Graeme visits the FESPA Sweden Association
Graeme Richardson-Locke visits the FESPA Sweden Association at their Annual General Meeting where he spoke about FESPA’s Colour Champion Workshop and its benefits for digital and screen-printing companies.
A couple of months ago I was invited to join the FESPA Sweden Association for their Annual General Meeting. It was an opportunity to speak for an hour or so at the FESPA Colour Champion Workshop to explain what topics are included and how the programme is beneficial to both digital and screen-printing companies
I arrived in Gothenburg late in the evening and was met by a car who drove me to the hotel located outside the city where the meeting was held. When I walked into the hotel bar at 11:30pm I received a very warm welcome from an animated group, some of whom I’d met before and others who became new friends. The rest of the evening was spent enjoying a few drinks and listening to live music performed by several association members. Inevitably, there was some discussion around whisky and the merits of Mackmyra Svensk which Sweden’s contribution to the huge range of single malts is which we gladly sampled before retiring to bed. In the morning another favourite topic of mine was discussed colour management. It’s always interesting presenting to printers on the processes required to reap the benefits of a colour managed workflow. The diversity of print applications within FESPA’s community is huge and it is fair to state clearly that one size does not fit all. However, that said, it is only by calibrating your monitors and establishing the correct viewing environment can you be sure of what you’re getting into with customer files. In many cases designers want their PDF’s to print how they look on screen, even if it has never been paired up with a colorimeter and software such as X-Rite’s i1Profiler.
I expressed the importance of minimising the error stack that accounts for disappointed clients and frustrated printers. Some members don’t use PDF-X files in their workflow but prefer to use Tiff the Colour Champion workshop is flexible enough to flex across different set ups.
With an indication of more elements of the Colour champion offered, we looked at viewing conditions, device profiling and software set up. Whilst the screen-printing process control element is generally less of a priority it is available and can be added in to suit those printers who use the process.
This workshop has been adapted to meet the needs of printers in Denmark following my visit there last year. At a meeting with Grakom last week at FESPA’s head office in Dorking it was clear that the delegates who attended left feeling more equipped to challenge problems in their own factories. For me, the aim is to onboard printers who haven’t yet worked through the issues to reach more stable production, and in fact open the door to automation in workflow.
After some lively discussion, we left the venue to visit ACG Accent in Borås who are a very successful transfer printer, serving an international client base from domestic users to high volume clothing in China. We were given a detailed tour of the remarkably clean factory by marketing director Mikael Corbé.
Caption: The tour of ACG Accent
This featured the latest investment in computer-to-screen exposure and fully automated washing and closed loop reclaiming of screens. We were introduced to many print staff running cylinder and automatic flatbed printers named after various Star Wars characters.
In addition to this kit they also print using B2 HP Indigo presses to produce stunning full colour transfers with wash temperature resistance of 90 degrees Celsius.
Caption: Full colour high temperature wash resistant transfers.
Of course, an attractive characteristic of transfers is their wide adhesion range to many fabrics and their sharp image quality. Whilst the halo effect of the adhesive can be slightly off-putting ACG have really mastered the whole process. Following my visit, I placed an order for the FESPA Crew jacket transfers as they offer a block-out layer to prevent quality loss over time on soft shells.
I am developing the Colour Champion workshop across FESPA’s Associations, if you’d like to discuss the programme please let your FESPA Association secretary know so that they can get in touch
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