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Ned Lowe

Polywrap: What’s the alternative?

By | Blog

The Plastic Problem

We all know the problem with plastic: it litters our towns and cities, pollutes our oceans and waterways, and can have a devastating effect on our health and our ecosystem. Unfortunately, only 9% of all plastic that is produced gets recycled; most of it ends up in landfills or in our environment. Last year alone, nearly 8 million tons of plastic entered the global waterways.

Whilst it remains one of the most sustainable industries, the biggest problem that print faces with regards to plastic is polywrap.

Polywrap, a low-density polythene film, is almost universally used to carry subscription magazines to readers, to convey direct mail or keep the weekend supplements together for newspaper publishers and retailers. Every week, millions of polywrapped items make their way into the hands of businesses and consumers across the country.

Despite perceptions to contrary, polywrap is recyclable. However, many local authorities often refuse to collect it. Couple this with the fact that there are currently over 30 different sets of rules in force for plastic recycling across the UK, it’s little wonder end-users are confused about what to do with their polywrap-type waste.

So, what’s the alternative? With the global resistance to single-use plastics increasing, and more publishers and retailers looking for a viable, eco-friendly replacement to polywrap, three main alternatives are currently in the running: starch-based polythene; ‘naked’ mailing; or paper wrapping.

Starch-based polythene

Created from maize, wheat or potatoes, starch-based polythene is 100% biodegradable. It can be thrown into home compost bins or landfills where after about 12 months, it will have completely degraded into carbon dioxide, water, and natural residue. However, starch-based polythene is significantly more expensive than the alternatives – between twice and six times more expensive than standard polythene. Whilst starch is a readily available and renewable source, large quantities are needed for the manufacturing process. Starch-based polythene also has a relatively short shelf life and needs to be used within a month of manufacture. Furthermore, the material is not waterproof or particularly robust, so can be damaged relatively easily if exposed to the elements or heavy handling. Bioplastics also continue to incorporate materials derived from fossil fuels, so do not provide a perfectly sustainable solution.

Naked Mailing

Magazines and marketing collaterals are sometimes despatched without any wrapping at all, with the address details simply printed on the cover. This does provide a very cost-effective and eco-friendly solution as no additional material is used to cover or wrap the publication. However, naked mailing does not provide any protection against the elements, so the publication is more likely to get damaged. In addition, naked mailing does not accommodate the use of inserts, so this type of marketing collateral, which would normally accompany subscription magazines, is unable to be included in the mail out.

Paper Wraps

With the backlash against single-use plastics and with starch-based polythene still being problematic and expensive, more and more organisations are turning to paper as the most viable alternative to polywrap. However, until fairly recently, there wasn’t a viable paper-wrapping solution for magazines. Traditional envelopes are impractical for large mailings as each magazine would have to be inserted by hand rather than by machine. Furthermore, the envelopes’ mass increases postage costs.

Large publishers have therefore worked with their print suppliers to introduce lightweight paper wraps that add negligible extra mass.

National Geographic was the first high-profile magazine to switch as part of its “Planet or Plastic?” campaign. Currently, the publisher sends 2.5 million copies wrapped in paper to subscribers in the UK, US and India.

Country Life magazine has also moved to paper for its 20,000 postal copies, while London-based publisher Immediate Media has switched around 50 titles – including 12 BBC-branded products – to paper wrapping for all posted copies.

Benefits of Paper Magazine Wraps


  • Sustainable product: eco-friendly and recyclable (supports ISO14001)

Unlike polywrap, paper wrap packaging is very easily recyclable after use, and when sourced responsibly, provides a fully sustainable alternative

  • Cost-effectiveness

Paper wraps are cheaper to manufacture than the other eco-alternatives to polywrap

  • Postage Savings

Paper wraps are easier to process by Royal Mail’s machines (polywrap and starch-based wraps are not) and are therefore subject to the cheaper Mailsort options

  • Endless design and promotional opportunities

Paper magazine wraps are fully customisable – offering almost limitless design opportunities, which provides a more enticing and engaging piece of mail for subscribers

  • Robust and Durable

Paper wraps are robust enough to withstand the handling involved in postal processing, and do not degrade as rapidly as starch-based wraps when exposed to the elements


The Integrity Solution

At Integrity, we believe that paper is the only truly sustainable and viable alternative to polywrap. All of the paper used for our paper magazine wraps is sourced responsibly, in line with our continuous sustainability efforts.

