What makes a Roland Hero?

Creative. Innovative. Entrepreneurial. Inspiring.

The family business, passed down through the generations.

The one-man-band building a business from a spare room.

The determined start-up that becomes a print empire.

The Roland Hero Awards were designed to recognise the awesome users of Roland systems, to reflect the incredible diversity of our industry, and to demonstrate the importance of people in our exciting sector.

In 2018, Roland users from across the EMEA region shared their amazing stories, showcasing the remarkable things they achieve and the impact they make, on their businesses, their families, their communities and themselves.

2018 Roland Hero
LATEST NEWS: Winner announced

Meet our 2018 Roland Heroes

2018 Roland Hero

Roland Heroes in the spotlight

Discover more about our 2018 Roland Heroes and their amazing stories.


Pete Astles Peak UK Read case study


Nicola Rubino Gemanco Design Read case study


Florian van Rije Lieuwe Boards Read case study


Svetlana Kolpikova In Your Face Read case study


Alex Liggett The Vinyl Guys Read case study 


Chris Chadwick The Binary Box Read case study 


Javier Lozano Taymory Read case study 


Maik Vogel Eastprint Read case study 


Simon James Elite Signs & Graphics Ltd Read case study


Massimo Marchi and Letizia Mattei Max Model Read case study


Paula María Conejo Maisha Read case study

Judging event: behind the scenes
Take a look at our judging day in Belgium where our judges discovered, discussed and debated over the entries, before deciding on the ultimate winner!


    Our 2018 Roland Heroes

    Pete Astles - Peak UK, UK

    GLORY "Our great friends and team members won gold, silver and bronze medals wearing that gear. Our custom kayaking gear is now a huge part of our business. It's our flagship identity that sets us apart from the rest of our industry."
    Nicola Rubino - Gemanco Design, Italy

    CREATIVITY "The special effects offered by VersaUV mean we can add white highlights, gloss and even textures to our interior design work - it's what I love most about using Roland technology. Having a partner in Roland DG means that we can count on continuous innovation, which is essential to nourish our creativity."
    Svetlana Kolpikova Bala - In your face, Spain

    PROUD "My partner Rafa was made redundant after 20 years as a designer. With no work prospects and no loan, we installed a Roland VersaCAMM VS-540i print and cut machine in my 30sqm rented apartment, literally living at work. After two years we are in new premises and are a well-known customisation brand among windsurfers. We are proud of how we grew from nothing."
    Florian van Rije - Lieuwe Boards, Netherlands

    STRONG "A kitesurf board must sail well, must be strong and it must look beautiful. Lieuwe Boards makes custom boards to the specifications of the customer, mainly the appearance of the graphics. The Roland VersaSTUDIO BN-20 printer/cutter and ECO-SOL MAX inks have the strength to do the job."
  6. Nutmeg Studio Logo

    Adele Mackinnon - Nutmeg Studio, UK

    HOME "My husband and I invested some of our savings and wedding gift money to purchase a Roland vinyl cutter and an Apple Mac and began offering vinyl graphics to local businesses. After decorating my girls bedrooms with personalised wall stickers, friends and family saw these and encouraged me to sell them online, which I did initially via eBay. I began expanding my range of wall stickers and other companies began to stock them – from small independent retailers to the likes of QVC. "
  7. Jesper Juel Jensen - Expoloading APS, Denmark

    THANKFUL "We had a situation where we had to print more than 14,000 foils really quickly. Our Roland. Our Roland VS-640i worked for four days and nights without stopping, to print and contour-cut all 14,000. I was both impressed and thankful for our Roland system!"
  8. Francesco Bravi - Ink Arti Grafiche, Italy

    ENHANCEMENT "Welcome to the Stone Age! We use a Roland LEC-330 to print unique images onto stone objects, using advanced techniques to create something new every day. It's a craft that is 100% made in Italy, enhancing the richness and beauty of a gift or a souvenir."
  9. Gonçal Brotons - Hug-me Group, Spain

