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Fri, Jun

…you should be! I’m talking Drupa of course. Yet again, this show is proving to be a melting pot of ideas and a fab place to let the imagination run riot. People outside the industry would be astounded at the ‘possibilities of print’. And there’s the rub – how does today’s fast paced, eclectic industry manage to unite as one to more effectively educate the wider world about the myriad possibilities it offers?

Given that it’s a Bank Holiday on Monday this is the last newsletter I’ll send out before I get to Drupa. If I don’t see you there, drop me a line on your return to let me know if anything in particular caught your eye.

How do you decide on which print products to invest in? Do you talk directly to the manufacturer, distributor, reseller? Do you attend open houses? Do you feel your questions, concerns and development comments are taken seriously? A lot of questions I know, but I’m trying to get a rounded picture of where the supply chain could be strengthened and better serve the PSP.

A group of people known as 111 Collectiff has formed Creatiff – a networking/support membership club where those from all sorts of media related sectors can mingle. Once a very myopic industry, print it seems is recognising the benefits of better interaction, so it will be interesting to see what you make of this – let me know!

The latest BPIF ‘Printing Outlook’ survey might indicate that the industry as a whole had a wobbly start to the year in terms of output levels, but if investment is anything to go by that’s no reflection on the state of play in the wide-format inkjet sector. Perhaps the players in other areas of print should take lessons from this one, which continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible with print.

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…