Steve Lister: A Convenient Truth - the Evolving State of Retail

Steve Lister is the Innovation & Sustainability leader at Konica Minolta Marketing Services. His role is to inspire brands, marketing teams & retailers to find new, impactful marketing ideas for on-brand print, packaging, and point of sale solutions and in this interview we talk about the changing retail landscape and print's continued role within it and I think that Steve provides us with some excellent insight about what has changed, and what is likely to change in the future.

Industry Support Builds for Pure Digital Show

Industry Support Builds for Pure Digital Show

The Pure Digital Show launched back on 26th April 2017 and has attracted strong support from some of the leading names in print technology including HP, Canon, Mimaki, Tonejet and Sihl as well as some of the leading associations such as SI’BON, IGI and DGI.

Is 'Digital Technology overload' an opportunity for Digital Print ?

It wasn't so long ago that your TV only had 4 or 5 channels and your phone was for making calls with. However, now we are constantly bombarded by an information overload. How can print survive in this crazy new environment ?

Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer right now. Just for a second. Imagine that it’s the 1950s. You consume as much content as you can. You likely frequent your local library. Perhaps you listen to the radio and watch the nightly news on TV. Maybe you also subscribe to, and read the entire, daily newspaper. Maybe your household receives a few magazines every month. That’s about it. There really isn’t a big difference between the information you know is available and the information you can consume.

Now, fast forward to 2017. You live in a 200-channel television universe, there are multiple daily metropolitan newspapers, apps, mobile phones, Instagram, facebook, google and the technology is exploding. Suddenly, there is far more content created than you can consume.

So, what do I think has happened? I can certainly consume more content than I could two decades ago, but no matter how much content is available, I can’t consume much more. And relative to the sheer volume of content available to me, I’m actually consuming a smaller percentage every day.



Now, put on your Marketer Hat or your Content Creator Hat again and take a look at the Information Overload chart above. The bottom line represents the consumer’s ability to consume more content. Yes, it’s gone up – but only ever-so-slightly.


Now look at the top line (the information available). It’s sky-rocketing and shows no signs of slowing down. The consumer stands no chance of consuming much more of that wonderful content you’re creating than they could yesterday or they will tomorrow.

Credit to Andrew Davis at for this.

The gap between the two is the perceived opportunity gap. Marketers are trying to squeeze information about their products in the gap.

The biggest opportunity today is to be part of the information that people can consume and not in the area of overload - the Actual opportunity GAP .

I believe there is tremendous opportunity for Print to fit in the gap. This is all about creating quality content over quantity.


So think about how to use all the digital content that is being created to elevate content to print – elevate shortlived digital successes to high quality printed products , extending the digital life span and reap the rewards for four to six weeks.

It also means we need to define our roles in this ever-growing world of content creation. In my opinion, this is why we see a huge interest in content curation over content creation. It represents the desire of the consumer to filter out the noise and get straight to relevant, high-quality content, given the limitations on their ability to consume.

So, where’s the opportunity? Content curation is certainly one avenue to pursue. Anytime you can help your audience find the best content, more efficiently, more often, you’re building trust.

However, in order to be successful at this, your brand must be perceived as a completely objective brand in the marketplace. Otherwise, your consumer has to find multiple curators and still consume more content to ensure they get the ‘whole picture.’ The content curation model is really designed to help consumers more efficiently find relevant content, not necessarily the best content.

The real opportunity here, in my opinion, is to create – and curate – the best content focused on one specific area frequently enough that you become the one brand that consumers look to for this information. It’s the opportunity of proving your brand is capable of creating and disseminating that content across media in a wide variety of formats.

So when it comes to creating the printed product then this becomes the opportunity to draw together the good stuff out there, disseminate and deliver something of value that is easy to consume.

If you’re just creating content for the sake of creating content, you’re not helping your consumers – you’re overwhelming them.

Thanks to paperkitecreative and Andrew Davis for the Digital v Print image and thoughts.


"A Designer cannot claim to have truly designed something until they also know how it will be made" Terence Conran

"A Designer cannot claim to have truly designed something until they also know how it will be made" Terence Conran

Terence Conran, a world famous designer once said: “A designer cannot claim to have truly designed something until they also know how it will be made.” And this is something we see as a key issue within the digital printing market. 

Design and delivery should not be mutually exclusive. Of course, this could sound like an obvious thing to say. But for digital print, and actually, print, in general, this does tend to be the case.

John Mark Watson – Breaking out with Digital Wallpaper

John Mark Watson – Breaking out with Digital Wallpaper

John Mark Ltd is a company that already has an enviable reputation as a leader in the field of digital wallpaper. Owner and director, John Mark Watson himself is a fourth generation wallpaper manufacturer, so you could say that wallpaper is quite literally in his blood. I visited their operation in Leyland, Lancashire, UK to discover more and talked with John Mark, and Jason Gilliat, Business Development Manager.

Pure Digital Webinar: Wallpaper and the Digital Revolution

Digital printing is capable of many things. But up to now, we have merely scratched the surface of the possibilities (no pun intended). This webinar features innovators from the world of design and digital wallpaper printing as well as experts who have developed the digital printing technology. The webinar will feature case studies, examples, insight and put forward the case that digital wallpaper printing is the next market to begin a revolution for digital printing production.