Integrity has been developing bespoke paper wraps for a number of clients as an eco-friendly, robust, and cost-effective solution to the plastic problem.

To date, we have produced over 5 million paper wraps for publishers and retailers across the UK, offering almost limitless design capabilities and branding opportunities for our clients’ subscription mail pieces.

Our manufacturing process is ideally suited to produce paper wraps as all of our presses are wider, web based presses with up to ten print units allowing high ink coverage, which is often one of the key features of this product. We are now carrying wider paper stocks – 520mm 90gsm bond – to   accommodate the paper wrap market, and we can trim the print so a complete wrap-around design will match perfectly along the seam.

With multiple presses running around-the-clock, we have the capacity to produce high-volume runs, and with our Canon Colorstream digital press, we can also produce short runs at very competitive prices. Our machinery can also adapt to different repeat sizes, allowing you to maximise postal savings whilst snugly fitting your magazine into the wrap. We can also offer differing core sizes and reel diameters to suit your needs.

If you need a bespoke paper wrap solution and would like to discuss your project with one of our specialists, please call our friendly team or leave us a message.

The Creation of Connect

By | News

The 2020 Lockdown has presented companies with numerous challenges, but for one part of the Integrity Print business it provided the platform for the final stage of a significant transformation process that led to the emergence of Integrity Connect. This is the new name for the secure laser and mailing division of Integrity.

The journey began in the summer of 2018 with an acknowledgment that, although sales in the mailing division had grown steadily and profitably to £4m turnover, the company was unable to compete effectively with the market leaders in the sector. The business strategy was to accelerate growth to £10m turnover by 2022 and in order to achieve this, there was a need to radically re-shape the division.

Integrity had managed its transactional division using the disciplines and processes that had historically allowed it to run a successful business forms operation. The company used the same people, the same back office systems and the same shift patterns that were applied across its traditional litho print operations. Mark Cornford, Managing Director of Integrity commented: “I was incredibly proud of what we had achieved in our transactional business. We had grown from zero to £4m through sheer hard work and determination. We were good all-rounders but to be the best in your field, you need the best people”

A key first step in the transformation process was the recruitment of Chris Walton, formerly Managing Director of Paragon’s Bristol mailing operation, as Transactional Director. Walton brought with him 25 years of print and mail experience and had been an early adopter of inkjet in the transactional market space.

When asked for his first impressions he said “It wasn’t what I was used to and did feel like a bit of a step back in time. The business had outgrown its existing capabilities and needed to invest in its equipment and processes. But there was an energy about the people and huge ambition from the management team that really excited me. It was a fantastic opportunity to get involved and help deliver a step change in the business offering”

Walton was able to share with the team his vision for the transformation process that would lead to Integrity Connect. He knew from experience the demands of the customers that Connect would have to win to meet the growth targets. It was a case of developing the right culture, processes and equipment that would deliver against these expectations.

The culture change has been driven by a restructuring of the management of the department with a focus on quality control and data collection. Machine outputs and overall shift performances are consistently measured while more visible management on the shop floor was focused on reacting early and communicating clearly with regard to any potential production issues.

There was also more focus on the training and development of individual skills. Historically recruitment was from within, redeploying staff from litho presses and collators to train up on lasers and enclosing lines. The team was strengthened by the recruitment of two experienced enclosing operators who brought a fresh perspective and understanding of client expectations.

External expertise was also used, with two experienced professionals brought in for a six-month consultancy to help evaluate and re-write all of the print and mail  and quality processes, and to mentor and nurture the operations and account management teams.

A high bar was being set, with measurable targets, individual accountability, and operational transparency. Staff were responding to the challenge but felt held back by the working environment and the unreliability of equipment that was coming to the end of its working life.

The next stage of the transformation was a critical one, the foundation was in place, the team knew what was expected from them; they now needed the tools to do the job.

