Back in 1980, Richard Hayes and Erik Pordes, with some 20 years’ experience in book production, found themselves unemployed. Needing to feed their families, they decided to set up a business to offer their skills and services to publishers. Both had extensive experience with manufacturing sources in Europe, but it was their knowledge and understanding of the Far East – at that time, a relatively rare asset – that gave them their point-of-difference.
It is hard to remember that at that time the personal computer was in its infancy – indeed it was another two years before Imago bought its first computers (green type on a black screen). The fax machine was not yet commercially available, Bill Gates had yet to dream of Windows and Steve Jobs had only just moved out of his garage. Communication with overseas suppliers was via punched-tape-driven telex, Excel didn’t exist and email would not arrive for almost another 10 years.