Coronation Street is one of the nation’s most loved television programmes. The lives of the residents of the cobbled street are discussed on television gossip pages and in living rooms up and down the country. Much effort goes into making sure the set looks as realistic as possible – from billboards and flyers posted on walls to packaging labels on items for sale in the Corner Shop. Lynsey Shepard is the programme’s principle graphic designer and is responsible for creating all these applications as authentically as possible, and her Roland VersaCAMM SP-300i printer/cutter has been crucial to ensuring the set’s printed materials are ready whenever the show’s demanding and fluid filming schedules require them.
The Roland was purchased and installed two years ago following a recommendation from another graphic designer who was familiar with Roland’s products. It is the first machine to be used by Coronation Street’s design team and Lynsey has been very impressed with the performance of the VersaCAMM and after-sales support received through the RolandCare service and support package.
“I’ve been really impressed with our Roland machine. The majority of the material we print is on vinyl, as it’s far more practical to have waterproof labels and signage given the nature of this business. The print & cut function is excellent and saves so much time, and it’s very precise – even when cutting circles. We’ve had a couple of small teething problems along the way, but with the RolandCare warranty service we are able to call out an engineer to get us back on our feet again quickly.”
Keeping overall production costs down was another decisive factor in Lynsey’s decision to stop outsourcing and purchase the SP-300i, and the machine has already paid for itself many times over. She continues, “We used to outsource our print jobs to a local printing company. While the quality was good, it was more expensive and really restricted our flexibility on set as if we needed something last minute we would either have to wait or reschedule filming around this. Having the Roland on site means we are now able to quickly re-print material for extra takes and ensure we can always keep up with the schedule.”
The VersaCAMM is a very versatile machine and is used to print a wide range of set graphics including those that are iconic to the soap from beer labels for the Rovers Return’s house ale, Newton and Ridley, or posters on the wall of the pub, to stickers on the door of the Corner Shop, signage for the taxis or a vehicle wrap for a courier van if someone on the street is due to receive a package, for example.
The VersaCAMM SP-i series comprises two models – the 30inch SP-300i and the 54inch SP-540i. One of Roland’s most popular printer/cutters, the machine delivers reliability and performance for a low initial investment. Available with a four-colour printing system, the SP-i series can be left unattended for long print runs leaving the user free to perform other jobs safe in the knowledge the Roland is managing the task in hand.
Lynsey concludes, “I’ve been a graphic designer for nearly ten years and I’ve witnessed a great number of changes in the industry over this time, many as a result of the technological advances companies such as Roland have made in the development of printers and ink. Print quality is certainly one of the biggest improvements I’ve seen. The vibrancy of the print finish from today’s printers is astonishing and the quality of the Eco-Sol Max inks with the Roland is brilliant. What’s very impressive is there is really no compromise to bringing a machine in house. With the Roland we have a print and cut device on-site that is of the highest production quality and flexible enough to handle whatever is required of it.”
Rob Goleniowski, Business Manager - Sign and Graphics at Roland DG UK adds, “We are delighted Roland has a role in the production of Coronation Street! The SP-300i is an all-rounder ideal for these kinds of jobs - offering the user a fantastic, cost-effective, high quality finish and the space-saving benefit of having the printer and cutter in one machine.”
For more information on Roland’s VersaCAMM SP-300i, please visit www.rolanddg.co.uk/VersaCAMMSP
[photo (above) shows Mark Jones, Roland DG Technical Operations Manager, onsite at Coronation Street for a routine service visit and (below) signs, graphics and labels printed to appear in D&S Alahan's corner shop]