Editor's Note: Customize & Personalize

I have to admit I spend a lot of time watching HGTV. I love to see what people can do to personalize and customize their homes. It might only be a paint color on the wall or the placement of art and furniture, but it’s that unique touch that really turns a house into a home.

Maybe that’s why I really enjoy learning about what print service providers have been doing with wide-format digital technology in this market segment. Industry experts point to interior and décor printing as one of the niche markets that will offer some of the highest growth margins—and it’s all linked to personalization and customization. And this market segment is not limited to business-to-business contacts, but merges quite well into the business-to-consumer markets as well.

We’ve probably all seen some of the ads—on television and in consumer magazines—for companies that can create life-size wall stickers of a child or pet or whatnot. It’s not that much different than any other wide-format graphics printed on an adhesive-backed media, is it? While it may involve more complex cutting paths, many PSPs might be overlooking this B2C revenue.

But with the current crop of technology on the market today, the amount of customization that can be done in any interior space is nearly limitless. What can PSPs create? Custom wallpaper patterns. Custom textiles for upholstery. Lamp shades. Fabric for drapes, curtains, pillows, tablecloths, and blankets. Digitally-printed window blinds and shades. Custom ceramic tile backsplashes. Dye-sublimated ceramic sink basins. Wood flooring. Ceiling tiles. Additionally, limited edition digitally-printed art can be produced for the walls. If you add in work spaces, you can add custom cube divider walls, digitally-printed glass walls or specialty media that mimics etched-glass or tinting. In some ways, it’s almost like we’ve reached a point in time that nearly anything—as long as it fits under the print head—can be used as a substrate to create some really fantastic products.

I think design savvy PSPs can take advantage of the opportunities this market segment presents—and reap large rewards in terms of profits.