Standing out from the crowd

It’s the time of year when we notice an increase in the volume of brochures through the letterbox and it becomes increasingly challenging for brands to create eye-catching marketing communications which stand out on the doormat. One way to do this is with the use of special brochure finishes. Here we showcase some of the covers which have caught our eye this Autumn (and that of our favourite postie Nigel too)!

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White Stuff

One of our favourites this Autumn, we love the striking design which White Stuff has created enhanced by the application of two foil overlays, a flat bronze and a glossy black which catches the light and creates a tactile relief to the cover.

The back cover has also been cleverly used to create a punch-out 20% discount card as an added incentive to purchase.

Cath Kidston

Creating a tactile cover helps a brochure get noticed in a bundle. Cath Kidston does this well with an overall matt soft-touch laminate applied to the outer cover creating subtle colours and giving it a premium feel. A brochure you will feel inclined to hold on to.

The Fold

There has been a growing trend in recent seasons for brands to use uncoated cover stocks, the perception that these convey a more upmarket feel than a silk or gloss cover. Whilst we love the use of uncoated on some brands, it tends to leave images flat and lacking vibrancy. The Fold has bucked this trend this season making a bold statement with a luxurious gloss cover. It gives exceptional detail to the photographic images and aligns the brand with the glossy monthly style bibles, the likes of Vogue, Porter and Harper’s Bazaar.

Cook

Another clever design we have spotted this Autumn is Cook’s die-cut cover. An eye-catching design, the punched-out shape gives a preview to tempt you inside. Probably more suitable to short run brochure projects but definitely an idea to differentiate and create impact.

Pure Collection 

With the festive season approaching, what better way to get noticed than with a metallic foil to your Christmas cover. An expensive addition, it’s probably not commercially viable all year round, but is definitely worth considering at Christmas to add that special finish and festive feel. Gold and silver are the standard and most popular foils, but there’s a vast spectrum of foil colours available as well as elaborate designs that incorporate a pattern or raised effect. Worth investigating the options and requesting samples from your printer.

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Why a more direct (mail) approach is the key to unlocking the millennial

Our very own Fiona Maurice, head of client services at JPS Limited, was recently asked by Direct Commerce to contribute to its July / August magazine.

Fiona WEB 2Fiona Maurice, head of client services at JPS Limited asks the question, could direct mail be the key to reaching the millennial?

By 2019 it’s predicted that the millennial population will hit the 17 million mark[i]. The demographic, also known as Generation Y, a cohort born between the years of 1980 to 2000, is rapidly becoming the most talked about audience for businesses to reach.

In the UK businesses are investing millions trying to understand the millennial, how they live and crucially, how they spend. To achieve this, many corporations and brands are putting an emphasis on adapting and evolving technology as routes to engage with, and remain relevant to the millennial.

It’s easy to understand why many businesses have decided to take this approach. The mainstream media has labelled the millennial as unable to function without a smartphone. They’re ‘digital natives’, they want everything in real-time, with instant gratification at their fingertips, immediate service and trends, for them, last as long in the physical world as they do on Twitter.

However, a recent study has revealed that there could be a lot more to targeting the millennial successfully than meets the eye and in fact, it’s the more ‘traditional’ approach to marketing that’s the most impactful. post-box 2

The Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University recently conducted an experiment using an MRI scanner while presenting millennial participants with digital and physical advertisements.

The results revealed that the printed materials not only made a deeper impression with them, but they were also perceived as being more genuine to the viewer.

According to the study, “The ‘real’ experience that the physical media provides means it’s better at becoming part of memory. It generates more emotion, which should help to develop more positive brand associations. The real experience is also internalised, which means the materials have a more personal effect, and therefore should aid motivation.

What’s more, millennials respond quicker to direct mail and have a higher open rate than other generational groups.

According to Experian, nearly every millennial (aged 18-35) owns a smartphone, and 43 per cent say that they now access the internet more through their phone than a computer, compared with just 20 per cent of adults ages 35 and older. However, despite this, millennials as a group report that the last time they responded to direct mail campaign was within 2.4 months. This is in comparison to the mean average of 35 – 49 year olds of 2.8 months and 60 to 65 year olds of 3.8 months.[ii]

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The reasons consumers continue to open and engage with direct mail are many, but interest in the products and services offered tops the list. One quarter of those in the 25-34 year old age range say they opened direct mail because of the print and image quality, and 25 per cent of millennials consider reading direct mail a leisure activity[iii].

