While many of the current sign industry trends are set to continue, there is likely to be some new dynamics in the use of wall and surface coverings, textured printing and dye sublimation inks for printed tension fabric displays in 2018.
Take wall coverings, which has been an on-going trend for a few years now. Growth potential here is in the ability to create unique bespoke creations. One-offs are now much easier practically to deliver using digital large format printers, which creates more accessible solutions that both business and domestic environments are wanting to take advantage of. The rise of self-adhesive, repositionable media is also enabling the end-user to have more involvement and while wall and floor coverings have been a dominant part of this sector to date, there are some clear indications that this will also increasingly extend to ceilings too.
Similarly 3D printing is likely to becoming more prevalent as it is increasingly used now for the retail market. However, this love of the added dimension does not need to be limited to 3D. There is also the development of 2D textured printing being created by the likes of JETRIX LX LED UV printers, where building layers of print or clear lacquer is adding a new raised dynamic to simple flat printing.
Finally, the use of backlit and frontlit tension fabric systems is increasingly being used for exhibitions, signage and retail. So, while the use of these formats may not be anything new, it is becoming increasingly imperative to ensure that the most intense colours are created particularly when used with lighting. This is where dye sublimation inks that deliver a high density colour such as InkTec’s SubliNova range will come to the fore. These inks in essence become part of the fabric, rather than simply sitting on the surface and so deliver an increased colour density which really intensifies with the use of lighting.