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About: Citiprint

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What we’ve learnt in the past year

It was five years in January since we officially committed to the premise of producing and delivering Same Day Printing across London, with a further 6 months of planning prior. Since those early days with a few rented desks in an office, we’ve continued to grow massively year on year, expanding our operations, bringing in new machinery and talent and continuing to push further ahead at the forefront of this ever growing industry.

The Print market in the UK is now worth an estimated £14bn, with that figure expected to fluxuate hugely in the coming twelve months as COVID affected firms unfortunately come and go. It remains unclear how many firms are now solely reliant on furlough whilst the market is quieter. Those who have seen a huge increase in turnover from social distancing signage and graphics may have invested heavily in new kit on the up and now face a harsh sales slump as the demand drops off. It has been imperative to us to survive the last year’s lockdown measures and market downturn, with the wait for the event and exhibitions industry to reopen almost tantalising.

But… (and I know we shouldn’t start a sentence with But but this isn’t all doom and gloom) – in the words of Sir Elton John, we’re still standing – writing this from our unit just outside of London, something we’ve been repeatedly reminded of during COVID as scam and outsourcing firms continue to crop up with no tangible bricks and mortar element. The first thing we’ve learnt is how key having premises has been to us. Whilst we’ve explored several options for moving to larger units recently, our focus has been shifted to doing the best with what we have and extracting the full potential first. We originally moved to Tilbury to provide quick and easy links to the Excel, O2 and City of London with deliveries now covering any address in London and further afield more recently. The key learning curve here has been maximising our workflow’s efficiency to enable delivery times to remain consistent with typical journey time 45 minutes.

It wouldn’t be 2021 without the huge push for sustainability and the rise of the EV, something we’ve been looking into since day one, keen on introducing zero emissions into our delivery infrastructure. Downtime last Summer enabled us to research and trial the all electric Renault Kangoo, capable of carrying around 70% of the jobs we produce. However, we found the range of these vehicles is still limiting for multi drop deliveries where vehicles can often go from East to West and back again in order to fulfill deliveries in order of urgency. The charging infrastructure within London is still somewhat limited – so does the cost of a vehicle being parked for several hours charging outweigh the savings? We’re continuing to trial new additions to the EV market this year including those from Arrival and Volta to hopefully find the perfect match for our first of many zero emissions vehicles.

Whilst the world’s manufacturing has faced huge staff shortages and issues during the pandemic, the print and sign industry has been relatively unscathed on the whole, however material shortages are starting to occur in some key areas, with many suppliers closing branches and locations and even the bulk hoarding of materials by those in the trade, namely floor graphics. This has inevitably led to inferior and unsafe floor graphics being slapped onto shop floors across the nation, with the sellotape now holding them down reminding us in the professional game how there will always be a cheaper way out for a quick buck. We’ve proudly stuck to using R10 rated floor vinyls at a minimum for all relevant jobs including those for Car Giant, care homes and those in the retail sector.

The strong position we hold as London’s only 24/7 Print and Sign company has continued to garner trust from our influx of new clients recently – with the key issue being the arrival and increase of middle men. Whilst there’s no issues in reselling or marking up in this industry, the problem comes when jobs are taken on without a supplier to turn to, hoping to find someone to squeeze on cost to maximise margins whilst never seeing or touching the final product. We are often called to fulfill orders for these jobs, and often called a short while later by the end user themselves who has paid for a product to one of these printers who has since gone silent. It falls to us to actually print and deliver, something we’re proud to have done in house now for over 1500 days. You can read more about the equipment we’re currently using here and how it enables us to deliver so quickly on Same Day Vinyl, Foamex, Signs and Banners.

And lastly, as an industry, we’ve proved we are tightknit after all. What is typically a cutthroat industry for many has been all but transformed by the new trade partnerships many have forged as they look to downsize, sell up or refocus their energy. We have seen a massive increase in trade customers with many utilising our flatbed UV printing service, powered by swissQprint.

