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How to build a Screenprinting business


Screenprint & Display is a National mid-sized screenprinting and digital printing business, located on the outskirts of Easingwold, North Yorkshire. It was established in 1987 by Managing Director, David Willis.


Getting experience

Having studied Print Management at Leeds College of Print, David began his career in a Sales role with York based litho print and publishing company Maxiprint. Whilst in this role, David was being continuingly asked for types of work that were beyond the size limitations of the small print presses that his employer ran. In his final year at Leeds, David had written a thesis entitled ‘Screen-A viable process?’ which investigated the viability of the screen printing process in the modern printing industry of the time. With this knowledge, and the proven potential untapped local market, the would-be entrepreneur decided to give it a go.


Where to begin?

Initially, David spent his time selling print, but outsourcing production to a trusted selection of known specialist producers. Whatever the demand, David could say ‘YES’ and soon word spread.

Within a year David was introduced to a time-served Screenprint production Manager, and the pair immediately realised that working together, they had the joint experience to really grow things.


Striving for growth

With David’s infectious knowledge, love of print, his determination and can-do attitude to sales, the business quickly began to develop, and the client base began to stretch throughout the UK. The addition of former competitors Format Screenprint and Selby Screenprint to the fold also brought new opportunities and clients.

Within a few years the company had 25 staff on its payroll, and as much screenprinting capacity as the rest of the screenprinters in North Yorkshire added together.


Outgrowing your first premises

Many businesses start at home and Screenprint & Display was no exception. Over the last 30 years, the business has relocated several times. Each move provided more production space and greater printing capacity for the company.

In 2005, David acquired a 25,000 sq ft mill on the outskirts of Easingwold, sat in its own 6 acre site. The factory was originally built as a Flax mill in the 1930s by the pre-war Ministry of Supply, offered the space for the business to really expand.


Don’t sit still

The printing industry has evolved a great deal over the last 30 years and whilst the factory at Easingwold continues to offer traditional screenprinting services, the business has continually invested heavily in digital printing technology. The benefit of offering both types of print means that the company is one of only a small handful in the UK that can offer both screenprinting or digital print processes, and choose the most cost effective print option for its customers and their needs.



Screenprint & Display has learnt the importance of developing with the industry and whilst the machinery and technology is constantly being upgraded, the business has also invested in creating sales opportunities through its online presence.


Edge Stickers

In 2014 Screenprint & Display acquired the online business,, creating further growth, and an insight into the possibilities on online sales…


Where we are now & what next

From humble beginnings, to the large printing business that exists today, Screenprint & Display has come a long way. It’s continuous development and ongoing growth is due to the ability of the business to adapt to new ideas and technology. What’s next? Who knows but watch this space…..




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