William Say & Co. commissioned and formed a run of 100 unique tins as Christmas gifts for customers – all printed on a Fujifilm Acuity B1 by Tinmasters at its plant in Swansea.
Personalisation and customisation are far from novel concepts in the graphics market – but in the stubbornly analogue world of print for metal packaging, they still very much are.
In a sign of how this is beginning to change though, William Say & Co., a company with a proud heritage dating back nearly a hundred years, chose to demonstrate the new potential for customisation and personalisation of printed cans by commissioning and forming a run of 100 unique individual tins to give away as Christmas gifts to valued customers.
“We’ve been watching developments in digital print technology in our industry for a while,” says Stuart Wilkinson, Marketing and Sales Director at William Say & Co. “We actually had the privilege of working directly with Fujifilm to produce a short run of hot chocolate tins for a special Fortnum and Mason in-store display early last year. Since then, things have moved on even further.”
In 2020 Fujifilm entered into a technology partnership with Tinmasters – one of Europe’s biggest metal packaging printers. As part of this relationship, Tinmasters bought and installed an Acuity B1 inkjet printer at their site in Swansea.
“We’ve worked with Tinmasters for many years,” says Wilkinson. “And now they have this partnership with Fujifilm, and the ability to print extremely high quality short-run work, they were perfectly placed to help us. We’re really excited about the growth potential inkjet offers our business and our industry and we wanted a way to clearly demonstrate this to our own customers.
“We printed a run of 100 tins, in full colour, each with a unique series number. It was a simple exercise that would have been extremely complex and costly using traditional offset print.
“There used to be a lot of canmakers in London. Now we’re the only ones left. And in large part, it’s because of our willingness to seize opportunities like this that we’re still here, and thriving, and will be for many years to come.”
Kevin Jenner, Business Manager, Fujifilm Wide Format Inkjet Systems says: “Inkjet is going to transform the print for metal packaging industry in the same way it has every other print sector from labels, to commercial print to sign and display. It’s happening later and more slowly than it has in other sectors – but it is happening. We’re proud to be driving that change and all the possibilities it brings, and we’re delighted to be working with companies like William Say and Tinmasters to make it a reality.”