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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.

This Dubs for You: A Flatbed Applications Photo Gallery

Cornhole boards, barn wood, hand sanitizer stations, 3D effects, and acrylic on glass. In this photo gallery, we highlight some recent projects that users have produced using flatbed UV printing equipment. Read More

Cracking the Code of 2021: Businesses with QR Codes and Near Field Technology Expand

As businesses start to open back up, the way businesses interact with their customers has changed. “Contactless” has become the key phrase, and merging print media with digital media is key to unlocking the way forward in today’s pandemic-recovery world. FASTSIGNS International’s Wayne Rasor provides an introduction to using QR codes and Near Field Communication to make print interactive. Read More

Sign Franchise Review 2021

In WhatTheyThink/Printing News’ Annual Sign Franchise Review, we take a look at how the major sign franchises fared in the past year, how they managed the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they plan to make up lost ground in 2021. Read More

ISA Sign Expo Virtual Aimed to Foster Real-Time Online Networking

Last week, ISA staged its Sign Expo 2021 Virtual, which succeded in replicating, perhaps as best as possible, the feel of being at a live event and networking with colleagues. Here is a quick rundown of the first day. Read More

Keep Strong While Moving Forward: Signarama’s Advice for the Future

2020 was a challenging year, but for the Signarama franchise, tough times allowed its franchisees to become stronger, smarter, and more prepared, allowing them to adapt. Signarama president A.J. Titus explains how. Read More

Make it Move: New Challenges for Dynamic Digital Signage

The challenges of the last year may have slowed some progress in the expansion of dynamic digital signage (DDS), but it has, at the same time, opened up some new opportunities for DDS technologies—especially as they become less expensive and higher quality. Read More

A Surprising Reason for More and Better In-Store Signage

There are lots of reasons to encourage your customers to beef up their in-store signage and displays. Great marketing. Safety and regulatory compliance during COVID-19.  But did you know that really good signage can also make your customers less price-sensitive? Read More

Four Must-Attend Events at ISA Sign Expo 2021–Virtual…And Three Tips to Make the Most of It

ISA Sign Expo 2021–Virtual is coming up on April 7–9. This article, sponsored by the International Sign Association, previews four essential features to attend, and offers tips for navigating the virtual event. Read More

Finding Our Way: Printed Signage Helps us to Navigate Safely Through the COVID-19 World.

Wayfinding signage abruptly evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contributor Mark Vruno looks at how sign companies coped with the change—and surge—in demand. Read More

ISA Quarterly Economic Report Looks at the Top 10 Economic Trends for 2021 and Their Impact on the Sign Industry

A recent ISA webinar looked at how the sign and display markets fared in Q4 2020, and offered up some forecasts for 2021, which IHS Markit analysts see as a “transitional year” from COVID to post-COVID while 2022 will see the rebirth of the economy, employment, and the industry.  Read More

Vax Populi: Now that COVID Vaccinations Are Underway, What Does That Mean for Display Graphics?

Signage has almost always been one of the most essential means of communicating important messages, which was why wide-format and sign shops early on in the pandemic were considered “essential services.” Health and safety messaging was the killer app for display graphics in 2020, and that is going to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Here’s what to look for. Read More

Get Ahead of the Tech Curve: Smart Signage Expands Experiential Marketing Opportunity

Connecting brands to consumers is incredibly important, and in the print and sign industry, it’s all about making consumers feel a part of something larger than themselves. In this article, guest contributor Larry Oberly, President & CEO of SpeedPro, explains the advantages of SpeedPro’s InfoLnkX NFC application for creating interactive, touchless, smart signage. Read More


PostNet Centers Help Customers Celebrate with Signs

Image360 Invites Budding Entrepreneurs to Informative Webinar on Rewarding Franchise Opportunity in Signage and Graphics Solutions Industry

The Centrale Unveils Abstract Mural by World-Renowned Artist Tony Sjöman in Partnership with LX Collection

Making Money While Sleeping – Durst’s Printing Revolution for Digipress

Day Four of WhatTheyThink’s Technology Outlook Week Webinars Focuses on Wide Format & Signage and Textiles & Apparel—May 20

Epson Partners with Sepialine to Deliver Seamless Workflow and Functionality with SureColor T-Series Printing Solutions

Arlon Introduces 3 New Virtual Application Demos featuring FLITE Technology® Products

EFI Roll-to-Roll Printers Receive Type II Certification for Wallcoverings with No Lamination or Coating

N3 Display Graphics Stays One Step Ahead with Drytac Polar Street FX

For Work or Play, Biggie Billboards Reinvents the Mobile Advertising Industry With Removable, Replaceable Banners

Roland DGA and Skip Barber Racing School Team Up in Co-Promotional Partnership

Mimaki Announces Global Innovation Days Event Designed to Inspire and Invigorate the Printing Industry

The Mosaica Group and HIX Corporation Announce Partnership to Enhance Distribution

FESPA Innovation & Trends: One Automation Software for All Wide Format Applications

Fujifilm and Inca Digital Announce Launch of Advanced Automation Options for Onset X HS range

Kernow North America Introduces NEW KernowJet RoadSharK PVC-Free Outdoor Floor Graphics

M/I Homes Chooses Videotel Digital for its Reliable and Affordable Digital Signage Media Players

Roland DGA Introduces New V-BOND Ink for VersaUV LEF2 Series UV Printers

Introducing New HP Durable Foldable Document Material—Fold and hold!

