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Fri, Aug

Substrates, and their creative specification, play a significant role in a wide-format sector where a novel print product - or at least one produced on an unusual media - can win you business. Hence the explosion of new substrates across the market in the last couple of years. But how keenly do the substrates manufacturers listen to the grass roots print community when it comes to product development? Do you have a particularly strong relationship with a company when it comes to media R&D? If so, I’d be interested in hearing from you.

How are you finding it to borrow from the bank? If you have recently had your proposals rejected - appeal. It’s worth it according to figures just emerging since a new appeals process began in April 2011. In response the Forum of Private Business is urging medium and small businesses to use the system where they feel their application for funding has been unjustly rejected by the bank.

We have news that Bex Design will be celebrating its silver anniversary as well as the Diamond Jubilee this weekend by getting into the charitable mode. Will your company be doing anything to mark the royal occasion? Or indeed, have you printed anything relating to it. If so, please drop me a line or two and a picture. Enjoy the sun – I’ve heard we’re all going to have some!

Do you have a strong sustainability message? If you think you do please get in touch as I’m eager to talk to wide-format print companies with a CRS strategy that goes beyond printing on ‘eco-friendly’ materials and waste management. I look forward to hearing from you.

Oh to be perusing gorgeous photography by the seaside! While thoughts of the large-format printed sea creature images at the Baltic ‘horizonte Zingst’ photography festival have me daydreaming, the work also highlights the realities of what can now be achieved that would have been impossible until very recently. As the horizons continue to expand for large-format inkjet, keep me abreast of your ventures into new waters.

Drupa is no sooner finished than we all need to start thinking about autumn events! It will be interesting to see how new shows like Cross Media and EcoPrint fare in this busy show year. Given that they are unlike anything that has gone before they should stimulate interest among that part of the print community that understands the need to look beyond the normal parameters of business. I’ll be at both so let me know if you will be. I’d be interested in hearing your reasons.

With Drupa over for another four years and show season now slowing down, printers can perhaps focus a little less on the technologies they covet and more on exploring and fully utilising the capabilities of the technologies they’ve got, both in technical and strategic terms. The Out of Home DrupaCube session on Monday highlighted the need for print to become a more ‘vital’ part of the media mix. We have the technology…

It will be interesting to see how the print landscape has changed by the end of Drupa, with print companies looking for technologies that will not only make them more efficient in the processes they already use, but provide them the ability to strategically reposition themselves in markets that have higher margins and more growth potential.  There’s certainly plenty of evidence form orders placed at the show that screenprinters and commercial litho companies continue to see inkjet wide-format in that light.

As you’d expect there’s been a rush of news given that Drupa is in full swing, and despite it being far from a wide-format orientated event it is being hailed as an ‘inkjet show’ for the second time running. In the four years since the last show the technology has embedded itself as a core printing method, which is being witnessed by the breadth of its adoption across the mainstream as well as niche sectors as highlighted at this year’s Drupa. If you’ve not made the trip to Dusseldorf there’s still time…

 

Well, Drupa has opened its doors and my senses are already being bombarded by all things print. Wide-format inkjet has its place here of course and I’ll keep you abreast of interesting developments as the show – and my journey around it – progresses. In the meantime, drop me a line if you see anything that catches your imagination so I can go and investigate…

As the UK member of the EDP it’s great to be able to announce the winners of the association’s annual awards and to applaud all those manufacturers who continue to push the envelope. No doubt Drupa will bring contenders for the next EDP awards!

Do any printers still take their partners with them when they go to trade shows abroad? Details of the scope of this year’s drupacity have left me wondering because it seems other halves could have a fab time indulging themselves in Dusseldorf while the rest of us slog it out in the Drupa halls. Otherwise, who’s going to benefit from all this?

It’s great to see companies involved in this sector winning Queen’s Awards, proving that there is plenty of innovation both in terms of product and strategic development. This year’s Widthwise Report focuses on innovation and what that means in business. You’ll find an overview in the soon to be published May issue of Image Reports magazine, with the full report available online in early June. If you think your company is highly innovative please get in touch.

What do you understand ‘sustainability’ to mean in terms of your company ethos? For so many printers it seems to mean little more than offering print using greener inks and materials, and perhaps offering a waste collection scheme. It may even stretch to monitoring and trying to reduce energy use in-house but that’s about as far as it goes. If you’re one of the still relatively small number of companies being more proactive than that please get in touch.