    BRAINWAVE "I noticed my children were wasting toothpaste because, being small, they did not have enough strength in their hands to squeeze the tube. I had a brainwave and, discovering there was no device on the market to extract the content in tubes, I made a prototype and started the business. A Roland VersaUV LEF-300 lets us customise our product with a company message or branding, on different materials."
  10. Jesper Norbøll - MediaMouse, Denmark

    OPPORTUNITIES "For my daughter, MediaMouse is like an older brother who has always been part of her life, providing her with lots of comfort and opportunities. Roland has done the same for MediaMouse: our first CX-24 vinyl cutter is still in operation alongside five other Roland siblings that have made it possible for MediaMouse to grow, expand and offer new opportunities to clients"
  11. e-style breau logo

    Antoine Poulet - E-styl', France

    CHALLENGE "I started this personalisation business from scratch, with no training in the field. But I took on the challenge to learn how to use Roland machines, software and different techniques – both during my training and continually, offering products no-one else sells. We reached our goals well before we expected and have a good reputation. I'm really happy to have taken up the challenge and done it."
  12. PFF Logo

    Craig Wilson - PFF, UK

    CONNECTION "When PFF decided to bring packaging prototype design work in-house we did things a little differently: a whole floor of the factory was re-allocated to every step of prototyping, with two Roland MDX540 machines at its heart. By bringing together every element into one space the customer feels a real connection with the prototyping process and becomes much more invested."
  13. Articulos Publicidad

    Guillermo Peñalver - Peñalver, Spain

    BENCHMARK "In the midst of the economic crisis, the grandchildren of the company's founder diversified to launch a new brand that has become a benchmark in the world of sporting events. We design our own products from the beginning – patterns, fabrics, textures or prints – and have gone from 30 events in 2010 to more than 1,500 eight years later."
  14. AO Designs logo

    Anna Parsons - AO Design, Germany

    HEART "I'm a graphic designer – my heart feels colours and my head thinks in pictures. Our Roland TrueVIS VG-640 is at the heart of what we do. We know and appreciate his brilliant colours, speed and reliability. Of course, we also know his quirks, where he likes to be petted and what he needs."
  15. Rage Designs Logo

    Michael Boote - Rage Designs, UK

    ICONIC "Rage Designs merged my two passions: motorcycling and painting. Our Roland VersaCAMM SP-300i printer/cutter is very easy to use and produces perfect helmet and bodywork graphics for iconic racers. It's also a good back-up service if anything were to go wrong."
  16. Taymory logo

    Carlos Mir - Taymory, Spain

    CHAMPION "Taymory's slogan is 'Wear your dreams'. Founded by Olympic athlete Omar Tayara and textiles expert Javier Lozano, Taymory specialises in sportswear. In 2018 we designed a swimwear collection with synchronised swimming champion Ona Carbonell, created with the Roland Texart RT-640. This advanced technology offers amazing image clarity and intense colours."
  17. Gutinberg logo

    Enrique Almansa - Gutinberg, Spain

    PERSERVERANCE "I had to start my business from scratch in my parents' house with no financing. I persevered and after the first year I acquired a Roland SP-540V plotter that allowed me to make the leap to all-digital printing. Gutinberg is small – and the plotter is still in the living room – but our client portfolio is increasing day by day."
  18. Media Markt Iberia Logo

    Carles Perelló Belda - Media Markt Iberia, Spain

    REVOLUTIONARY "Media Markt has invested €47m developing a digital transformation plan across 85 stores in Spain. This includes offering customers the revolutionary option of personalising their electronic devices – smartphones, tablets, consoles, coffee makers, even refrigerators – using a revolutionary next-generation printer: the VersaUV LEF-200."
  19. Stampa Italiana

