HP Latex R2000 helps Fountain Print battle through pandemic and diversify into new markets

Bristol based print and design solutions provider Fountain Print says its purchase of an HP Latex R2000 printer supported the business with a major expansion effort and allowed it to access a host of profitable new markets.

The company traditionally focused on offset sheet fed litho with a specialisation in point of sale and retail, but in recent years has switched its attention to digital sheet fed printing and has purchased a number of new machines to support its change in operations.

These expansion efforts accelerated in early 2020 when Fountain Print employed staff from Display Matrix, a local exhibition company that ceased trading near the start of the pandemic. Now rebranded as Fountain Print & Display, the company operates as the display and events arm of Fountain Print.

To support this new venture, Fountain Print purchased a HP Latex R2000 printer from authorised HP reseller Papergraphics. The machine was installed in April 2021 and works in tandem with Fountain Print's Kongsberg X24 Edge flatbed cutting table.

The purchase of the HP printer coincided with the reopening of society in the UK, with Fountain Print now using the device to produce a wide range of work for new customers across the exhibition and events sectors, design and marketing agencies and local printing companies, as well as existing clients.

"I viewed the HP R2000 printer as an opportunity to diversify into new areas of print," Fountain Print Director David Peters said. "While we experienced a long ‘holding position' due to lockdown, with things finally opening up again, our services are now increasingly being required across a range of markets.

"With our in-house printing and finishing facilities, we are able to offer a rapid response to quite specific requirements, and while we are still exploring the versatility and features of the new HP Latex R2000, we are discovering new opportunities every day."

As to why Fountain Print opted for the HP Latex R2000 in particular, David Peters said the machine was also well suited to work produced by Signboard Screen Process. Part of the wider Fountain Group of companies, Signboard is an established producer of estate agents' ‘For Sale' boards and the associated supplies and services.

Signboard Screen Process was utilising traditional screen printing methods to produce the boards and - while silk screen print is preferred by some clients - the business had been struggling with demand for shorter run, multi-coloured ‘For Sale' and ‘To Let' boards and other coloured signage. David Peters said the ever flexible HP Latex R2000 has stepped in to help with the task.

"The HP Latex R2000 at demo seemed to offer the best performance, colour and quality on Correx. Output is simply stunning; crisp and punchy," David Peters said. "The printer also offers other production advantages, in particular the simplicity of the ‘drag and drop' print queue operating set up.

"The hybrid belted feed also seemed to offer some advantages over a 'true flatbed' should longer runs of estate agents' signage be needed. Also, both the versatility and user friendly workmanlike interface that you get with the HP is well thought out and far smarter than anything else we demoed."

Like many other print businesses across the UK, the past 18 months have been a tough period for the team at Fountain Print. However, as David Peters explained, it also offered the company the chance to plan out its future and explore how it could expand into new markets, with support from its new HP printer.

"A positive aspect of the pandemic has been in forcing companies to review their modus operandi and accelerate the pace change," David Peters said.

"This very much mirrors our experience at Fountain Print and after some internal reorganisation, investment in new machinery and people training, we are re-energised and very much looking forward to the future."