A major equipment review took place, looking at what technology the market had to offer, that ultimately led to a strategic partnership with Canon. After extensive testing and reviewing what capacity was needed to meet the £10m turnover target the decision was made to invest in both cut sheet and continuous inkjet solutions. Three cut sheet lasers and two continuous lasers would be replaced with a Canon i300 Varioprint and a Canon 6700 Colourstream. In addition, a new Nipson Digiflex mono continuous laser was added to the portfolio to support the production of integrated label work, and a Xerox Nuvera MICR laser retained to handle cheque work.

The majority of the new equipment was installed during the Lockdown which actually was an advantage, allowing the team at Integrity time to rationalise the layout of the shopfloor. The production staff were able to switch to flexible shift patterns to effectively manage workflow and training requirements. The first machine to be installed, the Canon i300 cut sheet inkjet, was able to absorb a huge amount of work very quickly to facilitate the rest of the installation process. Overall, the business now has significantly improved production processes with dedicated rooms for printing, enclosing and postal despatch.

In addition to operational changes the breathing space created by Lockdown also allowed the development of the broader support team, with two members of the team qualifying as Prince 2 Project Managers to support the implementation of complex new contracts. The Planning, Software Development and Account management teams were all strengthened in line with the planned growth trajectory.

Commenting on the changes Walton says “We have emerged from Lockdown in incredibly good shape. We have rebalanced the shift patterns and the people are now achieving much greater productivity levels and getting the most out of the new kit. The inkjets are absolute game changers for us, giving us the capacity to produce over 50 million colour images every week.”

The increase in capacity is very timely as the print and mail business is bouncing back post Lockdown with new contract wins and a huge growth in the Clarity Mail business that supports clients who have been working from home.

The move to rebrand as Integrity Connect also reflects the changing services being offered by Integrity as they enable clients to face the challenges of digital transformation and the need to channel shift communications away from traditional print. Andrew Law, Sales & Marketing Director, commented, “The conversations I am having with customers now revolve around how we can help them automate document workflows, provide more personalised communications, integrate online and mobile channels and generally take away business pain for them. As an example, we are setting up a Virtual Post room for one client, because that is what they need now 75% of their staff work from home and can’t handle mail in the way they used to. Print still forms a key part of our clients’ needs but increasingly they look to us to solve a whole range of business challenges around both inbound and outbound communications.”

2020 has been a pivotal year for Integrity. The long-standing ambition to develop and grow into a major player in the print and mail sector has been supported by significant investment in leading edge technology. However, it is the changes in culture that have made ambition a reality. Rebranding to Connect is proving to be much more than just a name change – Integrity Connect embodies the new direction, the new capabilities and most importantly the underlying belief and vitality that has emerged post Lockdown.

Integrity Connect is a client led business that enables organisations to both connect and communicate with their customers and stakeholders efficiently and effectively across a range of channels. The culture is one of solving business challenges, encouraging interaction with the Connect team to build strong relationships and giving clients a real choice in a sector dominated by large corporations.

With a dynamic and diverse range of services to offer, Connect has now truly emerged into the marketplace as a fully-fledged digital customer communications provider.

Integrity Appoints New Customer Relations Director Martin Clissold

By | News
At the end of July, Integrity Print appointed Martin Clissold as their new Customer Relations Director.

With an impressive background in sales and business development, Martin joined Integrity as General Manager of the Labels Division in 2014. With over 40 years’ experience in the print industry, his knowledge of print technologies and industry best practices have played a key role in Integrity’s development over the past six years.

Following an acquisition in 2009, Integrity’s Labels Division moved from Farrington Gurney to their current Westfield site in Midsomer Norton in 2013. Reflecting on the challenges of this move, Sales and Marketing Director Andrew Law commented:

“Following the relocation of the business, Martin provided invaluable leadership and stability to the Labels Division, helping to deliver consistent growth in this key product area.”

With ambitious growth targets for the Labels Division, Integrity have recruited Jason Burgon to lead the Operations and Service Delivery teams allowing Martin to take on a purely customer-focused role. With a major investment programme taking place it was important to have someone dedicated to building on existing opportunities and expanding the customer base. Integrity’s Managing Director, Mark Cornford, elaborated on his decision to create this new role for the business and why Martin was the person for the job:

“As well as growing our business, I felt there was an opportunity for us to enhance the customer experience and really focus on nurturing the relationships with our clients. We’re not a faceless organisation, we never have been, and this ambassadorial role represents everything that Integrity is about – people! . . . The customer is king, and when they have a challenge that they need us to address, having someone like Martin on the other end of the phone is invaluable. He’s more than just a lovable guy – he is exceptionally knowledgeable, loyal, and extremely dedicated to doing the right thing for our customers. His character is perfect for this role – he’s the best I’ve got!”

