PRINTING….it’s a hard life

PRINTING….it’s a hard life

RIP Sir Ken Dodd and Jim Bowen – two brilliant masters of their craft. Sir Ken’s one man shows would last over 4 ½ hours on average without even a quiet second. Jim Bowen one of the original comedians, who went onto make Bullseye a family favourite – I used to laugh when the winners, who were usually unrelated, won the star prize – what are two postmen from Dudley going to do with a huge speedboat?………put it on the canal?

Now stand-up comedy is one of the toughest jobs out there – but it’s nowhere near as hard as running a print shop; tight customer deadlines, poor quality artwork, printer issues, ink costs, internet competition “we can get these off the internet for £2-50 each” and just when you are juggling half a dozen jobs, in walks Dorothy who wants 15 posters for a birthday party tonight, she’s popping to the Post Office then the butcher’s and will pick them up in half hour or so……..AAARRRGGGHHHH. I feel your pain and salute you for getting out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately, I do not have a magic wand to make the “Dorothy’s” of the world disappear – but if you want to discuss other ways in which I can assist, please email, or just pick up the phone – even if it is to have a rant or have a shoulder to cry on J

We know you have good days too and the satisfaction when you see one of your images hanging outside, or a fleet of vehicles that you have wrapped makes it all worth the effort.

Oh before I go – Cheltenham feedback, what a cracking day and fantastic atmosphere, especially in the Guinness Village……….Total winnings £5-64 Total spent £………… better not say just in case the wife finds out

Have a great week

Cheltenham Races

Good afternoon,

Hope you are enjoying the “warm weather”, well for now anyway

I need a favour(s) – next Tuesday I am off to Cheltenham for the day, travelling down on the beer bus with 30+ other blokes, it’s gonna be a great day J

However, the only thing I know about horses…….they are big so n so’s of a beast

This is where you can make my great day a perfect day – do you happen to be a betting guru, who always takes the bookies to the cleaners? If so, come on pass on the red hot tips – please please help me out!!

If you happen to be going along on Tuesday, give me a call and we can arrange to meet up, have a pint and a natter

Anyway, that’s my plea for help, I will let you know how I get on

All the best


Save money with Summa – Sign and Digital Show Promotions

Hello and thank you for considering us for the supply of Summa cutters. We have pleasure in offering the complete range, from the entry level D60RFX-2E which is ideal for micro business and start ups, to the S2TC160-2E for the professional sign making / graphic display companies.

D60RFX-2E Summa SummaCut R D60FX vinyl cutter – 600mm

D60R-2E Summa SummaCut R D60 vinyl cutter – 600mm

D120R-2E Summa SummaCut R D120 vinyl cutter – 1200mm

D140R-2E Summa SummaCut R D140 vinyl cutter – 1350mm

D160R-2E Summa SummaCut R D160 vinyl cutter – 1580mm

S2D75-2E Summa S Class S75 D Series vinyl cutter – 750mm

S2D120-2E Summa S Class 2 S120 D Series vinyl cutter – 1200mm

S2D140-2E Summa S Class 2 S140 D Series vinyl cutter – 1400mm

S2D160-2E Summa S Class 2 S160 D Series vinyl cutter – 1600mm

S2T75-2E Summa S Class 2 S75 T Series vinyl cutter – 750mm

S2T120-2E Summa S Class 2 S120 T Series vinyl cutter – 1200mm

S2T140-2E Summa S Class 2 S140 T Series vinyl cutter – 1400mm

S2T160-2E Summa S Class 2 S160 T Series vinyl cutter – 1600mm

S2TC75-2E Summa S Class 2 S75 T Series vinyl cutter OPOS CAM – 750mm

S2TC140-2E Summa S Class 2 S140 T Series vinyl cutter OPOS CAM – 1400mm

S2TC160-2E Summa S Class 2 S160 T Series vinyl cutter OPOS CAM – 1600mm

Vinyl cutters that set the industry standard for performance and value

Combining the world’s most reliable sensor technology with highly complex algorithms allows SummaCut to effectively compensate for any print deformations and deliver spot-on contour cutting every time. Its outstanding registration-mark recognition capabilities apply not only to standard materials but also reflective, holographic and metallic materials, as well as many of the laminates being used today.

Built to withstand the daily punishment of busy production environments, SummaCut vinyl cutters are ideal for value-minded graphics professionals who are unwilling to compromise their quality standards. The versatility of this series makes it ideal for cutting signs, vehicle lettering, die cut decals, labels and more.

