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Perfect prints: Colorworld Imaging

Over the next few months we’ll be taking a closer look at Colorworld Imaging and its professional-quality printing services. First, we hear from business development director Mike Brydon, who has been with the company since 2007


Can you tell us a bit about Colorworld Imaging and your role in the company?

Colorworld Ltd was launched in 1967 by Terry White and Jim Simpson. The first lab they owned was actually in an old abattoir that had a gutter in the middle of the building for the blood to run down. This gutter was perfect for the waste chemicals to drain away. How times have changed… for the better I would say!

Times have definitely changed in other ways, too. The company used to process thousands of films every week, but now those film processors have all been removed to make way for newer technologies, such as inkjet printers, digital presses and album-making machines. We are constantly working hard to invest in new technologies to allow us to bring the latest professional products to our customers.

My role involves developing new ideas and systems to bring new business to the company. I also look after all the IT hardware and software in the business as my background is in IT. Previously, I had my own software consultancy working for many blue-chip companies across the UK, including British Airways, British Gas Technology, BNFL, One2One and NTL, to name just a few. I also develop internal software systems for the business to assist with the automated input and tracking of customer orders. I’m not all IT though – I really enjoy speaking to customers and determining how Colorworld Imaging can help them. Every customer requires something unique, and we’re the right size of business to be able to accommodate many different requirements.

Why is printing images so important, especially in the digital age?

The digital age has been an incredible revolution for the industry and has transformed a profession that was once for the few, to something many people can enjoy. Digital photography and image manipulation has allowed skilled artists to really enhance images and experiment with their ideas in a way that was never possible before. But the issue the industry has faced recently is images remaining digital and never being printed. This is to the detriment of the professional photographer and the customer. Printed images are still by far the best way to experience an image. As a company, we have had professional photographers in tears in our reception as they had never seen their work in print before they came to our lab. Printed images create far more emotion and excitement than images viewed on a screen.

Making this area even more exciting is the way the images can be printed on a huge variety of media. Professional lustre and gloss paper have been around for decades, but the range of fine-art media printed on high-quality inkjet printers has brought another dimension to the industry.

We are more than happy to offer test prints to customers, should they wish to see their work printed by us.

What makes your printing so good?

Making a great print requires several components, but I would say the most important component is excellent staff. Several of our staff have been with Colorworld for over 40 years and have an immense amount of knowledge in colour management, C-type printing and quality control. As part of our normal day operations, our printers are calibrated several times a day to ensure we provide the very best print possible. Being a pro lab, our job is to provide the best.

What are the most popular products, and do you have a favourite?

Our most popular products range from our digital albums and framed prints to school photography printing. I think my favourite area of the business has to be the school photography printing, as it requires a lot of automation in order to be efficient. This means I’ve had to spend a large amount of time on software and hardware development.

Can you tell us more about your integration service?

The integration service allows us, as a lab, to connect fully to our customers’ internal systems. This service is usually developed in conjunction with our larger clients who send us many orders every day. This is especially useful for our customers in the US and New Zealand, where time zones can affect our normal email and telephone communication. The integration allows the input of orders into our production system to be automated, while updating the customers’ own systems with status updates.

Why should our readers use Colorworld over other labs?

Colorworld Imaging has been influential in the photographic industry for many decades and will continue to be for many years to come. While we are not the largest professional lab in the UK, we believe we offer excellent products and outstanding customer service. We’re not a company that simply prints an image and posts it to a customer. We also support them with advice and guidance on numerous aspects of their business to ensure they can offer the full range of services to their own customers.

For more information, please visit the Colorworld Imaging website. 

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