Hemlock Plant Tours

ToursCome and see what makes Hemlock unique!

Hemlock is excited to announce we will be running scheduled plant tours every month, with our first session on Wednesday, March 18th from 9:30 – 11AM.  We’ll be showcasing the full spectrum of print processes, from prepress techniques to our array of Heidelberg 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 cmoyles@hemlock.com for more information and a formal invitation.

Check out our latest video here

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. ca.fsc.org

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. www.offsetters.ca

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

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: https://www.grousemountain.com/grind-for-kids.

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!

Step Forward Paper – Converting Waste into a Viable Printing Paper

inspecting wheat sheet

A press sheet from a project that ran last weekend for one of our Seattle-based clients, Cascade Designs who are running all of the text pages for their most recent project on the Step Forward Paper.

We are very pleased with the response to our recent launch of Step Forward Paper, a new alternative paper substrate introduced to market earlier this year.  It looks and acts much like a traditional paper but with one significant difference: the paper is made from 60% wheat straw fibre, an agricultural waste product, withwoody harrellson step forward paper the balance made from 40% FSC® certified wood fibre. This groundbreaking product has garnered plenty of attention in North American media channels, partly thanks to one of the co-founders, Woody Harrelson, who has invested and is lending his star power to promote its products.

A few important things you should know about Step Forward Paper if you are considering it for a project: Continue reading

Byrne Creek Cleanup!

Byrne Creek

Hemlock is participating in the spring clean up in association with Byrne Creek Streamkeepers and EPIC (Edmonds People in the Community)! We encourage you to bring your family and friends to participate in this fun clean up event while getting to know your neighbours and coworkers.

Registration at 9:30 am at Edmonds Skytrain Station parking lot. Map.

Clean up from 10:00 am–11:30 am.

BBQ for Participants at 11:30 am at the Gordon Presbyterian Church at 7457 Edmonds Street. Map.

For more information on the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers, visit http://byrnecreek.org


Thanks to all who joined us! We had a great time helping out the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers cleaning up their community waterway! Check out photos of the event here.

Case Study: Arc’teryx LITHOGRAPHICA

Arc'teryx Lithographica

A long standing client of Hemlock, Arc’teryx  designs & manufactures premium, technical outerwear, gear & climbing equipment. For this post, we wanted to feature a recent project we have produced for this adventure loving brand.

LITHOGRAPHICA started out as a quarterly eJournal produced by Arc’teryx that told stories about who they were, things they liked and ideas they found interesting.  In the beginning of 2014, Arc’teryx turned to Hemlock to turn this eJournal into a tangible product that was representative of who they were as a company.

Continue reading

Instagram Case Study

Instagram Book


One of the 50 most popular websites in the world, Facebook-owned Instagram is becoming a powerful marketing tool for businesses.  Aiming to inspire other businesses to use Instagram to share their brand story, Facebook enlisted Hemlock Printers to create a unique handbook for brands.

Hemlock used 3 different paper stocks to create this handbook – Cougar Opaque for the cover, Lynx Opaque for the pages, and a special UV Ultra II Digital paper in Radiant White for the translucent dividers.  The covers and the internal pages were printed 4 colour process throughout, with the translucent pages being printed in process black. Additionally, the outside cover was aqueous coated and an emboss was applied for added effect to the Instagram logo.

This Instagram book also used a lay-flat perfect binding which allowed this handbook to fully open despite the small 5″ x 5″ size.

Take a look inside this innovative project from Instagram by watching this video:

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us or your Hemlock sales representative.


Doug’s GLOBE Report

How sustainable is your printing graphic 550px

Following up Richard’s post from yesterday, I’d like to talk a bit more about our communication efforts at the trade fair. As part of our sponsorship participation in this year’s GLOBE conference, we were eager to share our sustainability story with the many local, regional and international attendees who spent time in the trade fair under the sails at the Vancouver Conference Centre.

A key element of our communication was a fun and informative graphic depicting our paper supply chain, a critical part of our business both in terms of the very substantial part of our total purchases it represents, as well as the potential  environmental impact it can have.

Continue reading