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Sun, Oct

Hello all. I’m just working on the ‘Think Bigger’ gallery of large-format print jobs for the next issue of Image Reports magazine and Think Bigger sister website, and invite you to submit (high res) images of any unusual jobs you have recently completed - those that stretch the imagination and show creatives just what this sector can do to ‘wow’ effect. If you could email me pics - together with a few lines about the job - I’d appreciate it. Many thanks in anticipation…

Yup, it’s National Relaxation Day, or as it’s better known in the UK – according to Wikipedia - National Slacker Day! The annual ‘event’ has been used by the likes of the Mental Health Foundation to ‘stress’ the need for quiet contemplation. Assuming you’ll all be closing early today then….

Last Monday we brought you news of tilia Labs having won an InterTech technology award for its development of artificial intelligence and promised that Image Reports was about to publish a feature on the subject of AI. Today we have news that the CBI is urging business to take up an ethical approach to AI – so it’s pretty timely that our feature on AI’s place in the wide-format print sector is now online (along with all the other editorial from the newly published August/September issue. Go to: www.imagereportsmag.co.uk.) The AI article is at: http://bit.ly/2MciuxE

So according to a new survey commissioned by ISA-UK, powered by BSGA, 67% of respondents say they are frequently asked to make design recommendations. That fits with the kind of feedback we got when we polled UK large-format PSPs for our Widthwise Survey this year - download free at: https://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise. I’d be interested on hearing from those of you who have extended your design service this year - or have strong views that such a move would damage customer relationships.

It’s somewhat serendipitous that we are bringing news of Tilia Labs having won an InterTech technology award for its tilia Phoenix 7.0 software and its development of artificial intelligence for the print sector just as Image Reports is about to publish a feature on the subject of AI. If you want to glean info on how and when developments are likely to impact upon large-format print businesses, keep your eyes peeled for the new issue - landing on your doorstep later this week - the AI article will be live online then too: www.imagereportsmag.co.uk.

…is a thing. I mean, we really can produce it. I have just been speaking again with David Hyams, who can make this kind of thing happen. We first talked about it years ago, and he admits that it’s not taken off in wide-format like it has in other areas of print. And here was me thinking people buying into experiential print would be up for sound’n’vision applications like this. What’s your take?

I’m currently researching new and unusual printable media for the large-format market. If anything specific has caught your attention over the last few months I’d like to know. Thank you

…to those who secured one of the Printing Charity’s annual Print Futures financial awards presented last night - and a timely reminder to all of you to flag up the scheme to those in your workforces who are aged 18 – 30 and might like to apply for the 2020 round. If there are ways to help the young progress in this industry I’m all for shouting about it!

I’ve got to ask - do any of you close down for a ‘holiday fortnight’ anymore? I assume not, but the amount of traffic on the roads over the weekend as schools shut-up and the big getaway began had me casting my mind back to the ‘factory fortnight’ of my childhood, when everything on the nearby industrial estate stopped and workers were released into the sunshine!!! Little news is coming in right now, so maybe it still happens in some places?

Apparently the 18th of the month is an auspicious date for a wedding according to the Chinese. Given the amount of tie-ups we’re been seeing between various suppliers in the sector I’m wondering if we should expect Chinese manufacturers in particular looking to formally seal partnerships with UK companies today! OK, a bit of a long short - just has me wondering about how many more international ties we can - or can’t – expect as Brexit continues to impact our relationships with the rest of the world….

With Woo - World Out of Home Organisation - having confirmed that its 2020 Congress will be held in Toronto next summer, I’m wondering how many from the UK will travel all that way to attend. Actually, I’d like to know if you attend any event of this type - at home or abroad. Which events - other than trade shows - do you find most valuable?

Have you got a director of corporate social responsibility and cause marketing? Thought not. News is in that US-based Vomela group has. Is that making you think any more seriously about CSR within your own operation? I’d love to here from you if you have strong views, one way or the other.

The creation of a £30m turnover print business via the merger of J Thomson Colour Printers with Bell and Bain has to prompt the question ‘to what extent does size matter?’ when it comes to PSPs attracting business – and improving the balance sheet. What says you?

Talking to a youth undertaking a media training course about journalism recently, I was told that it’s a shame I write about print, an industry on its last legs. I pointed out that it’s not anything of the kind, referencing all the ‘stuff’ that is printed. “Oh but that’s not ‘print’, it’s OOH advertising and wall decoration and clothing ….”. The point I’m making is that the wider world’s perception of what constitutes ‘print’ is somewhat limited. How do we change that? And at the end of the day, does it matter?

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