Thu, Oct

As one door closes...

…another opens. Fast on the heels of Fespa Digital comes Sign and Digital UK 2016. Here’s what you’ll find beyond the exhibition stands.

The doors will hardly have closed on Fespa Digital 2016 in Amsterdam when Sign and Digital UK opens at Birmingham’s NEC. So if you’ve been to one, is it still worth attending the other? Show organisers are obviously working hard to convince you that it is - and of course not all of the those happy to trundle to Brum will have been quite so happy to have made the trip to the Netherlands anyway, so no doubt there’ll be plenty of PSPs hoping to catch a glimpse of what they missed overseas back here in good old Blighty.

The news section of Image Reports and the twice weekly electronic newsletters we send out have been flagging up details of who will be introducing new products relevant to the wide-format inkjet market at each of the shows (go to: http://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk) so we won’t repeat that again here, rather we’ll take a look at what else Sign and Digital UK will offer those who expect it to live up to its 2016 tagline: ‘Creativity, Innovation and Choice’.

Organiser Faversham House is predicating that more than 7,000 visitors from the sign making, display solutions and digital printing industries will attend the show, which this year takes up around 11,000m2 and will house over 200 exhibitors. As you’d expect, there’s a full rundown of participants online, but they include HP, Canon, Epson, Roland DG, Hybrid Services/Mimaki, Agfa Graphics, Colourgen/Mutoh, Papergraphics, Perfect Colours, CMYUK, i-sub, Graphic Printing Technologies (GPT), Esko, Jetrix, Grafityp, Your Print Specialists (YPS), MTEX, Signmaster Systems, Vivid Laminating Technologies – all the usual suspects! Wide-format print and finishing will be strongly represented alongside software, inks, materials and sign making products and services.

So that you as a visitor can make the most of your time onsite, the organisers have two new pre-show planning tools for 2016: a schedule of live product demonstrations and an online meeting booking facility - available to pre-registered visitors during the run up to the show.

You can also tailor your show experience is by signing up to the exhibition trails. Each trail will showcase the most relevant products and services for that particular market - 2016 will see the return of the Materials World Trail, the Textile Trail as well as the Retail Route. At the time of going to press details had yet to be finalised in terms of what exhibitors will be taking part in each - keep updated at: http://www.signuk.com/visitor-trails/

No doubt every trade show you can think of these days offers a range of free seminars, workshops, panel discussions and the like - Sign and Digital UK is no different. There will be five education theatres and workshops available, featuring around 35 daily seminars, covering practical applications and real world tips, alongside new business ideas. Here’s an overview:

Business Theatre

Talks here will focus on how to develop and grow your business, as well as find new revenue streams.

A new feature for this year’s seminar line-up will be a series of case studies covering interior wall décor, as well as wayfinding and directional signage. There will be presentations from Hollywood Monster, Vinyl Impression, Signbox, Trade Signs, Identity Signage and Printing, CCD Design and Ergonomics, and FRA. The intention is to provide best practice information and practical tips looking at projects that these companies have undertaken.

Other highlights in the Business Theatre include ‘Dos and Don’ts of Colour Management’ from Antalis, ‘Looking After Your Wide-Format Eco-solvent Machine’ from Roland DG, ‘Capitalising on a Changing Digital Market’ presented by Swanline Print, and Hewlett-Packard’s presentation of its ‘Wall Art Suite’.

The BSGA will give a seminar on sign maintenance and planning regulations, and new and existing standards for sign design and construction. And Cogent Skills will present the benefits of investing in apprenticeship training and the new apprenticeship standards for England.

Adobe Theatre

Hosted by Terry Steeley, the Adobe Theatre is back with daily sessions using the latest editions of Adobe software.

‘Knowledge is power - Adobe InDesign CC (2015)’ is great for looking to create sophisticated page layouts for print and/or digital distribution. This session will cover all of the built-in creative, typography and production tools that Adobe InDesign has to offer.

Other highlights for 2016 include an essential software introduction in ‘Getting started with Adobe Bridge CC’, and ‘Bigger. Bolder. Better - Adobe Illustrator CC’.

Corel Theatre

Daily sessions in the Corel Theatre do what you’d expect - provide updates and advice on the latest features. This year’s seminar timetable includes ‘CorelDrawGraphics Suite - An Overview of New Features’ which will offer new tips, techniques and tools. Meanwhile, ‘CorelDraw Surgery’ will be an opportunity for visitors to get advice and support from the experts.

SignLab Theatre

For 2016, sign making software specialist CADlink will present a series of seminars that focus on best practice print and cut, sign and display design and production workflows.

A ‘Large Format Printing from SignLab’ session provide a chance to learn more about the production features within the Rip software.

‘SignLab for Mimaki’ will show how design tools within SignLab for Mimaki can assist in providing high-quality output on Mimaki devices.

Signmakers’ Workshop

Again to be presented by signmaker Paul Hughes, these sessions are geared to visitors (of all experience levels) who want to get to grips with some of the most innovative skills and techniques. The daily workshops will cover everything from vinyl application to wall and floor graphics, and will allow time for a Q&A.

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