As Customer Relations Director, Martin will be instrumental in building and executing business development strategies with a key focus on delivering Integrity’s high standards of customer care. Speaking recently about his new role, Martin explained:

“My goal is to continue developing meaningful, long-lasting, and mutually beneficial customer relationships; to be an ambassador for the Integrity Print Group and the print industry as a whole. We have a great relationship with our customers and helping them solve their business or technical challenges will always remain at the heart of everything we do.”

If you’d like to know about this story or you would like to discuss your print requirements, please call our friendly team on +44 (0) 1761 409200 or leave us a message.

The Technological Revolution Continues at Integrity’s Labels Division

By | News

Integrity’s Labels Division have made huge strides in their digital transformation over the last few weeks. Recent developments have seen the installation of state-of-the-art systems and ground-breaking technology which is set to revolutionise the entire division.

We first brought news of this project in March, when Labels Director, Jason Burgon hinted at what was to come:

“the digital upgrade will be the first to see the light of day, providing us with exceptional print and finishing capabilities”.

This week, Jason gave us a glimpse of the new tech, that is being assembled and tested in the all-new digital suite.

Whilst discussing the recent developments, he commented:

“In what has turned out to be a disruptive year the completion of the digital project is a timely reminder that you must continue to progress. There’s a tangible excitement within the business at the goals we are setting ourselves and this project is a tantalising glimpse of what is ahead.”

Set to be officially unveiled in September, the multi-million-pound transformation is a collaborative venture involving two other industry leading tech giants, one of whom will be using the new suite as one of their showcase venues.

We’ll provide more updates on this project as it enters it’s final stages.


What is Print Bleed?

By | Blog

If you’ve worked with commercial printers then, chances are, you’ve heard the term “bleed”. Perhaps you already know everything there is to know about it, or perhaps you’ve dismissed it as  technical jargon for the Graphic Designers to worry about, but from a printer’s perspective, “missing bleed” is one of the most common issues that we face. But what is bleed? Why is so important?

In printing terms, a bleed is where the printed design goes all the way to one or more edges of your finished document. To create a printed piece with a bleed, the original artwork must extend beyond the document trim size. This is usually by a margin of around 3mm on each side of your document, but you should always check with your printer before sending your artwork as they may have a slightly different setup which requires more bleed or less bleed.

Why is bleed important?

By extending your artwork past the final required trim size, you essentially eliminate the possibility of there being a thin strip of unprinted paper along the edge of your document. This can occur if you don’t allow for bleed and the paper might shift ever so slightly whilst it’s being trimmed at the Printers. Most printers will specify a trim margin of error which is typically around 1mm. You may think 1mm isn’t much at all but when you get your business card back you’ve perhaps got a full block of colour on your design, you WILL notice that 1mm of white stripe down the edge.

Below is an example of the same artwork with bleed and without bleed:

Should the one with no bleed be sent off for printing and the paper shifts during the trimming process, then you may end up with that thin white line down one edge. However, by having a 3mm bleed margin, you negate the possibility of ending up with that white line along the edge of your document, even if the paper does shift during the trimming process.

How do I add bleed to my document?

Using Adobe® software (a favourite with Graphic Designers), there are straight-forward steps to help you add bleed to your artwork.

Adobe® Photoshop®

  1. Open Photoshop and click File > New…
  2. Enter the FULL BLEED dimensions. That is, 1/4″ extra both vertically and horizontally.
  3. Set the Resolution at 300 pixels/inch
  4. Set the Color Mode to CMYK

Adobe® Illustrator

  1. Open Illustrator and click File > New…
  2. Enter the TRIM dimensions in the Width and Height boxes (for example, the trim dimension on a standard business card would be 3.5″ x 2″)
  3. Enter 0.125 for the top, bottom, left and right bleed
  4. Set the Colour Mode to CMYK
  5. Set the Raster Effects at High (300ppi)

Adobe® InDesign®

  1. Open InDesign and click File > New > Document…
  2. Enter the TRIM dimensions under Page Size (for example, a standard business card would have trim dimensions of 3.5″ x 2″)
  3. If you do not see “Bleed and Slug” at the bottom of the window, click the “More Options” button.
  4. Enter 0.125 for the top, bottom, left and right bleed

More in-depth Graphic design tutorials are readily available through the developer’s website. If you’re still unsure about adding bleed to your artwork, your commercial printer should be able to give all the guidance you need.

