Print and a Pint, with a side of Brand Management

On October 8th, Steamworks Uber lounge was home to Hemlock’s latest installment of our After 5 Seminar Series – Print and a Pint. Guests who attended the evening were treated to Steamworks’ fine ales and appetizers, the chance to mix and mingle with colleagues in the creative community, and view a selection of some recent and notable Hemlock print projects. These were all in addition to the main event – a panel of brand management experts sharing how they are tackling a world where staff and clients are asked to do more for less, and in less time.

Oct 8 - Print and a Pint

Hemlock President and COO, RichardKouwenhoven, took to the stage to start the evening as the nights MC and referee.  “Just in case someone gets carried away,” Richard joked. “There are some ground rules – no hitting, swearing or biting. And you don’t have to mention print in every discussion!”

Brand Management panel

Richard posed questions to the evening’s brand experts – who included Dylan Staniul from Burnkit, Tom Duguid from Arc’teryx, and Dave Taylor from Douglas College – about their Marketing Team’s changing roles amidst the trend to pull more creative and digital production in-house. Each had their own unique mix of challenges and opportunities, and readily shared both with the audience.

Douglas College has gone through a major repositioning recently, and chose to keep everything in-house.  An important extension of that initiative is their Domestic and International Viewbooks, which in addition to being excellent tools for student recruitment, have won design and print awards, and he credits that to his design team.

Dave Taylor - Douglas College

“As a public entity we have to be very careful and transparent with how we use our budgets. So our team works hard to justify every expenditure, whether it’s digital or print or out-of-home – it sets the tone for our school. And deadlines are tighter than they have ever been.” And mostly, he suggested proudly, they’ve been successful in achieving the fine balance of all of those elements.

Tom Duguid, from Arc’teryx, noted that globally consumers are more likely to research the companies they support, so naturally they focus on a robust digital presence. He then explained why they chose to also create a Brand-centric printed piece, called Lithographica, intended to extend beyond the initial retail store level. “People want to feel like they are part of a larger outdoor community, and they find stories and messaging in this printed piece that is not specifically brand-centric, but aligns with the lifestyle in a less structured way.” Tom explained, and went on to note, that Lithographica has by far exceeded Arc’teryx’s expectations. The hope was that it could be found anywhere – coffee shops, hotel rooms, ski lodges – and that readers would appreciate it as a stand-alone piece, and that is exactly what has transpired.

Dylan Staniul, after providing some insights into Burnkit’s approach to brand management, succinctly capped off the evening by breaking one of Richard’s rules, when explaining why printed pieces are still so important in a screen-centric era: “Because they look frigging cool!”


Special thanks to Rolland paper for sponsoring the event and Steamworks for providing a great venue! Keep your ears and eyes open for our next Print and a Pint event in Spring 2016!

Getting to know Hemlock Display Graphics

Last month, Hemlock’s sales team got together for their semi-annual sales conference. This meeting started out a little differently – instead of meeting at Hemlock’s head office, the team met at Hemlock’s brand new wide format facility, Hemlock Display Graphics. A five minute walk from our Warehouse on North Fraser Way in Burnaby, the facility is 10,000 square feet and bolsters state-of-the-art wide format equipment.

The morning consisted of getting to know the operations of Hemlock’s newly acquired equipment, hearing from industry professionals about different substrates and also getting a first-hand look at the facility. For each piece of equipment, our wide format crew would showcase the machine in action, the sales reps would eagerly watch as the project was printed and finished and Peter Madliger, Hemlock’s VP of Prepress Services and Jeff Taylor, Sr VP of Manufacturing and Operations, would discuss the specifications and field technical questions from the reps, as seen below.

Wide Format discussion

We witnessed our Durst Rho P10 320R (roll-to-roll) printer create a large mesh banner (below), which was also welded on the Ares 4000 Plus.

Durst Roll to Roll

We also saw our Durst Rho P10 250 (rigid material) machine, printing on Foamcore, and got to see the much anticipated Zund cutter in action. Did we mention it is the largest cutter in North America?

Zund Cutter

As you can see, we at Hemlock are extremely excited about our new wide format facility and the new services we can offer. Stay tuned as we continue to build our expertise and plan for an open house in the New Year to showcase Hemlock Display Graphics to our clients and partners.

If you would like to learn more about Hemlock Display Graphics, tour our facility, or get a quote for your wide format project, contact your Hemlock Sales Representative, or

Hemlock Display Graphics – Our New Wide Format Print Service

As the needs of our customers continue to change, the print services we offer at Hemlock change along with them.

