Mole Valley Farmers and the Epson SureColor SC-P9000

Holsworthy FHS

The Design Studio of Mole Valley Farmers had a requirement for a large format printer to give them total control of their product artwork presentation boards. They chose the Epson SureColor SC-P 9000.

Retail company requires accurate colour proofs for branding presentations

The advances in colour rendition are placing previously unimagined control of marketing graphic output into the hands of designers. The ability to visualise a concept, render it on screen then output accurate proofs in house, is revolutionising the advertising and packaging industry. When Mole Valley Farmers realised just how much more control over the process they could take, they went shopping for a large format inkjet printer.

Mole Valley Farmers is an agricultural and rural retailing business, started in 1960 by a small group of local farmers looking to increase their purchasing power by coming together as a cooperative. Still based in South Molton in North Devon, less than a mile from the spot they were founded, Mole Valley Farmers now has a yearly turnover of £420 million pounds, with over 8,500 Farmer Shareholders, 20,000 Country Members, employs 2100 people and has nine Mole Valley Farmers retail locations in the South West and several ancillary businesses that make it one of the country’s largest farming and rural suppliers.

Mole Valley Farmers has a busy design studio, responsible for the company’s visual branding both online and in print, who regularly use presentation boards for product packaging demonstrations. This requires them to reproduce proofs of packaging concepts with an extremely accurate colour fidelity to the final product.

Until recently, these presentation boards were all outsourced for printing, but the design studio team were well aware of the benefits of being able to produce proof quality facsimiles of new packaging designs in-house, realising the advantages in time, in control, and in cost. They researched printers capable of meeting their print size and colour needs and their short list included the Epson SureColor SC P-9000.

Colour control is everything.

Nigel Bond on behalf of the Mole Valley Farmers design studio contacted Focal Point Imaging to arrange a demonstration of the printer at Focal Point in Exeter. There was a concern that without bespoke media profiling it would be difficult to reproduce specific colours accurate enough to match corporate branding in only a half day demonstration, but in fact, the SureColor SC-P9000 produced a visually identical match to the preferred colour swatches at its first attempt, and in each subsequent print. It was clear that before the Mole Valley Farmers delegation had left the Focal Point showroom, their decision had been made.

Focal Point made a site visit before delivery to confirm the best location for the new printing station and provided installation and training for the design studio staff after delivery. The installation date happened to fall just days before the start of the Devon County Show, the premier annual celebration of all aspects of life and work in the county of Devon and a major showcase for the Mole Valley Farmers brand. The Show Team agreed that the ‘out of the box’ quality of several of the test prints produced during the commissioning of the printer was more than adequate to be used for the company’s trade stand at the show.

After living with the SureColor SC-P9000 for only a short while the design studio team at Mole Valley Farmers is already adding tasks for it beyond their original requirements. Its colour accuracy means that they can create proofs not just for packaging concepts, but also for their in-house advertising publications and prints. Antony Carlyon, the Design and Creative Manager explains: “The immediacy of being able to print our own colour perfect proofs has speeded up the whole design/sign-off process for us. A great improvement.” With this success in mind, the design studio is regularly producing A1 sized art work for their show team to dress trade show stands and are looking to produce their own pull-up display stands in the not too distant future. Marie Samuel, Studio Manager, says: “The new Epson SureColor SC-P9000 has really up-skilled the department’s output and we now have complete confidence in being able to show our colleagues an accurate facsimile of the artwork we have created.”