2018 has been a bit of a tumultuous year for SMEs, with Brexit and a tense political climate not exactly making things easy for everyone. In the world of print, however, it’s been reaffirming to see businesses come together in face of challenging circumstances, and continue to thrive.
The world of OOH has continued to grow, and exciting new products and technology have expanded the way large format printers can and will continue to work (for more on this, take a look at our recent blog post on the outdoor advertising trends we expect to see in 2019).
For now, as the sound of sleigh bells dies down and the next year gets underway, we thought it would be nice to look back on 2018, and reveal some of our favourite moments, projects, and a few other highlights. We’re immensely proud of the hard work the team at PressOn have continuously put in – here’s what we’ve been up to:
Over the course of 2018 (in fact, since December 2016) PressOn have been working closely with HS2, the company responsible for constructing Britain’s new high speed rail line, which will connect the North with the South. After the success of HS1 in the South East, it’s been really exciting for us to have a chance to work on such a prestigious national project.
We’ve been busy printing hoarding graphics for HS2’s construction sites – over 40 of them so far! These have involved some really fantastic graphics, with some brilliant examples of how hoarding graphic design can be used to bolster community engagement. With over 1000 metres of hoarding panels created, this has been an exciting ongoing project.
On top of the work we’ve been doing with HS2, we also had the pleasure of hosting their CEO, Mark Thurston, for a site visit and round table discussion in November. He was joined by James Richardson and Tim Burr of CSJV, along with Jo James, director of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce – for a round table discussion on the role and impact of HS2 on businesses in Kent and the wider community.
Opportunities like this are so important, and we were very proud to be able to demonstrate just what it is we do and how we do it to one of our largest clients.
Expansion and investment
2018 has also been a fantastic year of growth for PressOn. As a result of the work we’ve been doing with HS2 (and our many other clients), we’ve been able to invest another £250,000 into state-of-the-art printing equipment, and new staff, to help us continue to grow and offer nothing but the best cutting-edge printing to our clients in 2019 and beyond.
Possibly the most exciting addition to PressOn HQ has been our new HP Latex 3600, which will enable us to meet the increasing needs of our clients in 2019 and beyond. The 3600 is even more efficient and productive than its predecessor, and we’ve already seen a noticeable increase in customer satisfaction.
As our MD Andy puts it:
“We have a number of HP machines – we bought the World’s first HP LX 3000 back in 2013, and followed that with the HP LX 3500 in 2015. As PressOn continues to grow we’ve found ourselves yet again at capacity. The new features on the HP LX 3600 are enabling us to print faster at an improved quality, and maximise our profits with overnight unattended printing.
Larger print rolls (300kg), 10L ink cartridges, reduced maintenance and mobile production control is already leading to improved margins, a smoother workflow (hence a happier team!) and a noticeable increase in customer satisfaction for us. We’ve secured some very sizable contracts recently on massive infrastructure projects across Britain and the addition of the new machine is enabling us to meet even tighter deadlines without compromising on our production quality.”
It goes without saying that we’ve had an extremely busy year in terms of the projects we’ve had in the pipeline. We’ve been printing, routing, installing and removing as prolifically as ever, but as is always the case as we look back and reflect on a year gone by, a few projects stand out a bit.
2018 has seen PressOn working on everything from exciting and innovative retail briefs (such as the fabric frames for shopping centre client Intu) to unique and unusual infrastructure projects. Here are a few of our particular favourites:
Fashion brand RIXO London contacted PressOn for a series of interior retail graphics to transform the interior of their new pop-up store in Harrods’ Fashion Lab. These were displayed on various surfaces throughout the store, to help create a retail environment that authentically represents the RIXO brand.
This was key in enabling RIXO to provide an immersive shopping experience for customers that reflects their unique approach to fashion design. Take a look at our case study here for more!
Tideway are constructing the new London sewer tunnel, and PressOn produced a series of impressive graphics for the construction project’s site hoardings, along with vinyl wraps to rebrand the tunnel boring machines used on the project.
It’s not every day you get a chance to wrap such an unusual (and terrifying) machine in vinyl, and it was fantastic to see how Tideway had incorporated some of London’s feminist history – naming the machines after iconic women from the city’s history.
You can find out more about Tideway in our case study here.
Possibly one of the most unusual hoardings we’ve ever constructed, the ‘vault’ we printed and installed for Harrods in collaboration with 3D Eye was certainly eye-catching.
Long-standing client Harrods employed PressOn to print a series of enormous hoarding graphics in the style of a huge bank vault. We helped to create some of the most visually impressive site hoardings we’ve ever worked on – this massive installation was certainly unique… Find out more in our case study here!
Fabric Box Banners for Intu
One of the more unusual products that PressOn produce is the fabric box banner (also known as the ‘show stopper’ banner or the ‘tension fabric frame’). These 3 dimensional banners are constructed from tension fabric systems, and have featured in the campaigns of several leading brands this year.
