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60 seconds with... Balcony Shirts

Balcony Shirts is a printwear shop in West London. Partner Scott Raison explains the back story: “From humble beginnings printing t-shirts in our bedrooms and selling them on eBay, we soon graduated to a Portacabin, which was situated in a truck garage car park. We then moved to a unit on Uxbridge industrial estate, before ending up in our home of the last 10 years, our shop in Uxbridge.”

Q&A: Patrick Roberts, independent sales consultant

It’s been a landmark year for Patrick, who has spent a whopping 50 years in print. In 1970 he worked as a bench hand for Ward Printing and then became a production trainee at The Longman Group (now Pearson Educational).

Inkjet insiders

Global Inkjet Systems in Cambridge is another of those world-class British tech companies that hides its light under a bushel. Or in this case, NDAs from its customers.

60 seconds with Cliftons

Cliftons managing director Tim Clifton started the trade print finishing business in 1998 with his father John. “I had been in repro for 10 years and was in Australia at the time when I received a phone call from him to say an opportunity to purchase a company had arisen and was I interested… beach or Tottenham? Silly me!”

Q&A: Ian Doel, owner, Freelance Print Staff

Ian is 47 and has been in print since he was 16, starting off with a print apprenticeship. Of the industry he says: “I love it, so many great people.” He lives with his two children in Southsea and his hobbies include “anything active”.

60 seconds with Trade Canvas Print

Trade Canvas Print began life in 2005 “a bit by accident”. Managing director Ben Fecci had a knee operation which didn’t go to plan, which meant he had a lot of time on his hands but limited mobility.

60 seconds with Apple Binding

Apple Binding was formed in 1994 by Kate and Jon Luke. As Kate explains: “We were always looking for a business opportunity. Jon was a commercial diver and I was a print rep. I needed to get a book Wire-O bound and I had to wait six weeks to get the book finished. I thought there may have been a hole in the market. So we did a little research, and decided to have a go.”

60 seconds with Clinical Print Finishers

Clinical Print Finishers celebrates its 45th anniversary this month. “Our company began in 1975 and was founded by Alvin Brown  after he was made redundant from a local printer.

Q&A: Andrew Tutt, senior account manager, Aquatint

Andrew is 54 and is married with three boys: Nick, James and Sam. He’s been working in print for 37 years with his first job at a printing and typesetting company based in Clerkenwell Road, London, called Print Base.

60 seconds with Edward Thompson 

Edward Thompson started life way back in 1867, “the result of winning a bet on the horses”, and the firm grew rapidly in the 1960s on the back of the growth of commercial bingo.

60 seconds with Adverset

Adverset began life in 1989 as a design and advertising studio and was one of the first firms in the UK to embrace Apple. “Our first Mac was the original Mac Plus. At the time monitors only had black and white capability,” says managing director John Easby.

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