First Display started off in taxi advertising, but an investment in Roland
printing equipment has seen it explore exciting new avenues – despite a lack of printing experience.
‘We were originally founded in June 2004, buying and selling taxi advertising,’ explained Jamie Bowes, director of Edinburgh based First Display. ‘All the printing was outsourced – we were getting wraps done in Glasgow and down south, which meant we were always bound by other people's timelines. We were just let down too many times.’
First Display took the step of bringing its printing in-house by installing a Roland DG Soljet XC-540 in 2007, followed by a Soljet Pro III XJ-740 two years later, both of which have been running ever since. Soljet systems are versatile machines, suitable for a wide range of printing applications with fantastic image quality and productivity. Despite not coming from a printing background, Jamie and his team quickly got to grips with the technology, leading to a whole new world of business opportunities.
‘The Roland printers opened up all sorts of doors for us,’ said Jamie. ‘I take a ‘don't ask, don't get’ approach so we went to ad companies and offered all types of different printing jobs we could do on the Roland’s, besides taxi advertising. Now we're working with multiple big names like Tesco, RBS, M&S and various other brands.’
‘We moved in 2014 to bigger premises to maximise our work. We deal with clients from way up north all the way down to Cornwall. Printing everything in house means we can manage the quality and control turnaround times.’
In its 11 years as a Roland user, First Display has also added two Roland VersaExpress RF-640 printers to its workroom. These large format inkjet systems deliver excellent speeds and a wide colour gamut, but it is the quality that keeps the wheels turning at First Display.
‘Our business is modelled on repeat custom. We look after our clients,’ said Jamie. ‘Some people think that for a banner seen ten feet away the quality doesn't need to be very good. But that is not what we are about – we are about making our customers happy and that means delivering higher quality work.’
Around 70% of First Display's work is for trade customers, producing output such as banners, vinyls, wallpapers and many other media, all on Roland systems. It also offers retail signs and commercial ‘for sale’ signs.