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Celebrating A Prosperous Business Relationship: Impressive Designs has proudly purchased several Printers, Cutters and Plotters from GSW!

“We have had a long standing relationship with GSW since the 1990’s but our digital printing story only began in 2010” Rico Messina, from Impressive Designs, explained in an interview. Impressive Designs is a family run Acrylic Manufacturing business offering the best quality and service in this sector since 1985,  based in Elsies River, Western Cape. We supply quality acrylic (Plexiglas and Perspex) products to all sectors of the economy from Shopfitters to retail to pharmaceutical to agencies and also to the general public.


Rico proudly announced how, “We believe to achieve a quality product we need to invest in quality machinery.” Further suggesting that they have been buying from GSW and working closely with the engineers, sales team and CEO Robert Franco for several years now. “We have Mimaki vinyl plotters, Mimaki laminators, Mimaki UJF and Mimaki JFX flat bed digital printers and even EFI Roll to roll digital printers and even an aristo cutter. These machines are used daily in our production lines.”, exclaimed Rico. Today, Impressive designs has purchased over 10 different types of equipment and printers as well as regularly receiving media and Inks from GSW.


“We utilise these machines to enhance our product offerings to our clients.  Acrylic products shine but with the addition of Branding we enable our Clients Brand stand well above their competitors.  Our end products need to be the best quality we can produce and the Mimaki, EFI and Aristo brands are well known for their quality and definitely aid us to deliver the best quality product we can.”


“I have always received excellent service from GSW most notably when there is a production issue. Their technicians are available immediately and these machines are up and running or the technical / training issue resolved quickly. They are a key member of our Team.” – said Rico Messina. GSW is also truly grateful to have customers like  Impressive Designs who make this business so enjoyable to be in. It has been an incredible journey working with them and we look forward to many more prosperous years of business with Rico and his remarkable employees.





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ArtLab uses Mimaki Printers to fight Covid19!

Covid-19 is no laughing matter!

But hey – why make it more miserable than it is?

C’mon – let’s lighten up a little and have some fun!


While they may be funny as hell these are PROPER personal protection masks! Made from Dual Layer  Polyester & Polycotton, they also have a professionally applied Silver Nano-Particle Coating which gives lab tested added protection against bacteria. Yeah we know… Corona is a virus but if we can stop other opportunistic uglies getting in (or out)… Why not!


They have been professionally digitally printed by ARTLAB – leaders in digital textile printing technology. ArtLab, one of Graphix Supply World’s longest customers, makes use of their excellent TXP300 Mimaki textile printers, allowing them to print on a wide array of natural fabrics using the latest pigment inks. These dye sublimation printers have certainly been put to work, printing an exciting series of custom-printed face masks for the prevention of the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The masks are fully washable and the antibacterial coating itself is good for 50 washes!


These hysterically funny “Mad Masks” have proved wildly popular as an alternative to the dreary and dull masks on the market. These masks use the quality technology of Mimaki printers to print onto a synthetic support fabric for the masks outers. This is a high performance moisture wicking fabric that also prints exceptionally well. It is lined with an antibacterial coated polycotton inner and offer great comfort, safety and breathability while raising a bucket full of laughs and good humour!

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Over 25 Years of Excellent Supply & Service from GSW

ArtLabs CEO says, “We have experienced the highest levels of service over our many decades of supply by GSW. Technical assistance has always been prompt and efficient but it must further be said that the excellent quality of the Mimaki range of printers means there is a nominal amount of service required in the first instance. They have proven highly reliable under the most strenuous and testing conditions.”

One of GSW’s long-standing customers, Craig Whyte, expressed his delight and appreciation for his relationship with GSW. His company – ArtLab  is a multifaceted, large-format printing business based in Cape Town, South Africa. ArtLab has a lengthy and illustrious history in the printing industry. The business was started 11 years ago by Craig Whyte who has an extremely long career in digital graphics; having pioneered digital colour copying in SA as The Image Centre way back in 1983. In 1992 Craig was the first to introduce high resolution large format printing to the SA market as the Big Picture which grew quickly to become OmniGraphics Express  – one of the most successful and recognized names in digital printing.


Craig explained that he has been using the services of GSW and Rob Franco since the earliest days of the industry and are probably one of if not the oldest surviving clients of the company. He went on further, “We purchased one of GSW’s first digital printers in 1995 – which was co-incidentally called the F.I.R.S.T. printer. It was a revolutionary machine that was probably the (first) system to digitally print onto vinyl that could be used outdoors.”


