Blackburn-based commercial printer Empine Print has launched Empine Education, a sub-brand, dedicated solely to printing for the education sector.
The brand was launched last month after Empine managing director Jacob Knowles realised that the business was getting more and more educational work but felt that Empine Print wasn’t necessarily the best brand for that offering.
Knowles launched Empine Print around two years ago with fellow managing director Anthony Taylor.
“We had one school say that they only buy from companies that have been referred to them from other schools so we felt having that bespoke brand would help with the referral process,” said Knowles.
“We have found it a lot easier since launching the brand and have started to speak to more schools, which is good because they are long-term clients if you work well for them.
“Most of my family have been teachers or headteachers; it is an industry I know really well in terms of knowing what they need so we have quite a good foothold. We often trial-run certain ideas with schools that my family are involved with then branch out to other clients.”
Knowles and Taylor are mainly taking jobs of personalised exercise books, which they outsource, but they are also using Empine’s HP Latex wide-format printer to produce educational banners and signs.
They service schools in Oldham, Manchester and have recently branched out to Sheffield. Knowles added that Empine has picked up around 20 new clients in April, as new school budgets are set out. He said he would consider forming Empine Education as a separate company in the future.
In its first year, Empine Print had sales of around £50,000, but Knowles said he wants to boost that to £175,000, with roughly £100,000 targeted to be from Empine Education.
Empine Print produces a wide variety of general commercial print, mainly via a print management model. The company will relocate to a larger premises this summer, Knowles said.