A trip to Europe showcases the wide-format industry's global reach.
While planning my travel to Hamburg, Germany, for FESPA 2017, I decided to take full advantage of the overseas location and extend my trip. I began my three-week European adventure in Milan and went on to Lake Como and Rome. From there I made a quick stop in Berlin before heading to Hamburg for the weeklong tradeshow, hopped on a plane to Amsterdam, then a train to Paris for the weekend, and another train to Zurich, Switzerland, and the incredible Lake Lucerne, and yet another train to Munich for one last soft pretzel and a stein of Hefeweizen, before heading home to Zinzinnati – er, Cincinnati.
Yes, I’m still exhausted.
If you followed me on Twitter during my travels, you saw bits of the wide-format digital print I captured in Europe. From billboards above the cobblestone streets in Milan, to bus wraps promoting local tourism and upcoming movies in Rome, to wallcoverings scattered throughout Berlin detailing the city’s immense war history, to grandiose Louis Vuitton building wraps in Paris, wide-format digital print is worldwide. And while I found comfort in those countries as I constantly stumbled upon the tried-and-true graphic outputs and installations, it was at FESPA where I saw real adventure, excitement, and risk-taking in the digital print world from representatives of 139 countries. I was able to wrap a car via virtual reality at Avery Dennison’s booth; European manufacturer Veika was printing textures and layers onto textiles for the interior décor, indoor advertising, and packaging markets via its Dimense machine; and Epson showcased haute couture womenswear via its SureColor F-Series as part of their partnership with fashion designer Richard Quinn.
These companies are moving beyond tradition and demonstrating what else this industry – and this world – has to offer.
Are there times when you’ve been asked to do a job outside of your comfort zone? Perhaps a client is asking for a 3D package prototype instead of paper, or wants a few custom T-shirts along with their banner ads, or needs a digital media component to boost their Facebook followers. Stop and think before saying, “That’s not my job.” This industry will always stick to those tried-and-true applications that get your clients’ messages seen, but it’s continuously evolving, all over the world. Are you willing to break out of the norm and offer your clients something new and innovative?
Bread and butter is great, but have you tried pain au chocolat?
Read more from Editor-in-Chief Adrienne Palmer.