Published February 27, 2015
Published February 25, 2015
Improving technology is causing some wide-format applications to experience that dreaded word “commoditization.” How can print providers fight against it? Can they? Or—most importantly—should they?
Published February 19, 2015
Capacity management has proven to be a challenge for many wide-format print businesses, especially as many jobs are specialized or customized in some way. What are the ways that shops are coping with this “pain point”?
Published February 17, 2015
As you may have read elsewhere on WhatTheyThink, last week, CSA—né Océ—celebrated its second anniversary with a much-needed (for those of us encased in the frozen tundra of the Northeast) event in Boca Raton, Fla. CSA execs shared updates in the various business groups (Enterprise Managed Services Division, formerly Business Services Division; Large Format Solutions; and Production Printing Division).
Published February 11, 2015
Technical printing—graphics that serve the architectural, engineering, and construction markets—has been changing in both positive and negative ways, and “reprographics” shops are changing with the times. And it’s not always just about the equipment.
Published February 6, 2015
There has been a surge of growth in what are called “large-format wine bottles.” Magnums, essentially (or would that be “magna”?), or wine bottles greater than 750ml. Indeed, popular sizes include 1.5 liters, 3 liters, and 6 liters. Now, obviously, some of these are intended for parties and other events with large gatherings, not a quiet romantic dinner for two, lest it descend into drunken anarchy (which depends on your approach to dating, I guess).
Published January 28, 2015
How do you decide what kinds of wide-format or specialty printing products and services to add to your current mix? You can jump into a new niche application as a newbie, or organically expand into new directions. As it turns out, there is no right answer—but plenty of wrong ones.
Published January 28, 2015
I was talking with the owner of a sign shop recently, and we got to talking about new technologies that sign and display companies were starting to utilize—I was thinking specifically of EFI’s SmartSign Analytics—but he happened to mention other new technologies such as “smart fitting rooms” whereby sensors in a clothing retailer’s fitting room mirror track RFID tags on the clothing you brought in to try on and suggests accessories or complementary items. Sound creepy? It does a bit, doesn’t it?
Published January 23, 2015
About 15 years ago—give or take—in a monthly humor column I wrote at the time for the late, lamented Micro Publishing News, I proposed the idea of a drive-through wide-format printer for vehicle graphics.
Published January 15, 2015
As I was planning the 2015 editorial calendar for our Wide-Format section, I began by drawing up a list of topics that I had covered, topics that were heavily featured at trade shows like SGIA and ISA, and topics tend to get covered elsewhere in the industry press. And aside from the basic technological topics like “Roll-to-Roll Printers,” “Flatbeds,” “Finishing,” and so forth, the majority of the subject matter was on specific applications—and applications that were all over the map (and some even included maps!).
Published January 14, 2015
Web-to-print is not a new technology, but despite its many advantages, when evaluating solutions, be sure to ask some specific wide-format questions.
Published January 9, 2015
New year’s resolutions are ephemeral things. January 2, for example, is a kind of Black Friday for gyms and fitness centers, but by the end of the month, the crowds have returned to normal.
Published January 7, 2015
In today’s wide-format market, flatbed printers are all the rage and, for certain applications, deservedly so. But the earliest wide-format printers were all rollfed (or roll-to-roll) devices, and it wasn’t until the early 2000s that flatbeds existed as a product category. Flatbeds emerged to take time and materials out of the “print-then-mount” process; after all, why not just print directly on the surface you want the graphic?
Published December 17, 2014
2014 has been a year of incremental—but substantial—improvements in wide-format systems. These improvements are creating ever more opportunities in a variety of applications. Here’s what to keep an eye on in 2015.
Published December 10, 2014
Epson’s beachwear “fashion show” highlights the possibilities of digital dye-sublimation fabric printing, and how it could change fashion design.
Published December 3, 2014
With a little research, a clearly defined strategy, and fast, high-quality wide-format printing equipment, Phoenix, Ariz.’s Rapid Digital Press has carved out a successful niche in map and GIS printing applications, and is now poised for growth.
Published November 19, 2014
Mimaki’s 25-city road show includes hands-on product demonstrations and educational presentations that highlight new features of, and top applications enabled by, today’s wide-format printing equipment. Here is a report from one stop on the tour.
Published November 5, 2014
The SGIA Expo was about more than just new hardware—new substrates were also on display, as well as what keeps the hardware productive: color management, production, and RIPing software.
Published October 29, 2014
SGIA Expo exceeded virtually everyone’s expectations. In Part 1 of our show coverage we look at some of the major hardware introductions.
Published October 15, 2014
For those of us who cover wide-format and specialty graphics printing, the biggest show of the year is the SGIA Expo, coming up next week in Las Vegas. It can be tough, travel being what it is, to muster enthusiasm for far-flung trade events, but there is a great deal of value in getting out of the office and attending these kinds of shows. So in this “listicle,” here are the top seven reasons I am looking forward to next week’s show.
Published October 8, 2014
One day prior to the SGIA Expo, Roland DGA is launching their inaugural ImagiNATION 2014 user group conference, designed as an information exchange for owners and operators of Roland’s wide-format printing equipment.
Published September 24, 2014
Graph Expo 2014 kicks off on Sunday. Every year, wide-format becomes a more conspicuous and important part of the show. Here is a rundown of some of the things you can look forward to on the show floor.
Published September 10, 2014
Dynamic digital signage (DDS) is being touted as a hot opportunity for sign shops and other wide-format service providers. But where does one start? And how can digital complement print signage?
Published August 27, 2014
The first-generation Memjet-based devices have hit the market, and have helped wide-format inkjet conquer the speed challenge. What will second-gen Memjet look like?
Published August 20, 2014
Creating a printing business that can cope with a changing market for print and that is “future-focused”—is imperative as we hurtle toward 2020. If you’re a wide-format printer, you may be halfway there—but that’s no excuse for complacency.