Digital print is disrupting the décor industry

Discover which trends are driving change in digital print for décor applications. Read more here.


The emerging opportunities for PSPs in décor

Digitally-printed interior décor is transforming the spaces we live, work and play in. Find out more about the opportunities this opens up for Print Service Providers.

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Digitally printed lightshade featuring cyclists

The power of digitally printed décor

Print Service Providers (PSPs) aiming to find new revenue streams may already have their sights on décor as an opportunity where they can capitalise on existing production capabilities. Décor has been a talking point in print for some time, but the last two years in particular have increasingly seen aspiration become reality.

FESPA’s 2018 Print Census reports that 74% of respondents from the global print community identify wallpaper and decorative prints as an area offering consistent growth. According to FESPA’s insight, supported by marketing intelligence organisation Infotrends, décor is set to keep growing in the foreseeable future, gradually maturing into a multi-billion Euro segment.

This growth is powered by ongoing developments in digital printing technology that enable PSPs to capitalise on a number of emerging trends.

Canon customer The Window Film Company manually cutting printed materials with wall mural in the background

The possibilities of digital

PSPs are always looking for innovative ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create additional value for their customers. Yet despite the possibilities of digital, the adoption of the technology among businesses specialising in the production of interior décor applications is still low when compared to the opportunity it provides. Digital offers designers and their suppliers freedom that was not previously available with analogue printing techniques. With no need to print large volumes at a time, risk is significantly reduced, allowing more room for designers to experiment and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Flatbed and wide format inkjet printers in particular have played a significant role in the evolution of interior décor. The latest elevated printing solutions enable décor service providers to print multiple layers on a single substrate to obtain printed effects that mimic textured surfaces, embossing, metallic accents and raised lettering.

A Bugatti sign printed using Canon’s Touchstone technology

Unlocking creative potential

The disruptive power of digitally printed décor is being felt across the retail, corporate, home and hospitality segments. For interior architects, digital print is capable of unlocking vast creative and commercial potential. There are invaluable collaborative opportunities for designers to collaborate with PSPs and specialist technology providers, helping them to bring environments to life with digitally printed décor applications in ways they may have never imagined.

For example, Norwegian interiors brand Dusty used wide format printing technologies to transform photographic images of heritage interiors into a printable wallpaper pattern design and product range. Co-founder Jorunn Tharaldsen says: “We’re just scratching the surface in terms of all the possibilities with digital print and tapping into new customer markets we didn’t even know about.”

A room set displaying a wealth of digitally printed interior décor applications by Canon customer Dusty

Moving towards mass customisation

One area that sets digital aside from analogue printing is customisation, a macro trend which is shaping many industries.

“There is a marked increase in self-expression among consumers, with more people wanting to distance themselves from homogenised designs and instead opt for something that is ultimately more reflective of their character,” explains Marcus Timson, co-founder of the InPrint and Pure Digital events. “This behaviour is also permeating throughout the world of home décor, which presents an invaluable opportunity for PSPs.”

Today it is possible to customise digitally printed décor applications – such as wallpaper, murals, canvas fine art and photo prints – to individual requirements for any interior environment. This enables retail, corporate and hospitality brands and their designers to be dynamic and meet evolving consumer expectations. The flexibility of the latest printing technology means that interior spaces can now be custom designed and easily updated using a range of printed graphics and surface décor techniques, creating the opportunity to refresh and update interiors inexpensively within reduced timeframes.

Digitally printed kitchen units

Social media shapes décor

Another trend that should not be overlooked is the role that social platforms are playing in creating demand for dynamic interiors. As digital users, we’re heavily influenced by online images when shortlisting places to visit, which is why platforms like Facebook and Instagram are increasingly powerful in driving customers to hotels and restaurants.

“There is a strong link between décor and social media,” highlights Marcus Timson. “As we live in the age of sharing, leisure and hotel environments are reimagining their spaces to make them more visually appealing for customers to share on their profiles.”

Some within the print industry believe that bespoke products will become the norm, which would amplify digital print’s role in interior design even further.

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