Sophie Matthews-Paul dies aged 68

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Sophie Matthews-Paul dies aged 68
Sophie Matthews-Paul

Sophie Matthews-Paul, the veteran print technology and communications consultant, has died at her home in Herefordshire, UK. Diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in January of this year and given a six-month prognosis, Sophie enjoyed a peaceful departure, in the presence of her son, James, and her three cats. She was 68 years old.

The curriculum vitae of Sophie Matthews-Paul reads like a register of the printing industry’s largest and most specialised organizations. Originally a journalist and editor of a number of trade publications, Sophie launched Screen and Digital Printer in the 1990s before contributing to a number of other titles, from PrintWeek to Output, Image (Australia) to Large Format (Germany).

Over the last three decades she acquired a wealth of knowledge about the digitization of the industry, becoming an instrumental influencer in the evolution of digital ink-jet’s role within the fields of wide-format, textile and industrial print. A renowned international speaker, Sophie was also a mentor to many, both officially and unofficially, and is often credited as the midwife of the modern industry. Alongside this eminent career, Sophie’s diverse passions included photography, aviation and chicken-keeping.

“Sophie’s extraordinary charm and intellect left an indelible mark on the lives, careers and hearts of everyone she knew,” says James Matthews-Paul. “A potent and effusive life force has gone from the world, but I know she would want each of her friends and colleagues to remember her inimitable spirit with a smile.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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