15 May 2021

UK Printers Take Home Two of Six 2009 FESPA Digital Print Awards


UK printers scooped the top awards in Interior and Textile categories at this year’s FESPA Digital Print Awards, as well as taking second place in the Vehicle Category and receiving a further commendation in the Textile Category.

The competition was open to printers from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and attracted more than 200 entries, which were evaluated by an independent jury. The winners were announced on the eve of the FESPA Digital 2009 exhibition (12 -14th May 2009) in Amsterdam. One winner and one runner-up were selected for each of the six categories, and an additional 11 entries were commended by the jury.

Derbyshire-based Bonar Floors (now trading as Forbo Flooring Systems*), was singled out in the Textile Category for its innovative floor solutions, created for Milan-based architectural practice Sottsass Associati. The Sottsass Collection project involved producing a range of original designs using Bonar Floors’ flocked flooring - a unique, velvety, minimalist textile floor cladding. The company overcame a number of obstacles, which included adapting the Reggiani Giano machine to meet the requirements needed to create the innovative flooring solution. The two-millimeter-long flock had to be dyed and fixed to its roots, so the design team and colourist research technicians worked with the Reggiani machine experts for 18 months to achieve the desired results. Finally, the machine needed a specially acclimatised chamber, which meant that the entire facility was moved from one part of the factory to another to achieve the optimum operating environment.

Southeast England’s VCG Colourlink triumphed in the Interior Category, beating the competition with its Birmingham Post: Fort Dunlop project for interior architectural practice MMoser Associates and their client BPM Media. VCG Colourlink worked closely with the MMoser Associates’ creative team to develop high impact graphics across a wide range of substrates to radically redesign the client’s open-plan office creating artwork for the walls using a combination of historical, contemporary and abstract images. The key challenge was delivering colour consistency with diverse printed materials, ensuring these complemented the surrounding furniture and fittings, clearly defining the workspace into specific zones. As the client's business was newspaper publishing, a ‘newsprint dot’ theme was used for the images, which were printed onto VCG Colourlink’s trademarked Digital Wallpaper®, using the EFI VUTEk QS2000.

AST Signs Ltd from Manchester and Cumbria was runner-up in the Vehicle Category. Client Eddie Stobart wanted to achieve a new look for its vehicles with maximum visual impact. Printed using several Roland large format printers, the wraps needed to be cost-effective, had to last at least three years and, for the first time, the bumpers also had to be wrapped. The sheer size of the fleet - 1,500 44-tonne articulated units and 2,600 trailers - presented major challenges. Due to time constraints, the company was not able to remove the normal vehicle accessories prior to wrapping, which meant extra care needed to be taken to ensure high quality fitting. The AST Signs Ltd design team had to be very creative to ensure that the fleet's image looked consistent throughout.

The UK’s Glasgow School of Art received a commendation for its Textile Category entry Mackintosh Re-interpreted for client Hunterian Art Gallery/The Monument Trust/GSA. Using the Stork Sapphire/Mimaki TX2, the Glasgow School of Art set out to replicate Mackintosh’s original designs using contemporary processes and substrates to reproduce the aesthetic quality of the originals. Selected archive pieces were carefully studied, colour managed and handled to ensure that initial printouts matched originals. Mackintosh’s designs then had to be re-interpreted by completing unfinished tiles, extracting motifs and colour elements to make up the final 18 x 3 metre repeat lengths of the vertical textile hangings.

Commenting on the UK printers’ success, Nigel Steffens, FESPA CEO, said: “We are extremely pleased with the response that we’ve had from UK printers at this year’s FESPA Digital Print Awards. Overall, the UK had the second highest number of entries and took home the highest number of wins. Last year’s Awards saw UK printers receive five commendations overall, so it’s great to see them raise their game in terms of the quality of their work and creative solutions that they provide their customers. We look forward to seeing this trend continue at the next FESPA Digital Print Awards.”

HP for Spenaprint and Keyboard Graphics

scitex fb7500 hp 

Spenaprint and Keyboard Graphics have made UK first with installations of HP Scitex FB7500/TJ8350 and FB950 printers respectively.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne based Spenaprint, until this year known as NSL, has ordered the UK’s first FB7500 and HP Scitex TJ8350 printer as part of its transition from being a screen and litho printer into becoming a more digitally focussed PSP.

“The decision to purchase our new printers was based on our confidence in HP’s technology and the business advantages of transferring work from analogue to digital production,” said Paul Dowell, director, Spenaprint, which came under new management earlier this year.

“Versatility and the ability to meet customers’ requirements are vital for success in this industry. We can produce anything from posters, billboards, POS and POP items to vehicle livery and outdoor signage, using almost any type of media. We can now offer each customer a bespoke service, based on their requirements.”

Designed for screen printers, the six-colour HP Scitex FB7500 can produce up to 105 (1.2 x 2.4m) sheets per hour, while the TJ8350 is one of the fastest wide-format solvent printers available with a top speed of 480m2/hr.

The UK’s first HP Scitex FB950 is meanwhile going to Keyboard Graphics, based in Stansted, Kent, where it will be used to help the company grow into new markets.

“When investigating the POP market it became clear that customers were looking for high-quality print that would enable their items to stand out in crowded marketplaces,” said Grant Mahoney, managing director, Keyboard Graphics. “We decided that we wanted to invest in state-of-the-art technology that would enable us to successfully add value to customers’ applications without compromising upon quality. In our opinion, not many flatbed machines can replicate the print quality of roll-to-roll printing, but during testing we found that the HP Scitex FB950 printer could do just this, and so, we bought one.”