A service area that we have been asked about more frequently in recent years is Wide Format printing. In addition to the marketing and communications materials we are producing on our digital and offset presses, our customers often require (and ask for) display and signage products that are part of the same campaign. Wide Format projects typically demand the same level of critical quality and service expectation as they are highly visible, high impact representations of the brand and a specific campaign message.

With that in mind, we are very excited to launch Hemlock Display Graphics, a new service offering that will extend Hemlock’s capabilities into Wide Format. Our experience in both offset and digital provides a solid foundation for this service expansion in a number of key areas: established prepress workflows and colour management standards across all print devices; a dedicated and knowledgeable production and service team to support our customers and their projects; experienced project management including those requiring kitting and complex distributions; and of course, integration of our award-winning sustainability practices.

HEMLOCK_WF_5 (cropped for FACEBOOK) - LO RES

In this Inklings post, we thought we address a few basic questions to help introduce our new service:

What technology is being employed at Hemlock Display Graphics?
Hemlock’s signage and display products are produced with industry-leading Durst UV technology, including two rigid and one roll-to-roll printer with up to 1000 dpi resolution. Configured to handle a wide range of substrates, these devices are capable of imaging up to 10 feet wide and 1.5” thick. In addition, we have two Epson printers with water and solvent based technology, a massive Zund G3 precision digital cutter, a thermal welder and automatic grommet machine. All in all, just what you would expect from Hemlock – high quality, large scale production powered by the finest equipment available.

What kind of media or substrates can these devices print on?
Working with the leading suppliers in this segment, we can now source a remarkably wide range of rigid and roll substrates to match your needs for quality, durability and impact. A few popular choices include:

Foamboard:  a great go-to option for interior signage requiring a lightweight yet rigid panel, bright surface and a durable core that doesn’t tear when it’s cut for posters, hanging signs and retail displays.

Corrugated Plastic: One of the most versatile and economical signage media, this substrate can do it all. Is it waterproof? Weather and stain resistant? Absolutely. This is an excellent choice for an outdoor sign that needs to maintain colour integrity and impact day after day.

Vinyl Banner: Ideal for indoor retails signs, outdoor event displays or trade show applications, our banners are available with welded hem, grommets and/or pockets.

Synthetic Poster: This is the ideal poster media for high traffic retail spaces. It’s tear resistant, water resistant, and the UV print offers remarkable colour integrity.

We can also produce exceptional results on Sintra, Styrene, Plexi Glass, Aluminum Panels, Gatorboard, Falconboard, Canvas and Mesh and many other unique and effective media.


How can I learn more? How do I get a quote?
Glad you asked!  You can contact your Hemlock Sales Representative or email us at for more information or to get a quote.

Want to get a peek at our new facility and technology first? We posted some images on our Facebook page, so check them out and let us know what you think!

Hemlock Plant Tours


Come and see what makes Hemlock unique!

Hemlock is excited to announce we will be running scheduled plant tours, with the next one being on Wednesday, November 18 from 9:30 – 11AM.  We’ll be showcasing the full spectrum of print processes, from prepress techniques to our array of Heidelberg offest presses and HP digital presses through to our extensive bindery and die-cutting equipment, all active with live jobs.

This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about our printing process, and gleaning more than a few insights of the trade from our experienced craftsmen. Following the tour will be a Q+A session with Hemlock’s technical leaders to answer any questions you may have, and to share a few light snacks with your colleagues.

Please note that space is limited to 25 attendees for each of these events, so if you are interested in this unique opportunity, please contact your Sales Representative or email Colleen Moyles at for more information and a formal invitation.

Check out our latest video here

Print So Good You Can Smell It

Recent Mrs Meyer's advertisement which used Lavender scented inks.

Recent Mrs Meyer’s advertisement which used Lavender scented inks.

Get your nose ready. Hemlock is pleased to introduce our latest “immersive print” endeavor. Think chocolate, auto leather, fresh laundry, or licorice – just a few of the over 60 scents now available as a “rub and smell” application and another great way to full engage your audience in the print communication they receive from you.

Scents such as citrus, pizza, and not one, but four varieties of chocolate, are standard inventory items available to Hemlock’s customers. And if you happen to be a manufacturer of cosmetics or industrial products and have a custom scent you’d like to use, we can help you get that scent incorporated into the varnish.

For example, Mrs. Meyer’s, a household products company that makes its cleaners from herb and flower essential oils, wanted to have their print advertisement smell identical to their products. They were able to create an identical smell, not once but twice, with ads smelling like their basil dish soap and lavender laundry detergent (which you can smell in our latest edition of Inklings!)

