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Wide Format Commentary & Analysis
- Wide-Format: Equipment & Financial Takeaways
Dan provides a summary and his take on some of the results from a recently conducted SGIA Survey. The full survey results will be published in the SGIA report " Equipment & Financial Outlook Benchmarking Report".
- Precious Fluids: Wide-Format Inks Are Opening Up New Applications for Graphics Providers
There is, in some ways, a fundamental paradox when it comes to wide-format inks. There are more ink choices than ever, and yet for any given piece of equipment, you are generally stuck in a “one-cartridge-fits-all” situation.
- New Product Announcements at ISA 2013
Last month’s ISA show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center was a good opportunity to review the wide-format graphics market and some of the spinoff products in adjacent markets.
- The Shows Must Go On! Next Stop: FESPA London
Perched on the northern quay of the Royal Victoria Dock in the Docklands of London is the ExCel Centre, an exhibit space constructed in 2000 but retooled and overhauled for the 2012 Olympic Games, where weightlifters, fencers, boxers, and wrestlers grappled for the gold. Next month, the Centre will host competitors of a different sort.
- Efficiency & Innovation in Wide-Format
I recently had the chance to attend PIA’s annual Continuous Improvement Conference, and among the many kernels of information I left Indianapolis with was the concept that innovation and efficiency go hand-in-hand.
- Inkjet International Days
On March 19th Océ (part of the Canon Group) hosted an International Inkjet Days event at its site in Poing Germany (just east of Munich). Océ invited a group of industry analysts to see the latest enhancements to its impressive inkjet product portfolio and it offered educational sessions on inkjet technology, document security and color perception.
- With DDS, Graphics Professionals Sink Their Teeth Into Electronic Signage
The Las Vegas Strip is home to many things that you’d be hard-pressed find anywhere else—and, generally, that’s a good thing.
- Wide-Format Inkjet Printing: A Transition to Higher Utilization and Productivity
IT Strategies has just completed its 19th wide-format graphics inkjet forecast, wrapping up nearly two decades’ worth of experience into a single large Excel spreadsheet. The trends year-over-year aren’t surprising. Growth continues.
- The Countdown to the International Sign Expo Continues
We have been previewing ISA’s International Sign Expo 2013. A fortnight ago, we looked at the educational opportunities to be had, and this week we will look at but the merest handful of the offerings on the show floor.
- Wide-format Inkjet: Many Communities, One Process
Wide-format inkjet technology has become the “go to” technology for a number of traditional and non-traditional printing segments The purpose of this article is to define the differences between these segments, in general terms.
- Countdown to the International Sign Expo
The International Sign Expo, coming up April 3–6 will feature more than 500 exhibitors, more than 40 educational sessions, and ample networking opportunities, all related to the “on-premise” signage industry.
- Latex-Ink Wide-Format Graphics Printers Drive Market Growth
HP introduced its first latex-ink wide-format printer in 2008, targeting replacement of aggressive solvent printers. Since that time, HP has introduced multiple versions and the market has taken off a growth rates reflecting the beginnings of the aqueous WF industry back in 1992.
- The Grandest Printers of All
Today’s superwides, which are proliferating in terms of number of models on the market, boast much better image quality, resolution, speed, and versatility than their forebears.
- Digital Wallcoverings Transform Interior Décor
The idea of printing materials that go on walls is not exactly new. Wallpaper, posters, murals, and other items have been printed by traditional technologies for decades, if not centuries.
- Lessons from a Wide-Format Veteran
Having navigated the wide-format digital printing world for more than 20 years, Lynn Krinsky, president of Stella Color (Seattle, WA), knows a thing or two about growing and prospering in this innovative and competitive area.
- Wide Format Graphics Printing: The Numbers Speak Loud and Clear for those with the First Mover Advantage
Wide format graphics ink jet printing is entering its second decade of commercialization and is belatedly being discovered by commercial print-service-providers. The ubiquitous availability of wide format output at the consumer level is opening the door to promote wide format graphics print as an alternative to traditional advertising for small businesses.
- Moving Pictures: Vehicle Wraps Take the Wide-Format Show On the Road
A walk down the street, a drive on the highway, or a trip on mass transit today provides ample opportunities to experience one of the hottest specialty graphics growth areas: vehicle graphics. From personal vehicles with custom graphics, to commercial vans and tractor-trailers, to buses, rail cars, and even planes, fleets of all kinds are becoming more picture-esque than ever.
- If You Were a Specialty Imager
Using information from a number of surveys conducted by SGIA during 2012, I’ve put together a snapshot of a “typical” specialty imaging company. While the specialty imaging industry is highly diverse, with lots of companies doing lots of things, it is both interesting and thought-provoking to create a typical company using trends and high points from the data we’ve received.
