Expect Moore

A stalwart of the London printing industry, Moore has been in business since 1850 and has built a solid reputation over the centuries. In today's Industry People, self-confessed print geek and Moore man-about-town Terry Shortland offers us a peek at his working life... 

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Tell us what you do in one sentence...
I manage beautiful and bespoke print projects.
What's your professional background, and what's the history of Moore Print?
I’ve been in business development ever since I left school, and have been working within print for around twenty years now—though during those first few years I was selling the hardware itself. Those early roles, as it transpired, would end up being the foundation of my knowledge of the more technical side of my job, and something that’s set me in very good stead ever since.

I moved away from hardware and into print itself, initially spending five years with a group of central London print companies. It’s hard to believe this nowadays, but at the time we had Litho Presses in a basement in High Holborn (don’t even ask how they got them in there!). During those years, my time was split between the very traditional and always high-quality world of legal print, around Chancery Lane and the surrounding areas, and work with creative agencies and designers. At that time, Gray’s Inn Road was a hotbed of creativity.

Having cut my teeth in the world of litho print, and developed what many would call an ‘obsession’ with bespoke and artisan finishing techniques, the newer models of the HP Indigo were starting to catch my eye; this lead to my desire to move to a dual litho and digital printing company. Moore had long been on my radar, in fact back in the mists of time they’d been based around the corner on Hatton Garden, so when the opportunity arose to join the Moore division of the global print beast that is DG3,  I leapt at the opportunity. Moore was founded way back in 1850, and sometimes when I’m sheltering from the rain, warming my hands on a coffee or three between client briefings and studio visits, I have a chuckle to myself that all those years ago there was a bloke like me doing just this, dashing around town and geeking out over print, although he was probably wearing tights and a big hat I’m guessing!

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Describe a typical working day...
I love an early start. Business hours are so hectic that those first two or three hours in the morning are the time when I problem-solve; up until 9am I’m usually scribbling on a pad or folding & creasing pieces of paper, trawling through swatches and samples. The bulk of my day is spent hopping on and off of buses and trains, or pounding the streets between studios and clients. I’ve never thought that print is something that can be discussed over a phone or by email, it’s a face to face thing and come rain or shine (or with a broken toe and wearing a silly-looking boot as I am now), that’s what I do. My working days are wonderful and certainly anything but ‘typical’—I could be in a members club one minute and a basement studio the next, from Mayfair to Haggerston. In fact, only last week I donned a hard hat and high-vis vest on a building site for a new boutique hotel—dust everywhere—comparing Winter & Co coverings swatches with the architects’ interior design samples!
What kind of clients do you work with?
Print geeks, or those in need of a print geek. It’s fair to say that the more complicated and challenging print, finishing and binding jobs are the ones that find their way to me—I wouldn’t have it any other way! I am incredibly fortunate to have carved out and maintained fantastic relationships with the London creative community, something that I never take for granted. Barely a day goes by without a client introducing me to a studio, freelancer or brand, and yet another exciting project pops up.

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What are the biggest changes you've witnessed in the world of print in recent years?
London designers and creatives, whether they’re larger agencies, smaller studios or freelancers, are attracting work from literally everywhere in the world these days; such is the strength of the reputation of the London design industry. Long gone are the days of designers requesting ‘one London delivery’ on an estimate—these days it’s more likely that a job designed in London and printed here by us is being shipped to Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the US or even further afield. That’s exciting, that we create something beautiful here and ship it thousands of miles away for it to serve its purpose.

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What's the most challenging part of your job?
Time! Expectations of production times are shrinking and have been ever since digital print got a proper foothold in the industry. Balancing my clients’ deadlines with the time that our production team require to create something that everyone’s proud to deliver: that’s the challenge.
And what's the most enjoyable?
Client briefings. As I mentioned above, I’m very lucky—I get to work with some amazing and highly talented creatives. I really enjoy going from one meeting to the next and opening my pad, pulling out a pencil and not quite knowing the next project will involve.
Are there any emerging technologies and techniques within print and finishing that you're particularly excited about?
I get as excited about new technologies as I do looking back to the past, and bringing an older idea into the here and now.

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Tell us about a recent project you're particularly proud of...
Non-disclosure Agreements prevent me from name dropping a few that I’d love to mention here, but broadly speaking I’ll say that I’m extremely proud of the packaging solutions that we produce for London’s ever growing craft and artisanal companies and collectives. There’s such a sense of identity in every minute detail of these items, and a genuine love of great quality print and finishing, which excites me.
What are your ambitions for the coming year?
Every year there’s that one stand out project—it’ll be something that damn near kills me at the time, but once it’s completed and shipped, I sit back and look at the file copies and think ‘blimey, this is gorgeous!’. My ambition is never to stop feeling that pride in the work that we create, and in every project that I work on.

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