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Wide-Format & Signage

This section of WhatTheyThink focuses on emerging trends in wide-format printing. It identifies new business opportunities and provides strategic analysis of new applications, technology, and events.

2023 FESPA Print Census Highlights Global Wide-Format Trends

The FESPA print census is an industry barometer that helps vendors and print service providers (PSPs) understand market dynamics in key industry segments, including signage and display, graphics, textile, and industrial. With nearly 1,800 respondents from 120 countries, this year’s survey continues a research partnership between FESPA and Keypoint Intelligence that began back in 2007. This article provides a top-level overview of the findings from our most recent survey. Read More

New HP Latex Printer Line Targets Small and Mid-Size Print Businesses

This week, HP launched the “entry-level” Latex 630 series, aimed squarely at small and midsize print service providers. We take a look at some of the new features and capabilities. Read More

October 6 Is ISA’s Sign Manufacturing Day, Offering Sign Businesses a Great Employee Recruitment Opportunity

On October 6, sign companies will have an excellent opportunity to potentially attract new and young talent to their businesses. Every year, on the International Sign Association’s (ISA) Sign Manufacturing Day (SMD), participating sign shops host open houses, facility tours, and hands-on demonstrations for students to show them the opportunities that exist in the sign business—or even that the sign business exists. Read More

Poster Project Brings Art and Poetry to Downtown Syracuse

The Syracuse Poster Project is a civic arts initiative that launched in 2001, which merges poetry, art, and display graphics to help revitalize downtown Syracuse, N.Y. Richard Romano looks at the program’s inspiration and origin, and how it has evolved over the years. Read More

Off the Wall Cases: ISA Webinar Highlights New Issues in Sign Regulation

Last month, the International Sign Association hosted a webinar presented by the Sign Research Foundation that looked at the current legal lay of the land pertaining to sign codes. Some of the cases looked at were old favorites (Reed v. Town of Gilbert, et al.), but some new recent cases have raised entirely new issues—specifically concerning murals, and whether they are considered art or signage. Read More

Meeting Ever-Shorter Turnaround Demands in the Wide Format Market

The ever-increasing demand for immediate delivery is creating some unique challenges for today’s print service providers (PSPs). Wide-format print jobs have become especially challenging because they often require a great deal of customization, personalization, and design modifications. This article discusses some top strategies that can help PSPs to manage the turnaround expectations of today’s print buyers. Read More

Wrapper’s Delight: High School Senior Wins Bus Wrap Design Contest

For the last three years, Laketran in Lake County, Ohio, has held a student Design-a-Bus Wrap contest, sponsored by Avery Dennison. This year’s winner was Mentor High School senior Kaitlin Barninger. Richard Romano looks at how this year’s winning design came about. Read More

Here Come the Robots—News and Trends from FESPA 2023

The FESPA Global Print Expo was held in Münich, Germany, May 23 to 26. WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer attended and identifies some highlights from the show.   Read More

Technology Outlook: Wide Format and Signage

Last week, as part of WhatTheyThink’s fourth annual Technology Outlook Week, our five-day series of webinars that look at the latest trends and technologies in a broad cross-section of the industry, Richard Romano and Cary Sherburne tag-teamed a look at wide-format and signage and textiles and apparel. This article recaps the wide-format portion of the webinar Read More

Print Services Helps CHRISTUS Health Fulfill Its Mission

CHRISTUS Health Print Services, the in-plant printing department for the CHRISTUS Health network of ministries and hospitals, took a tentative step into producing wayfinding signage—and has since proven itself essential to fulfilling CHRISTUS Health’s mission of serving its community. Read More

EFI Ignite: A Visit to EFI’s Londonderry N.H. Center of Excellence

As part of the media, Adam Dewitz, Richard Romano, and I were pleased to be invited to a recent EFI Ignite customer event. It gave us an opportunity to visit the (relatively) new EFI facility in Londonderry, which includes an expansive Customer Experience Center, manufacturing, and administrative/support services, and see the latest display graphics offerings from the company. Read More

HP’s Wide-Format Strategy Goes Beyond the Printer

WhatTheyThink managing editor Richard Romano talks to Daniel Martinez, General Manager, HP Large Format, about HP’s current wide-format strategy, market trends, and some recent product and new initiative announcements—in particular, a unique device for the architecture and construction industry. Read More


New Roland DG TrueVIS Resin and UV Printers Earn BLI 2024 Pick Awards from Keypoint Intelligence

MUTOH Introduces MUTOH Direct: A New Cloud Service Connecting Dealers and End-Users

Full Force: Durst Group to Showcase Side by Side at 2023 PRINTING United Expo

swissQprint Tip Switch Vacuum: Now Patented

Grimco Acquires TubeliteDenco

Orbus Named "Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation" for the 9th Consecutive Year