 Finishing Marks

As well as bleed, there are other quality control mechanisms that printers use to ensure your document is printed exactly as intended. Added at the design stage, finishing marks (also known as printer’s marks) are used to guide and inform the printer. Finishing Marks include bleed marks, trim marks, registration marks, and colour/grey tint proofing bars.

  • Trim marks – (a.k.a crop marks) are lines placed at the corners of an image or a page to indicate where to trim (cut) it. PDF Nomad 2 combines the trim marks with fold marks, that indicate where the paper is to be folded. Whereas the trim marks appear as solid lines, the fold marks appear as dashed lines
  • Bleed marks – are similar lines around the corners of printed material used to indicate the areas that are printed over the cutting edge (indicated by the trim marks)
  • Registration marks – are crosshair lines with a circle that guide graphics equipment and personnel in processing printed material during the printing and finishing process.
  • Proofing bars – are used by printers to ensure consistency and quality in printed output


So . . .

In a nutshell, if you want your printed design to go all the way to the edge of your paper, you must always include bleed in your document artwork.

The Integrity Solution

Our team of experts are market leaders when it comes to all things print. Our Pre-Press department can include add all the necessary finishing marks to your document artwork to ensure that it is print ready.

If you have any questions about print bleed or would like any advice about your print job, call us on +44 (0) 1761 409200 or leave us a message

Canon Colorstream 6700 Investment

By | News

At the beginning of June, engineers from Canon UK began the installation of the new Canon Colorstream 6700 in Integrity Print’s Secure Mailing Division. Following the recent investments in both a Nipson Digiflex laser printer and the Canon i300 cut sheet inkjet printer, the completion of the Colorstream 6700 installation on 25th June marked the continuation of Integrity’s strategy to move into high speed, low cost inkjet production technology.

When discussing the new acquisition, Integrity’s Sales and Marketing Director, Andrew Law commented:

“This new investment ensures that we now have the technology and capacity to compete for significant contracts in the ‘white paper’ market, a key requirement to fuel our ambitious growth target of growing the Secure Mailing Division into a £20m business. The Colorstream is a transformative investment, creating significant growth capacity while enabling us to produce existing work far more efficiently, reducing waste and set up times significantly.”

Canon engineers are currently on site delivering an extensive training programme to the Integrity production team.  As part of the training programme a number of jobs that were previously produced as litho pre-print have been trialed on the Coloustream with impressive results. The equipment has worked well on both specialist inkjet material and on standard offset paper, giving Integrity the option to meet a wide range of customer material requirements. The first live job, which will be an electoral canvas project for a local authority, is set to run next week.



Canon Colorstream 6700 l-Twin


Print Resolution 600 x 600dpi with multilevel up-to 100m/min (perceived image quality at 1,200 x 1,200dpi)
Print Speed ColorStream 6700 : 1,350 A4 images at 337ft/min

(Based on running 2-wide with duplex printing)

Duty Cycle (per month) ColorStream 6700 : Up to 44,000,000 A4 impressions


As the market leaders of the high-speed, digital inkjet market, Canon (or OCE as it was known originally) first introduced inkjet to the market in 2012 with their OCE Classic. This was subsequently renamed to the 3000Z series. Through the years, the platform has been improved and further developed until the current 6000 platform launch in 2016, followed by the the Chroma in late 2017. Chroma is the latest big development by Canon that has seen the quality gap between traditional litho offset and continuous inkjet eliminated.

Integrity’s partnership with Canon began with the investment in the i300 in February this year. The success of this partnership, along with the superiority of Canon’s technology and comprehensive support, was a leading factor in selecting the 6700 as the latest investment to support the growth of Integrity’s Secure Mailing Division.