And just a quick technical tip – scents may be applied to either coated or uncoated stocks, but for the latter, we lay down an underprint to pre-seal the scented area – this prevents too much absorption and ensures the scent stays active.

Other stocked scents available include:
• Apple Cider
• Apple (green, Macintosh)
• Apple Pie
• Asphalt
• Auto Leather
• Bacon
• Banana
• Blueberry
• Bubble Gum
• Burnt Rubber
• Cherry
• Chocolate
• Chocolate Chip
• Chocolate (dark, hot)
• Christmas Tree
• Cinnamon Buns
• Citrus with Eucalyptus
• Clean Cotton
• Coconut/Suntan
• Coffee
• Daisy
• Eucalyptus
• Fresh Laundry
• Frosted Cake
• Gingerbread
• Grape
• Grapefruit
• Grass
• Honeycomb
• Hydrangea
• Jasmine
• Lavender
• Lemon Drop
• Lemon Lime
• Magnolia
• Marijuana*
• Mentol
• Mint*
• Ocean Mist
• Orange
• Orchid
• Peach (fresh, Georgia)
• Peanut
• Peanut Butter and Jelly
• Peppermint
• Pineapple Paradise
• Pizza
• Popcorn (buttered)
• Pumpkin Pue
• Rootbeer
• Rose
• Smoke (Fire Place)
• Strawberry
• Tulips*
• Vanilla
• Watermelon

*Limited Quantity

Talk to your friendly Hemlock Sales Representative for additional details, or to get a drawdown of the scent you’d like to use on your next project.

Hemlock renews its commitment to Ancient & Endangered forests

The Great Bear Rainforest

The Great Bear Rainforest

Thanks to the great people at Canopy (, we have made tremendous progress in advancing our paper purchasing practices over the past 11 years since we were first introduced. We’re proud to announce our latest milestone in our journey, with the release of a comprehensive Ancient and Endangered Forest Paper Purchasing Policy. It’s the first time we have had such a comprehensive set of guidelines to work from and it will direct our paper purchasing activities in the years ahead.

The document is now posted within the Sustainability section of our website or by clicking here. We invite you to review our vision and implementation goals which will help us continue to grow our FSC and PCW paper use, shift to low-carbon paper grades and ensure that all of the paper we buy comes from sources which protect and preserve the remaining tracts of ancient and endangered forests.

Thank you to Neva, Nicole, Fawzia and the rest of the team at Canopy for their exceptional work in assisting and encouraging us along the way.

Some highlights of our policy:

  • We will ensure that papers we purchase do not originate from endangered species habitat or controversial sources
  • To grow the total post-consumer waste content of all paper purchases to 35% within 5 years
  • Give preference to suppliers that monitor and reduce overall emissions by adopting the latest technologies and practices to minimize air and water pollution
  • Target reductions in paper waste within our operation, year after year

At the heart of this policy is the ongoing collaboration with our paper suppliers who have been great partners in these efforts. We are committed to building on our work over the past 10 years in determining the forest of origin for our paper and ensuring we are not sourcing from controversial suppliers and sources.

There is much work ahead but we’re excited and motivated to see all of our commitments through – ultimately they will help us be a better company, a better employer and help us bring additional value to our customers.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re here to help!

Hemlock Brings Print & a Pint to Seattle

 “A magazine editor, a designer and a printer walk into a bar…”

No, seriously; this really happened. And a curious group of design and business professionals joined them just to see what would happen next.

The occasion was the first international event in Hemlock’s popular Print & a Pint series, a string of after work seminars designed to get people talking about the changing world of ink on paper.

Hemlock President, Richard Kouwenhoven set the tone for the evening by donning a printers apron that likely pre-dates the disco era.

“Our three professions have been meeting like this in bars for centuries,” he began, “And through all the years of changes, one thing does remain constant – the printer buys the beer.” The crowd raised their glasses in appreciation.

Besides the frosty ales, fine local wines, and savory appetizers, the Hemlock Seattle team also served up two captivating speakers to talk about the relevance of print in today’s communications mix.

Georgia Frances King is the editor of Kinfolk Magazine. She shared the authentic philosophy and inspiringly short history of this upstart publication.

“Kinfolk was created by a group of people who didn’treally know what they were doing at the time. They just wanted to share the concept of simplifying their lives, cultivating community and spending more time with friends and family.” King said.

The success of the printed magazine they created has taken the publishing world a bit by surprise, and focusing on the tactile permanence of print has had a lot to do with it.

