Sat, Jun

News of Mimaki’s Vehicle Wrap Lab at Oxford Brookes University highlights just how much some companies are doing to get those outside the traditional print markets to understand the value of large-format digital print – in this case, the benefits of vehicle wrapping in F1 motorsport. What are you doing to spread the word about possibilities to those outside the traditional print sectors?

The new ‘The Future of Dye-Sublimation Printing to 2021’ report from Smithers Pira sets out some stunning projections, so will it prompt you to jump onto the textile print bandwagon. I don’t mean that to sound derogatory, it’s just that we’ve seen fabulous figures bandied about for some time, and certainly there’s been a groundshift in the number of PSPs looking to make money that way – but what I gather in talking to many print company chiefs, is that the ‘tipping point’ in terms of ROI (and I mean total ROI – not just kit and consumables prices) has yet to be reached in many instances. Agree? More than happy to hear from you either way.

What’s your supply chain management like? How seriously do you question your own suppliers about their environmental strategies and standards? Do you think it would help you build business if you used those that could demonstrate/prove good practice? It’s an issue I’m looking into right now, so please drop me a line if you’re happy to talk about the subject.

How involved are you in window manifestations? The launch of the new Aslan WindowClear product, together with a very recent conversation I’ve had with a PSP that has brought in a specialist to help it ‘sell’ such solutions across various markets, makes me think it would be good to have a gallery of such work on the Think Bigger Pinterest board run by Image Reports for brands/creatives. If you have suitable images please let me have them, along with a few lines about the job. I look forward to seeing what comes in.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun that plays on the Oasis Graphics acquisition of Mustard Solutions. What I want to ask is whether you think we’re in for a takeover frenzy in 2016? As print providers increasingly feel the need to become one-stop ‘solutions’ providers do you think smaller, specialist operations will be bought-out by diversifying companies needing expertise to help them ‘cut the mustard’ in new market segments?

It’s great to see that the industry is putting some real effort - and money - behind educating the wider creative market to grow the demand for digital inkjet print. The recent release of HP’s ‘Digital Print: A Bigger Spectrum’ digital print ideas book, and now the launch of EFI’s ImagingofThings online community, prompts me to remind you that a couple of years ago we at Image Reports launched the Think Bigger campaign – the intention being to reach out to designers of all shapes and sizes and put inkjet print possibilities in front of them. Two Think Bigger Reports have since been produced specifically for that creative audience, there’s a Think Bigger Pinterest site (https://www.pinterest.com/thinkbiggerhere/) showing amazing jobs, and a dedicated website at http://www.thinkbigger.co. Plenty more is in the pipeline. We all want to see this sector thrive, so get in touch if you want to help us help you.

Daft question - of course you do - I admit to just making a cheap point. With less than three weeks now until the Surface Design Show (9-11 Feb) opens its doors at the Business Design Centre in London, I’m getting the distinct impression that print companies aren’t exactly chomping at the bit – to exhibit, speak, or even attend. Of course my impression may be wrong. Are you going? If so, drop me a line – I’d like to speak with you.

If you’re not moving, you’re standing still. With that in mind, no doubt you will consider your company innovative in some way or another – and I want to know what those areas of innovation are. Perhaps you have a found a much more efficient invoicing method, are cutting costs by changing shift patters, have started an in-house training scheme… it doesn’t matter what ‘innovation’ it is as long as it’s helping you grow a more profitable business. If you’re happy to share your story please get in touch as I’m scouring the sector for innovative PSPs to interview for best practice editorials!

It seems an age ago that we started talking about the potential of textile printing as a suitable diversification for digital large-format PSPs, but it’s been a slow burner for well understood and well documented reasons. But has the technology, market demand and your strategic vision led to what the machinery manufacturers at least would have us believe is a real flash point? Let me know your thoughts on textile print production possibilities within your own set-up.

As you know we’re currently conducting the annual Image Reports Widthwise survey – in which I encourage you to participate. To take part, please click here. It will be interesting to see how information from grass roots players in the UK measures against what Lightwords Imaging is saying about the state of the global wide-format digital print market given its forecast of a 10% annual market growth over next three years. Fingers crossed you agree!

We’re back and raring to go - hope you are too!

If you’ve been an Image Reports newsletter and/or magazine reader for long, you’ll know that at the start of every year we ask you to take part in the annual Widthwise Survey to help us create the biggest piece of independent research on wide-format inkjet market in the UK. In May, the results will be published in the free Widthwise Report to help you futureproof your print business. Obviously the more PSPs that take part in the poll, the more representative the data will be.

So please get involved at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PDFQV5J or via the Image Reports website: http://www.imagereportsmag.com

Season’s greetings! This will be the last Image Reports’ enewsletter of 2015 – we’ll return on 7 January 2016. Hope you all manage to have a happy and restful break.

…are your Christmas pics. I don’t mean your family snaps, but images of festive large-format print jobs that I can use in the upcoming Think Bigger Gallery. You know where to email them…

So, as oil prices continue to fall and we benefit from cheaper petrol/diesel prices at the pumps, to what extent will it impact your business? Should you expect it to cut more than your transport costs? What about energy prices? What about consumables prices for that matter? Just asking…