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There Goes the Neighborhood: How To Cope with Commoditization in Wide-Format Printing

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?


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About Richard Romano

Richard Romano is Managing Editor of WhatTheyThink | Printing News & Wide-Format & Signage.  He curates the Wide Format section on WhatTheyThink.com. He has been writing about the graphic communications industry for more than 25 years. He is the author or coauthor of more than half a dozen books on printing technology and business. His most recent book is “Beyond Paper: An Interactive Guide to Wide-Format and Specialty Printing.


By Alan Roberts on Feb 25, 2015

Hopefully the industry is starting to get smarter and more business savvy and not let another product and service in our industry get commoditized. It's not the cost of producing a banner or poster. There is lots of value add attached to this business and if we are all smart, we won't give that value away for the betterment of all that are making considerable investments in technology and infrastructure


By paul lattimore on Feb 26, 2015

While I agree with Alan, there is so much of this "race to the bottom" that appears to be in the DNA of most in this industry. From the vendor side, we see it every day.

We hold conferences,leadership summits, sales training events, etc... will your teams take advantage of those sessions? DscoopX (www.dscoopx.org)is a perfect example of where the HP user group, will bring over 2000+ people, over 100+ educational tracks along with over 100+ partners in one conference to help facilitate & stop the commoditization.

Will you be part of this?


By Dennis Killion on Mar 06, 2015

Just as in Commercial Print, there is a natural progression for an increasingly savy print buyer to strip-out value-add costs were its not needed and put pressure on the price of commodity applications. Unlike Commercial Print however, Wide Format Print is enabling a growing number of high-value, innovative application that aren't as fungible (I like that word). I have seen wide format inkjet printed Wall Murals, Building Wraps, Customized Flooring, Lamp Shades, Casino Walls, Gym Mats ... to name just a few. Wide Format seems to be a place were there are still rewards for those who can supliment commodity with creativity.



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