“We don’t try to recreate the printed publication for tablets, or online,” she continues, “The content is available to read on our website, and along with our popular Instagram feed, the digital community we create really works to encourage people to order the printed piece.”

And order they have. Kinfolk’s circulation is now estimated at over 200,000 readers. Hemlock brings their own philosophy of print craftsmanship to Kinfolk, and also handles distribution and shipping from their Burnaby, BC warehouse, making things even simpler for the folk who produce this refreshing read.


From this specific new era print success story, the evening’s discussion took on a broader philosophical tone, as the mic was passed to Christopher Simmons, designer educator, writer, and principal of San Francisco design office, MINE™.

He opened with a slide showing a ‘digital locket’ (designed to replace the ones people use to carry miniature pictures of loved ones around their necks)

“You can use it to swipe through a series of images, but unlike a ‘classic’ picture locket, if you lose this device, it’s not really that meaningful. You still have the pictures on a hard drive. It’s the imprint of a message onto an object that gives that object meaning.”

Simmons then cruised through a bold and bright series of print examples, from silkscreened campaign posters to a mural montage created for the interior of a restaurant.

“The mural is made with layers of printed posters, torn and layered over again with other graphics. People in the restaurant can’t resist touching it, and the wall is taking on an aged patina in certain areas. With digital, you engineer every outcome – it doesn’t wear and evolve like that.”

The crowd was soon responding with questions and discussion of their own, and conversation turned to the permanence of print in a ‘read and delete’ world.

“When you invest $18 in a magazine, you are going to spend some time with it,” King said, “A Kinfolk magazine sitting on your coffee table says something about who you are.”

Simmons wrapped up the print/digital relevance argument neatly with one last example.

“I got this direct mail letter, in my mailbox, with the little window in the envelope and everything. And the headline was telling me to buy Google Adwords, because they are the most effective way to reach people.” Simmons shook his head as the audience executed a collective face-palm. “It was a piece of art, really.”

If you want to join the discussion, we would love to hear from you. And watch for a Hemlock Print & a Pint event coming to a bar near you.

You never know who might walk in.

Check out some photos from the event here and like us on Facebook.
A special shout out goes to our sponsors, Unisource/Veritiv and Neenah Paper, thanks for helping make this event a great success!


Neenah Logo

Hemlock Introduces Coronado SST ® 100

We’re proud to offer the next evolution in premium uncoated recycled paper – FSC ® certified, 100% PCW, Green-e ® certified and 100% carbon neutral – uniquely from Hemlock Printers.

As many of you know, we’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to push print and paper sustainability boundaries, so we jumped on the chance to collaborate with our friends at Neenah Paper and Offsetters on a unique project that would do just that.

Through this collaboration, we are pleased to present to our clients, Coronado100 SST – a product that we feel is the next evolution in a premium uncoated 100% pcw recycled paper. We’ve tested it extensively and it prints beautifully both in conventional offset, UV offset and digital printing processes. In addition to the print results, we consider it to be a ‘best in class’ environmental sheet – FSC-certified, 100% PCW, manufactured using Green-e certified energy and 100% carbon neutral thanks to Hemlock’s ZERO carbon-neutral program.

We’re calling it Coronado SST 100, and it’s available in 80lb and 100lb text and 80,100 and 130 lb cover weights. The paper has a 95 brightness and smooth finish with a unique surface treatment that yields incredible print results – bright, saturated images and smooth solids. Paper is available now to our customers interested for both offset and digitally produced projects – our sales team will be happy to share print samples as they become available.
Coronado-Postcard-front We have also designed this postcard mailer and along with Neenah, this specification sheet to provide our clients with the complete production details.

Finally, and very importantly, every sheet of Coronado SST 100 that we use, supports Offsetters portfolio of carbon offset projects, including BC’s Great Bear Rainforest Carbon project, which offsets approximately one million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere annually.

Please contact us or your hardworking Hemlock sales representative for samples or a printed copy of our specification sheet.

Just as a reminder, here’s a brief explanation of some of the terms we’re referencing here:

FSC ® Certified:  Supports well managed forest as well as the responsible use of forest resources through rigorous chain-of-custody obligations.

ZERO 100% Carbon Neutral:  Hemlock’s unique customer program that assists in reducing GHG emissions and conserving natural resources and wildlife habitat through carbon sequestration and offsets.

Offsetters:  Hemlock’s carbon offset partner and Canada’s leading provider of carbon management solutions, ensures we meet or exceeds the benchmarks of the Gold Standard for real, additional and permanent greenhouse gas reductions.

