Born again printer!!


New Member
Hi there, After 20 years successfully building up a traditional stationery company I sold it 10 years ago and moved to Spain. We returned due to my wifes work and I am now looking to get back into similar printing.
My question is what has hapened in 10 years ? I used to offer Litho, Thermo, Copperplate and all associated design work and finishing etc. all this very high end expensive stuff (We were situated in Chelsea). I know much is now done by Digital print but I have no wish to get into this.
Well known companies that I worked with seem to have disapeared as well as even some of the machinery manufacturers! Most of the work we did was very short run so we used Silver-platemakers, these do not seem to be available any more, I have looked at the BAPC site but there seems to be more advertising than anything. Print-Litho week does not seem to be useful either, more for the big boys. As for design Apple-Quark-Pagemaker were the industry standard, is it so now?
Does anybody have any ideas on how to get up to speed on all this?

Gosh - a mad person has joined the forum!! Welcome mad person!!

In the last few years there has been a tremendous 'culling' of printers. From the heady days of the late 80s & 90s where we had upwards of 24 printers locally they can now be counted on the fingers of one hand.

There are some good machines to be had at good prices if you know what you want. For short-run plate-making you are now looking at aluminium plates - Prestek (I know) make a small one. Small offset print machines - Heidelberg make small-end machines 2 (QM46) and 4 colour. Can help?

There are now numerous printers on the internet who compete on price. Some are good and some are not! I would say that if you are still in London then I would stick to high-end stuff. Out in the sticks the people who seemed to have survived are the ones who have very low overheads and work like billy-o. Possibly the best way is to have a niche - thermo or embossing perhaps. Or become a print-broker.

Design is now (still) Apple - but Indesign (the son of Pagemaker) rules generally.

Good luck - I know that ink gets 'under your nails' and it's difficult to get out of the industry. Stick around the forum - we're a nice bunch and more knowledgeable people will come and give you good advice.
Thanks Kate design!

Thanks, I know its tough but I still believe in the 'niche'. Silvermaster used to be so versatile and simple for short run work (art, grafics, text anything in fact) does the manufacturer 'Eskofot' still exist? I know that Itek has gone. Do you think that i can 'upgrade' from pagemaker 6 to indesign? or does Adobe not do this any more. Who runs the instant-print market nowadays? I heard that the holding company that owned Prontoprint-Kall kwik went bust? So many questions...where can I get on a cheap Indesign refresher course?
Niche is the right way to go I'm sure. (That's why I do practically anything for money!!)

Don't think Adobe upgrade anything from Pagemaker any more. I have one CS2 which I can't upgrade!

You are right, ODM went bust before Christmas though both Prontaprint and Kall-kwik exist as 'licence only' franchise - independently owned. Prontaprint has dwindled to about 30 centres (from over 300 in its heyday). The holding company had no industry knowledge and weren't offering the franchisees very much - all the people with any nous had gone long ago. (Used to be a PP franchisee - dim and distant past).

If you do want to buy a platemaker I do recommend the Vector FL52 (Presstek). We had one and it is brilliant! Might be worth looking at a DI machine also.

Some of the best courses on the net are so I have heard!

Good luck!