- Fine Art Prints, Posters, Canvas & Framed Prints of historic
paintings, vintage posters, old sketches & stunning photos
from around the world.
Here Digger talks
to Kevin James at Printsplace Online. Based in the
historically significant grounds of Bletchley
Park, PrintsPlace Online is an online digital archive of some
100,000+ (and growing) images. These are available to order as
prints and canvases of various sizes, framed or unframed
With some of the best Archives
and Libraries from around the globe Printsplace offers a Print
on Demand service making available high quality prints from
such collections as National Geographic, Punch Cartoons,
Illustrated London News, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums,
Bridgeman Art & Offside Sports Photography.
Digger: How many images are there Kevin?
Kevin: Currently in excess of
100,000 but this grows weekly
Digger: How does it work? Because you have images from a
number of sources don't you?
Kevin: It’s very simple
as PrintsPlace is the portal that carries all of the images
enabling potential customers to find what they are looking for
through our aggregated site at PrintsPlace or via our Partners
Digger: How are they printed?
Kevin: We print in-house using
an Epson Stylus Pro 9880 which reproduces fantastic imagery as
quality prints using the Giclee method
Digger: It's a big beast, isn't it?
Kevin: It is undoubtedly a
quality machine that’s for sure. It holds 8 different inks and
prints to a width of 44".
Digger: Even the top prices I saw on your website didn't make
me take a deep breath.
Kevin: We are committed to
offering our products at the most competitive price we can to
make them affordable for everyone whilst ensuring that the
quality is of a very high standard.
Digger: What sizes do you sell?
Kevin: We sell prints of any
size within the width capability of the printer, however to
make it easier for potential customers we offer ‘A’ dimensions
and photo frame sizes.
PrintsPlace also has the
functionality for you to view any chosen image in a mount and
frame of your choice with the added facility to choose
your wall colour to drop behind it and show exactly how that
choice would like on your wall.
Digger: That software looks great. It must help a lot when
people are choosing and deciding what to buy.
Kevin: We hope that it gives
the customer confidence to buy online at PrintsPlace.
Digger: Who are these partners?
Kevin: We call them Partners
because that’s exactly what they are. We are very proud to
have the likes of National Geographic, Punch Cartoons and
Bridgeman Art Library as just some of our ever growing
community of print suppliers. We operate the Print Stores on
their behalf and they remain the copyright holders of the
images. We enable them to view the performance and sales of
their images on a live basis.
of the partners
Digger: How wide a scope do you cover?
Kevin: Our aim is to provide a
collection of images of any subject matter and are constantly
searching and approaching potential new Partners who have the
collections we feel will enhance what we already have.
Digger: You're doing images of the cruises, the Railwayana,
the classic cars and military. Where are there still gaps?
Kevin: The gaps are becoming
ever smaller as we constantly sign new Partners to work with.
We now have Offside Sports Photography which has a fantastic
collection of Sports imagery, some real classic stuff whereas
Bridgeman Art Library are one of the largest collections of
classic art in the UK. But as I say we are always looking for
good collections and talented Artists and Photographers who
wish to sell their work online.
Digger: Are you also trying to cover all the different
timelines as well as genres?
Digger: When I talk to anyone in the retro and nostalgia world
they have to be realistic and keep moving their timelines
forward to the 70s, 80s and so on.
Kevin: That is exactly what we
aim to do and through some of our Partners collections we are
Digger: Do you have individuals and corporates from all over
the world using the site?
Kevin: Definitely! We have
customers from some far flung places that order from us
whether they be individuals or business.
Digger: So you can find your product from lots of different
places on The Web?
Kevin: Absolutely. Keywords are
essential when placing anything on the web so we work hard to
get those right as they will help to ensure that we are close
to the top of any search engine lists. We can be found as a
link to our Partners official sites as well as having strong
links with many other websites
Digger: I suppose any enterprise can sell their products with
your back end?
Kevin: Yes they can. We are
very interested in working with individuals as well as the
larger image libraries as collectively we can offer some
pretty amazing imagery as prints Worldwide which may not be
readily available anywhere else.
Digger: The way a site functions is so important - you know
within a few seconds if it is going to make you say "No, I
don't want to do that." And it can be very frustrating,
whether it's looking for hotels and holidays or looking for
physical goods. Some sites are completely counter-intuitive.
Kevin: Simple is best as far as
we are concerned and www.printsplace.co.uk has
been created very much with the customer in mind. Our site is
very simple to use from searching for what you are looking for
to making the purchase. It is a continuous development that we
will be looking to improve with the help of feedback from
visitors to the site.
Digger: And it has an impact on the experience and the sale.
Kevin: We hope that the
experience will be so good that they will come back again and
Digger: Do you protect the images?
Kevin: Only small thumbnail
files are used online preventing copying, sometimes even
watermarked, and the high resolution files are kept safely in
three separate locations.