The printer, bought from City & West End Solutions, uses six HP Scitex FB250 UV-curable inks and twelve printheads for output up to 1200 x 600 optimised dpi. The quoted speed is up to 80m2/hr Billboard mode. Mahoney added: “In the past we were restricted by the limited range of media we could print on. Often we had to print on to vinyl that would then be laminated and adhered to board, or outsource work. Our new printer will eliminate this lengthy stage of production, as it can print directly on to a wide variety of rigid media.”

Cover-Up uses HP to Produce Innovative Building Wrap

cover up hp scitex xl1500 

HP today announced that Cover-Up Limited, based in Dublin, Ireland, has used its HP Scitex XL1500 Printer to produce a building wrap measuring 4408m2 on behalf of its client JK Signage.

The building wrap has been designed to cover the entire exterior of the Beacon Court development in Dublin whilst construction work is being undertaken. It is expected that the application will be on display for up to two years. The wrap depicts the completed exterior of the building, showing people in meetings, looking out of the windows and standing on balconies.

Cover-Up printed the building wrap on 3.2m wide Vuflex Eash Mesh using HP Scitex Ink for durability. The HP Scitex XL1500 super-wide printer can print at speeds up to 124m2 per hour, which enabled Cover-Up to print the entire building wrap in just seven days. The front and back sections of the building wrap were produced as seven sections which were fixed together using high-frequency welding.

"Initially we were commissioned to produce a wrap to cover the front of the building; however, JK Signage was so pleased with the final result that the project was expanded to cover the entire development," said Anthony Byrne, manager Cover-Up Limited. "We were given a very tight schedule in which to print all the sections of building wrap, so the speed of our HP Scitex XL1500 Printer played a vital role in the success of the project."

Cover-Up, established in 1976, specialises in producing banners, flexible and rigid indoor and outdoor signage, boat cockpit and truck covers, point of sale items and building wraps. In 2008, it purchased its HP Scitex XL1500 to produce high-quality digitally printed items.

"When investigating the printers available on the market we wanted to invest in a machine that would provide us with high-productivity, reliability and optimum print quality and a quick return on investment," said Byrne.

"We looked at some samples produced on the HP Scitex XL1500 Printer and the high standard of print convinced us that this was the right equipment for us. Since installing our HP Scitex XL1500 printer we have noticed a significant improvement in the quality of our digitally printed jobs and have experienced a considerable increase in uptime - benefits we can pass onto our customers."


VUTEk Print Prominent at Presidential Inaugural

BarackEFI, the world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, today announced that Hargrove, Inc., the official general contractor for the Presidential Inaugural, produced over 200,000 square feet of the 2009 inauguration graphics using an EFI VUTEk QS3200 3.2 meter superwide format printer.

Hargrove has been a major contractor for every Presidential Inaugural since the 1949 inauguration of Harry Truman. Earl C. Hargrove, company founder, says, "Preparations for every inaugural take place in a very short time frame, but the event takes place on the world stage. The products and services used at all levels must perform at 100%. This unyielding schedule, coupled with extensive and tight security plans, really tested our VUTEk QS3200 and we discovered it runs better the harder you push it."

EFI's VUTEk QS3200, first installed at Hargrove, Inc. in April 2008, was instrumental in producing this year's historic signage. "Our VUTEk was needed to produce presidential caliber graphics within a tight period of time," said Fred Strickland, Hargrove Director of Productions. "We supported a total of 44 events at 34 different venues. The 200,000 square feet of graphics were produced in order to create over 25,000 inaugural items," added Strickland. Various media was used including fabric, vinyl, pressure sensitive and rigid boards to produce stage backdrops, wall murals, carpet, parade float graphics and hundreds of presidential seals. In addition, Pitman, the EFI channel sales partner who sold the unit, provided last minute media delivery throughout weekends, further assisting in this huge effort.

"At the Neighborhood Ball, President and Mrs. Obama had their first dance on a custom-built circular stage with a faux finish applied by local artisans," said Hargrove CEO, Tim McGill. The company also produced its largest Presidential Inaugural Seal ever for the Neighborhood Ball. "Normally, we produce hundreds of inaugural seals ranging from 30 inches to 12 feet," he said. "For the Neighborhood Ball, we produced a wooden, three-dimensional, seal 16-feet in diameter," said McGill.

The VUTEk QS3200 produces exceptionally brilliant images and combines High-Definition Print (HDP) with high production speeds capable of producing 1080dpi images. Four- or six-color imaging and a special seventh channel with white ink offers unlimited applications and new revenue streams. EFI complements this printer with the EFI's Fiery  XF RIP image processing and unique smoothing technologies to create breathtaking imagery.

This demanding output was enabled by the VUTEk QS3200's ability to accommodate substrates up to 126" wide and 2" thick on rigid flatbed or roll-to-roll printing. Tight deadlines are achieved through the less-than a minute changeover time from rigid to roll substrates. This superior printer was awarded the prestigious European Digital Press (EDP) Association Award for Best Superwide Printer of the Year in 2007.

"EFI is proud that our powerful VUTEk UV printer played such a critical role in the inauguration events of President Obama. With EFI, our customers are achieving the highest quality, environmentally conscious print solutions and our robust portfolio of integrated products helps them streamline operations, reduce costs and increase profits," said Chuck Dourlet, vice president of marketing, EFI VUTEk.

John E Wright & Co. Ltd Expands Flatbed Printing Capabilities with HP Scitex Technology

altHP today announced that John E Wright & Co. Ltd, Nottingham, has added an HP Scitex FB6100 UV Printer to its main print facility to increase production and grow its existing UV direct print-to-substrate business.

Heavy Investment in HP Scitex Technology Enables Euro Image to Increase Productivity

altHP today announced that Euro Image 2000 Srl has purchased a five-metre HP Scitex XP5300, a three-metre HP Scitex XP2700 and installed an HP Scitex XL1500 in March to maximise productivity without compromising upon print quality.