Associated to spend £96m on full colour for Mail titles

By Dominic Ponsford

The Mail titles have announced a £96m investment to make the leap to
full colour for both papers by 2008. The announcement means that
Express Newspapers and the Financial Times are the only two nationals
yet to make moves towards full-colour production.

Associated Newspapers is spending £80m on a new print plant in
Didcot, Oxfordshire. And £16m is being spent on increasing capacity at
its existing Harmsworth Quays printworks in east London.

The move
means Associated will be able to produce full-colour editions of the
Daily Mail at up to 128 pages and of The Mail on Sunday at up to 160

Associated Newspapers chairman Lord Rothermere said: “This
is further evidence of our commitment to the long-term future of our
newspapers. At present on our presses at Harmsworth Quays in London, we
can produce half our pages in colour, but with the addition of the
facilities at Didcot and enhancements to our existing press facilities,
we will have the capacity to provide full, high-quality colour
throughout the country.”

The latest move by Associated follows
the completion in November of a £135m re-pressing investment at
Harmsworth Quays and at satellite print plants in Stoke, Derby and

That move increased colour capacity for the Daily Mail to 64 pages and for The Mail on Sunday to 128 pages.

Mail’s move is part of an industry-wide race towards full colour
prompted by demand from the advertising industry. Colour advertising
space is currently sold for substantially more than black and white.

reporter on Print Week magazine, Josh Brooks, commented: “As soon as
one paper makes the move to full colour, everyone else has to as well
because the advertisers are going to be saying ‘We will still advertise
in black and white but we will hardly pay for it’.

“But when they are all printing in full colour, some time after 2008, the price advantage for full colour will be lost.

Prices will come down because everyone is doing it – at the same time, no one can afford to be left behind.”

Full colour


The Guardian looks set to be the first national title available in
full colour when its new £50m Berliner-size presses come on line some
time in the autumn.

News International revealed in October that it was to spend £600m on
new print sites in Enfield, Liverpool and Glasgow. These will enable
all its titles – The Sun, News of the World, The Times and The Sunday
Times – to be available in full colour within the next four years.

November, Trinity Mirror announced a £45m investment in colour printing
at its Oldham national print plant and further investment at its
Watford national printworks is expected this year.

The Independent is printed on a contract basis by Trinity Mirror.

February, the Telegraph Group announced it was making 90 journalists
redundant in order to invest £150m in colour presses. But it has yet
revealed details of how the money will be spent.

This leaves only
the Financial Times and the Express titles yet to reveal a move to full
colour. Both are printed at Westferry – the east London printers
co-owned by the Telegraph Group and Express Newspapers.

No comments to display

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *