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Rules of engagement

Do some serious flirting with your customers and make them feel special to build a long-term relationship based on more than money. Consultant Matthew Parker explains the detail in these top tips.

Price, price, price! The majority of print companies that I talk to believe this is a buyer’s only focus; that they play printers off against each other to see how low they can push the price. But many print companies actually encourage the buyer to choose on price because they send out very similar sales messages and provide very few points of difference. And few printers properly engage with prospects and their business problems. So the choice of supplier naturally comes down to price.



It's a materials world

altNessan Cleary finds that latex compatibility and environmental concerns are the main catalysts for wide-format media development.

When it comes to substrates there are myriad different choices. But there are several trends in the types of substrates being demanded that indicate the overall direction of the wide-format market.

Roland SolJet Pro4 XF-640

altNessan Cleary findsRoland’s new eco-solvent printer really has been built for speed without loss of image quality.

Roland has just launched a new eco-solvent printer, the Pro4 SolJet XF-640, premiered at Sign and Digital UK and immediately available to order.

IR talks to ….. David Hyams, Co-Founder of Talking Print

altThere’s a lot of noise surrounding integrated print these days. While still in its infancy, it shows signs of rapid growth. And there are those already making a very decent living out of it; David Hyams is one of them. Having run his own graphic design business for 20 years before getting involved in digital print, he then co-founded Talking Print in 2011, a company that provides audio and video implanted print services. To describe him as ‘enthusiastic’ about the potential for such products is something of an understatement…

North Print & Pack 2013

How the revamped Northprint hopes to draw the crowds to Harrogate this May.

Northprint is now North Print and Pack, having been rebranded and relaunched as such by Informa Exhibitions last summer. The 2013 show may be staying in its Harrogate heartland but will Betty’s Tearooms be a bigger draw than the show, which has shown signs of flagging but claims to have been reinvigorated in its new guise.

See the signs

altLook at what Epson’s 20/20 Vision survey of retailers’ in-store POS spend says about your future as a supplier.

If you offer retail POS production you’re going to have adapt your business to offer a mix of digital and print-based products over the next few years. This is just one of the trends highlighted by Epson’s recent 20|20 Vision survey into the European retail industry’s use of instore print and digital POS both now and by the year 2020.

Endurance test results in

altMartine Padilla, president of US-based printing strategy company Sophizio and director of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership, shows how printers are now harnessing the power of their sustainability efforts. 

When sustainability is broadly defined as ‘global prosperity,’ encompassing fiscal, social and environmental responsibilities, the sustainability priorities of big brands vary -  usually driven by the impact of their own footprint. Goals for some companies include simple, passive initiatives such as ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’ and for others it includes much better-defined goals including reduced waste, natural resource use reduction, emissions reduction, increased use of renewable energy, elevated labour practices and entire supply chain lifecycle analysis.

Interview techniques

Phil Thompson, head of BPIF Business, presents ways in which you can better evaluate potential employees.


I am not sure if it is becoming more frequent, or just the fact that I am noticing it more often, but the phrase ‘Our people are what make us great’ or something similar seems to be ubiquitous. Even in the more individual of sports, such as F1 racing, the driver seems to mention the team more than ever. The fact remains that your people will have a significant impact on your overall performance. So how do you find the right support team?

Want apprentices?

alt Peter Kiddell of the Fespa UK Association explains why it has set up an apprenticeship support structure – and how you could be entitled to a £1,500 grant.

“Where are the young people in our industry?” was a question asked at recent Fespa UK Association meeting. There were several responses to this question but whatever the reasons, it’s clear that for print to prosper the industry must tap into the resource presented by young people, and offer a clear career structure and professional training.

On a conference call

altMelony Rocque-Hewitt looks at Icon’s branding production and overlay solutions for the UN Conference on Climate Change.

Over here we’re all slightly jealous of Icon, the southeast London-based global event-branding group. The reason? Well, while the rest of us have been psychologically damaged by months of freezing temperatures, biblical rains, alleviated by the odd week of raging artic blizzards, members of the Icon team were packed off to Doha in the Middle East for three months to help oversee the branding production and overlay solution for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

Ink comes of age


Intimate knowledge and experience of inkjet development has allowed Fujifilm to understand the performance requirements needed for inkjet inks. 

Making the work flow

There are many different stages in the life of a job, from the quotation through to final output, and its not always easy to link these together. But there is help at hand finds Nessan Cleary.

There is a tendency in wide-format to think in terms of individual machines and their capabilities but where there are multiple machines this can lead to a fragmented production department. The Image Reports’ annual Widthwise survey flags-up that, increasingly, PSPs are recognising that as a problem and looking at ways to improve their workflow.

Sign and Digital


Has this long-established annual event still got pulling power? Glimpse its attractions then make your mind up.

Are the oldies the goodies? When it comes to a show with a 26-year history, Sign and Digital UK event director Rudi Blackett believes this industry stalwart still has plenty to offer – and that 2013 will be proof positive of that.

Vortex 4200


Nessan Cleary investigates the UK entrance of this Memjet-powered wide-format printer.

Reprographic Technology International (RTI) has been showing off a new Memjet-powered wide-format printer, the Vortex 4200, which it is just about to start distributing in the UK. In truth, this is an existing model, the WideStar, first launched at the end of 2011. It’s been developed by the Hungarian company, Own-X, but has not been widely distributed across Europe, mainly because Own-X has concentrated on its label printer, which has sold fairly well. So it’s only now that the wide-format machine is being introduced to the UK market.

Shaken and stirred


Ltd Ltd is known for its high-end creative work. Melony Rocque-Hewitt spies on some of its more ground-breaking work.

They’re a restless bunch, the crew at Learn to Dream, or Ltd Ltd as its more commonly known. This restlessness is not a phase but a defining condition that has been part and parcel of this London-based, wide-format, digital printing company from the off.

Don't be felled

altUnderstand what new Timber Regulation (EU) no: 995/2010 (EUTR) means to you as a printer. Matthew Botfield, environment manager at Antalis UK, explains. 

Did you know that on 3 March this year the European Union implemented Regulation (EU) no: 995/2010, otherwise referred to as the European Timber Regulations (EUTR), making it a criminal offence for any organisation to place illegally sourced timber or timber-based products onto the EU market. If you think that has nothing to do with you, think again.