Waterford company merges with Universal Graphics
Paul Finn Design & Display, the long-established Waterford company based at the Six Cross Roads Business Park, has merged with Universal Graphics in a move which is set to consolidate and expand the business’s future horizons. Speaking to The Munster Express, Universal Graphics Waterford connection Mervyn O’Callaghan said the move means the company has expanded its scope into the South East, in addition to their established offices in both Monaghan and Dublin (along with an outsourced team in Galway).
“Geographically, Waterford is important for us,” he said. “We have a lot of national brands: we work with businesses and provide services on a nationwide basis. To date we have had to service the south east region from our Monaghan or Dublin sites which is not ideal. The merger with Design and Display now gives us a significant geographical presence here in the South East.”
Mr O’Callaghan added: “Within Universal Graphics, we are the market leader in Vehicle Branding and work with all the large fleets across Ireland having branded such fleets as Guinness, Supervalu, Sky, Virgin Media, Eir to name but a few. We also have a retail signage and interior retail branding division working with some of the largest retailers and brands in the country. This is one of the areas in which we are looking to expand our services on a nationwide basis. Paul Finn Design & Display have been in Waterford for 32 years and would be regarded as the most reputable company in this line of work in the region when it comes to the quality their work and product. This skillset combined with the geographical location means it was the ideal strategic partner for us.”
Design & Display currently have nine employees on their books, with Mervyn O’Callaghan keen to increase this figure, stating that: “We hope to double that workforce within the next 12 to 18 months, which underlines the commitment of Universal Graphics to our new Waterford office. Nationally, we’ve a workforce of 39 and we would like to see similar growth in our businesses across the country. We aim to become the leading vehicle branding and signage company in the South East and expand the services Paul and his team in Design and Display can offer to their existing and new customers.”
The Design & Display team has over 30 years’ experience in retail signage: internal point of sale, external signage and vehicle branding”. Mervyn O’Callaghan added: “By now being part of Universal Graphics they now have access to large scale production facilities with the latest in print technology and huge capacity to deliver the largest of projects. Locally, here in Waterford, we now have access to all that capacity and technology which can further improve the already outstanding level of quality that Design & Display is nationally renowned for. We are intent on delivering further growth in addition to the great strides the business has taken under original owner Paul Finn, who has been involved with the business since day one, and see Paul and his long standing team as being instrumental in helping us expand our South East presence.”
“We are now the only Irish company, north and south, that (for 3M) has the MCS warranty, which relates to the quality of our work, and it’s a very significant endorsement of the quality of our work.” What has the advent of enhanced digital technology meant for those in Mervyn’s line of work? “The type of product has probably changed,” he said. “A lot of companies are now using wall graphics to portray messages and branding to work areas. There are lots of clever innovations which have come into play in recent years, such as interactive whiteboards, digital signage and AR/ VR point of sale. So while there are technological advances with new features built into them, there’s still a huge amount of focus on branding and signage; businesses are trying to get more savvy in terms of how and what they advertise, communicate or brand themselves, so there’s still a huge focus on that type of signage. Office branding and wall graphics is becoming a huge growth area and one we will be heavily focused on for our customers in the South East.”
Mervyn O’Callaghan concluded: “We’re delighted to now have a commercial footprint in Waterford, and to be in a position to tap into the skillset and expertise available to us at Design & Display. Paul and his team have built a great business, in a great location and given how many customers we have in the South East, our new local presence means we can react quicker to meeting the needs of such customers. It’s an exciting time for us and we look forward to serving the south east for the next 30 years.”
For more on Design & Display, please call 051-378685 or visit www.ddsigns.ie