SOS founder Gardner passes away

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Bob Gardner, one of the founding directors of pioneering Sydney company SOS Print + Media has passed away at his home in Perth following a long illness.

Bob Gardner (centre) with fellow SOS founders and directors iMichael Peel (l) and Andy von Faber-Catsell
Bob Gardner (centre) with fellow SOS founders and directors Michael Peel (l) and Andy von Faber-Castell

Together with Michael Peel and Andy von Faber-Castell, who were then colleagues at Xerox, Gardner founded the iconic print business, known for its early adaption of new technologies and new market developments, in 1976.

SOS was bought by AAB Holdings, owner of Pegasus Print, two years ago, but continues to operate as a stand-alone printer from its two sites in Alexandria. Gardner stepped away from operational activities in the business following the sale.

Born in Canada, Gardner moved to Australia in his teens. While working at Xerox, Gardner, Peel, and Faber-Castell saw the opportunity for an innovative print business, which became one of the first to marry print and data. It had the first inkjet printer, one of the first Xeikons, and the first Kodak Prosper.

At the time of its acquisition by AAB, the business had some 120 staff on the books and provided a range of creative services, digital print, offset printing, warehousing, and logistics.

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