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WhatTheyThink

Wide-Format & Signage

This section of WhatTheyThink focuses on emerging trends in wide-format printing. It identifies new business opportunities and provides strategic analysis of new applications, technology, and events.

Making the Connection: Software Connects the Dots for a Display Graphics Provider

What do we talk about when we talk about “software” in the context of display graphics production? When it comes to print production, and especially “workflow automation,” what we’re usually talking about is “RIP and print” software—and getting this software to talk to all the other software in the shop. Read More

Back In Black: Wide Format 2023—Six Things to Pay Attention to

Here we are in 2023, and one theme in our Fall 2022 Business Outlook Survey was that, for those print businesses that languished during COVID and its immediate aftermath, 2022 was the year they got back in the black. Still, 2022 was a challenging year in many ways. Not as challenging as 2020, thankfully, but still not an easy year to navigate, and there is no doubt that 2023 will present its own challenges—and opportunities. Here are some things to keep an eye on. Read More

Survey Says! Signage and Display Graphics in 2023

It’s that time again, time to sift through the data from our annual Business Outlook Survey for the forthcoming Printing Outlook report. As has become an annual tradition, we break out some wide-format specific data to see what trends we can quantitatively gauge. Read More

The Graying of Wide Format: Where We Stand in 2022/2023

A look back at the state of wide-format and signage in 2022—and a look ahead to 2023. Read More

Follow the Signs: Career Journeys in the Sign Industry

The visual communications industry, covering $37.5 billion in economic impact, employs over 200,000 people in America. An industry that’s attractive to creatives, it offers a long-term, rewarding career with growth potential. To mark this year’s Sign Manufacturing Day, FASTSIGNS celebrated the holiday by showcasing the longevity and excitement of a career in the industry. Read More

Appropriateness, Sustainability, and Availability: The Three Big Concerns in Choosing Signage Materials

Whether you are producing printed signage using the inkjet printing technologies we most commonly write about in WhatTheyThink, or constructing signage from traditional building materials, choosing the right material for the right job is perhaps the number-one consideration for any project. At the same time, there are two (at least) factors affecting the choice of materials for signage: availability and sustainability. Read More

It’s All About the Experience: This Year’s Digital Signage Experience Awards Finalists Transform Public Spaces

Tomorrow, the winners of the Digital Signage Experience Awards—or “DIZZIES”—will be announced, honoring the cutting edge in electronic signs and immersive multimedia experiences. Our friends at SNA Displays had their LED display technologies used by four nominees in the running. We take a look at these digital signage installations. Read More

Sign Connection—On the Horizon: Seven Tips for the Return of Events

If you attended PRINTING United last month, you know that virtually everyone is happy that live events are back. And as many of us have found out, they are not without their risks, COVID-wise. SpeedPro VP of Marketing Danielle Yuthas offers seven tips for hosting events safely and effectively. Read More

The View from the Afternoon: Wide-Format & Textiles and Labels & Packaging at PRINTING United 2022

Richard Romano and David Zwang tag-team a look at, respectively, wide-format & textiles and labels & packaging at the PRINTING United Expo 2022. Read More

A Life in Signage: FASTSIGNS Spring Hill Owner Comes Full Circle

Ross Cartwright collected signs as a kid, so it was only natural he would end up in the sign business. From local independent Cincinnati sign shop designer to FASTSIGNS corporate trainer, he has now come full circle with his acquisition of FASTSIGNS of Spring Hill, Fla.   Read More

Cannabis and Signage Regulations: Another “Wild West”

With cannabis retail locations now popping up in several states, we’re starting to see more and more signage advertising these locations and their products. And just as it is in packaging, regulations pertaining to cannabis signage are still in a “Wild West” stage and, as you can imagine, vary from state to state. Read More

Interest in Wide-Format Automation Isn’t Always Where You Think It Is

Last month, WhatTheyThink’s Richard Romano and IDC’s Tim Greene presented a wide-format outlook webinar, and a big topic was automation—but not necessarily where you would think. Here are some highlights of that discussion. Read More

Video

Kevin Duffy on Vycom’s Display Graphics Recycling Program
Kevin Duffy on Vycom’s Display Graphics Recycling Program

Published: January 3, 2023

Kevin Duffy, VP of Sales and Marketing at Vycom, provides an update on Vycom’s Recycling Program, through which Vycom collects waste material from the sign and display graphics production process and incorporates it into the company’s decking materials. Watch Video

Kongsberg’s Stuart Fox and Matt Thackray on Wide-Format Cutting Systems
Kongsberg’s Stuart Fox and Matt Thackray on Wide-Format Cutting Systems

Published: December 15, 2022

Stuart Fox and Matt Thackray of Kongsberg talk about the history of the 57-year-old company and showcase some of the precision cutting tables in its own portfolio, as well as that of the recently-acquired Multicam. Watch Video

Flora Graphics Grows Its Display Graphics Business with an EFI Pro 30h
Flora Graphics Grows Its Display Graphics Business with an EFI Pro 30h

Published: December 15, 2022

Konica Minolta’s Mike Wildbore talks with Flora Graphics principal Indy Flora. Flora Graphics is an Ontario-based sign and display graphics printer. Starting out in cut sheet and label printing, the company expanded into wide format and recently purchased an EFI Pro 30h to expand its capabilities. Watch Video

EFI Pro 30h Wide-Format Flatbed Helps SpeedPro Chicago Loop Expand
EFI Pro 30h Wide-Format Flatbed Helps SpeedPro Chicago Loop Expand

Published: December 14, 2022

Rebecca Considine, co-principal of SpeedPro Chicago Loop, talks about how the sign and display graphics provider has expanded by investing in technology—in particular, the EFI Pro 30h wide-format flatbed printer, of which they were the first US installation Watch Video

EFI Addresses Changes and Challenges in the Sign and Display Market
EFI Addresses Changes and Challenges in the Sign and Display Market

Published: December 13, 2022

EFI’s Ken Hanulec identifies the top trends affecting sign and display businesses, namely the need for hyperefficiency and lowering costs, as well as enabling new applications using new technologies like clear ink, white ink, and other things they haven’t been able to do before. Watch Video

Orbus Exhibit & Display Group Scales Up with EFI
Orbus Exhibit & Display Group Scales Up with EFI

Published: December 12, 2022

Orbus Exhibit & Display Group’s Jaime Herand talks about the company’s work for the trade show and events vertical markets and how their investment in EFI and EFI Reggiani equipment has allowed them to scale up their print facilities and expand into fabric printing. Watch Video

Product Strategy: Fujifilm’s Chris Cohara on Employee Turnover in the Wide-Format Industry
Product Strategy: Fujifilm’s Chris Cohara on Employee Turnover in the Wide-Format Industry

Published: November 30, 2022

Fujifilm’s Chris Cohara talks about how employee turnover has been a big challenge for firms producing display graphics and how the automation and ease-of-use features on Fujifilm’s wide-format equipment have helped mitigate this challenge. Watch Video

Product Strategy: Zünd’s Bill Richards on Lights Out Automated Finishing
Product Strategy: Zünd’s Bill Richards on Lights Out Automated Finishing

Published: November 30, 2022

Zünd America’s Bill Richards talks about the challenges of keeping employees, and how the automation features on Zünd’s wide-format cutting equipment can help streamline workflows through data integration, metadata manipulation, and robotics. Watch Video

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Wide-Format & Signage Section Editor
David Zwang
Richard Romano
Richard has written about graphic communication hardware and software trends for the past 25 years.

Articles by Richard Romano | Contact
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