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Ahead of the Curve

Kingsley Print and Design

Printers are looking for ways to stand out. Jo Golding talks to John Vaughan, managing director of Kingsley Print and Design, about the importance of supplier relationships and doing more than printing

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Kingsley Print and Design has a mix of litho and digital equipment, including a Heidelberg litho press

Quality, reliability, and competitiveness

This section of Print Monthly is dedicated to companies which go above and beyond, and do more than the job title. Printing companies that do more than just print. Kingsley Print and Design is without doubt one of those companies. Being design-led and environment-motivated, the company offers customers a continuous source of support from design concept, to website, to flyer. It has also invested heavily in equipment from Duplo International, a manufacturer which it has a great relationship with, which has seen it go from strength-to-strength.

Kingsley started out life in 1981 as a core lithographic printing company, with a single colour 46 Heidelberg printing press, a guillotine, and standard folding systems. At that time its core products revolved around products such as brochures and leaflets, and standard A3 work.

“We would never turn down an order and would always keep our customers,” says managing director of Kingsley Print and Design, John Vaughan. He adds: “Things have changed a lot over the years, not only have we now got cutting-edge litho presses, but also a Canon 10000 digital press. This latter purchase was a key motivator for investing in our Duplo portfolio.

(Above & below) Kingsley Print and Design has a substantial amount of equipment from Duplo, including the DSC-10/60i and DBM-600T

“Perhaps the biggest change that we have done as a company is to offer our clients design and artwork in house under the watchful eye of a head of creative and four members of staff.

So, we can go into a company and offer a re-branding, which encompasses everything from their website, to the print collateral, to the exterior signage.”

Vaughan says that today his biggest joy is developing new business and connecting with new customers, helping them to develop a concept from its infancy to a full-blown campaign. But underpinning this strength is the technology it runs, says the veteran printer. 

“We bought a substantial amount of equipment about four or five years ago from Duplo for making books, booklets, cutting, creasing, perforating, and laminating,” says Vaughan.

He continues: “We will be investing in a bigger lamination machine soon, that will also come through Duplo, so we can do more lamination in-house. It was a substantial amount of investment at the time and it’s paid off as it’s still working well. We have a good relationship with them. I think a key part of our success is working with Duplo, if anything happens, they’ll sort it out.”

I think a key part of our success is working with Duplo, if anything happens, they’ll sort it out

Kingsley is based in Egham, Surrey, close by to Duplo’s showroom which is in Addlestone, Surrey, allowing the company to pop by to see the latest equipment with ease. One of the machines purchased was Duplo’s creasing, perforating, and die-cutting machine, which Vaughan says is “a brilliant piece of kit” that the company uses a great deal.

The company also has experience in bespoke packaging and gets creative with different types of papers. Vaughan explains: “We use some expensive papers and boards from companies such as Gmund, GF Smith and Fedrigoni. As a company, we are happy using these papers either as a litho or digital process and love to experiment with them. Which means it’s not necessarily a price job because their boards are on the high end of the price scale but our clients trust us using them and want a good job.”

Forward-thinking print

With a mix of litho and digital equipment, as well as its design department, Kingsley represents a forward-thinking print house. Vaughan explains why this model has worked: “We’ve tried to make it a one stop shop. Once we’ve got a good client, we are constantly asking what else they require. In the early years, we wanted to be more of a marketing company, not just a lithographic printing company, and that’s how it has evolved.”

In the early years, we wanted to be more of a marketing company, not just a lithographic printing company and that’s how it has evolved

Vaughan points out a few of the qualities the company embodies in its work: “We talk about quality, reliability, and competitiveness; all of this is probably part and parcel of doing a good job. I think it’s the relationship we like to have with our clients that sets us apart and is very important to us.”

Vaughan notes more secrets to the company’s success: “We’ve helped people, we’ve looked after our employees, and in return you get good service. We don’t have a great turnover of staff; the people who work here know what they are talking about and doing because they’ve been doing it for years. I think they’ve enjoyed seeing us progress into the various areas and this helps them feel like the company is going somewhere, rather than just knocking out 5,000 A4 leaflets. We get involved in anything new that’s coming onto the market, that’s a very important part of it.”

“Not only have we now got cutting-edge litho presses, but also a Canon 10000 digital press,” says Vaughan

On top of its creative approach, Kingsley is committed to the prevention of pollution and pays close attention to environmentally-friendly printing. The company has developed its own environmentally-aware division, Kingsley O3, which utilises FSC papers with the goal of reducing waste and landfill, as well as chemical waste.

With the print industry changing vastly over the years, it is hard work to start, let alone grow, a successful business. However, for more than 35 years, Kingsley has worked to give the print industry a service you can trust, which has seen the business continue to succeed.

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