PressOn – a Printing Jewel on the Medway Featured

March 02, 2021

For many of us, the last year has helped us gain a better knowledge, understanding and appreciation of our local area. Wherever you are in the country, not many of us have been out much and, when we have, it’s not been too far from home. Shopping has been either online or at the local high street and perhaps more business-oriented purchases have been more local too.

In this new regular feature from GDW, ‘Getting to Know You’, we are taking a look at your local print companies. Who they are, where they have come from, what they do and where they are going. If you would like to put your local printing company forward, please get in This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

PressOn – a Printing Jewel on the Medway

First up, we are keeping local ourselves. Just down the road from GDW Towers is Chatham-based PressOn, a company with proud local roots that has established itself across the UK as a leading provider of large format graphics solutions for high end retail, hospitality, vehicles, construction, events and more.

Managing Director, Andy Wilson, told us, “It’s hard for us to believe, but in November last year we celebrated our 20th anniversary, although not in the circumstances we would have liked of course. When we started way back in 2000, the large format digital printing industry was very much in its infancy and companies like ours were seen as the new kids on the block trying to muscle into a very traditional and established industry. The trouble for the establishment though was that the new technology was good – really good. And not only that, it was cheaper, more flexible and better quality than old printing methods when it came to short run posters, billboards and other graphics.”

He continues, “We stuck by our guns in those early days. Delivering mainly billboards at a fraction of the cost than screen printers could manage. In fact, this was often something that held us back. People found it hard to believe that we were able to deliver graphics of the right quality at the price we could do it for. There were times we had to put the prices up just to be taken seriously! We identified very early on that this message of delivering what the customer actually wants is absolutely fundamental and critical to our industry and I believe is the cornerstone to what we have achieved over the last 20 years.”

As the large format printing industry continued to develop and grow, colour and colour management rapidly became the issue that sorted the wheat from the chaff in digital printing. “High quality colour management was our forte. We invested heavily in this, implementing hardware and software solutions that allowed us to accurately match the colours our customers demanded. This was most important for the real luxury end of the retail market and this remains a major part of our business. We work with many of the top cosmetic and fashion brands and for the UK’s most prestigious retail stores and chains,” says Andy.

It’s not just retail though. PressOn has built its business across all sectors that have a demand for high quality, large format graphics. “Our journey as a company has been an exciting one. Mainly because what we provide is quite exciting (I think so anyway). We are working at the front end of our customers communications strategy and we help to make their dream and vision a physical reality.”

Tough times

It is hard at a time like this to write about a company and not talk about how it has been affected by the pandemic and how it sees the future panning out. Andy explains, “It’s been a horrible year. Coming into 2020 the business was looking fantastic, but we, like many other companies, are part of a chain of businesses that all rely on each other to keep going. If you remove any part of that – in our case retail, hospitality, events etc, then we are clearly going to struggle. It has been all we can do to keep going and make sure we are here and ready to help those companies get back to business as soon as they are allowed. We have done the best we can to keep going and keep as much of the business in shape as we could and I am very hopeful that we can now start to come out of this with some real positivity for the future.”

He continues, “I think it is important to take whatever positives you can from the situation and build those into the recovery. It is no secret that one of the few benefits of people generally staying at home is the positive impact this has had on the environment. As we move forward, I want PressOn to very much focus on what is sustainable and environmentally responsible and this means a large amount of education for the whole industry.

“An awful lot is said about how printing impacts the environment and a lot of companies, manufacturers, printers, end users and so on, are happy to be able to tick some boxes and say they are being green. It’s nonsense of course. You may well print on media that has been recycled from old bottle, but what happens once you are finished with those prints? Also – where did that media come from? If it has been shipped over from China that’s an awful lot of carbon to offset.”

He goes on, “We look to source media locally and also work with our customers to ensure used signage is properly collected and disposed of. We also ask the question early on about that they actually need and if a more environmentally friendly product would actually work better for them. We might show them a tension-based fabric sign as an alternative to PVC. Yes, it is more expensive, but it looks better and is much more responsible. High profile brands in particular have a corporate responsibility to the environment and this is the direction they are going. We want to do all we can to help and support them through this.”

Working with HP has been a huge benefit to PressOn, both in terms of what it can print but also the credibility the brand gives them in terms of its sustainability credentials. Andy explains, “When you are talking to big corporates, they understand the HP brand and what it means across the board. They know the company is committed to environmentally sustainable products and solutions and we are a part of that with the large format production. Our relationship with HP has always been first class and we are proud to be a close partner with them.”

Andy concludes, “I don’t want to dwell on the last year. We are still here and we have done the best we can but now we want to look forward with positivity. We know we deliver great solutions to our customers and we are looking forward to helping them with their own back to business strategies. We are a large format digital printer and as such, we have the task of bringing some colour back to the world.”

Please get in touch if you have any comments on this article or feel free to contact Andy directly on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For further information on PressOn, please visit presson.co.uk.

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