Last month, we were invited by our friends at Spectrum Printing to visit their printing warehouse in the heart of Cardiff. Now, we don’t know whether to admit this or not but we’ve been in the graphic design game for close to 12 years now and this is the first time we’d actually seen the lithographic process up close (*waiting to be struck down by the mighty print Gods*). Needless to say, we were all equally (and geekily) excited to see what actually goes into producing the beautiful print that we’re so used to from the guys at Spectrum.
The 30 year old business is owned and run by Lawrence Corria and his son, Lawrence Corria Jnr. After serving an apprenticeship in printing, Lawrence Snr set up shop in 1985 after buying his first lithographic proof press and started supplying high quality proofs to other printing companies around South Wales and Bristol. From there, Lawrence built up the business to the point where he could afford his first Heidelberg printing press (you can see a photo of it below) and the rest, as they say, is history.
Spectrum are now one of South Wales’ leading print companies and have recently kitted themselves out with a state-of-the-art Heidelberg Speedmaster CX75, and when we say this thing is big, we MEAN BIG! This behemoth can print up to 15,000 sheets an hour and weighs as much as a…house!? Plane!? Well, we’re not entirely sure but trust us, it’s massive! We were interested to find out that the litho inks are actually manually top loaded into the machine by hand, showing that printers, by nature, treat this process as a true craft and even with all the automation in the world available, they still like to be hands on with the product they’re producing.
If you fancy being extra nerdy then check out this youtube video of this baby in action:
Through talking to Lawrence and the rest of the team, it’s fair to say that their passion for print is immense. It was so fascinating and humbling to see these craftspeople at work, and exactly how much care, dedication and attention they put into their industry and finished product.