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GAMIS: Digital Color Wide Format Printing Has Been Fastest Growth in the Industry

Press release from the issuing company

ALEXANDRIA, VA (January 17, 2003) — The Graphic Arts Marketing Information Service (GAMIS), a special interest group of the Printing Industries of America, Inc. (PIA), recently completed a study entitled A Study and Analysis of Digital Color Wide Format Printing. The research was conducted for GAMIS by PrintCom Consulting Group, Waxhaw, NC. According to Bill Lamparter, president of PrintCom and lead researcher on the study team, "This market is just a little over 10 years old, but is the most diverse and fastest growing segment of the graphic arts industry." The study reports that at the end of 2001 the value of products produced on wide format equipment in the U.S. and Canada was estimated between $8.8 billion and $10 billion in retail sales value. After growing between 50% and 200% for the first ten years, with the economic slowdown and the terrorist activities, this market is now on a growth hiatus. However, it is expected to return to a growth sector by the end of 2003. Projections conclude that digital color wide format printing will enjoy an annual growth rate of 7.5% through 2006. Primary markets/applications for digital color wide format printing are signs, banners and posters including point-of-purchase signage, vehicle graphics, billboards, and art reproduction. Sign specialists or quick printers/copy shops do much of this type of work. In the commercial printing environment the principle application is proofing. Most commercial printers have not recognized the equipment’s capabilities to produce sellable end products. In many instances they are producing advertising materials, sell sheets or trade show literature, but the related signs or point-of-purchase displays are printed elsewhere -- a missed opportunity for the printer. PrintCom estimates that the installed base for graphic arts applications is 45,200 units. They estimate there are an additional 150,000 units installed in ‘hidden markets’ (non-graphic arts) producing engineering, architecture, construction, mapping, and technical documents. The study concludes that the digital color wide format printing business is big and growing and opportunities abound for printers as well as manufacturers. The technology is relatively new and in a continuous state of improvement from inks, coatings, and substrates to things like color management implementation. The study was recently distributed to all members of GAMIS. If you would like membership information contact Jackie Bland, GAMIS Executive Director at (703) 519-8179. Membership information is also available at www.gamis.org.