Flying the flag
Run by father and son team, Ralph and Ashley Ballhatchet, Banners for All, which is based in Farnham Common in Buckinghamshire, has become the ‘go to’ company in the area of soft signage.
First established in 1999, the business, which prides itself on its family orientated values, took advantage of new technologies to print directly onto polyester cloth, using water based sublimation inks, to produce cost effective colourful flags and banners. However, now as well as providing simple flags and banners for birthdays and anniversaries, it is now fulfilling the more complex demands of high profile clients operating within the commercial and retail sectors.
Ralph and Ashley, who modestly describe their operation as a ‘cottage industry’ have, none the less, always made a point of investing in the most up to date equipment and maintain that one of the keys to Banners for All’s success has been the Mimaki kit it has used over the years.
Ashley Ballhatchet explained: “One of the first machines my father ever purchased was a Mimaki TX1600S textile printer, which was later superseded by the TX2, an incredibly reliable machine. And then in 2008, as our customers’ projects started to become more challenging, we invested in a Mimaki JV33, coupled with a CG-FX Cutter so that we could produce all of the vinyl banners, exhibition graphics and decals that we had previously outsourced.”
In addition, using the expertise it has developed over many years in the soft signage sector, the company has become something of a specialist in the production of bespoke flags for football clubs and supporters across the country, to the extent that it regularly supplies bespoke promotional banners and flags for both Premiership and League clubs, plus a lot of supporters’ clubs too, so much so, that it has even set up a website that enables customers to design their own flags, using custom templates, before ordering online.
Early last year, the company’s Mimaki kit was further upgraded with the addition of a high speed TX400 volume production textile printer and, more recently with a new UJF-6042 flatbed LED UV printer. Ashley explained; “The addition of smaller scale flatbed UV printing to our portfolio enables us to produce all manner of POS items, including an exciting range of personalised faceplates for tablet PCs, which are used for display and promotional purposes.”
With the need to accommodate speedy turnarounds, Banner for All’s printer line-up has to keep running around the clock, so excellent service is a pre-requisite. Ashley observed: “One of the reasons the business continues to invest in Mimaki kit is that whenever we’ve needed technical support, the backup service from both our regular supplier, Granthams and Mimaki’s UK distributor Hybrid Services has been excellent and ensured the reliable consistency of our operation.”
A ‘cottage industry’ it may be may be, but there’s no doubt that thanks to its ability to respond to ever changing customer demands, Banners for All has developed into a thoroughly professional and multi-layered business.
For further information on Banners for All visit: www.bannersforall.co.uk and www.footballflags.co.uk
For further information on Granthams visit: www.granthams.co.uk
For further information on Mimaki printers visit: www.hybridservices.co.uk