September 26, 2018

Plywood Print makes memories lively and lasting

Today’s technology lets anyone be a photographer, and Plywood Print helps people create wall art of their shots.
Today’s technology lets anyone be a photographer, and Plywood Print helps people create wall art of their shots.
Plywood Print

Although cameras and photographs are everywhere these days, fewer and fewer photographs end up being printed. Finnish company Plywood Print wants to make the ones that are extra special.

We take photographs everywhere, all the time. Lunch plates, landscapes, details on the street, festival wristbands and our pets and babies are being pointed at with mobile phones and digital cameras more than ever.

The abundance of photographs doesn’t decrease their value; they are still memories of our cherished moments. Finnish company Plywood Print wants to make them super special by printing them on wood.

“Create your own wall art from your own pictures is the principle we sell to customers,” explains Mirna Shampemba, the company’s marketing expert. “Printing on plywood adds character to the photograph, with the wood grains and colours making the image livelier and adding to the depth.”

From left to right: Mirna Shampemba, Carl Meyer-Arnold, Nikolaos Kitsoukis (intern), Ricky Wan, Adam Rowe.

From left to right: Mirna Shampemba, Carl Meyer-Arnold, Nikolaos Kitsoukis (intern), Ricky Wan, Adam Rowe.

Plywood Print

Customers have fallen in love with the idea of having their memorable moments printed on either white or natural-coloured plywood, be it a poster-like 1-millimetre sheet or a thicker, 15-millimetre one. Plywood Print also offers wedding invitation cards, business cards and the like.

Durable sustainability

Plywood Print is actually a part of Laser Cut Studio, a company operating in the same space near central Helsinki. Laser Cut Studio offers laser engraving and cutting services, working with all kinds of materials from leather and glass to acrylic and wood.

The firm was founded by Adam Rowe, a furniture designer originally from London, the UK. The idea for Plywood Print followed swiftly, expanding the company’s portfolio.

Initially, Plywood Print mainly served individual customers wanting to decorate their homes with their own photographs. Since then, businesses have jumped on the bandwagon, asking for their logos and other marketing materials to be printed on wood.

The open road ahead. Social media is a useful tool for visual companies like Plywood Print.

The open road ahead. Social media is a useful tool for visual companies like Plywood Print.

Plywood Print

On top of the original idea, many clients also appreciate Plywood Print’s commitment to environmental values. Shampemba emphasises that all of the wood the company uses is sustainably sourced Finnish birch plywood with PEFC and FSC certificates, and the UV stable inks are eco-friendly.

“Being ecological is very important to us,” she says. “The end product is also very durable, and the photo will stay bright and shiny for years, so it’s not fast fashion.”

Plywood Print also makes eco-conscious packaging and logistics choices by optimising its shipping, and it plans to enter into charitable collaborations with environmental organisations.

Finland in the limelight

Laser Cut Studio and Plywood Print are bossed by Rowe, who’s supported by a team of three: Shampemba in marketing, wood wizard Carl Meyer-Arnold and production manager Ricky Wan.

Shipments abroad are sent from the very place the products are made. Shampemba tells that a lot of orders come from Sweden, which is also the next place where Plywood Print will target its marketing efforts.

“The Nordics are definitely our biggest market,” she says, “followed by France, the UK and Italy, and then elsewhere in Europe. Our five-year plan is to start marketing more aggressively and generate growth in Central and Southern Europe, too.”

Shampemba believes that Plywood Print also appeals to fans of Nordic design and lifestyle. Thus, the company tends to highlight the Finnish origin of its products in its marketing.

“The traditional, simple yet classy Nordic design is gaining international fans, and Helsinki and Finland are becoming more and more popular as tourist attractions,” she notes. “I’m sure a lot of our customers are the same people who appreciate Finland, its nature and all things related to Finnishness.”

Text: Anne Salomäki

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