As the event madness continues to increase across the globe, the Design’N’Buy team gears up to attend FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 in Germany next month. Europe’s largest exhibition for specialty and wide format print will take place from 14-17 May at Munich.

Scodix, the world’s leading provider of digital enhancement solutions for the graphic arts industry, today announces that District Photo has purchased a third Scodix digital enhancement press for its web-to-print services. Due to an urgent need for additional capacity, the third machine is planned to be installed in April in Phoenix.

Southend-based printers, Solopress celebrate producing their 2,000,000th order after almost 20 years in business, marking the occasion by giving away a £1,200 tech bundle to one lucky customer. Nearly 2 years on from becoming a part of the Onlineprinters group, Solopress have gone from strength to strength, recently appointing Simon Cooper as their new Managing Director to head the industry-leading company. Hitting this milestone has been a huge success for the £30m turnover business which has had rapid growth over the past 14 years. A large part of Solopress' success can be attributed to their quick turnaround times. Solopress deliver around 77% of jobs within 24 hours and are supported by 19,000 customers who have rated them as 'Excellent' on Trustpilot.

G.F Smith have announced their strategic partnership with Taopix to introduce their AI powered album design platform. G.F Smith was founded in 1885 by George Frederick Smith who along with his son shared a passion for paper. 100 years later, the company established G.F Smith Photographic in order to create handmade, exquisite albums.

Fashion is a circle: trends, we know, tend to come back and become new must-haves. And it is precisely from the fashion world that appreciation for the printed paper has recently emerged. In February, Dolce&Gabbana gave an interview to Vogue Italia to the cry of “Power to the Press”, highlighting the charismatic force of printed paper, a media chosen by the two designers for their new Spring/Summer 2019 advertising campaign. On the same wavelength also Giorgio Armani, who in an exclusive interview for Il Sole24Ore declared his love for printed paper: “I have a special relationship, a physical one, with paper: I like the typical smell of a freshly printed newspaper, the crispness of the glossy pages of a magazine. It may sound strange, but I always have the feeling that printed words and images can be touched, that they become eternal”.

Organised by the Printing and Publishing Institute Japan and Horizon, 25 high-ranking printing and digitization experts from the Japan Business Forms Association paid a visit to Onlineprinters on 28 February. The company is among the market leaders in online printing in Europe. The focus of the visit was on the exchange regarding topics such as e-commerce and innovation as well as on digital production processes. Following a presentation on success factors in e-commerce, the Japanese experts toured Onlineprinters’ largest production site, located in Neustadt an der Aisch, Germany, where over 2.5 billion printed products are produced every year.

A ground-breaking new service is about to be launched by The Packaging Experts, thanks to the installation of a Roland DG VersaUV LEF-200 flatbed UV printer.

Gelato today announces that it has successfully launched operations in Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In addition they will start to deliver to the Caribbean, expanding to local production in 29 countries, reaching over 6.3 billion people across 111 countries.

The continuous growth of e-commerce offers interesting opportunities for those who operate in the web-to-print world. "We are in a favorable situation from an economic and cultural perspective for those who, like us, offer online professional services, but we need to remember that the growing popularity of online shopping is not the only requirement for successful growth. The market is filling up with competitors and the battle cannot be won only with promotions and low-cost offers", says Vincenzo Cirimele - CEO of PressUP, a leading online printing company in Italy. This is also the premise for the announcement of PressUP’s new strategy for the next three years: "We intend to achieve the growth objectives that we have set for ourselves by providing holistic solution based on the client-oriented philosophy that distinguishes our business focus", explains Cirimele. "The fusion of the traditional online product catalogs implies a simpler offer, in order to grow we need to differentiate ourselves from the rest". Selling online implies an impersonality in the relationship with the customer but PressUP overcomes it in a prominent way thanks to the unique customer service they offer through their Customer Care and the special management of requests that go beyond what is offered in the catalog.

Senior industry expert Simon Cooper will join Solopress as managing director in February 2019 as part of the planned transition of Solopress’ founders Aron Priest and Andy Smith to new roles. With long-term executive roles at Cimpress subsidiaries Tradeprint and Exaprint, Cooper is one of the most experienced online printing executives in the UK. Michael Fries, CEO of the Onlineprinters Group which Solopress is part of, commented on the development: “We are very happy to have Simon join the Onlineprinters family. With his experience in printing and e-commerce, his leadership skills and a strong entrepreneurial background, Simon will be key in developing and growing Solopress.”

Arizona State University (ASU) has implemented the Tharstern MIS to create an integrated print environment. The Print and Imaging Lab at ASU is a unique print operation - their employees are composed of mainly students at the university, who are enrolled in the Graphic Information Technology program.

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