‘Boat Wrapping’ is increasingly popular. Sean Greer from Midcomp explains why
- Midcomp has been around in SA for almost 30 years. How did it all begin?
The business was started by Rob Makinson and Andrew pine in 1991 when they saw a gap in the market for Cad and Electro-Mechanical drawing printers.
- The company supplies into the signage and packaging industry. What do you supply?
We supply HP Latex large-format printing systems that print on either roll to roll or rigid material. We also supply Zünd Swiss Cutting systems which are extremely versatile and can be configured to cut a wide variety of substrates
- Has the rapid advance in technology – particularly large format printers — changed the way you do things?
With the internet of all things we now live in a “Me” society. Its all about our taste and unique personal preferences, combine this with how environmentally conscious the world has become. This plays perfectly to our digital printing and finishing equipment’s strengths design, Print and cut on the fly with no drying or curing time.
- It seems these days one can ‘wrap’ just about anything for branding purposes. What is driving this trend?
Personalisation — we all want to be unique and stand out
- (if not referred to above) In a recent presentation you talked about how social media networks are boosting consumer power. Is this also a driver of personalized signage?
It’s the social media that is driving the ‘Me Society’
- You’re now moving into the maritime market – boat wrapping. Is this a relatively new market?
We not as such, but our customers are though. They have been wrapping crazy things for years now like motorbikes, helicopters, planes, buildings cooling towers, exotic cars and so much more. Wrapping Yachts seems like a natural progression with how much technology has advanced.
- Presumably the move to boats comes with technology challenges and a swing to more eco-friendly alternatives?
Of course, solvents and eco solvents and even UV ink are all toxic and harmful to the environment especially to something like the marine environment. Our HP Latex customer are uniquely positioned to offer totally non-toxic printing technology that can be used in the most sensitive environments like hospital wards and even operating theatres
- Traditionally boats and sails tend to be sparkly white, like Wimbledon tennis players. But this seems to be changing. Have you noticed a trend towards more vibrant use of colour?
I can’t say that I have noticed it specifically in the marine industry as I have not been exposed to it for long enough. But the global megatrends all point to personalisation in all facets of life. Furthermore if you get bored of your design in a couple of months, just rip it off and print a new one at minimal cost in the greater swing of things.
- The Internet and digital marketing presents both pros and cons for print signage..? While driving individuation it has the potential to drive marketing budget online. Would you say there are more opportunities than obstacles?
There so many more opportunities out there, your only limit is your imagination!
- Back to maritime. Do you see big market potential here in SA, particularly in Cape Town with its boatbuilding hub? Is there growth?
I see massive potential, but it comes down to articulating the versatility and value proposition of Zund Swiss cutting equipment – it’s more than just a router. You can cut anything from supa wood, to leather to foam to PVC for making sails all on one machine.