Canon & CMYUK’s Creatives in Residence Live

Derek Joys from Canon with the CIRL graduate team at CMYUK Demonstration Centre
Derek with the CIRL graduate team

The CMYUK Creatives in Residence Live (CIRL) project has drawn to a close. This unique programme gave three young surface designers and one talented videographer the opportunity to undertake a 6-month placement at CMYUK’s advanced digital training and demonstration facility in Shrewsbury. Derek Joys, Marketing Manager, Production Printing Products, Canon UK & Ireland, reflects on the global brand’s sponsorship support for this industry initiative. 

Q: Tell us a little more about Canon’s commitment to supporting young people?

Derek Joys: Canon is committed to working with young people and implementing social value initiatives which educate and inspire future generations. Examples include our international ‘Imaging for Good’ workshops which help young people enhance their skills and capture the stories and issues that shape everyday life. Our ‘Young People’s Programme’ runs across Europe, Middle East and Africa, with the objective of giving young people a voice to create a better and more sustainable future through imaging stories. 

Q: What about apprenticeships and internships within Canon itself?

DJ: We take on a number of apprentices and interns to work at our different offices within the UK - these candidates often go on to secure full-time positions as a result.  In 2021, we saw 16 young people undertaking placements within our Document Solutions, ITCG & B2B Marketing teams - as well as within finance and communications.  We understand the valuable on-the-job experience that working for an international leader in digital printing and document management can bring – and through our placements hope to allow young people to test the waters and learn new skills which will shape their futures.  

Q: What did the CMYUK sponsorship allow Canon to bring to those involved?

DJ: We are proud to have been a sponsor of CMYUK’s Creatives in Residence Live Programme and support the graduates as they develop new skills and start to put them into practice.  With the Production Printing industry suffering from a shortage of young talent, initiatives like this are integral for attracting employees and keeping our industry fresh and exciting. 

We’ve had an incredible six months with the students – they enjoyed a session with our application specialist, Sav Jayendran, where they learnt how to print their designs on our pioneering Canon Colorado 1650. It was also great to set up a virtual briefing with our customer, Graham and Brown, which was very educational and gave the graduates a real insight into the technologies available.

Q: Are digital processes attracting more young people into digital print?

DJ: Digital technology is cleaner and easier to use than older style technology and produces excellent results – this makes it more appealing to the younger generation. The fact that you can now print digitally with litho plus quality on commodity coated and uncoated media means that newcomers to the industry can get creative with print and produce exciting bespoke designs. An example is the home décor space which has transformed in recent years through new developments such as the digital production of wallpaper – this is set to become even more popular in 2022.

Q: Tell us more about Canon’s Colorado wide format printers?

DJ: We launched the Colorado Series in 2017 and ever since its technology has truly disrupted the market. With over 2,000 installations worldwide, customers are drawn to its robust and highly automated credentials. The Colorado 1630 was released in 2021 and is designed for sign makers, PSPs and in-house printers. It delivers high quality images of 1,800 dpi as well as highly durable, odourless and instantly dry prints on almost any media. It also boasts reduced waste and a 40% lower ink consumption compared to other technologies. 

Q: Why are UVgel inks so innovative?

DJ: Canon UVgel technology is used across a number of Canon Production Printing devices – this ink is in fact a gel which has been developed according to UV curing principles. The printing process involves heating the gel inside the printheads to convert it to liquid, once the liquid hits media it becomes gel again, pinning to the substrate to create a high-quality finish. 

Canon’s unique UVgel 460 inks are used with the Colorado 1650 and 1630 and produce razor-sharp prints with a wide colour gamut.

Q: Apart from having masterclass sessions with the Canon Colorado 1650 at CMYUK, the graduates visited Graham and Brown wallcoverings, paint and interiors specialist, why was this so inspiring?  

DJ: The session provided the apprentices with some great background around the preparation of artwork and processes – as well as the types of print technologies available for wallcoverings. Digital wallpaper is very much talked about at the moment, and this activity provided some compelling insights into a trend which is capturing the imagination of interior designers worldwide.

Digital wall covering is a rapidly growing business within the interior design world with wallpaper, murals, and other large-scale décor elements today representing an expanding global market. The current trend towards more personalisation of various applications is strongly reflected in the way people decorate their living environment. This has led to an increasing demand for exclusive and personalised products for interior decoration, both for personal spaces as well as in business environments.

Known for its quality, speed and versatility, the Colorado 1650 with UVgel technology is a perfect fit for this market, offering odourless prints that combine a very rich colour gamut with a velvety matte finish, which is preferred by many interior décor specialists. Prints are instantly dry, ready for finishing and are extremely robust. The Colorado also secures the colour consistency and dimensional stability of output.

Q: Wallpapers & wallcoverings are a big focus with Canon – you have developed the digital wallpaper factory – can you tell us more about this? 

DJ: The Canon Wallpaper Factory is a European led initiative – it is a modular production facility for digitally printed wallpaper which converts bulk-sized media input to finished rolled output.

It uses Jumbo Roll JRL, the Colorado 1650, Cutter XLD 170WP and Rewinder REW 162 technology to create high-quality wallpaper with outstanding consistency. The resulting prints are scratch and scuff resistant, making them less susceptible to damage.

Q: What’s your final sign off to the CIRL graduates?

DJ: This has been an incredible initiative for the students to be involved with – helping them to have access to and gain a strong understanding of the industry. I urge the apprentices to continue with the great work they’ve started as part of this activity – by continuing to research and develop their ideas, be as innovative as possible and to push their creative boundaries. 

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