December 20th, 2018

In no particular order our three 20th anniversary competition winners are:

  • Dawn Bontoft – Total Office

  • Steve Taylor – Adare International

  • Kate Morgan – Office Team

We will be in contact shortly to arrange your prizes.

Thank you to all who took part and we wish you a pleasant and happy New Year!

Best Regards

Print Evolved

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


    Digital Washing Machine

    October 8th, 2018

    Our NEW Digital Washing Machine is here to help!

    It checks the files are print ready and fixes many minor artwork issues. If the artwork cannot be fixed instantly you can choose to send via an automated workflow to our expert studio team to be fixed, recreated or even designed from scratch.

    What’s more as it’s all done online, the whole process is easily trackable and the final order is available to reorder in the future.

    Full Wash

    • Artwork Upload – Checks the files (FOC)
    • Artwork Creation – Recreate from a scan or a photo (Fixed price)
    • Design Service – Build artwork from scratch (Quoted)

    Quick Spin

    • Artwork Upload – Checks the files

    You will have products that are not template-able due to ad-hoc additions of text or accreditations etc. so let us set up a file submission product for you. You can then upload these non-conformist PDFs within your portal, making the item visible, trackable and re-orderable within Cognitu and with a fraction of the hassle associated with manual orders.


    • Frees up your studio time
    • No costly contract rates
    • Instant response

    Speak to your account manager or the sales team if you would like to find out how this can be added to your portal on 0207 566 5070

    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.

    This week Ivor Solution signage was taken down from their Islington London N7 printing plant and in its place Print Evolved was born. A striking new brand reflects a company that continues to set the pace in web to print solutions and fulfilment and which has seen its turnover rise from £4.3m in 2014 to £5.1m last year with ambitious plans to double output by 2020 .

    Next week Print Evolved will launch a bright and accessible new web site to match the new look which will allow its primarily corporate customers, 75% in print management and office supplies, easy access to print services.

    Many of its clients use the Print Evolved web to print solution Cognitu, licensing it and creating bespoke portals that allow their customers to order print which is then fulfilled by the Islington plant, or their chosen print output supplier.

    Spencer Slee, managing director of the newly branded Print Evolved, explains: “We had outgrown our identity. We remain a technology-driven company which is innovative, creative and responsive. We enable print management companies, dealers and resellers to offer an easy to use web to print portal and fulfil those orders with digital, wide format, Direct Imaging and litho technology as well as extensive finishing including foiling, embossing and thermography. “

    The background graphic to the new logo is a series of interlocking rectangular patterns combining low key black and grey with more striking green and blue. This reflects the company’s combination of old and new technology, platens to latest generation digital printing, but also how it uses strong teamwork and lean working practices closely combined to maximise efficiency. Work is tracked through a barcoding system, each job bundled together into one tray, and the production flow measured to ensure speedy turnarounds are achieved and deadlines met.

    The word print in the new logo is embraced by angled brackets (>and <), widely used on the Internet (in html coding) and the Replica fount is frequently used on screen. Print Evolved embraces the Internet, regarding it as a tool and not a threat to print.

    Ivor Jacobs, who founded the company and who remains as a consultant, was an early adopter of the Internet and led the creation of the Cognitu software (originally known as CardCorp). Spencer Slee joined the Limited company two years ago and, as managing director, will lead the company into the next stage of development. His background in office supplies (he joined from Staples) brought a fresh pair of eyes to the printing operation.

    “This company has been the best kept secret in print for 20 years. Now it is time to evolve and build on our heritage by further harnessing technology and the multi-media environment to offer even more printing services to the modern business and print user,” says Mr Slee.

    April 2016

    For further information please contact

    Diana Thompson, Plus Point PR Ltd, on 01494-817178


    Spencer Slee, Print Evolved Ltd, on 020 7566 5070 or 07976 721239.

    A software developer and printer has created a print academy for print sales training courses for people and groups including trade associations.

    The academy in Islington, London, opened its doors last month and targets people involved in print but who are often not from the industry or those who have a good print background but lack technical expertise.