PressOn have had the pleasure of working alongside retail shopping centre firm Intu, to produce several of these banners in 2019. A stunning example is the suspended ‘present’ advertisement that jewelry brand Swarovski adopted for their Christmas campaign, pictured above.
Unusual Project Award – Exoskeleton with Ram Shergill
At PressOn, we’re always looking for those unusual projects that push the boundaries of what can be achieved by large format printing. We’re the go-to supplier for many businesses when it comes to hoarding graphics, truck liveries or retail graphics – but every now and then, we get an opportunity to work on something that stands out as a bit ‘special’.
We’ve had a few of those this year, but if we were to pick one, it would almost certainly be the work we’ve done with renowned fashion photographer Ram Shergill. Ram has been working closely with PressOn to produce prints of his work, with his incredible ‘EXOSKELETON’ exhibition taking place earlier in 2018.
The exhibition was held at the Oxo Tower Wharf Gallery – curated by Daen Palmer Huse, the collection of Ram’s work was printed onto a variety of substrates including aluminium, and was displayed in a mix of traditional framed formats and more unusual displays, such as layers of acrylic.
Working with Ram was a refreshing and rewarding challenge for the team, and a great reminder that print is a creative as well as practical profession. It’s always a pleasure to work on something like this!
With the world apparently becoming increasingly divided over all kinds of issues, it’s been really inspiring to see the team (and their extended networks) at PressOn doing their bit and rallying behind causes that really matter. This year we’re really proud of the charity events and work the team have been involved in, with a few highlights including:
Sam Wootton ran the London Marathon
Samantha Wootton, the daughter of our caretaker here at PressOn, took on the London Marathon this year, and PressOn were extremely proud to be able to sponsor her. The marathon is about as challenging as it gets, and it was wonderful to discover Samantha was raising money for Demelza Hospice Care For Children.
In her own words: “My niece Emma was diagnosed with Edwards Syndrome from birth, this meant she was unable to walk, talk, play like other children. But with the help and support of Demelza Hospice meant Emma’s mum, dad and brother were able to be together, whilst her care and medical needs were taken care of along with lots of cuddles too. This support and care continued long after Emma passed away at the age of 5.
It truly is an exceptional charity, with the most incredible people at its core. I will never be able to fully repay them but hope with the money I raise this will help other children and families. So please help me to raise as much money as possible for this great charity.”
Congratulations Sam, both for finishing the marathon and for raising fund for such an important cause.
Kieron Harrold cycled for Dreams Come True
(Image: Sludge G/Flickr)
Kieron, our production manager, has also made all of us at PressOn extremely proud by taking part in a record-setting charity cycling event. Riding for Dreams Come True (a national children’s charity working to enrich the lives of children and young people living with serious medical conditions) Kieron battled rain and strong winds in the Prudential RideLondon Surrey 100 event, which raised more than £13 million for charity – the most ever raised in Europe in a one-day cycling event.
Kieron managed to raise a massive £740 for Dreams Come True, along with two of his riding peers who also raised an additional £660 between. This money is sure to make a significant difference to the lives of the young people the charity supports, and we’re immensely proud and supportive of his efforts.
It’s not just the work we’ve completed that leaves us with some lasting memories of 2018. As with any SME, PressOn is comprised of a tight-knit team, with a real family atmosphere. As they say, ‘all work and no play makes the large format printing company a dull firm’, and there have been a few standout memorable moments over the past 12 months, that have reminded us just how much we have working together:
Spooky goings on at Halloween…
PressOn don’t just know how to get festive – we know how to get spooky, as well! Halloween has become a bit of a tradition in the office, with the annual costume competition showing no signs of slowing down. This year, PressOn HQ celebrated the witching hour (or day?) with some particularly frightful attire…
The Hendrix experience
Even the strongest and most successful businesses sometimes need to call in a consultant. We’ve been lucky enough to bring in one of the most experienced and discerning business analysts in the industry, in the form of Hendrix the Shiba Inu.
He really has his priorities straight, and throughout his multiple visits to the office this year has never failed to remind us (particularly Shaunagh) that the key to success almost always involves eating carrots. Lots of carrots.
Well, there you have it. That certainly isn’t everything we’ve been up to over the past 12 months , but it definitely gives you a bit of a flavour of how the year is gone – and safe to say, 2018 has been a blast on all fronts. We’ve been busier than ever, and the team have continued to produce nothing but the very best quality work for all of our clients.
We’re excited to see what 2019 has in store, both for us and for the print industry more widely, but if the past 12 months are anything to go by, it’s going to be a good one!
If you’d like to speak to PressOn about working with us in 2019 (or beyond!), head over to our contact us page and fill in the form – we’ll get back to you very shortly.