Big Picture - May 2016 - (Page 18)
outside the gamut
Why the wallcoverings industry is partnering with digital print shops. | by Sean Samet
s more print shops are offering interior décor
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.
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 (wallcoverings.org), a member-based, not-for-profit organization
focused on manufacturing, distributing, and overall sales within the
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
Business + Management
Outside the Gamut
Can Print Shops Benefit from 3D Printing?
Big Picture - May 2016