Zero.
To celebrate our clients whose participating affected the greatest impact on the environment, we awarded the Climate Champion Award to our Top Zero Clients.
Produced by Eclipse Awards, the plaques are hand crafted from salvaged, windfallen Maple trees, with a “living bark” edge to highlight the organic feeling of the wood.
For 2012, we recognized our top six clients, who collective offset over 700 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Congratulations to:
- Columbia Sportswear – 200 tonnes
- The North Face – 165 tonnes
- WorkSafeBC – 126 tonnes
- The University of British Columbia – 108 tonnes
- Travel Underwriters – 54 tonnes
- Marin Mountain Bikes – 54 tonnes
Columbia Sportswear, Zero’s #1 client for 2012, with Hemlock President Richard Kouwenhoven (centre).
At least they were able to celebrate sustainability at this playoff game!
Hemlock Sales Representative Mark Markowicz (centre) presenting the University of British Columbia with their plaque.
We’re very proud at the traction Zero has gained since 2009. Overall in 2012, 108 unique clients offset over 1294 tonnes of greenhouse gases, nearly double the impact that was achieved in Zero’s first year. Thank you to everyone for choosing Zero, and we hope that it continues to expand in 2013.
We are excited to share the installation process for our newest Heidelberg press – a Heidelberg XL106 UV Press to be specific. We’ll be publishing more information in the coming weeks about what this press can do and when you can get your projects on it, but check back here for regular updates on progress of the installation.
Week Four – no updates this week, sorry!
Week Six - and installation is complete!
Check out the whole six weeks condensed into one minute:
A lot of our clients have been asking about the new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation the government has recently passed which now makes ‘producers’ responsible for taking on recycling costs. BC is following the lead of other provinces who have already embraced this new model, including Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.
This legislation is coming into effect in May 2014 and Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC), a not-for-profit agency established under the British Columbia Society Act is tasked with developing a Stewardship Plan for Paper Print and Packaging material (PPP). In the past, governments and taxpayers were responsible for paying for residential curbside recycling, but this new legislation required producers to now be responsible for the cost.
Essentially, every business that sells or distributes products that go to residential customers in BC must file their own approved stewardship plan, or register with MMBC who will submit a plan on their behalf. If you haven’t done this, you are evidently already not in compliance and should connect with the agency as soon as possible.
We have come up with a quick summary of a few FAQ’s for our clients; some of who will be impacted by this legislation. They are sourced from Multi Material British Columbia’s (MMBC) website, which is full of information on how to identify your business as a producer, what will be included and when this is coming into effect. If you have further questions or have not already signed up with MMBC, they can be contacted directly at 1 888 980 9549 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is EPR?
Did you know it costs over $2,300 to send one kid to the Easter Seals Camps?
Hemlock has supported the Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay for 24 years now. To celebrate this milestone, we’re aiming to fundraise more money for the camps than we ever have before. We’ve partnered with the Greenster Guidebook – Vancouver’s Guide to What’s Good and they’re going to donate 40% of every sale we make this week to the 24 Hour Relay.
Recent years of Hemlock at the 24 Hour Relay.
The Issue: Programs for Special Needs Children are Very Expensive
About 15% of children suffer from mental or physical disabilities. It not only takes an emotional toll on their families, the financial strain is huge. Everything from education to therapy, special equipment, extra visits to the doctor and even clothing expenses are significantly higher than normal. Summer camp for special needs children costs approximately 300% more than regular summer camps due to lower ratio of councilors per child and special equipment needs.
The Cause: Free, Empowering Summer Camps for Special Needs Children
Every summer, the BC Lions Society operates the Easter Seals Camps. The one-week, sleepover camps provide BC children with disabilities the chance to gain new skills, confidence and independence by focusing on their abilities – skills that will help them live lasting and fulfilling lives. Campers are encouraged to try activities they may never have tried before like canoeing, wheelchair basketball, leadership training and more.
The Campaign: Send 7 kids to Easter Seals Camps for Free!
