Industry & Business

The Big Print Debate Presses the Key Industry Questions

The Big Print Debate Presses the Key Industry Questions

The Big Print Debate Presses the Key Industry Questions
January 22
12:25 2014

‘The latest print technologies: gimmick or sound ROI?’ is the hot topic being addressed at this year’s BIG Print Debate, taking place on 27th February 2014, at Packaging Innovations NEC.

Print technologies are making packaged products more creative and vivid than ever before, but with 40,000 plus products on sale in an average supermarket, shelf appeal is crucial. Packaging needs to catch the eye of the consumer, but when it comes to delivering the goods are some of the latest print technologies often more trick than treat?

Always a popular show feature, this year’s panel includes: Peter Aldous, Creative Services Director at Elmwood London, Stefan Casey, Innovation Manager for Retail, Food & Packaging at Faraday Centre for Retail Excellence, Andy Hewitson, Joint MD at Reproflex3 and Ian Schofield, Own-Label & Packaging Manager at Iceland Foods. Chairing the debate will be Jo Francis, Contributing Editor at Print Week.

This unmissable show feature, designed to encourage visitor interaction will certainly make a lively debate, as visitors to the show will not only listen to the thoughts of the panel, but will also fire questions from the floor.

Jo Francis remarks: “This is set to be a fascinating debate. The creative and technical options for packaging production are multiplying all the time, from personalisation to special finishes. Yet buyers need to choose carefully to ensure the best results while achieving that all-important ROI, especially in an age of booming online sales that’s re-shaping the definition of shelf-appeal. We have a fantastic panel of experts taking part, and I’m expecting some forthright views.”

“No gimmick its real”, claims Ian Schofield, “We are not just talking about digital either, all printers and press manufacturers of all print processes are pushing boundaries more than ever.”

Not so convinced is Peter Aldous, Creative Services Director, at Elmwood London: “We have seen price and ecological crusades. Now it seems print technologies are being rushed into packaging to lever any opportunity to engage consumers.”

Stefan Casey remarks: “Print today has never been so exciting. New digital and print technologies have opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities that knows no boundaries.  Some technologies are at very embryonic stages, some ready for commercial testing but as we look to the future these technologies will continue to evolve. It will allow creative’s to access a new arsenal of innovative technologies to use in Packaging, POS and Experiential design, both in-store and online.”

Peter Aldous continues: “Some have paved the way for quite magnificent effects, which drive innovation. Others unfortunately don’t live up to the hype. So even if they appear a gimmick or whether they drive a sound ROI I would always encourage us to be open, if for only one reason to continue to evolve.”

Stefan Casey adds: “There’s no substitute for an original, creative idea, but there are genuine opportunities for these technologies to be used to add real value to the entire Customer Experience Journey. There will be advantages for Brands and Retail organisations that are first to market utilising these new technologies to steal a march on their rivals and gain a competitive advantage. However the real opportunity is for the supply chain to add this to their production capabilities, too become innovation leaders and custodians of the current and emerging technologies.”

The BIG Print Debate will work their way through issues including, the role played by colour management in underpinning brand integrity; the interaction of print and smart technology such as augmented reality (AR) and the development of new ink formulations that could presage next-generation.

As well as playing a pivotal role in the BIG Print Debate Ian Schofield will also be taking part in the hugely anticipated learnShops seminar programme, taking place across the two-day show.  Ian Schofield will talk about packaging challenges for the retail industry and how with online becoming a new driver, packaging must change to reflect this trend.

Also topping the bill will be Julia Cole, UK and Ireland Marketing Manager at Hewlett Packard and Trevor Smith from Amberley Adhesive Labels will be hosting a two part seminar describing how digital print helped to deliver the on-going ‘Share a Coke’ campaign within the UK; followed by a broader discussion about how digital can facilitate brand marketing initiatives.

Sales Manager of CS Labels, Nathan Daniel will be presenting a seminar dedicated to peel and reveal labels. Plus, Sue Thompson, Brand Unit Director of Sun Branding Systems, will be present the art of colour management works via the Mondelez case study.

Packaging Innovations takes place at the NEC on 26 and 27 February 2014, and will feature seven co-located shows in total: Packaging Innovations, Ecopack, Contract Pack, Packtech, Print Innovations, Labelling Innovations and, new for 2014, Converting Innovations. Visitor registration is free via the Packaging Innovations website

These independent seminars and case studies are selected to provide inspiration and practical guidance on packaging and print issues. To see the full learnShops line-up and to register for free entry to the exhibition visit

Companies interested in exhibiting at Packaging Innovations 2014 can find out more about booking a stand by calling the packaging team on +44 (0)20 8843 8821 or emailing

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