Thu, Feb

I’m currently researching new and unusual printable media for the large-format market. If anything specific has caught your attention over the last few months I’d like to know. Thank you

…to those who secured one of the Printing Charity’s annual Print Futures financial awards presented last night - and a timely reminder to all of you to flag up the scheme to those in your workforces who are aged 18 – 30 and might like to apply for the 2020 round. If there are ways to help the young progress in this industry I’m all for shouting about it!

I’ve got to ask - do any of you close down for a ‘holiday fortnight’ anymore? I assume not, but the amount of traffic on the roads over the weekend as schools shut-up and the big getaway began had me casting my mind back to the ‘factory fortnight’ of my childhood, when everything on the nearby industrial estate stopped and workers were released into the sunshine!!! Little news is coming in right now, so maybe it still happens in some places?

Apparently the 18th of the month is an auspicious date for a wedding according to the Chinese. Given the amount of tie-ups we’re been seeing between various suppliers in the sector I’m wondering if we should expect Chinese manufacturers in particular looking to formally seal partnerships with UK companies today! OK, a bit of a long short - just has me wondering about how many more international ties we can - or can’t – expect as Brexit continues to impact our relationships with the rest of the world….

With Woo - World Out of Home Organisation - having confirmed that its 2020 Congress will be held in Toronto next summer, I’m wondering how many from the UK will travel all that way to attend. Actually, I’d like to know if you attend any event of this type - at home or abroad. Which events - other than trade shows - do you find most valuable?

Have you got a director of corporate social responsibility and cause marketing? Thought not. News is in that US-based Vomela group has. Is that making you think any more seriously about CSR within your own operation? I’d love to here from you if you have strong views, one way or the other.

The creation of a £30m turnover print business via the merger of J Thomson Colour Printers with Bell and Bain has to prompt the question ‘to what extent does size matter?’ when it comes to PSPs attracting business – and improving the balance sheet. What says you?

Talking to a youth undertaking a media training course about journalism recently, I was told that it’s a shame I write about print, an industry on its last legs. I pointed out that it’s not anything of the kind, referencing all the ‘stuff’ that is printed. “Oh but that’s not ‘print’, it’s OOH advertising and wall decoration and clothing ….”. The point I’m making is that the wider world’s perception of what constitutes ‘print’ is somewhat limited. How do we change that? And at the end of the day, does it matter?

Have you got an all-singing-all-dancing, end-to-end workflow right across your business? If you have, please let me know, because if so, you’re one of the few yet to have one. I’m interested in hearing from the rest of you on what’s holding you back - is it cost, business disruption…?

News that an all-female team at Northern Flags has designed and produced a printed flag in support of the Lionesses in the Women’s World Cup brings me, once again, to bemoaning the lack of women in the large-format print sector – particularly when it comes to running a PSP. What can we do to change that and make it a more level playing field?

Figures from the first poll of sign and graphics firms by trade association ISA-UK powered by BSGA, shows that despite the uncertain political times optimism is high in the industry. The findings of our 12th Widthwise Survey (download for free at: https://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise) of the UK’s large-format PSPs at the start of this year showed a similar attitude. So is everybody happy this summer?

Are you at ITMA this week or next? Just wondering if textile printing is high on your list of must-add services? Whether the answer is yes or no it might be worth having a look at what your colleagues in the UK large-format digital print space are saying/doing about the rapidly developing textile sector. The Widthwise Report 2019 is now out and can be found at: https://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise You might also find it worth your while have a read of the newly published Image Reports article on the subject at: https://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/features/zeitgeist/10144-fashion-faux-pas

Well, isn’t it great to come back from holiday to good news - and you can’t argue that the new PVC Recycling Membership Scheme launched by Soyang and Blue Castle is exactly that. More of this kind of thing please…

Figures from The Printing Charity highlighting how many people it helped in 2018 serves as a good reminder to let your people know of its work - and to flag-up the support it can provide to those who may be in need.

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