1975 was a vintage year in the technology world, perhaps one of the best on record. It heralded the start of the home computer revolution with the launch of the MITS Altair 8800 and those two giants of the hardware and software markets – Apple and Microsoft – were founded.
It is also the year that the roots of Springfield Solutions were planted by current chairman Albert Dass. Albert served his apprenticeship as a printer at metal box and printing industry before moving to City Engraving in Hull as a printer and proofer. But after 15 years as an employee the pull of entrepreneurship was too great and he founded a trade plate making and proofing service on Springfield Way, Anlaby. The name might have stuck but everything else has changed over the past 40 years.
Influenced by the prevailing mood of innovation and always ahead of industry trends – often spearheading important new developments in reprographics, brand management and printing, which we will talk about over the course of 2015 – Albert has built what has become one of the UK’s most technologically advanced digital print and brand management businesses. Over the course of the next 12 months we will be discussing its past, present the future in celebration of its ruby anniversary.
But more of that later, back to 1975. In the year Glen Campbell released Rhinestone Cowboy Hull was undergoing its own cultural renaissance with the launch of the Northern Theatre Company but was also taking centre stage in the increasingly bitter cod wars. The Prospect Centre, still one of Hull’s most popular shopping malls, opened its doors for the first time that year.
1975 was also the year we lost the much-lamented British billion. Then chancellor Denis Healey decided to adopt the American billion over here in the UK, immediately diminishing it from a million-million to just a thousand-million and turning the old British billion into a trillion.
Over the course of the last 40 years we have printed far in excess of a billion labels – more than 120m last year alone – but perhaps not quite yet a trillion. That’s not bad going for a company that’s seen highs and lows, good times and bad, and one that has strived always to be ahead of the game.
Over the next 12 months we’ll tell you all about our journey so watch this space for the next instalment.