Rudi Blackett shares what Sign & Digital UK has in store this April at the Birmingham NEC

Sign & Digital UK is back this spring at the NEC in Birmingham with a packed exhibitor list. More than 200 brands will be at the show, reports the show’s portfolio director, Rudi Blackett. “As well as highly anticipated big names returning such as Roland, Mimaki, HP, Epson, Spandex, Amaya, I-Sub, Grafityp, Antalis, Ultima Displays, CMYUK Digital and Zund, we’ve also secured lots of innovative, first time exhibitors looking to shake things up,” he says. New names include Merlin Transfers, UK Feather Flags and Target Transfers.

Industry trends

While the main draw of the show will be the exhibitors and the new products on display, there are plenty of areas where visitors can learn new techniques, discover new markets or discuss the latest trends affecting the industry. According to Rudi, digital textile print and finishing “continues to grow at a pace. We are seeing advances in technology and an even wider range of materials coming on to the market. Inks and materials are being developed now to make the process quicker with even better quality.” He adds: “Sustainability is a real hot topic with manufacturers looking to up their game – from a process point of view as well as the finished product.” The seminar programme reflects these trends and developments, along with discussions around the impact of Brexit, 3D printing and personalisation. On the main stage there will be a number of demonstrations and discussions on topics ranging from textiles and soft signage to how to get into wide-format and what the business case is for sustainable materials.

Empowering visitors

“The show is all about empowering visitors to make connections in an inspiring and educational environment to help the growth and success of their business,” explains Rudi. “We also encourage visitors to ask questions and get as much advice as possible from the experts on the stands. Images readers may be particularly interested to attend Antalis’s Décor Live Demonstrations, which will offer a complete overview of the uses of large format inkjet technology, illustrating practical ideas and applications for all types of digital décor.

The Adobe Theatre will be hosting free seminars

“Another new feature is the ‘Retail is Detail’ demo programme on the Art Systems stand, which will run you through the techniques for better workflow featuring HP and Summa equipment.” Visitors to the Adobe Theatre can see the new Adobe Premiere Rush CC in action, as well as attend the Photoshop CC 2019 Masterclass and a session on Easy Colour Management, while over at the Corel Theatre, talks will include a Typography and Fonts Masterclass with CorelDraw Graphics Suite, and Sign Making: Tips and Tricks for Professionals. Corel will also host an open forum where visitors can talk to its experts about any issues they are having with projects. “We have also added the Digital Signage Zone, where visitors can meet with potential partners to help them expand their businesses into digital signage solutions,” says Rudi.

Sign & Digital UK 2019 takes place on 2-4 April 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham. For free entry, register online using this link: