Why your shop should consider printed interior-decoration opportunities.
By Craig Miller
Düsseldorf, Germany isn’t a location I would typically refer to as my ideal vacation spot in November. After all, I’m used to temperatures in the mid-50s and sunny skies at that time of the year here in Vegas.
Yet this is just what I’m considering. Why? Because the Printed Interior Decoration (PID) conference (www.printedinteriordecoration.org) takes place there, November 26-27 this year.
“The conference will look closer at the state-of-the-art printing solutions on home textiles, ceramics, flooring, wallpapers, wallcoverings, wall murals, glass-decoration solutions, furniture, upholstery, and many other solutions,” according to the event’s website. Cool!
I want to be there for two reasons. First, I love going to international conferences. It’s great to meet colleagues from outside the US; plus I get a fresh perspective on our industry and fresh ideas to bring home to make our company better. I’ve never gone to a European show where the benefits have not clearly outweighed the cost.
Second, our company has been producing printed interior-decoration products for nearly 20 years and this has become a very important market segment for us. I’m hoping by going to PID I can mingle with company owners and managers who are experts in this arena – I still have a lot to learn.
I’ll admit to a bit of a subjective mindset on this topic: I believe it’s simply unwise for anyone who owns a large- or grand-format digital printer to ignore the interior-decorating market. There are plenty of reasonably easy-to-produce, printed interior-decorating products available. And as this is written, profit margins in this market niche are significantly better than selling printing signs or vehicle wraps, to name just two product categories.
It’s all about the wall
Wallcoverings – aka wallpaper – are the natural starting point when it comes to printed interior décor. The good news is almost anyone with a wide-format printer can produce wallcoverings, but keep in mind that I’m not talking about sheets of decal vinyl like we would use for a bus wrap. I don’t consider decal vinyl stuck on walls to be interior decorating. Sheets of sticky-back vinyl are fine for temporary wall graphics – love them, do them all the time. But the big problem with “decal-based” wallcoverings is that they’re so thin they’ll reveal every surface irregularity. True wallcoverings come in multiple textures from suede to stucco, up to an 18-mil thickness.