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Ahead of the Curve

The Bigger Printing Company

Jo Golding talks to David Bowen, marketing and operations manager at The Bigger Printing Company, about how a close relationship with Canon will see it produce high-quality print fast

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(L to R) David Bowen, marketing and operations manager, and Dan Watson, production manager of The Bigger Printing Company, with the recently installed Canon Océ Colorado 1640

Print specialist hits the big time

“We are not a standard print company,” says David Bowen, marketing and operations manager, when I spoke to him about The Bigger Printing Company. I cannot help but agree having looked at the eye-catching large-format work it has produced recently, as well as the friendly company’s desire to offer the right product for each individual client.

The creative large-format print specialist, based in Cheltenham, takes on a variety of projects such as exhibition work, displays, and posters, as well as design and signage.

Bowen tells me more about his role at Bigger Printing: “I have got a degree in animation and after graduating I was looking to widen my horizons in anything creative while around the same time, the managing director of Bigger Printing, Sebastian Stanley, was looking to hire his first designer.

“I joined as the company’s first designer seven years ago. This involves working on the company’s marketing materials, but most importantly providing a design service and technical support to clients with regards to artwork. From a designer I then progressed through to taking control of marketing, and then I was promoted to marketing and operations manager. I have really enjoyed it, there has been good career progression.”

Breakthrough technology

Bowen says Bigger Printing’s equipment covers all the bases—“good board media capability, lots of firepower for roll media, and plenty of cutting”. The portfolio includes a Canon Arizona 250 and 360, Canon IPF printer, HP Latex, Zund cutter, and vinyl plotter. However, it is the company’s recent investment in Canon’s Océ Colorado 1640 that is set to catapult it forward.

“As soon as the UV Gel technology of the Colorado was made aware to us, we were very keen to find out more about it,” says Bowen, adding: “We spent quite a long time with Canon learning about the technology and we went out to see it a few times. As soon as they had one at the centre in Birmingham we had a good go on it.

“We bought the Colorado in order to provide our clients with incredibly durable, high-quality print without the unnecessary cost of the sealing process. It is also incredibly fast, so the increased speed really helps our clients with what seems to be ever-shortening turnaround times.”

We bought the Colorado in order to provide our clients with incredibly durable, high-quality print without the unnecessary cost of the sealing process

Bigger Printing has a close relationship with Canon that goes back a long time and held an exciting open day in December last year to show select clients the Colorado.

The company hopes to incorporate the Colorado’s technology into several large upcoming projects and Bowen sees enormous potential in it: “We are starting to spread the word about UV Gel and our clients have already come in to see it in action, so we see the requirement for UV Gel increasing the more that people understand the benefits of it. We are also planning further investment in the technology in the next twelve months.

“We see it as the next generation in the same way that CDs replaced cassette tapes. The speed, durability, and versatility of the Colorado complements our large UV flatbed printers—the Canon Arizona 250 and 360. The more we can bring clients in and let them physically get their hands on it, the more they will be looking to work with UV Gel.”

Latest projects

Bigger Printing recently produced big external hoardings for the University of West London that incorporated striking pop art style graphics. This project was secured on the strength of a large hoarding project the company did with The Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham, which is a hub of activity in the town with restaurants, a cinema, and bowling. As the hub was growing over the past two years, Bigger Printing produced a substantial amount of hoarding around it.

Bigger Printing carried out a striking hoarding project for the University of West London



Bowen adds: “Just before Christmas we did some interesting signage for a company called Mr Mulligans Lost World Golf, which is an indoor crazy golf centre. The signage included dinosaur themed floor graphics and we are really pleased with the result.”

(Above & below) Bigger Printing’s signage project for Mr Mulligans Lost World Golf incorporated dinosaur themed floor graphics



Bigger Printing prides itself on standing out from the pack and takes a different approach to business, with Bowen explaining: “We offer a consultancy-based approach for our clients. It is important for us that we are able to advise our clients to make sure that the best materials, products, and print processes are all evaluated to make sure our clients make the best visual impact.




 
“We put an awful lot of effort and time into understanding who our clients are and what their needs are. We certainly do not see ourselves as a simple engine that pumps out print without a good understanding of how it is going to be used. We want to offer the right product for each project.”

We want to offer the right product for each project


As well as looking to make good use of the Canon Colorado and UV Gel technology, Bowen says Bigger Printing is starting to do some interesting projects with floor vinyl.

The Brewery Quarter received hoarding and vinyl from Bigger Printing during its development



This year has also brought with it positive changes to its team that are sure to see the company thrive: “We have two new account managers who have just started, which expands our sales force. They both bring a lot of varied experience and will really help us with our consultancy-based approach. We also promoted one of the production team internally, who now heads up the studio. There have been a few nice staff changes and we are in the best place we have been in for a long time.”

It will be interesting to keep an eye on Bigger Printing and its work with Canon’s UV Gel technology, and the company is certainly looking set for an even bigger and better 2018.


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