Then & Now

December 1st, 2018


It was nearly 30 years ago and before the Internet, that we started developing a batching process called Stik-Address, a print offer aimed at print shops and a way of producing mini labels multi-up on a sheet. Orders came in by fax and had to be keyed on to a template and

as soon as 48 order units were added. The System batched the labels up so that they could be litho printed on pre kiss cut stock. Atour peak we were producing around 200 orders a day together with the shop’s delivery label, thus matching label to delivery and avoiding incorrect deliveries.

This became the basis for the batch printing system that we built into our software right from the start. Successful batching is the reason that the template information had to ‘then and now’ be precise as jobs are automatically sorted into their unique attributable batches.


Batch printing became the basis for much of the cheap litho print offerings but very few of these systems are, even now, attached to front end ordering. We always saw the importance of having a seamless workflow from user design and ordering right through to despatch, on a fully automated basis. With this workflow we are able to handle an unlimited number of orders, many more than the 1000+orders a day we are currently producing.

Some three years ago and in conjunction with specialist consultants we added the lean manufacturing process which looked at your entire digital print production so that we could set up efficient batch control. Its thinking showed us how to organise all batches in strict despatch order and how to stock up with “justin time” materials and schedule staff for eachdays production.

The results of the implementation of lean were significant; less stressed staff, meeting all deadlines (a countdown screen is usually down to zero by mid-afternoon avoiding the end of day panics!) spot on accuracy, a reduction in wastage and of greatest importance workflow that our customers can rely on every single time they use us!

THEN – Email Approval Madness

In the early days, if customers needed approval of the job they had edited and ordered, on line, it was a simple matter of the customer sending an email with a copy of the finished product to the approver.

This more manual process actually worked well as it was such an improvement over what was the previous off-line process even though an edited page could take well over two minutes to refresh!

The next stage was to automate the process by providing an email option on check-out, where the customer would add the email address of the approver who would return the email with either the go ahead or suggested amendments.

NOW – Well Oiled Workflows

Since we have introduced the fully automated approver system its use has grown dramatically.

When users or products are set up a workflow can be added with a notification that is sent to a designated approver to check and authorise an order. Several approvers can be added so, for instance, a Marketing manager can approve the design whereas a line Manager can sign off the expenditure.

There is no limit to the number of workflows and they can take place concurrently or sequentially. Approvers can not only approve the order but can also modify or cancel the design themselves and an audit trail is kept of every action.


THEN – Software and the difficulties of outsourcing print

When we first started out 20 years ago investing in software was an expensive venture so we decided to put most of our funds into internet software which was still relatively new.

We had set ourselves up in London and the plan was to outsource the system created batch printing to a local digital printer via ISDN who would then print them the next day ready for us to pick up and finish. Little did we know how anti printers would be to our proposal! Thankfully we found a printer as forward thinking as ourselves who couldn’t turn down new technology and who took up our offer.

There was still a lot suspicion towards digital printing and its capabilities. Our aim was to show our customers how seamless our workflow was from ordering right through to getting the job through the door. Eventually more customers came onboard and we were soon receiving positive feedback based on our mutual successes. This perseverance for both the internet and digital printing gave us great expansion possibilities


NOW – Everything in house – software and print (Going Solo)

Things then started to move fast; we had already relocated once to be next to our partnered supplier but it was not long before they couldn’t keep up with our demand. It was now time for us to invest in our own production capabilities, so we took the plunge and purchased our first Indigo press along with some finishing equipment.

It was not long before we also needed larger premises and were fortunate enough to find a new location in Central London that was part of the major Arsenal stadium redevelopment which gave us a blank canvas to fit out our factory to the specifications we required.

Our software now branded Cognitu became much more sophisticated, with greater scope for marrying it with print and thus creating our hybrid model. Now the factory is a model of automation and mass production often producing over 1,000 orders a day which leave us on time every time.



Then – What You See Is What You Get

The holy grail of online design and editing has always been displaying actual fonts so that people could see exactly what they would have printed. You may be familiar with the term WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get. For all the pioneering web to print systems, apart from ours, this meant users would just see substitute fonts. Showing only positions not the real thing!20 years ago, through the ingenuity of our programmers, we discovered a unique way to show actual fonts right from the start. For many years we were the only system in the UK that employed this groundbreaking technology.

Now – Full Language Capabilities

Over the years we have been able to automatically scale text along with font handling to very accurately display on screen the final text output. We have always strived to keep our graphics technology ahead of the competition, so much so that seven years ago we added the capability of displaying Arabic fonts.Here we had to not only display right to left text but also recreate the ornate “joined up” flowing nature of the language. After Arabic the world was literally our oyster, with Cognitunow being able to cater for any language, such as Chinese, Russian, Mongolian and even some pretend ones like Klingon.