    Ivor Solution founder and projects director Ivor Jacobs said: “We are a hybrid business, producing our own software and marrying it to print. In the main our customers are trade: resellers of print, print managers and stationery companies. Many are not geared up to understand the ramifications of printing and software. Young people don’t always understand the difference between a digital, litho and a platen press or that a duplex job on a litho has different deadline implications to 100 A4 sheets on digital kit.”

    Jacobs said clients could also use the academy to hold sales meetings with their customers, who in turn could learn about Ivor Solution.

    Managing director Spencer Slee said: “Many customers lean on us to support them, which we happily do. But that has been in an unstructured manner, helping out as required. However, this is quite costly and ineffective. A better way is for us to provide them with the tools to give them the confidence to do it themselves.”

    Slee added: “This is especially true with the introduction of Ivor Solution’s new Resellers Gateway website for print ordering. Customers opting to take on the Gateway and introduce it to their clients will be encouraged to attend seminars on the changes print can now be priced, designed, ordered and administered.”

    The typical office-products dealer, for example, was fast becoming the destination for customers’ printing needs in addition to general office consumables, he said.

    “We are looking at ways to support this activity with minimal investment. This can be by training their existing customer service and selling teams, supporting them throughout the sales cycle. An established office products dealer can win an additional 15%-20% revenue from its existing customers without increasing its overhead using our Reseller Gateway.”

    Designers are another category with different training needs; for example they may have carried out a rebrand for a client and come to this company for the initial print, he said.

    “We ask them if they are missing an after-sales opportunity” explained Slee. “We provide online templates through a white-labelled website that the designer can give their client, to say ‘here is not only your design, but a method to protect the integrity of it going forward and the understanding how to have the system integrated’.”

    The print academy occupies 100sqm close to London’s King’s Cross, at the side of the Ivor Solution premises.

    The company has created several modules divided into awareness and training and is creating collateral and samples for the academy to give the delegates.

    “Print is very hard to bring to life, so the training room will be very much a product showroom. It isn’t just really nice works of art we want to capture, we want to show all types of print.”

    On 1 June 2015 Ivor Solution Ltd acquired the trade and assets of Edwin Buckley & Co Ltd in a transaction designed to form a stronger, broader business able to provide clients of both companies with an enhanced range of services whilst continuing to deliver great customer satisfaction and high quality products.

    Spencer Slee, the Managing Director of Ivor Solution, commented,We are delighted to have completed this acquisition and welcome Edwin and his team to our offices. We are experiencing an increase in demand for more traditional printing processes where clients are looking to differentiate themselves from the competition and enhance their branding, Edwin Buckley & Co have long history in delivering this more bespoke service and we are very excited to be combining this proposition to our existing business model, driven by Cognitu our cloud based web2print solution.

    Edwin Buckley added, In this our 50th year in business we have taken the decision to look to the future by merging with a company well known in the print industry as being advanced in its use of technology and having the latest print facilities. This is great news for all of our stakeholders allowing us to build on the Edwin Buckley & Company brand with the synergies from the combined skillset and improved facilities of our new, modern premises in Hornsey Street, Islington.

    The merged companies will hold ISO9001/ISO14001, BPIF, IPIA and IPN membership. Their management structure will be broader and better equipped to deliver continual improvement to all areas of the business.

    About Ivor Solution Ltd

    Ivor Solution Ltd, a pioneer in the field of web to print, was established in 1997 to exploit the web based opportunities within the printing industry, bringing digital technologies together to establish an order to fulfilment workflow through a cloud based solution. Since 2007 Ivor Solution supplemented its software expertise with print production facilities presenting a unique hybrid solution to give customers and clients total control over the process from order placed on the web to receipt. In 2010 it rebranded its Web2Print software solution as Cognitu. Ivor Solution now processes over 1,000 orders every day, with an average order value of £45.00 and a standard three day turnaround, and has become a key partner to its trade clients in the office supplies and print management sectors.

    About Edwin Buckley & Co Ltd

    Edwin Buckley founded the company in 1965 to deliver quality printing with a quality service. The company had cool beginnings printing record sleeves for the music industry, but their reliability and quality service soon spread and opened up opportunities across the City. It is still a family run business that is as passionate about delivering what clients need today as when they started. Edwin Buckley & Co Ltd combine first class design services, modern and traditional printing technologies, warehousing and print management systems with a highly experienced, skilled and friendly team.