Sat, Jun

How are kit manufacturers ‘selling’ such technologies to the show’s vast and varied range of visitors?

Drupa is the shopfront for suppliers to the print trade so it goes without saying that wide-format is going to be represented. But how will kit manufacturers in this space represent themselves and their wide-format solutions at this giant of a show, where digital print - and inkjet in particular - promises to be a focus yet must rub shoulders with all the other print technologies and vie for attention with the enormous cross-section of visitors the show attracts? We asked a random selection of Drupa exhibitors with wide-format offerings, for their take on the issue…

Yes, it’s getting close to the extravaganza that is Drupa and its celebration of all things print related. If you’ve not booked your flight to Dusseldorf, this is why you should…

“Many parts of the industry were hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and they are still dealing with the consequences today, with a fundamental transition in the print and media industry. Web-based technologies, digital printing, smart phone communication and of course classical sheet and web offset printing - in particular linking different technologies - these are all just a few of the headlines for current discussions. Drupa 2012 has come at the right time in this phase of transition. It facilitates the future transition to Print 2.0 and actively pursues this with its conceptual cornerstones.”

If you are you planning to attend Sign and Digital UK at the end of March, here’s what you can expect from the show in its 25th year.

Sandwiched between Fespa Digital and Drupa, Sign and Digital UK may see fewer product launches this year than it has tended to in the past. But as a UK-based show dedicated to the sign making and digital print sector it still promises to draw a crowd, especially those who don’t fancy hot-footing it to Barcelona or Dusseldorf this side of the summer.

Fespa is expanding to explore the wider opportunities afforded by the new visual landscape.

According to MD Neil Felton, speaking at the pre-show Fespa Fest event towards the end of 2011, “Fespa will always be print focussed, but we do need to embrace other technologies and Fespa’s focus will change to encompass wider imaging specialisms.” Hence at Fespa Digital 2012 in February you will see not just the integration of the Fespa Fabric ‘show within a show’ focussing on garment printing/decoration, but a space for narrow format/labelling too.

From revolution to evolution: That’s where we are in terms of large-format digital print development, a move that you can expect to see reflected at Fespa Digital 2011 in Hamburg in May.

Evolution: a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. Yep, that works as a definition for today’s large-format print community. We’ve oft repeated the mantra ‘adapt or die’ in Image Reports as the sector morphs from one thing into another and printers develop their diversification instincts in a bid for long-term survival. So it’s little wonder that Fespa adopted the ‘Evolution’ theme for its 2011 show. 

For the first time Northprint will highlight the potential of wide-format digital print via a special applications showcase. Here’s what to expect.

As wide-format expands its remit its attraction to would-be players is becoming more obvious, and with so many niche products and sectors that should not so much create a problem for those already involved in the market as serve to help educate a wider audience about the potential. To this end, Image Reports is working with Northprint to deliver a Wide-Format Applications Showcase this May.

We give you the heads up on what you can expect in terms of large-format digital developments at Sign and Digital UK at the NEC, 12 – 14 April.

The regular flow of investment and installation stories coming through since the start of 2011 supports what all the market indicators have suggested – that large-format digital inkjet is still growing apace and that the sector will see continued equipment purchasing through the year. The last Image Reports Widthwise Report (summer 2010), which analysed data from over 200 UK and Ireland printers involved in large-format, showed that 72% were planning to buy new equipment specifically to take them into new niches/markets and indications from the current data being polled is that this continues to be the case. So, it’s a safe assumption that many of you will be looking to see what’s new on the market and therefore be a likely visitor to Sign and Digital UK at the NEC this April.

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