When 3 minutes* was acceptable

When the internet was first becoming viable for business in 1997 most connections were through just an 8k modem. At the time this was state of the art.

Print Evolved faced the challenge of a requirement for two-way communications in a world that was predominantly one-way, giving users the ability to edit and save their templates online. The Available Technology at the time struggled to handle data. Fortunately Print Evolved anticipated faster modems coming on stream in the not too distant future.

There were rapid developments with connection speeds which soon doubled to 16k, 32k, 64k and onwards. These modems, although laughably slow by today’s standards, were having a positive effect on users experience of the Internet. The three minute screen refresh times were decreasing, helping PrintEvolved’s business rapidly expand.

In the early two thousands, some five years after Print Evolved started their service, broadband came into commercial operation. This technology was made possible by using telephone lines to connect directly to the Internet. Broadband was going to be the answer!

Because of Print Evolved’s enthusiasm for new technology, they became one of the first adopters of broadband and were proud to be recruited into the government drive to research broadband and its potential in making the Internet accessible to all.


When 5 seconds is too slow!

Instant reaction is now the order of the day and Print Evolved’s systems response times keep up with the speed trends.

Print Evolved started with the emergence of cloud computing twenty years ago (First known as Application Service Provision – ASP) where the provider sold an all-in-one service rather than a program. This became possible because of the incredible networking capabilities of the Internet and meant speeds were not restricted by the hardware of the end user.

Using this new technology Print Evolved perfected their web2print technology Cognitu to capture customer orders and output print ready files, becoming one the first company to bring this technology to the industry.

Being cloud based not only increases speed but security and when credit card payments first became available over the Internet, there were initially fears about the security of this type of transaction. Print Evolved helped pave the way for acceptance of these types of payments by establishing the trust of its customers that security was paramount.

Print Evolved took on the challenge of persuading customers that, with common sense, online transactions, conducted with bona fide suppliers, were actually more secure than conventional credit card use.

One of the company’s core values is data security for both themselves and their customers.Keeping security up to date is of the utmost importance to Print Evolved who are already fully compliant with GDPR.

New Cognitu User Guide

October 15th, 2018

Make your ordering experience better – we’re here to help!

To request the new user guide please fill in the form below:

    We have launched our new user guide with clear and comprehensive steps on how to navigate our web2print software Cognitu, whether you’re the ‘end user’ or a ‘super user’.

    The new guide is available fully indexed in a digital format to allow for quick navigation and reference and covers everything you need to know about using our product templates.

    You can now request to have the user guide branded with a specific logo or colours to best suit your needs.

    For example, things that you might not know that can be done through Cognitu.

    • Quickly Re-order Products
    • Update the delivery address before they are processed
    • Cancel orders before they are processed
    • Amend card details before they are processed


    • Reduced user queries
    • Improved user experience
    • Increased user activity
    • Customised Branding

    If you are currently not setup on Cognitu please contact your account manager or the sales team on 0207 566 5070


    Language Translation

    September 10th, 2018

    It is not just Banks and large Corporate Companies that have the requirement to print in one or more languages, now a growing number of small and medium sized businesses are building a customer base outside of the UK Market, finding the need to produce business stationery and marketing collateral in a different language and often in dual languages.

    The management of a foreign language requirement in a traditional way can be very truncated and expensive, especially if you add up the total time taken. We estimate that including translation the cost of a simple business card requirement can be in excess of £125! Many of our customers are now using Cognitu to manage standard high frequency requirements, such as business cards as part of their Web2Print offer.

    Traditional – 7 Steps Minimum

    If you use a traditional means of language translation, there can be many steps involved, including the understanding and communication of the requirement and multiple proofing stages which often result in very long email trails!In our experience a typical requirement including one set of amendments can take 11 steps before getting printed.


    • Costly
    • Lengthy
    • Increased Potential for errors

    Cognitu – We can do it in 3!

    Using Cognitu you can reduce this down to as little as 3 steps. We can create an online environment as an extension to an existing template where the end user places the order in their default language which in turn creates a translation task that can either be carried out by someone within their Company or a third party translator that is linked to the system.


    • Easy to use
    • Quicker
    • On-screen approval
    • Reduction in total cost
    • Trackable on-line

    Speak to your account manager or the sales team for more information on: 0207 566 5070

    Cup Recycling

    September 10th, 2018

    New Recycled Coffee Cup Paper – Get it while it’s hot

    Did you know that 81 disposable coffee cups are used every second in the UK alone? That’s a shocking 7 million a day! With 2.5 billion take-away cups being thrown away each year something had to be done, thankfully James Cropper has developed a way of giving them a second chance. This was the world’s first coffee cup recycling plant opened by HM The Queen in 2013 leading to the development of a range of high grade but environmentally friendly papers.

    How its done: Coffee outlets, cafésor retailers can send used paper cups to James Cropper for Cupcycling™. The cups are collected and baled close to source, so that they can be delivered efficiently on a large scale. It’s a world-first in recycling. The unique process removes the tricky polyethylene lining that makes take-away cups waterproof, while preserving the precious paper fibres. The polyethylene is recycled by other reprocessing partners, and the paper fibres are ready to upcycle. This is then made into a range of luxury papers that are both beautiful and environmentally friendly. Available in ten stylish colours and two paperweights, 130gsm and 380gsm. Print Evolved now have the capability to offer recycled coffee cup paper on a vast range of their products from business cards to luxury folders.


    • _Business Cards
    • _Compliment Slips
    • _Letterheads
    • _Presentation Folders
    • _Luxury Packaging
    • _Greetings Cards
    • _Garment Tags
    • _Invitations
    • _Menus
    • _Brochures

    Get your free paper samples…

      Paper Colour*


      20th Year Competition

      July 1st, 2018

      To celebrate our 20th anniversary we are running a great competition that we want you to take part in.

      There will be three prize winners who will have the opportunity to select a prize from the five options on below! The draw will take place on 20th December 2018.

      Not received your copy? Request to add a colleague or yourself to the mailing list.

      Be the first to know about Digi-Laser

      The latest technology is used to create eye catching, memorable print projects that make a real impact.

      Print Evolved have developed specialist typefaces that can quickly and accurately be cut and removed down to the tiniest of details adding a unique effect to your print project. Any combination of letters, numbers and punctuation marks can be used to take print projects to a new level. Print Evolved use their existing capabilities of printing white ink and extensive material testing to ensure Digi-Laser can be combined with a range of coloured card that really makes an impression.

      Whilst developing Digi-Laser, Print Evolved also engineered Digi-Etch using the same technology, specialist typefaces and coloured materials. Digi-Etch can precisely remove 25% of the top layer of material creating a very tactile effect.

      Both technologies can be added into the design of existing print products. For example; business cards, contact cards, invitations, wedding stationery, personal stationery, covers, folders, place cards, name badges and certificates.

      Low set up cost, no minimum order quantity and fast lead times makes them a welcome addition to the fast paced world of print.

      So if you would like to try out Digi-Laser and Digi-Etch, you can build your own sample pack using the Print Evolved web to print platform, Cognitu. Please login and register using the website printed on our Digi-Laser sample card.

      GDPR What is it, Why Should I Care & How Can Cognitu Help?

      Now that GDPR has come into effect…

      The Customer now has control of how their personal data is used and kept.
      It prevents organisations from being able to market to them without their consent.

      So what does GDPR mean for Organisations?

      In short, any customer may, at any time, request for certain personal data to be removed from the Organisations systems. Requests can range from the removal of their entire account to the removal of certain “legacy” orders or transactions. In addition Organisations must now have been given specific consent to be able to send marketing e-mails or texts.

      Print Evolved and GDPR

      Print Evolved have developed an on-line ‘GDPR help request tool’ which is available within the Help menu to allow for specific requests to be sent for the removal of customer data.
      Customer data is stored at a UK data centre which is fitted with cutting edge environmental, operational and security controls to provide total peace of mind. It is certified with the following accreditations;

      • ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management System
      • ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System
      • ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System
      • PCI-DSS Payment Card Security Standard
      • PSN Certification
      • Cyber Essentials Certification

      Help is just a click away.

      It can be tricky explaining your needs to a Web2Print provider. Translating requests into terms that any given online platform requires is often a challenge in itself. Thankfully, Print Evolved’s platform, Cognitu, is the tool to help with this problem.

      Within Cognitu a new help request section has been added.This screen allows users to send technical requests directly to the implementation team in an intuitive and guided manner.To create a new request, users simply select the “Request” option from the “Help” menu. If you cannot see these in your menu, contact your key account manager or customer services, who will arrange for you to be able to access this area.

      The links on this help page go to an intuitive form for the task required. This guides you through the process, whilst ensuring that the best information possible is sent through to the implementation team. Once submitted requests are sent directly to the team’s task queue. Once submitted requests are sent directly to the team’s task queue, mitigating the risk of delay or any information being lost in translation.


      In preparation for when you are away this summer, would it be helpful to have one of your colleagues trained on how to use Cognitu? We are offering a Free training programme to help, contact us today to book on 020 7566 5070.