It's our 21st birthday!

Thank you to everyone who has helped us reach this milestone.

21 years... WOW, where has the time gone?

Back in 1998, KJS was formed by Kevin and Stuart with the aim of providing a high level print to mail services, with everything under one roof. And, we're pleased to say, that's what we're still doing today.

However, there have been quite a few noticeable developments over the years...

In 1998...
  • Email was a baby! KJS had one email account but most of our communication was done on the phone... or fax! it's impossible to imagine a working day (or even a minute) without email today!
  • The internet was around but we could never have envisaged how we would come to rely upon it... ordering goods online, using it as a source of reference, let alone have our own website.. the thought of it would explode on the scale at has would have blown our minds.
  • Data and artwork would be supplied to us in the post, on CD or a floppy disk... no email, ftp, electronic transfer. It's hard to believe that we had to wait a couple of days to receive these files when it's so instant today.
  • All our printing was done on a two colour press - a far cry from the high tech 4 colour Sukari LED UV press we now have. Today, we don't use any sealants or powder coatings, not only is this better for the environment but means the whole process is much cleaner.
  • We had one poly wrapping line and one envelope enclosing line however - there was no camera matching or selective inserting technology, no potato starch wrap
  • Our in-house print finishing was far more limited than it is today. Now we can carry out viritually every stage of production in-house, from trimming, creasing, folding, stitching, tabbing, spot UV, laminating, foiling... the list goes on.
  • Royal Mail was the only postal provider - the thought that it would become privatised in years to come, and the postal sector to be opened to competition from DSA providers was something we couldn't have imagined
  • Just a few months before KJS was established, The Data Protection Act 1998 came into effect. We've always taken data security very seriously (which is why we're ISO 27001 certified) but it's fair to say none of us could ever have comprehended just how important it would become in every part of lives, let alone the introduction of GDPR in 2018.
  • The concept of digital print was something which we couldn't get our heads around in the early days - one machine which can print variable text and images in full colour, both sides of the sheet, to a quality that is equal to litho print andĀ  makes it feasible for runsĀ  as low as just one copy? This opened up a whole new world.
  • We hadn't even heard of PDFs. In 1998, all proofs were hard copy. We wouldn't have believed anyone who told us 21 years later, we'd be sending the majority of proofs to clients electronically.
  • Even more amazing would have been the idea of using pdfs to print from...
  • And, what about four colour film and Chromalins? Okay, so we're showing our age now! And the thought of going Computer to Plate (CTP) without the need for film would have been unimaginable.
  • There were more items in an average mailing than we send today, but there were far fewer marketing channels. No digital marketing, no social media. But, equally the mailings were far less targeted than we can now offer. Advances in data capture and processing, coupled with our print and fulfilment services, makes it feasible for highly bespoke and targeted mailings, which all help marketers' ROI.
  • Average turnaround times were somewhat different to today. Since Day One, our aim has always been to provide a high level of service, from quality control, to responding to customer enquires and meeting customer deadlines. A combination of changes in technology allowing us to turn jobs around quicker, and, the whole world, now operating on a just in time basis, has resulted in much tighter production schedules. Luckily, the way we're set up at KJS, we're able to streamline our production. it's not unusual that we print and mail items on the same day.
  • KJS was based in just one business unit. We're still at the same site, but as we've grown over the years, we've acquired neighbouring units and knocked downs walls to now operate out of a space of 10,000sq feet.
  • We were far less aware of environmental concerns and issues. Who'd have thought we'd be driving electric cars, wrapping magazines in potato starch, actively choosing renewable energy sources.
  • We could ever have expected to mail such a vast range of non machineable weird and wonderful items. Our manual fulfilment team never cease to be amazed at what they need to pick pack, from chocolate bars, tomato ketchup minature bottles, bracelets, football figurines, fish & chip boxes, tea bags in mailers. They all keep us on our toes (and entertained!).

Yet, though all of these changes, we're still here and we're still as passionate about print and direct mail as we were on Day One. And, although we don't often blow our own trumpet, we think we're still pretty good at it.

We want to thank everyone we've worked with over the years, helping us to reach this milestone.

We're excited to see what the next 21 years will bring.