I referred earlier to ‘digital natives’ in relation to millennials. The term quite simply means those who grew up using the internet on a daily basis and its attachment to the millennial has without question guided many marketers to reallocate budget for print materials to online activities. However, in my view it over simplifies the millennial and implies that they are essentially ‘digital only’.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Believe it or not, millennials actually like getting physical letters in the mail. In fact, according to a 2016 study from InfoTrends, millennials are the most likely of any generation to read direct mail.

In the same study, twenty-five per cent of millennials said that they enjoy reading direct mail. In today’s increasingly digital age, getting a letter in the mail is an interesting novelty, even if it’s just an advertisement, marketing campaign or promotion. The researchers found that 18-21 year olds, in particular, read mailings immediately up to 62 per cent of the time.

Rather than ignoring direct mail, millennials are embracing it. Not only that, but these letters are incredibly likely to influence purchasing behaviour. Direct mail is more effective, in many cases, than marketing emails. Ninety-two per cent of millennials have been influenced to make a purchasing decision through direct marketing, versus 78 per cent by email. This isn’t purely by chance, or due to the novelty of something more ‘traditional’.

Millennials are bombarded by sales and marketing messages daily in their digital lives, but it’s incredibly rare for them to receive those physically. Add to this, the fact that millennials distrust brands who are overly promotional or who they feel encroach on their social networks and online worlds.  It therefore, stands to reason that print would have more chance of a successful cut through.

man-DMAnd it’s not just about the physical for the millennial. A further study found that 90 per cent of millennials would switch brands to one that is associated to a cause. Sustainability and corporate responsibility make a big impact on their buying decisions[iv].

Brand transparency is also key. Millennials have at their fingertips all the information on a company or product to make a judgement.

That’s not to say that online isn’t relevant – smartphone access is particularly important – but rather it’s not necessarily the best or only trigger to begin engagement with millennials. I believe there will be times when digital marketing will be more suitable to achieve specific objectives, but also there may be other initiatives where direct mail or a multichannel approach may be a more effective route.

In the end, it’s important to remember that direct mail is a powerful tool marketers have in their pursuit of millennials. It’s preferred, it combines seamlessly with digital channels and—most importantly—it works.

[i] Inking Millennial Report 2015

[ii] InfoTrends September 2016

[iii] Experian 2016

[iv] Cone Communications Millennial Corporate Social Responsibility Study 2015

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Profile: Austyn Thorp

Austyn profile web

What Austyn Thorp, a print consultant for JPS Limited, doesn’t know about the print industry simply isn’t worth knowing. A technical and colour specialist and self-confessed perfectionist, Austyn travels the length of breadth of the UK and abroad to ensure each and every print project for JPS Limited’s clients is carried out with precision, expertise and care. Learn in our latest interview for Profile how Austyn achieves this, why his cat would be one of the items he’d take to a desert island and why he thinks a print factory sit-com is long overdue…

 Q: Briefly describe your role with JPS Limited, and how it supports the team, delivers to the customers etc?

Primarily I perform a quality control role for JPS. I attend a variety of sites both in the UK and abroad, usually when a job is being produced, and carry out a series of quality checks.

My main focus is colour reproduction – accuracy and consistency.

Using a set of proofs approved by the client as a standard, I’ll make any necessary adjustments while the job prints to get the best results possible. This ensures the finished product meets expectations in terms of the processes involved before actual ink on paper – photography, retouch, repro and make-up.

I also offer technical assistance pre and post production in a bid for continuous improvement, as well as meeting with customers and helping them gain a better understanding of the various processes involved.

Q: How did you end up in printing/print production?

A: I didn’t really end up in printing, I kind of started out in it!

After finishing university, and finding myself more than a little directionless, a family friend invited me to see his artwork/plate making business, which was attached to a small offset printer in South Manchester.

I visited on the Sunday, started work there on the Monday. I’d found a home.

This was more than 30 years ago, and I very quickly realised that the various pre-press and print procedures involved suited my nature perfectly.

