This year will see Sign & Digital UK (SDUK) celebrate its 35th edition, and the organisers say they are particularly pleased to report that many new businesses from across the UK and beyond will be exhibiting at the show, representing diverse sectors within the signage and digital printing industry. In addition to the fresh faces, SDUK will see the return of some big-name exhibitors, adding further expertise and innovation to the exhibition floor. According to new show owner Datateam, this combination of new and established participants ‘ensures a comprehensive and compelling experience for all attendees’.

Speaking about the co-location of SDUK with Printwear & Promotion Live (see preview on p40), event director Tony Gardner said, ‘Sign & Digital UK 2024 is the first SDUK under our ownership, and we are really looking forward to seeing how the co-located event works. All shows must continue to develop their offering and we believe a co-located event is key to help grow the show, and to attract a new audience into the world of sign-making and large-format digital printing. Visitors will have the chance to explore the latest technology and innovations first-hand, with many of these advancements being showcased in the UK for the first time.’

The exhibition will be complemented by the International Sign Association (ISA-UK) Explains Lounge. Now in its third year, the Lounge will host a series of presentations and panel discussions designed to inform and educate visitors to the show on the latest developments, trends and innovations and how they will impact the large format printing, sign-making and visual communications industry.

Topics include managing your sign business, business advice sessions, daily panel and feature sessions. The Women in Sign and Graphics session focuses on their contributions to the industry, while The Printing Charity will share ways to support mental well-being within the sector.

On the show floor, Hybrid Services, the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for Mimaki Europe, is introducing three new printers at the event. These are the Mimaki TxF300-75 direct-to-film printer launched in August 2023, the UJV100-160Plus LED UV printer announced in September 2023, which will have its first UK exhibition showing, plus the first showing of the Mimaki UCJV330-160 LED UV integrated printer/cutter. The latter is a 1.6m production machine that Hybrid says offers ‘highly creative capabilities coupled with ultra-low running costs’.

RGB and Oki Europe are teaming up to support motor vehicle number plate printing with a complete ‘business in a box’ solution. They will be featuring the A3+ Oki Pro9542 printer, which includes white toner, and the Oki C650, described as ‘the world’s smallest high performance colour printer’  but still suitable for commercial print.

UK Feather Flags will showcase various products, including a new line of Eco fabric exhibition display solutions that it says demonstrate its commitment to sustainable signage. The company aims to build brand awareness, forge new business relationships, and gain insights into emerging market trends.

Sign Trade Supplies plans to display its range of sustainable aluminium profiles, sign fixings, and components, emphasising value to customers. The stand will also feature an interactive element, adding a ‘fun and engaging dimension for attendees’.

Assured Signage aims to use the show to highlight the potential of digital signage as a new revenue stream for traditional sign-makers and printers. It will present its media player, Sureview Genesis, which is claimed to offer offering exceptional performance and a low cost of ownership. The stand will also feature displays from Papercast, showcasing e-ink displays ideal for outdoor applications.

Roland DG  is taking space at both SDUK and Printwear & Promotion. At the former, it will showcase its new VersaObject MO-240, which replaces the company’s popular LEF2 Series and is designed to enhance direct-to-object printing with new levels of productivity. For those interested in signage, interior design and vehicle wraps, the company will also be showcasing its TrueVIS AP-640 resin printer, plus the popular TrueVis LG-640 UV print and cut device, and the 2.4 x 1.2m VersaObject EU-1000MF flatbed that can handle objects up to 95mm thick. These will be backed by demonstrations of the DG Connect software app.

Brownings, in partnership with Magnwall, plans to showcase novel wireless electrification systems at SDUK 2024. This allows users to mount electrical accessories onto the face of tension fabric systems, eliminating the need for complex wiring. The stand will also feature Brownings’ range, including TexSign tension fabric systems, Flex face products and bespoke snap frames.

BestSub will showcase its latest engraving machine, craft heat presses, Otter DtF system, and a comprehensive selection of craft supplies, materials, and tools.

InkTec had been planning to show a brand new printer, the Jetrix LXa5 flatbed, but the conflict around the Suez Canal has delayed it, so the firm will focus on sustainability, showing how Jetrix printers can be upgraded to move with the times and continue to deliver on their initial investment. The Jetrix LXi8 UV flatbed will be present, sporting a new user interface that improves the nesting and mapping capabilities of the printer to minimise media wastage. There will also be the first showing of the Jetrix XGR320 3.2m UV LED roll printer. Both machines will be printing with GreenGuard Gold accredited inks.

QPS will feature four LED UV printers from ColorJet on its stand – the 49sqm/hr Verve 2513M flatbed, the Verve Mini 1050 x 1650mm compact flatbed, the 2m width Vulcan Hybrid X and the 3.2m Vulcan 3201M which offers at top speed of 76sqm/hr. Collectively these cover a full gamut of wide-format applications from small signage and promotional items to high volume roll substrates, plus rigid materials including ACP, foam, board, flute board, glass, ceramic tiles and wood. QPS will also feature the Nazdar range of inks.

Drytac won’t have a stand of its own, but its products will feature on Epson, Hybrid Services and Roland’s stands, as well as that of exclusive distribution partner Premier Paper Group. While Premier will display a selection of Drytac materials and can advise about the full range, Epson will feature SpotOn Floor 200 and ReTac Textures Sand wallcovering films, while Hybrid will be printing Polar Chrome reflective PET, Polar Choice White film and Visiprint films. Roland’s stand will show ReTac ChalkMate, which yields a blackboard-type finish.

Another first will be the debut of the SC-V1000 A4 flatbed printer from Epson. This is an entry-level flatbed printer aimed at small businesses in the promotional goods industry. Described as highly compact and affordable, V1000 can print directly on a wide range of substrates with a thickness of up to 70mm, including acrylics, polycarbonates, PVC, aluminium, metal, polyester, foamboard, styrene, wood and stone, making it suitable for creating promotional and personalised items.