SummaCut Engineering

Summa engineers understand that the most important vinyl cutter feature is tracking. That’s why every cutter we build features our exclusive, patented MicroSprocket™ media transport rollers. Milled from the finest materials, in a unique process that assures an exacting diameter, each roller is specially coated to eliminate the risk of wear and oxidation that can degrade tracking over time.

All machines come with a 3 year onsite warranty

CAD Paper Supplies

CAD Plotter Paper
Hello and thank you for considering us for your CAD Paper requirements, now let’s get you to the correct paper.

All of the CAD plotter paper below are ideal for engineering drawings, plan prints, architectural plans, draft prints and are compatible with mainstream inkjet wide format plotter and printers such as HP DesignJet, Canon imagePROGRAF, Epson and Oce.

Tavira CAD Paper – our own brand of large format papers, cost effective and quality combined. (A1 & A2 sheets. 610mm, 841mm & 914mm wide x 50m & 91m lengths**)

Canon OCE CAD Paper – Canon OCE papers are world renowned for quality and consistency batch after batch.

IJM009 75gsm Draft Paper PEFC (297mm – 1067mm wide x 50m, 91m,120m & 150m lengths**)

IJM021 90gsm Standard Inkjet Paper (A1 & A2 sheets. 297mm x 1118mm wide – 50m, 91m & 110m lengths**)

IJM043 80gsm Recycled Zero Inkjet Paper FSC (610mm, 841mm & 914mm wide x 50m**)

HP CAD Paper – Hewlett Packard are the major players for hardware in the CAD market and the HP Cad papers are designed to support this market

HP Bright White Inkjet Bond Paper 90gsm (420mm – 914mm wide x 45.7m & 91.4m roll lengths**)

HP Universal Bond Paper 80gsm (594mm – 1067mm wide x 45.7m & 175m roll lengths**)

Xativa CAD papers are available in both 80gsm and 90gsm thickness (A1 & A2 sheets, 420mm to 1067mm widths and in 50m / 90m roll lengths)

** Please make sure your printer is suitable for the longer rolls **

Tracing Paper

To compliment our CAD supplies, we offer tracing papers in 90gsm and 112gsm

Tavira Tracing Paper – 112gsm (A1 & A2 sheets and in rolls 610mm, 841mm & 914mm widths x 50m)

HP Natural Tracing Paper – 90gsm (610mm & 914mm wide x 45.7m roll lengths)

PPC Media

CAD papers for traditional plan printers and copiers requiring a 3″ core – NOT suitable for inkjet printers

Tavira – our own brand label of PPC paper – 75gsm (594mm & 841mm widths x 175m roll lengths)

Canon Oce range of PPC papers are available in sheet form, rolls – plain paper, fluorescent and coloured papers – see below for the individual specs and sizes

LFM054 75gsm Red Label PPC Plain Paper PEFC (A0, A1 & A2 sheets and in rolls 210mm to 1067mm wide and in 175m / 200m roll lengths)

LFM147 80gsm Recycled Zero PPC Plain Paper FSC (420mm, 594mm, 841mm & 914mm wide rolls x 150m)

LFM411 90gsm Fluorescent PPC Paper (600mm & 841mm wide x 135m rolls – Yellow, Green Pink & Orange)

LFM425 80gsm Coloured PPC Paper FSC (594mm & 841mm wide x 150m rolls – Light Pink, Bright Yellow & Medium Blue)

Product in the Spotlight – The Contex HD iFLEX A2 scanner

Wideformat Solutions Ltd are pleased to offer the Contex HD iFLEX A2 Scanner. Call us for competitive pricing, we can also offer cost effective leasing arrangements.

Why purchase the HD iFLEX Scanner ?

Open up new markets within the large format printing sector, there are no consumables to purchase so ongoing costs are very low.
There is an increasing need for documents to be digitised for space saving and security reasons.
Improve workflow situations, once scanned you have the image in digital format to do what you like (additional software i.e. photoshop may be required)
The new HD iFLEX A2 scanner from Contex is smarter, faster, better and offers a more flexible flatbed
The Contex HD iFLEX scanner comes with a large flatbed surface, offers fast scanning speeds and combined with its ultraflexible design is the perfect solution for your needs.
The HD iFLEX is the most flexible flatbed scanner on the market and can scan up to A1/D size documents.
Original artwork and historical documents can be easily scanned by placing them gently on the scanner bed, alternatively the scanner offers the flexibility to scan books, textile, wood and anything else that you would like in digtal content.