    Mauro Puglisi - Stampa Italiana, Italy

    LEARNING "I started this fantastic job at the age of 14, thanks to two of my brothers who were already in the industry. I began as an apprentice, then I learned graphics software, taking various seminars and courses, and have now entered a new phase in my work using a Roland BN-20, an SP-300 and two cutting plotters. My experience has helped me grow to be what I am today."
  20. Ricamidream logo

    Monica Corignolo - Ricamidream di Corignolo Monica, Italy

    PASSION "Ricamidream was born from a passion for creativity. We are based in an area famous for eyewear production so invested in our first UV printer – the VersaUV LEF-20 – to experiment with printing on various parts of glasses. We are now a leader in direct printing onto glasses components. Our slogan is: the best things are achieved only with the maximum of passion!"
  21. Stedica pubblicita logo

    Antonino Eterno - Stedica Pubblicità, Italy

    PROBLEM-SOLVING "In 2004 a customer came to me with a problem: he wanted new adhesive labels to cover price rises. I explained that if people saw the price changed with a label, they'd instantly see there had been an increase and they wouldn't like it. Using our Roland VersaCAMM SP-300 I reconstructed the whole sign with the new prices so that it looked original. From that, I now make signs from shore to shore."
  22. Tudor Dragoi - Dragon AutoShield, UK

    PERFORMANCE "Using a loan we received just before our wedding, my wife and I invested in a Roland CAMM-1 GR-640 cutter. It has to deliver the highest level of performance: we use it every day to cut paint protection film patterns, perfect to a tenth of millimetre, for installation on high-performance cars. We literally could not do anything without it."
  23. Chris Chadwick - The Binary Box, UK

    MAGIC "To create a magical showcase of our work we have wrapped our new creative studio head to toe using only materials created on our Roland TrueVIS VG-540. From a huge wall wrap of Einstein, to the giant squid room, a ski chalet and a beehive where our Roland machine takes pride of place, it's a magical space for our customers."
  24. Mayra Pahisa - Mayra Pahisa, Spain

    SURPRISE "I've been a graphic designer, specialising in packaging, for 20 years and from the beginning have used a Roland VersaCAMM VS-300 with white and metallic ink. With creativity and Roland technology, I can surprise my clients with exclusive and original designs."
  25. LS Prints Digital

    Lance Dentith - L&S Prints Digital, UK

    UNIQUE "Since 1990 we've been selling custom printed fabrics and in 2018 launched a new brand, British Made Gifts. Using our Roland Texart XT-640, we give customers the power to create anything they desire. We aim to inspire creativity and fun worldwide by supplying unique products for customers to let their imagination run wild."
  26. Juan Miguel Arpa Robig - Chapea Gestion Integral S.L., Spain

    LIMITLESS "We have always led the market for personalised plates but expand our range constantly, thanks to our VersaCAMM VS-540i printer/cutter. When we got a VersaUV LEF-20 we weren't sure how it would fit into our business but doubts dissipated in the first week: we have tripled our catalogue of personalised products and our applications are practically limitless."
  27. Morten Nielsen - Bella Skilte og Print, Denmark

    HAPPY "My father founded silk screen printer Bella in 1965, before my brother Michael and I joined in 1988. In the early 2000s we had a large banner order so decided to go into digital printing. We have eight Roland machines, which are pure genius. Great and reliable equipment can't make you anything but happy."
  28. Ryan McCormick - Orange Promotions, UK

    FATHER "The VersaSTUDIO BN-20 arrived the same time as our first child. As well as growing our business with creative transfer-printed T-shirts and much more, it's brought a special flair to our kids' birthday parties! We print T-shirts with the kid's name in the design and their age, in a fashionable way. I'm a proud Roland user and father of three with number four on the way."
  29. Miguel Silva - Colantes, Portugal

    ELECTRIC "It all started with a small white sticker for a laptop! Since then, with our SOLJET XC-540 we have customised all kinds of electronic equipment: mobile phones, game consoles, kitchen robots; ATM machines and POS in Portugal, Angola, Mozambique and France; and now home electrics like refrigerators and dishwashers. We've inspired many other companies to move in this direction."
  30. Gregely Kocsis - NagyPR Kft, Hungary

