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Josep Maria Coll, Director of Sales & Industrial Printing at Epson

Epson is involved in the Rethink your style project. Can you tell us a little more about this initiative ending in June and your contribution to it?


Rethink Your Style is a collaborative initiative that we’re promoting alongside the Ibis Styles hotel chain in Spain and Portugal. The aim is to demonstrate how merging sustainable materials and lower-impact printing techniques can help us to rethink the way we undertake interior design projects.

In this case, we’ve created an entire ecosystem of suppliers based on the concept. I don’t want to leave anyone out. They include Son Seaqual Initiative, Cartonlab, VEnvirotech, Arte y Tela, Brildor, Grafiklandia, Helicorte and AMP, together with Ibis Styles and Epson. We’ve also invited three design schools (LCI Barcelona, Nebrija University and the Lisbon School of Design) to rethink interior spaces at three hotels based on a storytelling. The results of this experience bringing together new talent, sustainability, techniques and functions will then be shared with the customers of these establishments and other design professionals. In this project Epson has once again shown that everything can be printed and that, with our SureColor technology, it can be printed with a lower environmental impact.


What role is Epson playing in the trend towards personalisation and what are you working on in this regard?


Personalisation continues to expand. It’s been doing so for some years now with a dual trend, namely the increase in demand for exclusiveness among end consumers and the growing emergence of brands committed to giving added value to their customers. A large part of our sublimation range is intended to satisfy this demand. However, we also want to be the supplier that enables those starting out in the industry to acquire affordable and high-quality solutions with a lower investment, including, for example, the SureColor F100 and F500.

At the same time, we’re also committed to direct-to-garment (DTG) and film (DTFilm) printing with equipment that allows the two options, such as the SureColor F2200, and we’re trying to make this world accessible to those who are just starting out with the new SureColor F1000, an A4 device with white ink at a very affordable price. So we have entry-level equipment for different customisation techniques, but also high production, especially for professionals in the textile and decoration industry.

Which textile trends can we mention, above all without losing sight of sustainability?


The textile industry is one of the major pollutants in the world. This, in itself, rather than a trend, is a real challenge to be overcome. The use of traditional techniques and methods in printing fabrics means that manufacturers are continuing to produce more than they need (they seek to optimise their production) and generate excessive water consumption. Digital textile printing will bring a great change, optimising production, adapting it just to what’s required, streamlining the creation of new designs and making the same print run compatible with different designs (without changing any cylinders or screens), with a huge fall in water and waste consumption.

Epson has opted for compact products that incorporate components from recycled materials, heatless head technology and ink bags that can reduce packaging and plastic waste. Sustainability is the only course, and it’s the one that Epson has followed for many years.


If you had to mention three challenges facing the graphics industry in the future, what would they be?


The three major challenges are sustainability, personalisation and the transition to digital. The environmental issue isn’t an option, as all the sectors must reduce their impact on the environment, the textile industry in particular. The demand for customisation continues to grow, and short print runs are making more and more sense; our goal is to be the ideal partner to meet this need. The transition to digital printing in certain sectors began some time ago, but there’s still much to be done to benefit everyone, including relocation of production, short print runs, less waste, less water, greater quality and opportunities for a fabric business going through difficulties.

Can you tell us which products you’re going to present?


This year we’re going to attend Graphispag with interesting innovations and, just to let you know, it’s the first time they’ll be on display at an event or fair in Spain. Our new small-format UV printing model (A4, A3), the SureColor V1000, ideal for printing on rigid materials such as wood, glass and aluminium, and our six inks (CMYK + white + varnish) will feature most in terms of personalisation. The new SureColor F1000 (DTG/DTFilm) will also be presented for the first time at Graphispag, and we’ll also display major innovations in large production equipment to meet the growing demand for digital textile printing, aligned with the need to reduce our environmental impact and water/energy consumption. So no one should fail to visit the Epson stand at Graphispag 2024.

What do you expect to find at the event?


In a year of trade fairs, after FESPA and Drupa, Graphispag will provide us with an opportunity to reach our domestic customers with a wide range of technologies and innovations to further expand the catalogue of solutions with which we’re seeking to bring them added value. It’s our key meeting point in 2024 and the first major event at which we’ll showcase our new personalisation, signage and textile products. We’re really hopeful that at Graphispag we’ll be able to meet all our current and potential customers, compile their experiences, needs and ideas and help them to drive their businesses. Epson will be close to them, as it always has been, but this time with lots more solutions to meet each and every one of their needs.


Cristina Benavides, Graphispag partner