- January Hymn: Looking Backward and Forward
Richard looks at the printing shipment trends that happened over the previous year, and provides a bit of analysis.
- Is Print the True Green Technology?
In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, becoming more “green” is one resolution that few can find fault with. Unfortunately, green printing is difficult, if not impossible, to clearly define.
- Wide Format Inkjet Graphics-Determining US Retail Pricing
I.T. Strategies surveyed Wide Format Print Converters and buyers in the US to gauge output-selling price for wide format printed output. They interviewed sellers and buyers of output produced on low-end, high-end, flat-bed and roll to roll printers, and all ink chemistries-UV, solvent, eco solvent, and latex to get a sense of current retail output prices.
- Specialty Graphics: Both Alive and Kicking
SGIA just released its Industry Pulse Benchmarking Report for the third quarter of 2012. The purpose of the report is to provide specialty imaging companies with information they can use to compare their business with the broader community.
- Applications that Stick: Magnetic Media
New developments, and at least one new system, are opening up magnetic media to entire new applications for small- and wide-format printers and installers. Vehicle graphics is one burgeoning field, as is magnetic signage, and even entire wall coverings.
- Look Into the Light: Miracle Cures On The Horizon
Richard Romano talks about UV printing from a technology standpoint, identifies where LED technology fits into the overall scheme of things, and looks to see what the future may hold for it.
- SGIA Recap: EFI Leverages New Technologies to Boost Productivity, Image Quality
Although predominantly known as a workflow company-"Fiery" is essentially synonymous with RIPing-EFI was demonstrating at SGIA a couple of weeks ago its prowess in developing wide-format hardware, with models on display that showcased two of the company's new technological developments.
- The Strength of Specialty Graphics
Behind the many accolades SGIA has received is the undeniable fact that the specialty graphics industry in general, and the wide-format digital graphics industry in particular, is the current epicenter of today’s printing industry. The purpose of this article is to define why.
- That Was the Expo That Was: SGIA Recap
Richard Romano gives a walk through of SGIA Expo-held October 18-20 in Las Vegas- where every conceivable surface and object was printed on for his enjoyment.
- Viva Las Vegas: Getting the Most Out of the SGIA Expo
This week, today, to be precise, the annual SGIA Expo kicks off at the Las Vegas Convention Center and runs October 18–20. There is a tendency in pre- and post-trade show coverage to recite a litany of vendors, products, and specifications, but one of the important things to understand about the wide-format market is that it is all about applications.
- Following the Money in Wide-Format Digital
Scanning through industry publications that cover wide-format digital markets can be a daunting task for any company just approaching this area. The purpose of this article is to focus in on the center of the wide-format digital bulls-eye, and find out the markets and products that make up a majority of the money made using this technology.
- Display Graphics on Display at Upcoming Graph Expo
The month of October brings a brace of major trade shows for the printing industry; October 7–10 brings Graph Expo, as it always does, to McCormick Place in Chicago, while October 18–20 brings the annual SGIA Expo to the Las Vegas Convention Center. WhatTheyThink will be on the prowl at both shows with video, actual written reports, and more.
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Wide-Format Printer: Learn to Think Creatively
In last week's feature, guest writer Dan Marx outlined five "essential truths" about wide-format printing, and in his introduction he mentioned that he's witnessed "a full-blown revolution: a complete movement away from old-school analog technology." Over the past several months, as I have spoken to equipment manufacturers and suppliers for these weekly features, as well as other analysts, one thing that always comes up is the fact that more and more traditional printing companies are expanding into wide-format printing
- Five Essential Truths About Wide-Format Inkjet
Dan Marx, Vice President Markets & Technologies, SGIA, draws out some "essential truths"-real kernels of wisdom-that can benefit any company looking to enter wide-format or grow their existing efforts in this area.
- Beyond Paper: New Wide-Format Substrate Options
In last week’s feature, we spoke about flatbed wide-format printers, and remarked that one of their big selling points was that they could print on a bewildering variety of materials—increasing the number of applications that creative shops could develop, the more niches shops could carve out for themselves, and the better they could serve their clients.
- Wide-Format Flatbed Printers Are On a Roll
Since the advent of the wide-format printing market in the late 1980s/early 1990s, the vast majority of the output devices on the market have been rollfed devices, printing on flexible substrates like paper or canvas that unfurled into the device, rather like a web press. The finished graphic was then often mounted onto a rigid material for display, installation, or other end use.
- Dark Clouds and Silver Linings: The Latest Economic Data May Be Gloomy...But Data are Not Destiny
This week, we’re going to take a step back from our look at the nuts and bolts of wide-format printing technology and look at the industry and the economy from “20,000 feet”—and hopefully not have a William Shatner-esque experience.
- Navigating the RIP Tide: Print Workflow Software Comes in All Shapes, Sizes, and Capabilities
Richard provides some features and issues to keep a special eye out for when looking at RIP's for wide-format printing.