Business Owners Overcome Diversity and Inspire the Community

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Warren Werbitt Goes Printer to Printer with Vinylbomb
Warren Werbitt Goes Printer to Printer with Vinylbomb

Published: February 24, 2021

This week, Warren talks to Chris Rodkey, President and “Expert of the Strange and Unusual” at Vinylbomb. A four-year-old printer to the trade based in Hamilton, N.J., Vinylbomb specializes in grand-format printing CNC routing, laser cutting and engraving, and fabrication. During COVID, Vinylbomb successfully started selling face shields and sneeze guards, which helped the company thrive during the pandemic. Watch Video

Warren Werbitt Goes Printer to Printer with Ace Designs’ Sheri Robertson
Warren Werbitt Goes Printer to Printer with Ace Designs’ Sheri Robertson

Published: January 6, 2021

This week, Warren talks with Sheri Robertson, VP of Awesome! for Ace Designs, a grand-format print shop serving predominantly retail and hospitality markets. The company has been using the pandemic period to reexamine and reset themselves and decide "what they want to be when they grow up.” Watch Video

Mimaki's Mike Maxwell Shares Update on Mimaki Solutions for Signs/Display Graphics
Mimaki's Mike Maxwell Shares Update on Mimaki Solutions for Signs/Display Graphics

Published: December 17, 2020

Mimaki offers a broad portfolio of solutions for the sign and display graphics market. Mike Maxwell, Senior Manager–Corporate Strategic Development at Mimaki U.S., provides a look at the range of applications customers are producing, including how customers can incorporate 3D printing into the sign and display graphics businesses. Watch Video

Lori Anderson on Cancellation of ISA International Sign Expo 2020
Lori Anderson on Cancellation of ISA International Sign Expo 2020

Published: May 15, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the International Sign Association Board of Directors met this week and has voted to cancel ISA International Sign Expo 2020 re-scheduled for August 22-25. Lori Anderson, ISA President and CEO of ISA talks about decision to cancel this year's event and the scheduling of next year's Sign Expo to be held in Las Vegas during April 2021. Watch Video

From Photolabs to FASTSIGNS
From Photolabs to FASTSIGNS

Published: April 6, 2020

Todd Fitzgerald, owner of FASTSIGNS Wappingers Falls, N.Y., talks to Kelley Holmes about his journey from running several camera stores/photolabs to the sign industry. When the photo business started to change, he saw the sign business as a natural progression, and took advantage of FASTSIGNS’ Co-Brand program. Watch Video

FASTSIGNS Vero Beach and ABC Printing Co-Brand to Offer Complete Signage and Commercial Printing Services
FASTSIGNS Vero Beach and ABC Printing Co-Brand to Offer Complete Signage and Commercial Printing Services

Published: March 23, 2020

Gordon Sellers, FASTSIGNS Vero Beach, Fla., and & Chris Beals, ABC Printing, talk about the evolution of their partnership. ABC Printing was founded in 1975 as a quick printer. When Gordon opened FASTSIGNS Vero Beach, Chis became a top customer, selling signs to his customers and acquiring them from FASTSIGNS—and Gordon’s customers also needed small-format printing. As their partnership grew, they decided to take advantage of FASTSIGNS’ Co-Branding program. Watch Video

For Gaby Mullinax & Kaitlyn Mullinax-Fischer, FASTSIGNS is a Family Business
For Gaby Mullinax & Kaitlyn Mullinax-Fischer, FASTSIGNS is a Family Business

Published: March 16, 2020

Gaby Mullinax & Kaitlyn Mullinax-Fischer, Owner & Director of Business Development of FASTSIGNS of Brea and Fullerton, Calif., talk about how their franchise became a family business, and how Gaby jumped off the corporate ladder to run a FASTSIGNS franchise. They encourage young people to get involved in the FASTSIGNS business. Watch Video

Stan Gray Benefits from FASTSIGNS Veteran Program
Stan Gray Benefits from FASTSIGNS Veteran Program

Published: March 9, 2020

Stan Gray, owner of FASTSIGNS Torrance and Long Beach, Calif., talks about his military background and how he came to FASTSIGNS via the Veteran & First Responder Franchise Program. Gray also has a background in architecture, and his franchise specializes in ADA signage. 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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