Big Sky Print Ltd
The smell of printing ink and the cadence of a printing press bring back memories of my own past in the printer’s world. With the same soft sounds as the original world-famous Heidelberg printing machines in the background, I meet Lex, or Vidura as we know him, in Big Sky’s printing palace chalet near the Universal Hall. Impressive modern machines, like the Xerox Digital Colour Press and large size printers, fill the space beside several Heidelbergs.
I ask Vidura why Big Sky changed its name from Posthouse Printing. “The name Posthouse Printing was a legacy of our start. We wanted to express something great, inspirational and environmental, fitting with what we do now.” Big Sky has received environmental management certification since 2007. “The environmental management system defines our impact on the environment and what we do to minimize it on a day to day basis. We work to the Certification’s standard.“ Vidura explains that the many changes in printing technology in the last few decades have brought efficiency, cost savings and lower environmental impacts. Less manual work leads to lower costs and allows greater attention to quality.
“Nowadays images get directly transferred from the computer to the plate. Since 2005 we don’t make metal plates using photographic film anymore, we don’t use the very unhealthy chemicals to process the films or the plates anymore.“
The customers come from the local community businesses, and from all around the UK, through the website. Over the last three years, turnover has fallen, like in almost every sector.
“It is important for us to run our company ethically.” Vidura explains: “We look after our stakeholders: our staff, customers, suppliers, community and the planet. We want to do right to all of them. We pay our staff considerably more than the living wage; we pay our suppliers on time; we take care of the environment as our responsibility to the planet; we try to treat customers fairly. We do things for free or give discounts, and extra bits, like free notepads and paper. We sponsor the community magazine the Rainbow Bridge, for which we’ve kept the printing price fixed for the last five years. Our usual prices are 50% higher, which would of course influence the subscription price. The Rainbow Bridge has a very low print run for a magazine, on average only 105 printed copies.
“As for staff pay, paying minimum wage is a failure for an aspirational community. We not only have to look after the trees and the wildlife, but also the people. I see paying a living wage as an absolute priority!”
Legal status: Limited Company
Directors: Lex (Vidura) Le Feuvre (managing director), Catherine Jane (Karuna)
Employees: Steven Manson, Anna-Kristina Larsson (graphic designers), Richard McNee (printer).
Contact: Big Sky Print Ltd, Lex Le Feuvre, 305 The Park, 01309 691641,
Started: 1990 by Alan Harfield, Whitemire, in Darnaway.
Vision: To be part of an equitable economy which is sustainable
Goal: To be an example of ethical and sustainable business practice.
Previous activities: Environmental certification, ISO14001: 2004 achieved and FSC supplier certification.
Current and near future activities: Increase turnover and profitability to better reward staff and customers, and invest to allow greater reduction of environmental impact.
Income comes from: Sales.
Adriana Bijman, March 2015, with thanks to Vidura le Feuvre and team Big Sky.