Individual Imagination is the only limit
The large flatbed surface provides flexibility like never before. Scan up A2/C-size originals of any size or shape – or scan documents up to A1/D-size.
The flatbed surface is unrestricting and supports originals in unlimited thickness. You can even place multiple items and scan them into single or multipage image files using our award winning Nextimage software.

Key features of the HD iFLEX
One touch ultra-fast scanning. Images can be scanned in just 4 seconds.
Using a single camera with full 600 x 600 optical resolution and true optical lenses, giving market leading results.
Scan up to A1/D-size document on an A2/C-size flatbed scanner.
Excellent engineered design enables scanning with the lid closed, lifted, open or removed.
USB and Gigabit Ethernet with xDTR2
You can place anything on the scanner bed and let the HD iFLEX do the scanning.
The HD iFLEX supports scanning any shape or size and can be used to scan original artwork, create product catalogs or make digital archives of your most fragile originals.

Scan originals up to A1/D-size
A simple guide in Nextimage will help scanning documents twice the size of the scan bed. Simply place the documents and follow the guide. This truely makes the
HD iFLEX an A1 scanner in a A2 size.

Book scanning
The Contex HD iFLEX Scanner offers exceptional Return on Investment whilst also keeping the outstanding renowned Contex CCD quality.

When the image to be scanned is a shape – light is very important
When scanning originals with folds, creases and other shapes, the image usually results in shadows. The iFLEX scanner has ultra-bright LED light that best emulates natural light in a flatbed design and eliminates unwanted shadows in your originals. However, when scanning shapes, like brail, carvings or plants, the light source is carefully designed to capture the shadows that make up the shapes of the objects.

Quality is a brand promise
The HD iFLEX’s high color fidelity can be delivered in Adobe RGB, sRGB or even RAW RGB in full 48-bit color. Combined with true camera optics, a single 4-channel CCD in full 600 x 600 dpi optical resolution the HD iFLEX will capture every detail right every time.

Purchasing Hardware through Leasing

Wideformat Solutions Ltd are pleased to offer leasing arrangements for the purchase of hardware (printers, laminators, vinyl cutters and scanners) through our partner Kennet Leasing

The Tax Benefits of Leasing explained

Leasing converts a large capital expenditure into small monthly payments. Hence the company has the profit-making equipment immediately and keeps their cash reserve available.

Rather than investing the precious cash reserves in depreciating assets, the company can use them to help increase profits.

Lease Rental is 100% Tax deductible

The main reason that the majority of companies lease rather than purchase equipment is that they use leasing as a method of reducing their tax bills. This is because lease rental is 100% tax deductible, and all payments made for the equipment are written off against the company’s tax bill. For any profit making business, this means a substantial saving in the real cost of acquiring equipment by lease rental. This could mean a saving of between 20-40% of the lease payments, depending on the rate of tax you pay*.

Payments on qualifying leases are written off as direct operating expenses, rather than a debt or outstanding liability, thus reducing short term taxable income.

Any capital allowances are passed on to you, and lease payments can be offset against taxable profits. VAT can also be reclaimed on monthly payments. This status as a “lease” as opposed to a “liability” on a company’s balance sheet is something the banks like to see, which is why an operating lease can be attractive. For this reason, leasing is often referred to as ‘off balance sheet’ financing – a tremendous advantage to both large and small businesses.

Ownership at the end of the lease

Lease rental is just that, a rental or hire agreement. Title of the goods remains with the Lessor (either Kennet or assigned to a bank), which means the equipment does not show on the companies balance sheet, therefore not needing to be depreciated over a fixed period. If Kennet broker the funding, they are the “third party” involved within the lease agreements. In effect, Kennet buys the equipment from the supplier and then sell it on to the customer. This means that the customer can take full advantage of all the benefits of leasing but still owns it at the end. (Tax loop-hole)

The disadvantage of buying equipment outright

The disadvantage to buying equipment out-right, is that the capital invested becomes a depreciating asset. This is an asset that’s value decreases over time.

The total amount that assets have depreciated by during a reporting period is shown on the cashflow statement, and also makes up part of the expenses shown on the income statement. The amount that assets have depreciated to by the end date is shown on the balance sheet.

