Surface Print: mixing digital and traditional for beautiful wallpaper

Surface Print: mixing digital and traditional for beautiful wallpaper

We’re thrilled at Perfect Colours to have sold Surface Print their third HP Latex 3000 printer, which they’re now using to create outstanding and unique wallpapers that will be on show at Heimtextil. The secret of their success? Devising a way of combining digital and traditional analogue print technologies to boost production.

A four-generation history in wallpaper

Based in Lancashire, Surface Print has been leading the way in wallpaper printing for four generations – and rather than resting on their laurels, they’re still innovating new methods and adopting new technologies. Working on both their own collection and on wallpaper designs for a wide range of high-end customers, their busy factory in Accrington works across a variety of processes – from flexographic and surface printing to flocking and beading.

The company took its first foray into digital printing in 2013, with the installation of its first HP Latex printer. Now it has three devices from the Latex 3000 series, including the new Latex 3600, and two HP Latex 570 systems for proofing, development and short-run panel wallpapers.

“Wallpaper has come through many different stages in its life,” says Managing Director James Watson. “Through those years and generations, we’ve seen many different techniques come in. The first was surface printing, but since then there’s obviously been flock printing and flexographic printing. The whole company is about wallpaper printing and innovation, and creating beautiful products for the wall. So we always want to embrace the latest innovations to show off our talents.”

The Latex revolution

Some of the wallpapers Surface Print produces are created entirely using the HP Latex fleet. The digital technology allows for much shorter runs, enabling them to take orders for as little as 12 rolls – a fantastic service for emerging and niche designers. Artists appreciate the infinite number of colours which gives them complete freedom when it comes to design, and at a considerably lower cost than the traditional methods.

For the company, the on-demand ability of digital printing offers both economical and ecological benefits, and retailers can keep their stock levels to a minimum.

“Our investment in HP digital technology has been consumer driven,” explains Business Development Manager Jason Gilliat. “The demand for digitally-printed products has grown at a rate nobody could have predicted.

The perfect combination

Surface Print’s real achievement has been to combine analogue and digital printing techniques to create extraordinary designs and finishes. They’ve pioneered the printing of wallpaper using the traditional method with over-printed digital details, or vice versa – to open up a whole new range of revenue streams. The digital printers can work on a variety of substrates, including paper-backed fabric and grasscloth for beautiful, tactile results.

This blending of the old with the new has been used to best effect in Surface Print’s new range, named 1838 after the year the very first wallpaper printer was invented. 1838 is being previewed at Heimtextil in Frankfurt this month.

“The introduction of HP Latex into a traditional print factory was a challenge, but it was one which we embraced,” says Jason. “HP understood our requirements to combine traditional techniques with a new digital dimension. It’s changed things dramatically. To be able to combine processes, the traditional with the modern – there’s no limit, and the future is very exciting.”

To learn more about the HP Latex 3000 series, give the Perfect Colours sales team a ring on 0845 680 9000.

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