Why your shop should consider printed interior-decoration opportunities.
By Craig Miller
Digitally printed, interior-decorating wallcoverings really require panels that install with wallpaper paste or other adhesive and have a perfect butt seam. The standard widths for wallcoverings are 27 and 54 inches; digitally printed wallcoverings are typically 55 to 56 inches in width and are cut down to 54 inches for installation.
Now, in considering a digitally printed wall, the first thing that might naturally come to mind is a mural. And although wall murals were once very popular, these supersized pictures on walls have become somewhat passé for interior décor. Instead, the growing demand is for decorative and step-and-repeat patterns – visually appealing designs (that might also include a client’s company logo, by the way) featuring exacting color palettes.
A few more points about wallcoverings:
• Most of the walls we produce are 10-feet tall or less; so wide expanses of printed wallcoverings can be produced without a seam. Admittedly, it takes an amazing paperhanger to work with pieces this big, but we’ve found that customers go nuts over printed walls with no seams.
• The availability of printable metallic and chrome substrates has been a hot development in wallcoverings. When these are used in conjunction with white ink, you can produce some truly amazing effects. Our shop recently produced a gold chrome wallcoverings project with a step-and-repeat of the names of all of Michael Jackson’s songs in white.
• Other substrate finishes like brushed metal are also available, but keep in mind you’re not limited to off-the-shelf products: You can also create your own finishes. In one project, for instance, we took ordinary vinyl wallcovering media and added a hand-applied silver leaf. We printed over the silver-leaf face with floral patterns using an underlayment of white ink. The designers were careful to leave considerable silver leaf exposed. The end result: accent wallcoverings that looked handmade and were used throughout a large performing arts center. The graphics continue to receive rave reviews and, best of all, no one guesses these wallcoverings accents were actually digitally printed.
Additional wall possibilities
Beyond the more standard wallcoverings, we’ve pursued and produced a variety of other interior-décor solutions, all geared around a client’s walls.