Green-e ® Certified:  Neenah Paper and Hemlock match the electricity used in manufacture and printing with Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates.

Grouse Mountain’s “Grind for Kids”

By Guest Blogger, Natalie Luongo – Customer Service, Team 1
Grouse Grind Photo 1


Hemlock is happy to have a team participating in Grouse Mountain’s “Grind for Kids” fundraiser this year – which runs for Grouse Grind’s entire open season. Funds raised through this event will help build the cardiology unit in the new BC Children’s Hospital; ensuring children with heart conditions continue to receive the best healthcare possible in the future. On average, over 225 open heart operations are performed at the hospital each year and over half on children younger than one year old. More info at:

On a cloudy, muggy July afternoon – the Hemlock Hikers Grind for Kids team had our second group grind up Grouse Mountain. With all different skill levels participating, some people raced ahead and others (like me!) took our time and did a leisurely hike (to conserve energy of course!) One of the best moments was at the half way mark, where a young deer decided to come and check everyone out. All kept quiet as to not scare the timid creature – it was a great opportunity to connect with nature! And of course once we finally made it to the top the view makes it all worth it. WE CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN!

The Hemlock Hikers Grind for Kids team plans to continue doing group hikes until the Grouse Grind closes – hopefully well into October!

Grind Photo 2

Multi-Materials BC (MMBC)
: What is it? Who is impacted? And, how is Hemlock assisting our customers?

written by Richard Kouwenhoven, President Hemlock Printers


blue_yellow_bagsDue to the many questions our team has received in recent weeks, we’ve decided to dedicate a post covering the Multi-Materials BC (MMBC) program which officially started in British Columbia last month, on May 19th, 2014.  Our goal here is to help our clients better understand the MMBC program, help them determine if they need to report, and describe actions we are taking to assist the clients to do need to report and pay into the program. This is a much longer post than usual so we’ve added links below to the 3 main questions if you are interested in a specific question over the other.

1. What is MMBC and why does it exist?
2. Which of our clients are impacted by MMBC?
3. What actions is Hemlock taking to assist our clients?
4. Links & Resources

1. What is MMBC and why does it exist?
Multi-Material British Columbia (known as MMBC) is a not-for-profit organization selected by the Government of BC to administer a province-wide residential recycling program for printed paper and packaging. The primary mandate of this program is to shift the costs of collection, sorting and recycling from local governments and tax-payers, to the businesses that are responsible for producing these materials.

The program is another example of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR),  a progressive approach to having manufacturers and other producers take responsibility for the full life-cycle of the products they produce. It is a concept that we at Hemlock endorse as it can bring a number of significant benefits – economic, social and environmental.  A successful EPR program leads to increased recovery and recycling rates through improved systems, and improved product design that reduces waste and increases recyclability.

There are successful examples of EPR programs here in our home province of BC which have been in place for a number of years – examples include tires, paint and electronics. These initiatives are a step in the right direction as companies stay involved with their products after they are purchased. Involving producers in the costs of disposing, disassembling and recycling the products they produce makes sense – it ultimately will lead to better designed products which can be more easily recycled into new products.

2. Which of our clients are impacted by MMBC?

Firstly, only businesses who have residency in British Columbia OR distribute printed products through a 3rd party from within BC are obligated to participate in the program.  Our US and out-of-province clients do not need to participate in this program, unless they are distributing printed-paper or packaging through a 3rd party that operates in BC, directly to BC households.

Based on information available on the MMBC website, we’ve listed the 3 key questions for our clients to determine if they are impacted by MMBC.

Hemlock Guide to MMBC Obligation


3. What actions is Hemlock taking to support our clients in their reporting efforts?

Hemlock is assisting clients with their MMBC reporting requirements by making the piece weight of the products we produce available both on our invoices and in a statement format.

a) Effective June 1st, 2014, included on every Canadian-customer invoice will be the corresponding piece weight (in kg) of the project.  This number can then be used to calculate the total weight distributed to households in British Columbia.

Hemlock shows pieceweight of every project for MMBC remuneration.

As of June 1st, our Canadian customer invoices include the piece weight of a particular project, displayed in kilograms.

b) Upon request, Hemlock can run a custom report for any period (from Jan 1, 2014 onward) that summarizes all projects over a specific time period, with total quantities, pounds and kilograms summarized for use in reporting weights to MMBC. See a sample of the report here: MMBC_SampleReport_2013.

4. Links and Resources
You can learn more about the program from the following websites:

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Hemlock sales representative or respond to this post! Thank you!