By 1978 - three years after Albert Dass founded Springfield Solutions - the business had built an enviable reputation as a proofing house serving major, national clients. But at the time Albert was relying on suppliers to create the films and plates that Springfield was proofing, leading him to conclude the job would be more efficient if it was carried out by a single company.
With this in mind, he set about establishing his own film making operation. It was a move that would have a profound impact on the company as it represented the beginnings of Springfield Solution’s reprographic division, later to became a core area of the business and has since evolved into a global brand management service that ensures precision consistency across some of the world’s most recognisable products.
But this was 1978 – so long ago Nottingham Forest won league division one, Space Invaders was released and John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John where appearing in the first Grease film – the Company's own film making division was not yet so auspicious. In fact, lacking space at Springfield’s Wright Street base, Albert set it up in his loft at home, cutting a huge hole in the ceiling so he could get the flat-bed camera, film processor and planning bench he needed into his attic.
It was a bold move for the industry as at the time there were clear divisions between reprographics, proofing and printing, but in characteristic style Albert spotted an opportunity to bring efficiencies to his business and customers, and helped spearhead a new direction for the industry. It wasn’t long before the new reprographics division took shape and was working with the likes of ICI and Ronseal.
“Initially it was about bringing services in house.” Albert says. “It meant I didn’t have to rely on other people to take the pictures and create the film. “But then it was about diversification, about increasing the services that we could provide. And from that point it really took off.”
Today, Albert’s vision of supplying films has evolved into Springfield’s global brand management division – a dynamic range of pre-press services that encompasses strategic packaging design and management, reprographics and proofing, colour management, management of packaging assets, packaging artwork services and internet linked packaging.
Currently, we manage some of the world’s largest paints, chemicals, household products and food brands. But for all its success, Albert looks back fondly on the time when he set it up in his loft at home, and not least because of his wife’s reaction when she found the gaping hole he had cut in their ceiling.
“She was none too happy,” he said. “But looking back, it seems to have worked out OK in the end!”