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The future is wide format: FESPA

Tuesday, 26 May 2015
By Print 21 Online Article

A heavy demand for wide format printing equipment is a key trend identified in a new survey by the Federation of European Screen Printers Association (FESPA).

To coincide with FESPA’s record-breaking five-day international wide format event that just wrapped up in Cologne, the association released results of its Print Census – described as ‘the most far-reaching global industry survey ever conducted by the organization.’

Over 1200 respondents worldwide completed the survey, with 50% of respondents from the Americas, 42% from Europe and 8% from the Asia Pacific region. They represented screen and digital printers (34%); commercial, quick printers and reprographic shops (15%); sign makers (13%); graphic designers (7%); advertising agencies (5%); and others.

More than half of all respondents indicated plans to buy digital wide format printing equipment, with a mean spending plan of close to 100,000 Euro. Purchasing plans were dominated by UV printers (27%), textile printers (21%), solvent printers (17%), eco-solvent printers (16%) and latex printers (14%). Investment was driven by the desire to enhance print quality (43%), increase capacity (37%), improve output speed (34%) and reduce unit costs (33%).

The survey revealed six trends driving the global wide format and speciality print community:

1. Optimism – confidence swells on back of revenue growth.

2. Customer demands – print is a service industry.

3. A changing product mix – from mass production to mass customization.

4. Digital technology is the change enabler.

5. Textile print growth in graphics, garment, decor and industrial markets.

6. The future of Sign & Display printing is integrated with digital media.

“The FESPA Print Census paints a clear picture of an energised community in which business leaders have a clear and positive vision of the future and are reaping the commercial rewards,” said FESPA CEO Neil Felton.  “Despite a mixed macro-economic picture globally, printers across continents are responding to clients’ changing needs, diversifying their product offering, making calculated technology investments with a focus on efficiency and mass customisation, and embracing the changing role of print in the communications mix.”

The largest-ever FESPA event just ended in Cologne, with Sydney printer Next Printing taking home a silver medal in the paper & board point of purchase category.

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