Your Shout

Sign & Digital is 30 years old this year and what a 30 years it has been for printing! The IT revolution during this period has enabled digital printing to grow and has delivered a wealth of opportunities to new print service providers.

Anybody who has run a printing business for any time will at some stage ask themselves the question “How do I get more customers?” The trouble with this is it’s a perennial question that has no right or wrong answer. You could always start by learning to think differently and to learn to change or adapt the way you approach the problem.

I first met Simon Tabelin, managing director of strategic marketing and creative agency It Has To Be Brilliant (IHTBB), a long time ago when he was running Brilliant Media, an award winning print media services company in London. He is a top bloke, very clued-up and a lot of fun to be around. I’ve lost track of the number of times we have bumped into each other at various industry events, chatting over a drink, with me always offering to pop-in and take a look at the business. This is usually countered by something along the lines of how I’d probably be disappointed because there really wasn’t all that much to look at, so nothing ever happened. That is until this week when I was invited to meet Simon Tabelin and the IHTBB team at its North London HQ where, in the nicest possible way, they managed to completely do my head-in. Here’s why.

Applications, Ideas and Advice is the show theme for Sign & Digital UK 2017, and with good reason as the focus is very much now on output, applications and especially creativity.

It's no secret that many firms in the industry have been struggling, and demographic data shows a great deal of turmoil that continues relatively unabated. Yet, there remain very successful businesses in the industry. Cultural changes in the way people access media are having profound effects on the demand for print, particularly among advertisers, marketers, and publishers - all of whom are, not coincidentally, printers' biggest customers. How has the explosion of new media affected the print markets? What can the industry do to effective cope with these trends? And what will 2017 bring?

A recently published report - The Annual Fraud Indicator 2016 - says the cost of fraud in the UK is now estimated to be as high as £193bn per year, with the private sector coming under the biggest attack from fraudsters, with both SMEs and large enterprises losing an estimated total of £144bn a year.

And the wiener is…

November 15, 2016

Industry awards can sometimes be a bit of a cynical experience. The majority of these events are run by trade press publishers looking to extract a few extra pennies from the market, with winners tending to be representative of the individual category award sponsors own customer base. From experience the majority of awards events that I have attended seemed to be nothing more than a good excuse for a pissed-up food fight and an all-round back-slapping session in the bar afterwards, and there is nothing wrong with that if this is your thing, but it’s not for me.

Why settle for latex?

October 18, 2016

The topic of latex inkjet printing can be a funny old thing at times. There are many who love their latex printers but there are also those who don’t. Let’s face it, most people who have invested in a latex printer probably made the decision to do so based on environmental concerns (my customers will love me more for having a latex printer over a solvent printer etc.) and they fell for much of the hype that HP fed the market.

Motorsports vehicle wrapping expert Jason Price is the lead creative designer at Jellyfish Design. With over 15 years experience in motorsports Price has printed and wrapped everything from a Honda Civic to a Le Mans prototype.

Col summer effectedA lack of management commitment to change and a failure to hold a compelling vision of the future with their employees is holding back mature print manufacturers when they attempt to make a move towards `lean manufacturing`.

One of the key things to strike me about the TV coverage of the 2016 Olympics from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is how much the Olympics have become a showcase for the graphic display industry.

Lilach Sapir VP Marketing BD Massivit 3D 3 resizedUnless you’ve been living on the moon for the last few years, it’s highly likely that the continued rise of 3D printing has not escaped your notice. Created around 30 years ago, the technology has gradually strengthened its foothold and is now widely used across a plethora of applications within industry sectors that include automotive, aerospace and medical.

SAi Jurgen VerhulstIf you are reading this as a large format print provider or sign making business, then the constant need to keep production costs low and increase turnaround times without compromising on quality will be all too familiar challenges. The curtain may still only be closing on another Drupa and it’s a safe bet that new large format hardware introductions will be grabbing the headlines. At the same time, it is worth remembering that ensuring an efficient end-to-end production workflow – supported by advanced software – will also go a long way to achieving the objectives outlined above.

This year’s Sign & Digital UK at the NEC has been hailed a success and, with almost identical attendance figures as the 2015 event, it looks as if the show has attracted interest from a broader cross section of the printing industry - and they like it enough to keep coming back. What was even more encouraging was the increased amount of business done at the show, with many of the visitors going along to either place an order on the day or have a final look-see before making a post-show purchasing decision.

Colin 011The printing industry will continue to evolve into new and exciting `electronic imaging driven by digital technology`. Digital technology, economic restructuring, global competition, market changes, emerging new media and other market forces are combining to `dramatically` change the operating environment of the printing industry.

FESPA Digital in Amsterdam was big, brassy, and above all the place to get your head around the current trends, innovative products, and more wide format printing and finishing technology than you could shake a stick at. We loved it, as did 16,000 other unique visitors thereby making it the largest FESPA Digital show to date.

To meet the demands of the modern customer, it is very important to have the traditional arguments of competitive price and high level quality as a given to even get a seat at the table but balancing these two elements is the major challenge in digital printing today.

Did you know that relationship selling is the core of all modern business/selling strategies? Think about it, your ability to develop and maintain long-term customer relationships is the foundation for your success as a business person/sales person and your success in business. Relationship selling requires a clear understanding of the dynamics of the business/selling process as they are experienced by your customer.

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