Everyone in the UK imaging industry has heard of Loxley Colour, haven’t they? It’s that iconic, 72,000 sq. ft. Glasgow-based, state-of-the-art prolab.
But be honest. Do you really know it? Do you really get the complete picture?
MD Ian Loxley is a committed disciple of commercial innovation and regularly scours the globe to ensure his business stays ahead of the game when it comes to engaging with latest technology and providing compelling new product solutions to help his photographer customers sustain and grow their businesses.
Committed expansion of the Loxley product portfolio and the resultant take-up by customers has led to no less than FIVE premises moves for the lab in sixteen years.
Ian, his ninety-strong staff complement and a rapidly increasing client base means they just keep on running out of space.
But there’s an underlying and constant mantra that keeps them in pole position: nothing but the best is good enough.
“We strive to always be the best at what we do. We soul-search relentlessly to see how we can improve…and how we can make our product inventory ever more exciting’ enthuses Ian.
A couple of years ago, in an all-out bid to show customers what really goes on behind the scenes at the Cumbernauld prolab, Ian commissioned a top Californian filmmaker to produce a two and a half minute video (www. youtube.com/loxleycolour) to show how the lab keeps its edge over the rest of the pack.
“There has been a massive change and evolution in the industry over the past few years” says Ian.
“We thought it was about time our customers could really see what we are all about. Photographers can come to us for an unmatchable range of high quality products and the highest level of service — and all at highly competitive prices.”
And they do. In their droves. But why does Loxley Colour have the magic touch?
Calum Thomson, Loxley’s Head of Sales thinks he knows why. “We are a family-owned business and a complete one-stop-shop for professional photographers looking for the best albums and books; wall display products; presentation and desktop products; prints and papers; marketing and creative products and bespoke software and services packages.”
He adds: “We’ve got the finest range of high quality, hand-finished products made here in the UK and many of them exclusive to us. We offer a very competitively priced service for photographers across all disciplines — and across all budgets. Additionally, our customers can easily design and create highly flexible packages for their clients — enabling them to make more profit, not just by selling files but by selling exclusive products..”
And photographers agree. Scotland-based
Kenneth Martin, a multi-award-winning photographer, international photo-mentor and creator of the widely-acclaimed Photo Noir, black and white portrait genre says: “Here’s the thing about Loxley Colour. I have been associated with them for many, many years but when I launched a new and exclusive ‘boutique’ photography business six years ago I installed my own printers and decided to do everything myself — on the basis that I would be saving a lot of money.
But I was so wrong. With the ever-increasing costs of materials and an ever-increasing amount of time input required, it all started to get very expensive indeed.
Printing your own work to save money is a complete myth. When you do it yourself there will be times when you make a total hash of it — for example, you make marks on prints and have to redo them — that’s more ink and materials you need to find to correct things. Then you have to source your frames and frame the pictures yourself — or get someone to do it for you. And don’t forget the boxes! It just gets ridiculous, especially when you factor in your time.
With Loxley I can finish an order in a preview room with a client — then I can go to my computer and just press a button. Then, a week later, it all turns up ready for the customer. And all that has been done by experts and much cheaper than I could have done it myself.”
“Frankly, it’s a no-brainer….using this excellent prolab frees up my time for shooting and marketing. And their links with the excellent photo-sharing and ecommerce website SmugMug, makes the entire process a complete doddle.”
He adds: “And, importantly, to them the customer is never wrong. They are just such a friendly bunch of people and their products are second to none in terms of choice, quality and presentation.”
Top wedding photographer Hamish Scott-Brown adds: “I have always seen Loxley Colouras a partner. My success has been due to the quality of work I get from this outstanding lab.”
And award-winning fine art photographer Trevor Yerbury notes: There are few labs that can match the quality of print output that Loxley Colour can produce. They help us make money. That is the bottom line”.
The Loxley Colour vision for its future as a prolab was always clear…even sixteen years ago.
Says Ian: “Right from the start I wanted to provide reasonably priced professional quality printing to all photographers and professional bodies — and offer it within turnaround times that had never been achieved before. We were always determined to do things better and much faster. We brought in cutting edge technology that enabled us to print, package, check and despatch faster than had ever been done before….and today the technologies we use are simply the best available in our industry.” He adds: “Staff training is paramount and everyone knows exactly what is expected of them — and how important it is to maintain our standards. Whenever I walk around the lab there is always a buzz — everyone has the same goal.”
Loxley Colour offers industry leading LDP (Loxley Designer PRO) page layout software, exclusively developed to assist photographers create and design for the extensive range of albums and books, including the ever popular Bellissimo range of high quality albums. And right now the team are working on an exciting new online ordering system… more news on this initiative soon.