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Mandy Roscoe-Enion, director, Carrick Signs

Image Reports speaks to Mandy Roscoe-Enion, director, Carrick Signs.

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.” 

It's electrifying

altThe data is astounding: British businesses could save £23 billion a year and protect the environment at the same time by reducing energy and water consumption. Want to know more?
The Energy SavingTrust is continually striving to highlight the link between energy usage and monetary savings and show that being more energy efficient can improve the bottom line as well as help the environment. It’s a message we hear over and over, but with energy prices soaring it perhaps has more resonance now than it once had.

IR talks to... Martyn Eustace, Director of Two Sides UK and Print Power


Because wide-format print output is often not paper–based, its producers tend to feel sidelined when it comes to organisations like Two Sides waving the flag for print per se. So Lesley Simpson, Editor of Image Reports, met with Martyn Eustace, director of Two Sides UK and of Print Power, to ask whether these organisations can, and do, represent the interests of the wide-format print sector as part of the overall remit to put print back firmly on the marketing communications map.

Power to the people

The 21st century manager's role is to facilitate and coach, not to control, according to Michelle Bailey of Engage for Success, a voluntary movement committed to the belief that employee engagement is a better way to work.

As we gear up to Christmas and all its fuzzy, warm camaraderie, it’s perhaps a good time to re-evaluate employer/employee relationships and consider how they can be improved for solid benefits beyond the razzle-dazzle of the festive season.

Don't MIS a trick

altPhil Thompson, Head of BPIF Business, explains how you can get more from your management information system.

Regardless of how well you use your MIS, there will be measures and processes that can be assessed and improved with relative ease and minimum cost, and in return help you with key management functions that will, if introduced appropriately, significantly improve your bottom line. While the following is by no means a comprehensive guide to managing a business via MIS, it does aim to identify where such systems can make a direct contribution to improved profitability.

Crossing the divide

altCan print really get its value across to marketeers when it comes to comms campaigns? Lesley SImpson reports from the second day of Cross Media, where the topic was hotly pursued.

There were plenty of wise words spoken in the Print and Innovation Theatre when I attended on the second day of Cross Media recently, and what’s more, there were plenty of printers in the audience to hear them.

We can work it out

We’ve seen a substantial amount of new kit launched this year but it's worth looking at where there’s still room for improvement. Nessan Cleary reports.

Looking back over 2013 there’s been a good smattering of new printers released so it’s easy to focus here. But perhaps the most striking developments have been in the area of workflow. Up to now the wide-format sector has mostly relied on whatever Rip happens to come with the printer but, clearly, quite a few vendors believe that there’s room for something more sophisticated.

Hands on: Kongsberg XN

This image shows the basic configuration for the XN table.Nessan Cleary asks users for their feedback on this cutting table, which was introduced by Esko at Drupa last year.

Most people who invest in a UV flatbed printer quickly find that a cutting table is an essential accessory to keep jobs moving through production and prevent bottlenecks. These tables can handle most materials from vinyl through to acrylic and many now sport powerful routing heads for dealing with the tougher substrates such as aluminium. There are several to choose from but Esko's Kongsberg tables have established themselves as one of the market leaders. Esko has a bewildering array but the XN series, introduced at last year’s Drupa show, has proven popular.

Hollywood Monster

altHollywood Monster is well known for their innovative and dynamic approach to wide format digital printing. A visit to their facilities on the outskirts of Birmingham is enough to impress even the most hardened veterans of the signmaking community. When you step out from the offices onto the staired platform above the printing and finishing plant, you’d better hold on to your hat – it goes on for miles.


Nessan Cleary takes a closer look at this range of printers, with which Hollanders continues to single-mindedly pursue the textile market.

Dutch manufacturer Hollanders was set up in 2003 specifically to make large-format textile printers. Almost uniquely, Hollanders has opted to concentrate its efforts at the communications market, including soft signage, rather than the growing garment industry.

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…

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.