Interview: Hollywood Monster's Tim Andrews in conversation with Output
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By Morwenna Kearns
7 March 2012
Tim Andrews with the Hollywood Monster team and the award-nominated giant banner for Westfield Stratford City
You've been nominated for both Wide Format Printing Company and Wide Format Print Project of the Year in the Sign and Digital UK Awards. What are the projects that have got you noticed?
Hollywood Monster is extremely proud to report that 2011 proved to be a very successful year. We invested over £900,000 in cutting-edge printing technology and recruited ten people, now employing more than 70 staff – bucking the trend of the industry. Over the past year, turnover has increased from £5m to £6m after winning major contracts with commercial and residential property developers, major retailers, shopping centres, theatrical events, exhibitions and others.
A major factor in Hollywood Monster's ability to deliver some of the country's largest and most creative signage and graphics solutions is its continuous investment in machinery. The Zund G3 router, a new digital printer, and a metal and plastic fabrication facility have enabled the company to extend its service offering. We've worked hard to diversify and break into new market segments and we are winning contracts in new sectors that are providing us with exciting opportunities to develop and grow our business.
However, my board members and I don't plan to sit back and bask in the glory of the company's recent success. Instead, we are determined to grow the business even further, as well as maintain and improve performance. With this in mind, Hollywood Monster has received various awards and accreditations and our commitment to our people was recognised when we received Investors in People silver status.
Hollywood Monster has not been afraid to change with the times to develop further through modern and innovative means. During an economic downturn its success is more than could have been anticipated and certainly not something the company will take for granted, as it continues to review existing and new business strategies to keep one step ahead of competitors. More and more customers are recognising and appreciating the quality of our work and Hollywood Monster has gained a great reputation for delivering projects on budget and on time.
Last year culminated in the company winning a £1m contract for the Olympic Games for a major drinks supplier, which will be supplied and installed over the new few months.
The Wide Format Print Project of the Year nomination was for the Westfield banner display – we were chosen to supply and install what we believe to be the largest banner display ever at the new Westfield Stratford City site. The banner, which measures a gigantic 350 x 14m, overlooks the Olympic site in Stratford.
Why did you decide to enter the awards?
Since winning an award last year, we have noticed an upturn in business and more recognition within the industry. We have also received more requests for job opportunities from people wanting to work for us.
What have been the Hollywood Monster's biggest achievements?
It's got to be the Westfield/Olympic banner as it was such a big project for us. Also, to be able to create job opportunities in the current economic climate is an achievement in itself. Having established what was then Hollywood Signs in my parents' attic, I understand how challenging it can be to follow your dream, and actively encourage working partnerships with creative students. I believe that it is a tough world out there for young people trying to get a foothold in their chosen career and therefore offer students work experience opportunities and the chance to get involved in commercial projects to give them the edge when applying for jobs in the sector.
In addition, last year Hollywood Monster donated £20,000 worth of signage to the Birmingham Children's Hospital Walkathon, which helped to raise £500,000 for a worthy cause. I have also raised in excess of £20,000 for local charities through various events, including a cycle ride from Solihull to Geneva, and running a marathon from Birmingham then cycling to Bristol in one day.
What are you looking forward to seeing at Sign and Digital UK?
We always look forward to seeing the latest digital printing technology, which could help us to broaden our services even more.
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