Q: What’s the strangest print job you’ve been involved with?

A: Well, over the years I’ve worked on fairly much everything print related you could imagine, and nothing ceases to amaze or surprise me.

Wallpaper, furniture, fashion, pharmaceuticals, financials, beer, food – you name it, I’ve worked on it.

Who knows, the strangest could be the next phone call?

 Q: What’s the best kind of print?

A: I look at printed material in a very technical way. It can be very easy to overlook why the product has been created in the first place.

It may be a reference or information source, created to sell product(s) or simply produced to increase awareness or profile.

So, ultimately the best kind of print is one that achieves its’ objective and gets results.

Q: What can make an “ordinary” print project become “extra-ordinary” and why?

A: Good design and choice of materials can have a significant influence on the effectiveness of a printed product.

Sometimes a simple page size or format change can easily alter how everything comes together and ultimately how the brand is perceived.

I’m a big fan of the use of uncoated stock for both Covers and Text, although this can be a tricky one to get right.

I also like the addition of texture, varnish and coating applications to add to the tactile appeal.

Techniques that make you think hold great interest for me. I’ve recently seen some Cover samples printed on metallic board, amazing.

Q: What do you do in your spare time, hobbies etc?

A: I’m a huge fan of music, especially live events, and have an extensive collection covering most genres.

I love good food, good wine and beer – possibly a little too much.

I follow a variety of sports, including F1, motorcycle road racing (I’ve owned motorbikes since I was 18), cycling and snooker and last year set about regaining some of my younger fitness levels, so exercise, cycling and watching the diet.

Q: If you were on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?

A: A copy of Ray Mears “Outdoor Survival Handbook”. A really great quality handmade knife. My cat Holly, she is an Olympic standard hunter!

 Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

A: I’m a perfectionist, so seeing good products photographed well, stylish design, good quality repro, print and finishing carried out by people who care about what they’re doing, all pulled together by efficient organisation and executed with professionalism makes me very happy.

I love to see all the processes come together to deliver a high-quality product on time, and knowing the customer is pleased with results is reward indeed.

Q: What was your first record or CD?

A: Gosh, please don’t get me started on music. This has had a significant presence through my life, and I have a vast collection of vinyl, cd’s, even cassettes!

First ever purchase was “Mr Blue Sky” by ELO on 7’’ vinyl, 1977.

Unfortunately, my pocket money didn’t stretch to the blue vinyl version at the time, I probably need to address that.

Q: What has been your career highlight so far?

A: It’s not uncommon within our industry to find individuals who’ve been at the same company all their working life.

I’ve worked for terrific companies, each offering new challenges and different processes to learn and perfect, and I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as a bad move.

A change from shopfloor production to management positions in both pre-press and pressroom departments as well as my current self-employed freelance role are all significant landmarks, though most memorable continues to be the people I meet along the way.

I’ve often thought how wonderful a Print Factory based sit-com could be, based on the some of the characters I’ve met!

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Look Book, the Spring/Summer hot list

6In our latest instalment of Look Book we review the Spring Summer print in fashion and lifestyle. So, let’s see which catalogues, brochures and direct mail campaigns have caught the eye of the JPS Limited team…

Taking the top spot as our absolute favourite is Hush. It’s a brand, for us, that always gets it right. We love the mix of matt and gloss papers in this catalogue. It feels great and the difference in texture helps differentiate sections within the catalogue.

Hush also produces a monthly magazine for its customers. Styled beautifully, the magazine ties in the fashion range with editorial and has a real aspirational feel to it. A stylish way to keep customers engaged and is actually a thoroughly good read.

The Fold – a JPS Limited client. The Fold never disappoints. Always sophisticated, always elegant and always beautifully put together. It’s one very classy A5, even if we do say so ourselves. What’s more, the judging panel at this year’s Direct Commerce Awards agree with The Fold taking home the Best Luxury Brand accolade.

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Sweaty Betty – print is supposed to be eye catching and Sweaty Betty certainly meets the brief. It’s fun, engaging and from the catalogue that landed on our doorstep to the smaller piece picked up in store they keep it consistent.

Cox & Cox – a JPS Limited client.  This is a beautiful example of a large format perfect bound catalogue. It’s a new look for Cox & Cox this season as it usually prints in small format. We think it makes a big statement.

