On what felt a lot like a proper early Spring day, what better way to spend it than a visit to a unique commercial print company?
Nick Wintle, owner of Marlow-based Globe Print, is well-established in the large format printing world. Having spent more than twenty years providing solutions for sign and print companies worldwide, he added end-user print production to his portfolio in 2019 and, in 2022, made the full transition to being a commercial print company.
“I love this industry,” says Nick, adding, “I’ve worked with lots of great and talented people and whatever we’ve been involved in, we have aimed to do things differently.”
This is true. Even as a reseller, Nick and his team would look to enhance the products they sold and make them more suited to the needs of the market. “We would take a product, such as a Roland large format printer, and reengineer it to provide something our customers wanted and needed. Our Lightbar printer was the first to be both solvent and UV, and it was a very popular solution, with more than 250 sold. Why take the easy option when the technology is there to make it better?”
Nick’s companies would often support its customers by delivering print where needed, typically if there was an engineering issue or if a customer just needed extra capacity. “We had the kit, so if the customer was in a bind, it made sense to help if we could. We had a lot of great printers in our factory and access to media and ink suppliers, which led us to provide print more purposefully without ever competing with our customers. This was going well – and then covid hit!”
It was during the pandemic that Nick started to reach out to the community to help retailers, hospitals and other businesses with the signage and print required to meet guidelines.
“The supermarkets swooped in and took most of the available substrates for printed graphics. We had plenty, thanks to our long-standing relationship with Drytac, and we used this to help and support businesses and services that needed signage to reopen safely. Since then, we have rebuilt our team and also built a great print company with a solid and dependable reputation.”
I was given a tour of Globe Print’s impressive factory. There are half a dozen roll-to-roll Roland, with additional HP and Mimaki machines, a Roland direct-to-object printer and an Agfa flatbed, and another flatbed device, yet to be commissioned. Nicks adds, “We love finding solutions for what our customers want to do. We ask the right questions, and we often come up with answers that no one was expecting.”
For example, Nick had a customer wanting to print onto cylindrical products. Normally this would need a kebab system attached to a direct-to-object UV printer, which allows no more than six items to be printed at a time. “From experience, I knew the Roland LEF could be set to print at variable distances. This meant we could make a jig for them to print directly onto 40 products at a time. It requires a bit of design and techie work – but this is what we are good at. Finding a solution that meets the need and, in this case, saves the customer a lot of money.”
Nick has been in this industry a long time and would love to be able to help more people by making his premises open to anyone who wants to learn more. “We are doing more work for the trade. We are a resource they can turn to do a job that would be too big, too small – or just too plain difficult to do themselves. We also have manufacturers and other suppliers working with us. They come and spend time in our workshop to see how we do things and to test their products in a real-world environment.”
“We love and are enthusiastic about what we do, and we want to keep sharing. Our role in the industry is to be an educator and to share our knowledge, resources and time.”
“Last year, we were lucky enough to win and be finalists in a number of Awards, but our highlight was winning the BBF Creative Company of the Year, which for a commercial printer, is simply amazing! The judges cited their visit to us, where they witnessed a huge selection of designs, brands and exceptional graphics being live printed and noted the creative skills of our team and clients.”
He concludes, “I am a firm believer in strong relationships. Globe Print is focused on making proper time for our customers, partners and suppliers, as well as providing meaningful help and support to the local community. What we deliver is often overlooked, but signage and print touches almost every aspect of our lives. We can all benefit from good visual communication – and that is what we are here to create.”