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Creating an Artful Room

Explore new and profitable opportunities with digital wallcoverings.



SOME MIGHT SHY AWAY from a blank canvas and the enigma that emptiness creates. But for those with the creative capacity to think outside of conventional borders, all it takes is the right tools to produce a truly customized tapestry of impressions.

It’s no different in the interior décor space where possibilities are plentiful, and opportunity is endless. The boom in urbanization, skyrocketing demand for digital technology, and increasing expenditure on infrastructural activities has propelled digitally printed wallpaper into a market that is expected to reach $10.43 billion by 2025 — the largest area of growth within the interior décor market — according to a report from Energias Market Research. This marketplace is transitioning from classic analog wallpaper technologies to highly capable wide-format digital printing technology that excels at short and customized runs.

However, before delving into the options available, certain factors demand careful consideration. The modern marketplace counts on PSPs to deliver premium, luxurious-looking interior décor productions with dynamic color depth, distinctive embellishments, unconventional patterns, and abstract designs. Along with these features, the technology implemented clearly must meet the environmental needs of the commercial market in highly sensitive settings such as hospitals, schools, and other public places.

Embellishments can take your creative endeavors a step further by generating a premium effect that creates higher profits.

The Quest for the “Wow” Factor

When it comes to specialty interior décor products, modern consumers seek originality and a distinct “wow factor” tailored to their spaces. Digital technology offers a vast array of creative possibilities, enabling the realization of unconventional patterns that pop, high-resolution imagery, supersized graphics and geromatrics, abstract designs, and trendy ombré effects.

Moreover, consumers aspire to extend their creative expressions without constraints, applying these distinctive style statements across diverse settings — from residential abodes to corporate domains, from chic eateries to upscale hotels.

Today’s trend-conscious customers for custom wallcoverings often seek to be seen as unique, so will request special finishes like the gloss matte on this wallpaper.

Fulfilling the Need for Speed

Furthermore, the contemporary interior design landscape demands a customer-centric approach, ensuring that wallcoverings and décor elements readily are accessible whenever inspiration strikes. With digitally printed wallcoverings, PSPs can meet the demands of rapid turnaround times and niche projects, catering to the dynamic needs of their clientele.

Not all approaches to printing wallcoverings are in sync with these trends, however. Nor do they put PSPs in a prime position to compete with (or join) the growing number of online graphics providers in this potentially profitable market space.

Continuing to use conventional approaches certainly presents myriad of challenges:

  • Cost is a key issue. High-end 3.2 m UV and latex digital presses capable of producing an exceptional level of quality are expensive to own and run. With wallpaper offset presses — in addition to a huge footprint and huge price tag — tooling is costly to produce and store, and materials have a limited shelf life.
  • Labor investments are considerable with analog approaches as well. Setup is time-consuming, and the entire production process requires constant hands-on management.
  • Color accuracy and consistency are top concerns and can cause production headaches. With conventional processes and inks, colors can be difficult to match and repeat with precision.
  • Production time makes analog processes economically unsuitable for niche projects such as custom wallcoverings. They require high-volume production with generous timelines to be practical and profitable.
  • Dimensional consistency can be a problem. Heat-based evaporative technologies for curing and drying can lead to media stretching or deforming.

In contrast, digital technologies offer a compelling solution, albeit with trade-offs between quality and productivity. While higher-quality print modes ensure precision and image fidelity, they often entail slower output speeds, compromising efficiency.


Quality vs. Productivity

Décor applications are subjected to close scrutiny, so they demand precision image reproduction, smooth output with no banding, and excellent repeatable color in addition to color and geometric consistency across the printed image and from panel to panel. But with existing digital and inkjet technologies, using higher-quality print modes to achieve top-caliber output necessitates a dramatic slowdown in output speed.

Production speed can be a key limitation for prevailing digital technologies. With latex and eco-solvent inkjet systems, dot gain/coalescence limits the volume of ink that can be laid down at one time, requiring more passes to achieve the desired image quality. The only options are to slow down the process or sacrifice quality for higher output speeds. Neither choice is ideal for delivering what today’s trend-conscious wallcoverings customers or the bottom-line demand.

Yet, there’s more to it when you dig beneath the surface. For instance, in the wallcovering space where multiple tiles are printed and installed side-by-side, strict panel-to-panel size and color consistency, along with reliable and repeatable color production over time, is critical. Dimensional stability plays a crucial role as well in ensuring panel alignment and a smooth installation process. And ink durability — from abrasion and resistance to light fastness — helps maintain a high-quality print and reduces the need for lamination, additional costs, and job delays.

When producing interior décor, using ink and media that meets customer certification requirements is a must. These requirements include GREENGUARD GOLD, ASTM Type II, ISO Odor Testing, AgBB VOC, and even Prop 65.

Beyond meeting these requirements using a system that can add embellishments such as spot gloss can differentiate your services and lock in customers. Embellishments can take your creative endeavors a step further by generating a premium effect that creates higher profits.

Below are things to think about when contemplating moving into the digital wallcovering market:

  • Media distortion can cause panels to misalign. This may be the result of heat and stretch during the printing process.
  • Color consistency resulting from printhead wear /nozzle fatigue, ink coalescence (merging) between individual ink drops, and/or lack of control over dot gain.
  • Potential requirements to use lamination or additional coatings to achieve durability requirements.
  • For more sensitive environments, GREENGUARD GOLD compliance, without listed restrictions.
  • ASTM Type II validation for proof of durability in commercial environments.
  • Ensuring equipment gives you the competitive advantage of faster turn times, and lower running costs.

In essence, while creativity forms the foundation of original productions, access to cutting-edge technology serves as the catalyst for transforming visions into reality. This is ushering in a new era of innovation and profitability in the realm of digital wallcoverings.





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