Crew Clothing Company – the print finish on this catalogue is incredible. It’s been created using one of the nicer grades of uncoated stock. It looks high end and feels beautiful.

 

Steamer Trading Cookshop – a JPS Limited client. We love the matt texture, it sets the photography off to a tee. We’re very proud of this project.

Jack Wills – we love Jack Wills’ fun little self-mailer. Bang on brief for its target audience by being young and fun.

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Brora – we think the luxury fabric swatch insert in this catalogue is great. An ingenious tactile addition which we’ve rarely seen used before, but cleverly brings the brand to life and off the page.

Lakeland – things have changed with Lakeland and we think the new format works brilliantly.

Bravissimo – Summer in a large format – all you need to complete the feeling is a cocktail (or two).

 

 

Profile: Bob Stillwell

Bob-Stillwell ProfileIn the latest instalment of our Profile interview series we speak to one of our print consultants, Bob Stillwell. After a long career in advertising, print and publishing, including working with American Express and BBC Worldwide and a brief appearance on Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson, Bob now works for JPS Limited as a technical and colour specialist for web and gravure print.

Describe your role at JPS Limited in a nutshell?

My role is to press pass printed material, mainly consisting of 4 colour mail order catalogues, to the highest possible standard and ultimately to achieve a result that will satisfy clients.

When did you start working with JPS Limited?   

In 2002. I was officially due to retire then from BBC Worldwide when the opportunity with JPS Limited came up, but the BBC then retained me for a further two years so I found myself doing two jobs. I would often fly out to Italy after a day’s work at the Beeb to do a press pass for JPS Limited and fly back to be at my desk in White City the next morning, but because of the time difference often be there before anyone else.

Hectic times, but good fun.

What’s the one thing you love most about your job and why? 

Quite simply the people. My employers at JPS Limited must be some of the nicest people you could wish to work for. I have had the privilege of knowing Bridget Petty for a great many years and our paths have crossed continually over that time as we made our separate ways in the industry.

Being able to meet new people in the printing business, as well as maintaining old contacts, is also a great benefit of the job as well.

How did you end up in printing / print production?

My involvement with print first started at an advertising agency (later to become part of Saatchi & Saatchi) and then became more and more important through a long career that took in The Burton Group, The Rank Organisation, American Express and finally production management at the BBC working on their TV spin-off titles including Top Gear.

What did you want to be when you grew up and why?

I always had a yearning to go to sea, but after school ended up joining a leading London advertising agency as a junior which was a wonderful experience as you worked alongside incredibly eccentric characters that you would never normally expect to meet in a month of Sundays.

What is your biggest career challenge to date? 

Being hauled in front of a camera by Jeremy Clarkson without notice and told to do a piece to camera for Top Gear without a script. I thought it would end up on the cutting room floor, but amazingly, it was broadcast. I was told later that they were looking for an older man and I was the only one they could find!

What can make a ‘ordinary’ print project become ‘extra-ordinary’ and why? 

I don’t know really – I wish I had the answer to that one. I put as much effort as I can into every job I pass. Every job is unique in itself and deserves to be treated as such.

If you were on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?  

Not wanting to spend too much time as a castaway, I would take a rescue flare, desalination kit and a live chicken as I do like an egg in the morning.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? 

Walking away tired, but happy from a printing press knowing that you’ve done your utmost to achieve the best possible result.

What was your first record or CD? 

Bill Haley’s ‘Rock around the Clock’ on a 78rpm disc.

What has been your career highlight so far? 

Probably working for the then Burton Group producing mail order catalogues for their Womenswear division with total responsibility for design, fashion photography, repro and print. Complete fulfilment in one job. Fantastic.

What’s your favourite brand and why?   

The John Lewis Partnership because of their commitment to product quality and customer satisfaction.

 

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Profile: Natalie Bishop

Natalie Profile

In our next Profile, we speak to Natalie Bishop, key account manager at JPS Limited.

Based in the office in Otley, Natalie has been a member of the team for ten months. In her interview, we find out who her Hollywood celebrity crush is, along with why she loves The White Company’s brochures.