We know it’s inevitable some names won’t reopen, a lot have made the difficult decision to close already. But come rain or shine, we’re still open all the time. In the past week alone, we’ve been through a pallet of roller banners, delivered to several film sets where others failed to deliver, and worked on Team GB’s fitting out at the NEC.

So let me tell you this printers and signmakers – it’s not long now until we’re fighting for parking spaces at exhibitions, borrowing each other’s tools and selling material to one another again. The end is in sight, and the new beginning for many is on the horizon. But for us, we’ve always been here, always will be.

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Wind Turbine Branding for Octopus Energy


“We’re a company that likes doing things that have never been done before. For that you need partners you can trust to go above and beyond, and Citiprint are exactly that. They push the boundaries of what can be done with signage, so they were the first people I spoke to when we needed to get a team suspended from a wind turbine 50 meters above the ground.”

Peter Miller, co-founder at Octopus Energy


Few phonecalls in history, infact no phonecall ever has begun with the words ‘can you brand a wind turbine?’ – but when you’re Octopus Energy‘s go to for pulling off groundbreaking ideas, we pause our office Spotify playlist and tune in to the unusual enquiry instead. After fairly quickly realising this wasn’t a prank or some scale model turbine in question, it became apparent we had less than one week to get this project underway and completed.

We’re no stranger to unusual and impressive projects but this has never been done in the UK before. Some turbine manufacturers brand the Nacelle (part at the top containing the motor) at the point of manufacture but never has a firm taken on the daunting task of branding an already erected turbine.

As part of their aptly named Fan Club initiative to provide discounted energy to communities in Market Weighton and Caerphilly, Octopus has recently acquired two 500kw wind turbines, capable of powering 800 homes each year. But, if you live in these areas, walk your dog locally or just drive past, you’d never know who owned these fans, until now…

With the green light given just 72 hours before from the deadline, our focus was instantly turned to the logistics involved in the project, which meant working closely with not just Octopus, but also our own installers, third party specialist installers and preferred materials supplier Metamark. Their huge range of M7 sign vinyl meant we could send a digital swatch to Octopus who instantly found the right colour match. From the point of ordering the required material, we had a very tight turnaround to produce the vinyl and get it to site in Hull. This was light work with our 1600mm Summa S160D plotter, making production a breeze (see what we did there). In no time we had 80m of cut and printed vinyl produced and labelled up for installation.

As a SafeContractor Accredited Business, and with a large percentage of our work being for high profile clients, we have a huge interest in site health & safety and proper planning for all jobs. The nature of our 24/7 service means things like a Risk Assessment being typed up on the M62 at 10pm on a Sunday night isn’t too alien to us. It was completed and signed off in time for our 6am team meeting on site, aided by the beautiful invention of Costa coffee.

Fitting begins of the 3x3m Octopus vinyl printed on Metamark MD5

The first task was branding the base of the turbine using a portable scaffold tower and our PASMA trained installers; staring a 3m wide Octopus in the face at 7 in the morning was certainly new to us all but we soon had a strict schedule to work on to ensure the next stage of the branding could be carried out. Shame we didn’t have eight tentacles to hold the giant vinyl in place!

Anyone could look at this job and suggest a cherry picker, after all there are plenty of huge machines available in the UK to hire – but it’s never that simple. Due to the location and terrain, it was apparent we’d also need Trakway to support the vehicle and we’d be extremely limited with windspeed limits, the turbine itself swaying slightly causing possible damage and the fact that it doesn’t really look that impressive now does it.

So, if we can’t send a team up in the sky, let’s find a team who will come down from the sky – in comes Media Abseiling, our go to partners and long term Instagram lovers. Their specialism in working from any height is not only ridiculously scary quite frankly but at the same time exactly what we needed – with an experienced team of IRATA abseilers ready to take on the mammoth task.

Team of three abseilers ascending to begin branding the top of the turbine in Hull.

