drupa Essentials of Print: Sabine Slaughter

With our recurring drupa Essentials of Print series, we deliver a series of articles, from designers, brand owners, printers, converters, journalists and influencers, providing them with a platform to share their opinions on the latest developments of the print industry.

Wide Format Printing: destined to grow and with ever more applications

The wide and super wide format market has undergone its digital transition while certain analogue printing technologies, such as screenprinting, continue to complement the overall mix offered by large format print service providers (PSPs) to their clients. In this regard, there’s clearly still so much to be explored, compared, reviewed etc and that’s why drupa 2024 is such an unmissable opportunity. Covid-19 has changed a lot within the printing industry and many new applications, even a new category – Social Distancing Signage – have evolved. All the key manufacturers, such as Canon, Epson, HP, Mimaki, Roland DG, Konica Minolta, Agfa, and many others, will showcase a multitude of applications and their latest developments all aimed at driving new business opportunities for PSPs. Predicted to reach a volume of US$11.2 billion by 2025 (Markets and Markets), the wide format printing market is mature, but it has certainly not yet reached its heyday.




The digital transition means that more and more applications will become digital and this itself leads to highly specialized wide and super wide printers, many of which will be shown at drupa 2024. Such printers can deal with traditional applications, but more interestingly they enable innovative PSPs to showcase their ability to cater for new and unexpected market-niche jobs. And most of all, to be able to viably produce short runs, personalized and customized projects, even one-offs, that help brand owners to do things not previously possible so that their branding efforts reach their full potential.


Another big growth-factor in this sector is of course the environmental agenda, a global topic that extends far beyond drupa. As the world tries to reduce its negative climate impact, so printer manufacturers, PSPs and moreover the client ordering print (be it in a small or large corporation) are all considering how they can contribute to the environmental imperative. The global pandemic has accelerated these client-driven requirements. Inks and consumables for wide and super wide printing, as well as the printers themselves, will be judged by visitors to drupa 2024 as to how well they fit into this context and into their own print shops. Many brands are willing to pay the extra dollar in order to obtain a more sustainable product, a trend that will continue into the future and which is likely to be reinforced by new regulations. So be sure to check new ink and substrate developments at drupa 2024.

In the drupa article series Essentials of Print, Sabine Slaughter reveals even more details on why wide format printing will continue to grow and find more applications!

About the Author:

Sabine Slaughter is a renowned international editor, consultant and journalist who for decades has monitored the transformation in the printing industry. She works in close relationship with printer manufacturers, brand owners and PSPs and has written thousands of articles, stories, related analysis in various trade magazines inspiring the entire industry.




Header picture © Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann


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