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Nano Bits. When Nano Meets Print.

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UK grocery brands face a challenging environment according to a report issued by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD). This 105 year old organisation is a research and training charity for the consumer industry and claims to be a leading source of information for the consumer goods industry worldwide. The IGD report outlines changes they foresee in the distribution of grocery products in the five years to 2020.

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If it’s not a crisis in paper distribution, then paper prices are rising. If it’s not paper, then its plates or ink prices on the increase. Bad debts are harder to collect or credit terms are being revised downwards. There is a steady stream of notices about plant closures or businesses going bust in the trade journals and social media.

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I was on holiday recently, sitting outside a small pub on the West Coast of Ireland, sipping a pint of Guinness while my wife was looking around a clothes shop. I am not much of a clothes shopper, least of all with my wife, so the half hour with the newspaper was a blessed release.

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My wife’s preferred tipple is a gin and tonic but she is also partial to a pint of beer if we are out walking. However, she does not take too kindly to the barman offering it in a “lady’s glass”, since that is invariably half the normal measure.

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I must admit that there are but a few childhood hobbies and activities that I have carried with me to adulthood. I would number sport, boating and an obsession with mechanical things such as steam railways among them. But I certainly would not include colouring books. Filling in pre-printed outlines with paints and crayons might have been something that I indulged in when I was six. But not now, ten decades later.

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When I was making my way in the printing industry, a career path was something that was fairly well designed and easy to follow, even if having a successful career was something harder to achieve.

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There are lots of things that we take for granted and my wife will be the first to tell you that she thinks she is one of them as far as I am concerned.

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Let’s be honest, despite a devotion to standards like ISO and FOGRA and a determination to produce the best job possible, the output from most of the printing and converting industry’s presses is destined for the garbage can.

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