Wed, Jul

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?

…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.