Print Scotland said that printers had been a “vital cog” in the fightback against the virus, and had been instrumental in the production of literature, posters and stickers for the NHS and other public sector bodies, as well as helping supply vital PPE equipment.
Director Garry Richmond said: “Not enough credit has been given to printers over the course of this outbreak, because the stark fact is that nothing would be functioning without print.”
“There would have been no food in the shops because everything sold in the supermarkets needs packaging, branding and labelling provided by printers. The NHS has needed forms, documents and notices about safe working practices. The list could go on.”
Print Scotland cited the efforts of Edinburgh firms Taskforce Finishing & Handling, which has made thousands of face visors for the NHS and care homes; and Digital Typeline Publications (DTP), which redeployed its laser cutter to produce PPE face shields.
Taskforce managing director Alex Porteous said the firm had been boosted by the letters of the letters of thanks it had received from nursing homes, care homes and hospices.
“We are appealing now for more donations of plastic. We need sheets of 250-500 micron PVC and, with enough material, we could produce 10,000 visors a day,” he said.
Prior to the pandemic, the industry in Scotland employed between 4,000-6,000 workers, the trade body said, with firms in general operating at around 25%-35% of capacity because of the crisis.
Richmond said he was optimistic that the industry could bounce back, and described it as a “time when hard-working printers need all the help they can get”.
He said that Print Scotland was ready with the infrastructure in place to support firms get back on their feet.