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David Nicholas, MD, Fosco Hayes and Hurdley

Image Reports speaks to David Nicholas, MD, Fosco Hayes and Hurdley.

Putting people in their proper place

Chime communications’ company icon has undergone the rigorous assessment required to become BS OHSAS 18001 certified. What about you?

Investing in people is far more than a mere box-ticking exercise for branding and event specialist Icon, which this summer became BS OHSAS 18001 certified. And if you’re wondering what that is it’s not surprising, because under 1% of UK businesses have the occupational health and safety management systems standard. So why has Icon bothered, and should you follow suit?

The coolest cure: for more versatile productivity and greener results


Using UV-curable inks has become the de facto way of bringing versatility into the overall productivity of wide-format print houses, display producers and sign-makers. However, there’s now an additional way to add to the investment benefitsof a new printer in the form of LED curing that brings extra flexibility, lower running costs and results in a greener working environment. 

A storm is brewing

altThere's trouble ahead in the wide-format supply chain according to Time Greene, Consultant at InfoTrends, which is researching a report called 'Disruptive Supply Chain Strategies' that will be published in 2014. Here's his heads up.

There are multiple dynamics at work in the wide- format digital printing supply chain that InfoTrends believes will result in a big shake-up. On the one hand, wide-format print buyers frequently wait until the last minute to place their print orders. You already know that print buyers also often shop for the best price and service, so the printers that can do jobs for the lowest price and the fastest turnaround are the ones that will win the work. 

Are you the missing link?

altIs your print business set up to be part of a supply chain that demands environmental accountability?
If you are a print supplier to Midlands- based marketing solutions company Media Group then you will know of its demand that you evolve your environmental policies alongside its own. It’s a move that no doubt indicates a trend so it’s worth understanding why Media Group has invested the time and money in becoming the UK’s first carbon balanced business and how it expects
its sustainable development plans to impact upon its supply chain.

Hands on: HP FB7600

Nessan Cleary talks to two users about their experiences with this high-volume flatbed printer.

Konventional wisdom has it that screenprinting is better suited to fast throughput than inkjet but there are several digital printers that challenge that. This month we’ve been looking at one of these - HP's FB7600. Naturally print quality and the ability to handle multiple substrates are still key considerations but these printers are all about productivity, so the loading and unloading systems are just as important.

Preparing for lift off?

Well, when it comes to environmental considerations in the manufacture and distribution of wide-format inkjet printers, many vendors are still standing on the apron though their engines may be running. Nessan Cleary reports.

We know that for many businesses, particularly retailers, it’s important to be seen to be green and that increasingly that means looking to their whole supply chain and making sure that it reflects their own environmental policies. The knock-on effect is that large-format print providers are going to have to be in a position to demonstrate to their customers that their business fits the bill. And that in turn means taking a long hard look at the suppliers they use and the equipment they buy. In commercial print and in packaging this is already de rigueur but it seems that the large-format sector is lagging behind.

Inktec Jetrix KX5

Nessan Cleary gets up close to this new flatbed, launched complete with new inks at Fespa 2013.

Korean ink manufacturer Inktec showed a flatbed printer at this year’s Fespa show in London. The Jetrix KX5 has a bed size of 2.5 x 1.3m, and there’s an optional roll-feeder which takes media up to 2.2m. This should take rolls up to around 100m, enough to allow the printer to be left printing during the night. Unusually, it will take media up to 10cm high. The operator has to set the carriage height but there’s a motion sensor on either side that will stop printing if there’s any danger of the heads hitting the substrate.

If you can, teach

Ever considered becoming a twinner with the printit! Education initiative to get youngsters into the print sector? Now could be the time.

September saw the commencement of the ninth PrintIt! curriculum-mapped competition for GSCE and A Level students to research, design and create a print-based promotional campaign as part of the largest ‘Schools into Industry’ programme in the UK, and developed to draw new talent into the print sector by increasing youngsters’ awareness of print. Now it’s time you got involved. November sees the search for print companies to twin with local schools, a crucial element to the programme, and one that gives students the chance to experience the industry first hand.

Who owns your intellectual property?

Dorothy Agnew, senior solicitor at Moore Blatch, runs through the checks and balances worth making when it comes to your intellectual property.

Often, it’s only when buying or selling a business that directors realise that they don't own what they think they do and various issues come to light. The sale itself might be straightforward, but the process leading up to a sale can highlight many issues that have the potential to materially impact on the value of your operation. 

Put it in writing

A written contract of employment helps establish what you and your employees each expect of the other. Phil Thompson, head of BPIF business, runs through the drafting process.

Employers are required by law to provide employees with a document setting out the main terms of their employment within two months of their employment starting. In putting together a contract you, as an employer, need to think carefully about any special conditions (e.g. an employee’s promise not to work for someone in direct competition) and whether these should be in the actual contract. The contract itself can include express and implied terms). A good example of the latter is the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.

IR Talks to Colin Thompson, Managing Partner at Cavendish

Dr Colin Thompson has a string of letters after his name and has over 30 years experience as a managing director in various companies where he’s gained experience of increasing sales and profit, rebranding and mergers/takeovers.

He’s now widely recognised as the managing partner at business development company Cavendish, though he’s also a visiting professor and mentor at Coventry University and sits on various boards. So what can we learn from this business coach, keynote speaker and author? Lesley Simpson, editor of Image Reports, speaks to Dr Colin Thompson in this Talking Point interview.

Ryan Fairweather, MD, Revolution Signs

Image Reports speaks to Ryan Fairweather, MD, Revolution Signs.

We are looking for companies who are nurturing industry talent to feature in Image Reports

We work in such a creative and innovative industry, but we have a problem...It isn't considered sexy!

If we're going to make this an attractive career proposition for the hottest talent out there and prevent ourselves from stagnating we need to do something about it.

Are you proactively attracting new talent?

In response to this, Image Reports have launched the Turning On The Talent campaign: a search to find wide-format digital print companies proactively working to attract new talent into our sector.

We want to feature your company

In each issue throughout 2014, Image Reports will focus on one of 10 chosen companies with illuminating and illustrative stories to tell. These companies will demonstrate how they are helping to push the envelope in terms of identifying, recruiting, training, retaining and enthusing new talent.

What are we looking for?

To be considered for selection your company must match the below criteria:

  • Printer based within the UK or Ireland
  • Have a wide-format digital capability
  • Explain what you are doing to entice new talent into a career in print – whether it is in management, design, production, sales, marketing or new business development...
  • Outline the strategic thinking behind your new talent identification and development actions

This sounds like my company, how do we take part?

Nominate your company by emailing the Editor, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and providing details about the talent story you have to tell. 

The successful companies will be notified and the Editor will conduct interviews for a series of Turning on the Talent features that will appear in Image Reports throughout 2014.

What you need to know

altEnvironmental consultant Clare Taylor brings you up to speed on environmental standards, systems and schemes.

This year has seen a number of new environmental initiatives, as well as changes to familiar standards, systems and schemes. They affect a wide range of activities: clothing and textiles, paper and packaging, management systems and reporting. Here are some of the most noteworthy.

What you get isn’t always what you see

Paul Schwartfeger and Simon Griffin from design firm Etre explain how you could be losing out by not optimising your website for the colour-blind.