Monday, 23 May 2011

Northprint - post-show reflections

Well, we've been back for a week now, and I've finally managed to clear my desk a bit.   Northprint was, despite pessimistic forecasts,  actually a very successful show for us.  We signed up our first new user within half an hour of the show opening, and from that moment on we didn't look back!

I think that the reason for our success was that it was the official U.K. launch of our 'Software as a Service' offer.  Basically we are offering the full system for just £65 per user month, with no contract and tha ability to opt out at any time without notice.  The other M.I.S. companies there seemed a little alarmed at this, as without exception they either ask for a major fee up front, or bind you in for a substantial number of monthly payments.  I should just mention that you can still pay up-front, which probably makes more financial sense if you want three or more users.

It was great to meet some of our northern friends at the stand,  and for those of you that couldn't make it I've posted some of our handouts and other Northprint-related material at

I think the star of the show, though, was undoubtedly Norman Marks, who was invited by the organizers to give the lunchtime address each day - and the subject he chose was "Digital or Litho? Why not both? Balancing the issues".   I've uploaded his powerpoint slides here.  I think you'll agree that this subject is an important one, as it holds the key to the future development of the industry, and I hope you find it useful.

Warm regards

Richard Fergusson

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Well, Northprint is just next week. We haven't exhibited at Harrogate for a few years, and I'm rather looking forward to it. That makes the third trade fair this year - Jaume Casals hosted Printsum at Grafispag in Barcelona in March - we're getting to be quite international!

One of the things we'll be trying out will be a new projector screen for demonstrations. It's a bit innovative (and rather unconventional), as it's basically just an oval of fabric held out by a flexible spring steel band. When you first see it unpacked it's a bit startling - a small carry case unpacks practically by itself to this enormous great screen.

What concerned us far more, though, was how on earth to get it back into the case. Here is this enormous almost rigid object, but how on earth can it be folded up? After all you can't fold a steel band! In the end we did it - took us about an hour to figure it out, but it's really quite simple when you have the knack of it.

Once again I'm forced back to an analogy with software - as in any discipline there can be a learning curve, but when things fall into place, their simplicity can pay amazing dividends.  I could even extend the metaphor further and talk about flexibility, lightness (it only weighs about a kilo) etc. but I think you get my drift!

Anyway I look forward to meeting some of you at Northprint next week. Otherwise, stay in touch.

Warm regards

Richard Fergusson