Sunderland couple Martyn and Donna Young started the company as print managers in a 300 square feet office in 2007 and have now upgraded to the North East Business and Innovation Centre’s largest office space of 6000 square feet, employing six members of staff.
The company has spent £500,000 in the past 18 months on technology to enable them to take on print jobs in-house, after realising that "print is where the money is".
The first machine was a secondhand Xerox 250 yet the company has now expanded to offer digital, full colour and lithographic printing for indoor and outdoor purposes, including exhibition banners and wallpapers.
First2Print’s investment in a Presstek 34DI digital offset press set the ball rolling in bringing work in-house as well as attracting new customers due to its green credentials, according to managing director Martyn Young.
In May, First2Print will invest in a Duplo 5000 Booklet maker to support the Presstek machine as the company expands.
There are also plans to buy a lamination machine in the near future to further internalise the company's offering, as lamination work is currently sent out to suppliers.
Young said: "We reinvest everything back into the company. Our success is down to a lot of hard work and not resting on your laurels. We looked at other companies and thought about how we could do it better.
"We are supplying a quick and low-cost service with credentials. It is not just price-led."
His decision to move into print was motivated by his previous career in the motor trade. He said: "I was selling a lot of high prestige cars and thought I’d quite like to own something like that. Every business needs print and I thought that is where the money is."
The company has a customer base in excess of 1,000 based mainly in the UK, with some international clients.