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Demanding Trends

Consumer and Commercial Wallcoverings

Part 2 of 2

By Melissa Donovan

Part one of this series focuses on York Wallcoverings, a PA-based print provider offering digitally printed murals to consumers. High demand in not only the consumer, but also the commercial sector, is pushing many print service providers (PSPs) into this niche.

Demanding Trends
Cost savings and customization capabilities are concrete reasons wallcoverings are a growing niche.

"The majority of digital wallcoverings are in commercial environments. Retail, restaurant, and hospitality venues are primary sites for high-volume installations. If a national chain department store, restaurant, or hotel adopts wall graphics into its design, it can easily develop into a very large production printing opportunity," explains Ed McCarron, director of marketing, InteliCoat Technologies.

Peter Spotto, sales manager, DreamScape, agrees that there is a higher demand for wallcoverings in the commercial sector. Besides large corporate-funded businesses, localized demand is also be found in smaller businesses, such as daycare centers, local restaurants, grocery, offices, churches, and amusement parks.

Museums are increasingly utilizing wall murals for exhibits, says Lisa Humrich, marketing product analyst, Oracal USA. As are hotel applications, which offer competitive pricing, versus traditional forms of decorating, notes John Coyne, sales manager, Lintec Corporation of America.

"The highest demand comes from retail and office environments given the relatively low-cost, high-impact graphic opportunities, and ease of working with the material. Consumer demand is slower due to the economy. The product is viewed as more of a discretionary purchase," shares John D. Peterman, executive VP, Big Systems LLC.

As inexpensive personalized home décor options expand, consumer interest grows. Digital allows consumers to customize bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and home offices. PSPs cost effectively create these items on demand, while minimizing inventory in the process.

"Much of consumer demand is driven by personalization. People easily decorate rooms with removable, interchangeable graphics—avoiding the more permanent, traditional solutions, such as wallpaper and paint," shares Tracy Bonvino Black, promotional products business manager, 3M Graphics Market Center.

This is also true of retail and office segments looking to change branding messages and color schemes frequently. Digitally printed wallcoverings are an economic redecorating solution.

Design Aesthetic
Unique artwork sets PSPs and their customers apart from competitors. It doesn’t matter if it’s an academic environment, retail shop, or large corporation—wallcoverings provide a showcase for art creatives from all experience levels.

A high school or college sporting venue may highlight prominent teams or star players; promoting school pride and ticket sales in one large graphic. Children’s hospitals, according to Peter Allard, Southeastern sales manager, Ultraflex Systems, Inc., may use wallcoverings to create a more pleasant atmosphere—in stark contrast to the sparse, cold feeling a hospital may convey to a child.

Corporations utilize wall patterns to brighten up office space. "In the commercial or retail settings you often see a company mission statement or promotional advertising," says Jason Yard, marketing specialist, MACtac Graphic Products.

Read more about digitally printed wallcoverings in the June issue of Digital Output. Vendors not only discuss demand, but ink compatibility. Also, learn about how York Wallcoverings’ produces personalized wall borders.

Click here to read Part 1 of this exclusive online series, Growth by Digital.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

May2010, Digital Output
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