In the last eighteen months everything has come together very nicely for Pierre Pheiffer, the owner and managing Director at Xtreme Signs and Graphics. This Dublin-based digital wide format print provider has installed two new digital 3.2m production quality printers, and ditched his old preferred materials in favour of PONGS Direct-Tex SoftImage Contrast Black Back textile.
Introduced to PONGS by Joel Willcock, Textile Business Development Specialist CMYUK, the UK’s largest independent supplier of digital large format printers, cutters and materials, and the exclusive distributor of PONGS textiles for digital print in the UK and Ireland, says Pierre, “I tested a roll and to be honest I’ve never looked back,” adding, “With the last material we were using from another manufacturer, we had a success rate of about 60 per cent a roll, but with PONGS contrast we pretty much use over 95 per cent,” he says.
The company spends 50 per cent of its time servicing the exhibition market and the rest producing general signage including retail and corporate work. In the last two years the company has seen a significant shift in this market sector, and now outputs 70 per cent of textile to 30 per cent board, but says Pierre, “I can see that migrating over as well.”
So what is it that Pierre loves about PONGS Contrast?
“We supply print to a lot of modular systems with silicon edge on it, we find the quality of it absolutely superb. When you unfold it when its been rolled up in a bundle, and you stretch it back out over the frames, within five minutes all the bruising and all the creases become like a graphic you’ve just printed two minutes ago. We are very, very happy with the PONGS contrast,” he says.
“The partners who work with us undertake exhibitions all over Europe, so a lot of our print travels all around Europe and sometimes beyond. Textile is an excellent traveller, light and convenient, you can fold it up into a small box and send it off. If you print on boards they are so much bulkier, more difficult and expensive to transport, prone to damage and present storage problems. PONGS Contrast also creates a lovely seamless effect. Textile is becoming the de facto standard,” he says.
For the other 50% of the business – general wide format signage, retail and corporate – Pierre has been very proactive in getting the PONGS Contrast in front these clients, and the retail clients in particular are lapping it up. “We’re really pushing the PONGS Contrast here, now so we have a nice frame that we use with silicon edge for wall graphics. A lot more retail companies are buying this because of the benefits of putting up a frame once, and changing the silicon edge every three to six months,” he says.
Moving forward PONGS textiles are set to feature highly, driving growth into market sectors such as interiors, décor and architectural treatments. “We want to see continued growth in the exhibition and general signage side of things, but next year we’re really going to push wall coverings, seamless wall vinyls and other digital wall papers.”
To assist with this, the aforementioned Joel Willcock from CMYUK will be accompanying Pierre to the PONGS Village at EuroShop 2020 held in February in Dusseldorf. He will also be visiting the famed Villa Lantz, the iconic PONGS HQ and showroom (also in Dusseldorf) where its applications demonstrate the variety and transformational abilities of the various PONGS textiles and fixing systems.
It seems 2020 will be the year in which décor, interiors and architectural treatments will be a concerted part of the Xtreme Signs and Graphics remit.
“There’s an old traditional sign maker on every corner in Ireland,” says Pierre. “We used to do vehicle graphics and all that sort of stuff, but we’ve completely got out of that. PONGS and its offerings are going to be a central part of what we will build our new service offerings around. We see a huge potential with the products that PONGS has to offer.”