    SATISFACTION "Our small, local, family business has used Roland products for the last two decades, most recently the SOLJET EJ-640. We can decorate everything from the smallest items to giant surfaces, offering long-term satisfaction to our customers – because the memory of good quality lasts longer than the pleasure of cheap price."
  31. Dik Weeterings - CarDsign, Netherlands

    PROGRESS "In 1984 customers from my dad's design studio started asking for signs, so my mother started a part-time company to make them. There have been Roland printers in our family since the 1980s so when I started my advertising business in 2006 I also chose Roland for printing and plotting – it's the perfect combination. The business has progressed and now every day I work with my mom, my brother and three Roland machines."
  32. Julian Brown - AMD Promotions, UK

    OPPORTUNITY "We saw a real gap in the market for a design, print and promotion business for one-man-bands, micro businesses, small charities and organisations on a budget – we seized this opportunity. In our small studio we have just enough room to fit the Roland VersaCAMM SP-300i print and cut machine, which gives us maximum flexibility to produce the widest range of products. We are a husband and wife team and see being a small business as a strength."
  33. Adam Youngman - Custom Kings, UK

    LUCKY "I started my company after a terrible run of luck, ending with a bad accident and surgery. While I was laid up I decided to start a company of my own and pursue doing what I love. Since getting my Roland TrueVis SG-300 printer/cutter I've done hundreds of jobs for clients but my proudest achievement is creating my own brand. I've been lucky to have received amazing support from the community."
  34. Americo Pezzola - Copicad snc, Italy

    DREAM "I've been a keen mountain biker since the 90s; I was amateur champion of Italy. We started our business in 2005 which meant I could finally make my own gear: the graphics I had always dreamed of, the materials and models I had always wanted but never found! With Roland, our dream has become a reality."
  35. Alistair Peebles - Talk Design & Print, UK

    CHARITY "The versatility of our Roland VersaCAMM VS-540i printer/cutter means we can create effective solutions rapidly. We printed a large cheque for a charity and applied a dry-wipe laminate so it could be reused, and did a spare free of charge to allow for the heavy use it will receive – hopefully!"
  36. Martin Rano Resua - Rotularama, Spain

    AROUND "We've been working with vinyl and canvases for more than 20 years, all with Roland printing and cutting machinery. We keep track of everything we print and if we put all the labels printed on our Roland GX-500 vinyl cutter in a line, we could have gone around the world twice!"
  37. Hannah Jackson - Hannah J Jewellery, UK

    FRIEND "In 2013 sadly my best friend Becky passed away. Her sisters asked me to create personalised memorial jewellery, which was an honour but I didn't have an engraving machine. I am physically disabled and hand engraving is out of the question, so I found the perfect machine: my Roland Metaza MPX-90 impact engraver. I hope to partner with a cancer charity that helped put a smile on my friend Becky's face."
  38. BEEcycle logo

    Kenneth Cheung - BEEcycle Ltd, UK

    BEAUTIFUL "We create personalised gifts for weddings and corporates, using a Roland VersaUV LEF-20. One of my favourites was a beautiful botanical design from a customer, which we printed onto a glass frame as a gift for her on the same day. We then laser-cut her name on it to create a beautifully designed personalised frame."
  39. Emese Törőcsik - Rebel Grafikai Stúdió Kft, Hungary

    DEDICATION "Soon after we bought our Roland VersaCAMM VP-540 printer/cutter – Roli, as we call it – we received an order to print a 1,300sqm poster with a tight deadline. We had to print non-stop 24 hours per day, spending the last 40 hours without any sleep, but we succeeded by working together – the two of us and Roli!"
  40. Kasza Zsolt - Velence Copy, Hungary

