Rising star Abbie Graham joins the labels industry

Industry rising star, Abbie Graham, who came fourth in the recent 2023 ProPrint Awards, has moved from commercial printing to the labels category.

Graham recently finished working with Kwik Kopy Newcastle and has now joined Pacific Labels which is also based on the Central Coast of New South Wales.

Graham was one of the surprise winners in last week’s ProPrint Awards, describing winning as “insane”. By coming fourth she was ranked within the top five printers in Australia in the peer-voted awards alongside veteran printers such as Keith Ferrel from Cactus Imaging and Matt Aitken from IVE.

Graham is one of the industry’s most high-profile newcomers to the industry, after being recognised in the ProPrint Awards Emerging 50 in 2022 and also winning the LIA NSW Award for Graduate of the Year.

“I really liked working at Kwik Kopy Newcastle, but I was driving more than an hour each day each way to work, so I have joined Pacific Labels in the pre-press team which is also closer to home.

“I have only worked in litho and digital until now, and I wanted to give labels a try. I am currently working with another pre-press operator, and I haven’t made any flexo plates yet, but I hope to be able to do in the near future.

“After I finished my apprenticeship at the Department of Customer Service – Spatial Services – in Bathurst where I grew up, I knew a lot about digital printing, but I wanted more skills such as learning to do more binding. At Kwik Kopy Newcastle, I was able to learn spiral and wire binding and I also had to hand saddle stitch some orders – including some fairly large jobs,” she said.

The four-person team at KK Newcastle used a Konica Minolta AccurioPress C4070 as well as an HP Latex machine.

“At Kwik Kopy, I carried out production and pre-press as well as learned signage including corflutes and billboards as well which is something I never thought I would do.”

Her initial thoughts about label printing are that is slightly more complex than lithographic printing.

“I am glad I am doing label printing, but it is more complicated than litho and there is definitely more complexity required when it comes to artwork as well.”

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