Q. When did you start working with JPS Limited?

A. I joined the JPS team in May 2016.

Q. Briefly describe your role with JPS Limited.

A. My role focuses around co-ordinating the production process, through tasks such as providing print resources and quotes for our clients, identifying any potential cost savings, ensuring excellent print quality and maintaining excellent customer satisfaction.

Q. What’s the one thing you love most about your job and why?

A. The people! I work with the loveliest team at JPS – there has never been a day I haven’t wanted to come to work. It’s such a great place to work, especially because of our wonderful clients and suppliers, and of course the dogs!

Q. What is your biggest career challenge to date?

A. It would probably have to be when I became a print buyer at Damart. I was involved in marketing in depth and dealing with merchandise, which was all new to me at the time but it’s given me a better understanding of the overall process within a retail sector.

Q. Can you explain the stages of printing a catalogue that you are involved in?

A. I’m involved in all of the various stages of print production. It starts with providing costs, sourcing any required special finishes for the brochure, and establishing a print and paper schedule to be issued to the parties involved. Then I act as a liaison between the printer, designer and reproduction team through the production process, before completing press passes, and following all the production to the final stages, which involves co-ordinating the mailing and delivery of the brochures.

Q. What are some features you feel make a fantastic catalogue and why?

A. The quality of the paper and the finish is one of the biggest factors when you pick up the brochure. A tactile feel of the finished product is something that makes a fantastic brochure. A great front cover is another crucial factor. This is the first image the customer is going to see so you want to make the cover a real centrepiece.

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. I like to spend time with my partner and friends, drinking bubbles and loving life.

Q. If you were on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?

A. Gerard Butler (or Nigel, my partner, would be just as good), a wine making kit (I’m hoping there are grapes on this island!), and lots of chocolate.

Q. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

A.My favourite part is being able to offer a customer cost savings, or something more than they expected from the original enquiry. Then seeing the finished production and receiving feedback from the customer… I love being able to help our customers.

Q. What was your first record or CD?

A. It was Raintown by Deacon Blue – back in the 80s!

Q. What has been your career highlight so far?

A. It has to be joining JPS Limited! My previous employer, Polestar, sadly closed, and it was a hard time. But for me thankfully it opened a wonderful opportunity for me to join the JPS team – it’s that old saying “as one door closes, another one opens”.

Q. What’s your favourite fashion brand catalogue and why?

A. The White Company – they supply stylish items for fashion and home. Ilove the impeccable, stylish products, principally in white, but I also love grey, which is also a colour they tend to market towards. It’s not traditional and not cutting edge but it is beautifully designed, simple, and with elegant pieces.

Q. If you could go back to one fashion era, what would it be and why?

A. It would be the 50s, it was an era like no other for spotting future fashion and beauty icons, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn, were the first to showcase new ideas – from the bikini to the IT bag, to Christian Dior’s New Look. My icon Grace Kelly’s outfits were some of the most talked about (and copied) of the decade. The 1950s were, without a doubt, one of my, and fashion’s, favourite decades.

Q. What is your favourite print finish on a catalogue and why?

A. I don’t have one particular favourite, in fact I like them all! But if I had to pick one out it would be a soft touch and matt laminate finish. It gives the catalogue that luxurious, quality finish. Team it with foil …. Very classy!!

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JPS on tour: A paper mill, sub-zero Swedish temperatures and a ghost hunt

A few weeks ago, two members of the JPS Limited team jetted off to Sweden to attend a papermill academy hosted by Stora Enso to learn all the ins and outs of paper production, unaware that this trip would, amongst other things, lead them into a hunt for an infamous ghost-horse.

Paper Mill Full Team (Bright) Photo

Day one. 11pm. What goes bump in the night

Natalie Bishop, key account manager, and Zoe Gibson, junior account manager, embarked on the training programme to help their understanding of the different processes involved in manufacturing the different types of paper that JPS Limited use for their clients.

Arriving late in the day in Copenhagen, Denmark, before travelling across the border to Sweden, Natalie and Zoe were met by Martin from Stora Enso, the organiser of the trip, to be taken to the remote and supposedly haunted Backaskog Castle in Sweden. It was this castle where they would be staying for the duration of the visit, along with the others on the trip who had travelled from a wide-array of countries including Russia, Finland, Sweden and Greece.

