THEY say the simple ideas are always the best and for one Bury St Edmunds firm celebrating an anniversary this year, it has brought world-wide success.
It was in the 1970s that Denny Bros Printing was asked by crop science specialist Bayer if it could develop an information leaflet to place on the outside of a product bag, rather than placing it loose inside.
The printing firm developed and patented the idea in 1977 and Fix-a-Form was born.
Now the UK’s leading brand of multi-page leaflet-labels, Fix-a-Form, which is celebrating its 35th birthday, employs close to 100 people at its £8 million flagship site in Kempson Way, Bury.
“The Fix-a-Form idea was and still is such a simple concept,” said Denny Bros managing director Barry Denny.
“Today we are the flagship brand that has become an internationally renowned solution for communicating product information directly onto any packaged item but back in history we were just one of a large number of printing companies offering a variety of printed products to our customers.
“Many printers at the time were printing leaflets and many were printing labels but none had the idea of combining the technology to produce something that gave added benefits.
“We knew we had moved into new territory and we were very pleased with the infinite possibilities of what we had created but at the time we had no idea of where it would all go.”
Agrochemical companies quickly adopted the new idea, followed by pharmaceutical, household and food companies who used the leaflet labels for information and promotional use.
The company has numerous awards including the British Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, British Print Industries Federation’s Excellence Awards and best innovation and company of the year in the Fasson Awards in 1983.
“It was the 1980s that saw the company take the front pages of the trade magazines, sign up our first international licensees and see rapid and almost unstoppable growth,” said Mr Denny.
“We had all worked tirelessly to apply the idea to multiple markets and these accolades were warmly welcomed.”
Co-founder of Denny Bros, Douglas Denny, the father of the current MD even received an export award from the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, for Anglo Dutch co-operation, setting up a license agreement with a printing company in Holland.
Its first ever licensee was based in South Africa – today there are more than 20 companies around the world, manufacturing under licence of Fix-a-Form’s patents and trade marks.
Meanwhile, the growth of Smartphone and WiFi technology means Fix-a-Form products look set to continue to be in demand. So much so that the company has bought land at Kempson Way for future growth of the business.
“There’s lots of new technology that has already and certainly will impact on product packaging and communication with end users.
“We aim to continue to be at the forefront of these developments delivering information and benefit to product users and brand owners,’ said Mr Denny.