Kevin: We have a contractual
agreement with all of our Partners and we want them to feel
that they are in Partnership with a professional
organisation which does everything the right way from top to
bottom which is our goal.
Digger: What about customer feedback?
Kevin: We can’t place a value
on how important customer feedback is as this tells us what we
are doing right and what we can/need to improve on. It also
tell us what our customers are looking for and as mentioned we
want our customers to keep coming back to PrintsPlace.
Digger: The packaging is important.
Kevin: It is as important as
the product it is protecting. They say that first impressions
are everything and the standard of packaging will tell a
customer a lot about the company they are doing business with.
Digger: Can't say fairer than that.
Kevin: Customer service is up
there with quality of product and just as important
Digger: So they're your USPs really?
Kevin: One of the USP’s yes.
Digger: Is there a lot of overseas business?
Kevin: Our overseas business is
growing which is very pleasing. We are able to track all of
our orders too which gives a customer more confidence to use
Digger: We have managed to get over that thing that used to
exist on The Internet where people would say "UK - which state
Kevin: I think so. More people
use the internet to make purchases now than ever and the
amount of unsure enquirers is reducing as the confidence
grows. We try to do all we can to convey the confidence that
we are a good company to do business with.
Digger: What are the best things about running PrintsPlace?
Kevin: It's all about making
really good images, whether or not they're bought on sentiment
- they're great gift ideas for other people because people
always wonder what they can buy for others. You can also buy
gift vouchers on the site. They're affordable but good quality
- we're trying to retain that level where you've got a really
good choice and everything you want will be there and the
price range is affordable.
It’s all about giving people
the right choice, the right price and the right service. That
simple for me.
Digger: You can print them to canvas which seems a much better
option to me than the rubbish canvases you can buy in a lot of
high street and retail park stores these days. You can have a
much rarer and more interesting image for the same sort of
price. Rather than see the same as in other people's houses,
you can go for something quite individual.
Kevin: We are only interested
in selling quality products and make them affordable for
everyone. You get what you pay for as the saying goes and we
only sell product that will look the very best it can and last
for as long as it is wanted.
Digger: The human brain reads images far better than it reads
Kevin: I really believe that –
a reason why television is so powerful today.
Digger: Yes marketing and targeting must be hard.
Kevin: A lot of work goes into
it that is for sure but it is worth it as it gets results and
is something that you can never stop doing.
Digger: What offshoots are there from the business Kevin?
Kevin: We like to help our
Partners where we can in any of their activities and we are
very proud to be based at Bletchley Park, the home of the
WW2 Code breakers. We work very closely with them and provide
and sell images on their behalf, all going to a very worthy
cause of ensuring that Bletchley Park continues to be a top
Digger: Is it anything to do with the Colossus rebuild?
Kevin: The National Museum of
Computing is based here and they are developing an excellent
museum – which yes has a fully working Colossus rebuild.
Digger: When I started in computers they used to say that a
lady called Grace Hopper, an American, was the first
programmer. She was military and they also mentioned the first
bug in a computer system actually being a real bug that
effected its operation. I always thought "Hang on, they're
claiming that the Americans did it and we're claiming that we
Kevin: No comment!
Digger: They'll definitely have a view, won't they?! (Both
Kevin : Best not mention that
Digger: As these images are digital I suppose they can be
printed onto any reasonable surface or material in addition to
paper, canvas and all the traditional materials for prints?
Kevin: There are now a number
of different materials that images can be printed on and we
are looking for new methods to use to ensure that we offer
what people want.
Digger: So that means you can choose some favourite images and
then decorate your furnishings or objects with them?
Kevin: Yes – it’s incredible
what can be done.
Digger: What do you see as the future for the business Kevin?
Market leader I suppose?
Kevin: We want to be the best
of course and you can only call yourselves that if your
customers are telling you so that is our aim.
Digger: Yes and geographically you're well-positioned too.
Kevin: Being essentially an
online business it is not so important, however if there was a
need to visit us for something we welcome it and then, yes, we are ideally
We have thousands of
images from Partners throughout the world. Every image
is available as a premium quality print at any size and
finish - posters, canvas prints and framed prints. Each
of our collections has a dedicated print shop to
represent the Partner's own particular brand and range
of images. Please click on any of the collection images
to view and buy your own premium quality prints.
2002, PrintsPlace was the first print-on-demand service
in the UK. We offer individual, high-quality prints from
over 100,000 unique art works, illustrations and
photographs, available to purchase online. Choose from
canvas or a variety of paper finishes in any size. And
if you’d like your print framed, select from 25
different mounts and frames. We’re the one-stop art
store, delivering bespoke prints to your door.
FREE Phone Number: 0845
Outside UK Number: +44
Printsplace Online has a dedicated
team of staff who welcome feedback or suggestions about
our services and can help with any queries.