It’s safe to say that Christmas 2015 was slightly more relaxing for Pureprint chief executive Mark Handford than 2014, partly because this Christmas was spent on the beach but largely because this time last year he was finalising £5.3m investment from Business Growth Fund and simultaneously acquiring a majority stake in Newcastle upon Tyne-based Imprint Group.
What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?
To be on the same beach next Christmas that I’m writing this from this year.
What trend (business or technology) do you think 2015 will be remembered for?
We have seen a number of trends this year: primarily the increase in very high end creative packaging and associated products. However, one of our highlights was the maturity of our own digital workflow, which at its peak was producing over 10,000 individual book orders per day, across a whole range of clients from bespoke holiday brochures, university prospectuses though to children’s highly personalised books.
What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2016 and why?
I don’t think there will be one single, universal opportunity, but inkjet, 3D printing, creative and highly personalised direct mail and packaging are all markets that are still maturing.
What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2016 and why?
Failing to embrace change.
What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2016?
We need more young people coming into the industry across all disciplines. I really like the idea of having our very own Pureprint academy, which is something that is on our radar for 2016.
What was your biggest disappointment in 2015?
Crystal Palace staying in the premiership and Will Marsh going teetotal.
What was your highlight of 2015?
Wow there were so many in 2015 including Anthony Thirlby and Andy Nash joining the board, the integration of Imprint into the Group, also being voted number 1 in the power 100, it is fantastic recognition for the whole team past and present. The biggest highlight though was Dave Bullivant buying a pair of socks.
What are your hopes for 2016?
Sunderland getting relegated (sorry Tony) I need to back the team at Imprint.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The Beatles were not Number 1 every week (I think I’ve finally worked out what that means).
What was the most important thing that you learnt in 2015?
Unfortunately life is too short after all the good times in 2015 my sister recently had a cardiac arrest (she has now fully recovered) which put everything in prospective.
What if anything will you do differently in 2016?
Lots will be different in 2016 as no two years can ever be the same, we have to be agile and adapt in a changing market place….I will probably drink more.
If you’re thinking of going to Drupa next year, what are you keen to see?
Everything….especially in the old town.
What was the best Christmas present you ever received?
Some great ones over the years, Beacon Press in 2004 Imprint in 2014 and some handkerchiefs in 2015.
Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? If so, what?
More of the same please.