Wed, Aug

What level of risk taker do you consider yourself to be? I ask because, for many, ‘caution’ is the watchword for 2017 as the Brexit vote here and Trump’s US presidency really begin to make their mark. In this issue IMI Europe MD Dr Tim Phillips reports on the panel discussion it arranged towards the end of 2016 with key players in the digital inkjet space on how the changing political landscape might impact the sector going forward (see p25). What are the challenges – and opportunities? According to Alex Blackman, MD of British-based cutting solutions manufacturer Blackman and White – himself a staunch ‘remainer’ pre-vote – he now believes “Brexit might not be the disaster we thought it would be”, buts adds that there’s a wait-and-see mentality perhaps holding back investment as we go into the New Year (see p36). Does that sound about right in relation to your business?

As you know, Image Reports is currently running its tenth annual Widthwise survey among large-format PSPs. Of course I’d love your input, click here but I also want to know if you’d be happy to join a panel discussion on the key findings of that poll at Fespa in May. If you’re up for that, please drop me a line and we’ll go through the detail.

Just wondered if you knew about a new show that might be of interest: Materials 2017. It will take place at the ILEC Centre, London on 25 - 26 April and could well be worth a look-see if you’re into printing onto novel substrates.

Just wondering if the Simpson Group’s investment in a Col-Tec Smart Collator heralds something big in terms of how large-format orientated PSPs handle finishing/packing/distribution. Will be interesting to see what this Spring’s trade shows bring to the sector’s attention in this regard! 

You’ve probably already had notice that the Image Reports’ annual Widthwise poll of large-format PSPs is now live. Please help us provide as precise and far reaching a report as possible from the data we collect by taking part. You can do so at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H63WZWR.

Also, the upcoming Jan/Feb issue of Image Reports carries an interview with Fespa UK Association chief Peter Kiddell on the state of this sector’s training. Help put things right by connecting at: FESPA UK Association Print Training Needs Survey.

I’m liking what Leach Studio is doing with concepts for Bolton Museum – in terms of how it’s working with its client as much as the designs themselves. With an increasing amount of PSPs ‘evolving’ their pre-press departments into fully fledged design arms it would be interesting to hear from those of you that feel the move has changed the kind of relationship you have with your clients – and whether that’s helping you bring in more lucrative jobs by being involved earlier on in the design process.


“To affect change, we have to start with ourselves. With each new day, we have a chance to make better decisions, bigger strides, and more progress - personally and professionally.” That is a quote from the new book `Create Your Own Success Story` from business coach Dr Colin Thompson with a foreword by Dr Tim Watts, chairman of the Pertemps Group. What with New Year’s resolutions and all that, it might be worth a look-see.

This is my last enewsletter of 2016 so can I take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. See you in 2017!

So the BPIF is moving to ‘the home of print’ at St Bride Foundation. I’m not convinced aligning itself so closely with the historical aspects of print is such a great move for an association representing an industry struggling to shrug off its antiquated image and attract young talent. Am I out of step on this?

I’m mentioning Heimtextil again because textile printing has come up in conversation with both PSPs and kit manufacturers during the course of this week – the common understanding being that while many in the large-format digital print sector are yet to go that route, 2017 is likely to be a significant turning point. With that in mind let me direct you to a couple of recent pieces in Image Reports – one on Heimtextil itself and the other a report from the annual Round Table, where textiles was a topic of debate among the print chiefs in attendance.

Will wide-format continue to be a money spinner as we look towards 2017? According to those print chiefs debating the state of the sector at the annual Image Reports Round Table the answer is ‘yes’ - but with caveats (see feature p14).

Hey! We have a new website here at Image Reports – click though (http://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/) to have a look-see. The updated site makes it easier to navigate through news, features, blogs and all the other lovely add-ons we bring you like round tables, Widthwise, show previews…. Let me know what you think.

News of Data Image taking a Kongsberg C automated robotic production system makes me wonder how many more of you are looking at robotic systems as we head towards 2017. Have you the money, space and type of workload that would benefit from such an investment? A question for the upcoming Widthwise Survey methinks!