Prime Group, based in Nottingham, U.K., was founded 25 years ago as a traditional offset printer. Since then, it has evolved into a provider of value-added services such as personalized products and cross-media marketing. Eight years ago, Prime Group invested in digital printing and initiated moves to rewrite and reinvent itself from a producer of commodity offset print products to a provider of differentiated high-value services.
According to Prime Group Managing Director Jon Tolley, “We had no real niche when we first started; we were a general commercial printer. We recognized that digital printing offered the potential to get us out of the commodity four-color print market. We aimed to become experts in variable data printing, and today we are one of the U.K.'s leading providers of personalized items, including calendars, stationery, direct mail, books, brochures and gifts.”
One example of this is the personalized books project Prime Group spearheaded for Penwizard Ltd., a Web-to-print publisher specializing in personalized products. A key market for Penwizard is personalized books for children.
Prime Group prints and fulfills the orders for Penwizard’s personalized books through a workflow built using HP SmartStream and DirectSmile technology. The books ordered via Penwizard’s website go directly to print on HP Indigo 7000 series digital presses without human intervention.
Penwizard’s website presents visitors with a range of user-friendly design templates, enabling users to create personalized books. Customers can select the story, customize the character names and create custom avatars and character illustrations. One of the most popular customized book offerings are the Peppa Pig children’s books (pictured), which are produced for Penguin Publishing. Each book can be personalized by customizing the appearance of characters (e.g., hair color, eye color, skin color) and selecting character names. An optional personal message can also be printed on the inside front page of the book.