New Versafire makes a royal pair for A3

By Rhys Handley, Tuesday 13 February 2018

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A3 Design and Print has boosted its capability to accommodate short-run high-end jobs at "near-litho quality" with the addition of a second Heidelberg Versafire CP.

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Pooles: "We can give near-litho quality at affordable prices"

Running up to 130ppm, the digital press was installed at A3’s 930sqm premises as part of a £100,000 investment on 19 January. The firm, based in Farnham, affectionately named its pair of machines Victoria and Albert following a poll on social media.

The second Versafire was brought in to bolster A3’s work on high-end jobs that required shorter runs, after demand rose with the installation of the first machine in 2017. The machines can print on a wide range of paper-based substrates.

“We do a lot of work for fashion houses and luxury property developers – such as lookbooks, brochures and other bespoke pieces,” said managing director Tony Pooles.

“They have always wanted the very best, litho-standard quality, but on shorter runs this is just not cost-effective. We can now give them that quality at a more affordable price with the introduction of these digital machines.

“Another part of our business that is important is that we give our customers a lot of care and attention, making sure we can advise and assist on any problems that may arise in production or delivery. For our customers, it’s not just about low prices, it’s about that added value.”

To assist A3’s customer service programme, the £2m-turnover firm hired Hannah Bond to its client services team at the end of 2017, preparing itself for the pursuit of more clients across the coming year.

In expanding its remit, A3 will focus on more end-user clients to complement its already-extensive “portfolio of designers”, and end-users are more likely to appreciate A3’s thorough customer service approach, according to Pooles.

With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to take effect in May, A3 is also working to educate itself and its clients on what will change and how the new rules will impact their marketing strategies.

A3’s 23-strong team boasts “years of experience in print and finishing techniques”, according to Pooles. Its services on top of printing include various types of laminating, folding, binding, and creasing, all on Heidelberg equipment. It also runs litho printing jobs on a Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 five-colour press.

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