Tue, Jul

It’s great to see results of collaboration between this sector and creatives – and the dress from Yuima Nakazato using Fuji inkjet know-how and kit/consumables just shows how far the boundaries can be pushed. Let’s see more joint ventures coming to fruition – loving it.

So, Fespa and Esma are jumping on the industrial print bandwagon with the launch of the Industrial Print in Production conference. As inkjet printer manufacturers seek help to scope-out new contacts in new markets for the technology they initially developed for graphics arts sector it’s understandable that they have turned to the bodies they have long supported. It will be interesting to see what former Fespa chief Frazer Chesterman, who with ex-Fespa colleague Marcus Timson run InPrint, will think of that. Their event takes place in Milan this week! But what do you think?

So first we have the Brexit vote, and now a Trump presidency. At our annual Round Table event with PSPs on the state of the wide-format print sector (write-up in the forthcoming December issue of Image Reports) there was a degree of angst over what Brexit would mean for those trading with Europe. And, according to Christian Stadler, of Warwick Business School: "Trump's victory brings a similar uncertainty as Brexit did. For UK business it is a particularly big threat as trade with Europe is likely to decline as a result of Brexit, so companies have to offset business losses, but the US will also be a more difficult place to trade with.” So how’s that likely to impact on where you do business outside the UK – will it thwart your plans?

I’m just starting to pull together the questions for the 2017 Widthwise Survey, which will kick off in the New Year. As the whole point of this annual exercise is to deliver Image Reports readers with a grassroots view of the large-format print sector, it seems only sensible to ask if there are specific questions you would like asked of your colleagues and competitors! Let me know if there are…

The environment is back on the agenda. It would be great to feel it never fell off – but hands on hearts, how many PSPs have over the last few years dismissed it as a box ticking exercise they could do without. According to the findings of our annual Widthwise survey, plenty have thought just that. But retailers, via increasingly robust CSR programmes, are strengthening their environmental supply chains, largely at the behest of the public.

As you read this I’ll be on my way to The Printing Charity’s 189th annual luncheon in London. The organisation - and the funds it distributes - could do with a higher profile so that those in need know they have somewhere to turn. Can you help spread the word within your business? Details can be found at: www.theprintingcharity.org.uk

I don’t usually flag up offers on my enewsletters, but I thought this was worth an exception. The organiser of Digital Print Europe has said that given it's Halloween - and its own MD’s birthday! -  it is running a special one-day discount for the event. There’s 100 Euro off the fee for the Digital Printing Conference, or 200 Euro off the total if you register for the conference and a supporting event. You need the special code to register online: HALLOWEENDPE16

What do you think of what Saxoprint is doing – and could something similar benefit wide-format PSPs? In case you don’t know, the online printer has launched a portal called ProStudio, a free network that connects small and mid-sized businesses with professional graphic designers. Of course, an increasing number of large-format print companies are adding their own design services, but for those without a design capability, yet seeing the value of extending the creative possibilities of large-format print…?

If you’ve completed any unusual large-format print jobs with a Halloween theme I’d be interested in seeing pics and getting a bit of info on the project for possible inclusion in the Image Reports gallery of work. Many thanks in anticipation… 

So, it’s International Print Day on Wednesday (19 October), and Deborah Corn, principal at Print Media Centr and the driving force behind the day, hopes not just PSPs but “but also designers, marketers and entrepreneurs will connect throughout the day, sharing samples and stories of great print - plus ideas, suggestions and opportunities to collaborate.” Will be great to see what comes of the initiative. You can find out more info at www.internationalprintday.org

So, in my last enewsletter I asked for strong female PSP chiefs to come forward and let themselves be known. The response … a deathly silence! Now there’s hiding your light under a bushel, and there being no light to hide. I’ve seen glimpses of brilliance so I know the industry doesn’t suffer from the latter, but can I see more? Please drop me a line if you are – or know of – a good female print chief in this sector.

It’s Women in Print week in New Zealand – a little known fact that got me wondering about the dearth of women at managerial level in the UK’s large-format print sector. Or, perhaps I’m mistaken and I’ve just not met many. Where are you…let me know!

Do you welcome new recruits that have nose piercings and tattoos? Maybe you should if you want to get your hands on the new generation of leadership talent. A Ritz-Carlton chief has been telling Dscoop how hard is was for this very conservative company, with its legacy of strict dress standards and working hours etc. to remain current and relevant, but that understanding millennials helped them attract and retain these important future leaders.

What are you willing to do to attract the best talent? I ask because a new report from Santander shows that only 8% of 15-16 year olds consider apprenticeships a viable alternative to university - largely due to salary expectations. Those opting for university expect to earn £113,000 a year, compared to £46,000 for those undertaking an apprenticeship.