Thu, Feb

Will today’s raise in the minimum wage impact your business? It seems hard to believe that any large-format PSP is paying staff anything as low as the new £8.21 an hour (up from £7.83 for those 25 or older - a 4.9% rise), but who knows? And what about apprentices - is anyone in this sector really paying as little as £3.90 an hour (up from £3.70 - a 5.4% rise)?

Keep your eyes open for the new issue of Image Reports - it should be landing on your desk any minute, and includes all the pre-show info you need ahead of Sign and Digital next week, and of May’s Fespa Global. What’s more, it gives you a sneak preview of the findings from the annual Widthwise survey - very handy ahead of any anticipated investment you might be thinking of making!

With a marketing email from the YPP Group inviting me to order personalised Toblerone (other brands of chocolate are available!) for Mother’s Day, I’m wondering what the oddest thing is you’ve ever personalised using digital inkjet printing technology. Let me know - tell me what you used to handle the print and send me a pic if you have one - they will all get put onto our Think Bigger website and Pinterest board to get creatives salivating at the myriad digital print possibilities.

Just had an email from One4allRewards.co.uk - which sells the One4all multi-retailer gift card - reminding us that last year HMRC announced bonuses or benefits of up to £50 per employee could be given tax-free. Never having had a bonus in my life (that’s journalism for you) I was wondering it you give bonuses, and if so, to what staff – just to board members and perhaps ‘sales’ people?

Thought I’d point you in the direction of the bursary being offered by The Stationers' Foundation - and funded by The Printing Charity - in case you have staff that, given a bit of financial help, would like to undertake the BPIF’s MSc in Management.

How do you feel about webinars? Are you likely to take part in discussion groups regarding large-format print issues? What topics would make you get onboard? I'm plotting and planning…

Here’s a thing - the organisers of 100% Design are looking for project submissions to its ‘Designer Kitchen and Bathroom Awards’. There are categories for designs of different budgets, as well as categories recognising best use of materials. Could print be one of them? Might be worth a look see - it’s a good way of getting in front of creatives even if you don’t bag a dust gatherer. The entry deadline is 31 May.

Are you exhibiting - or even just - attending Retail Expo at Olympia in London on 1-2 May? If so, please make yourself known to me ASAP - I’d love to speak with you.

Today is the start of National Apprenticeship Week. Are you doing anything to mark it? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

What’s your thinking on getting involved in printed packaging? Fespa UK’s announcement of its new Corrugated and Print Show this summer has prompted my wonderings – well that, and data gleaned from the 2019 Widthwise poll, in which we asked large-format PSPs to indicate the markets they are moving into and/or seeing the most growth and opportunity. I’m analysing that data now - the full findings will be published in June, but I’ll give you a steer - packaging doesn’t seem to be firing up the UK’s large-format PSPs despite it being a potential money-spinner. Well? Would love to know your thoughts…

The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) in the US has just announced 18 member companies have received its ‘Annual Safety Recognition Programme Award’ for their safety efforts in 2018. The programme is based on a point system - companies that have scored an 80 or more by completing actions such as bi-monthly safety checks, establishing safety committees, attending safety webinars etc. - get the award. The intention is to promote safe working environments in compliance with all applicable safety laws and standards. I’m not aware of anything similar over here. If you are, please let me know.

… to a blog that isn’t my own, but from Vincenzo Cirimele, CEO of online print company PressUp in Italy. He asks: “Is there an emotional component to online printing?” and sets out why and how he is responding to in-house research into the question. I reckon it will make interesting reading for any of you with a W2P operation.

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?

Upcoming Events