- End Game: In Wide-Format Printing, Finishing is Where the Real Work Begins
Those new to wide-format printing—and even some veterans—often give short shrift to what happens to a print once it comes off press. In wide-format printing, however, the real added value is often in the finishing.
- Beyond the Pale: White Inks Offer Unique Wide-Format Challenges and Applications
Those of us used to traditional offset and digital printing rarely give the concept of white ink a second thought. After all, “white” is typically synonymous with the color of paper, so when we want something to be white, we design it with the absence of any color. (Tellingly, in Adobe InDesign, we select the color swatch labeled “Paper.”) There are situations, however, when—oxymoronic as it may seem—we need to specify the color white.
- Wide-Format Printing Presents Unique Sustainability Challenges, Opportunities
The past five years have seen an increased discussion of, and emphasis on, the idea of “sustainability.” Sustainability can refer to many things, but one of the oft-discussed components of it is environmental sustainability. That is, what is the impact of a product or process on the environment, and what are the ways of reducing that impact?
- Promoting Your Large Format Business in a Digital World
In today’s economy, getting the most out of your marketing dollars requires a smarter and more creative approach. With a little bit of creativity, wide format providers can leverage public relations, innovative Websites, networking, customer education, and social media to reach customers and grow their businesses. This analysis provides five key strategies for promoting your business.
- Looking for a Big Opportunity? Think Large Format!
Commercial printers and in-plants are adding large format capabilities, and many report that this move has enabled them to capture additional marketing dollars from new and existing customers. Large format is increasing in importance because it has become a key customer touchpoint for marketers of all sizes. This article takes a closer look at the wide format market opportunity.
- FedEx Office Expands Grand Format Business
FedEx Office recently announced that it would be accelerating investment in grand format printing services in selected centralized production centers to supplement its service offerings. The same release also reported that Boeing had selected FedEx Office as its print service provider of choice. WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talked to the company to learn more.
- Epson Launches NextGen Wide Format Printer, New Branding
Today, Epson launched its next generation, newly-branded 64” solvent printer – the SureColor S30670 is a four-color solvent printer (CMYK) using Epson UltraChrome GS2 ink. Read more.
- Latex Ink Jet Technology Goes Mainstream
Latex ink jet ink technology was introduced by Hewlett-Packard in 2008 for wide format graphics printing applications, and after an extended period of beta-testing and an economic recession it went mainstream in 2010. During the last 18 months in particular unit placements have continued to gain strength, now totaling over 10,000 placements wordwide at the end of 2011.
- SGIA: More Than Ink on Paper
SGIA was flooded with small ink, roller, blade, and other screen consumable suppliers: How do so many analog screen suppliers hang on? The simple reason: screen output remains cheap-and turnaround is fast enough.
- Making a Big Impression Trends in Large Format Printing
As we approach drupa 2012, what are the technologies we can expect to see that will drive change in the printing and publishing markets? Once again, we can expect to see a significant position for inkjet in the array of new technologies exhibitors have on display. This time, however, while there will still be a large presence in the production sector.
- Environmental Aspects of Printing Inks
As printing companies move towards environmentally friendly processes and products they must sort through the misinformation in the marketplace. This article helps to educate the printer on what to look for in printing ink.
- Print: Driving Excitement at the Point of Purchase
In June 2011, InfoTrends completed its Who Buys Wide Format? study, which was designed to collect more information about the buyers of large format products. It fostered an understanding of wide format graphics buyer requirements while also tracking changes in buying patterns since the previous study from 2009. This article discusses key findings from that study and also provides real-world examples of retailers that are interacting with consumers at the point of purchase.
- Mobile Meets Outdoor Advertising and Signage
Thanks to the internet and smart phones, as well as tools like QR codes and text messaging, one of the oldest ad media is becoming interactive. In her current article, Barb Pellow explores the interactive features that many companies are using to enhance their billboards and outdoor signage. She provides many real world examples that range from educational to purely promotional.
- IPEX – A Digital Printing Show
Based on our experiences at IPEX 2010, it’s finally looking like the mood of the industry has changed and we might be entering a period of economic growth. The event showcased developments in a variety of areas, but the greatest interest seemed to be in the rise on inkjet printing. Andy Tribute offers his thoughts.
- How to kill inkjet
IPEX 2010 affirmed that inkjet is here to stay. The show is over but the memory lingers on. There are almost 300 roll-fed production inkjet printers sold or installed in the world. And Xerox validated inkjet by showing an inkjet technology. But we could see inkjet die very quickly if suppliers and users do not re-invent the way they do business. Here's how they might fail.
- Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Printing Industry
IPEX is many things – a celebration of print, a Euro-centric gathering of major and minor vendors, a walkable show that makes it easy to enjoy the variety of offerings that compose our industry – but it’s certainly no drupa.