Communicating Through the Chaos: The Power of Direct Mail

By | Blog

In this current, fast-changing environment, many businesses will need to keep their customers updated far more frequently than would normally be required. Changes to services, operational practices, supply chain and logistics are just some of the issues on which these businesses will need to update their customers.

So, why not just email all your customers? Well, when it comes to critical communications, purely relying on mass email campaigns is not necessarily the most effective method, particularly when you consider the engagement levels of both mediums.

Direct Mail is More Engaging and Memorable


When it comes to communicating with customers, direct mail is far more engaging than email communications, due its personalised and tangible nature. Mass email communication is often perceived as being quick, impersonal and, as a result, it becomes more forgettable. How many emails do you read once then forget? How many go straight to your junk mail? Direct mail communications, however, occupy a physical space – reminding us of their presence even when we put them down. As a result, we’re far more likely to pick them up again.


As news and government advice seems to be changing by the hour, the potential for miscommunication and misinterpretation is vast. With many of us falling victim to fake news, misleading information, or even just information overload, we become more and more skeptical and often dismissive of this information – particularly when it comes to digital media. The need for reliable and trustworthy information has never been so great.

As print has been a part of our lives for decades, we tend to place more trust in its content – especially direct mail. It’s formality and personalisation holds our attention and makes us feel far more valued than receiving an email. As a result, we tend to find it more credible. When it comes to critical business communications, reaching your customers through direct mail is far more effective – especially as millions of us our now working from home!


Royal Mail MarketReach, Mail and Digital Part 1, Quadrangle

The Integrity Solution

With the capacity to produce up to 100,000 mail communications each day, above our daily commitments, Integrity Print can help you reach all your customers so you can maintain critical communications throughout this period of uncertainty. Our Secure Mailing Division provides direct mail services for hundreds of clients across the full spectrum of industry sectors, with quick turnaround and market-leading production capability. To discuss your mail communications project with one of our specialists, please call 01760409200  or visit out contact page


Business as Usual for the Integrity Team

By | News

Following the latest announcement from the Prime Minister, we are taking every measure possible to ensure that we remain fully operational and protect the well-being of our staff and the wider public.

As Integrity Print manufactures and supplies products for the healthcare, Government, pharmaceutical, and food sectors, remaining fully operational is imperative for our support of these front line services. So, for our customers and suppliers, it’s business as usual.

Integrity’s MD, Mark Cornford stated:

“The impact and severity of Coronavirus has been enormous across the world. It is an unprecedented and an incredibly fast-moving situation. There is significant uncertainty and understandable fear among the population.

Events are unfolding by the hour and Government advice and instructions are helpful but can also be misleading.  We are committed to keeping our workforce fully informed and we will continue to give updates as and when it is appropriate.

Currently, we are regarded as an essential business and we are allowed to stay open and operate as best as we can.”

We continue to monitor all the latest advice from the Government and World Health Organisation and adjust our procedures in accordance with the latest guidelines. You can keep up to date with the communications on our response to the Coronavirus outbreak via our dedicated webpage.

Latest updates:


Production Capability: Normal Trading

Absence Levels: Low

Supply Chain: Unaffected

Logistics: Unaffected

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Communication

By | News
Integrity Print is taking comprehensive and decisive measures to continue to fulfill our commitments to our customers, as well as protect the welfare of our employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

To minimize the opportunity for infection through close contact, we are staggering our shift patterns and utilizing the additional space in our site to separate our teams where practical. In line with the current guidelines, staff members who are able to work from home will be advised to do so.

We are fortunate to be operating our main site in a relatively isolated area of Somerset, one of the country’s least effected regions, and we currently have a full contingency of staff in our production and office areas. As Integrity Print operates several sites across the UK, we will look to utilize this capacity if and when required to maintain business continuity.

We are closely monitoring the latest Government updates and reviewing our contingency plans accordingly. We are also advising our staff, customers and suppliers to stay up to date with the latest information and guidelines via the below webpage:

We will continue to update our communications as and when there are any further developments. If you have any specific concerns, you can get in touch with any of the below team members for a more detailed update:


Chris Walton – Transactional Director

Mobile : 07811311168

Email :


Sean Davies – Commercial Director

Mobile: +44 (0)7971 494930



Jason Burgon – Labels Director

Mobile. +44 (0)7813 995787