It costs over $2,300 to host each special needs child for one week at the Easter Seals Camps. This week, if 1,293 people pick up one copy of the 2013 Greenster Guidebook, 7 more children can attend the one-week camp at no cost to their families. The 2013 Greenster Guidebook offers you $10,000 in savings for things to do, eat, see and buy that are local, healthy, green and sustainable for only $29.
Help us send these kids to the Easter Seals Camps by picking up your copy of the guidebook today.
Here’s a video that highlights what you’ll be supporting.
If your business is interested in fundraising with Greenster, you can learn more about it on their website.
There are a lot of blog articles out there addressing a so-called conflict between print and electronic media. At Hemlock, we think these two media platforms are complimentary: Print giving a sense of tangibility and permanence to your message and branding, while online and electronic documents can help the immediacy and reach of the same elements.
Hemlock offers five different formats of Electronic Reader Technology:
One type of Electronic Reader offered by Hemlock
- HTML Readers: This flipbook document has plenty of personalization options and can be viewed online. Check out this copy of one of our own marketing pieces, known as our Beaver Booklet: www.hemlock.com/flipbookdemo
- Mobile: This is also an online flipbook in the same style as our Flash Reader, but can be viewed on mobile devices.
- EXE and Zip: With setting title, icon and open window size, the user can easily distribute this format to a wide audience.
- App: An executable applicable to be run on the Mac platform.
- CD: Files are burned to disc by Hemlock.
Whenever one of our clients requests an Electronic Reader, our standing offering is a combination of HTML and Mobile flipbooks. Our clients have found that these technologies allow for their messages to reach a larger audience, with print supporting online and vice versa.
The integration of print and mobile has exciting possibilities also, but we’ll save that for a future blog post.
Have you ever ordered something only to have the product not match the expectations set from the online or printed photograph? From a variety of colour profiles to a variety of lighting sources, it can be a challenge for some of our clients to capture the accurate colour of their products. Here is a case study showcasing how Hemlock’s expertise in colour matching has lead to high quality printed catalogues that capture the true product colour. The technical details described are courtesy of Hemlock’s VP of Prepress, Peter Madliger.
It is critical for catalogues that the clothing printed match the colour of the garments being sold. The colour matching process begins in Prepress. Sometimes our Prepress department looks more like a clothing warehouse: one recent project consisted of 460 clothing items supplied to us for colour matching!
In some catalogue layouts, clothing is displayed on models, in stacks of an assortment of colours, or as a feature item on one page. The photography of the clothing items can be a tricky business, as many unforeseen imperfections can show up in the images. Unwanted folds and wrinkles in the clothing, flaws in the stitching, missing labels, imperfections in the skin of the models wearing the items and the print-buyers’ biggest concern: distorted fabric colours caused by the photography process. The retouching and colour-matching tasks for a clothing catalogue can take hours of technical Photoshop work by our skilled Prepress operators.
Sometimes designers decide to represent the garments in the catalogues without using actual clothing items, thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for photography. Illustrations defining the outlines and shapes of clothing are produced with Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) drawings. The drawings are filled with tints of colours representing the garment fabrics.
For these CAD-designed clothing catalogues, Hemlock is instrumental in helping the graphic designers achieve accurate colour reproductions of the clothing fabrics. Hemlock receives the actual fabric swatches from the garment manufacturer. We measure the colour of these swatches with a spectrophotometer, extracting a “Lab” value. These “Lab” numbers can be compared to a GPS coordinate, but instead of calculating a global position, the Lab numbers point to a location on a three-dimensional colour cube. Our prepress department converts this data and provides the designers with recipes of the correct CMYK mixtures for printing.
Hemlock provides proofs to the client of the measured and processed fabric colours. We have two methods for showing the colour. We can show a single proof of each swatch measured. Alternatively, we can show a grid with small colour proofs that vary slightly in colour. We call this grid a “Swatchmeister”. It gives the client multiple choices of recipes for each swatch measured.
The graphic designer will use the approved recipes of the colour swatches to render the CAD drawings and by the time the catalogue is ready to hit the press, the printed garment illustrations will match the colours of the actual clothing fabrics precisely!