“We have purchased a wide array of machines from GSW over the years. From simple vinyl cutters to sophisticated textile printers we rely on GSWs excellent range of Mimaki printers in all our day to day processes. They are and have been a cornerstone of all our operations and success. We use GSW’s Mimaki printers for a wide offering of services. Our primary and latest application is the use of the excellent TXP300 textile printers which allow us to print on a wide array of natural fabrics using the latest pigment inks for same.” Craig explained.


During the lockdown Craig said that they have put the textile printers and certainly the dye sublimation printers to extensive use, currently printing an exciting series of custom-printed face masks for the prevention of the spread of the Covid-19 virus. He said that their hysterically funny “Mad Masks” have proved wildly popular as an alternative to the dreary and miserable masks that we will be forced to wear for the foreseeable future. “We are using Mimaki printers to print onto a synthetic supports fabric for the masks outers. This is a high performance moisture wicking fabric that also prints exceptionally well. It is lined with an antibacterial coated polycotton inner and offer great comfort, safety and breathability while raising a bucket full of laughs and good humour!”






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Energiapura Add Colour & Optimism

The Italian company, a specialist manufacturer of functional sportswear, conducted research and began producing masks in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Using Mimaki sublimation printers, the masks can be customised, moving away from their connotation with hospitals and transforming them into a fashion accessory

From functional sportswear to combatting the spread of the Coronavirus: Energiapura, an Italian manufacturer of clothing and accessories for ski racing and snowboarding, has leveraged its know-how and technology to conceive and develop – in a very short space of time – a protective mask that meets the Class I medical device requirements. The EP PA 2020 (Energiapura Pure Air) facial device, optimised for air filtering and breathability, provides many hours of protection while working, and can be reused. But Energiapura has gone even further, branding and customising the masks with sublimation printing. “Bold colouring has always distinguished the Energiapura brand, and we didn’t want to abandon this, not even in the midst of the crisis”, explains Alberto Olivetto, founder and CEO of Energiapura. “Sublimation printing allows us to give a brighter face to COVID-19. Our message is to add colour and a bit of optimism, precisely in these difficult times.”

The EP PA 2020 mask, compliant with 93/42 EEC Medical Devices – Class I washable, meets the essential requirements of UNI EN 14683:2019. Having redirected the manufacturing process, Energiapura is now stepping up production levels to meet the rising demand from hospitals, pharmacies, chemists, companies and even consumers.

A winning brand
In its headquarters at Tezze sul Brenta (Vicenza province), Energiapura employs 25 staff members. A further 80 employees work in Tunisia, where part of the production is managed.

Energiapura’s story began in 1990, when Alberto Olivetto set up his business in the heart of the Veneto textiles district at the junction of the provinces of Vicenza, Treviso and Montebelluna. Focusing from the outset on research and innovation, the company homed in on the niche market of functional sportswear. Initially a subcontractor, it moved from cycling to cross-country skiing, establishing itself as a manufacturer and direct exporter of the Norwegian brand Swix in Europe, the USA and Japan.

In 1994, the company registered the Energiapura trademark, a fundamental step signalling the start of sportswear production in its own name. Schools and clubs for alpine and cross-country skiing were now their main target group. “We had clearly chosen the more difficult path in addressing this market. But then again, we knew we had something more to offer than the competition”, says Olivetto. “Thanks to our extensive use of colour, we were able to offer bespoke items for each specific situation, an added value that helped us get noticed.”

Colour and customisation thanks to sublimation printing, using Mimaki technology, have always been at the core of Energiapura’s manufacturing process. “Backed by years of research, development and testing, it was our expert use of sublimation that allowed us to make a difference. Breaking with the monochromatic tradition, we added colour to the alpine environment, which is dominated by white, and this simple idea has opened up incredible possibilities.” Combining this with research into top-performing fabrics, Energiapura quickly gained ground internationally as well. As one of the leading suppliers in Europe, Russia, Japan and the USA, the company boasts partnerships with ski champions from around the globe: Marcel Hirscher (Austria), Tina Maze (Slovenia), from her début to her retirement, Peter Fill (Italy), Henrik Kristoffersen (Norway), Ilka Štuhec (Slovenia) and Alice Robinson (New Zealand), to name just a few. “In our field, they say that ‘Energiapura brings good luck’. Indeed, whoever wears our brand starts winning. But it’s not really a matter of luck. It’s all about the technical features and performance of our fabrics.”

