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Carbon8 adds digital fizz to site visit by 3 associations

Yesterday saw digital print house Carbon8, recently moved into the former Blake & Hargreaves Marrickville, NSW premises, open its doors to delegates from no less than three industry associations: the ‘Society of Old Friends’ now in its 110th year; the Press Gang and members of the LIA.

So many familiar faces! - Carbon8's Ken Beck is 4th from left, of front row with Peter Musarra behind him


Also present were volunteers from the Penrith Museum of Printing including Bob Lockley, Stephanus Peters and Peter Butterworth, who bought along a rare 1940s comic magazine, for which the MOP has secured the original letterpress plates and is planning to reprint it.c8 logo

First up was a detailed tour of the refurbished Blake & Hargreaves Printers premises where green tiles and letterpress have given way to Carbon8’s slick new look and airconditioned rooms housing the very latest digital

B&H mat still there!

printing technologies. Kindly hosted by Directors Kenneth Beck and Peter Musarra; 0ver 20 delegates were treated to a thorough run-down on the near-new HP Indigo 12000 B2 sheetfed digital press, and A3 HP Indigo 7600, upgraded to 7900 specification. The jobs coming off these presses are pushing the boundaries of digital, including printing on metalised stocks and also using HP’s silver ink to achieve metallic looks when combined with CMY.

Ken Beck explains impressive metallic digital effect

Carbon8 is able to print on both HP Indigo certified stocks and also pre-treated offset stocks. Ironically, the pre-treatment of SRA3 size stocks is achieved on small offset Itek/Ryobi presses, kept just for that purpose. An extensive bindery of guillotines, sewers, stitchers, laminators, embellishers and other bookbinding means most jobs can be finished in-house.

But that’s not all to Carbon8’s digital picture – there is also a fully equipped wide format section with SwissQPrint flatbed, Epson aqueous and solvent roll printers, a Rollover applicator table and huge 3.2 metre Zünd cutting table.

3.2 metre Zund cutting table

All this means that Carbon8 can cover all formats from A5 (or smaller) up to 3.2 x 2.4 metres – and print everything digitally. “It’s a fully colour managed workflow, with PrintIQ as our MIS software platform,” said Ken Beck.

A lot has changed since Blake & Hargreaves offset presses and drum scanners were spinning inside 72 Addison Road – premises they occupied from 1964 until they closed in the 1990s. Entering the front doors, the handles are still etched with ‘B’ on one and ‘H’ on the other and, as a token of historical appreciation, the welcome mat still bears the B&H name.

Part of Carbon8's wide format area

Following a very enjoyable site tour, the group adjourned to the nearby Henson Hotel for lunch. Appreciation was expressed by Old Friends Chair Scott Telfer followed by Peter Butterworth explaining how the MOP acquired the original plates and artwork for the old magazine/comic entitled ‘Smashing the Spy Ring’ – about a wartime counter-espionage campaign. Those plates have not seen ink for nearly 80 years and the MOP is just the place to bring them to life again. Speaking of octogenarianism - it was good to see Doug Churchill, forerly of AE Hudsons, in attendance and looking spry.

All in all a wonderful visit and sincere thanks go to Kenneth Beck, Peter Musarra and the team at Carbon8, a digital print business that is sure to go far and deserving of its tagline “Sydney’s Premier Digital Print House.”

See: www.carbon8.com.au