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(August 2013) posted on Wed Jul 31, 2013

Spoonflower weaves its niche in print-on-demand wallcoverings.

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By Mike Antoniak

Eventually that could make Spoonflower as much the go-to-source for wallcoverings as it has become for custom-printed fabrics. The same designs which helped establish its success can all be printed as wall coverings now, too.

“There’s certain number of people who want to create their own wallpaper, and those who prefer to choose one of our designs and have it printed for them. It’s been running about 50/50,” comparable to printing on fabric.

Anyone who uploads a design to the site has the option of making it available for sale through Spoonflower. Most don’t. Designers who go this route receive a 10-percent royalty on the cost of the order, whether printed on fabric or paper. “Our community now includes designers from all over the world, and some of them do a lot of business through our site,” notes Fraser.

To encourage their involvement, Spoonflower sponsors weekly contests through its community, soliciting designs for a specific theme. Recent themes included picnics, citrus fruits, and highways and byways. Community members vote on their favorite, which get featured in a “Winner’s Circle” on the website.

Through the marketplace, consumers can place orders, or contact designers to inquire about having something customized. Customers can order a 12 x 24-inch sample swatch for $5. The standard roll is 24-inches wide and 12-feet long and sells for $60. Custom lengths are available for $5 a linear foot. The order window includes a calculator to determine exactly how many rolls to order, based on room dimensions
Spoonflower accepts design files in all popular graphics formats, at 150 dpi minimum. Actual printing is done with a resolution of 720 dpi.

“So far, wallcoverings look a lot like the fabric market,” Fraser observes.

Transforming any space
“Where it’s most different is in some of the unique one-of-a-kind projects,” says Fraser. Designers or interior decorators might order a specific color of a design to complement the look of furnishings. The most specialized projects can be whatever the client conceives.

In making that case, Fraser speaks from experience. For his own family reunion, he created a collage from heirloom photographs, letters, and even his great grandparents’ wedding invitation. The items were scanned, combined on a computer, printed as wallpaper, then installed in the cabin used for the gathering.

“That’s just one example of the types of wallpaper we can do now,” says Fraser.

And, it suggests how digitally printed wallcoverings could be used to transform any space into something truly personal or unique. “The customers we have are some of the most creative people on the planet,” concludes Fraser. “They aren’t all designers but they are all creating things they enjoy.”

“We’ve tried to build our business as a platform to give people the tools to do some remarkable things that just weren’t possible before.”