It would only be worth us taking this project on if we could be certain to meet our client’s brand guidelines and expectations which was where working with Metamark, a UK manufacturer of sign materials came into play. In fleeting conversation with our sales rep Paul, we mentioned the nature of the project, not realising the turbine isn’t in a factory on ground level but quite the opposite. This particular turbine, manufactured by EWT, stands 50m off the ground with the blades stretching to a further 25m. Needless to say, the setting for this install was beautiful on all fronts, set in Market Weighton near York. Although, the less said about the lack of warmth and phone signal the better!

Being confident that the material chosen would be the best choice for longevity, ease of install and environmental properties, we sent three fitters up to begin the branding process, led by lead abseiler Kyle. Using anchor points on the roof of the turbine, Kyle and his brave team descended, cleaning the turbine before laying the vinyl on, hoisted up in bags from ground level. It’s beyond us how a man who has hung from a rope for five hours can touch the ground, hands freezing to the touch and legs failing to hold themselves and hear ‘that material was so easy to work with’ before any attempt to regain a sense of normality. The skills these boys have is enviable.

Despite strong winds to contend with and the orientation of the logo proving tricky at times to read from up close, the huge team effort between 15 of us on site made for an enjoyable installation for all with the results speaking incredible volumes. Each side is branded with a 2 x 15m logo – more than visible for some way.

Our mentality as a business has always been to ensure we have everything we can ever need for every possible eventuality – and it proved to come into its own on this project, as it has many others since we started in 2016. Having the right kit, vehicles, team and contacts allowed this job to go without a hitch with the satisfaction and feedback from all involved totally empowering.The impact from this job is certainly unlike anything we’ve ever achieved before and we’re already scratching our heads to see how we can top it. This is the first of its kind in the UK and possibly worldwide, but it won’t be the last for as long as we’re printing and the wind is blowing. As Octopus continues to acquire fans, we will continue to step up to the challenge and meet their signage project requirements.

Photography Credit: Octopus Energy


Job Completed on 23rd March 2021 in Market Weighton, Yorkshire.
Using Metamark MD5 Printable Digital Vinyl & M7 Sign Vinyl

https://www.metamark.co.uk/blog/wind_turbine_m7-series.html

For all PR enquiries and for further images, please email jacob@citiprint.co.uk

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Construction Site Hoarding Printing in London

Hoarding is an excellent and effective way to advertise or bring colour to any construction environment. BCC recently contacted us to do just that at their Notting Hill site. Part of a basement conversion spanning over two years, these hoarding panels brought stylistic branding to life with over forty panels printed and delivered in a matter of days. You can find out how we did it in our UV Printing Guide here.

We have several popular options when it comes to Construction Site Signage including:

4mm Correx Printing in London
6mm Correx Printing in London
3mm Dibond Hoarding Printing in London

Hoarding Printing in London
Citiprint Same Day Signs in London
Construction Site Sign Printing in London
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Trailer Wrapping for Veuve Clicquot

Here’s the vintage 1950s chrome bodied trailer we recently wrapped for our client Polar Black for Veuve Clicquot.

With the trailer manufacturer going out of business in the late 20th century, we designed a new wrap to fit after a short site survey for our client. Wrapping the trailer in gloss orange and white, with cut vinyl branding on top.

We turned this project around in a matter of days for our client, with the trailer now being on display and being used actively for promotion at Cliveden House.

To discuss your similar Vehicle Branding project, please call us on 0203 167 0400.

Same Day Vehicle Graphics London Citiprint
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What is Direct UV Flatbed Printing?

Ultraviolet light. It’s used in tanning, medical environments and even photography. But, most importantly for printing, it can be used to cure ink. In short, it means we can turn Foamex, Correx and Dibond signs around the Same Day, every day.

When you think of Switzerland, you probably can’t help but think of watches, chocolate or cheese. We can’t help but think of SwissQPrint, the manufacturer of our flatbed UV Printer in London. First, we load a sheet of material – anything from cardboard to correx, aluminium to glass. Capable of printing up to 1.5 x 2.5m, this is the perfect process for most signs including Hoarding.

Once we’ve set your artwork up for printing, a pair of UV lamps heat up on the printer, ready to cure the ink once printed. Once these are hot, we can press the big red print button. As ink is printed directly onto the chosen substrate, lamps run back over the printed area and dry the ink – instantly dry to the touch.