The castle used to be home to a king, his wife, and his many mistresses. There are rumours of a secret spiral staircase that would lead from his room to the room of his mistress – something which Zoe is keen to investigate.

The trip gets off to an exciting start, after an exploration in search of this staircase results in Zoe in fact discovering that not only does this staircase exist – it leads to the very room she is staying in!

Day two. 7am. Going sub-zero

The next morning, to experience the process of paper production from the very beginning, Natalie and Zoe’s day is kicked off with a trip to Sydved Forest, a privately-owned forest.

The group arrived in the forest just after 9am, and were swiftly supplied with hats, scarves and coffees to keep them warm in the near-zero temperatures.

Once firmly wrapped-up, the group were then able to witness first-hand the thinning process – where a handful of thinner or less healthy trees are selected to chop down to ensure the others can reach their full potential. The process is an expensive one especially given the use of the £4million “Harvester”, which was of course immediately explored by both Zoe and Natalie. Paper Mill Z&N on Tree CutterWhat was most surprising to discover however, were the secret uses of the different parts of the tree. As it turns out, every single bit of the tree is used and absolutely nothing is wasted. Whether it’s lollipop sticks or electricity, all parts of the tree, even down to the chemical compound, lignin, are used to create one thing or another.

While the top half of the tree is used for pulpwood to create paper, board and tissue, the lower half of the tree is used for timber to be used in the construction or furniture industry. In fact, even waste products such as left-over beech or the lignin which is removed to create “wood-free” paper, have their uses. The beech is what is used to create lollipop sticks, while the lignin can be burnt with bark to create electricity and steam, or can be used to produce vanilla sugar.

After a thorough explore of both a hardwood and softwood forest, the group were on their way to Nymölla mill to observe the next step of the paper-making process.

Having this time been supplied with ear plugs to protect them from the noise, the first thing to strike Zoe and Natalie as they step into the mill is the sheer size of everything in there. The machinery down to the final mother reels of paper are all of massive proportions, and it’s easy to understand why in some mills, workers are known to use bikes to get around the floor.

Paper Mill N&Z by mother reel

The group are taken through every step of the process of turning the trees into pulp, from the initial debarking and chipping processes, through to the cooking and bleaching. It’s at this stage where the pulp is separated into long and short fibres to get ready to start the paper making process, which is next on Natalie and Zoe’s agenda for the day.

At the beginning of the paper making process, surprisingly only 1 per cent of the mixture is fibre – the rest is all water. But after going through every section of the huge machinery, the paper finishes with only 5 per cent moisture.

Day two. 7pm. Did you say ghost horse?

It’s been quite the day by the time Zoe and Natalie arrive back at the castle, but thankfully they’re greeted by an exquisite meal, fit for a king and with wine pairings to match.

And after dinner, and many glasses of wine, the group decide to go on a hunt for the infamous “ghost horse”, which is said to roam the grounds of the castle. They manage to find the horse’s tombstone, but unfortunately, there is no sign of the horse – so they decide to retire to their bedrooms.

Ghost walk

Day three. 6.30am. Storm Doris crashes the tour 

The group only have the morning before their flights back, which starts with one last tour around the mill to see how some of the paper is finished at the end of the line and packed into boxes as copier paper. This is followed by some time spent in the classroom, discussing paper classifications and properties.

This is something that is extremely interesting and beneficial to Natalie and Zoe, as discussing paper properties is something they do every day with their clients to recommend the best possible paper for their product. JPS are always keen to improve knowledge to ensure they can always provide their clients with the best and most up to date information and advice.

All too quickly, the trip is over and Zoe and Natalie are back at the airport waiting for their flight back to Manchester, which has been delayed by both a snow-storm and the notorious Storm Doris.

Day four. 1am. A late start? Or is it early?

It’s around 1am when they eventually land and they have work the next morning, but that doesn’t worry them – they’re excited to put into practice everything they’ve just learnt from the Stora Enso team.

Natalie and Zoe would like to thank the Stora Enso team for organising such a wonderful trip.

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Profile: David Gordon, founder of BAM

David Gordon head shot
Profile: A journey into wanderlust…an interview with David Gordon at BAM, Bamboo Clothing.

