Out of all the different disciplines—or types of printing products—in the graphics arts industry, I think wide-format is the sexist, the one that’s the easiest for the general public for which to relate, and has the largest opportunity to impact the general public’s everyday lives.
No, I haven’t been nipping at the holiday eggnog, so stay with me here.
When you look at the types of products produced in the graphics arts industry, the majority of them are used for marketing, promotional, and/or informational purposes. Think about the all the things which are printed these days. Direct mail. Posters. Business cards. Building wraps. Financial reports. Fleet graphics. Transpromo. Banners. Marketing collateral.
Yes, I mentioned several wide-format products in that list, but you have to admit that everything listed there is pretty basic and would fit the above description.
But now, let’s talk about the side of wide-format that isn’t all about marketing or promotion or information. Interior design. Textiles. Fashion design. Environmental graphics. All of these are more about personal image, personal taste, and personalization—but on an individual level.
Take for instance, décor printing. Right now it’s a small niche within the market, but according to industry experts—and some PSPs already serving that market—it has some of the greatest potential for profits for savvy PSPs who can navigate the waters.
You know as well as I do, that the new wide-format digital printing technologies enable PSPs to print on just about anything from leather to fabric to glass and plastic and wood, allowing them to create just about anything—from furniture and lampshades to wallpaper, various textiles and fabric.
The stumbling block I see right now is that interior designers and fashion designers alike don’t really know the potential digital printing can give them. You can see glimpses of it here and there. I’ve seen some of them on the “reality” television shows like “Project Runway” where designers had to design their own textile which would be printed on an HP printer and then they’d create their garment out of that textile. HGTV has showcased some basic custom wallpaper applications via several designers. Another example could be Fatheads, “the brand of the fan”. The company has made wide-format wall graphics easily accessible to the public.
While it may seem like the B-to-B market is a little bit saturated, the B-to-C market is ripe for the picking—so to speak. Can you address the growing market of consumers—not businesses—who can use your products to enrich their lives—and maybe their homes?
Certainly food for thought.