84-86 Herald Street, Cheltenham VIC 3192 03 9585 7788

There have been countless buzzwords uttered across the globe during this era of pandemic – some old, some new, and some with altered meaning. But one, above all, has been around in one form or another since animals started to roam this planet: “Trust”. 

Whether a passing look in the eye, or a lifetime of learning, animals – including humans – have learned to trust or distrust one another. In 2020, humans were forced to decide whether or not to trust businesses and brands.

Human-to-brand trust (and vice-versa) did not become a thing overnight. Since the advent of the Bank of New South Wales (1817), Holden (1856) and Coopers Brewery (1862), we have learned to trust one business over another with our lives, our livelihoods – and even our beer. But like many aspects of life, the pandemic has catalysed and exacerbated the need for trust. 

  • When a business says it practises Covid-safe regulations, customers need to know that is true. 
  • When a business says it is supporting local suppliers, customers need to know that is true. 
  • When a business says that it is environmentally responsible, customers need to know that is true. 
  • When a business says it will look after its staff, customers need to know that is true. 

Partners and other stakeholders also need to know truths regarding the information above.

Surpluses have been restricted in the last 18 months – travel, shipping, basic supplies and money – so trust has become imperative. We’ve certainly questioned our trust of strangers with whom we merely share a petrol pump or a supermarket aisle – so why should we trust a brand that wants our business?

People have suffered advertising fatigue, email marketing fatigue and news fatigue (fake or real) – so how does a business speak to the audience it is attempting to attract? If the business is to be successful in whichever impact it targets, it has to speak from within and throughout, with transparency and truth, whether cleaner, clerk or CEO. 

At Complete Colour we trust our team members, we trust our clients, our partners and suppliers. It’s the only way we know. We even trust our competitors and will happily refer to them if we feel they can do something better than we can – unless they give us a reason not to trust them!

We’ve recently identified trust as our fourth pillar, after Service, Quality and Value. It’s an aspirational value that has underpinned our business since it was established almost 30 years ago.

If the experience of a global pandemic is teaching us anything, it is to remember the importance of trust. Without it we are nothing.

Trust plays a big part in our everyday performance. From first meeting a client, we feel a huge responsibility to deliver an experience that exceeds expectations across customer service, quality of final product and return on the client’s investment. 

We have to trust each other when operating heavy duty machinery, we have to trust in the suppliers of our stock and enhancements, and we have to trust in our own ability. In the case of digital and offset printing, we are creating a tangible product from its digital representation – often tens of thousands of times. We take great pride in going to print with trust.


Melbourne-based print and communication specialist Complete Colour is a 29-year-old business built on the strongest foundations.

Managing Director Tim Michaelides started the business in June 1992, servicing clients by day and operating the presses at night. The pillars were set and the foundation built for what we know as Complete today – a sophisticated leader at the forefront of cutting edge print and communication technology.

The business is no longer just about print, but the original pillars and foundations continue to inform every decision and action for Tim and his business partner Geoff Lawyer (Director and Head of Sales and Marketing) – and the other 30 team members at Complete.

The Complete Pillars

  1. Service
  2. Quality
  3. Value
  4. Trust

For the last three years, Complete has been an Associate Member of the Large Format Retail Association (LFRA), and has printed the last two editions on the Large Format Retail Directory (pictured above). This 820-page handbook is relied upon by hundreds of Large Format Retail businesses across Australia.

“Our team loves the [Large Format Retail Directory] project from the very beginning,” said Tim Michaelides.

“From colour matching and stock selection, to hand delivering the final directory, we’re very proud to work on such an essential publication.”

“With the 10 Year Edition (2018/19), we presented an alternative cover to enhance the durability of the Directory, moving across to a hardbound cover and adding some embellishment.

“We always look to improve our client products, offering service, quality and value.”

Complete understands the demands on each business in the LFRA. With a personalised approach, they are agile enough to deliver across digital and offset print – including variable data – and the logistics and storage solutions that come with projects.

