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.
Tell us about the background of John Mark Ltd
I set up the business in 2012. I had worked up to that point in the family business but had to leave and needed to work out what to do next. I went out to dinner with an industry contact (who is now one of our biggest customers) - he said he was interested in digitally printed wallpapers.
My uncle in his business (not wallpaper) was looking into digital print and I could see the possibilities were interesting.He was involved in the world of making credit cards and gift cards. They were looking at digital for personalised gift cards as the technology was getting better and better.
I then met with an old paper supplier and discovered that Hewlett Packard were bringing out a new water based latex machine. I thought deeply as to whether I should take my experience in wallpaper into the digital print world but at the time I just didn’t have the money.
Digital print was flat. The challenge for me with was to maintain the authentic textures and movement associated with a surface printed wallpaper.