Sun, Apr

Thought I’d point you in the direction of the bursary being offered by The Stationers' Foundation - and funded by The Printing Charity - in case you have staff that, given a bit of financial help, would like to undertake the BPIF’s MSc in Management.

How do you feel about webinars? Are you likely to take part in discussion groups regarding large-format print issues? What topics would make you get onboard? I'm plotting and planning…

Here’s a thing - the organisers of 100% Design are looking for project submissions to its ‘Designer Kitchen and Bathroom Awards’. There are categories for designs of different budgets, as well as categories recognising best use of materials. Could print be one of them? Might be worth a look see - it’s a good way of getting in front of creatives even if you don’t bag a dust gatherer. The entry deadline is 31 May.

Are you exhibiting - or even just - attending Retail Expo at Olympia in London on 1-2 May? If so, please make yourself known to me ASAP - I’d love to speak with you.

Today is the start of National Apprenticeship Week. Are you doing anything to mark it? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

What’s your thinking on getting involved in printed packaging? Fespa UK’s announcement of its new Corrugated and Print Show this summer has prompted my wonderings – well that, and data gleaned from the 2019 Widthwise poll, in which we asked large-format PSPs to indicate the markets they are moving into and/or seeing the most growth and opportunity. I’m analysing that data now - the full findings will be published in June, but I’ll give you a steer - packaging doesn’t seem to be firing up the UK’s large-format PSPs despite it being a potential money-spinner. Well? Would love to know your thoughts…

The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) in the US has just announced 18 member companies have received its ‘Annual Safety Recognition Programme Award’ for their safety efforts in 2018. The programme is based on a point system - companies that have scored an 80 or more by completing actions such as bi-monthly safety checks, establishing safety committees, attending safety webinars etc. - get the award. The intention is to promote safe working environments in compliance with all applicable safety laws and standards. I’m not aware of anything similar over here. If you are, please let me know.

… to a blog that isn’t my own, but from Vincenzo Cirimele, CEO of online print company PressUp in Italy. He asks: “Is there an emotional component to online printing?” and sets out why and how he is responding to in-house research into the question. I reckon it will make interesting reading for any of you with a W2P operation.

Well, that’s the annual Widthwise survey closed – and a massive thank you is due to all of you who took part. Your reward shall be a deep dive analysis into the state of the UK/Ireland large-format print sector at grassroots level. The work on that starts today! Initial key findings will be published in the next issue of Image Reports and the full report delivered with the June issue of the mag. Again, thank you for taking part.

I’m wondering if the inroads Siegwerk has made with developing deinkable UV/LED cured paper-based prints push us any closer to finding solution for deinking other types of media – and whether this sector should be pushing harder to find a solution?

What’s your thinking on the print trailblazer employer-defined standard for apprenticeships? Looks like it’s finally going to get the green light, but is it suitable for purpose in the large-format sector?

Could the print sector make use of new smart label technology? Just a thought on the back of UPM Raflatac saying it has successfully completed the first pilot of RafMore for e-commerce. These smart labels use Internet of Packaging (IoP) technology to log and share information about packages during the delivery process. The company says the pilot demonstrated full interoperability between supply chain stakeholders without requiring heavy IT integration. OK, it’s designed for those into international ecommerce shipping in a big way, but could PSPs benefit from an adaptation of this kind of technology?

Just had a timely reminder from the BAPC that HMRC has ambitions to become among the most advanced tax authorities in the world via the Making Tax Digital initiative. This will affect a number of businesses across a variety of taxes. For businesses above the VAT threshold, VAT is the first tax selected for digitalisation in the UK - effective from 1 April 2019 for most - so perhaps worth having a natter with your finance people to make sure they’re in the swim.

As ever-evolving digital print possibilities catch the imagination of more and more creatives you’d think everyone involved would be chuffed – but of course that’s not the case. After all, if more people in the ‘applications chain’ twig on to the fact that they can buy a printer and start churning out their own printed products, ‘professional’ PSPs aren’t necessarily going to benefit from what is undeniably a massive trend towards short-run/personalised/customised digital print in developing vertical markets. What’s your take?

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