Ron Spring – A sad loss for the self-adhesive label industry
UK • Ron Spring was closely involved with FINAT, where he was a long time board member and created the FINAT Awards. He was also the founder and managing director of Gerhardt UK, a subsidiary of Danish die manufacturer Gerhardt A/S.
Ron also co-founded the Labels & Labelling magazine together with Mike Fairley in 1978. However, as his own company was growing rapidly, the majority shares in Labels & Labelling Publishers were sold to Clive Smith in 1984, who by then was organizing the first Labelex shows, soon to become what is now worldwide known as Labelexpo, the major show for the label and narrow-web industries.
During his time working with Mike Fairley, he contributed to developing the first conference programmes alongside the shows. This included the first industry Directory in 1982; and the initial Yearbooks, along with industry training workshops. He also edited the FINAT Educational Handbook and co-wrote a book with Robert Opie for the 30th Anniversary of FINAT. In addition, he was also very much involved in compiling the publication United in Labels the publication for FINAT’s 50th anniversary. Ron Spring was instrumental in setting up and running FINAT’s label competition in 1981 and also instigated the World Label Awards in 1991. He chaired both organisations for many years.
In 1985 Ron saw an opportunity in photopolymer platemaking and decided to set up a platemaking department within the company. A large investment was made in DuPont equipment. At the time, they were one of the first three companies in the UK to invest in the Purup system, which at the time cost around a quarter of a million pounds.
Among other honours, Ron was presented with a Labelexpo Special Achievement award and was made an honorary lifetime membership of FINAT. When presenting Spring with his Labelexpo award, Mike Fairley commented, “Without Ron’s involvement, commitment and foresight in the early years of both the magazine and show, the label industry may not have had the global forum and resource that it now has. For that we owe him our gratitude and recognition today.”