We can feel it already, 2020 is going to be a good one! Looking ahead for the year, we wanted to take a minute to go through some of the upcoming trends for 2020.   

ECO

We are obviously a huge fan of all things eco and truly understand our environmental impact. So, we always source the most sustainable resources and ensure any waste is recycled. Luckily for us, the industry is shaping up when it comes to environmental responsibility and are beginning to introduce new environmentally friendly materials. In 2020, we expect to have even more sustainable choices and add some new products to our portfolio.  

Traditionally substrates have been high in PVC, but new solutions like Xanita board and Ocean Tex are made from recycled materials and include no PVC. Our clients have been actively embracing these alternatives and global retailers have already begun making pledges to become plastic free, so we expect an increased demand for eco alternatives in 2020. 

It’s not only the materials that are going eco, but it’s also the ink as well. There are thousands of different ink recipes, each one for a different application style. Lately, manufacturers have been developing formulas that have environmental considerations in mind and aim to reduce harmful solvent. To prove their green credentials, they acquire a Greenguard certification.   

The emissions criteria to obtain Greenguard Certification are among the most stringent indoor air quality standards in the world. Therefore, gaining this Certification for inks demonstrates that they meet the most rigorous and comprehensive standards that ensure low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for indoor air environments. We are using HP latex Inks which are all Greenguard Gold certified.   

New Printing Technology   

Quick turnaround, productivity, versatility and quality are becoming even more important to the printing industry. To meet this need, there has been significant advances in print technology and recent innovations are helping manufacturers reduce print time, improve quality, print on alternative materials and even become more sustainable.    

Take for example the HP Latex printer, which is leading the way for sustainable printing and it is, of course, the one we are using here at Imageco. It uses no UV in the printing process and uses only water-based latex inks, whilst still providing high quality prints.  

Efi have recently released a new breed of machines like the Efi Vutek which allows manufacturers to significantly reduce waste and increase productivity. These new machines also mean there is no longer a trade-off between speed and quality, they enable manufacturers to achieve near photographic quality at new high speeds.  

We can expect this new wave of tech to continuously improve to reduce energy consumption and use less ink, making the wide format printing process even more sustainable.  

Textile Printing   

Digital printing on textiles is proving to be highly efficient and in 2018 saved over 40 billion litres of water worldwide. However, only 5% of global textile prints are currently being done digitally, meaning there is so much room for growth in this market. 

Digital printing on textiles provides so many sustainable benefits and we expect manufacturers to start embracing these opportunities.   

Bespoke Wallcoverings   

Wallcoverings have always been one of our staple products, but recently we have noticed a rise in bespoke designs. We’ve had offices and schools coming to us to create motivating and stimulating wallcovering that represents their brand values. Clients no longer want just a picture on the wall; they want something that has meaning to their business. Our design team has been collaborating with clients to create bespoke designs that can individualise any space.   

We have recently introduced a new sustainable offering to our wallcovering portfolio. The Wall Canvas Eco is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles and is available in one piece up to 3.2m deep. Bring colour and life to any interior space whilst hitting those ever more important green credentials. 

Customisation 

Customisation has become a huge trend within the printing industry, although it started predominately within the retail sector, all signs point towards personalisation growing and becoming popular in all areas of the industry. For example, there has been particular growth in the interior decor sector with customers creating bespoke wallpapers and bedspreads. Being able to create one off customised prints for banners, POS signage and exhibition graphics is proving to be a huge selling point for wide format printers.  

Ongoing developments with digital printers have helped to spur the personalisation trend, it allows suppliers to create more tailored products in shorter run times and still be cost-effective to produce. Alongside this, the latest innovations in software and web-to-print technology are making mass customisation possible. 

Here at Imageco we are always keeping up to date with the latest trends and constantly adopting new technology to meet our client’s demands. We look forward to what the next decade has for wide format print and if you need help with your 2020 print needs, then get in touch!