Hot off the press

Control, flexibility and technical knowledge are all afforded to us by our printing presses.

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Without doubt, one of Jones and Palmer’s key strengths as a creative design agency is our onsite printing facility. Control, flexibility and technical knowledge are all afforded to us by our printing presses, supporting equipment and experienced team.

Print is still the medium of choice for Annual Reports and production is the crucial final stage of the project, but how much is actually known about it? To find out, we spent some time on the factory floor.

During our busy spring and summer months - Annual Report season for many PLCs - our factory is constantly abuzz, with machines running around the clock.

Jobs begin in prepress, where project managers file the paperwork for their printing jobs and the team create the plates for the lithographic printing presses. Meanwhile, the print assistants are preparing for the job by getting the necessary paper and ink ready. The printers then take the plates to make ready each section, ensuring colour is consistent throughout the entire job.

Once the pages of the report are printed, the sheets go into print finishing to be folded, collated and bound into finished books. This process can involve thousands of individual sheets, hours of printing and finishing to produce a completed Annual Report.

“To produce the recent 2014 Halfords Annual Report, we got through 80,000 sheets of paper, 210 plates, 100 litres of coating and 15 kilos of ink. That’s how much material one report can require,” said printer Darren Hill.

Final books are then mailed, with some jobs sent worldwide to potentially thousands of addresses, with different quantities and delivery instructions to manage.

On top of the manufacturing staff, designers and project managers are nipping in and out of the factory all day, printing proofs on the digital press in the prepress room, collecting advanced copies to send to clients for approval, trimming files on the guillotine, and generally leaning on the knowledge of our printers to ensure new creative ideas are delivered at the highest quality possible.

With this hive of activity in the factory providing a number of competitive advantages to the business every day of the year, it is clearly a vital cog in the Jones and Palmer machine. Why not come and take a look?