A 30-year apprenticeship

By Jim Nicol, managing director, TheMagicTouch (GB)

As we approach our 30-year anniversary in 2022 together with 30 years of Printwear & Promotion magazine it has been great to reflect on where we have been, where we are now and where we intend to be in years to come.

During our 30 years, our 28 appearances at Printwear & Promotion LIVE! have contributed to our success. The event held every year at the NEC has always been the perfect platform for us to demonstrate and highlight our many new ideas and innovations.

TheMagicTouch’s first appearance in Printwear & Promotion in the July/August 1992 issue

Revolutionary products

Back in 1992, having spent the previous year perfecting the image transfer paper technology and awaiting the granting of various patents and trademark registrations, we were ready to pioneer the introduction of the full colour transfer process onto white T shirts, polos, sweatshirts and a new revolutionary product called a mouse mat. TheMagicTouch was the original manufacturer of transfer papers for toner-based colour copiers and indeed later on, colour desktop printers.

Imagine at the time being able to print a full colour, photographic image onto cotton and polyester garments as one offs! The world was simply blown away by the process and was very quickly made aware of this innovation. Media coverage, including being featured on CNN six times a day for five days, did indeed help!

From our rented shop in St Albans we very quickly caught the imagination of many within the UK commercial print-for-pay sector as those companies were the only people at that time who could afford the colour copiers (£20k back in 1992!) which was, at the time, the only device to produce transfers. By the end of the year the company had over 100 new customers using the process and created the foundation for product personalisation as we know today.

Making the tech available

Over the following 18 months the technology was available within Boots, Kodak and a host of high street retailers such as Snappy Snaps, Kall Kwik and Prontaprint. At the same time the company was being rewarded and recognised with accolades for innovation as the range of printable products increased dramatically. Over the years we have won many industry awards for innovation and marketing and even featured on two occasions in the popular TV series The Apprentice.

Jim Nicol pictured on TheMagicTouch stand at the Printwear & Promotion exhibition in 1993

Over the 30 years we have been very fortunate and privileged to have committed and loyal staff who enjoy coming to work and indeed six members of staff continue to do so today having now been with the company for the past 25 years. Over the years we have also seen over 10 staff members become customers and still to this day use the TMT processes within their own companies.

As an integral member of the 50+ TMT offices worldwide the UK company has always remained in the top two positions within the global network and continue to play a major role in product and market development.

Great looking future

The future looks great for TheMagicTouch with the recent addition of the new DTF transfer process to the portfolio that includes sublimation, MagiCut Flex with print and cut, alongside the original toner transfer products.

The journey to where we are now has been great and it has been a true privilege to have met and be associated with so many great people and friends over the years. We now look forward to the next 30 years starting at Printwear & Promotion LIVE! 2022.

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