Antalis South Africa (Pty) Ltd hosted a successful stand at this year’s Africa Print expo (co-located with FESPA Africa) which was held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 2-4 July.

Raymond Waldeck, Managing Director at Antalis South Africa said that exhibiting at Africa Print is important to Antalis: ‘As a leading paper merchant and supplier to the printing industry we want to show that we are here and here to stay. The industry has a lot to offer the country, and the continent, and we are focusing our energy to ensure we contribute positively. Exhibiting at Africa Print is one way for us to demonstrate this commitment.’

The Antalis stand played a key role in this, as it showcased the company’s expertise, technology and machines. ‘On the stand we wanted to show how digital and print are complementary to each other. Both enhance our offerings to our clients. Together with our expertise and technologies, they add value to end users as we are able to provide the different requirements for various applications,’ explained Waldeck.

Caroline Coughlan, Marketing Manager at Antalis, was pleased with the stand as a creative platform that allowed the company to showcase its impressive range of equipment and its visual communications offering.

Antalis showcased the EFI VUTEk GS3250LX Pro featuring the latest LED technology from EFI, and the Kongsberg XN 24 Cutting table as well as the EPSON SureColor SC-S30610 large format printer for the signage industry and the Kodak NexPress Digital Production Color Press.

Coughlan explained that most of the elements of the stand were printed on the Efi VUTEk GS3250LX Pro on Antalis’ wide range of visual communication materials, including a unique Xanita board table and chairs set.

Waldeck describes the EFI Vutek GS3250LX Pro as ‘top of the game’ when it comes to signage and display printing solutions. ‘The one at the show was the second one we brought into the country and we have a few strong prospects in the pipeline. There is a growing appetite for these machines, from entry level options such as the new H1652 launched at FESPA Munich earlier this year to the one we showcased, so we will be bringing more in,’ Coughlan said.

The power efficient Epson SureColour SC-S3610 produced some colourful posters, canvas prints of Italian’s beautiful Porta Fina, and interior decorations on wallpaper, all keenly snapped up by visitors to the stand. The show machine attracted much interest and has already been sold to Scott Waterson from Clearbase.

‘The Kodak NexPress Digital Production Colour Press with long sheet pile feeder prints posters up to 356x914mm with dimensional ink while the latest Efi VUTEk with LED technology gives the greener print solution for the signage and display industry. Both machines can print on a wide range of substrate,’ explained Coughlan.

Waldeck added to this saying that all the machines they had on the stand are top of their range. ‘The Kodak NexPress Digital Production Colour Press boasts top technology and we bring it into Southern Africa based on the back of demand. We had already, prior to the show, sold one of these models which shows the confidence in our market.’

Also on show was the versatile Kongsberg XN 24 finishing table. ‘We showcased its flexibility by cutting materials from vinyl to boards and wood to the delight of the visitors, we are extremely happy that two tables were sold, one to Stella Enterprises and the other to Old School Digital,’ said Coughlan.

Further highlights included a light box printed on the VUTEk on SAMBA fabric show-casing 3 layer white ink printing, and Antalis’ Curious Skin collection was shown through a range of origami creations by Gina.

When designing the stand the machines that would be on the stand were a key consideration. The stand was designed by the same company, IDG, who designed award winning best mega stand for Antalis at Sign Africa 2013.

Ruth Papenfus, client services IDG, explained that is was all about the machines. ‘They needed to be showcased, while still allowing visitors easy access. Therefore, the stand was designed around the machines and not the machines around the stand. We also allowed for several entrances to the stand so that it was not blocked off by the machines and once a visitor was on the stand, the space was uncluttered with sufficient walkways.’

Branding was another important element. ‘It had to be seen immediately. Luckily Antalis has very colourful branding that stands out and so we used its corporate colours and branding throughout the stand while adding height through a double storey feature, and illuminated logos to showcase the branding. The stand was also well-lit,’ she said.

An upstairs area allowed Antalis staff to entertain their customers where coffee was served in designer paper cups created by Shift Joe Public for Antalis each one demonstrating different printing techniques.

These were part of a number of unique elements on the stand. ‘Antalis likes to play with their shapes and design. They are a brand that likes to challenge the perceptions of branding and they did this through some very unique elements on their stand, such as the trees with Antalis men and papers birds displayed in selected areas,’ said Papenfus.

‘Everything on the stand was in-house to Antalis,’ said Waldeck, ‘from the supply of the raw material to the substrate to depositing the matter onto the substrate to cutting it into size all the way to the packaging of it with a logistics facility that delivers to end users. ‘The stand, as we built it with all its different products and substrates represents all the different offerings from Antalis.’ He added that this reflects Antalis’ commitment to participating and contributing in creating our new world.

Going forward this will also mean more representation on the continent. ‘Antalis is already well represented in Africa as it is part of our strategy to move into Africa. It is getting easier to do business in parts of Africa with financial companies starting to provide credit insurance. Still of concern are some visa requirements which make it difficult to move across the continent and political instabilities,’ Waldeck stated. However, the trick is to work with the right partners across the continent. ‘It is our plan to grow our markets, and we have taken a long term view on this so we will build the market now and only profit 20 to 30 years down the line,’ he said.

Antalis Marketing and Purchasing Director, David James, summarised the show as ‘pleasingly very positive’. He added, ‘I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all the visitors to our stand for their interest, our sales teams will be following up on your enquiries. We also want to acknowledge and thank our partners for their presence and support in making this event the success it was namely Kodak (NexPress), Efi (VUTEk), ESKO (Kongsberg) and Epson (Sure Colour) your contributions are very much appreciated.’