During 2020 crisis moments, Complete worked with Beacon Lighting to regularly deliver POS merchandise materials directly to 113 (now 117) Beacon Lighting stores across Australia to combat delays caused by resource shortages or compromised efficiencies. This arrangement has continued into 2021, despite freight service improvements.

“Our door is always open,” said Director and Head of Sales and Marketing, Geoff Lawyer, who – like Tim – prides himself on always being accessible to staff, partners, and clients.

“We understand the Large Format Retail sector and all the logistics involved. We’ve worked closely with Beacon Lighting, Plush, Provincial Home Living, and others, so we know how to deliver on a tight, hard deadline. We also understand how the sector has changed over the last year, and we want to continue to support in every way we can.”

Compete was an early adopter in the digital print space, moving across with its first digital press from Fuji-Xerox Machine in 2006. 

Through every evolution and transition however, the business has held fast to its purpose and focus on service, quality and value.

In October 2020, the business passed another audit with flying colours – in ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 14001 (Environment). Certified since 2007, the company has now moved to a top of the class model with the new Xerox iGen 5 Digital Printing Press and Colour re-Certification in January 2021.

Powerful digital equipment provides Complete with the ability to deliver higher-volume customised digital print runs to customers, which enables more economic pricing. It also presents greater security in assurity of supply.

Complete prints 45,000 menus for Fresh Food Service Melbourne (Recipe & Meal Box Delivery) every week. The whole project is completed within a 24-hour window; from receiving the file (with 30 variants) to delivering the menus.

It is a big job, but a consistent process has enabled the team to transition through change over the last 29 years so that they are ready to continue exceeding client expectations.

“One of the biggest outcomes of last year for Complete was the en-masse return of print to Australia,” says Geoff Lawyer.

“Due to our short production and shipping timelines – and pride in service, quality and value – we’re printing a lot of jobs that businesses previously sent offshore.

We build in time and value at every stage of the process.

“We build in value by using environmentally-responsible, quality material to ensure that the product is something everyone can celebrate and rely on.

Across the business, Complete works with zero compromise on quality and environmental accountability. This means the business is able to achieve the greatest outcomes with the lightest footprints.

The Melbourne print communications hub generated 236.71 megawatt hours (Mwh) of solar energy in 2020, thanks to its 200Kw LGC* (728-panel) rooftop solar power plant. This is sufficient power to run 34 average-usage Australian homes for a whole year. Since January 2021, Complete has partnered with GreenPower to ensure any top up energy is also responsibly, sustainably sourced.


Whatever last year brought for you and your business, this is 2021 – and you get to choose the colour.

Pantone (the reference grid above) is the global colour authority and provider of professional colour language standards used across a variety of industries – including printing. 

While Pantone is the industry standard for spot colours (pre-mixed ink), it represents less than 1% of all print production. At Complete Colour (and the industry in general), the other 99% of print is produced in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black – better known as CMYK or 4-colour process. In many instances at Complete Colour, we print 4-colour process and add Pantone PMS (Pantone Matching System) colours when a client’s brief requires the exact accuracy of a PMS colour. We do this because exact accuracy is not always achievable in 4-colour process.

Household names, such as HP Sauce, Tiffany & Co, Target and McDonalds have actually trademarked Pantone references to ensure their brand colours – such as McDonalds’ French-fry Gold – are not replicated.

How did Pantone begin?

In New Jersey circa 1956 (think Mad Men and Don Draper), advertising executives and brothers Marvin and Jesse Levine –  who had founded a commercial print company – hired Chemistry graduate Lawrence Herbert. 

Herbert used his chemistry background to systematise and simplify the company’s stock of pigments and production of colored inks. By 1962, Herbert was running the ink and printing division at a profit and he subsequently purchased the company’s technological assets from the Levine brothers for US$50,000 (equivalent to approximately AU$640,000 today) and renamed them Pantone.

At Complete Colour, we haven’t met Herbert, but we like to think he’s our kind of guy with his mix of expertise in science, art, process and business. He sold Pantone to X-Rite for US$180 million in October 2007.

