Will wide-format continue to be a money spinner as we look towards 2017? According to those print chiefs debating the state of the sector at the annual Image Reports Round Table the answer is ‘yes’ - but with caveats (see feature p14).
According to more than one participant, ‘low-touch’ and ‘repeat processes’ is where profitability lies, and PSPs need to be gearing up for that. For others the expectation is that intensely involved bespoke jobs is where the real money is to be made. All know it’s about adapting - but importantly, carefully controlling the level of adaptation, or as others would call it, diversification.
The 2016 annual Widthwise Survey and subsequent Report, showed that only one in seven considered finding new markets a top priority for the year - and that ‘traditional’ markets (like exhibition graphics, transport graphics, general poster/signage) were still fastest growing parts of their large-format print business. Some newer areas like murals/wallpaper were climbing too, and textile, while still quite low down the pecking order was considered a focus for growth in next couple of years - hence the textile supplement in this issue ahead of the Heimtextil show (p26). The great thing about the Widthwise 2016 findings was that they showed - in the words of one of the Round Table panellists - that there is ‘still enough gravy to go around’ even in the most obvious large-format applications sectors.
So how do you see 2017 panning out? Tell us by taking part in the tenth - yes tenth - consecutive annual Widthwise Survey, which goes live at the start of the New Year. In the meantime, have a good Christmas!