Textured effects are taking over

The rise of wide format printing

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Embracing wide format printing

Embracing wide format printing

There’s been a recent surge of interest in using new wide format printing techniques to add value to digital designs, whether that’s for graphics, signage, posters or even décor. Unsurprisingly, it’s come at a time when the market’s price-per-meter costs have dropped, leading organizations to seek out new methods and materials to create unique printed collateral.

This popularity is reflected in recent statistics that show how the large format printing market in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMA) has been growing year-on-year, with shipment value in 2017 hitting $305 million.

Wide format printing first rose to prominence in the early 1990s, when digital fine art photography suddenly became more accessible to the masses. However, the technology was expensive to maintain and prints weren’t able to survive a lengthy period of time without significant fading.

After decades of innovation, modern wide format printers are now highly advanced devices and can be found in many organizations. Most importantly, the technology is incredibly dependable, and with new techniques like textured effects, there is a diverse range of application opportunities across all industries.

Blending art and marketing

Blending art and marketing

Textured printing can add superior value to print projects, and in previous years there’s been plenty of experimentation with digital flatbed technology to achieve just that. But until recently there were always the challenges of consistency, quality control and cost. After all, the way textured effects work is by ‘building up’ layers of ink to create a three-dimensional ‘depth’ to the images – a complex printing solution that demands high-quality hardware.

But this point of difference in the printing world is what makes it so popular – and the possibilities of its application are seemingly endless. Already agencies are using the technology to fulfill commissions as varied as braille signage for zoos, to tactile comic art prints on materials like aluminum, to cheaper art reproductions for museums and arthouses.

Textured effects are able to blur the line between art and marketing even further, adding a unique point of difference to advertising materials and providing consumers with an ‘a-ha’ moment that traditional signage is rarely able to elicit.

Textured printing is only the beginning, and in the future we will likely see its applications spread beyond marketing, design and art and into new sectors. For educators, in particular, there is the opportunity to provide visually impaired students with tactile printed materials that bring images to life – allowing them to feel shapes and forms on a piece of paper.

Textured effects for business

Textured effects for business

When customers seek out a printing solution, they not only want a high-quality product at a cost-effective price, but they increasingly desire the ‘wow’ factor. Textured effects can do exactly that, which is why more and more businesses are seeking out wide format printers with that capability.

Certainly there is a growing demand for printed materials that meet the needs of those who are visually impaired, but textured printing offers so many other avenues for success. The tactile sensation of textured commercial graphics can set printed materials apart from traditional designs. Businesses can also use textured effects to create customized packaging for their products, delivering a unique and memorable product for their customers.

And of course there is a growing market for premium decorative materials that can be reproduced at a much lower cost – but that still retain the high-quality look, feel and durability of the original.

Organizations that offer wide format print services now have the capacity to take their offering to the next level with textured effects. As prices drop and more customers seek out their unique point of difference in their printed products, we may see textured effects become the new norm in commercial printing.

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