Alan Rigglesford is managing director of Clicks, a London based business offering printing, finishing, installation and logistics for small and wide format digital print.


Alan Rigglesford responds to the editor’s Comment in the October issue of Digital Printer. Here he argues that while we’re making steps in the right direction it is a tough journey that will take a little time.

Firstly, let’s tackle print’s dysfunctionality [October issue p2]. Print is one of the world’s oldest industries. Once an innovator, nowadays like many other long-surviving industries it has to change and adapt to rapidly evolving technology. With all this disruption combined with a somewhat industrial (and perhaps introverted) mindset, the industry can be forgiven for developing a slight inferiority complex!

Don’t get me wrong, print has been great at advancing its own production technology, it’s just that it has been slow to embrace technology that can help us improve the image of print and make it more accessible for customers.

As technology evolves, so will the client. I am sure that Gary Peeling [CEO of Precision Printing] will agree with the view that, as a younger generation of buyers is emerging, print seriously needs to polish up its image and this can’t just be done through the use of technology, it is merely the tool. Professional marketing (what’s that?) and how we communicate with clients’ needs to evolve in order to keep print as a medium alive.

Embrace the future

I’m not (yet) saying that the older buyer has gone, nor am I saying that print is in danger of becoming irrelevant. I am saying that our industry needs to wake up and take stock of what’s happening around us. Consumer technology trends are against us while other forms of media are eating our breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rather than whining, we need to embrace b2b and b2c buyer side technology and build smarter on-demand platforms that will make print more approachable to the new buyer landscape. 

After more than 30 years, Clicks Print has its fair share of legacy issues so I’m holding a mirror here! But on-demand technology is certainly a priority for us and will be a key part of Clicks’ future. 

I believe that print is still loved and will continue to be if we keep it accessible and relevant.

Please do ask me any questions… I’m trying to be more approachable!

Read the rest of the November issue online here