Combining state-of-the-art Mimaki printers, carpentry, laser cutting and CNC techniques, Inspirwood’s team of designers is currently helping customers communicate through decorated wooden products even more than normal.
Offering a range of imprinted wooden products from stationery and business cards through to signage, point of sale and trophies, the Teignmouth-based business made it onto the BBC News as a result of its wooden rainbow charity campaign. “We’re hoping to spread a bit of happiness and positivity,” says Inspirwood’s Pete Williams. "We have a friend who works for the NHS in Torbay and we felt really bad she was working her socks off doing long days while we were doing not a lot really," he said.
"We have other friends working in supermarkets and postmen out there, we felt a bit inadequate, so my wife Kate and I decided to do something,” Williams continues.
The £4 rainbow keyrings are printed onto sustainable birchwood using the company’s Mimaki JFX200-2513 LED UV flatbed printer and all profits will go towards three charities: Age UK, a local food bank and NHS Charities Together. “These can be ordered and personalised online and sent to someone special as a way of saying ‘Thanks’,” confirms Williams.
The “Show you care and gift someone a rainbow” campaign aims to raise £100,000 for the charities involved in COVID-19 resilience and the company has already received around 300 orders in its first week of availability.
Founded in 2004 as a graphic design studio, husband and wife team Pete and Kate Williams developed Inspirwood in 2012 to specialise in printing and decorating onto wooden substrates. Purchasing is first small format Mimaki UJF-3042FX from authorised reseller partner, printMAX in 2015, the company now employs 6 people and works with some of the most forward-thinking companies around the globe. In 2017, Inspirwood expanded its digital print capability through printMAX again, with the investment of a grand format Mimaki JFX200-2513.
“Back in 2012, we made a conscious decision to focus on wood, following a chance encounter with a client who let us have some offcuts of wood veneer,” Williams recalls. “After extensive prototyping on a desktop printer, we produced some business cards for ourselves and the response was so positive, we moved things up a level with the investment in the initial Mimaki.”
There followed over two years of testing, sourcing and product trials with the big breakthrough coming when Lush Cosmetics contacted the company to source wooden product tags. “We were printing around 100,000 tags a month on the A3 Mimaki UJF,” Williams recounts. “With more enquiries from other clients and a desire to increase the physical constraints of our product range, we stepped it up again with the investment in the 8’ x 4’ Mimaki JFX.”
“We found printMAX online, could see how highly regarded they were and right from our initial product demonstration, they’ve done a great job of looking after us,” he states.
With a core ethical and environmental focus, Inspirwood prides itself on green working practices and the sustainable sourcing of the wood that it uses as the foundation of its product ranges. “Our whole ethos stems from a desire to deliver any printed, promotional or marketing requirement that a business has, on wood,” Williams confirms. “Rather than working with typical sign making substrate options, we strive to improve on them by using wood, both creatively and environmentally.”
Constantly aiming to push both the creative and technological boundaries to develop new products and solutions, the importance of its print hardware sits centrally to how Inspirwood operates. Combining state of the art, direct to substrate printing with laser cutting and engraving, the company offers a highly original solution that draws on the myriad advantages provided by the Mimaki, with its combination of clear varnish, white ink and process colours. “Years of development and prototyping have enabled us to very effectively combine the full range of creative techniques that we have available and that’s an important message on how Inspirwood has grown too,” Williams states. “It’s been a big learning curve over the years, but within the team, we blend creative skills with practical techniques and traditional carpentry, merging design, print and woodworking into one.”
This unique proposition: the allying of inspirational design and product manufacturing with a strong and transparent sustainable approach has naturally led to Inspirwood appealing to likeminded businesses. “Because of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, we’re attracting clients that share our values,” concludes Williams.
Those values come to the fore when faced with the current challenges and, like a number of proactive print businesses, Inspirwood has involved itself both with the local supply of scrubs patterns and its headline making wooden rainbow charity campaign; spreading happiness and positivity through the medium of print.
Rainbow keyrings can be ordered and gifted through Inspirwood’s online store.