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Thu12182014

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Special Reports

Angel Awards

It’s again time for Image Reports to recognise products that have been introduced to the UK during the last year, and considered the most innovative and likely to have an impact in the wide-format sector. So here are the 2014 Angel Awards winners.

Breaking down boundaries?

Start Googling flight prices. Viscom Frankfurt organisers promise you’ll be rubbing shoulders with all sorts of potential new customers at this year’s ‘marketplace of ideas’.

"If it can be imagined, it will be shown here. This is the place where digital printing providers demonstrate design applications in a realistic environment - always with the aim of inspiring visitors.” That’s the claim being made by the organiser of Viscom Frankfurt 2014, and if that resonates with potential visitors as expected, brands will be rubbing shoulders with architects, window dressers with sports facility managers, retail display specialists with interior decorators. 

What’s going down...

Fespa Digital 2014 is set to be bigger and bolder than previous shows....At Fespa Digital 2014, the theme of which is ‘dive deeper into digital print’.

Fespa Digital 2014 promises to be bigger and bolder than any that have gone before, and present an ‘ocean of opportunity’ for the printer... and hopefully to designers, product managers, brands, agencies, marketers and advertisers, all of whom Fespa aims to attract to this digital wide-format print, signage and garment decoration show that encompasses Fespa Fabric and European Sign Expo.

Backing Brum

Will you be heading to Birmingham for sign and digital UK this year? If so, here’s what you can expect to see and hear.

What’s Sign and Digital UK 2014 going to be like when the more international crowd pulling Fespa Digital is just around the corner - well, in terms of date that is. The focus of the 2013 Birmingham-based show was very much on signage, though many of the products being exhibited had a wider appeal than that. Event director Rudi Blackett says this year’s event will be 20% bigger in terms of floorspace, and have more exhibitors.

IPEX: Worth a look for wide format?

When it comes to wide-format inkjet at IPEX it’s all about getting the technology in front of potential new investors from the commericial print sector, but it’s worth looking at the talks programme.

If you want to get a good grounding in all the latest digital inkjet wide-format print technology Ipex is hardly the place to do it. One of the largest and longing running UK-based trade print shows it might be, but a platform for already knowledgeable wide-format print providers to investigate the newest wide-format developments it’s not. Having announced in January a ‘World of Wide Format’ sector to the show - mainly to focus the commercial sector’s mind’s on potential diversification into this arena - the feature has since been scaled back and will run as the Wide Format Zone with Epson, Screen, D&K, Grafityp (showing Roland DG kit) and M Partners signed up at the time of writing as exhibitors within the space. No doubt, other vendors will have wide-format kit and solutions in other areas of the show too but, for those of you already operating in this market, what's probably of more use to you will be the event’s seminar/educational features.

Can we futureproof our businesses?

altIn keeping the widthwise 2013 theme, a panel of grassroots players recently met in a round table to discuss the issues impacting upon the wide-format sector.

"There is a zombie group in print that have no hope of being successful longer term. They are hand to mouth feeders and seem not to understand the concept of a profit driven business. There is still massive potential in wide-format print, but it needs to be seen in conjunction with other offerings so that the whole package can drive up margins. We simply don’t get involved in areas with no margin and aim for a return of 12% net across all areas of our business.” 

Angel Awards 2013: Thirteen of the best

Image Reports’ annual Angel Awards recognise products that have been introduced to the UK during the last year, and which it considers the most innovative and likely to have an impact in the wide-format sector. We reveal the winners of 2013…

It's a materials world

So what opportunities and difficulties do you face? Graham Clark of McKenzie Clark, Clive Hill of Repro Arts, consultant Trevor Ford, Janette McCormick of MCS Ltd, and Lesley Simpson, Editor of Image Reports magazine discuss these issues in a roundtable. 

In a world where the focus tends to be on short deadlines, the idea of discussing a materials spec up to two years ahead of running the job might seem ludicrous. But it’s happening, and for good reason; media choice can be the point of difference clients are seeking. Get in early enough to talk options, perhaps even specific substrate development, and you become a true partner rather than mere print supplier.

The 2013 EDP Awards winners are...

Twenty four digital print and imaging production tools have been honoured this year with an EDP Award. The 2013 Awards, now in their seventh year, were presented at Fespa, in a ceremony hosted by Fespa MD Neil Felton