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Fri, Aug

343 print companies involved in digital inkjet wide-format production from across the UK and Ireland completed this year’s survey, making it the biggest poll yet of the sector’s domestic players. Here are the key findings.

The data is in and the report is out. Widthwise 2014 is an analysis of the information provided by grassroots large-format print producers, the seventh consecutive year Image Reports has conducted such research. Get your hands on it and you’ll get a true insight into the shape of the UK and Ireland market – where the growth is, where the investment is going etc. The full Widthwise Report is available for free download, but here’s a heads-up on the key findings.

We’re doing well, but we can do better according to Fespa Global Summit speakers. Here’s the upshot of the two-day event.

Technology is driving convergence. And so is customer expectation. If there was one key takeaway from the recent Fespa Global Summit, it was that what we fear should be what we embrace. That we’ve got to get beyond the mindset of being a ‘printer’ and think about how we can become specialists in visual communication, whatever that might entail.

Printing flooring offers huge scope – but not just for printers. Flooring specialists too can see opportunities and are getting in on the act, so are there lessons you can learn from them?

Twenty years after it was founded, German-based laminate flooring business Falquon has been revitalised by a management team with an innovative business model that revolves around the purchase of an Océ Arizona UV flatbed printer from Canon.

Is the industry prepared for a move away from PVC boards towards more flexible and sustainable options? Ashley Moscrop, group director of Dufaylite shares his thoughts and predictions for the year ahead and what this means for the printing industry.

It can’t be ignored; the very noticeable trend within the retail sector is a move away from PVC boards towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly substrates like paper and polypropylene. As the retail industry bows to pressure to reduce its carbon footprint by removing PVC in stores, it’s an issue that’s becoming more apparent and more pressing. In 2014 this will be both an opportunity and a challenge for the printing industry, where PSPs will need to demonstrate increased expertise in printing on in-demand paper-based substrates.

Can print really get its value across to marketeers when it comes to comms campaigns? Lesley SImpson reports from the second day of Cross Media, where the topic was hotly pursued.

There were plenty of wise words spoken in the Print and Innovation Theatre when I attended on the second day of Cross Media recently, and what’s more, there were plenty of printers in the audience to hear them.

There's trouble ahead in the wide-format supply chain according to Time Greene, Consultant at InfoTrends, which is researching a report called 'Disruptive Supply Chain Strategies' that will be published in 2014. Here's his heads up.

There are multiple dynamics at work in the wide- format digital printing supply chain that InfoTrends believes will result in a big shake-up. On the one hand, wide-format print buyers frequently wait until the last minute to place their print orders. You already know that print buyers also often shop for the best price and service, so the printers that can do jobs for the lowest price and the fastest turnaround are the ones that will win the work. 

Can visual QR codes help print cross over into the digital world? Nevo Alva thinks so. He’s co-founder and CEO of Visualead, which aims to aid engagement between the offline consumer and the online brand via this latest QR development.

When the barcode, developed in 1952, was first used as a solution to standardise grocery shopping, label military supplies, and track packages and shipments, it was considered sophisticated technology. But it quite quickly came to be perceived as incredibly mundane and out-dated. Enter the QR code.

Your kit and consumables suppliers have a vested interest in helping you succeed. So do you use them to best effect in helping grow your business? Tim Greene of InfoTrends thinks you should demand more. 

It may sound simplistic, but we [at InfoTrends] believe that there is a great case to be made that wide-format printing companies of all size could be taking a more aggressive approach to business growth and development by leveraging the resources of their suppliers.