Colour of the Year

Since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has declared a ‘Colour of the Year’ every year, with fashion designers, florists, and other consumer-oriented companies using it to help guide their designs and planning for future products. 

Pantone released two independent colours of the year for 2021, that “come together to create an aspirational color pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day”, according to the media release.

In our Melbourne office, we believe in inclusivity, but we also believe that taste is very personal, and that everybody deserves to choose their own colour of the year, especially this year.

You choose the colour. We’ll bring it to life. It’s what we do.

In partnership with our clients and suppliers, that’s how our team is tackling 2021. 

Historical Pantone colours of the year:

  • PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue (2020)
  • PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral (2019)
  • PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet (2018)
  • PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery (2017)
  • PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity and PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016)
  • PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
  • PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
  • PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
  • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
  • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
  • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
  • PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
  • PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
  • PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
  • PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
  • PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
  • PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
  • PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
  • PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
  • PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
  • PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

1We’re often asked why ‘K’ for black and not ‘B’ in CMYK. But since the German RGB colour model already has a ‘B’ for blue in it, black is therefore represented by ‘K’. In the printing process, ‘K’ is the key plate on which the other colours are aligned. The three primary colours CMY should theoretically produce black, but this black appears impure. A good print therefore needs the key percentage of black, ‘K’.


Reflecting on an unforgettable year in printing, publishing and direct mail logistics.

From every client brief and workshop, all the way through to hand-delivering the final product or service (and every watt of energy consumed along the way), we believe in recording the journey – and the business has operated this way for almost 29 years.

2020 has been a year that will go down in history for a remarkable turn of events. And while we won’t dwell for too long, we feel that it’s important to record – and learn from – the challenges our business faced and how we grew through them.

The biggest elevation was in communication. Like many industries and businesses, our internal and external communication is integral to everything we do, and it was tested in a way it never had been before. Continuing to deliver (and always improve upon) the level of service, quality and value on which we pride ourselves required upgrades to physical and digital operating systems, in turn upgrading productivity.

A new digital printing press and production software upgrades (Prepress and Press Room Manager) increased productivity, and we enhanced our air conditioning system in the print room to increase efficiencies while keeping our team comfortable in the workplace.

The sheer size Complete Colour HQ meant that we could safely and comfortably distance socially, and when the world froze in March and the team had to down print tools, we rallied by painting, gardening and working on the building, to ensure that everybody remained engaged and continued to deliver great value.

We installed a thermal imaging camera system in May, in line with the second Victorian lockdown, ensuring that the daily check-in was safe and efficient for everybody. And in September we started to work with a local consultant to continue elevating our internal and external communication as we shifted, diversified and continued to grow.

In November, we signed a contract with GreenPower to guarantee that 100% of the energy we consume comes from renewable sources, topping up the solar farm energy our roof generates with renewable energy from the grid. This further enhances our environmentally responsible approach to printing, publishing and direct mail logistics.

So that charts a quite unforgettable year. Our team has always been incredibly resilient, but as a business, we’re very proud of how we rose to a great challenge this year, keeping the whole team together with no redundancies. And we’re incredibly proud to continue partnerships with our clients who also grew in the face of adversity.

Here’s to another unforgettable year in 2021 – hopefully one where we can once again share a handshake and a laugh together in person as our teams, communities and businesses continue to grow.

From the entire Complete Colour team, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful Summer break. 

We really appreciate your support over the last 12 months – it’s thanks to businesses like yours that our whole community has continued to remain positive.

Our team will be taking a well-earned break from 4pm on Wednesday 23rd December, with a return to full service at 8am on Monday 11th January.

If you require any support during the week commencing 4th January, please don’t hesitate to contact hello@completecolour.com.au or speak to your friendly Account Manager before Christmas to discuss options.

Looking forward to seeing you in 2021 (in real life!)


    Please fill out the form to request a quote and our team of experts will be in touch shortly.

    Input this code: captcha