Call us 01785 253 796 or


Call us 01785 253 796 or


Posted on January 16, 2017

Grafenia plc (GRA) announces this morning that it has completed the acquisition of Liverpool based ADD Signs (Arthur Diamond Design Limited). Mark Eccleston, owner of ADD Signs, joins Grafenia as Regional Director. He will continue to lead the team at ADD Signs and develop the business. In the year ending 31st December 2016, ADD Signs’ turnover was approximately £375,000.

Peter Gunning, CEO of Grafenia said “After working on projects with Mark and his team for several years, we are delighted to welcome them to the Grafenia family. We have ambitious plans for making signs a bigger part of our offering and are excited that Mark shares our vision.”

Mark Eccleston said “We’ve grown our business steadily over the past few years and were looking for ways to take it to the next level. Making cool signs for Nettl, I was intrigued by their business model. When the guys shared their plans with me, it just felt like it made sense and I wanted to play a part in making it happen.”

Market convergence
Historically print, design and sign-making businesses were discretely different, with limited overlap. More recently, these businesses have converged. Sign makers sell print and most printers supply banners and posters to their clients.

Once a client builds a relationship with a designer, it’s common for them to trust the designer to fulfill all graphic requirements – from branding, web, adverts and print, to expo, displays and signage.

As well as printing, Grafenia supply a complementary range of expo and point-of-sale signage products through Nettl and partners. Last year Grafenia invested in equipment to enter the expanding soft signage market which, according to Smithers Pira, is forecast to grow at 20% per year until 2019 and double in size within 5 years.

Whilst there are several established franchise networks, the signage sector remains highly fragmented. Although some signs can be made centrally and shipped cost-effectively, the majority of vehicle graphics and shop signs require local survey and specialist on-site installation.

Transaction benefits
ADD Signs has a strong reputation servicing a range of clients, from small businesses in the North West, to large enterprises, nationwide. This acquisition provides Grafenia with expertise in designing, manufacturing and installing a wide range of vehicle graphics and building signs.

Peter Gunning said “We want to use ADD’s know-how to extend our offering further into the sign sector and help our Nettl and partners sell more to clients. We’ll use ADD’s skills to merchandise a range of sign products to sell nationally through our network. And for partners on Merseyside, we plan to give them access to our manufacturing and installation services.”

This includes extending the Nettl offering into vehicle graphics. ADD’s vehicles will be wrapped to proliferate the Nettl brand locally, as a model to replicate across the country.

ADD will also substitute print, previously outsourced to a variety of suppliers, with products from the Grafenia range. ADD’s clients will be able to access a much wider range of print and promo items from the Nettl range, all delivered with usual reliability and compelling value.

Peter Gunning said “In a converged print and signs sector, our goal is to establish Nettl as the industry leader.” Nettl is available as either a stand alone or bolt-on model for existing graphics businesses. There are currently over 90 Nettl neighbourhood web studio partners in the UK and Ireland and new partners are signing up every month. “Our systems, training and know-how allow a printer, designer or signmaker to deliver higher value web projects, by upskilling their existing team. Whether it’s with print, ecommerce or signage, our aim is to simplify and ‘de-frictionify’ the process. Our clients want to get the most from their promotional budget and we deliver clear, transparent value and an honest, reliable service.”

Further acquisitions
The acquisition of ADD Signs is the first in Grafenia’s planned strategy for growth and they are now looking for other signage businesses on Merseyside, where the owner is looking to exit or retire. The aim is to roll businesses together with ADD Signs and, at an appropriate point, combine manufacturing facilities and launch a Nettl Business Store.

Peter Gunning said “We aim to replicate this model across the country. To provide local survey, specialist on-site installation and enable signs to be offered throughout our Nettl network. If you operate a signage business and are looking for an exit strategy or would like support to grow, please email We’d love you to join us.”



View All

Government encourages range of industries to prepare for chemical use in the event of a no-deal EU exit

Posted on February 27, 2019

EU Exit and Trade update from the BEIS Infrastructure and Materials team

Posted on February 27, 2019

Prokom delivers inspiring global conference

Posted on June 22, 2018

Business’ encouraged to ‘Challenge Antalis’ as initiative is rolled out across key industry events

Posted on February 09, 2018

Antalis urges printers to take stock as new research shows paper prevails

Posted on February 05, 2018

Grafenia launch BeholdAR – World’s first augmented reality app for fabric displays

Posted on December 01, 2017

IPIA Annual Awards Gala Dinner

Posted on December 01, 2017

Branded corporate gifts are the best way to say ‘Thank You!’

Posted on October 02, 2017

A perfect printable fabric, Silky Wallcover adds to Antalis’ Coala® range

Posted on October 02, 2017

Antalis’ Frank Moran appointed to BSGA Council

Posted on September 11, 2017

Production and distribution of Howarine adhesives, are transferred to Adco Ltd

Posted on August 25, 2017

Baroness Dean to speak at The Printing Charity’s Annual Luncheon

Posted on August 22, 2017


Posted on August 22, 2017

IPIA Council – Your chance to vote at the AGM 7 September

Posted on August 21, 2017

The writing’s on the wall with new Antalis Coala range extension

Posted on July 24, 2017


Posted on June 16, 2017

Antalis employee goes the extra mile in gruelling charity cycle

Posted on June 15, 2017

Antalis makes a lasting mark at DSCOOP print experience

Posted on June 13, 2017

New equipment spend continues as bakergoodchild adds to its production capabilities.

Posted on June 08, 2017

The design and build of the Antalis stand at Sign & Digital 2017

Posted on June 01, 2017

VAT Update: Agency Agreements – supplier beware!

Posted on May 15, 2017

Partnership and investment opportunity in Romanian printing and finishing equipment market

Posted on May 04, 2017


Posted on April 28, 2017

Roland DG UK and Custom Gateway begin integration project

Posted on April 20, 2017

iFRC – Important Sage News

Posted on April 07, 2017

PPExpo to become PPD LIVE

Posted on February 28, 2017

Harrier Print invest in Kolbus KM200 to bolster their book binding capacity

Posted on February 20, 2017

AND THEN THERE WERE ONE HUNDRED – Nettl network reaches 100 locations

Posted on February 16, 2017

Pureprint Group Picks Renz Systems to Expand Services

Posted on February 14, 2017

Design challenge for students, designers and print or graphic arts apprentices

Posted on February 13, 2017

The Print Futures Awards

Posted on February 07, 2017

PPExpo marks a stellar start to 2017

Posted on February 03, 2017

IPEX 2017: Roster continues to fill as Friedheim, Morgana, pressXchange sign up

Posted on February 02, 2017

SUEZ and Systematic working in partnership in 2017

Posted on January 16, 2017

Nothing can be taken for granted in your business

Posted on January 16, 2017


Posted on January 16, 2017

IPIA Christmas Networking Lunch

Posted on December 05, 2016

Premier’s Fundraising and Support tops £20,000 for Breast Cancer, following its ‘Think Pink in October’ campaign

Posted on November 21, 2016

IPIA Trade Services Village at the Print Show 2016

Posted on October 24, 2016

A clear business case for a Marketing Asset Management platform

Posted on October 21, 2016

IPIA Gala Awards Dinner – 12 October 2016

Posted on October 19, 2016

Everything’s Possible in Print – over 180 delegates attend.

Posted on August 01, 2016

Another successful networking event

Posted on March 18, 2016

IPIA 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner

Posted on October 28, 2015

IPIA Recognition Awards 2015

Posted on October 25, 2015