Thu, Feb

Brotherton House, the former Police HQ in Leeds, is being turned into student accommodation in a regeneration project between development and investment company J Pullan and Sons and student housing provider Study Inn Group. Just thought I’d give you the heads up - got to be some nice wide-format opportunities there. I expect regeneration projects are a shoe-in for many of you - so how do you keep abreast of what’s going on?

Happy new decade. So, what do you want to see happen in the next ten years? Don’t all shout ‘retirement’! As editor of Image Reports my aim is to cover the topics close to your heart, so I’d very much appreciate you getting in touch if there’s something in particular you’d like to shine a light on. Even better, go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/N25DB5B and take part in the 2020 Widthwise Survey of UK/Ireland large-format print companies. Yes, the poll is live from today. Join your colleagues and competitors in helping me analyse this sector from a grassroots perspective - you’ll get the rundown free of charge later in the year.

Well people, this is me signing off until January 2020. It’s been a great year, and I must thank you all for your input – without it Image Reports would not be able to target your grassroots concerns and deliver appropriate content. Of course the annual Widthwise poll provides a great deal of insight, so just let me remind you that the 2020 survey will open on 6 January! Meanwhile, let me wish you a very happy Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.

Will the now officially released new Ghent Workgroup specification for the sign and display sector impact you? We’ve been championing the idea for some time so would be good to get your feedback on the matter. Thank you.

Ha, gotcha! You thought I was going to be droning on about today’s General Election. I’m not. But given that voting is on everyone’s minds I thought it only timely to remind you all of the 2020 Widthwise Survey. And yes, I’m canvassing for your support. Please get 6 January in your calendar now - that’s when the poll opens.

Well, wow - how impressive is the move by Mimaki to get involved in a competition to help raise awareness of social and environmental issues? OK, so it was the company’s 3D technology that was used in project, but that’s not the point - it’s great to see manufacturers getting actively involved. Being cynical, yes, moves like this bring branding and marketing rewards no doubt, but that doesn’t detract from the fact it is doing something to stimulate ‘green’ thinking. Now then, what about issues like closed loop product manufacturing…

So, Pantone has developed a multisensory concept for its newly announced Colour of the Year, working in partnership with various companies to develop sound, feel, taste and scents to accompany its 19-4502 Classic Blue choice. Now then, will that sway any of your clients into specify it?

OK, so did you slash prices on Black Friday? And if so, are you now wishing you hadn’t? I’m sort of assuming you’re not in that position, but this whole cut-price weekend marketing shebang has me wondering about pricing in the large-format print sector. We’ll be asking you about that as part of the Widthwise 2020 survey in January, but if you’re feeling sad/bad/mad about the current print pricing situation I’d like to know – a problem shared…

Anyone else find it somewhat ironic that Messe Dusseldorf - the home of the Drupa - has swapped a swathe printed signage for digital at its head office? Just brought a wry smile to my face…

News that Roland has extended printer range compatibility for its cotodesign design and print management software for in-store personalised print services has raised that recurring question – why don’t we see more partnerships between retailers/wide-format PSPs? We’ve talked about the possibility of kiosk/pop-up style booths within high street stores whereby customers could personalise products, and in some instances have them printed on-site, in other instances (depending on product) have them printed off site by a wide-format print partner, which returns them to the retailer for dispatch. Uneconomic?

Who’d have thought it - today is apparently World Television Day according to a programme on the ….radio! Anyway, it got me thinking about moving images – and static ones – and whether this sector could be doing more to embrace digital/print integration. We’ve written loads on the possibilities over the years, but I don’t hear much about it actually happening. Is it?

The findings of the latest BPIF Printing Outlook survey are somewhat disheartening - but again, I have to ask, do you feel they reflect the state of business in the wide-format sector specifically? We’ll be taking a much more formal health check in the New Year via our 2020 Widthwise survey - but I’d be happy to be told more immediately that the BPIF’s wider print industry figures are not representative of this sector. Here’s hoping!

InPrint Munich 2019 ends today. As a show highlighting industrial inkjet applications it’s not directly aimed at this sector – but no doubt some of what is being shown/discussed will have implications for professional large-format graphics PSPs. Always good to get a wider perspective (no pun intended!), so is it worth noting the date of the 2020 event?

Are you a follower of fashion? Having very recently had chats with the organisers of both Fespa Global and SDUK, much of the talk is about textile printing and how the shows are going to highlight that – and not in relation to soft signage and exhibition type applications, more in terms of fast fashion and décor. Over the years large-format PSPs have told me those are not areas they intend to target because of the change in business strategy required for those applications/customer-bases. Our Widthwise survey at the start of 2019 supported that. Is your thinking changing? (Oh, by the way, you might want to have a read of this article we published a bit earlier: http://bit.ly/2x3APUo)

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