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Making Ideas Happen

This month we kick off a series of ‘Innovators’ features with a look at how Mal McGowan is putting his company’s motto into practice.

Richard McCombe...

Matic Media Services knows how to make money from Web-to-print. Having established in 2010 and in 2012, the Lanarkshire-based large-format PSP has now formed I asked MD Richard McCombe about the company’s online development capability and strategy.
A - Richard McCombe 14th dec

The 2016 economy and you

Should we make confidence our guide as we consider the economic landscape in which we’ll be working this year. Walter Hale provides an overview. D - waitrose 131782133329431

Brace yourselves: 2016 will not be as smooth as predictions of a 2.4% growth in UK GDP might suggest. An EasyJet/YouGov survey of small businesses in December 2015 found that only 56% of respondents thought their company would grow this year. And very few expected to expand their business by 10% or more.

An inside job

If print for interiors is an area of interest for your company you’ll want to hear what Alberto Masserdotti said at the Fespa Global Summit ahead of the upcoming Printeriors showcase and conference.

The true cost of gifting

Can it pay for PSPs to offer customer loyalty programmes, especially ones that provide gifts and offers A - Andrea Pizzola Sales and Marketing Director Pixartprinting in produzione highas well as a dedicated support service? Pixartprinting sales and marketing director Andrea Pizzola thinks so.

On 31 December new entrants and returning members will be confirmed for Pixartprinting’s 2016 Starway customer loyalty programme, recently updated for what will be the programme’s second year. By being a member of this ‘club’ customers get exclusive perks and dedicated customer care (UserHub) guaranteeing them priority treatment - the intention being for Pixartprinting to grow alongside its best customers by becoming a true support partner. So is it paying off, and is it something worth emulating in your own business?

Thinking Bigger: Papergraphics

Nathan Atkins, managing director of Papergraphics, talks about relationship building for creative G - Nathan Atkins headshotexploration.

Personalisation is currently one of the hottest topics in the print industry. Whether you’re targeting consumers or businesses, personalised merchandise, apparel and textiles present great opportunities. We’re particularly excited by the commercial interiors market and how printers, designers and even artists can work together to create truly unique environments. However, as with any industry, to be successful you need to have a good understanding of how to get the most from emerging trends.

Shining a light

If it’s the end of the year it’s time to announce the Angel Awards. Each year Image Reports picks products introduced to the UK during the last year, and considered by the editorial team as innovative and likely to impact the wide-format sector. The accolades this year go to…

MIS represented

Management information systems have a certain reputation among some large-format PSPs for failing to meet the sector’s specific needs. Image Reports asked four MIS providers some of the key questions PSPs regularly pose.
Q - Clarity Emerson Welch

Are you one of those with doubts and niggles when it comes to management information systems? Perhaps integration is your bugbear – how to ensure your MIS marries with your other office systems. Maybe you are of the mind MIS cannot handle the production methodology and m2 estimating calculations essential for large-format PSPs. But are your perceptions accurate? We set out to determine just that.

Robots on your wish list?

How automated do you want you workflow? Walter Hale takes a look at robotic technology trends and L - Banksywhere it may lead you.

Robot is a curious word. First used by Czech playwright Karel Capek in his 1920 science fiction drama R.U.R, it was actually suggested by his brother Josef, a painter and writer. Karel had wanted to call his factory made artificial creations labori (from the Latin word labor) but he didn’t like the word. Josef suggested robot – robota was a Czech word that meant slave labour, drudgery or hard work. Karel liked the sound of that and it stuck, with him and us. R.U.R. stood for Rossum’s Universal Robots but in the near century since, robotics have been far from universal. In 1959, computer-assisted manufacturing was demonstrated for the first time by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


At 3.2m wide, this is one of the biggest wide-format machines to offer LED curing at a speed suitable for N - GS3250LX Front DC21481 PQhigh-volume production environments. Nessan Cleary puts it through it’s paces.

LED curing is becoming increasingly common, particularly amongst smaller printers though many people doubt that it can be used with the bigger, more productive machines. So EFI caused a stir when it first announced the 3.2m wide GS3250LX, one of the biggest UV wide format printers to use LED curing. With around a hundred already installed in the UK, it's obviously proving popular.

State of the Sector: a discussion

This winter, Image Reports brought together five PSPs with very different backgrounds and strategies to J-full tablediscuss the state of the wide-format industry, as revealed in our Widthwise Report, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in 2016

Over to you.. Franc Moscato, Owner, DGS Supplies

Franc Moscato
Owner, DGS Supplies

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

We like to offer the personal touch to all of our customers, large and small, combining both old fashioned courtesy with the resources to deliver on time.

Notes from a scandal

VW’s troubles may look like a one-of-a-kind disaster but, Walter Hale suggests, there’s a lesson there for A 79222331 Mevery print business.

It’s too easy to see the VW affair as a plain and simple corporate fraud. Yet as Gregory Unruh, a professor at George Mason University in Virginia - one of the world’s leading authorities on sustainability says, the reason that the car maker cheated should make every business leader stop and think: “The underlying cause was that VW’s chosen technology, the diesel engine, failed to meet 21st century sustainability standards in key markets.” As he puts it, “VW is discovering a stark, Darwinian reality: sustainability kills.”

Up against a brick wall?

Gavin Wall, a solicitor and licensed conveyancer, and director and the lead commercial property lawyer in Conveyancing Expert, helps you navigate business premises leasehold pitfalls when moving location.

Ending an old lease and/or taking on a new lease is fraught with perils for the unwary. Even experienced tenants can fall foul of unfair terms so the advice here may just help you avoid some of the traps when moving to a new site.

IR talks to ….. Anthony Devine, Founder, The Ministry of Upholstery

In September upholstery specialist Anthony Devine came to daytime TV watchers’ attention via an A - Anthony Devine Picappearance on BBC1 TV programme ‘Money for Nothing’, in which he was seen working on a reupholstery job using his own photography to create imagery for bespoke, digitally printed fabric used to revamp a sofa.

In partnership with Susie Milner he runs the Ministry of Upholstery in Manchester, which started out in 2010 as an interiors boutique and workshop specialising in handmade upholstered pieces. Now it is the UKs leading upholstery school.

So what does Devine think about the role of large-format digital textile print in this market, and what message is being delivered to his students?
By Lesley Simpson

Keeping it real

Authenticity could help your company profitably differentiate itself. Walter Hale explains.A 91590556 M

Whether you love or loathe Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour leader leaves you in no doubt as to what he stands for. On the other side of the Atlantic – and quite possibly the other end of the political spectrum – the same can be said of Donald Trump. The popularity of both politicians has perplexed some and terrified many but should it really come as such a surprise?