Please register for Pure Digital Webinar: Wallpaper - The Next Revolution for Digital Printing? on Sep 15, 2017, 2:00 PM BST Register for the webinar here



Picture Perfect: Using textile as a projection surface in museums and galleries

There are so many uses for printed materials within the Arts sector, our blogs have barely scratched the surface, but there is also a market for the installation of certain elements into places such as museums, galleries, and theatres that have no printed element per se, but knowing about the right materials for the job could open up a new area of business never thought of before - here David Hunter explains more.

IIJ: The Freedom to Print Digital Wallpaper

I recently caught up with Paddy O’Hara, John Corrall and Veena Sarojiniamma of Industrial Inkjet Ltd in Cambridge, UK to speak to them, and to view their new inkjet wallpaper printing machine. This machine represents a departure into new territory for the integrator who previously had built its business around developing bespoke technology with inkjet for a variety of manufacturing uses. I visited them to find out more.

Introducing SI'BON: 20 Years of Supporting Signmakers


We spoke to Ron van Rijssel who is the Managing Director of SI’BON one of the supporting associations for the Pure Digital Show. We talked to Ron about SI’BON, their goals and his experience in running the Netherland’s largest Sign Association.

What is SI’BON?

SI’BON is focused on the sign industry and sign companies. We are a sign association and sign companies can join and become a member but they have to have a level and good reputation. We give a licence to sign companies and they have to have a certain criteria to meet to become members and therefore they must be reputable. Part of our objective is to educate people with the understanding of what Sign Innovation really is.

We are trying to give sign companies the position so that everyone can easily recognise the label of SI’BON and the importance of signs.

We support our members in every way with the key elements that a Signmaker needs for their business. We run events and all kinds of things, giving our members advice, providing them with research and running events to help them to grow their business.

We do ‘quality certification’ and we would like everyone to know what sign is.
There is a close alignment with the mission for the Pure Digital Show. This is the same for us and we want to be able to educate and inspire the creative industry – by doing so we can also create an awareness to the end user of the possibilities with digital printing in particular.
The gap between sign making and the creative sector / end-users we also see as a problem. It depends on which people you are looking at. The advertisement companies will know 60% of what they have to know – but end users know only 30%.

End-users could be all kind of companies, vehicle companies, customers with a shop, retail companies and they need a lot of things, and you have the people with an office, and we can make some way finding on the outside of a building. Lighting advertisements.

A lot of people have seen these products and they have to find the companies who can make it and we help them by providing access to the quality products and there is still a lot of products that people are not aware of the possibilities and they are missing out.

Digital printing is really important for us and our members. In the past they may have covered a building with plain tarpaulin but now they can cover a huge construction site with a large format print to hide unsightly building works. There is so much digital printing – this is on a vehicle, in an office, in a house, in a shopping mall. The scope and importance of digital printing have grown and is a big part of the sign industry - maybe not 100%, but in almost every sign there is printing especially for the colours.

You can do much more with digital printing and it is at least 50% of all sign jobs.

How many members does SI’BON have? And what is your aim?

We have 300 members – mostly in the Netherlands with 280 and have 25 in Belgium. 
For us, the quality of our members is more important than the total amount. Each member must meet the quality level. Our members are in the middle and high level of the design market – we tend to not have the low end but instead the more sophisticated.
In the Netherlands, we have 1200 sign companies so we can grow but this will take 10 years because it is a slow process but every year we are growing.

What have been the key changes in this period?

SI’BON has been running now for 20 years. These days the products are much more complex. Our objective now is to be able to get the profit and also deliver higher value, impact signs and really big and complex logistical jobs. This is complicated logistically. If you are in the retail and you have 100 shops that need changing at the same time, it will make it very complicated. 
If you just look at display products you see this is not that easy to make a business from it. So the signmaker has to be creative and innovative in order to get a good price. Digital printing makes the market much bigger so they can grow in it.

This makes the projects much more conceptual and arresting. Everyone can put a picture against the wall and a sign company can now do it in 10 different ways, with different materials, with varied data, there are all kinds of ways to make the visual.
The term ‘signmaker’ is a misleading term. It is much more than that. The marketer makes the concept and the sign maker applies with the right materials.

It is true. Signmakers are not great commercial people at selling things – their focus is on making good products and because of this they don’t invest the majority of their time with customers. A lot of sign makers are waiting for their customers – and if the customer says OK, it is no more than that. It could be much more and Pure Digital is good because it is trying to address that.

To support Pure Digital we will be able to let the end user know what is possible and this event gives us the opportunity to show this.

For further information on  SI'BON go to their website



Printers & Designers: To Thrive, Let’s Learn Each Other’s Language

Printers & Designers: To Thrive, Let’s Learn Each Other’s Language

Guest blog for Pure Digital By Rachel Nunziata

As print professionals, we’ve seen how fast today’s digital technology can evolve and push boundaries, from signage to trade shows and beyond. Now, many of us are eyeing a hot, new market segment: digital interior décor. Driven by web-integrated software and unique substrates, this opportunity is already posting big numbers in the U.S., to the tune of $21 billion annually in the home accents category alone.