Park Communications has hit the ground running with Park Display, a large format division that it has been building since the start of the year.
“We were being approached by customers asking its if there was any chance of us putting in large format,” says managing director Alison Branch. Many made the approach because they felt there was a lack of suppliers close to London able to respond rapidly and able to handle complex projects, she explains.
To date Park Display has handled projects for Saatchi Gallery, Christies and Ralph Lauren among others. The work has involved printing on multiple substrates, matching colour output to its litho and Indigo digital presses and installing the displays in galleries, museums and shops.
At the start of the year Park took on Nick Spain from FourGraphics as manager for Park Display. He pulled together the equipment that the company now has: EFI Vutek GS3250LX as the workhorse machine, supported by a Fujifilm Acuity 1600 UV hybrid machine and HP Latex 570. In addition there is a Dyss X7 2230 flatbed cutter and Arkane 1650 laminator.
Meanwhile contractors were adapting a unit that had been used for storage into a 560m2 production space with mezzanine floor for printing, finishing and packing. The target is to be able to deliver range of different elements needed for a bespoke installation or a campaign to service a small number of outlets. There is no intention of pitching for large retailers, says Branch.
The investment in the building and equipment has reached £750,000 without including salaries for the staff concerned. Even so, she says that the venture will be at breakeven this year. “It’s starting to go very well,” she says. “We are getting a nice variety of work from a range of clients. We are able to respond quickly, sending proofs back the same day and can deliver the next day.”
Park Display has been helped by a recent reduction in the number of large format printers in central London, and while there is capacity to the north and south of London, it is not as close to customers in the capital itself require, particularly for fast response work. Park is stressing its ability to be nimble.
“We have printed wallpapers, produced canvases, floor and window vinyls as well as display panels and banners. We have even printed a building wrap,” Branch says.
“We are predominantly targeting existing clients who know us and have dealt with us. But we have also been winning new orders through the website. We see this as a big growth area for us. When we put in the first Indigo digital , sales grew exponentially. We are anticipating similar will happen.”
Park Display is a new arm for the Beckton printer, encouraged by customers wanting the same level or quality and service Park provides in offset and digital print. It is paying off. The business will be at break even this year says Alison Branch.