Sublimation printing makes the difference
Every single production phase at Energiapura is given minute attention – from design to fabric preparation and processing (partly outsourced to external partners) and on to printing and packaging. “At the heart of it all is sublimation printing. With virtually unlimited creative freedom, we can offer truly unique designs to our customers.” On this journey, the encounter with Mimaki around 12 years ago and the installation of Mimaki roll-to-roll sublimation printers – currently four machines, including one JV5 and two JV300s – has brought another leap in quality. “Thanks to Mimaki, we have been continuously improving our quality while also expanding our range of applications. At this point, we even customise our accessories, including shin and arm guards. We were the first to offer colourful shin guards, and arm guards for ski racing are actually our invention.”

But Energiapura goes even further. The company continues to experiment with colour transfer methods, with a particular focus on managing the ink quantities deposited on the transfer paper. “We primarily work with composite materials, comprised of two or three layers of fabric. One of the most important factors to keep in mind is air flow, and we conduct many internal tests on this issue. Sublimation printing helps to optimise air flow, giving the fabric – and therefore the piece of clothing – the ideal technical characteristics and aerodynamics for the intended use”, explains Olivetto. “We have managed to create ‘winning formulas’, playing with the pigments used and their impact on the aerodynamic performance of fabrics.”

Pure Air, Energiapura’s mask
This is how Energiapura came to create EP PA 2020, an effective protective mask based on a functional concept. “It all started with the need to protect our own staff from the Coronavirus. Based on our usual modus operandi, we launched a study phase in our laboratories to identify the three main properties to impart to our devices: protection, breathability and reusability.” EP PA 2020 is made up of three layers of fabric: the first, the outer layer, is DWR-treated polyester, the second is TNT polyester, providing a filtering function, and the third, which comes into contact with the face, is polyester containing special fibres, such as coolmax and carbon. In this way, the mask not only guarantees the necessary protection but, being breathable, it can be worn for many hours while working. And it can be reused via normal washing and steam ironing, which also sterilises it.”

Beyond the present crisis, the Energiapura project is also looking to the future. “We wanted to disassociate our masks from the hospital image. How? Through customisation, by decorating them with company branding and designs provided by customers.” This is where the Mimaki JV300 wide-format printer comes in. Highly productive and optimised for rapid job changes, it ensures the fast turnarounds required in times of increasing demand.

“Innovation is part of our DNA. EP PA 2000 is the fruit of a great deal of research conducted in our laboratories. More than ‘just a mask’, it is a fully fledged facial protective device. In conceiving this project, we thought a lot about the future because we believe that the post-Coronavirus world will be different and involve new ways of socialising. Facial protection will play a critical role in the months to come, so we wanted to create an item that is actually fun to wear – adding a personal touch and a little bit of cheerfulness. Much like a fashion accessory.”

“Last but not least, another main focus was the reusability of the mask, avoiding issues with disposal and working towards a culture of zero waste for the benefit of our environment”, Olivetto concludes.

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“I Love My Mimaki”

Celebrating 27 years of a successful printing centre and design studio, FormsXpress, has seen continuous transformation, evolving into the most versatile company they are today.

With 120 permanent staff, utilising the best colour management and production software, FormsXpress are able to produce an extensive range of products, all in-house and always on time.

The services offered at FormsXpress range from Digital Print, Variable Data Laser Printing, Litho Printing, Continuous Litho Printing, Book Binding and Finishing, Warehousing and Logistics.  It is no wonder they are Cape Town’s most versatile printing centre.

FromsXpress pride themselves on two key factors, one: their fast turnaround time and two: the buy in of their staff. The owner was proud to disclose his staff are dedicated to getting the job done, regardless of having an ‘early day’.

John Donaldson, who has invested in only the best printing equipment, that being the very first LED UV Litho press and two brand new Mimaki CJV150-160 to name a few. “I liked the fact that the Mimaki had a print and cut solution, it makes our work easy and allows us to be flexible with the services we offer, we purchased two CJV’s because we don’t want to let our customers down, so if the one machine is busy, we have another” says Mr Donaldson.

The Mimaki CJV150 Series is an affordable, high-spec, high-performance, integrated printer and cutter. The CJV150 delivers:

  • Fast printing speeds up to 56.2m2 per hour
  • High quality print resolution of up to 1,440dpi
  • Printing widths up to: 1,610mm

More on the Mimaki CJV150 Series here »

More on FormsXpress here »

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ATG A-Type Grafix Are Happy with their Mimaki JFX200

Ruan Chamberlain, owner of ATG A-Type Grafix, who acquired the Mimaki JFX200-2513, a wide-format flatbed printer with the capability to print onto thick substrates, states “this high-quality flatbed printer from Mimaki prints up to 5cm thick substrates”, he went on to say: “this is the best machine I have ever bought, it has opened up new business opportunities while saving me on time and labour. GSWs service has been nothing but outstanding.”

