Industry Roundtable Day 10: Which Applications are Hot – and Which Have Cooled Off?

14 days of critical information to prepare your shop for the year ahead.

Big Picture

Which technologies are on the upswing – and which are on the downswing? What markets and applications look to be hot next year? How much of a role will sustainability play in your company? Which profit centers should you invest in?

Get answers to these questions and many more, from six of the wide-format marketplace’s most informed analysts and consultants. Over the next couple of weeks, The Big Picture will post critical questions with invaluable answers from our panel – all designed to help you ensure that your company charts its best course for a prosperous year ahead.

Each day leading up to the SGIA Expo in Orlando, we’ll feature a round of questions and answers from our panel participants. For this year’s edition of our annual Industry Roundtable, our participants include:
• Lori Anderson, president and CEO, International Sign Association (ISA,;
• Marco Boer, vice president, I.T. Strategies (;
• Tim Greene, director, wide format consulting service, InfoTrends (;
• Dan Marx, vice president, markets & technologies, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA,;
• Peter Mayhew, director, LightWords Ltd. (; and

• John Zarwan, managing partner, J Zarwan Partners (

Q: What do you see as the hottest applications right now? And, perhaps just as importantly, which applications are cooling down?

Marco Boer: Vehicle wraps continue to be of interest. Thinking of “cooling,” it makes me wonder when we’re going to see mass adoption of wraps for consumer durable goods like appliances. I’m thinking not necessarily of customized images of your children splashed across your refrigerator, but rather wrapping the all-too-common stainless-steel look with something like the new Whirlpool “White Ice” look. The ability to swap out a “look” for a few hundred dollars rather than a few thousand by not having to replace an appliance has to be worth creating a new market to someone. Many of the wraps will be printed with solid colors, but still printed to create that one-of-a-kind finish look.

Dan Marx: The product area we see declining the most is billboards.

Tim: Greene: We’ve already touched on a couple of these – wallcoverings and packaging. I would add P-O-P signage using rigid substrates. Some of the suppliers have reported fantastic growth rates in that area, and I think we’re still seeing very nice growth in the vehicle-wraps (entire vehicle covered) and graphics (just part of the vehicle covered) markets, too.

Peter Mayhew: We’ve noted some “cooling” in the point-of-sale/P-O-P market. In part, this is because of the increased use of electronic displays combined with branded support graphics. The interior décor market is particularly “hot.”

Did you miss Day 9 of our Industry Roundtable? Click here to see what our experts had to say about Dynamic Signage.


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