Sign & Digital Graphics

October '17

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2 • October 2017 • G R A N D F O R M A T GRAND FORMAT grand-format signage and graphics had increased over the last 12 months. However, only 13% of respondents indicate that all of their business is directly related to wide/grand-format signage and digital printing. Survey respondents list banners and vehicle wraps as the top-two revenue-earning applications, followed by event graphics, trade show graphics, backlit displays and retail/ P.O.P. displays. Looking ahead, 85% of survey respondents report having a positive general outlook on the wide/grand-format signage and graphics business (up from 79% reported last year). And 80% of respondents indicate that their business is expanding into other technologies (up from 68% last year). And when considering their challenges, shop owners report that pricing is the greatest single challenge (47%) with wide/ grand-format printing. Other significant challenges include pressure from competitors (37%), meeting tight customer timelines (35%) and training/keeping qualified staff (32%). Production Information Shops report a range of in-house print production capabili- ties, with most survey respondents (58%) saying they operate a wide/grand-format printer with widths of 37" to 54"; and 48% saying they operate printers with widths between 60"-126" (unchanged from last year). When asked how they use these printers, survey respondents report that the top applications produced with wide/grand-format printers include banners (89%), event graphics (72%) and posters (63%), followed by vehicle wraps, trade show/event graphics and retail/ P.O.P. dis- plays. A number of shops say they engage in both the purchase and sale of wholesale graphics, with 48% of survey respondents reporting that they provide wholesale graphics to other sign and graphics shops (down from 52% last year), and 66% reporting that they purchase wholesale graphics from other sign and graphics shops (up from 62% last year). The survey results indicate that the most important factor when considering color management systems is maintaining consistent color over time, followed by matching color across all applications. About 49% of survey respondents say they use manufacturer-supplied profiles exclusively when profiling media for their wide-format operation (up from 44% last year), while 57% of survey respondents say they use a stand-alone color measurement device to build their own custom media profiles. Regarding production efficiency, 60% of shops state that their quote-to-finish time is five days or less (up from 53% last year). Wide/Grand-Format Equipment In a central part of the survey we asked respondents which printer platform they would most likely choose for their next of survey respondents reported having a positive general outlook on the wide/grand-format signage and graphics business. 85% Greatest Challenges in Wide/Grand-Format Printing Pricing 47% Competitors 37% Customer timelines 35% Training/keeping qualified staff 32% Customer expectations 26% Installations 25% Design challenges 21% Sourcing materials 21% Keeping up with order volume 20% Finishing 15% Other 4% Printer Platforms Most Likely to be Purchased Next Flatbed 33% Roll to Roll 29% Hybrid 15% 3D Printer 8% Dye-Sub Transfer Printer 8% Dye-Sub Direct Printer 6% of survey respondents say brand loyalty plays a factor when making a consumable (inks, media, etc.) purchase. 69% Satisfaction Level of Education on Printer Capabilities/Limitations Satisfied, but I believe my printer can do more. Highly satisfied, printer capabilities and limitations are not over- or under-sold. I have not been educated by the manufacturer. Highly unsatisfied, I am unaware of what my printer can do. 54% 30% 14% 1% (Source: NBM Wide/Grand Format: Market Intelligence Analysis)

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