Harwood King Fine Art Studio, market leading fine art screen printers, Newhaven, East Sussex, has replaced its primary large format printing devices with the Canon iPF 8400 and Canon iPF 815. The printers were purchased from and installed by Canon reseller M Partners Wide, the large format equipment distributor based in Surrey, a division of M Partners Limited.
The new additions to the Harwood King production line-up provide, respectively, high quality print and film output. The iPF 8400 is a 12-colour, 44-inch wide printing device, ideal for the company’s fine art print production and proofing. The iPF 815 is a 5-colour 44-inch device focused on film production for the subsequent creation of silkscreen originals.
Harwood King Fine Art Studio
Highly respected in its field, Harwood King Fine Arts Studio, giclee printmakers and silkscreen specialists, have been in the business of producing fine art prints for more than 30 years. The company has produced limited edition prints for artists and galleries from all over the world. Harwood King has always been an innovative art studio, testing new materials and techniques, particularly in silkscreen and giclee digital production. The business has not been afraid to redefine the traditional idea of a print, combining printmaking processes to produce truly collectable limited editions. As a fine example, in “Slipstream” by Dan Baldwin they combined giclee, silkscreen and hand embellished areas, using 22-carat gold leaf and coloured foils. In other example, in the “Apocalypse” series of prints they fired bullets through the prints and collaged bank notes within the printing.
On the subject of the new Canon printers, Quentin Harwood King, owner and managing director of Harwood King (above, right), said: “Our previous device had been a good servant for many years, but it was showing signs of age. We knew that we needed to invest, and whilst Epson is the “go to” supplier in the market place, I wanted to review other products as well. Canon, to us, was a revelation. They certainly appeared to be ahead of the game. The twelve-colour system is a huge boost for us – especially in the red area of the spectrum. Colour, for fine art work, is so critical. The colour gamut and the stability of the system were both immediate advantages for us.
“We also create films for stencil creation for screen printing. Our previous large format machine offered little stability for the media – we would often spend huge amounts of time manually adjusting distortion in the films. Canon’s iPF 815 uses motors to drive the material in and to rewind the film. This provides a far more stable and reliable platform for our film creation. It has already saved us a huge amount of work; a saving that has a double benefit as our operators can be producing chargeable work instead of fiddling with bits of film at our expense!”
Quentin Harwood King has found a number of features of the Canon devices that provide significant advantages to his fine art print production business: “The internal memory on the iPF 8400 is a huge boost to productivity. We are often in the situation where the final proof has been approved by our customer, and a number of large format prints are required. The fact that the Canon holds the RIPped file in its memory means that we can go straight into print mode and we know, 100%, that we have the right file and that it will print successfully – we can simply punch in the required number of prints and let the device do its stuff!
“Overall we are replacing old with new – but new with some great additional benefits for our business: the overall quality is better, its faster, and the colour accuracy is so good and reliable. The colour accuracy provides us with the biggest saving: we no longer spend hours fiddling with profiles to tweak them to get a colour just right. We simply don’t need to.”
With future possibilities in mind, Quentin was also hugely impressed by the machine-to-machine colour accuracy offered by Canon. “Canon proved to us the stability of their system from machine-to-machine, which means that we could install a second machine at another office, download our files, and it would print exactly the same as the first machine. That really gives food for thought.”
Harwood King offers one of the few silkscreen printing services for the fine art market anywhere in the world. Whilst much of the screen printing market is focused on crudely produced T-shirt and ceramic printing, this company take the skills to a whole new level. Fifteen to twenty colour printing is not uncommon at the Newhaven company as it produces what it considers continuous-tone silkscreen. The business has produced work with up to a staggering 95 screens.
Canon Large Format from M Partners Wide
Commenting on behalf of M Partners Wide, Murray Lock, joint managing director (pictured above, left), said: “Harwood King offers the most exciting setting for a large format printer! The work being produced by the company is both fantastic and a real challenge for any equipment. The Canon products excelled over the testing and selection phase: quite rightly, Quentin and his team wanted to push it to the limits, and it has been able to meet every challenge that they have thrown at it. Our team ensured that the customer has the right equipment for these demanding tasks.”
About M Partners and M Partners Wide
The creation of the M Partners Wide division is the latest development from M Partners, as the company seeks to bring its unique distribution format to the wide format market. The company recently announced its distribution agreement with Korean manufacturer DGI.
In 2010 M Partners took on the management of both sales and service for Mitsubishi Litho Presses in the UK and Ireland. In 2014 it has taken over the parts distribution centre for Mitsubishi products within the new Ryobi MHI combined printing equipment business. This representation joins established products such as GUK folding and inserting equipment, and Steinemann laminating products. 2011 saw the business expand into the digital market following an announcement regarding MGi digital printing and finishing equipment; and market-leading post-press inspection equipment from Mabeg.
M Partners offers manufacturers considerable marketing and business expertise across both the printing and packaging sectors and provides high-quality national coverage for sales, support and technical service.
The Joint Managing Directors established M Partners Ltd in 2006 after gaining many years of industry experience in senior management roles at a major press manufacturer and used equipment dealer. They were responsible for corporate and product marketing for pre-press, press, post-press and service, plus operational control for digital, consumables and used equipment divisions.