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Fri, Aug

A splash of Cologne

Fespa 2015 promises not only to refresh your own large-format digital print knowledge, but to wake-up the creative community to its potential.

Billed as the “largest and most extensive international wide-format print exhibition for screen, digital and textile print technology,” Fespa 2015 is also marketing itself as the place to “discover new market opportunities: 3D printing, interior decoration, non-printed signage, digital signage”, and the industry sectors represented and listed on the show’s website include narrow format machinery, embroidery, pad printing etc. All in all this is an event that has moved on - this year it will take up 62,500m2 of floorspace, have over 700 exhibitors, and is anticipated to attract 25,000 print representatives, buyers and creatives. So miss it at your peril.

There’s no point trying to take you through a whistle stop tour of the exhibitors – the news pages in this issue and previous ones have highlighted the main launches and there’s a full exhibitor listing at: http://2015.fespa.com/en/why-exhibit/exhibitorlist.html?start=20 to help you plan your visit.

Instead we here highlight the other key show attractions, including the new Printeriors showcase and conference that promises to draw your customers and potential customers.

If you’re on board with this magazine’s ‘Think Bigger’ project - which aims to stimulate dialogue with creatives about how wide-format print can be harnessed as an innovative medium within mainstream communications projects, and for less well-established/new areas of design – then you should be excited by this prospect. While it might be a big ask to expect creative to travel to Cologne for an add-on to what is essentially a print show, the organisers are confident that now they’ve built it, they will come.

To give Fespa its due, it has come up with a great message to market for Printeriors: ‘Enhance the ordinary and make it extraordinary with interior design and the power of print’. That’s the opening statement on the event’s own website (http://printeriors.net) created specifically to appeal to a design minded audience and telling them that by attending, “you will

be able to discover a range of print applications to support your interior design projects using screen, digital and textile print technology.”

The exhibition part of Printeriors will comprise a series of room sets to represent different commercial and domestic interiors environments for retail, residential, corporate and hospitality settings. These will showcase various printed interiors elements from walls, floor coverings, ceramics, textiles and decorative surfaces to furniture and accessories. Exhibitors will include the likes of designer David Bartlett with his Brandit range of inkjet printed furniture (see video interview with Image Reports: http://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/features/business/2738-ir-talks-todavid-bartlett).

Then there’s a one-day Printeriors Conference on 21 May, to which the Fespa hopes to attract architects, retailers, hoteliers, interior designers, brand managers, furniture designers, product designers, lighting designers, exhibition designers, kitchen designers and creatives. So perhaps it’s where you should be too. The sessions will be in English and the full day costs 70 Euro if you’re a printer (creative types get in for 50 Euro). The full programme is available at: http://printeriors.net/printeriors-conference-programme.html and includes speakers that should appeal as much to PSPs as the design community. Indeed ‘printers’ if we still dare brand them as such, are actively participating in the sessions, with the likes of Mark Burmingham, Riot Creative Imaging London, talking about ‘Cost-effective creativity’ and Andreas Skantze, Big Image Systems, highlighting ‘Creative solutions with digitally printed fabrics ‘. But what’s more likely to turn the creative on is hearing from their own midst, so having Wayne Hemingway, English fashion designer and co-founder of Red or Dead, deliver the keynote is a real feather in Fespa’s cap.

Image Reports asked him what his main message would be to other creatives about inkjet printed interiors opportunities. His response was: “We use it [inkjet print] all the time. The main message is that it is allowing change and most people embrace change. So what the printing world is allowing, and large scale printing in particular is allowing, is the ability to change decor in a relatively cost effective way and can give you artistic things on the wall that was only possible at a very high cost before.

“It also allows individuality which seems to be an increasing need in a crowded world. We are visual creatures after all, we see things in colour more than most creatures, so it seems only natural that we make large-scale digital print more accessible.”

So what about his key message to printers on working with creatives to stimulate more applications etc. for digital wide-format print?

“I still don’t think that all designers have fully grasped the freedom and experimentation that digital print can give you, and what the printing industry and the technological innovation it’s achieved can give you. Prices have come down tremendously since large-format digital print was first introduced. When it first came out it was very expensive, like everything is at first and only the rich can afford it - if you don’t follow things you’ll think it’s always too expensive.

“You’ve got to stay close to things and designers have got to stay up to date. We’re very lucky because we’ve got an amazing relationship with a printer and were the first designer to work with SurfaceView. We were lucky that they came to us about ten years ago, when they were starting up the SurfaceView brand and we’ve had a relationship ever since on everything we do, from us selling artwork through them and them being involved in our regeneration projects and festivals. As a label we think large-scale print on a daily basis because we’ve got a relationship with some brilliant technical suppliers. They’re an extension of our business and that enables us to always think print and always be close to it.

Michael Bernman, CEO of Schoos Design, who will deliver the talk ‘Exploring Print in Interior Design’ at the conference, says: “Most designers are wonderful artists but may not be the most progressive when it comes to technology. Personal guidance and creative suggestions are always welcome. In the past, we have been limited by printers who did not know how to ‘work with us’ – by which I mean guide us on enlarging graphics, use of various textures, etc.”

