John, who died peacefully in hospital on 17 September, was a former European agent for Vutek and is credited with taking on the first 5m-wide machine, used to launch Macro Art, which is based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, back in 1991.

Finance manager John Rozmus said: “He never stood still and believed you had to constantly look for the next market and the latest technology. He believed you had to move forward to survive. This helped us develop rapidly and we now have more than 70 staff and four 5m solvent machines.

“But he wasn’t heavy handed; John motivated by his good nature, he cajoled people and many regarded him as a father figure. He always got the best out of people and will be very sadly missed.”

John’s wife Gretchen is finance director and helped him create Macro Art after identifying a niche for providing wide-format print to the billboard market. At that time a typical backlit 96 sheet would take eight hours to print at 18dpi.

A company spokesman said: “Much has changed over the past 20 years, technology improved and each time it did John re-invested in faster, better machines making Macro Art one of the leading suppliers of large format print in the UK. John would always look five years ahead.

“Due to this foresight Macro Art now occupies a large business park with four 5m UV machines and four 3m dye sublimation machines, over seventy staff and a host of specialist and finishing equipment.

“John worked right up to a few days before he passed, always working, talking about new ventures, sending emails at 2am in the morning. This is the way he was and the way he will be fondly remembered. The industry has lost a great ambassador.”