ATG A-Type Grafix are leading sign manufacturers since 2001 and are well known throughout for their competitive prices and quality of work. They handle any sign work whether complex or as simple as a boat number.

They are your one-stop-shop for all your branding needs including signs, shop fronts, cars, trucks, vans, boats, trailers, banners, business cards, flyers, brochures and more.

More on ATG A-Type Grafix here »

The Mimaki JFX200 offers the ability to produce a diverse range of prints for both indoor and outdoor use. It is ideally suited for applications such as backlit displays and signage, signs and posters, interior décor, glass and metal decorative panels and more. Its 4’x 8’, landscape-oriented format is small enough to fit into most sign and graphic print shops. White, clear and inks are available. The UV-LED lamps offer reduced energy consumption and a longer lamp lifetime.

More on the Mimaki JFX200 here »

Want a quote? Click here »



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Mimaki Innovation Keeps CottonBee Returning

When espoused entrepreneurs Michał and Ania Laskowski set upon a new venture to create a textile business, they had little experience in the business of textiles and printing but possessed vital expertise in e-commerce and an astute vision.

CottonBee founder, Ania, inspired the business when she observed there were no good resources for buying contemporary fabrics for her sewing hobby; overseas websites were the only option and ordering processes proved difficult. From this spark of an idea, Ania and today’s CEO Michał founded CottonBee in 2014. The vision was to sell ultra-short-run textiles – averaging just one metre in length – direct to consumers.

Five years on and CottonBee has transformed from a side hustle for these entrepreneurs to an established business that goes from strength-to-strength. Still engaged in small volume printing, the business today has 15 employees and has shipped over 28,000 orders to hobbyists and small businesses. From the outset it was obvious digital production was a must for the business as short run-lengths were essential. Recognising that their own knowledge of print was limited, Ania and Michał worked with local vendors to find a technology that would be simple to operate, whilst providing the vibrant fabric prints and fast turnarounds needed – at the right price.

“Mimaki was the first and only choice for us. We were a start-up business with a limited budget and didn’t need a huge amount of capacity to start with. However, we had strict criteria with regards to the print quality, turnaround times and we needed equipment that was easy to operate,” Michał explains. “The Mimaki Tx400 series was the only option at that time which delivered on all our requirements. Our only other alternative was a rebuild and we didn’t want the risk. We also felt Mimaki was a trustworthy brand and working with a company like that would mean continual investment in the technology and excellent customer service.”

A little later Mimaki launched its TP400 pigment inks and according to Michał “Everything improved, but especially dry and wet colour fastness and the vividness of colour. The quality compared very nicely even against large-scale industrial printers.” It was a welcome development for CottonBee’s remarkably tough customer-base, as Michał put it: “Consumers want a good price, good quality, good turnaround times: they’re super demanding. In fact, our single metre customers have the most exacting requirements!”

Having established the CottonBee business, Michał and Ania ramped up their approach after 18 months, expanding their target market to include small-scale businesses as well as consumers. Excelling in its niche, CottonBee continued to focus on small runs, attracting many small-scale ‘hobbyist’ businesses.

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GSW’s Longest Standing Happy Customer – Cecil Meyers 

Cecil Meyers of Meyers Signs and Screen Printing acquired his first Mimaki cutter, the CG50, 24 years ago from Graphix Supply World and still uses his cutter today.

As Graphix Supply World celebrates twenty-five years with Mimaki and holding the title as Africa’s #1 Leader in Digital Solutions, we take a trip back in time to one of the first Mimaki cutter’s they supplied. The ‘state of the art’ Mimaki CG 50, forerunner of the dynamic and popular Mimaki CG 60 and FX Series of cutting plotters, has stood the test of time. The CG 50 made professional sign writing possible at a reasonable price.

Cecil Meyers, is pictured with Mr Sakaguchi from Mimaki and GSW MD, Mr Robert Franco taken earlier this year at Fespa Africa 2019 trade show.

Mr Meyers is a A longstanding client of Graphix Supply World, Meyers Signs and Screen Printing has supplied top quality, custom printed signs since 1989. Graphix Supply World is proud to provide them outstanding service and products and values their ongoing loyalty and support.

