First Colour targets wide-format growth with first UK installation of Canon Arizona 135 GT flatbed printer

October 29, 2021
Supplied by ADAPT, the Canon Arizona 135 GT provides market-leading flatbed printing capabilities for First Colour. Supplied by ADAPT, the Canon Arizona 135 GT provides market-leading flatbed printing capabilities for First Colour.

Central London-based 24 hour print and graphics provider First Colour has installed the first Canon Arizona UV 135 GT flatbed printer in the UK to facilitate its ambitious wide-format print growth strategy.

Located on Newman Street in a 4500 sq.ft. production space just off London’s iconic Oxford Street, First Colour has traditionally been a specialist in super-fast turnaround small-format print. It modified this strategy four years ago after identifying opportunities in the wide-format print market.

We were aware of the stagnation in recent years within the small-format market as pressures from the internet took a predictable toll. We identified wide-format print as having positive growth – and in Central London, 24-hour operators like us providing a fast turnaround wide-format service just didn’t exist.

“Naturally, we wanted to be active within a growth market and wide-format is just that. We love wide-format print as a creative process and the fact that it must be based on a real human customer relationship that involves trust and working together. This isn’t something that’s ever going to be on the internet.”

Cliff Finn, owner and managing director of First Colour

This change in approach proved to be a shrewd move for the company. Its wide-format business is now well established in the sector, supplying leading retail heavyweights throughout Central London.

During the pandemic, plans to invest further were put on hold, but as business returned to near-normal, investment plans were dusted off. Following long and detailed consultations with ADAPT’s specialist staff, First Colour became the first company in the UK to purchase the Canon Arizona 135 GT UV flatbed printer.

With print speeds up to 34.2 m2 per hour and the award-winning VariaDot imaging technology for producing sensational prints, the Canon Arizona 135 GT is renowned for its incredible quality, impressive reliability and realistic pricing structure.

The Canon Arizona 135 GT was installed at First Colour in early October 2021, along with a Summa flatbed cutting system, and while staff training is continuing, Cliff Finn says they already have plenty of work scheduled in for the new machine.

Whilst maintaining existing service levels for First Colour’s established clients, Cliff is also keen to explore how the highly flexible Canon Arizona 135 GT can assist the company’s expansion into other areas of the wide-format market.

Cliff explains: “We have our bread-and-butter work to properly establish first, but there are lots of other markets we can look at with the new Canon that we couldn’t previously access. For example, we plan on recruiting additional sales personnel later this year to help us move into hard signage and develop that side of the business.

“Before the pandemic, we operated an entry level hybrid board printer which got us into the marketplace, but it was always the plan to acquire a high-quality flatbed printer. If I’m honest, we always hankered after a Canon machine.

“Canon is the ultimate printer’s choice and the best in the market, but we didn’t think our budget would stretch that far. However, after an initial discussion with ADAPT, we were surprised to find that the new 135GT was on a par price-wise with competing solutions.”

Cliff also highlighted the key benefits that both First Colour and its clients will enjoy because of the new investment, singling out the low-cost inks used on the Canon Arizona 135 GT – inks that are also environmentally-friendly and offer a significantly greener option than other products.

“Customers recognise the quality of the Arizona – we’ve proved that in the first few jobs,” Cliff said. “As well as the actual printer, you also buy into the extensive Canon knowledge, service expertise and excellent staff.

“This is also true of ADAPT; they have been brilliant throughout the whole purchasing, installation and training and support process. We’ve not only bought into the best flatbed printer money can buy, but also have acquired a valuable trading partnership in the process.”

Cliff concludes: “We are delighted to be working with ADAPT and Canon as they work with us as true partners, it’s a breath of fresh air to be honest. The original dream of bringing a sustainable high-quality 24-hour print service to our Retail POS customers finally became reality.”

We are delighted that our long term-partner ADAPT has been able to support First Colour in driving forward its wide-format growth strategy. The Arizona UV 135 flatbed printer boasts incredible image quality, productivity and flexibility, making it ideal for PSPs who are looking to expand into new areas. This is the first device of its kind to be installed in the United Kingdom, and we’re excited to see how it will help First Colour develop its business and customer base.”

Duncan Smith, Country Director, Production Printing Products, Canon UK & Ireland

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