35th birthday

Platinum: A 35-Year Journey of Innovation, Resilience, and Success

Posted by


In September 1988, in the humble setting of a double garage filled with second-hand printing equipment acquired at auction, the story of Platinum began. Over 35 years, this small startup has evolved into a thriving printing powerhouse, making its mark in an ever-evolving industry.

David, driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, envisioned a business that could serve his existing customer base without competing with his current employer. He was working as a salesperson for a stationery company and before that, he had been a mechanic providing him with the technical acumen needed to learn the intricacies of the printing industry. Marina, with eight years of experience in accounting and finance, complemented David’s skills perfectly. Together, they formed a formidable team, with David handling sales and printing while Marina managed artwork, deliveries, and accounts.

Initially, Platinum focused on litho printing and finishing, keeping things simple. But growth was rapid, necessitating three moves in four years. By 1992, they had a team of 10 and Platinum’s journey was well underway.

Platinum the early years in the garage dry ski slope

Key milestones and turning points shaped their path. Partnering with John Clough, who specialised in continuous forms expanded their business reach in the ’90s. This move allowed David to shift his focus to sales, leaving production in the capable hands of their young team led by Mark Plummer. In the mid-’90s, they acquired the print division of Harrogate Stationery, followed by diversification into digital print, mailing, sign and display, and promotional products.

However, their most significant acquisition occurred in 2016 when they merged with HPL forming PlatinumHPL. By 2020, they had 50 staff and a turnover nearing 5 million. Then, the unexpected happened.

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, presenting a challenge like no other. The week of March 16th saw approximately 500 orders in production, dwindling to less than 50 by week’s end. It was an incredibly difficult period, but Platinum’s commitment to its employees remained steadfast.

Staying competitive in a constantly changing market required ongoing hard work, wise investments, and embracing new technologies. However, their primary focus was always on customer satisfaction and relationships.

Reflecting on their journey, David and Marina shared valuable lessons. Due diligence is paramount, and always expect the unexpected, as evidenced by the COVID-19 outbreak.

For those aspiring to follow a similar path, David and Marina offer this advice: Pursue your passion, be prepared to work tirelessly, and make friends not enemies along the way.

As Platinum enters its next chapter, they remain committed to innovation and efficiency. They plan to bridge the gap between print and digital media, exploring growth opportunities in packaging, highly personalised digital print, and direct mail. Their vision is simple: to be an exceptional partner, a great company to be part of, and profitable all at once.

35th birthday
See all News posts

Need help? Contact us by email or call our team on 01423 881158