Kongsberg PCS to Spotlight Cutting Edge Automation and Integrated Workflows at PRINTING United

IKEA Embraces Innovation with Help From Kavalan

Vehicle Customization Boom as WrapFest Is Set for its 2024 Return

Prestige Signage Uses Drytac Polar Grip to Create a Spectrum of Color for Pride Month

Mactac® to Showcase Industry-Leading Graphics & Signage Solutions Throughout PRINTING United 2023

Spinnaker, A Mactac® Company Troy Manufacturing Site Earns ISO 9001:2015 Certification

N3 Display Graphics Uses Drytac Films to Decorate Cancer Research UK’s New Distribution Hub

MUTOH America Introduces the ValueJet 628MP Multi-Purpose Printer

Graphco Launches SD-Italy Hybrid CNC Routing & Cutting Technology at PRINTING United

Drytac Expands Product Portfolio with ReTac Clear PET Film

Impression Ltd Invests in a Mimaki UJV55-320 UV LED 3.2m Roll Printer from CMYUK

SOS Installation of a Xenons X-180 and Almeida Cutter at PDS, Plymouth

Metalloy Italiana Signs a Service Contract with Flexa for a More Sustainable World

Mactac® Debuts New Products, Refreshed Branding Strategy, and Spinnaker® Sheet Solutions at PRINTING United 2023

More News


RR Donnelley Acquires a Nozomi, EFI Gears Up for PRINTING United
RR Donnelley Acquires a Nozomi, EFI Gears Up for PRINTING United

Published: September 19, 2023

In this wide-ranging interview, EFI's Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Ken Hanulec, talks about RR Donnelley's acquisition of its first Nozomi, the growth in worldwide Nozomi installations, a description of the four models—two for corrugated and two for display graphics—and a look ahead at what EFI has planned for PRINTING United. Watch Video

The Target Report Interview with Brian Adam, Olympus Group: Part 1—History of Growth and Acquisitions
The Target Report Interview with Brian Adam, Olympus Group: Part 1—History of Growth and Acquisitions

Published: September 18, 2023

Brian Adam, President and Owner of Olympus Group joins Jules VanSant in this first of two Target Report Interviews. In this video they discuss how the organization went from being the leader in producing flags and mascot costumes to a multi-location, custom printing solutions company, offering a wide variety of promotional and branding projects for some of the most demanding companies in the U.S. Brian explains how their focus over the past 10+ years on expanding their presence in the trade show, event, sports, and amusement park markets has driven strategic acquisitions and geographic growth to better serve key customers. Watch Video

Signarama Leads By Example
Signarama Leads By Example

Published: August 31, 2023

Signarama President A.J. Titus talks about how the franchise network fared in 2022, where they see growth in 2023 and beyond, and how their leadership approach is "lead by example." Watch Video

Richnerstutz’s André Stutz on the EFI Q5r
Richnerstutz’s André Stutz on the EFI Q5r

Published: June 28, 2023

In this video, sponsored by EFI, André Stutz, co-CEO of Richnerstutz, one of Switzerland’s largest wide-format print providers, talks about the myriad services the company produces, and the advantages of the EFI VUTEk Q3r/5r wide-format printer. Watch Video

Product Strategy: Graphic Whizard at the ISA Sign Expo 2023
Product Strategy: Graphic Whizard at the ISA Sign Expo 2023

Published: May 31, 2023

Max Allen, Dealer Manager at Graphic Whizard, talks about emerging trends and product strategy at the ISA Sign Expo 2023. Watch Video

EFI's Tiffany Bisson on the EFI Pro 30h Wide Format LED Printer
EFI's Tiffany Bisson on the EFI Pro 30h Wide Format LED Printer

Published: May 31, 2023

EFI's Tiffany Bisson provides an update on the EFI Pro 30h Wide Format LED printer showcased at the recent FESPA Global Print Expo 2023. Bisson talks about the benefits of the 3.2m hybrid flatbed/rollfed LED entry-level production printer. Watch Video

FESPA Awards 2023: Léa Saint-Jeveint “Young Star Award”
FESPA Awards 2023: Léa Saint-Jeveint “Young Star Award”

Published: May 30, 2023

FESPA Textiles Ambassador Debbie McKeegan talks to Léa Saint-Jeveint, student at SEPR in France, about winning the “Young Star Award” in the FESPA Awards 2023. Saint-Jeveint won the award for her entry “Lueur abyssale”. Watch Video


Published: May 30, 2023

FESPA Textiles Ambassador Debbie McKeegan talks to Edward Hillam, Operations Manager at Imageco in the UK, about the “ANTALIS SUSTAINABILITY STREET” project which won a FESPA Awards 2023. Watch Video

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Wide-Format & Signage Section Editor
David Zwang
Richard Romano
Richard has written about graphic communication hardware and software trends for the past 25 years.

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