Fri, Jun

It’s good to see Xaar shortlisted for The Manufacturer MX Awards (TMMX Awards) in the people and skills category. But I was wondering if any of you had nominated your own operations for the Smart Factory category at those awards. If you think you are smart let me know – I’d love to come and see ‘Industry 4.0’ in action. Meanwhile, you might want to have a look at a new website recently launched by the publisher of Image Reports. Smart Cities World is edited by former Image Reports editor Melony Rocque and can be found at: https://smartcitiesworld.net

It’s sad but unfortunately true that The Printing Charity is little recognised these days, though it’s been helping people associated with printing, packaging and publishing since 1827. Via its Print Futures Awards it continues to provide training funding, and still gives retirees the chance to live in its sheltered accommodation at Beaverbrook House in Bletchley or Southwood Court in Basildon. Perhaps we can all help in promoting the charity to those around us, if not attend its Annual Luncheon on 3 November.

I’m about to start working on the discussion specifics for this year’s Widthwise Round Table of the state of the UK and Ireland’s large-format print market. If there’s an area/topic that you would like raised please drop me a line and I’ll do my best to raise the subject – coverage of the debate will appear in the December issue of Image Reports as usual.

Is your company involved in designjunction London 2016? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Being held near King’s Cross on 22 - 25 September, the intention is for this multi-faceted event to showcase creativity during London Design Festival 2016. Specially commissioned features include ten Monopoly-style houses on Granary Square, and a super façade structure by Satellite Architects built around Cubitt House on Lewis Cubitt Square. I’m just thinking there must be wide-format print in there somewhere!

Just taking this chance to say farewell to Brian Filler who has announced his upcoming retirement from Screen having 50 years service to the print industry under his belt. Any ideas what the industry will look like in another 50 years?

I’m not talking US history. Nor anything to do with Brexit! Clothing design operation Miss Look says that fed-up of slow turnaround by print companies it took the decision to buy a sublimation printer and bring sampling in-house. Fair enough. But it poses the question - as printer manufacturers seek to sell their wares into operations that might be your customers but see the value of going it alone - what do you do to retain their business?

Without wanting to sound like I’ve morphed into a Spice Girl, I’m asking large-format PSPs what they really want from technical coverage in Image Reports? I’m continually evolving the editorial content of the magazine to ensure it delivers the kind of information you want, and on the technical front the aim is to keep you abreast of trends and developments in the large-format space, and in areas that look like impacting upon it. If there are other technically skewed pieces that you’d like me to include - or not! - let me know.

This is the first Image Reports newsletter since the Brexit vote, so the question has to be asked - how do you think the decision will impact your business? I’d like to hear your take on the issue.

It seems Pixartprinting has coined the term ‘Upload&Print’ to make it clear to non-techies and non-print-savvy would-be customers exactly what it does – Web-to-print. Good on ’em. In speaking to creatives and designers over the last few years as part of the Image Reports’ Think Bigger campaign (to educate the wider market about the possibilities of large-format digital print) it is patently clear that we must adjust our language to one they better understand. ‘Upload&Print’ seems a sensible move. What other terminologies should we be evolving?

That a global mix of print company chiefs recently met and discussed industry topics at Callprint brings to mind the messaging that strategic innovation guru Frans Johansson – he that authored the ‘The Medici Effect’ - delivered in his keynote presentation at the Drupa Cube recently. The key takeaway - find intersections where you can create new ideas. Sounds a bit woolly, but he was really telling PSPs to get out, network and brainstorm. Simples! (More will be revealed in the July issue of Image Reports…)

Is your flatbed printer running to its full capability? I don’t just mean full capacity, but rather are you getting the ROI you think you could? If you think you are yet to get the optimum return on your investment I’d be interested to hear what you think needs to change for that to happen.

Oh heck, so Euro 2016 has started. I’ve got to admit, the only thing that catches my attention during the televised games is how large-format inkjet print is being used in and around the arenas – sad isn’t it! Let me know if your company is involved and send a pic if you can…

It’s two weeks until we vote on Brexit, so have you decided which way to vote? I asked BPIF CEO Charles Jarrold for the federation’s take on which way would be best for the print sector as a whole, and was told the membership was being canvassed for opinion. Perhaps we’ll get a statement soon, but do you feel strongly one way or another?

What do you think of Screen’s new Trust Service Desk? It sounds fab in that is should speed up service, if not actually prevent kit breakdown, but PSPs I’ve spoken to in the past about this kind of development have been somewhat wary of what they see as ‘Big Brother’ information gathering. What’s your take?