Opportunities for print in Interior Design - Image Magazine


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Opportunities for print in Interior Design

Opportunities for print in Interior Design

This article first appeared in the April issue of Digital Image Magazine

Decorative print is a thriving market for the wide format print industry. Advances in print capability and an ever-increasing variety of printable media ensures that this market segment will continue to experience significant growth at a rate predicted to be higher than other traditional sign and digital print applications. Opportunities in the interior design market remain wide open. Despite the massive impact of COVID-19, decorative print offers significant potential for any print company wanting to broaden their range of products and services and look for additional revenue streams.

Print media manufacturers are catering for and contributing to the demand by developing impressive products that can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces. One of the most important developments in self-adhesive film that has made printed graphics and film popular is around finishing. These films no longer look like giant plastic stickers. They have finishes and textures that replicate interior design substrates and blend seamlessly into the environment alongside other more traditional materials.

Wallpaper films look like paper or have a variety of surface textures that give them the authenticity of real wallpaper. Optically clear window films are virtually undetectable on glass, giving the impression that the glass itself has been printed. Films for bricks and textured surfaces mould and conform perfectly when heated to give the impression that the surface has been painted. Canvas can be used to create fine art and a variety of laminates can add unique textures and finishes to prints. This is extremely attractive for designers who want to offer their clients high-end quality interiors.

The advantage of using film for any designer is that they can create their vision exactly. They can save time hunting around for the right product and very quickly produce something to their own specification. It allows them to create truly unique environments for each client. Designers don’t have to hold stock and worry about obsolete stock when fashions change. Shipping costs and import delays also become a redundant issue allowing significant efficiencies around supply.

Using printed film allows designers and their clients the opportunity to utilise existing substrates and furnishings. As well as the cost-saving aspects the major advantage is in the convenience this offers. Any business wanting to refurbish needs to consider the impact on their customers. They may have to close down for a period of time or consider inconveniencing their customers which is the last thing business wants to do in the current environment. Paints emit fumes that can last for days and painting takes time as each coat must dry. Changing other internal features can be noisy and messy. With printed film, the process can happen relatively quickly. A restaurant can close one evening and all the walls can be redecorated in time for opening the next day. No downtime, no fumes and no loss of business. Businesses that remain open 24/7 such as hotels can still have their interiors transformed with minimal disruption to their customers.

Changing any interior is also more convenient as films can easily be removed and replaced. If a wall or window gets damaged more film can be printed and the damaged area replaced. Customers no longer have to commit to a particular look for years. This allows customers to continually refresh their spaces and gives interior designers the opportunity for more business in a shorter space of time.

Businesses are fully aware that attracting customers is not only about displaying advertising messages but creating an ambience that is appealing and attractive to customers to enhance their overall experience. COVID-19 has really accelerated the use of online platforms for consumers. Shopping malls and retailers are more motivated than ever to entice the customer back into physical stores by appealing environments for the shopper.

The new way of working also provides opportunities for interior design. More people working from home and spending time at home motivates people to invest in doing up their personal space and investing in home décor. Offices and public spaces are becoming less open with partitions and screens to create distancing and more private spaces. These represent more areas for decorative print applications.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a massive impact on print businesses but in times of crisis, there also comes opportunity. Our industry has the skills and technology to provide high quality, conveniently printed imagery with many benefits to interior designers. While other print markets have taken a hit or become more competitive, decorative printing is one area where print can provide true value and reap the benefits.

Written by Denise Kirby

Denise Kirby has over 27 years experience as a supplier of self adhesive products to the sign and print industry. Initially starting out in the family business as a distributor of consumables she went on to work for leading self adhesive manufacturers in marketing , business and product development roles across Australia and New Zealand.  She now has her own business, Kirbyco, which focuses on environmentally friendly, recyclable and sustainable print solutions.

Denise is highly passionate about the industry and enjoys writing about applications and opportunities in print in and signage with the goal of inspiring people to explore new creative and functional opportunities with film as well as educating the industry on products, trends and new innovations.

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