Each year, on the first Tuesday in November, the entire nation comes to a standstill to watch the greatest horse race on earth ­– the Melbourne Cup. For McPherson’s Printing Group, though, the weeks leading up to this event are anything but still. As the company responsible for the design, layout, printing and distribution of racing guides for all Victorian metropolitan race clubs – including more than 300,000 for the Spring Carnival – this period is a thrilling race to the finish line. Because accurate information about fields and race entries is only available at the last moment, each publication needs to be turned around in an amazing 48 hours – a challenge McPherson’s Printing always passes with flying colours.

The challenge

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival needed a new race guide design that was clear, easy to use and would fit snugly inside a shirt pocket. They also wanted to reduce turnaround times and operating costs. With its reputation for speed and quality, McPherson’s Printing Group was asked to come up with a solution that would not only revolutionise the design and layout of racing guides, but would also streamline the delivery process, thereby freeing up their staff to concentrate on more important tasks.

The solution

McPherson’s Printing has eliminated the old saddle-stitched format, which gaped open and had wires that caught on punters’ clothing. We’ve replaced it with a slim, elegant, perfect bound booklet that, when opened, can be laid flat to write on and, when closed, can be slipped easily into a shirt pocket or purse.

The publication of each race guide begins with the digital transfer of raw data and advertise-ments. Data is then manipulated in-house to produce race fields. At the same time, a total page layout is produced. Once the layout is edited, proofed and approved, race guides are printed, bound, packaged and delivered directly to the distribution outlets. This streamlined process has significantly reduced costs and staff involvement, and is now enjoyed by several other racing clubs throughout the country, including the Melbourne Racing Club, Moonee Valley Racing Club and the Sydney Turf Club.

"For McPherson’s Printing Group the real solution was about freeing racing club staff to do what they do best – organise the world’s most exciting racing carnival."