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All change…

New opportunities and time stops for no one. Three years have passed since we launched in Huddersfield, and the world has significantly changed and shifted more than anyone could have predicted at that time. Even before Covid-19 shifted the world and changed how we all worked, it was becoming apparent that the “HOW” we work was taking a new direction.

So back in March as the UK was entering lockdown, we decided to move on from our Huddersfield base.

Since Covid-19 we have been operating by appointment only on-site, especially for our IT service customers. Our print customer base is very diversely spread across the United Kingdom, so the need for a “frontage” is now less important. We have achieved more by operating by appointment, as we can align technicians to customers, provide flexibility to service our print customers off-site, so the needs for a retail frontage has now diminished.

As the print arm of the business has developed, we’ve seen the need for more room to accommodate the print, fulfil and mailing, without stopping the other elements of the print production. It was becoming very apparent we were ready for change.

So from well before March, we were actively reviewing and looking at opportunities. As the months went by, we did have a few concerns, but as everything eventually pans out. We had an invitation to look at a property in Halifax, this provided new potential and opportunities, which we had only on the aspirational list over the essential criteria.

So we’ve found our new home at Shaw Lodge Mill in Halifax. Providing significant floor space, which allows for when we flex for the larger projects. It also provides the capacity to warehouse/store the items for customers who want progressive despatch of their print direct to their customers.

The world has changed, equally taking the opportunity to change is essential to everyone, as nothing certainly stands still. The next few weeks will certainly be interesting as we change. We are ensuring that all our regular monthly work is scheduled and timed so that we can manage the migration smoothly between Huddersfield and Halifax. Please do keep your projects coming, we have plans in place and redundancy to accommodate requests during the next few weeks. We are aiming to be live in Halifax from the beginning of November.

All we can say is thank you to the numerous individuals who have helped and supported us. It means a lot to us. We are seeing some significant opportunities opening up, thanks to the connections we have connecting us further, which is generating some interesting new projects.

The big nasty evil……

That is how I was tongue in cheek described as last week. It really does seems that the world is going mad. Sustainability is a serious concern we actively approach as printers. We are well aware of the resources we use to produce our clients’ work.

Greenwashing as it is effectively known as, is the myths created to disprove creditable sources. Or if you want ”Fake News”, Paper is a sustainable product, it is a harvested product. For every tree used in paper manufacture, of which paper is made up of virgin and recycled pulp, more trees are planted than harvested. The paper industry goes a long way to prove this.

Paper is a product, which can be composted, returning the matter back to a carbon-rich source, which is locked in the ground. Paper can be recycled as mentioned back into itself. Our paper recycling heads, less than 10 miles to be turned into cardboard tubes. If that sort of low mileage and low carbon footprint makes it even more credible. Paper always has been the biologically friendly form of communication and has been recycled. I can remember a Scout Group back in Coventry which had a big success with this organised activity back in the 1970s/80s.

So where’s the evidence, The print and paper industries have always been very prominent about being truthful about the credibility and accountability of what we do. It’s worth taking a look at https://www.twosides.info where the global paper and print industries demonstrate the facts.

So here’s what we do to prevent the nasties of plastic….

  • Only specify laminates where a product is a long term product, so not disposable
  • Use recycled plastic biro’s in our studios and offices
  • Have compostable cups at our water dispenser

The ink we use in our digital presses is 94% compostable, we have solutions which offer a soy-based ink as well. Our large format machines use a latex ink, which is a water-based ink, with the pigment carried in a latex, which is sub-form of rubber.

Ultimately, it is a case of it’s easy to throw stones, however, the responsibility to be ecologically aware and responsible citizens rests with everyone. The advent of digital communications, with e-mail, social media and online, whilst might seem responsible not for using physical resources at the point of consumption, digital uses significant power, to create, to upload, store and then re-use and redistribute. Questioning the how much and the wherefores around digital online content.

Boundaries are just imagined

Everyone sets boundaries, sometimes it’s for comfort, others for self-belief. Today has taught me a few things, implementing what you know if highly powerful. To question what you are doing is the very tools of what helps you to stretch the boundaries. I remember a training session I was in 10 years ago which described this as the map is not the territory, suppose today it’s almost a virtual world with infinite horizons.

Without knowledge and education, the wall art I installed this morning, wouldn’t have been as successful as it was. The client was wanting to create something; however, we were well aware their budget wasn’t where it needed to be. So pull out some of the grey matter of Richard Smith’s (Lecturer) History of Art and Design from my ND in Graphic Design at Coventry Technical College enabled a result. Or utilising a “Tromp l’oeil” effect;

Trompe-l’œil is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Forced perspective is a comparable illusion in architecture.

Whilst the business tackles all sorts of projects around Graphic Arts, Printing and stunning visual stuff, we only achieve what we do, for stretching the boundaries (both in the past and now). Let’s face it design is only derived from a designer’s experiences and influences, which shape the result of the individual’s labours. So, is “experience” the new currency?

As the day progressed, an early afternoon video conference call with a business networking connection was scheduled. It was titled up as business cards, which I was keen to understand why, In the current Covid-19 restriction environment we are operating in, the connection was after some. A varied conversation followed, and, learning how and what this lady did within her business, it became apparent, that a different print marketing tool was required, Promo Cards… to provide more flexibility and to unpack her business more. So yet again the boundaries had been set, almost like the inner square of the cricket pitch in this case, when to be able to reach for SIX’es on the boundary is what was required.

We have learnt that over the years, as a printer, and graphic communication professional, it always pays to ask questions, helping our customers to ensure they are getting what they need. I always believe a job done right, results in the customer returning. The only question is, are you wearing blinkers which stop you seeing beyond your boundary?





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