11 Jun

Messages from the Past, Hucul Printing’s Rich History

Back in the Day . . .

Before Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type back in the 1400s, the handwritten manuscript was the method of recording and communicating information of the day.

Gutenberg came up with a process for mass-producing movable type which included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type.

He also was the first to use oil-based ink and he invented a wooden screw-type printing press.

Photo: Metal movable type by Willi Heidelbach

Metal movable type by Willi Heidelbach

Gutenberg’s inventions were regarded as the introduction to the era of mass communication. This altered the course of history, which markedly improved literacy in the middle class.

From manually operated presses, to steam-driven and beyond, the printing industry flew ahead in leaps and bounds.

The Salmon Arm Observer saw its first Newspaper Issue roll off the Press in 1907.

At this time, newspaper articles and job printing layouts were handset into lines, paragraphs and pages, by painstakingly handpicking individual letters of foundry type from the type cases.

In the late 1920’s or early 1930’s, type was set by means of the Linotype, the invention which revolutionized the printing industry, making it possible to increase productivity many times over.

Photo: Cp1015 by Trimalchio

Cp1015 by Trimalchio

This machine, a Rube Goldberg wonder, transferred letters of type from special brass matrices to molds (lines of type) created from molten lead.

From that time until 1973, the Observer newspaper and commercial printing department were printed by the letterpress method. The newspaper was printed on a Goss Coxotype and the commercial printing was done on Heidelberg Platen, Holmes Vertical, Chandler and Price Platen presses.

Hucul Printing Ltd.’s founders, myself, Bernie Hucul, and brother, Gary Hucul, toiled as printers devils in an era of printing where lead melting pots, inky press forms and volatile press chemicals ruled the day.

At this time, the production method was switched over to Offset Printing.

Printers Devil sign by Richard Croft

Typeset was via a phototypesetting method, where keyboard operators typed on simple computerized machines which transferred type onto photosensitive paper.

The prints, now on strips of paper, were then pasted up onto master grid sheets which duplicated the newspaper page.

Photographs were processed into halftone prints and were added to the paste-up sheets, along with the advertizing setups.

Graphic art cameras then copied the newspaper pages onto negative film to facilitate a platemaking process, where the negative image was transfered to light sensitive aluminum press plates.

And of course, newspaper and print production, then saw desktop publishing come to the forefront with the introduction of personal computers.

In 1989, Hucul Printing Ltd. was formed when the brothers, Bernie and Gary Hucul purchased the commercial printing department of the Salmon Arm Observer from Cariboo Press.

The business then carried on using a combination of letterpress and offset printing methods.

Some of the old letterpress printing presses are still in use, but they are now taking a backseat to the Heidleberg and Hamada offset presses.

More recently, the company has added digital printing equipment, using toner-based inks, along with a large format inkjet printer, which are capable of printing in glorious full colour.


30 Apr

Which size of Canvas Print should I order?

Where will the Canvas be Hung?

Deciding on the size of a canvas mounted print for your home, or office, may be a little challenging, but we are here to help you!

Knowing where your canvas print will be displayed … whether it will end up at your business, or at your home, or someone else’s home or establishment…  will help determine the sizing.

Is the print meant to advertize a business or company brand?

Is it intended for decoration and personal enjoyment for yourself, or someone else?

Or will it be sold to a third buyer?

Sizing your Canvas

The pixel size of the file would also be an important factor in figuring out the physical print size, because not all files can support all canvas print sizes.

Do you know how much wall space is available for your project? Have you measured the available space and allowed for both height and width?

There are many creative ways to showcase your favourite prints, or photographs.

456801_10150894540848604_1237923262_oYou could opt to print 2 or 3 canvases with the same theme. These could be hung side by side, or one above the other, or even laid out diagonally. Perhaps your set of canvases could be parts or divisions of a single picture.

There are so many options available, and many variables will dictate the appropriate sizing and arrangements for your project.

Hucul Printing can provide the price for each size of print.

Here is a list of the most standard wall hanging sizes:

  • 8 x 8
  • 8 x 10
  • 8 x 12
  • 10 x 12
  • 12 x 12
  • 12 x 14
  • 12 x 16
  • 12 x 18
  • 16 x 16
  • 16 x 20
  • 16 x 24
  • 20 x 20
  • 20 x 24 
  • 20 x 30
  • 20 x 36
  • 20 x 40

We can help you to gain some insights when you come in and lay out your plans, explaining what your project needs are.

Between us, we will determine the perfect solution for your canvas project.

02 Apr

Committed to your business? Why you should hire a Professional Printer

Let’s face the truth.

There are plenty of printing options available to you.

You can order online or from a  big -box store.  You can even purchase a desktop printer to print your product at home, however, your well meaning efforts will probably result in a ‘homemade looking product’, not really reflecting your professional brand.

So, what are the reasons for hiring a local ’boutique printing’ company like Hucul Printing in a small town like Salmon Arm?

It all comes down to service.

gary1We have been working with our clients for a long time and have established a rapport with them. We have also built a reputation locally and this keeps our customers coming back.

Why is that?

Our clients feel that we make the “design to printing process” easier for them.

Having developed relationships with our customers, they regard us as friends and trusted advisers.

This is what we do.

We provide peace of mind about your printing goals, which is something only professional printers can do.

Sure, you can save a few dollars on business cards from an online printer, or an impersonal, ‘one-stop shop’ box store, but they do not have a full understanding of your company’s business needs, including its challenges, like we do.

Are you serious about your company’s success?

If you plan on growing and building your business, planning for the long term, you can approach us just like you would your Accountant, or your Doctor.

Ask us for our opinion & ideas, talk to us about your options. Let us know what you envision and we will tell you what we know.

That’s the difference.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level?

Come and see us.

HuculBusCard2010_PRSSpeak with Bernie and start your plan.

You will see the benefits of adding a commercial printer to your businesses team.

22 Jan

Why Printing Is Alive and Well

Carving a Chinese Printing Block

As a printer’s son, I have been around the printing industry my whole life. When I was younger, I tended to take ‘the role that printers’ have played in the world’ for granted. Now, my apathy has shifted to enthusiasm for what sparked the Age of Information — which is printing.

Printing changed the world

In fact, printing has been regarded as an important factor in the evolution and creation of the modern world. Printing has changed the way we have communicated with each other, not unlike what the internet has done for us today.

Carving a Chinese Printing Block

Photo by Jonathan Kos-Read

Before printing there were specially trained people called scribes who would spend hours handwriting pages to be provide a written history, to be read later.

Could you imagine if all of the written material known to man was handwritten!

Now almost every word you read is either seen on the printed page, printed by a printer, or seen on the computer screen, just waiting to be printed by pressing two buttons, CTRL/Command P, or Print!

Technology changed printing

Like many industries today, printing has been influenced by modern technology.

At Hucul Printing, we have adapted to changing technologies in order to stay competitive.

A good example of these types of adaptations is what we call the short-run printing jobs. Before the use of digital technology, we exclusively used the big, industrial grade printing presses to print business cards.

However, in order to make these runs affordable to our customer,  we would have to run 500 to 1,000+ business cards at a time.

Now, times being different, it isn’t unusual for us to run 100 business cards, at a time, by using digital technology on digital presses.

This new technology has made printing business  cards, brochures, and pamphlets more affordable to our customers than ever before.

Printing is still necessary

Printing has gone through many changes since the mid 1400s and is still relevant today. Consider that printed material still serves the people of Salmon Arm, British Columbia and Canada, in ways that simply cannot be replaced.