Big Picture - September 2020 - 22

It's tempting for those of us in the wide-format industry to think:
"We are just printers. We put ink on substrates, cut it, and then
ship it. We can't participate in any meaningful solutions." But
we can, and we should. The world needs us to participate and
be smart about creating results. And, in doing so, we can also
create profitable opportunities for ourselves.
Already, some wide-format shops with dye-sublimation
printing and CNC cutting have helped by creating functional
masks and face shields. But as retail, corporation, and
educational space planners draw up the future of those spaces
they're considering and redesigning a "new normal." And
wide-format printers and fabricators should be at that design
and conception table, participating with those architects,
interior and graphic designers, retail space planners, retail
merchandising managers, corporate real estate and facilities
managers, and institutions of education.


September 2020

"It's tempting for those of us in the wideformat industry to think: 'We are just
printers. We put ink on substrates, cut it,
and then ship it. We can't participate in
any meaningful solutions.' But we can,
and we should."


layouts, dividing screens, and panels are already emerging
as likely long-term fixes.
It's tempting to think a vaccine will detour and pause these
redesign efforts, but that's not too likely. The world has
awoken to a new reality, a "new normal." Even if a vaccine is
developed, there's concern for how well the vaccine will work,
other future pandemics, and/or mutation of current viruses.
It's in this paradigm that space planners are beginning to
design and in which wide-format suppliers can participate.
Based on more than 25 years of experience, here are some
common architectural and space planning considerations that
are under development worldwide for the retail, corporate,
and educational environments your wide-format shop can
address. If you're interested in pursuing this type of business,
you should continually follow developments so as to speak
most intelligently about the developing science and space
planning concepts and needs.
* Learn the nomenclature and concepts being
developed by architects, interior designers,
retailers, and facilities managers. Learn to read their
blueprints, elevations, and plans. Trade journals and webinars
within those industries are a good resource for current
thinking and information. Informal interviews about how
those designers are thinking about future spaces can also
yield valuable information and further a meaningful dialogue.

* Many solutions currently being designed
include printed and colorful crowd control panels
and screens that direct foot traffic through spaces
to minimize the likelihood of people infecting
each other. Examples include one-way aisles indicated by
floor graphics and ceiling danglers; hallways divided by
printed panels and screens; divided elevator bays using clear
If you're a wide-format shop that has traditionally not
and/or printed panels; elevator queuing areas delineated with
worked with those industries, consider that now may be
freestanding panels directing the flow of foot traffic; store
the time for you to step up and help your community by
entrances with waiting areas for "shop-by-appointment;"
offering helpful ideas that would also enter you into a
curbside BOPIS and BORIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store,
profitable venture.
buy-online-return-in-store) kiosks; and corporate lobby
Much is already being discussed and published by trade
entrances directing the flow of people through the use of a
journals, analysts, and researchers about retail, corporate
variety of similar graphics. How those panels react to gravity,
workspace, and educational segments of society. They're
high traffic, cleaning, and disinfecting will be important to
already shifting and allocating budgets and planning for the
understand. Common panel solutions already in high demand
future redesign of those spaces. With some continuing
education on those industries, the comprehensive wide-format are clear acrylic, polycarbonate, PETG, and similar. How
those panels respond when standing vs. hanging should be a
supplier can not only participate in those solutions, but can
easily expand their wide format capabilities and business with part of any consultation to your clients. How your ink might
adhere to any of those panels should be tested for scratching,
a little bit of study and preparation.
cleaning, and disinfectant solutions, as well.
Many of the publications I've read and web conferences
I've attended in the past three to four months are laying out
* Learn how to solve for gravity. Standing a panel
concepts and guidelines by which to consider the upcoming
versus hanging a panel will usually require an entirely
redesign and layout of those spaces. As an example, the
different understanding of the properties of the material being
"open workspace," popularized many years ago and used
proposed and the structure that will support those panels. If
prominently today, was implemented within corporations
panels are hung from the ceiling to divide a hallway or to
and offices to facilitate collaboration, speedy and efficient
direct elevator queuing then the ceiling should be evaluated
communication, and problem solving. But many space
planners now see it as a problem to solve, and at least revise, for the weight it will need to support once the panels are hung.
due to a better understanding of droplets, aerosolization, and Similarly, if the panels are going to stand upright then the
physical characteristics of that material will need to be
the travel of disease through the air. Floor plans, desk


Big Picture - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - September 2020

Big Picture - September 2020
Wide Angle
Business + Management
To a Tee
Towering Over Tinseltown
Making a Difference and Making a Profit
Big Picture - September 2020 - Big Picture - September 2020
Big Picture - September 2020 - Cover2
Big Picture - September 2020 - 1
Big Picture - September 2020 - Insight
Big Picture - September 2020 - 3
Big Picture - September 2020 - Wide Angle
Big Picture - September 2020 - 5
Big Picture - September 2020 - Upfront
Big Picture - September 2020 - 7
Big Picture - September 2020 - 8
Big Picture - September 2020 - 9
Big Picture - September 2020 - Business + Management
Big Picture - September 2020 - 11
Big Picture - September 2020 - To a Tee
Big Picture - September 2020 - 13
Big Picture - September 2020 - Towering Over Tinseltown
Big Picture - September 2020 - 15
Big Picture - September 2020 - 16
Big Picture - September 2020 - 17
Big Picture - September 2020 - 18
Big Picture - September 2020 - 19
Big Picture - September 2020 - Making a Difference and Making a Profit
Big Picture - September 2020 - 21
Big Picture - September 2020 - 22
Big Picture - September 2020 - 23
Big Picture - September 2020 - 24
Big Picture - September 2020 - 25
Big Picture - September 2020 - R+D
Big Picture - September 2020 - 27
Big Picture - September 2020 - 28
Big Picture - September 2020 - 29
Big Picture - September 2020 - 30
Big Picture - September 2020 - 31
Big Picture - September 2020 - Explorer
Big Picture - September 2020 - Cover3
Big Picture - September 2020 - Cover4