Greens Signmakers in Hull has been around a while - it was founded as a traditional sign writing operation by Reg Green back in 1963. When his grandson Lawrence Green took over the helm in 2018 his first focus was to refurbish the printroom and extend the company’s wide-format offering. The newest addition is a HP R2000 Latex printer. I talked with Lawrence about that investment, and what it means for the company’s development.
You only took delivery of your R2000 at the end of October so it’s your new baby. Hopefully it’s not giving you sleepless nights?
Yes, it’s brand new - we’ve had a week of training and we’re just starting to print some live jobs on it. But the majority of the time we’re still doing a lot of profiling of materials and learning how to use as little ink as possible! In general, just work out how best to make it fit our current workload.
I understand the new 2.5m-wide HP printer sits alongside a 3.2m and a 5m machine. Was size a key consideration when you started looking around for a new model?
Yes it was, and to be honest I’d have liked it if HP had had a wider model, but I just looked for the widest hybrid available. We can make this work. We can rotate 3m sheets and send them through lengthways. But I wanted the hybrid so we could print flatbed as well as roll-to-roll.
Do you expect the R2000 to open new doors to you then?
Yes, hopefully. The push for us is the environmental aspect. Our other printers use UV ink, and they do a fantastic job. But, I’m trying to make the company more environmentally friendly, and there’s only so far you can go with UV.
So the eco-friently credentials of the R2000 are important to you?
Indeed. We didn’t need to buy a new printer. I wanted the HP latex machine purely to push the environmental aspect.
I look out of my window and see the vans leaving laden with print and I know most of that is going to end up in landfill. That just doesn’t sit right with me. I felt partnering up with HP, and getting the R2000 would let us explore more eco options. We’re getting there - we’re starting to collate a good number of materials and the printer is running well.
How does the R2000 fit into the longer-term goals for the company?
My daughter comes home from school and talks to me about what she’s learning about the environment, and I think we need to learn from the younger generation and green-up our businesses. We’re on a learning curve with the new HP machine and I reckon it will be a month or so before we are in a position to really push its eco credentials, but that’s the aim.