Digital print veteran opens new printing business

Digital Print HQ started trading on 1 April. The Hawthorn firm has two staff and runs a Fuji Xerox Color J75, Fuji Xerox D110, Epson SureColor SC-T7000 and some finishing equipment, said managing director John Asvestas.

Asvestas told ProPrint that his vision extended beyond the current "concerning" market. He said if a new business could be put on solid foundations during difficult times, it could expect to grow as conditions eased.

"If you do the right thing, get your clients, keep your costs down, you're well-positioned. I don't have a big outlay on equipment, so the costs aren't that high. And if times get better and the clients grow, it should be good," he said.

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Asvestas worked at On Demand from 1992 to 2009, ran a café from 2009-12, and then decided to sell the business and return to his roots.

He said Digital Print HQ's goal for the first 12 months was "keep our heads above water". He said turnover was currently in line with expectations, and that while he had made use of his On Demand connections, most of Digital Print HQ's sales had come from new contacts, family acquaintances and people he had met while running the café.

"The company is targeted at on-demand stuff and work that people can't source from overseas," he said.

"We offer personal service, which is something I believe is lacking at the moment. People get lost with big corporations. It's not price-driven. It's driven with personal service and fast turnarounds."

Asvestas said he expected to hire two more people in the coming months: one in pre-press and one in finishing. He added that the company website would be launched in about a month and that a web-to-print system may also be introduced in late 2013.

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