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Thu, Aug

Wondering when it will be ‘back to business’? Isn’t everyone. There can’t be a single print operation that has not been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, nor can there be a single way of coming out the other side as fit as before, but is there a case for what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger? I asked ImageCo MD and Fespa UK board member Nathan Swinson-Bullough for his take 

Training is a bugbear to many a large-format print provider - many companies citing issues such as irrelevant apprenticeship schemes as problematic for the sector. So, with the BPIF the largest supplier of apprenticeships to the UK printing industry, I went to talk with Karly Lattimore, the federation’s managing director of training, on how this sector can be better served. 

Nicole Spencer, operations director at trade house RMC Digital Print in Hull, became president of the Fespa UK Association last autumn - the first woman to do so. In the run up to Fespa Global 2020 we met up to discuss her plans for an association in transition.

Organisers of Sign and Digital UK (SDUK) are promising “an all new show in a new hall” when it takes place  on 28 - 30 April, 2020.  A new team has been put in place to deliver what they promise will be “a fresh show with a new website, new layout, new features and new stand options”. But is so much change code for “panic, we’re in trouble”? I met up with new event director Jenny Matthew to get her strategic take on developments.

By Lesley Simpson

In 2011 long-time graphic designer David Hyams founded Talking Print - a company that provides audio and video implanted print services. Image Reports interviewed him a couple of years later, excited about the dynamism his services could bring to print and how they could stimulate new opportunities. Over the years Talking Print has grown significantly, with David now employing another two staff and turning over £900,000.  But he’s still to crack large-format print. Why?

By Lesley Simpson

The print industry - and the large-format sector specifically - has bemoaned the lack of women running businesses for as long as I can remember. Signs Express is witnessing an increase in female franchisees - up 40% in the last 20 months. So I went to talk with the Sara Jeffery, the network’s head of brand and recruitment, to ask: “Is franchising the route to getting women into print management?”

By Lesley Simpson

With a turnover of 200m Euro and over 1m customers, Onlineprinters is one of Europe’s biggest Web-to-print providers. CEO Dr Michael Fries has said that “print companies that embrace industry transformation” will do well, and that he expects online print shops in Western Europe to continue a two-digit growth in turnover over the coming years. So should you be looking to W2P? Given the group’s bold expectations for continued growth, I met with Simon Cooper, MD of UK-based subsidiary Solopress, to talk strategy – and find out where wide-format fits in.

By Lesley Simpson

Fespa UK Association has been around (in various guises) since 1934, providing business, technical and legal guidance, educational services and events and networking opportunities to digital wide-format, screen and specialist PSPs - and to suppliers. Carol Swift took over the helm from Peter Kiddell last summer. Now she’s settled into the role - and given it’s show season - I took the opportunity to ask her how the association is representing the large-format sector, and to comment on hot topics like business confidence and investment plans.

By Lesley Simpson

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