For Haverhill based display specialist, Stylize Display Graphics, growth has been slow but steady since the company was founded 13 years ago. Today, having recently moved to new 436.64 square m (4700 square ft) premises to allow for continued expansion, the company has become a leading supplier of wide-format digital print throughout East Anglia and the addition of a Uniform Grenadier GFX and a Uniform Commander reflects how the business has extended its services to encompass virtually all types of work.
Neil Saville, who formed Stylize, had spent many years commuting from East Anglia to his London studio where he specialised in typesetting services. But, as the demand for this type of production dwindled, he took the opportunity to set-up his own large-format bureau from his Suffolk home but was soon forced to move to larger commercial premises.
Since starting Stylize, Saville has progressed from producing purely aqueous-based output and, currently, has the facilities to print solvent-based and UV-curable applications for his broad customer base. These latter two options are due largely to the input of B&P Graphic Systems who has recently supplied and installed the two Uniform machines, the first being a Grenadier GFX 2.6 m roll-fed solvent-based system and the second a Commander 1.8 m wide UV-curable flat-bed printer.
Stylize’s history has seen the company try out several different print options, and its original introduction to the wide-format market was with an HP 755CM back in 1996, also supplied by B&P. Having moved along the route of building on its wide-format solutions to suit the type of work the company was producing, it was inevitable that solvent-based and, eventually, UV-curable ink technologies would become essential, but Saville didn’t rush as he wanted to make sure he was choosing the most suitable printer for his needs.
Thus, as the years have passed, Saville has looked at many different options which have been introduced but he’s tended to err on the side of caution and only invest when he is sure the machine not only is market-ready but also is right for the sectors he is covering. Tempted many times, he’s always gone away to think carefully about his next potential purchase and has opted to wait rather than rush out and buy. As a result, his investments have paid off handsomely and he now has a working “team” of printing and finishing equipment able to produce what he wants, when he wants it, all in-house.
Stylize originally started by specialising mainly in exhibition graphics but moved onto posters and other displays as more people became aware of the service Saville was offering. “I’ve never believed in going overboard either with equipment or with what we can do,” he says. “But, as we’ve built the business to cater for an increasing number of different areas, we are now able to offer a wider range of display related services across a number of sectors.
“The addition of full solvent-based and, now, UV-curable ink-jet printers means that we can produce work for interior and exterior applications and, thus, extend our capabilities into new areas,” he states. “We need to balance output needs with quality machines that won’t let us down.”
Stylize now sports a veritable armoury of wide-format printers and complementary finishing, with three HP DesignJets still being used regularly, along with an Epson 9600 on the aqueous-based front. For solvent-based work, the Uniform Grenadier GFX supersedes the company’s first entry into superwide-format production in this category which was with one of the first UK installed Mimaki JV3s, and proved to Saville that this type of ink technology was the way forward when outputting onto uncoated and coated roll-fed media.
Able to print up to a maximum 2.6 m wide, the Uniform Grenadier GFX has a maximum throughput speed of 45 square m/hour and is designed for volume throughput. It features heavy duty media handling, a tensioned feed system and loads and unloads from the front. Available for use with a choice of ink sets, either Uniform CitroSol zero odour organic inks or Uniform ActivaSol active solvent inks, Saville has opted for the second option to give him the rich colours and durability he needs across a wide range of materials, including self-adhesive vinyls, banners and papers.
Acting as the ideal complement to this solvent-based capability, the cost-effective Uniform Commander gives Stylize the ability to print direct to rigid and roll-fed substrates up to a maximum width of 1.8 m and 50 mm in thickness using UV-curable ink technology. This machine was easy to install and set-up, and the move to a flat-bed printer has opened up new markets for the company as it is now able to print onto a range of materials including acrylic sheet, wood, corrugateds, foam-boards, glass and metal, along with a host of flexible media.
Saville is confident that his latest investments now complete the loop in his production requirements, enabling the company to produce most types of display output for short- and long-term use across all types of material. He concludes: “We want to be able to incorporate flexibility into what we can offer, and we complement the mix of quality and fast turn-round with the reliability of our service. The addition of our two new printers adds a further welcomed dimension to Stylize’s capabilities. I’m firmly of the belief that we made the right decision in taking our time and waiting for the right machines to come along.”