But he adds he would tell creatives that: “Technology, including photography and graphic design, is continually evolving. It would be a shame to limit one’s design to old techniques and philosophies. We have used these technologies to create environments which was not as easily possible a few years ago.”

Janjaap Ruijssenaars, an architect with Universe Architecture will tell conference goers about his ‘Recipe for discovery’ and ahead of the talk told Image Reports: “Parametric computational design and freeform production techniques will revolutionise the way we make things. Other creatives, are and will be influenced by these developments in the future, though in the end, good design will always be about a good idea.

“Print was until recently a means to an end, but it has gained a lot of territory in architecture over the last ten years. Print on facades, floors and ceilings have livened spaces and if used properly, can play a great role in interior design, accentuate, brighten or hide elements.

“Long-term partnerships with an informal approach between printers and creatives would help large-format inkjet grow. Since the development of techniques and the development of design related to the techniques are hard to predict, a flexible relationship would serve both parties.”

While you might well be going to Fespa primarily because it’s a print trade show, the fact that it’s also aiming to close the gap between you and those that just might want to work with you must be a draw. Perhaps you’ll even mingle at the Print Inspiration Rally bus that will be onsite to showcase innovative examples of wide-format print and inspire them.

What’s on where!

Fespa 2015 is about more than the main event, and the envelope pushing Printeriors discussed in the main copy. It will also be home to:

The Education Hub

This is the central hub for all educational content from the Sign, Textile and Digital Hubs at the show. The programme, split into the various streams, can be found at: http://2015.fespa.com/en/whats-on/full-seminar-schedule.html

Content focuses include digital printing, screen printing, industrial applications, and textile printing, design and workflow tips.

Two presentation theatres will be running every day from 11.30am onwards, and include a mix of debates and presentations.

There’ll also be a an ‘applications showcase’ and outside presentation and workshop sessions you’ll be able to see videos of selected presentations from earlier in the week, and other Fespa thought leadership events, as well as connect with your peers.

European Sign Expo

Delivered by Fespa and ESF (European Sign Federation), European Sign Expo 2015 will be co-located alongside Fespa 2015 in hall 7. It will focus on software and finishing, substrates, signage systems, fittings and fixtures, illuminated displays including neon and LED, dimensional signage, engraving and etching and electronic digital signage.

On stand M115 you’ll find a new show feature – the Sign Hub - developed to “provide an inspirational platform dedicated to visitors interested in digital signage or looking to expand their business offering into this market”. Participants will include software providers, developers, installers and digital signage suppliers.

The area will comprise an ‘Ask the Experts’ arena, exhibition space and a The Connect Hub Bar. A Sign Conference within the hub will have a daily panel of speakers (see programme link above).

Industrial Print Showcase

ESMA (the non-profit association for specialist printing manufacturers of screen and digital print technology) is effectively running the show here, an area dedicated to demonstrating digital and screen printing industrial applications focusing on key sector areas - printed electronics, decor and laminates, and automotive.

The hub will have daily 'Lunch & Learn' sessions from industry partners who will highlight opportunities..

Fespa Wrap Hub

This year the now well established Wrap Hub will be on stand T85 in hall 6, and on the Monday – Wednesday it will host the final qualifying competition for wrappers to get the last few places in the global final of the World Wrap Masters Series, to be held on the Thursday and Friday. It’s a knockout competition, with wrappers judged on quality of application. It costs 150 Euro to enter. Those who make it to the global final to compete against winners of wrap competitions from around the world don’t pay to compete in the final though.

Fespa Awards 2015

Head to the boulevard to see entries to the Fespa Awards 2015 categories. These cover in-store fine art, decals, outdoor and vehicle decoration, special effect printing, garment and wearables decoration, interior decoration, industrial and functional, and cross media print campaigns, as well as a dedicated Young star category and the Fespa Hall of Fame contenders. Winners will be announced at a dinner of 19 May.

Fespa Fabric

44% larger than Fespa Fabric 2013 in London, this year’s theme encourages visitors to ‘launch into a universe of garment decoration’.

The two key educational elements at Fespa Fabric will be Charlie’s Corner and a specialist conference programme. In Charlie’s Corner, Charlie Taublieb will be joined by others from the garment community to blend theory with hands-on practical workshops. And Fespa Fabric corporate sponsor Kornit Digital, will explore opportunities combining screen and digital processes.

The main conference programme will provide sessions from ‘Direct to garment printing – understanding the possible problems you can encounter’ through to ‘Profit trends within textile customisation’ and will all take place in the main Fespa Education Hub in hall 8.

Roz McGuinness, divisional director, Fespa, says: “Interim results from Fespa’s Print Census

that 29% of respondents regularly produce textiles for garments and 71% expect textile printing for garments to grow as a percentage of their business. 34% of PSPs also agreed that the function they would be most interested in when investing in new equipment would be textile printing capabilities.

UK and Ireland specific digital wide-format PSPs responding to the Image Reports’ Widthwise Survey 2015 also showed a keen interest in textiles as a new market opportunity for their own businesses, though soft signage came well above garment and home/interiors. See the full Widthwise Report 2015 distributed with this issue and online at: www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise