Bath-based branding and signage business Freestyle Designs has been established for 14 years, specialising in a range of services from standard shop signage projects to large rebrands, vehicle graphics, wallcoverings and vinyl graphics, and more.
Founder and Managing Director Jayson Godridge loves to keep the business moving forward, whether that’s staying up-to-date with the latest technology and investing in new kit, or targeting larger scale, higher volume work. “We knew we weren’t going to be able to achieve that with our current machinery,” explains Jayson.
The search was on for the right piece of equipment to help Freestyle eliminate bottlenecks and pursue those higher volume projects. They were after something faster, higher quality, with increased output. With a machine size and a couple of manufacturers in mind, after a special summer event at the Agfa showroom in Rugby, Jayson soon ended up setting his sights on a larger model – the Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED.
“It was bigger than the machines we were originally looking at,” says Jayson, “but when I went to see it in action at Agfa it was clear that it would fit just fine, and that it was definitely the machine that would help us grow and push into different areas and different types of work. As soon as I walked in and saw it printing, I knew I wanted to go for it!”
Freestyle had a longstanding, trusted relationship with the Josero team, purchasing their first roll-to-roll application table from Josero and having known Consumables Sales Manager Mitch Anstey for many years. Jayson explains: “We were initially talking to another company about the same machine, but having had a good experience with Josero in the past, the trust was there and I felt much more comfortable working with them on the purchase than anybody else.” The final sway for Jayson was perhaps the fantastic price point on the model, which he describes as a ‘bargain’.
The Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED is now up and running at Freestyle Designs, following a smooth installation process from Josero. “The installation was great. Steve, the engineer, was very knowledgeable, and the fitting went without a hitch. Josero even helped us with a part exchange on our machine, the team came within one day, took our machine away and replaced it with the new one, with very little downtime. The whole process was seamless.”
Jayson is satisfied that support from Josero doesn’t end there: “When we wanted a bit more training they were happy to come and help, bringing support from Agfa with them as well. It’s quite a lot to learn when you get a new machine and the RIP is different and everything, but Josero are just at the other end of the phone whenever we needed them, and always very helpful.”
The machine is already earning its keep and helping Freestyle meet its goals, as Jayson says: “The bottleneck doesn’t exist at all anymore. The machine is a beast, and is just churning through the work. It’s very reliable and working really well.” The work going through the Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED includes exhibition graphics, display boards and POS projects, and it’s helping Freestyle to promote their eco-friendly range of products as well.
New possibilities are also opening up to Freestyle thanks to the Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED, as Jayson explains: “We’re using different media, and we’re able to work with wider media because it’s a hybrid machine. We can print rolls, which we couldn’t do before on our flatbed, so we’re now printing rolls up to 2.5 metres wide which has massively increased our output.”
There are also other new opportunities brought about by the new kit that have pleasantly surprised Jayson and the Freestyle team, as detailed by Jayson: “We’ve been approached by other sign companies that have heard we have the machine, and we’ve been producing work for them when they’re over capacity themselves, so we’re seeing unexpected advantages. I really wasn’t expecting trade work to be coming off the back of this new machine, especially so quickly. We’ve done a few decent sized jobs from it, and those companies were really impressed by how quickly we could turn it around.”
For Jayson Godridge and the Freestyle Designs team, the investment in the Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED from Josero has exceeded expectations by delivering on their original requirements and delivering unanticipated business benefits as well. Would Jayson work with Josero again for any future equipment needs? “Definitely,” he says. “I’d be happy to work with Josero again – they’ve been so easy to deal with.”