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From Carnaby Street to Cannes

How personalised T-shirts are in vogue thanks to the likes of YR Store’s interactive offering. CouldA - YRStore Topshop  bespoke fashion while you wait you make a similar fashion statement?

YR Store’s interactive printed garment concept is catching the imagination of fashion retailers including the likes of Topshop and Selfridges. Now the system - that lets people create personalised clothing on easy-to-use touchscreen terminals then sends the finished design for printing within minutes via Epson SureColor printers - has global brands Nike and Google hooked.

Thinking Bigger: Guandong

Fabio Elmi, marketing director Guandong, explains how the company works closely with the market to G - Fabio Elmi Fabio Elmi Marketing Director Guandong Italia srldevelop new products for ever more creative applications.The natural vocation of Guandong is that of a real visual communications – a trendsetter if you will.

The natural vocation of Guandong is that of a real visual communications – a trendsetter if you will.

Alongside a comprehensive range of large-format digital printing media, the company is engaged in researching original products, capable of extending demand in new application sectors and anticipating emerging market trends.

Turning the tables

The latest developments in automated cutting tables point toward a demand for faster throughput and A - Acorta 18x13cm tcm601-157919better quality finishing as Nessan Clearly reports.

It's generally acknowledged that automated cutting tables are an essential rather than luxury accessory for flatbed printers. The trend when it comes to those flatbeds is for bigger and faster machines, which in turn means that it's even more important to get the work through the finishing stage as quickly as possible. Thus Peter Giddings, sales director at Zund UK, says that people are looking for more than just cutting capability, adding: “They want to see how the machine fits into the workflow.”

Busting big data

Yes, you can make use of it, even if you’re a small company. Walter Hale explains.D - 62007706 M

The term ‘big data’ doesn’t help. It sounds expensive, technologically complicated and something that only big companies can take advantage of. The hype doesn’t help. As technology critic Evgeny Morozov noted: “If you have a treasure trove of unpublishable papers, just add the words ‘big data’ and see them go viral.” In truth, the issue isn’t that complicated. When we talk about big data what we’re really saying is, let’s do the kind of analysis that helps us make decisions based on facts, not gut instinct. Put it like that and the real question is: can your company afford not to invest in big data?

ON TEST: Longier Hunter FR3750

Longier has produced a flatbed printer at a reasonable price but does it have the print quality to F - LongierFR3750 Carriage DC16048 PQcompete in the UK market? Nessan Cleary puts tries it out.

Whether deserved or not, Chinese inkjet printers have generally had a poor reputation here in the West for quality and reliability. But Paul Serellis of Eazy Print, whom we met for last month's Hands On, was so enthusiastic over his Longier flatbed that we were intrigued enough to have a proper look ourselves.

A splash of Cologne

Fespa 2015 promises not only to refresh your own large-format digital print knowledge, but to wake-up D - Rheinpanorama03KoelnTourismus GmbH Udo Haakethe creative community to its potential.

Billed as the “largest and most extensive international wide-format print exhibition for screen, digital and textile print technology,” Fespa 2015 is also marketing itself as the place to “discover new market opportunities: 3D printing, interior decoration, non-printed signage, digital signage”, and the industry sectors represented and listed on the show’s website include narrow format machinery, embroidery, pad printing etc. All in all this is an event that has moved on - this year it will take up 62,500m2 of floorspace, have over 700 exhibitors, and is anticipated to attract 25,000 print representatives, buyers and creatives. So miss it at your peril.

Message from Mars?

To many printers what Consolidated Printing founder Marilyn Jones has to say on the issue A - 73946581 Menvironmentalism is an alien concept. But should we be learning from it?

When other printers come to visit Consolidated Printing in northwest Chicago, they invariably spot that one thing is missing. Why, they ask, is their no external exhaust fan in the pressroom? The answer is simple: the company, which produces everything from media packs to digital colour printing and signage, doesn’t need an exhaust because it doesn't produce any harmful emissions when printing.

Getting the wider picture

As Image Reports distributes its eighth annual Widthwise Report on the state of the UK and Ireland’sinfographics-Clarge-format digital print sector, Richard Gray of Printfuture, considers the global state of print in general.

48% of printers from across the world expected their companies’ economic performance to improve in 2015 when questioned last autumn, with just 7% expecting things to get worse. Would you describe your prospects so positively? I look forward to reading the detail in the full 2015 Widthwise Report due to be published with this issue. But it is useful to set those findings against the bigger picture of the global print market.

A change for the better

Walter Hale looks to the past to help you face a future where change is all around.

On 5 September 1698, Tsar Peter the Great shocked Russia’s aristocracy by cutting off their beards. But shaving was only the start of his radical reforms. Yes, despite being uniquely well-placed to achieve the changes he desired, his mission was incomplete when he died. So what does this slice of Russian history tell us about the challenge posed by change management?

IR talks to ….. John Kampfner, CEO, Creative Industries Federation.

Is print a creative industry?B2 - John Photo

That’s the question I recently put to John Kampfner, CEO, Creative Industries Federation.

Never heard of it? It seems that few in the print industry have. Yet the federation was launched last November as the national membership organisation for all the UK’s public arts, cultural education and commercial creative industries. So should print be included?
By Lesley Simpson

Tim Hill, Co-founder and MD, Speedscreen

“I’ve never wanted to own a big company; I want a small company where I know what’s going on but that A1 - P1010413punches above its weight. My philosophy is to keep one step ahead of the competition in terms of technology to do that. We’ve had to reinvent ourselves as a company over the years and we’ll have to continue to do so, and that means embracing technological change and investing at the cutting edge. We are proud to say we’re a technological-led company and that we sell ourselves on the kit we have,” says Tim Hill, managing director of £2.2m turnover Speedscreen in Maidstone, which he co-founded back in 1986.

Look north

Why Your Print Specialists has joined print companies as a learning partner at project-based Studio West Newcastle. Should you do likewise?

“It is important that we share the experience of our sector and make the younger generation more aware of the exciting opportunities available within it." So says Garry Brown, managing director of Your Print Specialists (YPS) which has become a ‘learning partner’ at a pioneering project-based educational establishment called Studio West Newcastle, and is eager for others to follow suit.C - robbieimage2

Walk the Talk

You know the saying “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”. Well Displayways is doing just that with its new printed graphics flooring application.A - Displayways new offices and ideas room

South London-based Displayways has not only developed an ‘Ideas Room’ full of unusual digital inkjet large-format printed applications for customer perusal and persuasion, but to get to it they must walk through a space decked out with a new, printed speciality permanent flooring product introduced to the market just a few months ago. Talk about impact! What’s more, flooring specialist Senso - Displayways’ partner in the offering - is making the same stunning statement to potential customers by laying the bespoke flooring in its own showroom/office.

Thinking Bigger: Agfa

Steve Collins, wide-format inkjet product and channel manager for Agfa Graphics UK, explains its ‘technology meets creativity meets technology’ strategy.C - Steve-Collins-1007a

The advancements in inkjet technology have certainly been a driving force behind an explosion of ideas. Major improvements in speed and quality have allowed people to push the boundaries of wide-format inkjet technology and with the evolution of UV printing and the ability to print directly onto the surface of different types of substrates, virtually anything is possible. We are now witnessing an increase in diverse applications used by graphic designers and architects as printing directly on materials such as glass, wood and ceramics becomes more commonplace.

Should you be certified?

BS 11000 is a standard for collaborative business relationships. Andrew Bury from validation company SGS UK argues why you should look towards becoming accredited.A paperpeople

“No man is an island” according to poet John Donne. And neither is any business if the trend towards collaboration is anything to go by.

Shop floor trends

The retail sector is under pressure from online shopping and the recession but is this good or bad news for wide format providers? Nessan Cleary investigates.F - Soyang lightbox

The retail sector is an important source of work to the wide-format print community so it’s a no brainer that we keep up to speed with trends and developments impacting upon the type and levels of work we can produce for such customers.