    VINTAGE "Our print house has a 2006 Roland VS-540 printer/cutter which is a family member for us. It's a vintage piece in the living room – there's even carpet under it! Our printed products also include vintage pieces: replicas of paintings that can transform your restaurant, office or bedroom, with different materials providing unique looks."
  41. The Sign Shed logo

    Rob Haywood - The Sign Shed, UK

    EDUCATION "We tear up the traditions when it comes to health and safety education, using Roland DG printers and an online initiative to make the country's workplaces safer. Our fantastic, vibrant, hard-wearing signage is made in Yorkshire and that, paired with our commitment to customer service, has put us at the forefront of our educational field."
  42. Johnsons apparelmaster, specialising in workwear logo

    Jeni Kelly - Johnsons Apparelmaster, UK

    LEARN "In the space of two years we have gone from setting up a new department to producing 85,000 badges a month. I had to learn how to use the Roland VersaUV LEC-540 printer/cutters and VersaWorks software, as well as setting up the design department and helping the team to learn new skills. We've been inspired to push the capabilities of the printers and expand the work we can offer."
  43. Louie Balko - Yakobs Ram, Sweden

    SPEED "I started a print company with my father 13 years ago. Our first printer was the Roland SP-540 printer/cutter; since then we have owned seven Roland printers and now have 13 employees. We are famous in our city for creating almost anything at lightning speed, all thanks to our Roland printers. The secret to our success is using the best systems working at high speeds, reliably."
  44. Adam Wilson - Classic Transfers, UK

    CLASSIC "We are the market leaders for high-quality transfers and decals for vintage and veteran motorcycles of all ages, printed on a Roland ColorCAMM PC-600 – a classic itself at over 18 years old! Its ability to print gold, silver and chrome cartridges makes it perfect for reproducing transfers to look like the classic gold-leaf originals. Our work is supplied globally on a daily basis.."
  45. Matthew Syddall -  Stands Out, UK

    REDUCE "We produce high-quality point-of-sale stands for tourist attractions and retailers across the globe. Our Roland VersaCAMM VS540i allows us to tailor every stand to the customer's own needs, something that in the past would have been prohibitively expensive. We can also repurpose any stand within minutes which has had a significant ecological impact on our business."
  46. Alex Liggett - The Vinyl Guys, UK

    GROW "Four years ago I bought equipment to make stickers for a race car I was building. I hadn't intended it to grow into a vehicle graphics business as I already had a busy full-time career, but now I have a Roland SG-540 printer/cutter, a 950sq/ft installation centre and bookings months ahead. My plan is to leave my full-time job and concentrate solely on my print business."
  47. Lucy Higgins - INDIBIKE GRAPHICS, UK

    ENTHUSIAST "Being a total mountain bike enthusiast I created some custom stickers for my own bike and, upon posting photos of them on my own social media, I had a fast-incoming stream of enquiries. After three years of painstakingly die-cutting graphics I managed to obtain a Roland BN-20 and have gone from strength to strength ever since."
  48. Simon James - Elite Signs & Graphics Ltd, UK

    FAMILY "We're a family business and our Roland printers are part of our family. Two generations of our family work together to deliver something even better than our customers ask for, at no additional cost. We're renowned for it. My father and uncle relied on Roland technology from day one to make that happen and we continue to do so today."
  49. Maisha logo

    Paula María Conejo - Maisha, Spain

    LOVE "I love the versatility and precision of our Roland cutting equipment. Roland systems never cease to amaze me with their exceptional results -they offer us speed, precision, quality and, most importantly, confidence. And, by travelling to see the newest Roland innovations, I met the love of my life."
  50. Max Model logo

    Massimo Marchi & Letizia Mattei - Max Model, Italy

    DETAIL "The Roland VersaUV's ability to print UV gloss in layers to create textures means that we have succeeded in creating a product that we call 3D. It's a great detail that, combined with its versatility and reliability, has allowed us to become a leader in the modelling industry."