Prime Group

Older, wiser and in good company

Written by Jon Tolley
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Originally published
March 1 2018,
July 3 2020

When you’re a kid birthdays can’t come around soon enough. Then, after a certain age, you stop marking them (perhaps because they seem to come just too quickly). In business we’re so driven by “month ends” and financial years that one day you look around, draw breath, and find 30 years has passed in the blink of an eye.

The big three-zero

That’s what just happened at Prime. Formed on the 28th February, in 1988 which was a leap year, (and pre-dating the world wide web) we find ourselves hitting that particular, noteworthy milestone. It’s left us both reflecting backwards and peering excitedly forwards into the future.


The world back then

1988 was quite a different landscape;

  • While John “you cannot be serious” McEnroe made a return to Wimbledon, Stefan Edberg beat Becker in the final.

  • The diminutive songstress, Kylie Minogue, gave us the year’s best-selling single with her annoyingly catchy “I Should Be So Lucky”.

  • Yuppies were still channelling Wall Street’s Gordon Gecko, but the blockbuster film had Dustin Hoffman as the autistic savant “Rain Man” counting cards in Vegas.

  • Red Nose Day and Red Dwarf hit our TV screens and Crossroads (every Mum’s favourite) aired for the final time.

  • Desk-top publishing (DTP) software was starting to make an appearance in offices throughout the land.

  • And printing was still all analogue. Though we didn’t call it that because the world's first digital colour printing press (the Indigo, to be launched in 1993) was still a twinkle in Benny Landa’s eye.

Adie with Speedmaster.jpg

My Brother, Adrian in 2000 after the install of our Heidelberg Speedmaster SM52-4

Jon Printing 2 1991 Kord 62.jpg

Me as a young 18 year old manager running our Kord 62 (yes, I am ashamed of the state of the press!)

How things look now

The web changed everything, for ever.
Music, sports, film and TV – all of those landmark 1988 events would be accessed, viewed, stored, and even paid for now using means that are enabled by or dependent on it.

Traditional printers, as Prime was then, have transformed to survive and thrive. By embracing change, and technology, a new breed has evolved. Short print-runs, data-driven communications and personalisation are all now made possible using pioneering digital equipment such as HP’s Indigo.  Always highly-skilled, print is now also high-tech and high-speed. 


It’s been emotional

Another 30 years and who knows what’s possible? We’re already knocking on the door of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) and keeping a close eye on the role print has to play in all of them.

Turning 30 is proving to be a formative life-stage. We’re still oozing youthful enthusiasm, but with the wisdom that years and experience bring! It seems, we’re in good company too. Other one-named luminaries Adele and Rihanna are also celebrating three decades on the planet – not sure that we’ll be able to rival those parties though.


20131003_Prime Head Shot_0013-1.jpg


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