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Wed, Jun

Well, that’s the annual Widthwise survey closed – and a massive thank you is due to all of you who took part. Your reward shall be a deep dive analysis into the state of the UK/Ireland large-format print sector at grassroots level. The work on that starts today! Initial key findings will be published in the next issue of Image Reports and the full report delivered with the June issue of the mag. Again, thank you for taking part.

I’m wondering if the inroads Siegwerk has made with developing deinkable UV/LED cured paper-based prints push us any closer to finding solution for deinking other types of media – and whether this sector should be pushing harder to find a solution?

What’s your thinking on the print trailblazer employer-defined standard for apprenticeships? Looks like it’s finally going to get the green light, but is it suitable for purpose in the large-format sector?

Could the print sector make use of new smart label technology? Just a thought on the back of UPM Raflatac saying it has successfully completed the first pilot of RafMore for e-commerce. These smart labels use Internet of Packaging (IoP) technology to log and share information about packages during the delivery process. The company says the pilot demonstrated full interoperability between supply chain stakeholders without requiring heavy IT integration. OK, it’s designed for those into international ecommerce shipping in a big way, but could PSPs benefit from an adaptation of this kind of technology?

Just had a timely reminder from the BAPC that HMRC has ambitions to become among the most advanced tax authorities in the world via the Making Tax Digital initiative. This will affect a number of businesses across a variety of taxes. For businesses above the VAT threshold, VAT is the first tax selected for digitalisation in the UK - effective from 1 April 2019 for most - so perhaps worth having a natter with your finance people to make sure they’re in the swim.

As ever-evolving digital print possibilities catch the imagination of more and more creatives you’d think everyone involved would be chuffed – but of course that’s not the case. After all, if more people in the ‘applications chain’ twig on to the fact that they can buy a printer and start churning out their own printed products, ‘professional’ PSPs aren’t necessarily going to benefit from what is undeniably a massive trend towards short-run/personalised/customised digital print in developing vertical markets. What’s your take?

Today is Data Privacy Day - the purpose of which is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. Given all the noise around GDPA I assume your data practices are now squeaky clean and up to date, but perhaps this is a good reminder to do any housekeeping!

How many 5m-wide inkjet printers do you think there are in the UK nowadays? How many more will buy one in the coming year? Well, we hope we can tell you with some degree of authority when the 2019 Widthwise Report is published in June. But first, we need all the country’s wide-format PSPs to provide the data! So please, if you haven’t already – go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/C83ZNBW and give us your input on 5m printers - and on a few other things. You’ll be rewarded with a stats-based analysis of the UK and Ireland’s large-format digital print sector. Thank you

A gentle reminder that we’re calling on all large-format PSPs in the UK and Ireland to take part in the 12th annual Widthwise survey so that we, in return, can deliver you a stats-based analysis of the sector to help you shape your business. The poll is live online – to get involved go to: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/C83ZNBW. Many thanks

A reminder that Printwear and Promotion Live opens its doors on Sunday. The event, at the NEC in Birmingham, continues until next Tuesday 22 January. There’s still time to register for a free badge apparently – go to: www.printwearandpromotionlive.co.uk. It’s the show’s 30th anniversary and the organisers are pulling out all the stops so go online to check it out.

Did you go to Viscom last week - and if so, did it live up to expectation? According to the organiser, aligning it with another two trade shows has been an effective move. Do you want broader breadth events, or more tailored ones?

As this is the first enewsletter of 2019 from Image Reports let me wish you a Happy New Year. Hope 2018 was a good one, and that this will be even better. As always, we’ll keep you up to speed with developments in the large-format print sector via this news-shot, our website and printed magazine. Once again, we’ll also bring you our annual Widthwise Report on the state of the sector – based on an analysis of the data provided by the UK and Ireland’s PSPs. The 2019 survey has just opened. Can I urge you to take part if you haven’t already done so. Go to: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/C83ZNBW

Well, this is me signing off for 2018. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, and a prosperous New Year. Keep smiling….

Just thinking - this time next week it will be Christmas Eve and I’ll be on my way to family for a few days. The office will close down over the festive period, as many do. Will yours? Just wondering how many large-format print businesses will shut-up shop for any length of time beyond the prescribed Bank Holidays - and if so, whether staff get the time off as a ‘gift’ or whether it’s compulsory for them to hold over part of their annual holiday allowance to cover the shut-down?

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