This speed and ability to produce finished signs in a matter of minutes means we can produce Same Day signs with ease. UV Printed signs can be used for both Internal and External use and are durable, environmentally friendly and in some cases recyclable.

You can learn more by reading our guide to Foamex Printing in London.

Or call us on 0203 167 0400 for your Same Day Print Requirements.

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Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation

LAST UPDATED: 3rd November 2020

Following the Government’s announcement for a second Lockdown until 2nd December, we will remain open as usual with only minor changes to our service.

  • Our phone lines will remain open 24/7. If your job is urgent, you can also use Live Chat for an instant quote.
  • Deliveries will continue as usual, now contactless and requiring no signature on staff devices. For bulk orders, we will deliver on a pallet now. Please inform us in advance if this poses an issue.
  • Standard products and services remain unaffected with the addition of floor graphics and COVID specific signage now available.

We will next update this on 2nd November.


UPDATE: 26th March 2020

Please note, we are now only open for orders specifically relating to COVID-19, prioritising our production capability for our NHS, Health and Social Care Clients (existing and new) as well as key retailers. If your enquiry is non-urgent, please email info@citiprint.co.uk and we will respond as soon as we can.

With immediate family members working directly in the NHS and care homes, our focus is on protecting them and by limiting our operations, we are safely being able to do that, whilst doing what we can to support the UK’s efforts in tackling COVID-19.

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PREVIOUS UPDATE:

In over five years of business, we’ve not once been closed, even during relocating premises, broadband outages and staff illness, we have soldiered on.

Whilst the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK is dominating the headlines, we want to assure you of both the preventative and reactive measures we are taking at Citiprint to protect you, your business and your expectations.

We currently have no plans for remote working; we are proud to produce all of our jobs in house and will continue to do so to meet demand. We are keeping up to date with the UK Government’s potential plans for quarantine or further travel bans and will adapt our business suitably in light of any changes.

At current, we are still delivering daily across the UK with London deliveries completely unaffected as we continue to deliver to key event and exhibition venues where jobs have been requested.

We may introduce revised limits on existing credit accounts and may not allow new credit accounts to be opened during this time to protect not only our business and workflow but also to ensure service levels can continue to be exceeded.

Stock and Suppliers

We have always stocked suitable levels of media, inks and substrates and are confident through working with our suppliers that there will be little to no disruption to our supply chain.

Before UV printing onto substrates, we use anti-static spray ensure a high quality print result. We have now taken steps to wipe all substrates with surface cleaner before printing to minimise any risk to you and our staff.

The Team

Whilst we have been fulfilling an increasing amount of work across Europe in the last 18 months, we have taken steps to postpone all upcoming work outside of the UK including jobs in Canada and the US.

We have introduced an internal travel policy and are fully aware of any past or upcoming travel arrangements staff may have.

Sign and Digital 2020 has already been postponed and we are cancelling our attendance to any other industry related events until further notice.

Hygiene

We have always fitted out both our installation and delivery vehicles with hand sanitiser for staff to use. We have now also added additional hygiene products to all of our production areas and are continuing to recommend following the WHO’s recommended protocols.

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Vehicle Graphics for PRETTYLITTLETHING.com

So imagine this right, one of our bright Pink vans pulling up at Malcolm Ryan studios only being told we needed to fit some graphics for the creative team at PLT. So, grabbing our kit and making our way to the stage in question, definitely looking weak pulling the huge sliding industrial door open to find…. another Pink car! This time, a stunning, absolutely breathtaking Cadillac, ready to be adorned with some high quality self adhesive vinyl 🤓

Thankfully we’ve got a skilled team of experienced fitters who have dealt with branding private jets, classic Ferraris and everything in between so this was right up our street and well the results speak for themselves – demonstrating how graphics can have such a powerful impact, especially on social media which is where this job ended up as part of PLT’s Black Friday campaign.

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Same Day Foamex Printing in London – How do we do it?

