How Cygnus Graphics Media and Quad/Graphics Produce the GRAPH EXPO Show Daily

The transition from producing monthly publications to generating a daily printed product is a new challenge for the Cygnus Graphics Media staff. Luckily, the Quad/Graphics’ team in Sussex, WI, which is printing the GRAPH EXPO Show Daily, is used to quick turn production. “We are taking our many years of experience producing weekly magazines under tight deadlines and applying it to an even tighter overnight deadline,” says Gary Gramz, Customer Service Representative for Quad/Graphics.


This year, however, the printed edition of the GRAPH EXPO Show Daily isn’t the only deadline that must be met. “For the first time in history, the Show Daily will be available in a digital edition, which will go live on Cygnus websites and as soon as the print version is finished,” says Kelley Holmes, Publisher of Quick Printing, Wide-Format Imaging, and Printing News, which make up the Cygnus Graphics Media group.


“In addition, the headlines and links to the articles in each digital edition will be pushed out to the Twitter subscribers and LinkedIn discussion groups for all three Cygnus publications,” Holmes points out. “The links will also be distributed in daily e-blasts to everyone who has subscribed to the e-newsletters for each of the Cygnus publications as well as GRAPH EXPO’s subscribers. This has never happened before.”


To help streamline the workflow, a portion of the information in the Show Daily was provided to Quad Graphics three days prior to the opening of the show. In addition to this content, live coverage at the show is turned around in hours. The Cygnus Graphics Media editors, production directors, and art directors worked in advance to write and edit articles, impose each edition and layout the pages. During the show, the on-site staff makes certain that attendees have the information they need about every aspect of GRAPH EXPO.


“It has been quite a project, but it is rewarding to be able to use the new technology tools that are now available to the printing and publishing industry. But in the end, it all came down to the hard work of the people involved,” observes Editorial Director Bob Hall.


Once the editorial and production staff members have finished with each day’s articles, they are sent on to the printing pros at Quad/Graphics to for output. The careful matching of pages is critical. “For each day, there are five signatures: three 16s and two 8s,” explains John Van Lare, Quad/Graphics Finishing Production Manager. The three 16-page signatures were pre-printed for each day of GRAPH EXPO at the same time the full Sunday edition was printed. For the rest of the show, the two eight-page “live” signatures will be printed and married with the pre-printed content for each day.


The live signatures are delivered into Quad/Graphics’ PDF-based workflow each evening by 5:00 p.m. “Someone can send in a page file and we can have it available for online proofing within 10 minutes,” Gramz notes. “We can be plating the job within minutes after final approval is received.”


By 7:00 p.m., the pages go to a Harris M1000 web press equipped with QuadTech’s closed-loop Color Control System to be printed on NewPage Orion 60-pound coated gloss paper. The pre-printed signatures are then married to the live pages during the binding process on a Goss SP855 saddle stitcher. The process is completed when the sticky note is applied to the front cover with a Label-Aire 3115 applicator.


By 1:00 a.m., the publication is packed into cartons and whisked from Sussex 100 miles south to Chicago to be delivered to McCormick Place and your hotel room. So when you are reading about the day’s events with your morning coffee, send a good thought to all the hard working professionals from Cygnus Graphics Media and Quad/Graphics who labored to bring you this fine publication.