What a year we have just said goodbye to, and I think 2016 is certainly a year that is going to reshape some of the ways that UK business is conducted in the coming years.
Over the Christmas period I got pretty fed up listening to too many negative variations, mostly alcohol enhanced, on what Brexit is going to mean to the country. I have a more positive view on what can and should happen in our market. This is driven by the fact that our print and graphics industry does need a bit of a wake up call and realise that in recent years we have been racing to the bottom of what is unsustainable and, maybe, just maybe, refocus on quality of output and services that can put us back on top of the pile again.
It wasn’t that long ago that UK print was seen as the prime example of what other countries should aspire to in terms of quality and value, but unfortunately the mad world of commodity has diluted much of what is good about our industry. Well, I for one think that we still have massive opportunities to grow and develop our business and rather than the benign focus on the square metre price, we should be looking at how we can aspire to do better with the technologies and skills we have in front of us.
I have seen some great instances in 2016 of how we can use the latest technology together with our sometimes forgotten traditional skills to produce world class results. A fine example last year of what is possible when technology, human skill and quality collaborate together is the work of Levon Bliss, photographer, and Fulham based Genesis Imaging who produced mind blowing micro sculpture imagery, printed on their Jetrix flatbed UV inkjet printer. The time, skill, care and attention taken by both parties provide some of the most amazing images I have seen in quite a long time, even though I am not a fan of bugs I have to admire their work and ingenuity.
A few months ago I met the directors of Brilliant Media aka ithastobebrilliant.com and was blown away with their refreshing vision and the way they have repositioned their business to offer much more than a standard print provider. The skill, entrepreneurial spirit and determination they have shown has to be admired. I recently saw that they won a well deserved award for business initiative. What a brave and “brilliant” example of what is possible in the UK if we put our minds to it.
Despite all the non productive negativity and bad mouthing between our wonderful politicians and financial gurus the end of the world is yet to materialise. It may get a bit tough at times in the next 12 months but we still have the skills and ability in our industry to rise above, but not totally ignore, the commodity markets and succeed by not bowing down to it.
We have the tools and skills in the UK so let’s rediscover our mojo and enjoy the benefits of doing so.
Happy New Year!
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