How the tax advantages of leasing works – in numbers

You lease a machine that costs £5,000 + VAT, over a 3 year term.

The monthly payments would be £162.50 + VAT over 36 months

Total paid over the term of the lease £5850

20% tax can be reclaimed on the total lease payments over the 3 years, so a total of £1170

Therefore the net cost of the lease is £5850 – £1170 = £4680*

*Your accountant will be able to provide more information. This information is provided for guidance only.

*Subject to status – terms and conditions apply

Do you weigh up the alternatives when choosing print paper?

Do you find yourself ordering the same print papers regardless of whether they’re good value, the best option for the job at hand or the best quality for your budget?

We asked our customers, what stops them trying out different print media? Do they just want to stick with what they know because it’s safe? Or would they consider alternatives if they thought it was better quality, had better properties for a specific job, or was a cheaper option to achieve the same print finish.

The resounding answer that came back was – they order the same because they have the order number at hand and it’s quick and easy! And sometimes, customers admitted, this can be to the detriment of the print job.

Clients we quizzed included printers, photographers, architects and artists – and all of them admitted to using a print medium that probably wasn’t the best out there for a particular project, just because they hadn’t got the time to search for a suitable replacement.

If there was a simple and speedy way to weigh up the alternatives, however, without having to trawl through a website or catalogue, they would indeed consider trying out a broader range of print paper, photo paper or canvas.

Well, we’ve listened – and we want to help, so we’re modifying our online shop listings to try and sort this out for you right now!

It’s still a work in progress as we have such an extensive range of products, but we’re starting to list some of the alternative supplies for our popular paper ranges – to give customers a quick glance guide and, more importantly, a choice from the viable options available.

Whether it’s comparing print media from a different manufacturer to see if the quality or price is better, or finding a paper that creates a better finish – more suited to the ink or printer used, change can be a good thing.

Here’s an example of our new-style listing, with alternative suggestions to consider:

Canon Oce Instant Dry Photo Gloss Paper – 190gsm

Our list of similar products includes:

  • HP Universal High-Gloss Photo Paper
  • Kodak Premium Rapid Dry Photographic Glossy Paper
  • Epson Photo Paper Gloss
  • Tavira Gloss Pro Photo Paper
  • Canon Glossy Photo Paper – A1 inkjet photo paper
  • Sihl Rocket Photo Paper Glossy

So, next time you’re ordering – and pondering whether there’s a better option – enter the product code into our website and see if there’s a ready-made list of similar products sat there waiting for you!

Canvas printing – why cheap material can be costly!

Any discerning photographer will know that there is a vast range of photo canvas materials out there of varying quality. Whilst it’s tempting to think first of your profit margin and look for the cheapest available, have you considered that buying cheap can be costly in other ways? A little investment in trying out different canvasses can pay dividends, ensuring you’re producing superior products that look and feel amazing – and will stand the test of time for your clients.

Paying attention to the details like compatibility with your printer and inks, finding a material that offers a refined finish and ensuring it meets the highest industry standards regarding density, colour gamut, colour graduation and image sharpness will bring real benefits in the long-run.

Clients will choose you for your portfolio of work, but they will remember you for the quality end product you produce! They want a canvas that they are proud to display on their living room wall. Whether it’s part of a wedding package, family portrait session or for fine art prints, the few extra pounds you spend on quality canvas material can easily be absorbed into the price you charge and will show off your photography far better.

Consider the alternative – buy cheap material and you risk rips, discolouration and an uneven finish. More importantly, you risk losing out on those word-of-mouth referrals to friends and family!

You may know the brand Hahnemühle FineArt for its photographic papers. The company is renowned for its high quality media and has recently been recognised as a ‘Brand of the Century’, as documented by the ‘Markenpreis der Deutschen Standards’ (Brand Award of the German Standards). Well, we want to introduce you to their range of premium canvas products.

Their luxury canvasses are perfectly suited to photographic and fine art applications, complying with highest archival standards.

If you haven’t tried Hahnemühle canvasses before, here’s a taste of their canvas collection:

Monet Canvas

Their Monet Canvas is a heavy, 100% cotton canvas with a woven pattern. Its natural white colour is perfect for art reproduction, but also works well for high quality photo printing. With its premium matt inkjet coating, Monet Canvas meets the highest industry standards regarding density, colour gamut, colour graduation and image sharpness. It is easy to stretch and can be varnished after printing. Compatible with pigmented and dye inkjet systems.

