Day 12: Charting Wide-Format Printing’s Course – the 'Hottest' Applications for 2012

14 days of critical information to prepare your business for 2012.

Big Picture

BPIC: Here’s our readers’ favorite question every year in our Roundtable discussion: What are you seeing as the “hottest” applications for wide-format print in the past 12 months? And for 2012?

Art Wynne, BERTL: Our research shows that P-O-S and P-O-P continue to be very popular for print service providers. We’re also seeing an increased demand for vehicle wraps and soft signage.

Marco Boer, IT Strategies: The “hottest” substrate application is probably soft signage, printing on textiles. It’s a way to add value to large-format signage. In 2012, I think we’ll see more offerings to allow the printing of social-media images, such as your Facebook friends or Linkedin colleagues on a wide-format print.

Tim Greene, InfoTrends: Vehicle graphics and wraps were the hottest application over the last 12 months along with soft signage and interior décor, according to our research data. I expect these to be pretty much the same in 2012, enabled by some of the technological advances in the hardware, ink, and print media – as well as the fact that the companies buying these applications are reporting that, as an advertising medium and as an information-delivery mechanism, these applications are very effective.

Peter Mayhew, Lyra: Textiles, and fabric printing are hot right now. As for 2012, we’re keeping an eye on 3-D imaging.

Dan Marx, SGIA: I continue to follow developments in applied or installed graphics and fabrics. These are both areas where innovation is still happening and creative designers and print producers are doing some jaw-dropping projects. Sometimes, a new type of product or material opens a door for a whole bunch of innovation and growth in certain niche areas.

The Big Picture has assembled five of the marketplace’s most informed analysts and consultants and asked them to help you evaluate the wide-format industry. Each day over the next two weeks, we’ll post a new, critical question from The Big Picture with invaluable answers from our panel – all designed to help you ensure that your company charts its best course for a prosperous year ahead.

Our 2011 panel participants include: Marco Boer, consulting partner, I.T. Strategies (; Tim Greene, director, visual communication technologies consulting service, InfoTrends (; Dan Marx, vice president, markets & technologies, SGIA (; Peter Mayhew, director, Lyra Research Europe (; and Art Wynne, president, Business Equipment Research and Test Laboratories (BERTL,

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Click here for Day 11 Q & A on Sustainability. And stay tuned for Day 13 of Charting Wide Format's Course – Profit Centers Beyond Print!

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