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Mon, Feb

What do you think of what HP is trying to achieve with its SmartStream Designer for Designers (D4D) beta programme? I’m loving it, but as a PSP how do you view the development?

Data from the BPIF’s latest survey is hardly cheering – but how representative is it of the situation in the large-format sector? I’d like to hear your take on that. I’d also like find out if there are any specific questions you’d like to see us put to the community of large-format PSPs in the next Widthwise survey. I’m currently putting together the questionnaire for the 2018 project so drop me a line if there’s something you'd like to see added.

If you are at - or have been to - Ipex this week, what are your thoughts on the show? Despite there being little in terms of large-format at the event, I know some of you were still intending to go along to keep abreast of what’s happening in terms of developments across the wider (no pun intended!) print industry. If that was the case, has it impacted your understanding of how the sector is developing and how you need to develop your business to compete?

I’ve asked this before, but I’ll ask again - is print one of the UK’s creative industries? I ask because I’ve been reminded that on 14 December there will be a Westminster Media Forum Keynote Seminar on the ‘next steps for regional development and the creative industries in the UK’? Chaired by Bambos Charalambous MP, delegates will consider the recommendations of the Independent Review into the creative industries, led by Sir Peter Bazalgette, which sets out proposals for an ‘Industrial Strategy’ for creative sectors. To my mind print needs representation. Am I alone in thinking that?

At the Inkjet Conference (IJC) in Dusseldorf this week Dr Veena Sarojiniamma, Industrial Inkjet ‘s (IIJ) head of ink technology, gave a presentation entitled ‘Inkjet For High Speed Wallpaper Applications’, the company’s MD John Corrall having said: “The European wallpaper market has been contracting slowly since 2006. Recent developments in single-pass digital printing have opened up new opportunities for interior design. Digital print at full production speeds removes the limitations placed on designers by conventional presses.” The opportunity for industrial scale players is obvious. What are your thoughts on opportunities within the wallpaper market for wide-format graphics PSPs?

An email today from a ‘cyber security’ firm has reminded me that we recently published a piece on the issue in Image Reports (at http://ow.ly/Ksqa30g2O1W). Are you using any kind of specialist to help ensure your have as secure a business as possible when it comes to online fraud? If so, I’d like to hear about your experiences.

The organisers of the new Pure Digital event - which will run for the first time in Amsterdam next April - recently ran a summit (read about it at https://www.puredigitalshow.com/blog/2017/10/16/pure-digital-summit-review-5th-october-amsterdam) to find out what form people think it should take to best address its aim - which is to educate creatives about the potential of digital print. Having launched a campaign called Think Bigger some years ago now address the very same issue we at IR would be very interested in hearing your take.

The recent Printing Charity/BPIF ‘social’ between industry retirees and apprentices is the prompt for this reminder to let your staff know about the help available for those in need of support – while still in work, or when out of it! Details can be found at: https://www.theprintingcharity.org.uk

I’m up at The Print Show searching out new developments and innovations for those of you involved in large-format digital print - watch this space. Given this show’s ownership, and this week’s announcement that in the US the SGIA has entered into agreement with Napco Media - a business-to-business media company - to form the Print United exposition, I’m wondering what your take is on what appears to be a developing trend. According to the US Department of Commerce, printing establishments there decreased from 35,016 in 2000 to 24,096 in 2015, a decline of 31.2%. At the same time, however, print shops have expanded their range of services. The ‘Idealliance 2016 State of the Industry Report’ notes that in 2000, 86.8% of print shop revenue came from litho offset. By 2016, that number had dropped to 42.3% as print shop owners looked to new technologies to increase their revenue and profit. Today’s printing industry is driven by this convergence of technologies and capabilities, a blending and blurring of market segments and specialties. Print United is set to focus on the opportunities this convergence presents. Do you think we have the right platforms to highlight this convergence in the UK/Europe?

Worth getting along to see who's who at The Surface and Materials Show at the NEC this week? The event blurb says it will be “showcasing the latest surface solutions for architects, interior designers, specifiers and industry professionals looking for cutting-edge innovations. It takes place 10-12 Oct: ow.ly/XHPo30fEFJo

Well done to Leach for becoming the UK preferred fabric graphics production partner for Belgian-owned exhibition stand specialist beMatrix. We have been talking up the potential for large-format digitally printed textiles for so long that it seems like old hat now, though I realise that for many it is still a new area of business development. I’m wondering how many UK-based PSPs are likely to travel to the Heimtextil show in Frankfurt in January to investigate the market. I’d be interested in hearing from you if you’re thinking of making the journey.

It goes without saying that you can learn a thing or two from insiders in whatever area you are investigating, and in this issue we’re bringing you two pieces from companies involved in the interior décor space - one a PSP, the other not, but both wanting to highlight the enormous scope for those of you canny enough to heed their word - and experiences.

Well done to Kingswood IOptus for helping to bring to the public’s attention the newly launched Mercy Malaysia UK (MMUK) campaign to fund a medical mission from the UK to help children born with severe cleft lip and/or palate, undergo life-changing surgery. “The team at Kingswood were delighted to work with Curious Productions to provide the collateral for this campaign and wish it every success,” said MD Alan Rigglesford. Those of you who wish to support the charity can do so at: https://mercyuk.charitycheckout.co.uk/cleft

Avery Dennison has decided that showing is better than telling – so, at Labelexpo this week it is driving home its event theme ‘Pioneering Change’ by making its stand in part from recycled label waste. “One of our 2025 sustainability goals involves a commitment to help our customers reduce the waste from our products. Another goal calls for us to create more products that have positive environmental impacts. Building our exhibition booth out of label waste was a real opportunity to learn more about creating uses for our waste material, as well as a chance to educate our customers and employees about how we can all become more adaptive and responsible,” said Renae Kezar, Avery Dennison’s global senior director of sustainability. Could we in the wide-format sector do something to show off our environmental credentials to such effect?

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