Interview with Paul Feather COO at VistaDigital
Having worked as a decorator for 25 years, Paul Feather had put up with wallpaper for long enough, growing ever tired of the problems it caused.
There had to be a better way, and two years ago, Paul found it. He realised that using Digital printing you can create an image across a single piece of durable, washable material, which is printed, supplied, and installed by his new company - Vista Digital - to guarantee a perfect finish.
Since the process waves goodbye to seams and joins, Vista Digital are able to offer up millions of incredibly detailed designs that would be impossible to reproduce on conventional wall coverings, with everything from patterns to suit bold and bashful tastes, to stunning cityscapes that transform walls into windows on the world.
It also enables them to offer a truly bespoke service enabling clients to have almost any image of choice printed.
We caught up with Paul and his colleague Ken Hardisty to ask a few questions about the development of the business and the potential of digital produced interior decoration.
What do you see as the main advantages Digital V Analogue printed wall coverings?
‘Speaking from my own 25 years’ experience with Analogue wall coverings and now working with digital print. The print on demand that digital printing gives you has cut the production and stocking costs which are associated with Analogue e.g. having to run reams of batched rolls for Analogue to prevent colour matching issues and waste material. This of course has a financial cost as a result.
The design process is also changing the way we look at design repeats.
After many years’ of experience installing all sorts of wallpapers we believe our One-piece Wallpaper, which is printed in one piece to the exact wall size, is changing the way designers look at design patterns thus freeing them to create much larger patterns without the need to think about repeats of pattern matching
Of course, if you’re just looking for something a little more personal, Vista Digital are happy to work with you to modify an existing design, or to use your own pictures as part of the design. “We recently installed a mural where their son was a keen photographer,” says Paul, “he went into the local woods, took the photograph himself and we printed that.”
We see the potential market for Digitally Printed décor as – Office, Retail, Consumer, Public sectors – schools/Hospitals – do you the same possibilities?
‘Our markets are opening up across all sectors. Predominantly it’s the leisure markets, pubs, hotels and offices - we already have customers such as Wetherspoons Pubs and Mercure Hotels, but we are pushing heavily this year into the consumer sector, having now established ourselves as one on the market leaders for Onepiece printing and Onepiece installations through our UK wide network of trained registered installers . Our Installers gain accreditation through our training days held throughout the country and by our training partner Dulux Academy. Our one stop in house services is what the consumer is telling us they want. The inherent issues with poor installation of butt jointed and spliced papers are done away with our Onepiece printing.’
What machines do you use?
‘Mimaki are a tried and tested work-horse in digital print. It was my first print machine and I guess you stick to what you know. My first machine was a JV3 160SP.and with a JV33-130 running our 1250 wide material. The Mimaki UJV55-320 UV LED printer will able to cope with the majority of our Onepiece orders going forward and at its modest price range will enables us to keep control in-house from print to install.’
Are there any issues with Digital Inks and wall coverings ? UV for example – smells /emissions/regulations etc
‘Solvent inks have been widely used in digital print but do come with their own issues relating to fumes and emissions. Additionally there can be a gas off period of up to 48 hours. As a result production time can be delayed impacting adversely on the turnaround time of a job.
UV printing gets around this by curing the ink under ultraviolet lights as it comes off the printer, which is then ready for finishing.’
How can you help your customer create the perfect mural wall?
‘Vista Digital has access to a vast library of incredibly detailed designs many of which would be difficult and time consuming to reproduce on traditional wall murals. Furthermore, the process enables Clients and Specifiers to supply their own bespoke imagery for specific projects.
We can accommodate a wide variety of client needs printing up to a maximum size of 25m x 5m and working with a UK wide network of registered, trained installers who can provide a guaranteed installation service if required.
With our creative flair and innovative new product Vista Digital we feel we are changing the way the industry look at wall murals.’
If you are interested to know more on Digital Print for Interiors and Wall coverings, then catch Frazer Chesterman, Terry Raganuth from HP and Ed Currer – Exploring Interior Décor session at SIGN UK in the Seminar Theatre on Tuesday 28th March.