Wed, Jul

Yipee – it’s here! The Widthwise Report 2016 has been printed and is also now online. If you are a registered reader of Image Reports you will already have received what is the ninth annual report on the state of the UK and Ireland’s large-format digital inkjet print sector. Otherwise you can download it at: http://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise

A bit of sun and I’ve come over all summery – and thinking I’d quite like a few days in one of the campervans Iconic Signs is wrapping with 70s retro designs for holiday company WeDubYou. If you’re working on ‘holiday’ themed projects give me a shout – I’d like to show some of the more unusual projects in the next issue of Image Reports. Meanwhile, keep you eyes peeled for Widthwise, which should be landing on your doormat right about now (or you can download it at: www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise) – it flags up wide-format trends, including those niche sectors bringing in business.

Well, I’ve lost the power of speech! You’ve got to give it to Pixartprinting – it knows how to push boundaries. It’s ‘installation’ called 'Pleasure Will Steal Your Soul' to mark Design Week in Milan might just leave you gasping for breath. Imagine what an impact we’d make if we could integrate large-format digital print in more creations of this ilk?

Summer’s nearly here - honestly! And you know what that means - al fresco dining. And what better way to make an impact than with something along the lines of the new inkjet printable digidécor creatable tablecovers from Papergraphics. You have the kit and consumables – now it just needs you to get the bespoke product to market…

What a great idea – being able to walk up to a poster and pour yourself a beer from the attached pump! That’s what Carlsberg did earlier this month as one of a number of stunts it’s running to catch the public’s imagination. The company worked with creative agency Fold7 on the job. It made me wonder what kind of conversations PSPs in this sector are having with agency clients about experiential marketing … let’s get involved in more of these ‘wow’ projects and do wide-format print a promotional favour.

To what extent do you expect the circular economy to impact upon print, and upon your business in particular? I ask because news has just come in of Agfa Graphics having won an award for its project ‘Sustainability through recycling via collaborative supply chain’. Though that project isn’t in itself wide-format related, it shows that players in this sector are getting on message (see the feature on the circular economy in the April issue of Image Reports at: http://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/features/environment). The May issue of Image Reports will carry a piece that looks at a research project that could see us recycling faulty inkjet printheads in the not too distant future. It’s a start…

We’ll be there waiting to welcome you on the Image Reports’ stand at Sign and Digital UK at the NEC when it opens its doors tomorrow. Pop over to say hi, get a bit of insider info. on the Widthwise 2016 survey findings, (the full report will be published alongside the May issue of the mag.), chat about the state of the sector …. Looking forward to catching up.

Do you fear a cyber attack on your business? A few hours in email limbo this week was enough to make me wonder how PSPs handle IT meltdown, and then came news of a new Cyber Lab facility built by independent IT company QA to help businesses learn how to defend themselves against cyber attacks. Is it something you prepare for?

How often do we hear that to move forward PSPs need to integrate print offerings with other products/services? Well when it comes to merging digital signage with print displays there’s still a long way to go, so it will be interesting to see if Sign and Digital’s new series of seminars convinces anyone that it’s a route worth taking…

While plenty of owners/managers of PSPs are stretching their imagination and looking beyond the familiar and easily accessible to grow successful and sustainable businesses, there are still those for whom a print trade show is the extent of their R&D. Finding the time to do more than that though is now a core managerial prerequisite – so keep your eye out for the just published April issue of Image Reports for features on the circular economy, nanotechnology and trends in the world of interiors and fashion as part of our remit to help you develop your business edge.

What do you want to know about Drupa ahead of the show? I ask as I’m working on the pre-show preview, and of course the press releases and organizer missals are rolling in – but with so much information online etc. what do you want me to focus on in the mag? I’m here to serve…

You’ve got to hand it to Benny Landa – he knows how to create noise. Perhaps you’ll you be one of those scrambling to get into the Landa Nanographic Printing presentations at Drupa? I’d be interesting to hear from you on what impact you think this ‘disruptive’ technology is likely to have on your print business – either now, or once you’ve had a chance to have a proper look-see at the actual printers at the show. Will it skew your investment plans?

OK – it’s a terrible pun, but it is nearly Easter! As more companies see the potential of wide-format digital print and enter the market, it’s to be applauded that so many PSPs already established in the space are coming up with innovative ways to remain competitive and build business. If you think you think your company deserves the ‘Innovators’ editorial feature treatment in the pages of Image Reports please drop me a line.

Are you making Web-to-print pay? Talking to wide-format PSPs over the last few months, it seems an increasing amount are doing just that. For some it’s meant quite hefty initial investment – in money and time – to develop bespoke in-house solutions, but now it seems we’re seeing real payback. I’d be interested in having your take on the subject.