Innovation in large format digital printing

Historically, the printing sector has not been a very innovative sector. The most significant change was undoubtedly the shift from traditional printing, such as offset printing or screen printing, to digital printing. This was the most important turning point for the sector, which divided and transformed the field of graphic arts. Once the digital printing technology was implemented and assimilated, the large format printing niche saw a great opportunity for growth, improving production times in almost all production phases. In the following article we talk about the main trends in the large format digital printing sector, compiled by media and sector studies.

Table of Contents:

Latest innovations and trends in the sector

Large-format printing is booming and the demand for customized products is increasing thanks to digital printing. In the past, the cost of implementing short-run printing with traditional printing methods was very high. Digital printing, on the other hand, allows you to start short runs at much lower costs.

This is a time when customers are looking for services and products tailored to their needs. Customers are willing to pay up to 20% more for personalized services according to a Deloitte study. As Marta Fraile, Marketing Director at Roland DG Iberia, remarks, the implementation of strategies adapted to the customer's needs increases profit margins..

According to the data provided, we can confirm that one of the trends in digital printing is to customize the services in order to meet the demand. According to a survey conducted at FESPA 2015, the sector is motivated to invest in new products because it wants to expand its range of services.

Banner Printing, the sector with the most innovation

The use of outdoor advertising banners to cover buildings is booming. This becomes evident when seeing cities like Madrid, covered to a large extent by large-format banners, which are stunning and impressive.

Such is the case of the banner developed by VSA Comunicación for Ford Ecosport, a majestic location in Plaza España(Madrid-SPAIN) that was awarded the Guinness World Record for the world's largest billboard with 5,264 square meters.

For marketing departments, being able to rely on banner display campaigns in events or in crowded cities is an opportunity to success. For that reason, the proliferation of musical festivals and the professionalization of local parties, for instance, generate new market niches for the printing workshops. You can check out our banner display solutions here.

Textile Printing for decoration and advertising

Textile printing allows to work with lightweight materials, high quality, long durability and easy handling for transport and assembly. The technique allows to get a result with high quality colors and contrasts.

Decorative banners are high visual impact solutions, and the advertising sector is beginning to use them as an option to personalize corporate spaces, trade fair stands, or signs illuminated by LED light boxes. Without a doubt, it is a sector to keep in touch with.

Car wrapping, sign making and self-adhesive films

Advertising has found an ideal space to create eye-catching campaigns indoors and outdoors. The adaptation to spaces such as shopping centers allows for the flexibility of having printed materials that adapt to architectural elements, especially in the case of self-adhesive films.

The increasingly powerful car wrapping technique is a method whose results are as hard as painting and can be polished in case of scratches. It is undoubtedly a new trend that allows for the customization of vehicles, either in a single color or with advertising motifs. It is in this last case where digital printing plays a fundamental role.

Finally, like the other techniques, signage has great potential for graphic innovation. In all three cases, beyond a transformation of the technically based sector, the innovations are evident in the graphics used.

In PLASTGrommet we have the best sign making tools for the correct application of vinyl, such as squeegees or scrapers that are used to apply the vinyl on several surfaces.

Marathon, recommended by Avery Denninson for the application of their Conform Chrome vinyl.

Finishing Solutions for Large Format Digital Printing

Finishing departments continue to use rather manual procedures in print shops. In many cases, they often result in a bottleneck in production.

According to the study conducted by WhatTheyThink's magazine, specialized in the sector, which analyzes the macroeconomic trends of 2018, it has been demonstrated that the number one priority of investment will be in equipment for finishing and binding workshops. It is considerably different from the next investment motivation, which would be the implementation of automation software.

From these characteristics of the sector, one of the clearest innovations is in the automation of finishes. In PLASTGrommet we adapt to the needs of the market, so our research and development department is focused on developing the best automated systems for digital print finishing.

This is the case with the eyelet placing systems, which allow to reduce the production times, leading to the synchronization of the finishing department with other more agile phases. In addition, industrial systems such as Roll2Roll include touch screen software to make the operator's job easier.

Challenges of Large Format Digital Printing

Reducing costs and delivery times will continue to be the industry's most striking challenge. As the trend towards fast short-run printing and production of small quantities consolidates, it requires more investment in equipment and training to enable controlled production.

As we have seen, the finishing department is usually the bottling and overproduction point of print shops. Therefore, another trend to highlight is the automation of workflows to achieve agile and efficient production models.

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