Turning any bespoke service around the Same Day is always a big feat but we’ve been doing it for nearly five years now, providing a reliable and efficient service 24 hours a day across London on everything printed – we’ve signwritten Private Jets overnight, transformed the interior of Harrods and even printed props for blockbuster films. So… how do we do it? 🤔

Same Day Foamex Board Printing London - Citiprint

Firstly, we owe a lot of it to our well maintained printers themselves! As this article is about Foamex, the machine in question is our swissQprint Oryx, a UV printer which allows us to print directly onto pretty much anything! So, that’s the introductions complete, let’s run you through the process in just FIVE quick steps!

  1. We’ve recently completed a huge refurbishment of our London premises, allowing us to hold even more stock of substrates (that’s sheets of foamex, aluminium, correx etc) so we’ve always got the board you need for your job. We tend to recommend 3mm foamex for most scenarios – it’s light, flexible and our most popular option.
  2. The Van Gogh stage – your artwork! We RIP your artwork (not literally!) – this means we get your files ready for printing then after a few minutes, we have a converted file ready for printing so it’s off to the Production Area and our UV workstation…
  3. Let’s hit that big red print button – we load your sheet onto the printer and make sure the printer is up to temperature and that the colours are spot on (we can achieve 99% of the CMYK colour gamut but that’s a geeky post for another time)
  4. Time for a trim – our UV printer dries the ink it prints straight away, meaning we can take your job straight to the cutting bench or use our huuuuge guillotine and cut your job down to size. Now…. importantly, we recycle any waste from this process, ensuring none of the material we buy in feels left out!
  5. Boxing – Here’s the fun bit, finding the right packaging for your job, we carefully wrap and box all substrate jobs so that it feels safe and loved in transit from us to you! ❤️

So there you have it, that’s the abridged version if you like of how we transform your design into Foamex, on a Same Day turnaround in London – on time, every time! If you’d like to know more, why not visit us or better still, try us on your next Foamex job.

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Citiprint achieves SafeContractor Approval

Our commitment to Health and Safety both on and off site has been paramount since we started in 2016. We’ve demonstrated our knowledge on installations in the UK, Europe and shortly Canada, leading with a skilled and experienced team, specialising in work at height.

We’ve today received our full SSIP accreditation through SafeContractor Approval which paves the way for us to work on becoming ISO accredited in the coming months. We now join over 33,000 businesses in the UK who have been recognised and audited by the scheme, which give our clients confidence that the installation quality they expect is consistently met and monitored to ensure we don’t fall below the standards required.

Each of our fitters is responsible for over £5000 worth of tools and equipment on any given job, largely comprising of access gear including our recent investment into Zarges TeleTowers for safe, portable and easy platform work, providing us a working height of 4m both indoors and out. This has proved invaluable for exhibitions, shopping centres and retail environments and internal work where space is limited.

We’ve had no recorded incidents across the 500+ installations we carry out each year and have regularly been commended by our clients for our safety on site, often in busy public areas which can pose many risks. Our detailed RAMS for each job has further proven our understanding of risks, job specific precautions and management of the Health and Safety of other contractors on site. This was most recently demonstrated at Harrods Knightsbridge, where we were principle installers for the Fendi Cafe takeover, fitting over 200m of vinyl in under 24 hours. We supplied an installation team along with Project Manager to oversee the overnight work. Liaising with over 100 other contractors on site and providing the relevant and safe access equipment to our team on yet another successful job with no incidents.

We will shortly be investing into Dell rugged laptops for our installation team to allow for site audits, equipment inspections on site and to allow for enhanced and real time H&S auditing and oversight.

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Branded Underwear for Naked Breakfast at London in the Sky

Viewing London from 100ft can easily be both daunting and impressive at the same time but what about doing it totally naked?

Well, that’s what fundraisers for Coppafeel and Movember did recently at the all new London In The Sky at the O2.

We’ve had a large part to play in the launch of the 72 day opportunity to wine and dine up in the sky with the ticket office full wrap, table branding and more so to add 100 pairs of underwear into the mix was an absolute pleasure.

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