Thu, Feb

I’ll be at Fespa Fest as you read this - the annual gathering of trade journalists ahead of the next Fespa Global event (in this instance, the one slated for Madrid on 24 - 27 March 2020). Keep your eye on our website and Twitter feed for any ‘news’ that may emerge from the meeting. When I get back I’ll be starting the plan the show preview so let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to ask ‘the powers that be’ at Fespa ahead of its publication in the New Year.

Yes, it’s time for me to be pulling together the ‘longlist’ for the 2019 Angel Awards - the accolades Image Reports bestows upon those innovative/novel products launched throughout the year that we think will make a real impact in the large-format print sector. Happy to have you tell us if anything specific has caught your eye and we’ll have a look at it. Many thanks.

OK, so how many of you thought this would be our last day in the EU? Plenty of owners and directors of large-format print companies just want the job done, yet I know some who think it’ll never happen - never mind on the extended deadline of 31 January 2020. Now we have a General Election on 12 December to confuse the picture too. What do you think?

Where do you want to see R&D spend going when it comes to inks? HP’s ploughing significant sums into water-based technologies. Is everybody else doing the same? Have a read of our latest feature on inks trends and developments at: http://bit.ly/2BhLGMw

Are you in the US at Printing United? Do UK print companies still attend trade shows across the pond? We print journo’s tend to let our fingers do more of the walking nowadays - but are we all missing out somehow on getting a wider perspective on the industry in which we work?

To what extent are you doing digital textile printing - beyond soft signage/lightbox displays that is? I’m pulling together info for a future feature in Image Reports, but my understanding – based on info from the last Widthwise Survey – is that few large-format PSPs are getting into fashion or homewares (other than wallpapers). Are garment printing machines something you are looking into for instance? Would love to hear from you…

Well, in her speech at the House of Lords on Tuesday, the Queen referenced what we all knew was coming - the Environment Bill, set to be brought forward in the next parliamentary session. It basically advances the circular economy, which is going to have implications for most of you. At our annual Round Table just last week, print chiefs from this sector where talking about environmental concerns with a new immediacy. The recent Grenfell Report also had them talking about fire safety regs and responsibilities too. Are environmental issues climbing up your agenda?

Well done to Roland and Ricoh for clinching Buyers Lab awards for their large-format printers. Which brings me nicely to the topic of our very own upcoming annual Angel Awards - for wide-format products/services introduced to the UK market in 2019. It’s my editor’s pick basically - but I’m happy to hear from you if there’s something you want to flag up because it’s a significant innovation for the sector.

I’d like to take this chance to say a whopping thank you to those who made the annual Widthwise Round Table discussion on the state of the wide-format print sector such a great afternoon. I’ll be flagging up some of the key points of view in the December issue of Image Reports. Meanwhile, hope you’re all enjoying your newly landed October/November issue.

Tomorrow I’m chairing our annual Widthwise Round Table discussion on the state of the large-format digital print sector in the UK/Ireland. If you have a burning question you would like me to put in front of the print chiefs who will be participating, now is the time to ask it! You’ll be able to read a report from the event in the December issue.

As it’s National Poetry Day today I have to ask whether business strategy is as imaginative as it could be, or whether it is somewhat more prosaic at the moment? And if the latter, how much has that got to do with the looming Brexit deadline….thoughts to me please!

As troubled Xaar announces that it’s ceasing all its Thin Film printhead activities we have to wonder at the impact it’s going to have on this sector - and ask whether there are lessons to be learned. Would be interested in hearing your thoughts….

What do you want from a conference? Thought I’d ask the question given the announcement by Fespa UK and Vism of the new ‘Thrive in Print’ conference, which will take place in autumn 2020. We’ve all been to trade shows etc. where the talks are somewhat poorly attended. Is the problem with the actual programme, speakers, or with where/when the events take place? What would it take to get your bottom on a seat in the auditorium?

I was working over the weekend and wondered how many of you would be too. And then I started wondering how many companies pay staff extra for putting in the hours on Saturdays and Sundays, and whether any increased payments are paid on an ad hoc basis, or taken into consideration in an employee’s salary. Would like to know how you deal with that side of things….

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