Colour Innovations ‘not a regular printer’

By Jesse Robitaille

This year, the Toronto-based security printer Colour Innovations will mark its 35th anniversary, including nearly a decade bidding on Canadian stamp-printing contracts.

The firm previously supplied prepress services to Canada Post before serving as a subcontractor to one of the Crown corporation’s main printers beginning in 2003. More recently, in 2015, Colour Innovations began offering start-to-finish security printing services and began submitting tenders to print Canadian stamps.

“We’re not a regular printer,” said Colour Innovations President Carlo D’Onofrio. “We also do high-value coupons, credit cards, documents – our place is secure – and we do everything in house from printing to foiling, embossing and packaging.”

Some of its most prestigious work comes from Canada Post, for which Colour Innovations has printed about a third of the country’s stamps in recent years.

“For me, every time we get to print a stamp, the first thing I like to see is our name on it,” said D’Onofrio, who added the firm’s more than two-decade relationship with Canada Post is “an honour.”

“We get comments from people saying that when they see our stamps, they want to buy them. They see there’s a big difference in our quality because our company really puts love in it. I really want to make it stand out, and I want our name to stand out, so when people see Colour Innovations, they see there’s something different about it: it’s special.”

The other two firms contracted by Canada Post to print the country’s stamps include the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBNC) and Lowe-Martin, both based in Ottawa. The CBNC prints all of Canada Post’s engraved stamps, few of which have been issued this century, while Lowe-Martin prints all coil stamps. Each of the three printers bid on all other stamp-printing contracts.


Now located at 161 Norfinch Dr. in Toronto, Colour Innovations began operating out of a smaller facility as a prepress shop in 1988.

Moving on from the prepress world, the firm acquired its current facility and its first printing press in 1996.

“That’s when we started printing our own stuff ourselves,” said D’Onofrio.

Today, Colour Innovations offers complete prepress, printing and direct mail services with state-of-the-art computer-to-plate technology, stochastic screening (also known as frequency modulation or FM screening), digital photography, digital asset management, ad delivery and remote proofing. The firm’s security, offset, packaging and direct mail divisions are “the cornerstones to our integrated full-service communications offering, all under one roof in a climate-controlled secure environment,” according to its website,

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