To say David Gordon, founder of BAM, has a varied CV would be an understatement. Between running a successful activewear clothing label, he also jets around the world competing as pole-vaulter, he has completed an impressive man-haul expedition across Greenland with a team of Gurkhas and has a stint as a trainee stunt man on his list of achievements.

 

 

 

It may come as no surprise that David tells me he’s a man who rarely stands still for long:

“I like a focus, something to train towards. A challenge to achieve.”

 

So how did BAM begin?

David began BAM in June 2006. He stumbled upon the idea of using bamboo as a material for clothes during a trip to China, where the material was being quietly, but widely, used.

“When I came back to the UK and spoke to my family and friends about setting up a activewear clothing label using bamboo material they thought I was a bit mad. Although in China its use as a clothes material was completely normal, no one outside of the country has really heard of it. In fact, when I was researching setting up BAM I only found only one other business experimenting with it in clothing and they were all the way in America.”

 

Twelve years later and BAM has a team of 35 behind it and its catalogues are distributed to more than two million people.

BAM 2

“Before BAM I was considering a number of business ideas, but it wasn’t as simple as coming up with that idea to make money. Instead I wanted it to mean something to me, to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. I wanted a passion and to feel like I was doing something good.”

Bamboo is high performance material that, despite being on face value unconventional, lends itself perfectly to the type of clothing David wanted to create. It’s incredibly soft, antibacterial, absorbs moisture away from the skin, is warm yet breathable, and cuts out 97.5 per cent of harmful UV rays. It’s perfect for adventures who like the outdoors. You could say it’s perfect for people like David.

 

 

 

What’s clear is that every part of the brand reflects David. It’s a brand that caters for those who love the outdoors and being active.

“I created a label I would buy. I wear my brand day in day out.”

“Comfort and performance has always been key for us. You want your clothes to work for you, to respond to your needs, but most of all you want to enjoy wearing them.”

 

David’s wide range of interests also help inspire BAM he tells me.

“We get inspiration for our designs every day, but I consider the label to lead the market, rather than have a knee jerk response to it. It’s always been important to me that we not only understand our audience, but that we’re one of them. We are our audience.”

 

The partnerships BAM forges is just as considered as the material used.

One of those partnerships is JPS Limited. It helps produce BAM’s stylish catalogues which are distributed each season to more than two million people.

“Working with JPS Limited makes everything seamless. They look after everything and their attention to detail is second to none. It’s always a professional service and the team is on the ball.”

 

For those new to BAM, how would David describe the brand?

“Simplicity and style. Wanderlust, quirky and with integrity.”

And with a flick through its most recent Spring 2017 catalogue it’s easy to see why.

 

JPS Limited has successfully worked with BAM, Bamboo Clothing to support the production of its activewear catalogues for over four years.

Profile: Sharron Wilyman

sharron 001In this Profile, we speak to Sharron Wilyman, key account manager, at JPS Limited.

Sharron joined JPS Limited team over one year ago.

We find out why it’s hard for the mother of two to get a minute to herself and why soft touch laminate is her favourite print finish.

 

Q. When did you join JPS Limited?

A. I started working at JPS Limited’s Otley office on Tuesday 1st December 2015.

Q. Describe your role with JPS Limited in 20 words or less.

A. As a key account manager, I look after specific customer requirements from scheduling, to the final stage, delivery of the product.

Q.What’s the one thing you love most about your job and why?

A. Everything JPS Limited produce is to the best quality. It’s a wonderful feeling when you work extremely hard on a project and the customer is thrilled with the result.

Q. What is your biggest career challenge to date?

A. Before I came to JPS Limited I was a customer service account manager, where I was responsible for 15 members of staff. Sometimes it got a little stressful but I learnt a lot from this particular role.

Q. Can you explain the stages of printing a catalogue that you are involved in?

A. I’m involved in many aspects of the process; the first part is to forward plan for the up and coming season, this includes direct liaison with the client to confirm their requirements and then with the printers. We will then pro-actively look at the best most cost effective options. Once this stage is completed I then schedule in the timeframe for the production with the clients, this includes dealing with the artwork and the actual production of the brochure all the through to the delivery.

Q. What are the three things you feel make a fantastic brochure and why?

A. You can tell if a brochure is good as it will do what you want it to do – sell the products.  The three vital aspects I believe you need to make a brochure fantastic is good photography, quality products and a superb printed finish.

