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Colour your life - digitally Craig Whyte, founder of Artlab, believes that if one is going to get down to graphic detail, the best approach is a digital one. He says that digital printing definitely holds the promise of being the ‘next big thing’, with digital set to replace traditional textile printing. This leaves Artlab sitting pretty, as at present, it is the only provider of reactive digital fabric printing. Craig points out that the company’s services include high-end digital printing for décor applications – such as custom wallpapers and canvas prints – as well as digital printing of textiles to full commercial quality using reactive digital printing. He explains that his target markets include the fashion industry, interior decorators, large retailers, traditional textile users and many others. His experience in the medium is vast, having been involved with digital graphics since their inception. In fact, he has already run a number of successful digital graphics companies, both in South Africa and abroad. This, says Craig, means he has garnered a broad range of skills that have allowed him to master the very complicated business of digital printing onto textiles. His main aim with Artlab, therefore, is to continue developing and marketing these new, paradigm-shifting technologies. He also wants the business to become the preferred supplier of choice for textile printing in SA – re-igniting the industry here in the process. Craig already has a very clear plan on how to get to this point. It will include investing in new equipment and staff, which will allow Artlab to increase its production speeds by at least a factor of 10. This, in turn, would allow him to fulfil both the existing and rapidly growing demand that has been created. Ultimately, Craig says he wants to ‘bring back’ the textile printing industry to SA, where it belongs!

On-air Interview