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Features

Charity starts at home

Stylographics KitAid.How Stylographics is turning its own waste into donation drop-boxes for KitAid.

Stylographics has always had a bit of a thing about environmentally friendly products and pushing them into the marketplace. In keeping with that mentality it introduced 100% recycled, recyclable and sustainable Re-board into its portfolio a while back, and now it’s taking its caring ethos a step further - Re-board cut-offs are used for a charitable project called KitAid. 

Thinking Bigger: Soyang

Mark MashiterWhy getting in front of thousands of creative at the 100% Design show is a strategic priority for this digitally printable media supplier. 

Soyang Europe’s presence at 100% Design at London’s Earl’s Court may have raised a few sign and graphics industry eyebrows but by the end of the four day show, which attracted over 25,000 visitors, the decision to exhibit was clearly vindicated. The event definitely helped raise the profile of the digitally printable media supplier who’s wide- and grand-format media portfolio comprises Asian manufactured substrates and handpicked printable media from the US and Europe. 

AXYZ aims to be top gun at two further open days

Building on the success of the previous single day event, AXYZ International will be holding two further open days on 5th and 19th November. These will take place at two Royal Air Force museum sites, the first of which is situated near Wolverhampton to accommodate customers from the North and Midlands, and the second in North London to facilitate customers located in the South-East.

Choice of the RAF sites proved extremely popular in the past, not only because of their regional accessibility but also because they provide the opportunity for visitors to view a galaxy of interesting RAF artefacts in addition to the routing technology on show.

At both venues, AXYZ International will showcase its latest products and accessories and conduct demonstrations to highlight the versatility and business enhancement capabilities of both. Key products to be featured will be a heavy duty Pacer 4008 and an AXYZ 4010 router that incorporates a routing spindle, 7G ATC (Automatic Tool Change) facility, a knife and compatible AVS (AXYZ Vision System) that greatly enhances the accuracy and versatility of the machine. 

Step inside, love

Forget Cilla Black. This is Astley’s messaging to the bright young things it wants to attract to its in-house Trainee Development Programme. Here’s how it’s managing to catch their attention.

Until a rebrand in 2012, the large-format print arm of the multi-sited and variously named Astley group of businesses was better known as Jigsaw. But then the pieces were carefully put together, so that the £10.5m turnover group became clearly recognisable as simply Astley. It’s a move that commercial director Gavin Redhead believes is helping the North East Business Awards 2014 finalist reach the new talent it is eager to engage.

Get it together

Martyn Eustace, director of Two Sides and Print Power, bangs the drum for greater collaboration between printers and creatives ahead of the organisations’ Autumn Seminar in London on 3 November, with speakers including Jonathan Harman from Royal Mail, Nicolas Sennegon from The Economist Group and futurologist Richard Watson. 

Thinking Bigger: InkTec

Dongsoo Kim, managing director of InkTec Europe, explains how the company is collaborating with artists like Jeffrey Kroll to take wide-format print into the fine art sphere.

Recognising the quality, detail and colour tone required in creating fine art, InkTec is increasingly becoming involved in this interesting and diverse sector. Critical to its approach has been harnessing all of the knowledge and expertise gained from manufacturing Jetrix printers, inkjet ink and media, and actively taking this in-depth familiarity of printing into the realms of fine art. Initially this has centred on developing an association with New York born artist Jeffrey Kroll. The outcome of which is a ground-breaking exhibition at the Mead Carney Fine Art Gallery in Mayfair, London, presented alongside Samsung, which opened on 23 September and runs until 4 October 2014. 

Joining the dots

The ability to link different parts of the production process together with a degree of automation is becoming increasingly important in wide-format print production, but there are several different approaches. Nessan Cleary investigates.

It’s long been argued that improving your workflow and automating as many processes as possible is the key to realising greater efficiencies and hence higher profit margins. Given that wide-format covers such a huge gamut of print producers, there's no one size fits all approach and, to complicate matters, ‘workflow’ means different things to different people - from simply ganging jobs together right through to orders that come in via a Web-to-print system being automatically fed through to printing, finishing and fulfilment. 

