Jul 102019

The history of the brand Cielab spans 15 years (so far). From a desk under a family home, to one of the largest wide format printer suppliers in Australia (possibly the region). Becoming a multi-million dollar success with industry wide acclaim. Only to be closed in 2013 as the two company owners marriage came to an end.

It almost reads like a fiction book, with twists nobody saw coming.

But the story doesn’t end there… Let us catch you up to date on the history, here’s how it all played out in timeline format:

2006 – “Cielab” was registered in Queensland

In 2006 “Cielab” was registered as a Queensland business name, by founder Michael Rooney.

Cielab is a combination of acronyms relating to colour management, and also a play on words. It sounded like “See Lab”, being a scientific source of vision related analysis. So the name Cielab was destined for big things.

2006 – Peppard Street Pty Ltd starts trading as “Cielab”

Founder Michael Rooney starts to trade as “Cielab” in what had been previously a husband & wife owned shelf company “Peppard Street Pty Ltd” with his then wife Jessica.

Starting out from a desk in a home office under the family home, Michael was uber-passionate about colour, knowing this was something the printing industry desperately needed to better manage but that there was a severe shortage of open support or general knowledge. He quit his highly successful sales position, and set out to create something new and better. In the early days it was tough going, printers didn’t understand why they needed colour management in their businesses or what they had to gain from it. And it took founder Michael Rooney around a year before he started to see traction. 

LWR Christchurch NZ Pantone standard colour swatches

Lane Walker Rudkin (LWR) were a multi-national sportswear manufacturer recognised as the manufacturing plant for Cantebury Clothing sportswear, based in Christchurch New Zealand, also with a large production facility in Brisbane. 
LWR approached Cielab to supply a way to match digitally printed garment colours to their traditionally died textiles and corporate customer colours. And a way to match different textiles between different production facilities, printing equipment, and countries. Cielab was engaged to what became a dedicated three month project across Australia & New Zealand.
This challenging project was highly successful, and significant enough to attract national recognition as one of the leading colour management projects in the region, across leading trade magazines and industry news outlets. 

HP Latex printer, sold by Cielab

In parallel to colour management projects, Cielab launched HP Latex printer technology into Australia. Focusing on a total solution rather than the traditional “box drop” type supplier the industry had been previously accustomed to. Cielab utilised our colour management specialty to test a wide range of media with the Latex print technology, and once we found the product that perfectly suited the application we profiled each product into what we promoted as the “Workflow that Works”. Matching printer, to software, to media, to ink, to custom ICC profile supplied – guaranteeing our customers a Pantone Colour System match out of the box.

We quickly became the third largest HP Latex printer supplier in Australia, with a large administrative and support team installing the Latex “Workflow that Works” solution right across Australia.

2013 – Peppard Street Pty Ltd unexpectadly closed

In 2013 husband and wife owners of the company separated and the company was closed.
Although Cielab was a highly successful organisation in a rapid state of growth. An agreement could not be reached between the owners and the hard decision was made to close the doors on Peppard Street Pty Ltd (trading as Cielab)

2014 “Colour Dojo” was registered

Colour Dojo – a place for colour ninjas

AuPac Trading Pty Ltd was founded, and “Colour Dojo” was registered as a new trading name for the organisation. This facebook page was renamed to represent the new brand to offer some continuation of solution to existing customers and followers.Cielab founder Michael Rooney was highly recognised as the “Colour Guru”, having earlier published a book of this title. Colour Guru was already registered to another organisation, so the decision was made to register instead “Colour Dojo” being a name of similar sound and intent. Yet recognisable. While Colour Dojo was not entirely a continuation of Cielab, it did go on to supply some software, colour management, and limited consumables to some existing ongoing customers enabling them to continue to utilise the Latex “Workflow that Works”. 
Still supplying and supporting SAi Flexisign & Photoprint softwares, and some rolls of Vinyl. The decision was however made, that it was not feasible to remain a HP dealer, and the brand was dropped from supply. Ending what had previously been a very fruitful partnership.

In late 2018 the decision was also made to cease the long term ongoing partnership with SAi for the Flexisign and Photoprint software products due to the suppliers plans to sell directly to the Australian marketplace. Colour Dojo ceased all software sales and support at this point. Colour Dojo has continued to supply rolls of vinyl consumables along with offer solutions to the wide format digital printing industry this entire time, and remains registered to this day.

2019 Cielab registered as trading name

Cielab’s logo lives on in legacy

The decision was made in 2019 to register the trading name “Cielab”, along with the domain registration of www.cielab.com.au as a subsidiary of AuPac Trading Pty Ltd, managed by original Cielab founder Michael Rooney. 

The “Cielab” legacy has now been revived, and while there is no intention at this stage to try to fully emulate the original Cielab that was. This brand will focus on wide format roll consumable sales and will no-doubt evolve into something very exciting with a huge amount of potential.

Cielab’s focus perfectly aligns with the original Cielab’s vision of service, quality, and solutions.

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