Wide format print in the interior décor sector is becoming big business. Driven by constant advances in printhead technology, inks, substrates and materials, inkjet has begun to capture the imagination of all those serving the sector. Designers, architects and specifiers are all opening their minds to the huge possibilities that wide format print can offer this exciting market, pushing the creative boundaries to produce truly innovative applications in the process.
Interior décor – be that at a domestic or commercial level – has always been about creatively reflecting the personality of either the property owner or the occupying brand in a retail, leisure, hospitality or office space. Now, with the ability to customise virtually any surface with print, this has taken ‘reflection of personality’ to a whole new level. Designers and architects understand the role print can play in this and it excites them. Home owners and brands don’t have to choose something that is the closest to what they envisaged, they can have exactly what they envisaged – from customised walls and panels to floor coverings, furniture and artwork. They can have the exact design, colour palette and format they want it, fitted perfectly to the space: all personalised, bespoke and beautiful.
The introduction of the first UV flatbed printer in 2000 was enthusiastically welcomed by many in the industry, capturing their imaginations and presenting them with interesting business opportunities in new market sectors. It took some time for the quality to catch up with the enthusiasm but it’s now arrived, and the results are stunning. Go into most newly-fitted stores today and there will invariably be a range of interior décor products that have been printed using wide format technology. And the domestic décor market is not far behind – type ‘personalised wallpaper’ into Google and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Whether it is printing on card or paper, wood or glass, aluminium, metal, plastics or tiles – we’re still only just scratching the ‘surface’ of what inkjet can print on. All this presents entrepreneurial printers and signmakers with a great opportunity to enter a dynamic and highly creative growth market with healthy margins. Leading wide format equipment manufacturers have long seen the potential in this sector and continue to introduce new high performance production platforms.
The big names in the wide format printing industry offer an extensive portfolio of roll-to-roll and flatbed machines that produce an increasingly diverse range of décor applications with a level of quality that exceeds even the highest standards of this demanding market. Collaboration has also played a key part in wide format’s success here. Hardware, software, ink and substrate manufacturers frequently work closely together to develop new compatible products, recognising that it is in their best interests to see this new market flourish.
Walking around FESPA 2015 this week tells you all you need to know about inkjet’s opportunities and its potential in the interior décor sector. Big and small exhibitors alike have committed more of their stand space and talking more about it, and the new Printeriors showcase running alongside FESPA 2015 is giving visitors a real taste of print’s potential in this area.
Inkjet’s inherent flexibility means it will play a key role in transforming this highly creative and lucrative sector. It is not just a credible alternative to existing technologies, it’s a genuine game changer, which is thrilling for both the décor and print industry.