May 20, 2022

How Imageco Leads with Sustainability

Sustainability is at the heart of all the processes at Imageco. It comes personally from Nathan Swinson Bullough, the Managing Director at Imageco, who wants to make a change with what the company is doing. Last year, Imageco won at the UK Graphic Awards in three categories:

  • Leisure & Hospitality Project of the Year (sponsored by ADAPT);
  • The Green Award;
  • Wide-format Print Company of the Year (under 30 employees).

Nathan recently took some time to chat with us about these wins, focusing on what has helped his company become recognised as the “best of the best.” 

Sustainability as a core value

With great attention to details, Imageco focuses on sustainability in their designs and production processes.

“We now look at everything, from the products that we use to our energy to smaller things such as packaging. I think it’s important not just for us but for the industry as well to make the change. We’ve got to be responsible for what we are doing,” said Nathan.
“To be fair, our impact is big, whatever we are doing from retail graphics to events. There is a lot of throwaway material and a lot of waste that goes into the environment. So, we and everyone need to make this change. It’s not just about a business plan; it’s about doing the right thing for the planet.” 

While working on this article, we noticed that nearly everything Imageco does is focused on sustainability, but not just from an ecological perspective. Imageco is a sustainable team that achieves corporate goals, progresses over time, and cultivates ethics and culture where collaboration, admiration, and teamwork are developed and valued. Nathan had this to say about the Imageco team:

“I’m genuinely grateful for the team we have because, without the team we’ve got, none of these would be possible. I always say that ‘It’s not just about me. It’s the guys. Everyone plays their part.' As a result, we often get people coming to the factory and saying it looks like such a relaxed, nice place to work.” 
Imageco's team at the UK Graphic Awards with sponsors from ADAPT

Celebrating achievements like winning the awards together with the team is one of the ways of showing appreciation and gratitude to the team. It keeps everyone dedicated and makes them feel valued. It's also a huge confidence boost.

Besides taking care of their team, Imageco also prioritises giving back to the local community.

“At Imageco, we have developed a strong understanding that local sporting initiatives (clubs, awards, and more) are essential to building strong communities and are exciting opportunities for adults and kids alike. We love giving back to the community. We’ve got a good all-round ethic and a good sense of work skills as well," said Nathan.

Such cool initiatives within the company helped it stand out and contributed to their win in the "Wide-format Print Company of the Year" category.

Leisure & Hospitality Project of the Year: winning story

To create a real impact, you need an amazing project. Imageco won the Leisure & Hospitality Project of the Year Award with Zaap Thai Street Food. We were eager to learn more about this project and inspiration behind it.

“To be honest, the inspiration came from the client. They gave us a description of what they wanted and some ideas. We just banded it back with how it should look and how to do these things from everything. We wanted to make it look like you were going into an authentic Thai restaurant. Straight away, we started doing the research, just looking at what’s possible.”  
Imageco's Leisure & Hospitality Project of the Year

Imageco has transformed Zaap into an authentic Thai street food outlet by creating a mix of print, signage, and faux neon signs. The light boxes they made were given a weathered look to have the authentically worn appearance the client was looking for. They were hung from the ceiling with large chains and distressed with various paint effects.

For the print on the recycled fabric, they used their day-to-night printing method, in which printing is done in layers. With a white layer sandwiched in the middle, a day scene can be seen without a backlight, but when the backlight is turned on, it will cleverly reveal the moon and stars in the image as well as light up the streetlights. Lastly, the team designed and produced a number of neon signs to further brighten and add the final touches of authenticity to the space. 

Nathan also shared Imageco's approach before starting work on a new project. They take into account everything, from what and how they are going to produce it — design, print, and install. They are aiming to always do their best and expect their customers to know the true value of such dedication and professionalism.

“We’ve got the whole creativity in-house. We come up with what we [or the clients] are looking for, with the quality they expect. It’s challenging, but I think that we are well-equipped to deal with it. Ultimately, if the cost isn’t right, we say, ‘No, thank you. Good luck with your project.' It’s always about finding customers who are willing to pay fairly for the services you offer and understand their value," explained Nathan.

Industry Awards give you much more than trophies

We also asked Nathan what he would say to anybody thinking about entering the Awards this year:

“If your project is good enough, then enter. If it’s not good enough, just keep trying. I think it’s not just about the result. It’s about the whole night, the network. It’s a great night to be with everyone, enjoy yourself and celebrate the work the industry is doing. Don’t be afraid to enter — we are definitely entering again this year. It would be great to win something, but if not, it’s still going to be a fantastic night, and we will enjoy the evening — like last time.” 

There are few steps that keep you from enjoying an evening like this. Learn more about all the categories, as there are many new ones this year, and enter here. The deadline to enter is the 1st of July 2022. See you at the event on the 5th of October in Manchester!