What makes MET so successful or unique from others in your industry?
At MET, we like the saying “Well done is better than well said”, we would rather do the right thing than try to cut corners. We believe in beautiful design and great branding, in fact that is how we made our name, working with some of Vancouver’s and North America’s most celebrated Design teams. We have enabled some amazing feats of imagination to come to life through collaboration and wonderful relationships. This business of communication lets us live vicariously through designers eyes. We have the toolkit, the toys, the playground and we love to share.
GDC Executive Johnathon Strebly hosts the 2012 Salazar Awards.
In 1985, MET started the GDC/BC scholarship in memory of Enrique Salazar, a founding member of the Society, a BC National Representative. That same year, MET made a conscious commitment to become a “designers” printer while the city prepared for the 1986 World Exposition. MET invested in Vancouver’s second (6) Color 40” press of the day and while the other big printing houses went after the pricey Expo work, MET made their focus to concentrate on the Design community. This was the vision of Founder George Kallas, he set his sights on becoming one of North America’s Finest Printers. Fast forward; today under the hand of second generation Nikos Kallas, MET 2.0 continues to innovate, adapt and create new ways to provide our clients the finest communication tools available with a relentless dedication to environmental excellence.
We are no longer printers, (gasp, shock, horror!) but communicators. How else do we describe the body of work we are engaged with daily? The Finest Lithographic Services are the basis of our DNA, Pre-Press morphs into Pre-Media, Files into shared Data. Our tools now include Web Based customized Brand Libraries for our clients. We love the web; it is responsible for the lion’s share of our new relationships. We have embraced online and continually discover how to merge new technology and Craft. Recently making 25 books for Nike with a 7” LCD monitor embedded in the cover! If a service naturally extends from one of our core strengths, we will actively encourage it.
We feel so fortunate to live and operate in Vancouver with our amazing environment and resources all around us and pay an enormous amount of respect to it. MET is leading our 3rd year of Carbon Neutral Operations, we continually work to develop new environmental print technologies; many are shared worldwide with other printers. MET has led the UV print Revolution in North America for unparalleled high quality Zero VOC work since 2002, winning more Benjamin Franklin Awards for quality year over year than ANY Canadian printer (30 of em).
What is the main benefit to working with MET?
Aside from having some of the finest crafts people in the business, we are; to the last woman and man, Print Geeks. We truly LOVE what we do.
We take tremendous pride in the relationships we develop and what we can bring to the table on a project. Having the opportunity to work with some of the World’s leading brands, from Fortune 100 to single person boutique studios, we have learned a great deal and we love to share. We work best when we are engaged to become one with your creative and marketing team. Take a page out of design school 101; Give your clients what they want and perhaps toss a few farther reaching alternatives that may inspire. We’re like that.
When as a designer you have worked on a project for days, weeks or months you want the printing to be spectacular, something you want to be proud off to have and show off in your portfolio, this could be the project that gets you your next project.
Name any technological innovation in print over the last 20+ years and we do it, did it or had a hand in creating it.
Our team has experienced some of the wildest projects in North America and this enables lightning quick response, accurate budgets, and unparalleled respect for your brand. We are still small enough to remain strategically flexible yet big enough to handle any requirement.
Are you currently using any new equipment, technology or initiatives in your business?
MET has always been committed to the finest People, Equipment, Process and Services. MET partnered with Kodak to development 10 micron Stochastic Screening, becoming one of the world’s first Beta sites for their enterprise class workflow and unmatched image detail and quality. This past year alone, MET has hired new team members with amazing skillsets and acquired some very cool new equipment to ensure our future:
Peter Tom – New Technology Integrations Manager
Barry Quinn– Pre Media Color Manager
Alex Neubauer – IT Systems Administrator
Thom Hamilton – Logistics and Environmental Coordinator
Jacquie Harvey – Pre Media / CSR
Iron Lam – Estimating / Buyer
The recent acquisition of Larsen’s Craft Book Bindery; dramatically expanding our Fine Book Binding capabilities and expertise.