We offer a wide range of Mimaki printers and cutting plotters. View the list of  Mimaki products here »

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Huge Success for GSW and Mimaki at FESAP Africa 2019

The Sign Africa and FESPA Africa Expo took place earlier this month, 11-13 September at Gallagher Convention Centre. Where a number of educational features, new products launched and insightful tours took place.  

Visitors explored the latest technologies and trends in signage, wide format digital printing and T-shirt printing on the GSW and Mimaki Stands. Visitors had the opportunity to connect with GSW and Mimaki’s industry professionals on textile printing, vehicle graphics, point of sale branding, digital signage, banners, flags, printing on different media and more.

A hot new product tour was conducted over the three days where visitors got to see and hear from GSWs Director Robert Franco, the broad selection of Mimaki’s recently launched TS55-1800 textile printer, the JFX200-2513 EX flatbed printer, the new 3D printer and the first in Africa SWJ 320 EA.

GSW and Mimaki stands were extremely well attended, one could feel the buzz when walking through their stand with not one moment of silence. Every sales rep was involved in solid discussions with existing and prospective customers and smashing the sales. We had excellent feedback from all who attended the stand and many commended the staff on their knowledge of each product they were interest in.

GSW and Mimaki ended off the expo on the Friday with a bang, winning first prize, for the best Mega Stand in 2019.

GSW would like to thank each and everyone of their loyal customers, for choosing the #1 supplier in Africa! We couldn’t do this without you!

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Quarmby Colour installs EFI VUTEk h3 LED hybrid printer

For more information on Efi solutions click here »

Quarmby Colour has installed an EFI VUTEk h3 LED hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll inkjet printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. The printing company is using the 3.2-metre wide production device to drive higher throughput and superior print quality in its display graphics operations.

“We needed more productivity in a similar footprint area to cater for new customers and workload,” said Quarmby Colour Director Damian Quarmby. “We also wanted to upgrade our print quality. There’s been quite a leap in technology with the new VUTEk h3. The print quality is amazing, especially for fine detail, and it’s seriously fast!”

Outstanding print quality
Producing high-end graphics is paramount at Quarmby Colour, which chose an eight-colour plus white configuration of the printer to ensure superior colour quality reproduction.

“It’s our first printer to produce text that’s too small to read by eye, that you literally need to use a glass to view,” Quarmby explained. “It’s great for small decals, barcode and machine labels but the true appreciation is in printed gradients.

“We are printing ever-increasing amounts of architectural optical clear film for glass manifestations,” he added. “The exceptional quality of the new VUTEk h3 model is allowing us to print seamless gradient fades, especially using white ink.”

The printer’s opaque white ink also creates more opportunities for Quarmby Colour, which uses the printer’s multi-layer printing capacity to output jobs intended for viewing from both sides.

“The multi-layer is superb as we can now print true block-out double-sided window graphics,” Quarmby said. “We are doing some pretty cool stuff with rear projection fabrics incorporating illuminated customer logos along with true block-out screen ratio framing.”

The printer is also more efficient thanks to an innovative skip-white feature that advances media and controls the printing carriage to bypass unused areas of substrate. “It is a new benefit for us, and the time savings it brings has been noticeable on our existing contract work,” said Quarmby.

The EFI VUTEk h3 is fitted with high-end greyscale printheads that have a minimum drop size of 7 picolitres and a maximum resolution of 1,200 dpi. The printer prints up to 74 boards an hour and its belt drive handles sheet and rigid media up to 50.8 mm thick and 90.7 kg in weight, while the roll feeder takes rolls up to 40 kg.

The printer is one-day field upgradable to an EFI VUTEk h5 printer configuration, which gives users up to 47% higher throughput. Quarmby has already opted for the field upgrade to the h5 specification.

A lasting relationship
Quarmby Colour is a family-run company first set up in 1994 as a colour photolab and is today a well-established large format digital printing business catering to the display, exhibition and imaging industry. Quarmby Colour employs 13 people including three directors and anticipates revenues of £2 million this year with the aid of its new investment. The company has a respectable reputation for producing high-quality display graphics. As a result, the company has been using VUTEk UV-cured printers since the start.

“When we transitioned to direct-to-substrate printing in 2005, the VUTEk PV200/600 was the first printer giving the nearest to the photographic quality and richness in colour which we wanted to offer our customers,” said Quarmby. “Over the years each new VUTEk that EFI has have brought to the market has improved and proved to be a successful choice for our business. The reliability of all the printer models over the years has been superb and the few times we’ve required service support we’ve never been let down. That’s why after 14 years as happy customers we continue to go back!”