I know I’ve probably mentioned this a few times already, but I’ll mention it again. I’m an HGTV junkie. I love watching House Hunters and Yard Crashers and all of the design shows. It puts me in the mood to go out and buy a nail gun or some power tools—but then I stop and consider: what would I actually do with them? Knowing my luck, I would end up injuring myself or someone else during my weekend DIY project.
But it still doesn’t stop me from watching copious amounts of HGTV and dreaming of all the things I could do with power tools and digital wide-format inkjet equipment. I’ve always contended that when you consider the advances in ink technology, inkjet print heads, and digital inkjet hardware, PSPs in cooperation with interior designers have a vast opportunity to create customized, personalized environments—and pull a pretty nice profit in the process.
I mean, at this point in time, there’s not a lot that can’t be produced using the digital printing process. We can create upholstery fabrics. We can print on various types of high-end fabrics for draperies and curtains. UV flatbed printers give us the opportunity to print on doors, wood, tabletops, ceramic tiles, and glass. There are even specific industrial inkjet printers and processes that can be used to create custom products with certifications for use in buildings. With the use of dye-sub inks and transfer paper for hard surfaces, you can even “print” onto unusual surfaces like sinks. Carpet printing, while not extremely common, is also possible. How about wallpaper? It’s probably one of the easier things for a PSP to consider creating since they’re already accustomed to printing on rolls of substrates.
Clients still tend to believe that custom items are costly, must come in large quantities, and take a long time to produce. With digital technology, those things are no longer true. One caveat: designers working outside the industry may have great ideas and concepts but must be taught how the printing process works, particularly when it comes to repeats and scale.
Are you ready to be the expert in this market and educate your interior designers about the possibilities and the limitations of digital technology? Make sure to check out the article starting on page 14 of this issue.
Are you already creating some awesome projects? Drop me a line and let me know—and make sure you send pictures—and even video, if you have it! I’d love to see the work you're doing. It might inspire me to actually buy that power tool.