We introduced MET Resource, our comprehensive Suite of Web Based Brand Management tools offering custom and variable single source procurement options for virtually all companies. This links directly into our extensive Network of Digital and Large format offerings.
NEW Heidelberg Fully Automatic Plate setter - unparalleled accuracy and speed of plate throughput.
NEW SUN Chemical MX12 Ink Dispenser Mill – absolute control of all ink mixes in house, greater accuracy, less waste.
We have many more planned announcements in the near future, stay tuned.
How is MET tackling the challenges new technology presents?
Aside from People and Equipment, MET launched another dimension to our Core Business. MET Resource (www.MET-resource.com )is a very exciting division of the MET group of companies. MET Resource is one way to bring the high level of Quality, Environmental Excellence and Service you expect to your Brand in a single source environment. MET Resource provides our clients custom built Brand Libraries where they control, content, service level, costs, and have 100% real time reporting and access 24/7.
What steps has MET taken to minimize their carbon footprint and become a sustainable business model?
In 2010, MET partnered with Climate Smart and Pacific Carbon Trust to become one of Canada’s first Carbon Neutral Print facilities.
MET implemented a Zero Waste (Hot link to http://www.metprinters.com/our-company/met-environment/ )Strategy in 2010. Everything from paper, wood, metal, plastic, electronics and compost are captured and properly down cycled.
MET is a Development Partner with Enviro Image Solutions Inc.,(Hot link to http://www.enviroimagesolutions.com ) a completely unique Environmental technology that refurbishes press blankets up to 10 times and has kept 3,000 lbs. of rubber out of our landfill this year alone.
By actively encouraging ethical sourcing of materials, partners and trades, MET is demonstrating “well done, is better than well said”. In 2002, MET pioneered the use of 100% VOC Free UV or Light Activated inks in BC.
Why UV inks?
UV inks are not associated with Petroleum (Vegetable) based drying problems, ghosting or marking issues.
UV inks are extremely durable and cure instantly so paper can be stacked higher, requiring a smaller footprint
UV inks can go direct from press to finishing as they are instantly cured
UV inks allow unparalleled Special Effects and uncoated paper color fidelity as it effectively Dry Traps in line
UV inks require less frequent washing on press as they do not oxidize or skin up
Our Community is a core part of our Environment.
MET is the Founder of Canstruction Vancouver (hot link to www.canstructionvancouver.com ), a chapter of the global anti-hunger project taking place in over 190 cities worldwide. In this, our 10th anniversary, we have raised over 1,140,000 cans of food (valued at over $2.2 Million Dollars) for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. This innovative and spectacular Design and Build competition brings together over 60 companies and over 300 people from the Graphic Design, Architectural, Engineering businesses and beyond to build gravity defying sculptures out of canned food and display to the public. This is the Greater Vancouver Food Banks single largest injection of canned food, greatly comprised of protein (They make the best pixels, you get it…). Both MET Fine Printers and MET Resource assets are used to promote, coordinate and organize this fantastic event. We feel that this is helping to sustain our community which nets out positive for all of us.
MET continues to actively support the 24 Hour Relay for the kids, having raised over $200,000 in our years of involvement. Our industry support includes GDC/BC, GDC/Island Chapter, AIGA, NABS, Lotus, UDI, Vancouver Aquarium, TEDx Vancouver and Portland.
Why do you support the GDC?
GDC members made MET who we are and we know it. Without professional designers and communicators the world would be a dreary place. Graphic Design touches us all every day; we are all part of the same page. The GDC is a compass for professional ethics and support for the individual designer that may think they have a small voice. We encourage all new designers to participate, explore and challenge the GDC to keep growing and offering learning opportunities for all of us. We will do our part to help, engage and educate to the best of our ability. This is why MET remains the longest standing Print Sponsor for the GDC/BC. Please explore www.metprinters.com and reach out to us, say hi, engage us in some conversation. We’re real nice too.