Thursday, 20 December 2012

Printing in Kenya

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Challenges of printing industry in Kenya

Printing industry in Kenya has grown over the past years since the establishment of the first printing press in Kenya the year 1895. The government press which established the first printing plant in Kenya, opened door for many other commercial printing firms later. Those business people who started the printing business in Kenya in early days can be a witnesses although the printing business was not well known to many was very profitable and attractive business to undertake, but of late the industry has changed and faced with a million challenges that has made the trade more difficult for the people in the printing industry, not only in Kenya but also in east Africa and other part of the world.
Here are some of the challenging facing the printers and printing industry in Kenya:
Training – with the need to run a complicated machines in the printing industry, training of the personnel and the right people to do the same and produce the desired print  out is necessary. Despite of the understanding and the need, there are inadequate training institutions that offer printing related training programs or rather those that exits do not have enough equipment  to do the same. Most of you would agree with me that, the majority of the machines operators with have in Kenya printing firms are either self taught or learnt the skills from the other.
Most of the training program’s in Kenya higher learning institution and technical institutes offers graphic designs and other printing related arts but the printing industry in Kenya cannot survive with only artworks and design on the computers, they need to converted to usable print out among others. Over the years the printing industry in Kenya has lacked enough training institution to equip the people and industry the right personnel and skill manpower and this has been a very big challenges to printing companies in Kenya among other players.
Material – Attaining the printing material in Kenya has been a big challenge to many printers in Kenya, and especially bearing in mind that most of the materials are imported from other countries outside Africa. Despite Kenyan market and printing industry in Kenya at large consume a large number of offset papers and computer papers; the country has less than two firms which manufactures and mill papers. This has made the cost of doing business very expensive due to dynamic currency rate involved in doing the international business while importing the papers in Kenya and the cost of the shipment among others. Moreover, most of the firms are unable to deliver the printing to their clients due to delays that comes with obtain papers away from home. Most of the printing material and more so offset printing papers comes from, Europe ,Asia, among other Africa countries like Egypt and south Africa. This problem has been a big hindrance to many printing companies in Kenya whereby the cost incurred and in turn transferred to the consumers and thus making the trade difficult to operate.
Maintenance and spare parts – printing industry involves use of very complicated machines, where the same parts needs frequent monitoring and maintenance, the part like machines gears, blankets, grippers, rollers, motors among others are bound to frequent damage and thus a big problem to the entrepreneur in meeting the cost since most of the parts are outsourced and which are available in Kenya market are either improvised or very expensive. Moreover, the insured lack experience and well trained expert to service and assemble the heavy printing machine, most of the technician in the printing market in Kenya can comfortably service small printing machines like 201 machines thus this being a problem to  the printing industry in Kenya and printers in general.
Technology – the printing filed and technology has been a challenge over the years with new invention and introduction of new printing machines every day. We have witnessed machines that embrace high technology in the market, for instance speed master type of machines. With this kind of mega machines those firm which owns small printing machines like 201 or GTO are finding themselves in a big problem to set pace and compete in the printing market ,since the high tech machines offers better output, same time and more cost effective as compared to manual and smaller printing machines.
We cannot rule out that, the offset printing machines are very expensive for one to Acquiring that making printing business for rich people in Kenya. Although, the digital printing machines are slightly cheaper machines, but in most cases are not commercial viable when comes to bulk commercial printings. It is due to this reason, which has made even those who would love to be in the printing filed very difficult due to huge amount required to set up a printing company in Kenya and related machines like perforating machines, cutting, binding among others. There are other challenges faced by the printing players in Kenya but these are just a few of the challenges 

Article Contributed By,
Sales Executive

Government press

Government press of Kenya is offset printing entity under the office of the state (the president). It is one of the oldest printing organs in Kenya, which was established by the colonial government. The government’s press which mainly prints government of Kenya publications, which include:  government Catalogue, service charters, the Kenya gazette among other state publications has remained focal entity in publishing the legal documents in Kenya.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

What to consider while making a printing quotation

One the most challenges part of printing industry is being able to have an appropriate printing cost, and give your clients the right quotations. Although there several things and factors a person should look for here are the common items on the quotation expenses.

i)                    The  material  i.e. the offset /printing papers
ii)                  Designing and artwork production
iii)                Separation and plate costs
iv)                Runs
v)                  Finishing costs i.e  cutting, binding, die cutting etc

The cost above may vary from one printing to another; for instance, a one color printing job may not require separation process. It is also good to note the bulk printing is always cheaper due to some of the printing cost remains constant irrespective of the quantity.
For instance a person printing 1000 A1 posters (full colour ) and a person printing 100 pieces of A1 posters will pay the same separation, plate and possibly runs. It is often said, offset printing is cheap when done bulk, considered digital printing when you have less stuff to produce.
This articles was contribute by

Monday, 29 October 2012

Terms used in the Printing industry

Here are common terms used in printing industry,and any person in the the printing is likely to use them.
·        Designing – soft copy of what is to be printed, commonly refereed to as graphic design
·        Art work – the result of graphic designs, often in Pdf or orel draw
·        Image – a picture in soft copy
·        Separation – a process in offset printing which allow the operator to achieve certain colours especially when undertaking full colour jobs
·        Plates – a metal rectangular form . which carries the images to be printed
·        Registrations – set up of printing process
·        Runs – times in which the papers are expected to pass through the printing machines
·        Full colour – the printing process which involves production of 4 colour printings
·        Screen printing  - offset used to print t-shirts
·        Digital printings – used to print samples and small printing, especially from the computer screen
·        Dye cutting – process of shaping ,the printing works, especially on packaging printings
·        Foiling  - rolling up
·        Binding – part of printing finishing process done on books,esxcpecilay invoice/receipt books etc
·        Stitching – kind of doing binding which involves stitches
·        Films – a plastic like item used to transfer images to plates
·        Inks – used in printing process
·        Mixing white – a milk like printing ink, often used to mix other clours
·        Templates   already design work, and need only editig to get end art work
·        Screen colour – the colour which is seen on the computer i.e computer colour
·        Off cuts – pieces of papers left out after finishing or unused
·        Grains directions – especially on the printing papers  e.g white lined chipboard
·        Bulk offset printing  - printing in large scale
·        Lamination – coating of the papers or the printing output
·        Uv vanish – done on the finished printing to makes the printing shines especially on magazines’ cover,posters, labels among others
·        Cutting – process done of removing out the unwanted part of the printing, done after or before the printing
·        Numbering – process of giving the printed pages numbers, especially on the receipt/invoices etc
·        Paper plates – temporary plates on paper like material,used for short and one colour jobs.
·         A4 Paper -          paper size 21 x 29.7 cm or 8.3 x 11.7".

Other keyword include: Offset printing,photocopy papers,printing papers,packaging papers,A1 printing,A2 printing,posters,stickers,labels,invoices,receipt books,bulk printing,business cards,letter heads,newsletters,magazines etc

Contributed By John Njega
Sales person  
Aviq printers and stationers