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. Apart from being a mother to two wonderful children, I also manage my son’s rugby team, volunteer as a secretary at my local village hall in Huby, where we do lots of fundraising to keep the hall open which is also available for hire. In between all that I try and keep active by running and going to the gym.

Q. If you were on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?

A. That’s an easy one – my husband and two children.

Q. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

A. When you’ve worked to the best of your ability on a brochure and you see the final version land on your desk or doorstep, and most importantly the client is happy with the result.

Q. What was your first record or CD?

A. Shakin Stevens, Green Door. He was my favourite childhood singer and I still listen to him now.

Q. What has been your career highlight so far?

A. Starting my job at JPS over one year ago. I’m a people person and love interacting with others and the team at JPS allow me to do this, it is a wonderful company.

Q. What’s your favourite fashion brand catalogue and why?

A. Hush is my personal favourite, but probably not my bank accounts. The brand design stylish, easy to wear clothing to suit all.

Q. If you could go back to one fashion era, what would it be and why?

A. The 1980s, I want to be able to wear leg warmers and Ra Ra skirts and for it to be acceptable.

Q. What is your favourite print finish on a catalogue and why?

A. Browsing through a brochure is an experience and I think using soft touch laminate not only looks great but it also feels great.

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The edit: How to manage the effect of paper price increases, part two

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Part two of our Managing the effect of paper prices series, John Petty, managing director of JPS Limited, reveals five more top tips for coping with the rise without compromising on brand integrity, quality and effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

 

 

Tip 1. Use Printer supplied stock grades

Most printers, whether sheet fed or web-offset, have a range of “house” sheets which cover a broad range of substances and surface finishes. As the printer is able to buy in greater volume than a single brand owner, it is definitely more economical to partner with them where formats are a standard size (e.g A5 or A4) to benefit from the discount that the greater volume enjoys.

Tip 2. Purchase direct from Merchants or Mill groups

Although this may sound at odds with the above, it is worth investigating if you can bulk buy more effectively from merchants or mill groups directly while interest rates remain low. Whether buying cover or text grades, you can deliver multiple issues worth of stock to the printer which avoids the restrictions of minimum orders and the surcharges which can be levied on lower tonnage orders. Establishing a direct purchasing relationship with a merchant or mill group also allows you to increase stock levels (with the agreement of your printer) in advance of the next likely paper increase, due 30/06/17, as the signs are that Sterling is going to continue to weaken against the Euro as Brexit negotiations get underway in early April.

Tip 3. Review your product for sustainable mail benefits

Many multi-channel retailers are closely adhering to the criteria set out by Royal Mail to benefit from the postal discounts of Sustainable Mail but may not be taking advantage. With paper prices on the rise, it is certainly worth reviewing your formats to see how you could comply as this could help mitigate the effect of higher paper prices. Most advertising papers meet the entry level criteria of Sustainable Mail as paper mills have ISO 14001 accreditation, paper is FSC- or PEFC-certified or contains a percentage of recycled fibre from recovered waste using non-chlorine bleaching. Printer and mailing house criteria are also easy to meet, the main hurdle may be persuading your business to mail your brochure unwrapped or to lose that special UV or laminate finish. But with an increasing cost base, it is certainly worth a test.

Tip 4. Consider using recycled paper

Specifying cost-effective recycled grades can be a part of producing an economical and sustainable catalogue. Leipa is one such paper supplier operating one of the most modern paper machines for the production of lightweight coated (LWC) recycled paper grades suitable for text printing. These grades offer genuine and competitive alternatives to virgin fibre LWC grades and once printed, the visual appearance is very similar to that of traditional paper.

Tip 5. Always ask your printer to separate the text and cover paper values in the quote

To ensure that there is complete transparency between yourself and the printer it is always wise to make sure that the paper requirements in terms of tonnage, sheet count, reel width, sheet size and, of course, value are separate on the quote. Firstly, this allows you to cross check alternative sources of supply and secondly, when mill increases do bite, you are fully aware of the cost increase as mills will always publish either percentage increase or £’s/tonne.

Read all of John’s Top Tips for managing the paper price increase at www.jpsprint.co.uk  

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