- A Buyer’s Guide for Inkjet Presses
This year is being seen as the real start for sales of high-speed inkjet presses. This article looks at some of the key items that need to be considered by potential buyers of these presses. This includes substrates that can used, the types of ink and the life of the print heads.
- Behind the Agfa Acquisition of Gandinnovations
We may call this “the week that was” when looking back at the stories for 2009 in our year-end review! The Monday news opened a few eyes over morning coffee. While the Canon acquisition of Océ grabbed the day’s headlines; the second story – Agfa’s acquisiton of Gandinnovations – was just as interesting.
- Moving Inkjet Technology into the Future
I have just attended the IMI European Ink Jet Printing conference in Barcelona. One tends to think that inkjet printing is something new but this was the 17th annual conference on this subject. One tends to forget just how long the inkjet technology has been around and also just how long it has been used in the graphic arts markets.
- Progress in Prepress Was a Keynote of Print 09
"Unscientific" has to be the word for our selection of exhibitors to write about in the aftermath of Print 09. Some are on the follow-up list because of pre-booked editorial appointments; others because of what we heard at media briefings during the show; and, in a couple of cases, because we were buttonholed by pouncing p.r. people as we moved past the booths, never intending to stop. But, at a show like Print 09, any reason for spending time with a vendor usually turns out to be a good one in terms of knowledge gained.
- Inkjet Printing and Light Production Printers
- "Look Around" at the Point-of-Purchase Opportunity!
- How Green is Digital Printing?
- An Update on the HP Inkjet Web Press
- An Update on the HP Inkjet Web Press
- Fujifilm’s Foray into Inkjet
- Digital Newspaper Printing – A Future Application?
- Stop the Hype, I Need to Get Off!
- Changes within HP’s Imaging & Printing Group
- “I Survived drupa ’08”: Printers and Vendors Recap the Experience
- My drupa Hot-Picks
- Super Duper Drupa
- Is this the Inkjet drupa?
- Running with the Bulls: EFI & HP
- Fujifilm – The Inkjet Company
- Color Measurement in Operation
- X-Rite with Pantone. A View of the Future
- What to Look for at drupa 2008; Part 2
- Four Months to drupa: Comments on Kodak, Screen, Xerox, Ricoh
- Kodak’s New Inkjet Strategy
- Building a Transpromo Business
- New Drop on Demand Inkjet to be a drupa Highlight
- Xerox Moves into High-Speed Color
- Agfa Graphics Emphasizes Inkjet Systems and Digital Plates at Manufacturing Center in NJ
- Meeting the Media Selection Challenge: TransPromo is the Answer
- Video Reflections: Thoughts from the WhatTheyThink.com Video Center
- Fuji Xerox Moves into High-Speed Color
- Get Used to Hearing It:
- HP's Print 2.0 and the Graphic Arts
- OEM Inkjet – A New Challenge?
- The other side of OnDemand: ISA presents the Big Growth Market: Wide Format Printing
- FREE: Moving to Another Level in Flatbed UV Printing
- FREE: It is Not an Inkjet OnDemand!
- Economy Looks Great? Experiment Time, Printing Shipments, and Information Explosion
- Trends and more trends
- Que hora es?: The State of the Printing Industry as Seen at the
- IWCO Direct: A Conversation with Jim Andersen
- Do Not Mail: Are Legislative Efforts Really Necessary?
- Decoding Greenspan, Postal Reform Landmines
- Open Systems Needed in Fast-Changing Marketplace
- Principles for Building a $100 Million Company - Interview with Mike Panaggio, CEO of DME
- FedEx Kinko’s: An Update and Interview with Brian Phillips
- Postal Reform: The Inside Scoop: A Conversation with Ben Cooper - Part 2
- Postal Reform: The Inside Scoop: A Conversation with Ben Cooper
- The EAGLE Musings: 2006 was the year that wide format digital print matured Part 2
- The EAGLE Musings: 2006 was the year that wide format digital print matured
- Fetter President Shares Story Behind Bold Shift in Strategy: A Conversation with Terry Gill
- Is Xaar for Sale? Could the Buyer’s Name Start with “A”? “K”?
- Do We Really Need Graphic Communications Education?
- FREE: EFI & Jetrion: Good Deal for EFI, Bad Deal for Flint Ink
- HP Scitex Knows What It's Doing When It Throws A Party - And When It Rolls Out Next-Generation Inkjet Technology
- With Charrette, Pitman Crosses Chasm into Display Graphics
- Workflow and Trade Shows: The Twain Will Meet at SGIA ’06
- Fespa 2006: Another Expo That Got Better by Going Digital
- The Handwriting on the Wall at the Sign Show (ISA 2006)
- Advances in Inkjet Herald New Capabilities, Broader Markets
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