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The art of meeting customers’ needs

THE term picture framer always conjures up an image of a high street shop with a selection of frame samples along with some paintings for sale.

Not so at Market Harborough-based On the Edge Framing. They operate from two adjoining industrial units near the town centre, fitted out as workshops equipped with a fascinating array of tools ranging from the traditional through to state-of-the-art computerised cutting and joining machinery.

Investment in machinery and IT systems has been a key part of On the Edge’s constant expansion and growth since Julie Chapman started the business in 2005.

“The manual tools we started with made fine frames,” said Julie, “but to commercially produce consistent quality and make sure we always meet customer deadlines, we need the very best equipment available – and space to fit it all!”

The same is true for the other part of the company’s business, namely printing art, fine art and high-end photography. Their investment in digital scanning technology and 12-colour large-format printers was initially undertaken in 2008, in response to demand from artists wanting to produce prints from their originals. Since then, the same high-quality, exactingly-calibrated print process has led to photographers and commercial businesses also relying on these print services.

“We print a huge variety of art and photography, from reproductions of a small watercolour to large-format wedding images, right through to corporate product photographs,” said Rob Chapman. “Anything where personal service and attention to colour and print detail really matters.”

The company’s frame and print customers span a wide range. A great deal of the work is for private individuals wanting framing for their homes. At the workshops, they can review the huge range of framing options on offer and get help with their choices from one of On the Edge’s experienced framers. They can even see work in progress, as everything is done in-house with nothing ever being outsourced.

Other very busy sectors are artists with strict timescales for exhibitions, and professional photographers who have to manage their own client expectations. On the Edge also undertake a lot of corporate work. This is a ‘hidden’ side to their business, as most is done as part of a supply chain through project management companies, advertising agencies, design companies or shop fitters. All these customers have come to trust On the Edge’s reputation for consistently hitting deadlines.

“Our work is incredibly varied and we never know what’s coming through the door next,” said Julie. “One minute we’re talking to a customer about framing their small tapestry – and the next we’re printing and framing 60 large fashion shoot images for a major retail chain’s new shop opening. We love the variety.”

On the Edge has an experienced team of framers led by Julie, who is a qualified Fine Art Trade Guild Commended Framer, whilst Julie’s husband Rob oversees their digital print team.

“We are really lucky to have such a talented team working with us, all of whom share our enthusiasm and attention to detail,” said Julie. “It’s great to have the best equipment, but it’s useless without skilled users.”

On the Edge Framing can be contacted on 01858 450321, or visit www.ontheedge.co.uk