Hybrid Services talks of its sponsorship of the CMYUK CIRL project, in which a number of products were digitally printed using Mimaki printing technology and featured in the showcase that took place in Shrewsbury recently.
The event marked the end of this unique industry initiative that gave four graduates a six-month placement at CMYUK. Three surface designers - Keely Russell, Evie Venables and Sarah Willcocks had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of digital textiles, using the finest digital production technology in the world and exposed to the most advanced digitally prepared textiles. Their experiences were documented by graduate videographer Taylor Doggett.
Sponsored by Mimaki, EFI, Kongsberg, Klieverik, Epson and Canon, the programme included a number of design luminaries and technical experts who mentored the CMYUK graduates.
“As a sponsor of the CIRL project, we were delighted to support the graduates with both access to Mimaki hardware and expert insight from the team at Hybrid,” said Duncan Jefferies, Head of Marketing & Business Development at Mimaki’s exclusive distributor, Hybrid Services Ltd.
Throughout the initiative Hybrid welcomed the graduates to its headquarters in Crewe, Cheshire, to experience a wide range of Mimaki’s latest textile, UV, 3D and solvent technology. It was able to help inspire the designers with new ways of bringing their creative ideas to life and present them on a broad range of products and substrates.
A great example of how well this worked was the metal bottles that were 360 degree printed with designs originally conceived for printing furnishings fabrics, adding a new dimension to their collections and providing insights as to how a product line can be extended with wide-ranging applications and uses.
Hybrid’s showroom manager, Richard Williams and applications specialist, Ashley Carr were directly involved, working with the designers at both Shrewsbury and Crewe, mentoring, inspiring and helping bring their creativity to life.
“Echoing our initial thoughts when we were involved at the launch of the project: Creatives in Residence Live has been a fantastic opportunity for three talented surface designers to gain a foothold in the print industry, and it was important for us, as Mimaki’s distributor for the UK and Ireland to be involved. Through our support of this unique initiative, we’ve relished helping CMYUK mentor and develop some great creative talent, whilst providing the designers with unique access to Mimaki’s latest print technology. Young people are the print industry’s future and the importance in helping them flourish is not lost on us. We’ve been blown away with their creativity and enthusiasm,” said Duncan.
Mimaki hardware is widely specified at colleges and universities across the UK and Ireland – it affords students the opportunity to work with ‘industry standard’ technology, easing the journey from education to the workplace.
Hybrid has also previously supported initiatives at local colleges where design students have been given access to Mimaki technology, providing them with a unique understanding of how print can be a powerful tool for designers.
Commenting on the CIRL final showcase Duncan said, “We’ve been very impressed by the enthusiasm of the CIRL graduates and their readiness to explore new printing techniques, expand their designs onto different substrates and quite simply absorb all the many opportunities they’ve been presented with. This unique initiative from CMYUK has provided four graduates with an incredible opportunity, which we’ve been proud to be a part of.
“We’d encourage them to continue to embrace the opportunities that digital printing and cutting provides! We’ve seen them bring some beautiful creative work to life in so many different ways, and it’s been a fantastic showcase for Mimaki technology. I’d like to think we’ve got some great advocates for not just what can be achieved on Mimaki systems, but by using digital printing and cutting in general, and for this message to be taken into industry would be a fitting ‘next step’ for their journey too.”