Monet Canvas is available in boxes of A4 and A3 sheets, or in 12m rolls with varying widths including 17” 24” 36” 44” and 60”.

Goya Canvas

The premium satin inkjet coating on this natural white 340gsm poly-cotton canvas brings an added dimension to the image and gives a brilliant satin-finish. It is compatible with pigmented and dye inkjet systems, is easy to stretch and its satin-finish does not require varnishing after printing.

It is available in 12m rolls, in widths 17” 24” 36” 44” and 60”.

Leonardo Canvas

Their Leonardo Canvas is compatible with pigmented and dye inkjet systems and has a water resistant and hard-wearing surface with a fine, smooth structure. The premium high-gloss inkjet coating means, as with the Goya canvas, it does not require varnishing after printing. The easily wrapped canvas material is also perfectly suited to Hahnemühle’s Gallerie Wrap, the do-it-yourself stretcher-frame system.

The Leonardo canvas is available in A3 and A3+ sheets (25 sheets per box) and in 12m rolls, in widths 17” 24” 36” 44” and 60”.


This bright white FineArt Inkjet canvas has an extravagant metallic gleam! The metallic finish on a fine structured fabric creates a lively and appealing image effect.

The Inkjet coating guarantees sharp resolution for photographs and art reproductions with a large colour scale and extremely high densities for dark colours.

It is available in 12m rolls, in widths 17” 24” and 44”.

For more information on Hahnemühle products, or alternative quality photographic canvas materials, call our team on 01543 679197.

Wideformat Solutions become Midlands’ supplier for Canon / Oce’s exciting product range

We’re thrilled to become one of the selected, UK suppliers of Canon / OCE’s exciting product range!

From February 2016, we will be amongst the few print supply companies in the Midlands to offer a new look Canon / OCE self-adhesive vinyl and scrim banner.

It’s great to be able to be associated with such a strong brand as Canon / OCE, and their high quality printing products.

So, we thought this would be a great opportunity to share some of the reasons we think Canon / Oce products are tip-top.

Consistently high quality… time and time again

Consistency is the keyword here! Have you ever re-ordered exactly the same paper, or vinyl, or canvas (or so you thought) – just to find it looks or feels slightly different from your last batch and produces a different print finish? By choosing Canon / OCE, you can wave those issues goodbye! Their stringent quality checks ensure they achieve that all important consistency, batch after batch. Which means you can remain consistent too!

No unhappy clients on the phone complaining about discrepancies in print jobs and no time wasted re-ordering or re-printing. Job’s a good’un, time after time.

Choice… of the largest selections in Europe

If you want it, Canon / OCE have probably got it! Canon / OCE stock a professional range of media to suit all ink types including water-based, UV, solvent, eco solvent and latex, and all applications – CAD, GIS, photographic, fine art, posters, point of sale signage, exhibitions.

And they’re increasing their range all the time, as evidenced by their latest additions.

We think it’s safe to say, where print media is concerned if they haven’t got it, it’s most likely not been invented yet.

Compatibility…… runability = reliability. Everything has been tested!

We’re sure you already know that you don’t have to stick to the same brand media as your printer, but there’s often an ordering issue – knowing what successfully prints on what. Whilst we do have our very own print guru, Chris, on-board who can answer these questions, Canon / OCE have gone a step further and produced an easy-to-use online media guide. How clever is that?! Simply type in the product you use and Canon / OCE will provide their list of alternatives. Chris is happy with this, as he doesn’t have to wrack his brains so much. We’re sure you’ll be happy with it too. Go on, give it a whirl.


OK, so they’re not a budget brand – but they also might not be as expensive as you may think. For everything you get with Canon / OCE (see list above…), they’re priced competitively for the range and quality on offer. Let’s face it, if you want high spec results, you can’t afford for your print media to let you down.

If it’s confidence you want that your finished print works will be of the standard you require, Canon / OCE really are a first class option. In fact, they are so confident in their products that they offer a no quibble sale or return policy if the media doesn’t print as well as it should. It’s nice to know that’s there, although we’ve never had to return a product yet.

Take a look at Canon / OCE’s exciting products

You can find full details of Canon / OCE’s exciting products on our website here:

IJM695 Canon/Oce Standard Matt Banner 440gsm

IJM690 Canon/Oce Monomeric Vinyl Gloss Permanent 80 Micron

Or view more of their product range here.