How'd They Print That? The GRAPH EXPO 2012 Show Daily

The “Print Integrated” GRAPH EXPO has the perfect multimedia companion in this year’s GRAPH EXPO Show Daily. For the third consecutive year, Cygnus Business Media, publisher of Quick Printing and Wide-Format Imaging, is producing the Show Daily in a joint effort with GRAPH EXPO’s owner, the Graphic Arts Show Company.

This year’s edition, which will include a total of 33,000 printed copies, distributed Sunday through Wednesday at McCormick Place and at official show hotels, leverages one of the nation’s most advanced graphic arts production networks, with Chicago-area Consolidated Graphics (CGX) companies CMI and Veritas Document Solutions teaming up to produce the Show Daily’s printed and digital editions.

“Our work with Cygnus reflects the ability to create effective, dynamic print and multimedia platforms for clients,” said David Steinberg, CMI’s president. “Our production capacity gives us the flexibility to meet extremely tight turnaround times, and the digital and multimedia capabilities of Veritas really makes us stand out to a growing base of customers who are creating more-effective communications.”

From a production workflow standpoint, the Show Daily comes to readers each day through a fast-paced series of events familiar to many GRAPH EXPO attendees. After composing pages each evening from an office in McCormick Place, the Show Daily staff uploads print-ready PDFs of each issue to CMI’s Elmhurst, IL, facility. CMI then imposes pages on a Rampage system, which also generates a PDF proof for Cygnus to approve.

Once approved, CMI, which has a 24-hour, six-days-a-week production operation, plates the job on its Kodak TRENDSETTER platesetter and very shortly thereafter starts printing it on one of its four Heidelberg Speedmaster offset presses with in-line aqueous coating. Simultaneous to this, the approved job file is transmitted to CMI’s sister company, Veritas Document Solutions in Buffalo Grove, IL. Veritas, a high-volume digital printing hub within the CGX network of companies, produces a wide range of variable data, integrated multimedia projects.

While the presses run for the GRAPH EXPO Show Daily printed edition, Veritas’ digital media experts format and hyperlink content for the online edition.

By 3:00 am, bound, printed issues come off of CMI’s Muller-Martini Bravo-T stitcher, and they are boxed and loaded for delivery to McCormick Place. Workers at sister company Veritas are also wrapping up their digital magazine, which comes back to Cygnus’ IT and editorial teams. At 6:00 am each morning Cygnus pushes the online Show Daily live, alongside a daily e-newsletter and updated Web pages that are part of Cygnus’s comprehensive, online compendium of GRAPH EXPO news.

The GRAPH EXPO Show Daily is the largest outside project that Cygnus’ Graphics Group staff produces each year, with an additional 90,000 readers receiving digital news from the project on top of its 33,000 printed copy run. The project’s mini-web site,, includes video interviews, a photo gallery, and the Show Daily e-newsletter.

Veritas’s Custom Solutions Group opened the dialogue with Cygnus for the development of this year’s Show Daily, and Custom Solutions Group executives worked to manage the overall production workflow between the Veritas and CMI plants.

Kelley Holmes, the Show Daily’s publisher, has recently added new responsibilities after receiving a promotion to co-manage business development efforts across all of Cygnus Business Media. In that role, she envisions plenty of future multimedia marketing projects working with Veritas’s Custom Solutions Group. Veritas is home to the first HP T-series high-speed inkjet press in the Chicago area and, according to her, it is the type of technology that naturally lends itself to additional personalized opportunities both for the Show Daily and for marketing projects from a variety of Cygnus properties.