Lockdown opens up floor graphics floodgate

Print Solutions: Positive About Print

In 27 years at Fantasy Prints, Paul Martin, marketing and social media manager, has never ordered multiple pallets of the same product for the Berwick-upon-Tweed signage, printing, clothing, and gift business. Neither has he had any demand for floor graphics, but the Covid-19 Lockdown has changed all that.

In the last eight weeks, Fantasy Prints has consistently reordered large volumes of materials from CMYUK’s Safe Spaces range to meet the unprecedented spike in demand for external and internal floor graphics.

An individual customer alone, recounts Paul, accounted for an entire large consignment of Utack multi-surface textile for installation across 350 of its UK sites. Fantasy Prints has produced floor graphics for both large and small companies nationwide, while its trade services for this type of application have been busy too.

The company traditionally services holiday parks and leisure centres, all sectors that were immediately impacted by Covid-19. With 90% of its business disappearing overnight, the company shut its doors for the first four weeks of lockdown.

Despite appearances, it was a month well spent. Managing director Sarah McMorn recognised that social distancing would be the new required norm and requested that Paul and another colleague design a clutch of social distancing products for the Fantasy Prints’ website. In turn, Paul applied the SEO principles he had learned on a Google training course the year before and began to promote the items online. Before long, Fantasy Prints was top of Google rankings.

‘What I discovered from Google was no matter how many buttons you put on your website what matters is what happens behind the scenes. That is what I did for social distancing. I looked at what people might be typing in. I didn’t spend anything on Google advertising. It all been through organic searching,’ said Paul.

The business was reopened, with one machine operator bought back in, who before long was joined by several others.

In an unprecedented turn, 95% of customers the company is currently servicing are new – on-boarded in the main by the need for floor graphics. It has now printed floor signage and other related safeguarding applications for hundreds of schools, churches, and hairdressers preparing for their re-opening as well as large numbers of businesses from Northern Ireland.

Paul is in no doubt that the Fantasy Prints’ hardware portfolio has allowed it to step up to the demands of the new opportunities. The company purchased an EFI Vutek GS2000LX in 2017 that runs alongside two other wide format digital printers, and an Esko X24 digital cutting table.

The floor graphics are being output through the Vutek due to its high production speeds and industrial capacity, while the other machines in the company’s arsenal are outputting banners and wall graphics.

Fantasy Print’s Lockdown experience has set a blueprint for how it will do business in the future. Focusing on how it optimises its website to effectively present products and services has already generated revenue. Understanding marketing cycles and pre-empting events, displaying products in situ to inspire customers, and presenting templates that can be easily customised to make purchasing as simple as possible are the takeaways the company has learned from this experience.

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