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Insider Insight: Analyzing Industry Trends

(November 2017) posted on Mon Nov 20, 2017

Experts discuss what's next for latex, packaging, and more.

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By Adrienne Palmer

We asked seven of Big Picture's Editorial Advisory Board members to respond to the current state of the wide-format industry and reveal what we should expect in 2018.

Big Picture: What is the future of latex?

Kirk Green, President/CEO, Ferrari Color: Some applications are fine; we departed from this product as we found the equipment unstable and the imagery inconsistent.

Robert Kissel President KDM P.O.P Solutions: We definitely see a future in latex printing due to its eco-friendly aspects and have already invested in this technology.

Carmen Rad, Founderpreneur, CR&A Custom: I see a bright future for latex due to its quality and ability to adhere to a wide variety of substrates topped with the minimal environmental impact compared to solvent and UV inks.

Jared Smith, CEO, bluemedia: I think latex will continue to dominate until it becomes the only option.

Mark Taylor, COO/Senior VP, GFX International: We do not lean on latex technology for a large amount of our print production. We have one smaller machine that prints small banner runs and wallcoverings. As far as its future, it appears there is a market and/or fit for this technology, but only while UV inks continue to advance in flexibility and elongation. I’m not sure what benefits latex technology will have over UV.

Big Picture: What is the future of interior décor and textiles?

Robert Kissel: As you walk the tradeshow floors the past few years, there is a definite trend in soft signage – printed fabric stretched on a frame. It hasn’t caught on so much for our retail customers for in-store signage and P-O-P, however. In this realm, the savings in shipping weight and costs could be substantial. We are definitely watching this growing trend.

Carmen Rad: With OEMs’ push of small latex and UV printers and the additional support and training they are providing, along with the advent of websites like Etsy, I think [the future of] digital printing for home décor is a bright one.