Big Picture - May 2016 - (Page 18)

outside the gamut If Wallcoverings Could Talk Why the wallcoverings industry is partnering with digital print shops. | by Sean Samet A s more print shops are offering interior d├ęcor applications, digital print technologies are transforming the wallcoverings industry, specifically allowing for vastly increased customization by interior designers, architects, facility managers, and consumers. Wallcoverings manufacturers and distributors are addressing this demand through a variety of business strategies: Some produce digital substrates that they supply to PSPs; others have purchased their own equipment to supply directly to the field; and many are partnering with wide-format printers to offer finished digital goods. Those that have not entered the field are watching carefully to determine its feasibility. It's no secret (or surprise) that the wallcoverings industry regards digital printing as one of the next frontiers of growth. BIG PICTURE May 2016 ENTER THE MARKET BY PARTNERING Wallcoverings must conform to a host of standards regulating performance, fire safety, and environmental and health impacts. Providers bring this expertise to the table by recognizing what types of wallcoverings are best suited for various environments and then recommending and providing substrates that will perform under specific conditions. Wallcovering suppliers are also experts at designing for the wall. Whether they are helping a customer develop a pattern from scratch or manipulating a stock image, they understand the customization process, the customer's needs, and how the pattern will ultimately be perceived on the wall. Interior designers are continually called on to create a unique aesthetic, but are limited by shrinking timeframes in which to accomplish it. They increasingly look to the wallcovering supplier to help them craft a distinctive artistic expression. WHAT'S TRENDING: DESIGN AND APPLICATIONS Interior designers want to imprint their stamp on design, and digital wallcoverings are a creative and cost-effective vehicle. Wallcovering provider Astek works with many hospitality designers who are tasked with "grounding" the hotel design in its specific locale. For a San Francisco hotel, they helped create an illustrated map of the city for the lobby; in Chicago, they designed an image of Lake Michigan for a W property; and at Caesars' Linq Hotel in Las Vegas, they created a large-scale colorful graffiti pattern that enhances the hip, urban attitude of the interiors. Blending the old with the new is also currently trending, according to provider Tri-Kes. The company recently worked with The Lexington, a historic New York City hotel, to create an eclectic gallery of digitally printed murals that inject a contemporary feel while honoring the hotel's early history in SEAN SAMET, guest columnist, is the executive director of the Wallcoverings Association (, a member-based, not-for-profit organization focused on manufacturing, distributing, and overall sales within the wallcoverings industry. 18 And wallcovering companies stay abreast of design trends. Their designers travel the world to attend tradeshows, participate in trend-forecasting groups, and follow lifestyle, fashion, and interior design trends. They have a keen appreciation for what will appeal to the customer, whether that customer is a commercial specifier, such as an interior designer or architect, or a commercial end-user, such as a facility manager or a residential homeowner.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - May 2016

Big Picture - May 2016
Wide Angle
Business + Management
Outside the Gamut
Can Print Shops Benefit from 3D Printing?
Beyond Water

Big Picture - May 2016