Colourprint – the wide format arm of long-standing North Liverpool based litho printer and regional magazine supplier Keep it Local attended the inaugural Wide Format Wave event at Mimaki distributor, Hybrid Services Ltd's premises in February and walked away with an unexpected surprise.
With the free, two day event offering training and hands on experience to print companies - allowing them to better generate new profit making products for their customers, Colourprint proprietors Steve and Shelley Pilson and their designer, Daniel Jenkins left with a head full of great ideas – along with an iPad from the prize draw that was open to all attendees.
"We've been trading for 15 years, but our move into wide format was only made last year," Steve recounts. "The Wide Format Wave event taught us so much and to receive the iPad is the icing on the cake."
The company originally started litho printing two-colour local magazines – hence the Keep it Local brand – and this still forms a big part of the business today, with some 40,000 printed and distributed each month. Having invested in its first wide format printer at PaperLinx's 2012 Discover Digital event in Manchester, the company consistently produce a large self adhesive vinyl contract that almost fills its Mimaki CJV30-130 and hasn't looked back since.
"We're looking to push digital print forward from what we learnt at the Wide Format Wave" adds Shelley. "We're doing lots of photographic work, garments and banners but we've realised there's potential to create so much more on the Mimaki that we currently offer our customers."
Their investment in the CJV30-130 printer/cutter ensured they could dispense with buying in trade print, retaining better control and margins and being able to add new products to their line-up. "This side of the business is growing very fast," says Steve. "But whilst there's a lot that's quite new to us, we're experienced printers and know our customers well."
Having owned a vinyl cutting plotter for most of the life of the business, the Pilsons thought they knew which direction they were going with their wide format print investment, but meeting members of Hybrid's team at the PaperlinX event, were suitably impressed with the opportunities the Mimaki offered over alternatives and invested on the spot.
"We get so much pleasure from seeing the finished jobs," enthuses Steve. "The first impression we got of the Mimaki at the open event is something that carries through day-to-day. Sending quality prints that look great and that we know are going to last, pleases our customers - so it makes us happy too!"
Colourprint’s growth is such that it is already considering another Mimaki printer to provide capacity. The company’s well planned office and workshop comprises a large work area containing a laminator, heat press, Mac & PC design and RIP stations, a selection of colour copiers – as well as a separate litho room and trade counter. Consistently delivering contract work keeps business stable, but the addition of the wide format capability is something Steve is relishing. "There's a new website coming to show the company off better, but the Mimaki is the best piece of equipment I've ever invested in. It's brought in so much new business and allowed us to do so much more for our customers – and that's what it’s all about."
Colourprint serves a growing customer base from its Maghull premises in North Liverpool and can be contacted on 0151 526 7773. Further details can be found by visiting www.colourprintmaghull.co.uk.