On Test: Mimaki JV300

Mimaki launched this solvent printer at the last Fespa Digital show but it’s only recently started appearing in the UK. Here’s how Nessan Cleary found it when he put it to the test. 

Solvent technology still dominates the market for roll-fed wide- format printers, mainly because it’s a proven performer that offers good quality results at a reasonable price. So this month we’ve been testing Mimaki’s latest solvent printer, the JV300. 

Hands On: Agfa Asanti

Nessan Cleary talks to Asanti user Barry Laver of Wincanton Print about his experiences with this wide-format workflow solution.  

As wide-format printing continues to grow, so too do the individual service providers with most now having multiple printers. That usually means having to manage multiple Rips, which can complicate the workflow. We've taken a closer look at some of the issues around workflow and the various software options available elsewhere in this issue, but for this story we'll concentrate on just one of these - Agfa's Asanti - which was formally announced at the London Fespa show in June 2013 and has been shipping with most Agfa wide-format printers since the start of this year. 

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. 

Over to You...Alan Rigglesford, MD, Clicks Digital Solutions

What’s having the greatest impact on your business at the moment?

Fortuity and opportunity. Summer is usually quiet and when members of staff take their main holidays, but saying that, we have achieved double the projected turnover over the period. 

Being planet friendly

Fespa encourages printers to adopt sustainable practices with the launch of 11 Planet Friendly mini guides

Fespa has re-launched its Planet Friendly Print Guide in the form of 11 new ‘mini’ guides as part of its wider Planet Friendly Print programme.

Getting over the Great Wall of Objection

‘Solutions’ selling is on the up, and with it increased levels of customer objection to your sales pitch. So how do you effectively manage that? Tony Hodgson, director of PODi for Europe, provides tactical advice. 

“Customers are not looking for suppliers, they’re looking for solutions”. This was a key message from the Fespa Global Summit 2014 in Munich earlier this year and one many printers have taken on board. But instead of customers saying: “Wow, you have a great solution that’s just right for us”, they just tell you about the problems that they can see in your suggested solution and why it won’t work for them. You have encountered the Great Wall of Objection. So how do you get over that? 

PODi, which has been helping digital printers learn how to effectively sell ‘solutions’ since 2006 through its online Strategic Solutions Sales training programme, has now coupled its interactive video platform, Zenarate, with one-to-one sales coaching from PODi peers and experts (see www.podi.eu/zenarate). Here are some of its key lessons.

Using outsiders with inside knowledge

Sometimes it pays to bring in the experts. Swiftprint is a case in point, having employed those with colour management know-how to streamline its operations. 

When Swiftprint in Huddersfield moved into wide-format it quickly realised that colour management was going to be an issue and that it needed help. 

IR talks to… Sarah Thirtle, head of business lending programmes, Creative United

Creative United was established last year, with support from Arts Council England, to provide a range of financial products and services designed to help grow the UK’s cultural and creative industries. 

As a Community Interest Company, its focus is on delivering a combination of strong social and financial returns via publically funded programmes. Its new flagship scheme is Creative Industry Finance.

We asked Sarah Thirtle, head of business lending programmes, whether this is something printers can benefit from. 
By Lesley Simpson

Mobile motivation

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Peter Lancaster, CEO of Documobi, sets out the stall for the company’s iPR mobile scanning technology in large-format environments.

You’ve heard the theory - there’s massive opportunity to add considerable value to large-format print by using mobile ‘scanning’ technologies. 77% of UK adults have a smartphone, and they use them all the time. And a typical marketing executive is under 30 years old and a ‘digital native’. Print can now be a part of their mobile, social world and printer providers need to become part of theirs. The message is hardly new, but there’s a mobile scanning technology that is – well, to wide-format at least. iPR (intelligent Print Recognition) from Documobi makes conventional print digital and interactive. Of course, there are other scanning technologies that do that, and over the years they’ve been well documented, but Peter Lancaster, CEO of Documobi, points out that iPR is perhaps a more useful tool than the better known alternatives.